Strategy for smartphones.

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Good Listener
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Strategy for smartphones.

Post by Good Listener » Tue Sep 12, 2017 7:40 pm

I am a committed Android user. I bought a top of the line Google pixel 11 months ago. Today it failed miserably. I went to the Verizon store and they ordered a replacement for me. The warranty is 12 months. That would include if this replacement won't work within that 12-month period , veterans another month. They also said I will probably get a refurbished model from the factory. So I asked him what happened if this was 12 months and 1 week for an $800 phone and he said I'd be out of work. How do people handle this eventuality, as I am not a fan of insurance or extended warranties. Are mid-range phones good enough? It seems that except for the camera quality the mid-range phones may be adequate. I'm interested in your thoughts as I hate the idea of spending what will be $1,000 after the next upgrade level for something that could break in a year and a day.

jebmke
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Re: Strategy for smartphones.

Post by jebmke » Tue Sep 12, 2017 7:48 pm

I always get one generation back. By then, the bugs have been worked out and the price is lower. My LG4 is still going strong after two years of use.
When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.

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Alexa9
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Re: Strategy for smartphones.

Post by Alexa9 » Tue Sep 12, 2017 7:51 pm

I hate to tell you to get an iPhone but they don't seem to die as often in my anecdotal experience. If you use your phone a lot, an extended warranty might be worth it. Your credit card should extend the warranty by one year as well if you buy the phone with it.

The Wizard
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Re: Strategy for smartphones.

Post by The Wizard » Tue Sep 12, 2017 7:51 pm

It's still under warranty.
Call or chat with Google and they will send you a new one.
I'm on my second replacement Nexus 5X...
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unclescrooge
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Re: Strategy for smartphones.

Post by unclescrooge » Tue Sep 12, 2017 7:56 pm

Does anyone know if the warranties are extended for phones bought with Costco credit cards?

Jack FFR1846
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Re: Strategy for smartphones.

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Tue Sep 12, 2017 7:56 pm

I'm on my iPhone 4S that a job bought for me as a company phone, then gave to me when I left 4 years later. I've had numerous people attempt to tell me why anything newer would be better, but they all wave their hands around about how much faster a new one is and how much more awesome apps are and how great the camera is. I use the camera for craigslist and it is all I need, I can't see where making a phone call or text could possibly be faster and I've never gotten an app (I don't even know my itunes password). Go buy a 4S used for a hundred bucks and use it for 10 years.
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livesoft
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Re: Strategy for smartphones.

Post by livesoft » Tue Sep 12, 2017 8:02 pm

You pay for your phone!? What's up with that???

1. Get your kids to buy your phones as gifts.

2. Make sure they put your phone on their "family plan."
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iamlucky13
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Re: Strategy for smartphones.

Post by iamlucky13 » Tue Sep 12, 2017 8:06 pm

Good Listener wrote:
Tue Sep 12, 2017 7:40 pm
Are mid-range phones good enough? It seems that except for the camera quality the mid-range phones may be adequate. I'm interested in your thoughts as I hate the idea of spending what will be $1,000 after the next upgrade level for something that could break in a year and a day.
You're the one who has to decide what your needs are. If you were satisfied with the top of the line phone you had 2 years ago, however, I don't see any fundamental reason why you shouldn't be satisfied with a mid-grade phone today.

Upgraditis is not a disease you are required to succumb to.

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TD2626
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Re: Strategy for smartphones.

Post by TD2626 » Wed Sep 13, 2017 12:25 am

Phones from a few years ago are plenty fine in my opinion. The savings from not buying the top, most recent model can be enormous.

Buying something from a generation or two back is very reasonable. Given the fact that phones are so expensive these days, people need to understand how they will plan for their purchases. Except for enthusiasts or those who dearly need the high performance of the top models, it's hard to justify paying top-of-the-line prices.

anoop
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Re: Strategy for smartphones.

Post by anoop » Wed Sep 13, 2017 12:46 am

Good Listener wrote:
Tue Sep 12, 2017 7:40 pm
I am a committed Android user. I bought a top of the line Google pixel 11 months ago. Today it failed miserably. I went to the Verizon store and they ordered a replacement for me. The warranty is 12 months. That would include if this replacement won't work within that 12-month period , veterans another month. They also said I will probably get a refurbished model from the factory. So I asked him what happened if this was 12 months and 1 week for an $800 phone and he said I'd be out of work. How do people handle this eventuality, as I am not a fan of insurance or extended warranties. Are mid-range phones good enough? It seems that except for the camera quality the mid-range phones may be adequate. I'm interested in your thoughts as I hate the idea of spending what will be $1,000 after the next upgrade level for something that could break in a year and a day.
Your credit card will probably cover you for another year. If not, get a card which will.

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FrugalProfessor
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Re: Strategy for smartphones.

Post by FrugalProfessor » Wed Sep 13, 2017 10:00 am

My strategy that has saved me 10k over the past decade:

1.) inherent hand-me-down phones from friends/family members
2.) shove prepaid card in SIM port (https://tello.com/rates/pay_as_you_go?_language=en)
3.) use free VOIP (hangouts + skype + google voice + https://www.amazon.com/OBi200-1-Port-Ad ... 00BUV7C9A/)
4.) spend roughly $1/month per cell phone
5.) laugh way to bank

I only recently deviated from step 1 above by buying a new $150 Moto G4 for my wife and I. I see no need to spend 600% more on products that are 10% better. When you think about this objectively, the $1k cell phone of today is going to be as good as the $150 cell phone in 2-3 years.
I blog. My effective (not to be confused with statutory) MTR is 45% (fed + state, excluding payroll). I save $30k/year in taxes by maxing out deferrals. Taxes are the lowest hanging source of alpha.

wrongfunds
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Re: Strategy for smartphones.

Post by wrongfunds » Wed Sep 13, 2017 10:06 am

livesoft wrote:
Tue Sep 12, 2017 8:02 pm
You pay for your phone!? What's up with that???

1. Get your kids to buy your phones as gifts.

2. Make sure they put your phone on their "family plan."
You are kidding, right? I have the feeling that the actual situation is exactly the opposite :-)
Well, it is at least for us :(

flyingaway
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Re: Strategy for smartphones.

Post by flyingaway » Wed Sep 13, 2017 10:22 am

I use whatever my wife left after she got the new model. So I have everything set up already. I currently use a Galaxy S5, only because my wife's Galaxy S6 was stolen in a Mexico resort island. My Galaxy S5 is OK, the cover has some minor broken pieces and function well mostly. The only problem is sometimes its signals are not as strong as the new models. Especially when traveling in some other countries, it sometimes does not pick up the 4G LTE. However, I am reluctant to encourage my wife to upgrade her phone to S8.

thangngo
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Re: Strategy for smartphones.

Post by thangngo » Wed Sep 13, 2017 10:34 am

Good Listener wrote:
Tue Sep 12, 2017 7:40 pm
I am a committed Android user. I bought a top of the line Google pixel 11 months ago. Today it failed miserably. I went to the Verizon store and they ordered a replacement for me. The warranty is 12 months. That would include if this replacement won't work within that 12-month period , veterans another month. They also said I will probably get a refurbished model from the factory. So I asked him what happened if this was 12 months and 1 week for an $800 phone and he said I'd be out of work. How do people handle this eventuality, as I am not a fan of insurance or extended warranties. Are mid-range phones good enough? It seems that except for the camera quality the mid-range phones may be adequate. I'm interested in your thoughts as I hate the idea of spending what will be $1,000 after the next upgrade level for something that could break in a year and a day.
If you are committed to Android then stop worrying about it. It's luck of the draw. It's not like 100 out of 100 Pixel will fail after the clock ticks at 12 months.

If you are still worried, get a phone at cheaper price that you won't lose sleep over.

livesoft
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Re: Strategy for smartphones.

Post by livesoft » Wed Sep 13, 2017 10:41 am

wrongfunds wrote:
Wed Sep 13, 2017 10:06 am
You are kidding, right? I have the feeling that the actual situation is exactly the opposite :-)
Well, it is at least for us :(
I would not kid about something as serious as this.
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Afty
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Re: Strategy for smartphones.

Post by Afty » Wed Sep 13, 2017 11:10 am

unclescrooge wrote:
Tue Sep 12, 2017 7:56 pm
Does anyone know if the warranties are extended for phones bought with Costco credit cards?
Yes, Citi extends the warranty for an additional 2 years.

wrongfunds
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Re: Strategy for smartphones.

Post by wrongfunds » Wed Sep 13, 2017 11:52 am

Well, then you deserve the Nobel Prize for raising your kids!

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midareff
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Re: Strategy for smartphones.

Post by midareff » Wed Sep 13, 2017 11:59 am

We have two Galaxy S7 Edge phones which were purchased outright new and have provided zero trouble. Since you mentioned photography ... Samsung makes a two lens set with back plate for the S7, S7 Edge and even the discontinued Note. Despite DxO's sensor measurement of the Pixel many cell-tographers have noted an overall softness issue in the Pixel images. OTOH, no such issue exists with the Samsung with or without their lens set in use. If you would like to see examples simply go to my website www.martindareff.com and look at any of the in town images taken in the Alaska album, Maine, Costa Rica or Cuba albums. In fact, make sure you view them full screen.

Edit Note: Wife uses hers on trips for video which she edits (former Creative Director of an Advertising Agency in Bangkok) and uploads to her Utube. She captured a great video of a wolf eating a Caribu in Alaska... unreal.
Last edited by midareff on Wed Sep 13, 2017 12:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

MI_bogle
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Re: Strategy for smartphones.

Post by MI_bogle » Wed Sep 13, 2017 12:00 pm

jebmke wrote:
Tue Sep 12, 2017 7:48 pm
I always get one generation back. By then, the bugs have been worked out and the price is lower. My LG4 is still going strong after two years of use.
+1

I bought a Samsung Galaxy S5 unlocked for 200 bucks a couple years ago. Zero issues... even if it fails I would just by another refurbished one. Bugs are worked out of the older models, they cost way less, don't need insurance, and they meet my needs just fine.

junior
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Re: Strategy for smartphones.

Post by junior » Wed Sep 13, 2017 12:22 pm

Good Listener wrote:
Tue Sep 12, 2017 7:40 pm
I am a committed Android user. I bought a top of the line Google pixel 11 months ago. Today it failed miserably. I went to the Verizon store and they ordered a replacement for me. The warranty is 12 months. That would include if this replacement won't work within that 12-month period , veterans another month. They also said I will probably get a refurbished model from the factory. So I asked him what happened if this was 12 months and 1 week for an $800 phone and he said I'd be out of work. How do people handle this eventuality, as I am not a fan of insurance or extended warranties. Are mid-range phones good enough? It seems that except for the camera quality the mid-range phones may be adequate. I'm interested in your thoughts as I hate the idea of spending what will be $1,000 after the next upgrade level for something that could break in a year and a day.
Basically in terms of insurance theoretically you should "self insure" since you can afford to buy a new phone if it breaks. The reason not to "self insure" would be if you know you are clumsier than the average person so the accidental damage protection would be in your favor, or if there would be a big enough psychological toll with the phone breaking to make you want the insurance even if it isn't rational compared to the self insure option.

In terms of the Pixel, chances are it won't break again and will last at least 3 years. Try not to worry about it. If it does break outside of warranty then reevaluate whether to switch to cheaper android phones at that point.

ianferrel
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Re: Strategy for smartphones.

Post by ianferrel » Wed Sep 13, 2017 12:29 pm

Good Listener wrote:
Tue Sep 12, 2017 7:40 pm
So I asked him what happened if this was 12 months and 1 week for an $800 phone and he said I'd be out of work. How do people handle this eventuality, as I am not a fan of insurance or extended warranties.
You self-insure, and hope that you don't have to eat the cost. Stuff does break sometimes.
Are mid-range phones good enough? It seems that except for the camera quality the mid-range phones may be adequate.
Of course they are good enough. A midrange phone available today is better than any phone that ever existed five years ago. The idea that you need the most recent top of the line phone is pretty silly unless you have some very specific requirements (say, you're an app developer that needs to test on the new phone). It's almost certainly a want, not a need.
I'm interested in your thoughts as I hate the idea of spending what will be $1,000 after the next upgrade level for something that could break in a year and a day.
I buy slightly older models when they are cheap enough that, if they break, I'll just shrug and go buy a replacement.

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telemark
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Re: Strategy for smartphones.

Post by telemark » Wed Sep 13, 2017 12:36 pm

I bought a Motorola E4 from Republic Wireless for $99. If it breaks or gets lost I will replace it. I'm sure the high end phones are better, but I'm not sure they're five or ten times better.

For a more general rule, decide what you want from a phone and buy the cheapest one that does that.

Hockey10
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Re: Strategy for smartphones.

Post by Hockey10 » Wed Sep 13, 2017 3:39 pm

I will be buying the new Iphone 8 (in about 2-3 years).

sawhorse
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Re: Strategy for smartphones.

Post by sawhorse » Wed Sep 13, 2017 3:50 pm

So far I've hung onto every phone at least 5 years.

scotthal
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Re: Strategy for smartphones.

Post by scotthal » Wed Sep 13, 2017 3:52 pm

FWIW - In a recent court filing, Apple asserts that customers should not expect their iPhones to last more than a single year.
But in a class-action court case over the widespread premature failure of tens of thousands of iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus devices, Apple argues that the company cannot guarantee any iPhone for more than a year.
Growtch, grinch; paranoid contrarian

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N1CKV
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Re: Strategy for smartphones.

Post by N1CKV » Wed Sep 13, 2017 3:57 pm

My wife recently went through this.
After evaluating she realized she did not need the newly released Samsung S8, the Asus that cost a couple hundred new did everything she needed/ wanted.

OTOH, I use my phone's NFC capabilities pretty extensively, the phone she chose would not be satisfactory to me (I have a Samsung S7 that is about 6 months old).
I have met a lot of people that claim to love money, but they also seem to be the same people that are in the biggest hurry to get rid of it.

mak1277
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Re: Strategy for smartphones.

Post by mak1277 » Wed Sep 13, 2017 4:15 pm

scotthal wrote:
Wed Sep 13, 2017 3:52 pm
FWIW - In a recent court filing, Apple asserts that customers should not expect their iPhones to last more than a single year.
But in a class-action court case over the widespread premature failure of tens of thousands of iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus devices, Apple argues that the company cannot guarantee any iPhone for more than a year.
I'm lucky my iPhone 5 from 2013 is still going strong then! I think it's almost time to upgrade to a 7 though (once the 8 is released).

SundayMorning
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Re: Strategy for smartphones.

Post by SundayMorning » Wed Sep 13, 2017 4:42 pm

My strategy was to use free work mobile phones. $0 costs to me. My wife did not want a mobile phone for the longest time. We never caved to getting our kids phones until they were much older. Fast forward: after changing jobs 10 years ago, we have bought 6 unlocked phones so far at a total cost of under $800. I am still using a perfectly working Nokia Windows phone. Can't wait for it to die and upgrade... My wife and kids now have Moto G4 phones - they seem nice for under $200 each. I will likely get a Moto G5 for around $200 eventually.

If you see me with an iPhone X for $1,000, then you can be assured that I either won the Lottery or suddenly divorced :shock:

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unclescrooge
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Re: Strategy for smartphones.

Post by unclescrooge » Wed Sep 13, 2017 5:17 pm

Afty wrote:
Wed Sep 13, 2017 11:10 am
unclescrooge wrote:
Tue Sep 12, 2017 7:56 pm
Does anyone know if the warranties are extended for phones bought with Costco credit cards?
Yes, Citi extends the warranty for an additional 2 years.
That's awesome!

XDark_FenixX
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Re: Strategy for smartphones.

Post by XDark_FenixX » Wed Sep 13, 2017 5:56 pm

Back when there were carrier contract subsidies I used to be able to be able to upgrade my iPhone every year for essentially free by selling my previous model. Now that this is gone, I'm not sure what I'm gonna do.... I'm thinking I might just keep my iPhone 6s+ until/if by chance some great deal comes along where I can upgrade at a reasonable price.

amd2135
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Re: Strategy for smartphones.

Post by amd2135 » Wed Sep 13, 2017 7:37 pm

My iPhone 6 broke last month, which I had purchased used ~1.5 years ago for $340. I sold it for a net of $155 after eBay/shipping/etc fees with full disclosure.

I just purchased a used iPhone 6s that had a new battery installed under warranty just a few months ago for $275.

Thankfully I had a 5S on hand that I hadn't sold yet (wife's, just replaced with an SE for $135 new). It got me through the month between the iPhone 6 failure and now. Surprisingly I could restore my iPhone 6 backup on a 5S with no issues.

I've effectively repaired and upgraded my iPhone for $120.

A Nokia Lumia Icon is on hand for its camera, but it will now be the spare phone once the 5S is sold.

To distill all this down: I buy used, older models and don't worry if/when they break. I just sell the broken one and put the funds toward a newer used phone. I keep a spare on hand so I can pop my SIM card in if needed.

I purchase on Swappa as I can see the exact device and ask questions. Prices are often cheaper than eBay due to lower seller fees. I only sold the iPhone 6 on eBay because I wasn't getting any visibility on the Swappa boneyard.

onourway
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Re: Strategy for smartphones.

Post by onourway » Wed Sep 13, 2017 8:07 pm

My Chase Ink card which I use to pay my cell phone bill has automatically included cell phone protection against damage or theft up to $600 per incident, $1800 per year.

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