How to cheaply replace my smartphone?

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knightrider
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How to cheaply replace my smartphone?

Post by knightrider » Thu Dec 06, 2018 11:21 am

I have been using a Samsung Galaxy J7 V for past two years through Verizon. It is now becoming rather slow and sluggish. I uninstalled a bunch of apps but I think it just needs more memory.

So can I buy any unlocked phone? Specifically I was looking at these ones:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing ... dition=all

Most are around $150 and come with 30-day guarantees.

When it comes do I have to go to the actual verizon store to "activate" it?

Pigeon
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Re: How to cheaply replace my smartphone?

Post by Pigeon » Thu Dec 06, 2018 11:37 am

You should be able to buy that phone and take it to your Verizon store. I have done that before with earlier Samsung Galaxy S models. The issue I had though is that sometimes, the batteries already have substantial use, and it's not very long before they won't hold a charge for very long. The other issue I had is that if you get Verizon branded phones much of the memory is used with bloatware you can't delete.

I've switched to buying new Motorola Moto G phones and I've been very happy. I buy phones for all four people in my family and we now have 2 Moto G5S plus phones, a Moto G5 plus and I just ordered a Moto G 6 for my husband for Christmas. They are nowhere near the cost of Galaxy flagship phones and we have no complaints.

Whatever unlocked phone you plan to buy, make sure it will work on Verizon if that's what you plan to use as your carrier.

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El Greco
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Re: How to cheaply replace my smartphone?

Post by El Greco » Thu Dec 06, 2018 11:38 am

I just traded in my poorly functioning Samsung Galaxy S5 at Verizon and purchased a new Motorola G6 for about $180. Phone has everything I need and not anywhere near as buggy as my old Galaxies were. You can also purchase this phone new and unlocked on Amazon, but I'm not sure how easy it will be to activate at Verizon. BTW, the Moto G6 is a great phone for the money and I don't miss my Galaxy S5 at all.

bloom2708
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Re: How to cheaply replace my smartphone?

Post by bloom2708 » Thu Dec 06, 2018 11:46 am

If your new phone (say a Moto G6) has the same sized SIM slot, then you do not need to go to the store to activate. Take the SIM out of your old phone and slide it in the new phone. Power up. Usually the slot is under/near the battery.

You can have 5 phones (if you wanted to) and move the SIM between them as needed. The 4 phones without the SIM card would work perfectly fine on Wi-Fi. You just wouldn't be able to make cell calls and receive SMS texts/picture messages.

If your J7 has a Micro SIM and the G6 uses a Nano SIM (just an example), then you would need to get your number moved to a Nano SIM.

There are little adapters if you need to go from Nano SIM (the smallest) to Micro SIM (medium sized).

Motorola is offering some $50+ discounts right now on the G6 and higher end X and Z series. If you want to stay Android and don't want flagship level, then the G series is a pretty good phone for the $.
Last edited by bloom2708 on Thu Dec 06, 2018 1:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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knightrider
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Re: How to cheaply replace my smartphone?

Post by knightrider » Thu Dec 06, 2018 11:48 am

Pigeon wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 11:37 am
The issue I had though is that sometimes, the batteries already have substantial use, and it's not very long before they won't hold a charge for very long. The other issue I had is that if you get Verizon branded phones much of the memory is used with bloatware you can't delete.
Good point about the battery. I checked and seems the s7 battery is not user-replaceable. I suppose I can always return it if I don't like the battery life..

Does verizon put all this bloatware of every phone you activate with them? Or is it only the ones they sell? The only verizon apps I use are messaging and voicemail.

knightrider
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Re: How to cheaply replace my smartphone?

Post by knightrider » Thu Dec 06, 2018 11:51 am

bloom2708 wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 11:46 am
You can have 5 phones (if you wanted to) and move the SIM between them as needed.
That sounds too good to be true! If only things were this simple. It seems phones are designed for some networks and not others. Seems verizon (cdma) needs some special kind of phone?

FireProof
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Re: How to cheaply replace my smartphone?

Post by FireProof » Thu Dec 06, 2018 11:51 am

I don't think a used phone is necessary, although I'm not familiar with the refurb phone market (probably wouldn't trust the ones on Amazon, though). The lifespan of a phone model is so quick that there are huge discounts on new phones that are just a year old.

agent13x
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Re: How to cheaply replace my smartphone?

Post by agent13x » Thu Dec 06, 2018 11:53 am

I buy used phones in Mint or Good condition from Swappa.com. Just take the SIM out of your old phone and put it in your new phone (assuming the SIMs are the same size).

Swappa validates the phone's legitimacy for you, and provides assurance to you as a buyer.

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Raymond
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Re: How to cheaply replace my smartphone?

Post by Raymond » Thu Dec 06, 2018 11:55 am

As above, I'd recommend getting a *new* Verizon-compatible unlocked Moto G5+, G5s+, G6 or G6 Play, then bring it to a local Verizon store to have them activate it (if your SIM card from your previous card doesn't work.)

Avoids the used battery problem, as well as the bloatware that is installed on the phones that Verizon sells (not on unlocked phones you buy elsewhere.)
"Ritter, Tod und Teufel"

bloom2708
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Re: How to cheaply replace my smartphone?

Post by bloom2708 » Thu Dec 06, 2018 12:00 pm

knightrider wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 11:51 am
bloom2708 wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 11:46 am
You can have 5 phones (if you wanted to) and move the SIM between them as needed.
That sounds too good to be true! If only things were this simple. It seems phones are designed for some networks and not others. Seems verizon (cdma) needs some special kind of phone?
Sure, the phone would have to be unlocked and support the Verizon CDMA bands. There are certain phones that are GSM only. Sprint phones (older ones) may be locked to Sprint.

Let's say you wanted to have these phones (all unlocked):

1. iPhone 8
2. Samsung Galaxy S9
3. Moto G6
4. LG G7
5. Samsung Note 9

You could own all these phone and just move the SIM between them as needed. As long as they are unlocked/support Verizon/CDMA. There are some nuances. Switching iPhone to Android requires you to opt out of iMessage which is a setting on your iPhone.

You may go to the poor house if you try to own all those phones and keep them charged up. :wink:
Last edited by bloom2708 on Thu Dec 06, 2018 12:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"We are not here to please, but to provoke thoughtfulness." --Unknown Boglehead

RickBoglehead
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Re: How to cheaply replace my smartphone?

Post by RickBoglehead » Thu Dec 06, 2018 12:09 pm

A factory reset may resolve all your issues, and then only reinstall the apps you need.

Thinking it needs more memory is actually easily determined by looking at how much it's using now. Settings, Storage. Will show you the % used, amount available.

bloom2708
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Re: How to cheaply replace my smartphone?

Post by bloom2708 » Thu Dec 06, 2018 12:50 pm

Woot has the Samsung Galaxy S8 for $309 today. Refurb.

https://electronics.woot.com/offers/sam ... vzwgsmsd-1

Pretty good price for a flagship phone. 1 gen behind the S9.

Going from J7 to S8 would be a nice upgrade. But maybe too much $$.
"We are not here to please, but to provoke thoughtfulness." --Unknown Boglehead

detroitbabu
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Re: How to cheaply replace my smartphone?

Post by detroitbabu » Thu Dec 06, 2018 1:52 pm

Moto G6 & Moto X now work with Google Fi.
With $100 service credit for activating Google Fi, Moto G6 will cost you $99 & Moto X is $199.
Pretty good deal.

I have Moto G6 on Google Fi for 3 days now and it looks ok so far.

https://fi.google.com/about/phones/

pdavi21
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Re: How to cheaply replace my smartphone?

Post by pdavi21 » Thu Dec 06, 2018 1:58 pm

CDMA Unlocked is what you need for Verizon and Sprint. They may charge a fee to activate new phone...not sure though. However, if you have access to the SIM card slot in both phones, you may be able to activate it for free without leaving your home...not guaranteed.
Last edited by pdavi21 on Thu Dec 06, 2018 2:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Jack FFR1846
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Re: How to cheaply replace my smartphone?

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Thu Dec 06, 2018 1:59 pm

Can you reset it to factory settings......then start over?
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aristotelian
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Re: How to cheaply replace my smartphone?

Post by aristotelian » Thu Dec 06, 2018 2:16 pm

Are you locked in to Verizon for some reason?

If cheapness is a priority, you can buy any unlocked phone and take it to any carrier. I use Mint for $15/month for 2GB using the T-Mobile network.

knightrider
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Re: How to cheaply replace my smartphone?

Post by knightrider » Thu Dec 06, 2018 2:23 pm

aristotelian wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 2:16 pm
Are you locked in to Verizon for some reason?
We have some kind of family plan with 6 phones ( my parents and my in-laws are all in it ).. I am not sure if the plan gets cancelled if I leave? I was the one who set it all up many years ago...

knightrider
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Re: How to cheaply replace my smartphone?

Post by knightrider » Thu Dec 06, 2018 2:25 pm

detroitbabu wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 1:52 pm

I have Moto G6 on Google Fi for 3 days now and it looks ok so far.

https://fi.google.com/about/phones/
Interesting, I never was aware of google fi.. Seems like in trying to simplify things they have added another new carrier I need to understand :?

Can one do mobile hotspot with google fi? That is one feature I use with my Verizon phone.

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El Greco
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Re: How to cheaply replace my smartphone?

Post by El Greco » Thu Dec 06, 2018 2:27 pm

Hi:

Happy Moto G6 user here again. Verizon doesn't add that much bloatware. It's the incredible amount of crap that Samsung adds that's the problem. You can just go to the Verizon Store, have them give you some credit for your old Samsung and buy the phone there all activated and ready to go. They'll even mount your old SD card in the new phone if you had one. You're not going to save all that much by getting an unlocked version on Amazon and bringing it in to get activated.

bob60014
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Re: How to cheaply replace my smartphone?

Post by bob60014 » Thu Dec 06, 2018 2:30 pm

Do not buy used unless you know the person you are buying from! Too many potential issues, re stolen, hacked etc.

adam1712
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Re: How to cheaply replace my smartphone?

Post by adam1712 » Thu Dec 06, 2018 2:36 pm

RickBoglehead wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 12:09 pm
A factory reset may resolve all your issues, and then only reinstall the apps you need.

Thinking it needs more memory is actually easily determined by looking at how much it's using now. Settings, Storage. Will show you the % used, amount available.
Agreed, I just recently did a factory reset on my phone and was pleasantly surprised at the difference. Even though I thought I did a pretty decent job removing unwanted apps etc. Worth a shot before buying a phone. Just make sure you have everything backed up/downloaded from the phone that you need.

aristotelian
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Re: How to cheaply replace my smartphone?

Post by aristotelian » Thu Dec 06, 2018 2:52 pm

knightrider wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 2:23 pm
aristotelian wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 2:16 pm
Are you locked in to Verizon for some reason?
We have some kind of family plan with 6 phones ( my parents and my in-laws are all in it ).. I am not sure if the plan gets cancelled if I leave? I was the one who set it all up many years ago...
Again, if cost is a priority, you can almost certainly save money by quitting Verizon. Could be a good time to reassess your whole setup. Getting rid of Verizon would also open up your phone choices.

inbox788
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Re: How to cheaply replace my smartphone?

Post by inbox788 » Thu Dec 06, 2018 2:56 pm

knightrider wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 11:21 am
I have been using a Samsung Galaxy J7 V for past two years through Verizon. It is now becoming rather slow and sluggish. I uninstalled a bunch of apps but I think it just needs more memory.

So can I buy any unlocked phone? Specifically I was looking at these ones:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing ... dition=all

Most are around $150 and come with 30-day guarantees.

When it comes do I have to go to the actual verizon store to "activate" it?
The Samsung Galaxy J7 V is a decent midrange phone. What are you doing on it that's slowing it down? The J7 shouldn't be that slow with everyday tasks, but the S7 should be be a bit faster.

https://www.gsmarena.com/compare.php3?i ... hone2=7960

Are you still with Verizon postpaid? Most phones switches are simply moving over a compatible SIM.

knightrider
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Re: How to cheaply replace my smartphone?

Post by knightrider » Thu Dec 06, 2018 4:27 pm

inbox788 wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 2:56 pm
The Samsung Galaxy J7 V is a decent midrange phone. What are you doing on it that's slowing it down? The
Seems facebook app is what is really slow. If the phone has been sitting for a while then it can take 30+ seconds to become usable again. Even then clicking anything takes a second or two of lag. I checked "System" setting for memory and it shows:

System and apps: 1.3 GB
Available space: 472 MB
Reserved 237 MB

Pigeon
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Re: How to cheaply replace my smartphone?

Post by Pigeon » Thu Dec 06, 2018 6:40 pm

While Amazon sells new Moto G6 phones for a bit less than direct from Motorola, they will have Amazon installed bloatware. Personally, I'd rather pay the few bucks more and not have the memory chewed up.

The old battery problem may not be apparent on used phones for a couple of months. That was my experience buying used Samsung Galaxy phones. They'd have OK battery life for awhile, but then it would start to go downhill and the batteries aren't designed to be readily replaceable.

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yangtui
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Re: How to cheaply replace my smartphone?

Post by yangtui » Thu Dec 06, 2018 6:50 pm

I bought a Verizon LG Optimus Zone 3 for $19.99 at Walmart last November and have been using it faithfully ever since. After throwing in an after market battery and SD card it runs really well.

michaeljc70
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Re: How to cheaply replace my smartphone?

Post by michaeljc70 » Thu Dec 06, 2018 7:07 pm

I would be worried about battery life on a used phone. If it factory/manufacturer refurbished, I would think they would test that. As others said, because you have a bunch of lines doesn't mean you are getting a great price. Especially if you haven't changed plans in a long time. I 2nd (or 3rd or whatever) the Moto G6 as being a good, inexpensive phone. If you buy a used phone and the battery barely holds a charge in 4 months, I hardly think it is worth it.

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Flymore
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Re: How to cheaply replace my smartphone?

Post by Flymore » Thu Dec 06, 2018 7:13 pm

I've bought three phones and sold two on ebay and it's worked out well for me. Got a mint condition S7 for my DW last year for a fantastic price. She loves it. She wouldn't let me sell her old phone so it's collecting dust somewhere. :D
Usually I don't get much for my old phones but it's better then just letting it lay around collecting dust. :D

Good luck

detroitbabu
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Re: How to cheaply replace my smartphone?

Post by detroitbabu » Fri Dec 07, 2018 5:57 pm

knightrider wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 2:25 pm
detroitbabu wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 1:52 pm

I have Moto G6 on Google Fi for 3 days now and it looks ok so far.

https://fi.google.com/about/phones/
Interesting, I never was aware of google fi.. Seems like in trying to simplify things they have added another new carrier I need to understand :?

Can one do mobile hotspot with google fi? That is one feature I use with my Verizon phone.
Yes, hotspot is included in that price.
https://support.google.com/fi/answer/6182204?hl=en

michaeljc70
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Re: How to cheaply replace my smartphone?

Post by michaeljc70 » Fri Dec 07, 2018 6:07 pm

detroitbabu wrote:
Fri Dec 07, 2018 5:57 pm
knightrider wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 2:25 pm
detroitbabu wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 1:52 pm

I have Moto G6 on Google Fi for 3 days now and it looks ok so far.

https://fi.google.com/about/phones/
Interesting, I never was aware of google fi.. Seems like in trying to simplify things they have added another new carrier I need to understand :?

Can one do mobile hotspot with google fi? That is one feature I use with my Verizon phone.
Yes, hotspot is included in that price.
https://support.google.com/fi/answer/6182204?hl=en
You can also get a data only sim if you have a tablet or laptop with LTE for no additional charge. You just pay for the data you use.

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