Which cell phone to buy--need good camera?

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Infomom2
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Which cell phone to buy--need good camera?

Post by Infomom2 » Tue Dec 19, 2017 1:17 pm

My current cell phone is a $30 windows phone and I want to switch over to android to be able to use more apps. I generally believe in not spending more than I need to for anything, but a good camera on the phone is very important to me. I mostly take pictures of my kids and scenery. I currently use Airvoice mnvo, but will probably be switching soon. I do want the phone to be unlocked and work on all major networks, and would also want it to last several years (unless it was really cheap and I could justify replacing quickly).

I have considered the Moto G5+ (definitely the least expensive, butthe camera gets mixed reviews), Google Pixels, both original and 2, Samsung Galaxy 8+, and even some form of iphone (one of the negatives being that many At&t mnvos can't do MMS with iphones and I do need MMS). I realize that some of these options are very expensive, and as I said a good camera is important to me so I may be willing to pay for it. As of now, I have spent way too much time sitting at my computer not making any decisions.

Any advice? I really don't want to do a contract deal.

bloom2708
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Re: Which cell phone to buy--need good camera?

Post by bloom2708 » Tue Dec 19, 2017 1:20 pm

Here is a good deal right now. $150 to $200 off. Moto Z Play. $249. Unlocked for all carriers.

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/ ... _32gb.html

This is a better phone from the G/G Plus series. Better screen. Good battery. I can't say if the camera is better than the G5 Plus.

If you don't want to spend that much, B&H also has the Moto G4 16 or 32gb versions on sale. $95 and $105.
"We are here not to please but to provoke thoughtfulness" Unknown Boglehead

curmudgeon
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Re: Which cell phone to buy--need good camera?

Post by curmudgeon » Tue Dec 19, 2017 1:32 pm

We had a similar scenario last year. We aren't heavily into the latest apps and such, but found that having the camera always there on travel makes a better camera worthwhile.

I went with Moto G5 plus. I'm reasonably happy with it. It accepts an add-on SD card for more storage. Photos are pretty good. Chrome browser on it works fine for bogleheads, but has responsiveness issues with websites with lots of ads.

iphone SE is a decent option if you like the small form factor. It's essentially the iphone 6s internals in a smaller package. Got this one for my wife, and she's been pretty happy with it.

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climber2020
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Re: Which cell phone to buy--need good camera?

Post by climber2020 » Tue Dec 19, 2017 1:46 pm

The consensus on many review sites is that the Google Pixel 2 has the best camera of any of the recent phones.

Infomom2
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Re: Which cell phone to buy--need good camera?

Post by Infomom2 » Tue Dec 19, 2017 1:49 pm

Thanks for the replies so far! The thoughts on the G5plus vs Z2 it that there is not much difference, as far as I can tell. As far as the iphone SE, I do hate the small size so can't consider that model. Not sure if I feel okay about paying for the Google Pixel 2 or not...wis

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climber2020
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Re: Which cell phone to buy--need good camera?

Post by climber2020 » Tue Dec 19, 2017 1:59 pm

If you buy it through Verizon it's $300 off, bringing the total cost of the phone to $350 which is a great deal for a phone of that quality.

Infomom2
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Re: Which cell phone to buy--need good camera?

Post by Infomom2 » Tue Dec 19, 2017 2:12 pm

climber2020 wrote:
Tue Dec 19, 2017 1:59 pm
If you buy it through Verizon it's $300 off, bringing the total cost of the phone to $350 which is a great deal for a phone of that quality.

Don't I need to have a contract with Verizon to do this? That would probably cost me more in the long run as compared to an mnvo (and I don't pay for data). I currently pay $20/mo for phone service.

surfstar
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Re: Which cell phone to buy--need good camera?

Post by surfstar » Tue Dec 19, 2017 2:16 pm

I'm quite happy with my Moto G5 camera, but I came from much cheaper phones and carry a Sony RX 100m3 for "real" photos.

The G5s plus has the dual camera setup, but the reviews don't seem to say its that much of an upgrade.

The $600 saved vs a Pixel 2 can buy a really good camera, camera, though...

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3CT_Paddler
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Re: Which cell phone to buy--need good camera?

Post by 3CT_Paddler » Tue Dec 19, 2017 2:29 pm

Recently purchased the Moto G5+ from Best Buy for $200 (no contract). It's been great so far... switched from an older iPhone. The iOS ecosystem is much better overall for being plug and play, but I wanted to tinker with an Android and I didn't want to spend $1k on a phone.

I had some kind of weird pop up adware yesterday that was a pain to get rid of... and that was from browsing a couple of legitimate news and sports websites.

On the plus side, I was able to add 128GB of storage to the phone with a $50 MicroSD card. It gives me the equivalent of 10 hours of video. :shock:

chartcab3785
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Re: Which cell phone to buy--need good camera?

Post by chartcab3785 » Tue Dec 19, 2017 2:31 pm

We just decided to get my MIL a 32GB iPhone SE. The Moto G5 + was also a top contender. I thought iPhones were out the window as we only wanted to spend a couple hundred. But this phone is $150 at Best Buy for AT&T prepaid, and will work on any of the AT&T networks like Cricket. (Cricket is the service she uses)

What is this about iPhone MMS not working on AT&T MVNOs? It's the first I heard of it. Did a quick google and I see what you are referencing, but it seems like there is a solution, at least with Cricket.
Infomom2 wrote:
Tue Dec 19, 2017 1:17 pm
My current cell phone is a $30 windows phone and I want to switch over to android to be able to use more apps. I generally believe in not spending more than I need to for anything, but a good camera on the phone is very important to me. I mostly take pictures of my kids and scenery. I currently use Airvoice mnvo, but will probably be switching soon. I do want the phone to be unlocked and work on all major networks, and would also want it to last several years (unless it was really cheap and I could justify replacing quickly).

I have considered the Moto G5+ (definitely the least expensive, butthe camera gets mixed reviews), Google Pixels, both original and 2, Samsung Galaxy 8+, and even some form of iphone (one of the negatives being that many At&t mnvos can't do MMS with iphones and I do need MMS). I realize that some of these options are very expensive, and as I said a good camera is important to me so I may be willing to pay for it. As of now, I have spent way too much time sitting at my computer not making any decisions.

Any advice? I really don't want to do a contract deal.

Infomom2
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Re: Which cell phone to buy--need good camera?

Post by Infomom2 » Tue Dec 19, 2017 2:38 pm

chartcab3785 wrote:
Tue Dec 19, 2017 2:31 pm
We just decided to get my MIL a 32GB iPhone SE. The Moto G5 + was also a top contender. I thought iPhones were out the window as we only wanted to spend a couple hundred. But this phone is $150 at Best Buy for AT&T prepaid, and will work on any of the AT&T networks like Cricket. (Cricket is the service she uses)

What is this about iPhone MMS not working on AT&T MVNOs? It's the first I heard of it. Did a quick google and I see what you are referencing, but it seems like there is a solution, at least with Cricket.
Infomom2 wrote:
Tue Dec 19, 2017 1:17 pm


Yes, I really hate the small size of the SE. I have fat fingers! I actually prefer the largest screen phones for typing, but am willing to compromise on that...but not to the size of the SE. As far as the At&t mnvos, yes Cricket works with iphone MMS, but part of my objective is to be able to choose from a variety of mnvos..and I currently pay less than Cricket offers at $20/mo (and am not part of a group).

Infomom2
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Re: Which cell phone to buy--need good camera?

Post by Infomom2 » Tue Dec 19, 2017 2:42 pm

surfstar wrote:
Tue Dec 19, 2017 2:16 pm
I'm quite happy with my Moto G5 camera, but I came from much cheaper phones and carry a Sony RX 100m3 for "real" photos.

The G5s plus has the dual camera setup, but the reviews don't seem to say its that much of an upgrade.

The $600 saved vs a Pixel 2 can buy a really good camera, camera, though...

I hope this double post. I typed out a reply, but looks like it didn't save.

I just wish I could compare the Moto G5splus (or similar model) to the Pixel to see the difference in photos. I look at on-line reviews, but of course they say the Pixel is better. My question is if it is worth the price difference for me and I just don't know.

As far as spending the money I could save on a camera, that was my original plan but it hasnt worked out well. I bought a Panasonic Lumix zs100 and planned on using this camera with a cheap cell phone. Unfortunately I find I am not as willing to carry the zs100 around, other than special occasions or planned pictures (I also didn't think about the fact that it would need a case which adds to the bulk). I also am less than pleased with the pics it takes of my kids, but its too late to return...so I am back to feeling like I need a high quality phone camera.

FraggleRock
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good camera

Post by FraggleRock » Tue Dec 19, 2017 3:16 pm

An expert opinon.
http://austinmann.com/trek/iphone-x-cam ... -guatemala
Lynette wrote:
Sun Dec 24, 2017 10:02 am
Iphone is usually easier to use and you get what Apple decides to give you. I can customize the Note 8 to change the ISO that I think you cannot even do on the Iphone X.
See https://www.procamera-app.com for an excellent iPhone camera app.
Last edited by FraggleRock on Mon Dec 25, 2017 11:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

chartcab3785
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Re: Which cell phone to buy--need good camera?

Post by chartcab3785 » Tue Dec 19, 2017 3:30 pm

Infomom2 wrote:
Tue Dec 19, 2017 1:17 pm


Yes, I really hate the small size of the SE. I have fat fingers! I actually prefer the largest screen phones for typing, but am willing to compromise on that...but not to the size of the SE. As far as the At&t mnvos, yes Cricket works with iphone MMS, but part of my objective is to be able to choose from a variety of mnvos..and I currently pay less than Cricket offers at $20/mo (and am not part of a group).
All your points seem reasonable. Hopefully the slightly smaller screen size is not a hindrance for my MIL. It was important to her that the phone fit in her shirt pocket, and it's slightly smaller than her existing android. (I was spending a couple of hours assisting her with issues on her android on our 2x/yr visits-I hope that this changes once she's moved to an iPhone)

FreemanB
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Re: Which cell phone to buy--need good camera?

Post by FreemanB » Tue Dec 19, 2017 3:34 pm

Personally, if the camera is your number one priority, then I would recommend the Pixel 2.( I have the regular one, not the XL.) A few months ago, I was on the lookout for a new phone with an excellent camera, and I decided to go with the Pixel 2. I have been continually amazed by the camera, and I also love that it includes unlimited free storage of both photos and videos online, allowing me to take as many pictures as I want. The biggest thing I've noticed is that I can take some really good shots with the Pixel without even trying. I just point and shoot. I can only compare it directly with my previous phone, a Droid Turbo, and my wife's iPhone 7, but it definitely beats both of those.

Infomom2
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Moto G5+ is back down to $169 at Costco!

Post by Infomom2 » Tue Dec 19, 2017 9:20 pm

I happened to be at Costco today and the Moto G5+ is back down to $169 there! I was so happy to pick one up for that price, knowing I can try the camera and return if I don't think its good enough. Hopefully, I will like it well enough and have saved a lot of money! If not, at least I know I have tried.

clutchied
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Re: Which cell phone to buy--need good camera?

Post by clutchied » Wed Dec 20, 2017 11:25 am

If I'm buying a phone with a great camera today it's the pixel2 or XL variant of the pixel2.
Last edited by clutchied on Thu Dec 21, 2017 10:43 am, edited 2 times in total.

NJdad6
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Re: Which cell phone to buy--need good camera?

Post by NJdad6 » Wed Dec 20, 2017 1:56 pm

FWIW my son has an iPhone 7 Plus and the photos are amazing. There is a portrait function that takes unbelievable pictures. At least as good as my Nikon DSLR.

Infomom2
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Re: Which cell phone to buy--need good camera?

Post by Infomom2 » Wed Dec 20, 2017 3:35 pm

Thanks for the continued replies! I have been playing with the camera on the Moto 5plus a little, and I don't think I'm going to be happy with it.

So, I think I need to consider one of the Pixels or an iphone. I was hoping to save money, but it is important to me to have a camera I am happy with.

waswas39
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Re: Which cell phone to buy--need good camera?

Post by waswas39 » Wed Dec 20, 2017 4:10 pm

https://oneplus.net/5t

The OnePlus 5t comes unlocked from the factory and is half the price of a new Iphone, and way leass than a new Samsung. Should work on any major network. Added bonus of keeping you away from overpriced Apple products.

wrongfunds
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Re: Which cell phone to buy--need good camera?

Post by wrongfunds » Wed Dec 20, 2017 4:38 pm

Generally, I would be wary of jumping on something like that but given you want an Android based platform with good camera, you could take a chance on the unproven one. At least the specs are great and you will not be paying the Apple tax. I suspect the phone that phone allows external SD card and thus you will not be limited to the phone storage aka Apple lock. I am talking about the previous reply promoting oneplus; and yes, it does come across as spam but I am giving him benefit of doubt.

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Optmst
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Re: Which cell phone to buy--need good camera?

Post by Optmst » Sun Dec 24, 2017 9:49 am

Infomom2 wrote:
Wed Dec 20, 2017 3:35 pm
So, I think I need to consider one of the Pixels or an iphone. I was hoping to save money, but it is important to me to have a camera I am happy with.
I have not yet tried the Huawei Mate 9 (Unlocked with 64GB and Android 7.0 OS), so I can't exactly recommend it, but it would be my choice if I was buying a new phone now. The Leica dual rear camera (12MP and 20MP) sounds awesome, and a $380 price is OK too.
I'm not as concerned about the return on my money as I am the return of my money. (Often attributed to Will Rogers)

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Leesbro63
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Re: Which cell phone to buy--need good camera?

Post by Leesbro63 » Sun Dec 24, 2017 9:51 am

For what it’s worth, I’m the guy who once asked: “why would anyone want a camera in their phone?”😱

(Also, how can Kinko’s stay in business selling 3cent copies)

Lynette
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Re: Which cell phone to buy--need good camera?

Post by Lynette » Sun Dec 24, 2017 10:02 am

NJdad6 wrote:
Wed Dec 20, 2017 1:56 pm
FWIW my son has an iPhone 7 Plus and the photos are amazing. There is a portrait function that takes unbelievable pictures. At least as good as my Nikon DSLR.
Great phone with amazing camera. I considered this but got the Samsung Galaxy Note 8. It also has dual rear cameras. Iphone is usually easier to use and you get what Apple decides to give you. I can customize the Note 8 to change the ISO that I think you cannot even do on the Iphone X. When I bought it (without discount) it was nearly $1,000.

Infomom2
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Re: Which cell phone to buy--need good camera?

Post by Infomom2 » Sun Dec 24, 2017 11:17 am

Thanks for the continued replies!

I ordered the Google Pixel 2 from google for $599 a few days ago. More than I wanted to spend, but if I like the camera I will keep it. If not, I will return within their 14-15 days. The Huawei Mate 9 sounds like a good option...wish I would have tried it before. I know the note 8 is great, but dont want to spend that much. I think I will continue to try to stay away from iphone..the new info about them slowing down their batteries, etc, is just not great from someone who tries to keep their phone for a long time.

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midareff
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Re: Which cell phone to buy--need good camera?

Post by midareff » Sun Dec 24, 2017 11:56 am

I use the a Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge along with Samsung's two lens set for anything not long telephoto. Most of the first half of my Cuba album, most of the Maine album, Mississippi album, the non-telephoto portion of Costa Rica and Alaska and a few pothers were taken with the phone. Judge for yourself, www.martindareff.com

Infomom2
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Re: Which cell phone to buy--need good camera?

Post by Infomom2 » Sun Dec 24, 2017 12:03 pm

midareff wrote:
Sun Dec 24, 2017 11:56 am
I use the a Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge along with Samsung's two lens set for anything not long telephoto. Most of the first half of my Cuba album, most of the Maine album, Mississippi album, the non-telephoto portion of Costa Rica and Alaska and a few pothers were taken with the phone. Judge for yourself, www.martindareff.com
Wow, amazing photos!

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midareff
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Re: Which cell phone to buy--need good camera?

Post by midareff » Sun Dec 24, 2017 12:07 pm

Infomom2 wrote:
Sun Dec 24, 2017 12:03 pm
midareff wrote:
Sun Dec 24, 2017 11:56 am
I use the a Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge along with Samsung's two lens set for anything not long telephoto. Most of the first half of my Cuba album, most of the Maine album, Mississippi album, the non-telephoto portion of Costa Rica and Alaska and a few pothers were taken with the phone. Judge for yourself, www.martindareff.com
Wow, amazing photos!
Thanks..... the S7 Edge is a model year old now and can probably be picked up with a deal. It will take up to a 256 gb micro card so it will hold 10,000 pics, 7000 tunes and still have near 100 gb open. It also has the largest cell battery I have run across and easily handles a couple hundred pics a day. A lot of the Pacific Northwest album was done with the cell too.

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Lethal
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Re: Which cell phone to buy--need good camera?

Post by Lethal » Mon Dec 25, 2017 10:52 pm

I bought a Pixel 2 a couple days ago and the camera is awesome. Took better Christmas photos on it than our DSLR. We got ours at Target last week for $300 in bill credits + $250 target GC. After trading in the old Galaxy S6 we basically got it for only the tax amount due up front (~$65).

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6miths
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Re: Which cell phone to buy--need good camera?

Post by 6miths » Tue Dec 26, 2017 12:08 am

We have mainly iPhones in the family but DS is using Android and recently got the pixel 2 XL and it has an amazing camera.
'It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so!' Mark Twain

Momus
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Re: Which cell phone to buy--need good camera?

Post by Momus » Tue Dec 26, 2017 12:50 am

LG G6 $300 on Ebay.

Avoid Apple devices over 2 years like a plague like always, their device is sh1t after 2 years because they throttle your phone to crap because they want to "save" battery (read: give them more money so you can buy a new iRipoff). Oh, they just got hit with a lawsuit LMAO... https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/ap ... e5a7a293fc

msk
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Re: Which cell phone to buy--need good camera?

Post by msk » Tue Dec 26, 2017 2:26 am

I have always used high end cameras, e.g. Canon 1Ds, but since I bought a Samsung S6 I do not even bother to carry a camera on vacations any more. I have absolutely been astounded at the quality of a 24"x36" print. Most phones these days do a good job of images displayed on PC monitors but the deal breaker is prints. Since you are serious about photography, the apps available on the phones are basically irrelevant. I noted that many non-photographers often prefer iPhone images to Samsung S6 images as they come out of the phone (Apple uses a different gamma to Windows and presumably Android), but that is unimportant to me. There are very few images that cannot be improved by knowledgeable post processing in PhotoShop or similar. The S6 also delivers excellent videos onto a 75" TV. Now, if only one can find a tripod solution that is equally pocketable... Somehow software steadying is not mature enough yet, IMHO. My next phone will be the latest model Samsung, whenever, but if you want to save $ then a used S6 without any scratches on the lenses (Check!!!) should be great. It is unfortunate that the late model used phones are often being sold by people who treat their phones as throw aways.

Lynette
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Re: good camera

Post by Lynette » Tue Dec 26, 2017 9:52 am

FraggleRock wrote:
Tue Dec 19, 2017 3:16 pm
An expert opinon.
http://austinmann.com/trek/iphone-x-cam ... w-guatemal
Lynette wrote:
Sun Dec 24, 2017 10:02 am
Iphone is usually easier to use and you get what Apple decides to give you. I can customize the Note 8 to change the ISO that I think you cannot even do on the Iphone X.
See https://www.procamera-app.com for an excellent iPhone camera app.
I've already bought the phone. Last time I bought a phone, I was in AT&T and could not decide between an Iphone and Note. I flipped a coin and the decision was Note 8. I've had both and they are excellent. I'm taking a class at a community college starting in January and I think the requirement is that you have to be able to do this stuff in manual mode or what the Note 8 calls the pro mode. I genuinely think that one is nit picking in trying to find the differences between the Note 8 and the Iphone X though Apple products are usually easier to use.

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