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My Galaxy S8 is getting extremely slow (and the battery is dying again, I've had to replace it once already) so I want to start looking for a new one before it's unusable. I'm hoping for some suggestions. 

Must:

1. Be compatible with Sprint/Tmobile (I think that's a given but I don't know enough about networks)

2. The ability to open the back to replace the battery (it can be difficult, I have an ifixit toolkit)

3. A lot of RAM.

4. Expandable storage 

5. Android 

6. Durability 

 

Would like to have:

1. Extra long battery life

2. USB-C charging

3. The ability to cool itself (batteries are constantly overheating on me)

4. Headphone jack

5. 5g network 

6. Under $500 USD in cash

 

Fyi these aren't in order of priority. 

 

I don't care about visual fidelity, camera quality, or external speaker quality, so if any of those are horrible it's okay 

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20 minutes ago, Purpleswans said:

The ability to open the back to replace the battery (it can be difficult, I have an ifixit toolkit)

If you want something that's going to last more than a year or two that has a replaceable battery, you're shit outta luck as far as I can see. Most every high end phone has moved to glass backs and batteries that technically aren't user-serviceable. Though I would argue that if your wish is to be able to replace it after 3-4 years, 20 minutes of your time isn't a big deal.

 

The LG V60 does meet all of these requirements (even the "like to have" ones) except for the replaceable battery. 8GB of RAM, Snapdragon 865, 5000mAh battery (I can make mine last 2 days...), 5G, USB-C charging, and an excellent headphone jack that provides high fidelity sound, LG calls it the "Quad DAC".

 

It can be had refurbished for $450 or less.

 

The Realme GT 5G also meets all the requirements (save for the removable battery), has a faster CPU than the LG, and potentially more RAM if you get an uptrimmed model, but it has a smaller battery, and is from a company that I didn't even know existed until the last couple years. It does have a headphone jack, but does not boast the high fidelity, though unless you're an audiophile or own damn good wired headphones, you probably won't care much about that.

 

It can be bought brand new for $450.

 

The LG is a more unique phone (due to its crazy quad DAC and optional dual screen case), but it falls behind the Realme because the Realme is a year newer. The only reason you should want to buy the LG is for the potential for better productivity offered by the optional dual screen (sort of like having two monitors on your computer), or the support for high impedance, high power professional headphones. It's also from a reputable and established company.

 

The Realme is questionable in terms of manufacturer and future support, as the entire company was founded just 3 years ago. It's a Chinese company much akin to Xiaomi, or Huawei. Though it packs better specs and is offered new for the same price as the LG is offered refurbished. On paper, though, the Realme is just better. If you ask me, I wouldn't purchase from such a company due to the fact that I store important data such as credit cards and my bank account details on my phone.

 

Other those two, no high end phones come to mind that support either a headphone jack or a removable battery. Removable batteries in flagships died with the Galaxy S5 because it makes them feel cheap.

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anything other than samsung and google is very sus (as the youngster may say 🙂)

Reason being, chinese phone manufactures are not thrustworthy. Simple as that.

always forcing you to their updates, and terms and conditions after each update,

and also the build quality is really most of the time questionable.

 

So stay away from chinese manufactures

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Yeah, like Google, Samsung and the US government are a shining beacon of thrust, security and privacy. Like Apple isn't showing 65541651684616846841 pages of EULA changes with every update. Please stop with this nonsense and widen your view a little. Chinese phones really were awful 5-6 years ago. Now, most of them are of decent quality and some are topping even Apple and Samsung so much that they had to get banned by some administrations. I've had one of the first Xiaomi RedMi phones and it really was a dreadful experience. Now their quality is top-tier. The first Huawei phones that came out i sold them as a cheap alternative to people who just wanted a smartphone, but had no money for a good one the likes of Samsung's Galaxy series or LG Vibe line. Sony XPERIA was just for snobs at that time, at least locally. Now I'm heartbroken that i have to change my P20 Pro, cause for 3 years it served me as a loyal golden retriever w/o a single glitch or a hiccup, right to the moment i dropped it on the asphalt from the height of 3m. There are good phones outside the Samsung/Apple family, you just need to do a little research to find the one that will suit you best. 

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16 hours ago, wavem2 said:

The Realme is questionable in terms of manufacturer and future support, as the entire company was founded just 3 years ago. It's a Chinese company much akin to Xiaomi, or Huawei. Though it packs better specs and is offered new for the same price as the LG is offered refurbished. On paper, though, the Realme is just better. If you ask me, I wouldn't purchase from such a company due to the fact that I store important data such as credit cards and my bank account details on my phone.

Realme is just the budget brand of BBK Electronics, who also own the OnePlus, Oppo and Vivo brands. I'm sure you know of OnePlus at least.

 

As for update support, I wouldn't count Realme out. Granted it's not going to have the 5 years of updates that you'll get with Samsung or Apple, but I doubt it'll be terrible, perhaps expect quarterly updates rather than monthly. As for LG, their track record for updates has been spotty, but now also add in the fact that they're shutting down their mobile division. They claim they'll continue to support their existing models, but who knows how good that support will be.

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23 minutes ago, Zingiber said:

Realme is just the budget brand of BBK Electronics, who also own the OnePlus, Oppo and Vivo brands. I'm sure you know of OnePlus at least.

 

As for update support, I wouldn't count Realme out. Granted it's not going to have the 5 years of updates that you'll get with Samsung or Apple, but I doubt it'll be terrible, perhaps expect quarterly updates rather than monthly. As for LG, their track record for updates has been spotty, but now also add in the fact that they're shutting down their mobile division. They claim they'll continue to support their existing models, but who knows how good that support will be.

That is good to hear, then. Yes, I've heard of all three of those brands, I had no idea it was just a subdivision.

 

LG's software support is known to be spotty, yes. Though my main focus in that comment was hardware support. Repair shops know Apple, Samsung, LG, and Google phones inside and out because they're in their stores all the time because they're so common in the US. If you take the Realme to a phone repair shop, the techs there are less likely to have first-hand experience with the device.

 

The Realme is just the objectively better phone than the LG, and if it's to be trusted, then I think it'd be a great choice in this price range.

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2 minutes ago, wavem2 said:

That is good to hear, then. Yes, I've heard of all three of those brands, I had no idea it was just a subdivision.

 

LG's software support is known to be spotty, yes. Though my main focus in that comment was hardware support. Repair shops know Apple, Samsung, LG, and Google phones inside and out because they're in their stores all the time because they're so common in the US. If you take the Realme to a phone repair shop, the techs there are less likely to have first-hand experience with the device.

 

The Realme is just the objectively better phone than the LG, and if it's to be trusted, then I think it'd be a great choice in this price range.

If a repair shop gets stuck, I'm sure they'll be able to find plenty of repair guides considering the popularity of budget phones in places like India.

 

 

I don't know the US pricing or availability for these phones, but could also consider Sony? New ones will be well out the $500 price range but the older devices could be contenders? No 5G but most will have USB C, 3.5 jack and expandable. Would say the Realme is probably still a better bet, but it's perhaps an option if they don't want that.

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36 minutes ago, Zingiber said:

If a repair shop gets stuck, I'm sure they'll be able to find plenty of repair guides considering the popularity of budget phones in places like India.

 

 

I don't know the US pricing or availability for these phones, but could also consider Sony? New ones will be well out the $500 price range but the older devices could be contenders? No 5G but most will have USB C, 3.5 jack and expandable. Would say the Realme is probably still a better bet, but it's perhaps an option if they don't want that.

Sony phones are available in the US as unlocked devices online, but it's harder to find the older models. I'll say this... the Xperia 5 III could be a nice phone for those who think the 1 III is overkill (and it is).

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5 minutes ago, Commodus said:

Sony phones are available in the US as unlocked devices online, but it's harder to find the older models. I'll say this... the Xperia 5 III could be a nice phone for those who think the 1 III is overkill (and it is).

The Xperia 5 III would pretty much check all OPs feature requests, but at $1000 it's double their $500 budget. Could also consider last years Xperia 5 II.

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56 minutes ago, Zingiber said:

I don't know the US pricing or availability for these phones, but could also consider Sony? New ones will be well out the $500 price range but the older devices could be contenders? No 5G but most will have USB C, 3.5 jack and expandable. Would say the Realme is probably still a better bet, but it's perhaps an option if they don't want that.

Tge $500 price tag isn't a hard-and-fast rule, I just want it as a guidepoint so I don't get a $100 phone that dies on first contact with heat, but also don't spend $1,000 on features I don't need.

 

Battery life and RAM (ability to handle multitasking) are the most important to me. Are RealMe and LG phones good for that?

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34 minutes ago, Purpleswans said:

Tge $500 price tag isn't a hard-and-fast rule, I just want it as a guidepoint so I don't get a $100 phone that dies on first contact with heat, but also don't spend $1,000 on features I don't need.

 

Battery life and RAM (ability to handle multitasking) are the most important to me. Are RealMe and LG phones good for that?

I wouldn't get an LG phone at this point outside of curiosity — the company is promising support for a while, but the exit from phones means you're not guaranteed to get strong support. 

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I recently ran into the OnePlus Nord N200 5G. I don't think it has a headphone Jack but the RAM and Battery specs look better than most Samsung competitors... but with the price under $300 I feel like there's a catch. Does anybody know what it could be?

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When you're looking at phones, you can use www.kimovil.com to check compatibility with your network. I personally wouldn't get a device that doesn't cover every band you might need. Also pay attention to make sure you're looking at the right variant of the phone, as band support will vary variant to variant.

 

"A lot" isn't really quantifiable. Might want to add a number you're looking for there.

If the phone is constantly overheating, you might want to take a closer look at what you're doing with the device and change your habits rather than try and find something that really, outside of what Asus has, doesn't exist.

 

On 7/3/2021 at 3:18 PM, wavem2 said:

If you want something that's going to last more than a year or two that has a replaceable battery, you're shit outta luck as far as I can see. Most every high end phone has moved to glass backs and batteries that technically aren't user-serviceable. Though I would argue that if your wish is to be able to replace it after 3-4 years, 20 minutes of your time isn't a big deal.

 

The LG V60 does meet all of these requirements (even the "like to have" ones) except for the replaceable battery. 8GB of RAM, Snapdragon 865, 5000mAh battery (I can make mine last 2 days...), 5G, USB-C charging, and an excellent headphone jack that provides high fidelity sound, LG calls it the "Quad DAC".

 

It can be had refurbished for $450 or less.

 

The Realme GT 5G also meets all the requirements (save for the removable battery), has a faster CPU than the LG, and potentially more RAM if you get an uptrimmed model, but it has a smaller battery, and is from a company that I didn't even know existed until the last couple years. It does have a headphone jack, but does not boast the high fidelity, though unless you're an audiophile or own damn good wired headphones, you probably won't care much about that.

 

It can be bought brand new for $450.

 

The LG is a more unique phone (due to its crazy quad DAC and optional dual screen case), but it falls behind the Realme because the Realme is a year newer. The only reason you should want to buy the LG is for the potential for better productivity offered by the optional dual screen (sort of like having two monitors on your computer), or the support for high impedance, high power professional headphones. It's also from a reputable and established company.

 

The Realme is questionable in terms of manufacturer and future support, as the entire company was founded just 3 years ago. It's a Chinese company much akin to Xiaomi, or Huawei. Though it packs better specs and is offered new for the same price as the LG is offered refurbished. On paper, though, the Realme is just better. If you ask me, I wouldn't purchase from such a company due to the fact that I store important data such as credit cards and my bank account details on my phone.

 

Other those two, no high end phones come to mind that support either a headphone jack or a removable battery. Removable batteries in flagships died with the Galaxy S5 because it makes them feel cheap.

The Realme phone likely won't offer him very good carrier coverage. I wouldn't get it if he's living in NA.

 

I almost got the V60 before the S20FE came up on a carrier offer for an even better deal. The dual screen is rather gimmicky though, and adds significant thickness to the phone. The quad DAC honestly isn't that impressive, and is easily beaten by a dongle. Wireless headphones are getting to the point wired isn't even that much better. Also, given that LG is no longer in the business of making phones, I wouldn't expect any kind of updates, and that would completely write off the device as an option IMO.

On 7/3/2021 at 3:19 PM, Haraikomono said:

anything other than samsung and google is very sus (as the youngster may say 🙂)

Reason being, chinese phone manufactures are not thrustworthy. Simple as that.

always forcing you to their updates, and terms and conditions after each update,

and also the build quality is really most of the time questionable.

 

So stay away from chinese manufactures

They're not all that bad. OnePlus, for example, makes superb devices and has excellent updates.

9 hours ago, wavem2 said:

That is good to hear, then. Yes, I've heard of all three of those brands, I had no idea it was just a subdivision.

 

LG's software support is known to be spotty, yes. Though my main focus in that comment was hardware support. Repair shops know Apple, Samsung, LG, and Google phones inside and out because they're in their stores all the time because they're so common in the US. If you take the Realme to a phone repair shop, the techs there are less likely to have first-hand experience with the device.

 

The Realme is just the objectively better phone than the LG, and if it's to be trusted, then I think it'd be a great choice in this price range.

Likely not for the US market.

3 hours ago, Purpleswans said:

I recently ran into the OnePlus Nord N200 5G. I don't think it has a headphone Jack but the RAM and Battery specs look better than most Samsung competitors... but with the price under $300 I feel like there's a catch. Does anybody know what it could be?

Catch:

  • Midtier refresh rate
  • IPS screen (since you don't care about quality, wouldn't affect you, but it's not good compared to an AMOLED)
  • Very low end SoC
  • Only 4GB of RAM
  • Single speaker
  • USB 2.0
  • Only 18w charging

Most of those likely won't be an issue for you, but you should be aware it's not going to feel like a higher end device.

Current PC:

Spoiler

CPU: Intel i3 4160 Cooler: Integrated Motherboard: Integrated

RAM: G.Skill RipJaws 16GB DDR3 Storage: Transcend MSA370 128GB GPU: Intel 4400 Graphics

PSU: Integrated Case: Shuttle XPC Slim

Monitor: LG 29WK500 Mouse: G.Skill MX780 Keyboard: G.Skill KM780 Cherry MX Red

 

Budget Rig 1 - Sold For $750 Profit

Spoiler

CPU: Intel i5 7600k Cooler: CryOrig H7 Motherboard: MSI Z270 M5

RAM: Crucial LPX 16GB DDR4 Storage: Intel S3510 800GB GPU: Nvidia GTX 980

PSU: Corsair CX650M Case: EVGA DG73

Monitor: LG 29WK500 Mouse: G.Skill MX780 Keyboard: G.Skill KM780 Cherry MX Red

 

OG Gaming Rig - Gone

Spoiler

 

CPU: Intel i5 4690k Cooler: Corsair H100i V2 Motherboard: MSI Z97i AC ITX

RAM: Crucial Ballistix 16GB DDR3 Storage: Kingston Fury 240GB GPU: Asus Strix GTX 970

PSU: Thermaltake TR2 Case: Phanteks Enthoo Evolv ITX

Monitor: Dell P2214H x2 Mouse: Logitech MX Master Keyboard: G.Skill KM780 Cherry MX Red

 

 

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1 minute ago, dizmo said:

The Realme phone likely won't offer him very good carrier coverage. I wouldn't get it if he's living in NA.

What exactly do you mean? Carrier coverage, as in cellular data coverage, warranty, or support from the carrier regarding the device?

 

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2 minutes ago, wavem2 said:

What exactly do you mean? Carrier coverage, as in cellular data coverage, warranty, or support from the carrier regarding the device?

 

As in network coverage. Supported bands.

Current PC:

Spoiler

CPU: Intel i3 4160 Cooler: Integrated Motherboard: Integrated

RAM: G.Skill RipJaws 16GB DDR3 Storage: Transcend MSA370 128GB GPU: Intel 4400 Graphics

PSU: Integrated Case: Shuttle XPC Slim

Monitor: LG 29WK500 Mouse: G.Skill MX780 Keyboard: G.Skill KM780 Cherry MX Red

 

Budget Rig 1 - Sold For $750 Profit

Spoiler

CPU: Intel i5 7600k Cooler: CryOrig H7 Motherboard: MSI Z270 M5

RAM: Crucial LPX 16GB DDR4 Storage: Intel S3510 800GB GPU: Nvidia GTX 980

PSU: Corsair CX650M Case: EVGA DG73

Monitor: LG 29WK500 Mouse: G.Skill MX780 Keyboard: G.Skill KM780 Cherry MX Red

 

OG Gaming Rig - Gone

Spoiler

 

CPU: Intel i5 4690k Cooler: Corsair H100i V2 Motherboard: MSI Z97i AC ITX

RAM: Crucial Ballistix 16GB DDR3 Storage: Kingston Fury 240GB GPU: Asus Strix GTX 970

PSU: Thermaltake TR2 Case: Phanteks Enthoo Evolv ITX

Monitor: Dell P2214H x2 Mouse: Logitech MX Master Keyboard: G.Skill KM780 Cherry MX Red

 

 

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