What's the oldest used iPhone worth buying?

GoodEnough

Golden Member
Apr 24, 2011
1,512
1
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#1
Friend is getting a smartphone.
They want iPhone in order to FaceTime.
Is buying a used one on Swappa an option?
 

RossMAN

Grand Nagus
Feb 24, 2000
78,675
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#2
What's your friends budget and cell phone provider?

Or will it be over WiFi only? If that's the case save some money and buy an iPod Touch. If you're friend is interested in an iPod Touch, I have a sealed brand new 32GB available.
https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204380

Why wouldn't buying a used one on Swappa be an option? That's like asking if buying a USB cable on Amazon is an option? Just make sure it works with your their cell provider or is unlocked.
 
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Oct 9, 2002
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#3
5/5c

Runs latest iOS. 1GB RAM is more usable with 32-bit devices. 64-bit devices need to have OS API resources loaded for both 32-bit and 64-bit simultaneously, so 1GB RAM on 5s/6/6 Plus feels terrible compared to iPhone 5/5c.

After that, iPhone SE and iPhone 6s.

In iPad land, mini 4 and Air 2. Anything else earlier is 1GB RAM hell.
 

eelw

Diamond Member
Dec 4, 1999
4,429
0
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#4
I haven't bothered replacing my iPhone 5 because it runs perfectly fine for most tasks. Issue with going with used iPhone 5 is the battery. If not huge price difference, jump to the iPhone 5s or SE.
 

GoodEnough

Golden Member
Apr 24, 2011
1,512
1
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#5
No Ross, I'll never enter the Apple ecosystem.
Android or death for me. It's for a friend, Sherlock.

Cool, I'll tell her to look at 5s on Swappa.
 
Oct 9, 2002
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#6
I haven't bothered replacing my iPhone 5 because it runs perfectly fine for most tasks. Issue with going with used iPhone 5 is the battery. If not huge price difference, jump to the iPhone 5s or SE.
5s is a worse experience than the 5/5c because it has less usable RAM for apps.
 
Mar 16, 2001
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#7
5s is a worse experience than the 5/5c because it has less usable RAM for apps.
I tried both the 5 and the 5s and the 5s was noticeably faster. Battery life sucks balls though.
 

FIVR

Diamond Member
Jun 1, 2016
3,753
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#8
. 64-bit devices need to have OS API resources loaded for both 32-bit and 64-bit simultaneously, so 1GB RAM on 5s/6/6 Plus feels terrible compared to iPhone 5/5c.
Lol. This is not true, I challenge you to actually attempt to use an iPhone 5 and an iPhone 6 at the same time on video and show the 5 beating the 6. You don't know what you're talking about regarding 64 bit. obviously 64 bit is better with 2GB, but comparing it unfavorably to the ancient apple A6 32 bit with the same amount of memory is just asinine. There are a few cases where 32 bit can better utilize 1GB of Ram, but those are few and even when it might use less ram, it still will be a fraction of the speed of an A7 or A8 device.
 
Oct 9, 2002
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#9
Lol. This is not true, I challenge you to actually attempt to use an iPhone 5 and an iPhone 6 at the same time on video and show the 5 beating the 6. You don't know what you're talking about regarding 64 bit. obviously 64 bit is better with 2GB, but comparing it unfavorably to the ancient apple A6 32 bit with the same amount of memory is just asinine. There are a few cases where 32 bit can better utilize 1GB of Ram, but those are few and even when it might use less ram, it still will be a fraction of the speed of an A7 or A8 device.
It's an absolute fact. I have extensive experience with far more Apple devices than I care to list. I know what the memory limitations feel like. This was aggravated even more by the 128GB 6 Plus devices with slow TLC storage. You really think processing power is the reason why apps can't reliably suspend and resume state?

Typing something in Safari and you need to go grab some other bit of information, requiring you to open another tab or switch apps...cringe because you know it's likely to wipe out everything you had typed in that web page / form. Even if you weren't typing anything to risk losing, you still have to wait for a page or app to reload almost every time. It's maddening.

I constantly used 32-bit and 64-bit 1GB RAM iDevices simultaneously -- hours each day -- and I can tell you that processor speed was the least important factor for real-world usability and multi-tasking performance. I'm talking the most basic multi-tasking would repeatedly screw you over on the 64-bit 1GB devices. I've heard iOS 10 does a better job suspending state, but that still means waiting for things to load after it was paged out from memory to storage. If iOS 10 helped avoid the constant loss of state, it was still WAY too late.

iPhone 5/5c is FAR more pleasant for multi-tasking and real-world use than a 5s, iPad mini 2/3, or iPhone 6 Plus. Absolutely no question. How can you possibly imply that having more usable RAM in severely RAM-limited devices is not a factor in perceived performance and usability?

As soon as the 2GB devices came out, these concerns were 100% resolved.
 
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FIVR

Diamond Member
Jun 1, 2016
3,753
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#11
It's an absolute fact. I have extensive experience with far more Apple devices than I care to list. I know what the memory limitations feel like. This was aggravated even more by the 128GB 6 Plus devices with slow TLC storage. You really think processing power is the reason why apps can't reliably suspend and resume state?

Typing something in Safari and you need to go grab some other bit of information, requiring you to open another tab or switch apps...cringe because you know it's likely to wipe out everything you had typed in that web page / form. Even if you weren't typing anything to risk losing, you still have to wait for a page or app to reload almost every time. It's maddening.

I constantly used 32-bit and 64-bit 1GB RAM iDevices simultaneously -- hours each day -- and I can tell you that processor speed was the least important factor for real-world usability and multi-tasking performance. I'm talking the most basic multi-tasking would repeatedly screw you over on the 64-bit 1GB devices. I've heard iOS 10 does a better job suspending state, but that still means waiting for things to load after it was paged out from memory to storage. If iOS 10 helped avoid the constant loss of state, it was still WAY too late.

iPhone 5/5c is FAR more pleasant for multi-tasking and real-world use than a 5s, iPad mini 2/3, or iPhone 6 Plus. Absolutely no question. How can you possibly imply that having more usable RAM in severely RAM-limited devices is not a factor in perceived performance and usability?

As soon as the 2GB devices came out, these concerns were 100% resolved.
If it's such a fact make a video. I know for a fact you are wrong because my mom uses a 5C, my dad uses a 6 and I use a 7 and I have to troubleshoot both of theirs constantly. So by asking you to make a video, I know I'm asking you to do something impossible. I don't care about your anecdotal observations, I've already surmised you don't know anything about technology from your strange advice to buy a 3 year old iPhone to get a faster iPhone than a 1 year old iPhone. It would be nice if you would refrain from giving people terrible advice, though.


OP please DO NOT get a 5C or A6 powered device, shoot for an iPhone 6 or later. 5S is the absolute slowest you should consider because it still has TouchID and is secure. These guys telling you to get an iPhone without TouchID are... less than credible.
 
Oct 9, 2002
26,203
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#12
If it's such a fact make a video. I know for a fact you are wrong because my mom uses a 5C, my dad uses a 6 and I use a 7 and I have to troubleshoot both of theirs constantly. So by asking you to make a video, I know I'm asking you to do something impossible. I don't care about your anecdotal observations, I've already surmised you don't know anything about technology from your strange advice to buy a 3 year old iPhone to get a faster iPhone than a 1 year old iPhone. It would be nice if you would refrain from giving people terrible advice, though.


OP please DO NOT get a 5C or A6 powered device, shoot for an iPhone 6 or later. 5S is the absolute slowest you should consider because it still has TouchID and is secure. These guys telling you to get an iPhone without TouchID are... less than credible.
He said:
"What's the oldest used iPhone worth buying?"

Friend is getting a smartphone.
They want iPhone in order to FaceTime.
Is buying a used one on Swappa an option?
I would not personally buy anything less than an iPhone SE, but I gave my sister and niece some iPhone 5C phones to replace their even worse Android phones and I do not regret it a bit. They still run the latest iOS and are far more usable than any of my 64-bit 1GB devices ever were.

The only Apple devices I currently have access to are current-gen. I was beyond anxious to get away from my old iPad mini 2, iPhone 5s, and iPhone 6 Plus 128GB.

If someone asks me what I think the minimum usable iOS device is, I will tell them an A6 device.

I will also advise that any 64-bit iOS device with only 1GB RAM will be a terrible user experience in comparison to a 5/5c/SE/6s. Period.

Maybe I'll get my hands on my niece's phone for a while and my brother will find his old iPhone 6 Plus 128GB to do a little comparison. I troubleshoot iDevices all day long. This is something I'm extremely familiar with. I periodically set up my device as new to avoid restoring anything from a backup that might corrupt the user experience. I have started from a clean/pure device dozens of times. I will always advise against the 64-bit device with 1GB RAM because I know from real-world experience with at least 10 different devices that A7/A8 with 1GB is awful. The real-world performance and multi-tasking performance is far better with a 2GB and noticeably better with an A6 1GB.

My advice would be to get an iPhone SE or iPhone 6s. The correct answer to "oldest usable" would be "iPhone 5/5c." Still runs latest iOS and does it quite well. Aside from gaming and benchmarks, real-world performance switching from photos/messages/browser/social apps is far more tolerable than A7 or A8 with the same 1GB RAM.
 
Oct 9, 2002
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#13
Here's a pretty extreme example of the behavior I'm talking about for 64-bit iOS devices with only 1GB RAM:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dJNS3ucSak4

The iPad 4th gen (2012 retina + Lightning) would not have this problem unless many more tabs were open and cycled through. This iPad Air share the same RAM limitations with iPad mini 2/3, iPhone 5s/6, and iPod touch 6th gen. The 5/5c would be noticeably more usable for web browsing and multi-tasking.

The iPad mini4/Air2 and iPhone 6s/7 rarely ever reload tabs in Safari because they have 2GB RAM.

[edit]

I'll be trying to revive a coworker's iPhone 5 this week, so maybe I'll be able to do a comparison. Probably won't get to wipe/reset the device though.
 
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GoodEnough

Golden Member
Apr 24, 2011
1,512
1
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#15
Ok, it turns out, she just bought a brand new 5S for $299, so it seems like that is perfect.
Swappa used is like $180, so for brand new, it's worth the extra $120,
and that 5S runs latest OS and is the oldest you'd want to go. Perfect
 
Mar 16, 2001
28,534
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#16
damn that 299 could've gotten her a nice iphone se 64gb
 

GoodEnough

Golden Member
Apr 24, 2011
1,512
1
81
#17
Girls don't like to buy used stuff. Too much work. She did well.
 
Mar 16, 2001
28,534
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#18
Girls don't like to buy used stuff. Too much work. She did well.
Yea i know~ best buy has specials on the iphone se 64gb It ends up being like 300 bucks

You need to go on their Device Payment Plan but you can pay it off early.
 

Insomniator

Diamond Member
Oct 23, 2002
6,245
2
106
#20
$300 for a 3.5 year old phone... gotta love Apple.
 
Aug 22, 2004
13,077
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#21
Why do people still talk to GoodEnough?
 

GoodEnough

Golden Member
Apr 24, 2011
1,512
1
81
#22
Yea, I think buying the 5S for $299 was not the optimal move.
I would have gotten the SE that is basically in the same price point.
Seems like SE is about $400 to $450 NIB, but can be found for $350.

I would have spent the extra $50, but $299 is a big mental price point for someone paying for their first smartphone ever.
OTOH, the cheaper SE's are only 16GB, and she got a 32GB 5S.

Good enough!

PS: Because I make awesome thought provoking threads.
 
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GoodEnough

Golden Member
Apr 24, 2011
1,512
1
81
#24
Another friend is now looking to upgrade his 5S.

6S is $500 NIB.
7 is like $550 used.

What would you do?
 

lopri

Elite Member
Jul 27, 2002
12,563
4
106
#25
What about warranty? Assuming 1 year warranty for the NIB that is what I would choose.
 

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