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aidancomi

Kinda Stupid: I want to buy an Android phone

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Posted · Original PosterOP

I’ve always been an Apple fan, so lately I’ve been thinking about picking up a under $200 Android phone, just to give it a shot. I’m looking for USB-C, Micro SD Expansion, some form of biometric entry (fingerprint, face, etc), Android 10 (and hopefully 11) support (don’t care if it’s coming soon), and a price of under $200. I’ve mainly been looking at the Moto G7 Play from Best Buy for $160. I’m not really looking used, but I don’t know if buying an international model with no warranty would be better or to buy a US phone to get a warranty and US stuff. I don’t know. 

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33 minutes ago, aidancomi said:

I’ve always been an Apple fan, so lately I’ve been thinking about picking up a under $200 Android phone, just to give it a shot. 

Ok, make sure to compare to a $200 iPhone then.

 

35 minutes ago, aidancomi said:

I’m looking for USB-C, Micro SD Expansion, some form of biometric entry (fingerprint, face, etc), Android 10 (and hopefully 11) support (don’t care if it’s coming soon), and a price of under $200.

Cell provider?

 

38 minutes ago, aidancomi said:

I’ve mainly been looking at the Moto G7 Play from Best Buy for $160.

That phone is woefully underspecced compared to a lot of newer options these days.

 

720p IPS screen

SD632 and stuck on Android 9

32GB of old emmc

2GB of RAM

Lackluster 3000mAh battery with no form of fast charging


Awareness is key. Never enough, even in the face of futility. Speak the truth as if you may never get to say it again. This world is full of ugly. Change it they say. The only way is to reveal the ugly. To change the truth you must first acknowledge it. Never pretend it isn't there. Never bend the knee.

 

Please quote my post in your reply, so that I will be notified and can respond to it. Thanks.

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1 hour ago, aidancomi said:

I’ve always been an Apple fan, so lately I’ve been thinking about picking up a under $200 Android phone, just to give it a shot. I’m looking for USB-C, Micro SD Expansion, some form of biometric entry (fingerprint, face, etc), Android 10 (and hopefully 11) support (don’t care if it’s coming soon), and a price of under $200. I’ve mainly been looking at the Moto G7 Play from Best Buy for $160. I’m not really looking used, but I don’t know if buying an international model with no warranty would be better or to buy a US phone to get a warranty and US stuff. I don’t know. 

I highly recommend the Sony Xperia X Compact. They can be had on eBay, which gives you a 30-day guarantee, for well under $200. They're older phones, but you can unlock the bootloader easily and experiment with newer versions of the OS. There are also the earlier Google Pixel models, which can be had around that price range too. As a 10-year Android user who switched to iOS late last year, I'll give you a few of my thoughts:

  • The Android OS is designed to work on infinity+1 different hardware configurations, meaning that unless it's coming directly from the OEM or designed for your phone, it's going to have some built-in weirdness. I like the Pixel line for this very reason: they're Google's iPhones, the OS updates are pushed the second they're ready, and your phone is never floating around for months on end without security updates because AT&T hasn't gotten around to sending them yet. Sony typically pushed them out in less than a month after receiving them from Google. A creative way around this is to use a custom ROM. Which leads into point two:
  • Get an unlocked phone with an unlockable bootloader. Carriers almost universally lock the bootloader on their phones. Why is that important? Because if you want to do anything at the firmware level--install a new flavor of Android, make system-level tweaks, or uninstall all of your carrier's bloat, you need to be able to access the bootloader and root the phone. TBQH, with credit card interest usually being favorable to AT&T's "97 easy payments of $78 will be added to your bill for your refurbished iPhone 6" plan--yes, I know all carriers do that--buying a phone on an installment plan from your carrier in 2020 is, well, dumb. That's not an issue for you at your price point--you're going used if you want to get any kind of a good deal. Unless...well, point four. The biggest thing here is to make sure that the phone you buy is unlocked and can be used on any network it's hardware-compatible with. Don't buy a phone that's tied to one network. Make sure to ask the eBay seller (or wherever), "Is this phone's bootloader unlocked?" And thus, point three:
  • If you want something that's already set up and ready to go out of the box, iPhone. That's a big part of why I switched, won't lie. If you're going with an Android phone, root and customize it. Want your Android to look like an iPhone? I think miui is still out there. Want it to be supremely tweakable but still have a well-supported OS behind it? Cyanogen. There are literally hundreds out there, one for virtually any phone, lots for even older Samsung, LG, HTC, etc. phones. The Samsung Galaxy Note II from 2012 (best phone ever tbqh, another one to look for) has by my count, no fewer than 7 active ROMs right now. Don't like any of them? Grab one to use as a base, then take it apart and change it to your liking. Installing a ROM is easy. Unlocking the bootloader requires the use of a terminal interface and a micro SD card. Flashing ROMs is about as complicated as changing underpants, and once you've scratched the surface of that...have fun.
  • Point four, getting a new phone without spending a shitload. There are phones on Amazon that will run you $200 or less for too-good-to-be-true specs, like an 8-core processor or 8GB of RAM or 256GB storage, all that. Proceed with caution. One, those are all Mediatek processors. Not terrible by themselves, but they run hotter, need more power and have anemic GPUs compared to their Samsung and Qualcomm brethren. They're like the old A6 through A10 APUs. Yes, they can technically do anything, but they don't really do any of it well.  Those phones also go lowest bidder in everything, and "256GB" storage usually means 16GB of onboard memory and up to a 250GB micro SD card. Buyer beware. They're great little backup phones or development toys, but don't expect a real Android experience from one.
  • Final point: network types. GSM vs. CDMA isn't an issue for the iPhone, but for Android, it is. If you're on Verizon, Sprint, or a different random one-off CDMA network, first, why? Second, there aren't going to be a ton of options out there for you. Be sure to check network compatibility and bands before buying. Picking up an LTE-capable phone for AT&T that doesn't have Band 12 is...well...not smart.

The biggest difference between Android and iOS for me is customization. That became less important to me than immediate updates, near-100% reliability and long-term software support, so I switched to iOS. If you want to see a phone that you can root and really make your own, Android, period. Goes without saying that most Android phones are much better value than equally-priced iPhones in terms of specs.


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33 minutes ago, aisle9 said:

I highly recommend the Sony Xperia X Compact. They can be had on eBay, which gives you a 30-day guarantee, for well under $200.

You're just asking for him to get a worse Android experience than what he originally came up with...

 

I'd suggest these instead, if he is on a GSM carrier;

Galaxy M30 or A30

Xiaomi Redmi Note 8

Xiaomi Mi A3 (this thing runs Android One fyi)

 

Both Xiaomi phones run Snapdragon chipsets and custom roms already available


Awareness is key. Never enough, even in the face of futility. Speak the truth as if you may never get to say it again. This world is full of ugly. Change it they say. The only way is to reveal the ugly. To change the truth you must first acknowledge it. Never pretend it isn't there. Never bend the knee.

 

Please quote my post in your reply, so that I will be notified and can respond to it. Thanks.

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Since you want Android 10 support I would suggest going for the

Galaxy A30

Xiaomi Mi A3 (This thing shipped with Android 9 and is an Android One phone so you'll definitely get 10)

Mostly look for the Redmi Note 8 Pro (Shipped with Android 10)

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13 hours ago, aidancomi said:

I’ve always been an Apple fan, so lately I’ve been thinking about picking up a under $200 Android phone, just to give it a shot. I’m looking for USB-C, Micro SD Expansion, some form of biometric entry (fingerprint, face, etc), Android 10 (and hopefully 11) support (don’t care if it’s coming soon), and a price of under $200. I’ve mainly been looking at the Moto G7 Play from Best Buy for $160. I’m not really looking used, but I don’t know if buying an international model with no warranty would be better or to buy a US phone to get a warranty and US stuff. I don’t know. 

The only part I'll comment on is your last sentence: if you're in the US, do not get an international model. You'll be missing band support and there wont' be a guarantee of it working with US cell towers. I made that mistake once when I got a Samsung a while back, the international model was like $100 cheaper so figured what the hell? Bad choice. Just my two cents OP. Good luck.


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14 hours ago, huilun02 said:

Ok, make sure to compare to a $200 iPhone then.

Isn't a major "android is better" argument is that the iPhone only costs like 20 grains of rice to make and is therefore overpriced crap? Surely he should be good comparing a $200 android phone as the iPhone costs about that in materials? I mean unless the iPhone isn't just overpriced crap and actually outspecs android phones for about 2 years after release internally.


Dirty Windows Peasants :P ?

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4 hours ago, Lord Vile said:

Isn't a major "android is better" argument is that the iPhone only costs like 20 grains of rice to make and is therefore overpriced crap? Surely he should be good comparing a $200 android phone as the iPhone costs about that in materials? I mean unless the iPhone isn't just overpriced crap and actually outspecs android phones for about 2 years after release internally.

No. The argument for Android is CHOICE. Want headphone jack? There is something there for you. Want truly outstanding battery life? There is something there for you. Want some wierd combination of specs to suit your specific taste? There is something there for you.

 

And of course, there are Android phones that come brand new at price ranges where iPhones don't even exist.


Awareness is key. Never enough, even in the face of futility. Speak the truth as if you may never get to say it again. This world is full of ugly. Change it they say. The only way is to reveal the ugly. To change the truth you must first acknowledge it. Never pretend it isn't there. Never bend the knee.

 

Please quote my post in your reply, so that I will be notified and can respond to it. Thanks.

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12 hours ago, huilun02 said:

No. The argument for Android is CHOICE. Want headphone jack? There is something there for you. Want truly outstanding battery life? There is something there for you. Want some wierd combination of specs to suit your specific taste? There is something there for you.

 

And of course, there are Android phones that come brand new at price ranges where iPhones don't even exist.

If you don't want a top spec phone. Or you could just get a 6s. 

 

What weird combination of specs? Android phones have literally the same spec as every other handset in the price brand give or take a gig of ram.

 

Or you could just get the iPhone for the same price that'll still get more support than the android phone even though it's 3 years old. Probably has better specs too. 


Dirty Windows Peasants :P ?

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49 minutes ago, Lord Vile said:

 

Or you could actually be helpful and suggest a phone to the OP that is within his/her budget?


Awareness is key. Never enough, even in the face of futility. Speak the truth as if you may never get to say it again. This world is full of ugly. Change it they say. The only way is to reveal the ugly. To change the truth you must first acknowledge it. Never pretend it isn't there. Never bend the knee.

 

Please quote my post in your reply, so that I will be notified and can respond to it. Thanks.

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1 hour ago, Lord Vile said:

If you don't want a top spec phone. Or you could just get a 6s. 

 

What weird combination of specs? Android phones have literally the same spec as every other handset in the price brand give or take a gig of ram.

 

Or you could just get the iPhone for the same price that'll still get more support than the android phone even though it's 3 years old. Probably has better specs too. 

I'm going to side with huliun02 for once here: LV, you have a bad habit of trying to force Apple suggestions into threads where they don't really belong.  I really like Apple gear and prefer it, but if the OP is asking to try out an Android phone, please offer sincere help looking for an Android phone.

 

@aidancomi Amazon appears to be selling the Moto G8 Plus for $205 -- a bit over your price ceiling, but well worth it over the G7 Play.

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2 hours ago, Commodus said:

I'm going to side with huliun02 for once here: LV, you have a bad habit of trying to force Apple suggestions into threads where they don't really belong.  I really like Apple gear and prefer it, but if the OP is asking to try out an Android phone, please offer sincere help looking for an Android phone.

 

@aidancomi Amazon appears to be selling the Moto G8 Plus for $205 -- a bit over your price ceiling, but well worth it over the G7 Play.

I hae no issue with the OP wanting an android phone, was Huliun with the "make sure you compare it to a $200 iPhone" argument which is a stupid point to make because androids probably biggest advantage is you can get lower spec phones for a fraction of the price of a top tier whereas iPhones only really do upper end phones, I'd call the 11 a flagship and the 11 Pro Max a halo product.

 

would look at a one plus 6 (or 6t if you can stretch to 230-250). Go for around 200 on eBay, has a fingerprint reader, usbC however there is no Micro SD card. Gies to 128GB for the $200 one so that shouldn't be an issue storage wise. I now it's used but should be better than anything new for the same price and should give you a better flavour of the OS than a cheaper handset would.


Dirty Windows Peasants :P ?

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3 hours ago, huilun02 said:

Or you could actually be helpful and suggest a phone to the OP that is within his/her budget?

Or you could actually be useful rather than spout BS claims that aren't true which is my issue. 


Dirty Windows Peasants :P ?

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