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Question S4 and beyond

Nalyk

Member
May 21, 2009
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3
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So my Samsung S4 is starting to linger on it's last legs. It will hard reset of it's own accord, most often when I've got chrome open and I'm just messing around reading wikipedia or something. In an attempt to get my phone to quit hard resetting on it's own (often when it does this it will also take a few times before it will completely boot, hitching at different loading screens along the way), I did a factory reset. Wiping the hard drive mitigated a lot of the problem, but it still occurs about 25% to 30% as often as it did before. I'm inexperienced in loading new Versions of OS's onto phones, but I'm wondering if that would solve the problem, any advice to help me trouble shoot would be welcome.

Because of the aforementioned problems, I've been considering upgrading to a new phone. I mostly use my phone for browsing the internet, listening to podcasts, books or music, and sometimes watching videos on youtube. So if I do replace it, I don't really need something super intense to get the job done. All that aside, I want something with a headphone jack, and have been considering the S9, or the OnePlus 5 or 6 with a heavy lean into the 5 or the 6 because of price, and the streamlined implementation of the OS.

The problem with new phone options is that I really don't want to pay 800+ and financing charges by purchasing a new phone from AT&T or changing carriers to T-mobile. So I've been looking at phones on amazon and newegg trying to learn the in's and outs of purchasing an unlocked phone. I would appreciate any recommendations.
 

Muadib

Lifer
May 30, 2000
16,276
292
126
You don't pay finance charges if you buy your phone through at&t, verizon, or T-mobile. They just take the cost of the phone, and spread the cost over 18-30 months.
I had the first oneplus phone, and found their customer service to be crap. However, I liked the phone. Have you looked at motorola phones? They are much cheaper than apple iphone or Samsung's top tier phones.
 

killster1

Diamond Member
Mar 15, 2007
5,390
266
126
Do you have to buy new? the galaxy s9 seems overkill to me for your usage. if you wanted a large screen the galaxy s8+ or used s9+ looks so great. Have never used teh one plus 6 or 5 or 4 or 3 or 2 or 1, until recently i used verizon and couldnt use a oneplusanything. Most likely new they are great but used prices samsung galaxy seem like ultimate value. Motorola phones are ALWAYS overpriced if you ask me sure they are very low price but so are the components (like type and rez lcd, soc, camera, amount ram)
 

Nalyk

Member
May 21, 2009
61
3
71
I was considering something refurbished, but I've never really gone that route before, partially because of the inherent risks, I'd always depended upon upgrading and finding a partially subsidized phone and signing a contract through my carrier. The S4 I purchased 4 years ago is literally the 1st and only smartphone I've ever had. And even then, when I bought it I put a lot of effort into finding something that was well thought of that would last. And it has and is still going with minor hiccups now and again.

The Oneplus' entries into the mobile space interest me because of their streamlined approach to android and their price. I, like probably most users/readers on anand build their own computers, and the luxury of not having bloatware from different manufactures is a godsend. Oneplus seems to provide that, at least in the reviews of their devices that I've watched/read. I guess the other alternative is I look into getting something that was released 2-3 years ago instead of last year, then I could really save on it, and as you said, considering my usage, I really don't need all that extra processing power, it might be nice on occasion, but I really don't do anything that intense. That being said, I like the extra functionality that samsung provides vis a vis memory card slots etc.

With that in mind, I'm having difficulty understanding pricing on phones. If for instance I purchase direct from ATT the price of a particular phone is usually $2-300 more than what i can get for the same phone unlocked on amazon or newegg. Granted I understand that there is a certain amount of risk involved in purchasing from a 3rd party seller which is what I feel most of the sellers on those sites are.
 
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killster1

Diamond Member
Mar 15, 2007
5,390
266
126
I was considering something refurbished, but I've never really gone that route before, partially because of the inherent risks, I'd always depended upon upgrading and finding a partially subsidized phone and signing a contract through my carrier. The S4 I purchased 4 years ago is literally the 1st and only smartphone I've ever had. And even then, when I bought it I put a lot of effort into finding something that was well thought of that would last. And it has and is still going with minor hiccups now and again.

The Oneplus' entries into the mobile space interest me because of their streamlined approach to android and their price. I, like probably most users/readers on anand build their own computers, and the luxury of not having bloatware from different manufactures is a godsend. Oneplus seems to provide that, at least in the reviews of their devices that I've watched/read. I guess the other alternative is I look into getting something that was released 2-3 years ago instead of last year, then I could really save on it, and as you said, considering my usage, I really don't need all that extra processing power, it might be nice on occasion, but I really don't do anything that intense. That being said, I like the extra functionality that samsung provides vis a vis memory card slots etc.

With that in mind, I'm having difficulty understanding pricing on phones. If for instance I purchase direct from ATT the price of a particular phone is usually $2-300 more than what i can get for the same phone unlocked on amazon or newegg. Granted I understand that there is a certain amount of risk involved in purchasing from a 3rd party seller which is what I feel most of the sellers on those sites are.

THey charge extra because they let you make payments and trade your old phone in for xxx amount of $$ .. none of it fools me and i purchase used every time. I guess some of the stuff that comes preinstalled with my att galaxy s9+ is annoying but i disabled it all.. disabled the bixby button and now i enjoy using it with the huge screen (that i seem to break the screen protector at least once a month). i didn't realize the one plus didn't use memory cards, how silly that is pretty much essential with my phones. Dual memory cards would be even better.
 

ericlp

Diamond Member
Dec 24, 2000
6,067
176
106
Hmm, I got my S8 last year for 300 bucks from cricket. I suspect in a few months the S9 will be half off, but you can't get the deal if your an existing cricket member, so, you gotta switch over to Verizon / sprint or Tmobile and since...att owns cricket ... won't get any deals on att as well. I've seen the half off deals a few times on flagship phones. May be worth switching to a lower rung service for a few months then, jump over when a carrier you like has a deal on a phone.

I am already switched back to t-mobile and when if the S9 comes back on sale, gonna switch over... sometimes you gotta play the game to get a new phone for cheap, but... it's better than paying 1000 bucks. I wish cricket would have the pixel 3 for half off... :)
 

dainthomas

Lifer
Dec 7, 2004
13,749
1,886
126
Seems like for your needs a J3 would work. Got one for my daughter through t-mobile, and put $7 down and pay $7/month. Or you could buy it outright for $150 or so. Also takes memory cards and has a removable battery.
 

lakedude

Platinum Member
Mar 14, 2009
2,063
57
91
What is wrong with Tmobile?

We payed about $200 each for our brand new Samsung Galaxy S8 and S9 phones on Tmobile.

Service is great where we live and doesn't cost much.
 

ericlp

Diamond Member
Dec 24, 2000
6,067
176
106
uh, as long as you're happy being LOCKED into a contract for 2-3 years... go for it! ;)

Not to mention paying higher phone plans on a contract.

There is no contract with cricket, you own it....
 

lakedude

Platinum Member
Mar 14, 2009
2,063
57
91
One does not need to be on a contract to be on Tmobile. Also prices are very reasonable.

I am getting a huge discount on my phones and for that I'm tied to Tmobile for 2 years on the S8s and 3 years on the S9. It is not a contract exactly but it is similar. The full price of the phone is forgiven over time. Were I to quit Tmobile I'd owe the balance of the full price of the phone.

So I could have just purchased any phone outright and been under no obligation but I chose to get a huge discount on 3 Samsung Galaxy phones so I do have obligations.

My plan is very reasonable but Cricket might be cheaper.
 
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lakedude

Platinum Member
Mar 14, 2009
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Ericlp I'd like to compare numbers. I see Cricket has a $60 unlimited plan but they also have 4 for $100. Speeds are better on the $60 plan. Which plan do you have?

I pay $70 even ( no tax no fees) for service on my first 2 phones ($35 each) and $20 even for service on the 3rd line.

I have unlimited data subject to depriority after 50GB on each phone (150 GB total for 3 phones).

I also have unlimited hot spot or teathering but speed is reduced to 3G speed on the secondary device.

As I said earlier I paid or will pay $200 each for the S8 and S9 phones.

My speed:

20190221_135959.jpg
 
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ericlp

Diamond Member
Dec 24, 2000
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I do use cricket, but I could go with whatever plan I wanted to go with. I travel a lot, and find ATT to be easy to find than a t-mobile tower. But, if T-mobile is good in your area... why not?

I'm doing a 6 month van tour around the nation... so... Often times it's either att or verizon has a signal. More so, I sometimes think I should carry around 2 phone, but, I guess I don't really care much if I have a signal or not, not like my work depends on it.

Anyway, I normally, for 55 bucks a month I have cricket 25 gigs or whatever it is... I'd go with t-mobile or sprint if I they provided the best coverage around ... but ATT seems to be the better option. Anyway... I use foxfi to get around the hotspot, and just link up to my tablet/laptop via usb cable. Works pretty good so far and no letters, I use it quit a bit. Sometimes over 20 Gigs. But... I try not to go over since I don't want a red flag. When I am home, I just use cable for internet access. So I put the plan down to 30 bucks a month. I am leaving next month, so I'll kick it back up to unlimited.

Point is, if for some reason, I move to a new place (we are planning on moving next year)... and say I went with T-mobile, and the signal wasn't that great, then I'd have to pay for the devices and bow out of my contract. So.... I guess it depends on everyone's situation. I wish I could get the 25 dollar 4 line deal, but I don't have anyone that wants to go in on it... sadly... then dividing up the bill isn't fun and asking people to pay.... Looked into it and probably too much of a headache ... would be nice tho to drop into a pool say, and everyone payed for a few years upfront into a an account where a third party just controlled the $. But, then I suppose that would be considered a contract. lol!
 
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lakedude

Platinum Member
Mar 14, 2009
2,063
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That was a very reasonable response. It sounds like you are doing what is best for you, as am I.

I think we have especially good service because we have a tower close but population is sparse so there is not much demand put on the tower.
 

Nalyk

Member
May 21, 2009
61
3
71
Hmm, looking at cricket's coverage, it looks at least comparable to AT&T's where I am. I live and work in a rural area and I'd like to get signal out where I work so I can actually receive calls if I need to, and their plan seems to be cheaper. Right now I'm paying 105/month for 6gb of data shared between 2 phones. But my wife still uses a flip phone so the data is all mine about 99% of the time, unless she sends a picture or something to me or someone else.
 

Nalyk

Member
May 21, 2009
61
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71
The ironic thing about that is that, while looking at cricket's deals, it seems that a phone number switch from AT&T doesn't count. I may just end up holding out until my current phone literally dies in a fire, and get last years, or the year previous to that's model. It just seems to make more sense regarding price and the ways I use my phone. I just don't really need all that much processing power or screen real estate to run podcasts and listen to books. It's too bad new electronics are just so darn shiny...
 

lakedude

Platinum Member
Mar 14, 2009
2,063
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Nalyk if you are 55 or older you could get 2x lines from Tmobile for $70 even ($35 each). Both lines would have unlimited data subject to lower priority after 50GB each (100 GB total for both phones).

Tmobile does not throttle after you exceed your 50GB, they de-prioritize. The difference is that you still run at full speed except during busy times.


Tmobile has been so good for us we cancelled all land based services.
 

Nalyk

Member
May 21, 2009
61
3
71
T-moblie doesn't have good service where I live. One of my co-workers switched back to att from T-mobile because of their lack of coverage where I live and work. That being said, I'm beginning to think that the plan I'm currently on really isn't that great given what I'm seeing on current prices, especially from cricket. Like a good 25-50% less than what I'm paying now give or take...

All that said, I still haven't decided anything at all vis a vis the next phone I want that would fit my needs. Formatting the phone did help some but it still does it's wierd little hard restart thing about 3-4 times a week give or take.
 

lakedude

Platinum Member
Mar 14, 2009
2,063
57
91
Was that recently? If so Tmobile is not for you. If it has been a while you might check a coverage map.

Where I live Sprint has no signal at home and Verizon has a poor signal at work (don't know about att). Tmobile has a good signal everywhere I normally go except our usual vacation destination, but that is only one week a year.
 

lakedude

Platinum Member
Mar 14, 2009
2,063
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91
After playing with my phone 2x coworkers have switched to Tmobile and a 3rd is on the fence.

If you need 4x phones that Cricket plan is a good deal but speeds are capped at 3Mb/s I think.

If someone needed several phones and were in the milatary Tmobile has a military plan where the 1st phone is $55, second is $25, and the rest are only $10! Not so great if you only need a phone or 2 but awesome if you need 5.

Of course if Tmobile has a poor signal were you live that rules them out.
 

Nalyk

Member
May 21, 2009
61
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71
Yes, fairly recently. Within at least the last year or so I'd wager. It'll be interesting looking at current prices for flagship phones when the latest and greatest comes out again.
 

Nalyk

Member
May 21, 2009
61
3
71
After some research, I'm leaning toward the a6 plus. It seems like enough of an up grade from the s4. And at least partially future proof. And I won't be spending an arm and a leg if I buy unlocked.
 

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