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Which new <$250 Samsung phone?


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#1

TomSahz
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Posted 11 May 2019 - 01:55 PM

Hey guys,

 

I'm after a new Samsung phone to replace my old Galaxy Core Prime. Ideal price range is <$250. I'm just after something for the basics and with a better camera than my old phone. Prefer to buy new.

 

I know very little about phones, so I'm having trouble comparing the older S series with the new J series phones available now.

 

I see the newer J4 Plus and the older S5 are both about $220 from Expert Infotech. Similar situation with the S6 and J6 Plus at the $280 price point. The S series phones seem to have better specs, but they're locked to an older Android version right? Is it better to go for an older flagship or a newer budget model like the J4 Plus?

 

Any other new phones from samsung I should be considering? I could try a different brand if theres a great deal, I just don't have much experience outside Samsung.

 

Keen to hear your thoughts.


Edited by TomSahz, 11 May 2019 - 04:32 PM.


#2

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Posted 11 May 2019 - 06:29 PM

For comparisons, GSMArena is pretty good. For instance, comparing the J4+ and S5: https://www.gsmarena...6033#diff-*,*,*(I'd say that the S5 is still better, despite being four and a half years older, although both its battery and screen are smaller).

 

The J4+ and J6+ are basically identical.

 

I'd go with an older flagship, because as above, the older flagship is still better than the modern cheap device, and also the flagship is built as one while the cheaper device is also more cheaply built.

 

As for the older phones having older versions of Android, just make sure it is something that has LineageOS or a similar ROM available for it. Then you can have the latest, and stock instead of Samsung's garbage. And that is also far more likely with a flagship.


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#3

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Posted 11 May 2019 - 07:27 PM

I agree with Linux, S5 is the better way to go.

I have LineageOS, running on my old S2.

It's a shame you can't get Samsung One UI, it's actually good... far better than TouchWiz which they should have ditched years ago.

I have One UI on my S8, and for the first time I don't feel like I need to move to a different ROM.
 


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#4

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Posted 13 May 2019 - 09:28 AM

Thanks guys. Now I'm tossing up between the S5 ($225) and S6 ($280) + I'd get a wallet case for either one. I'm thinking $225 is pretty darn cheap, and there don't seem to be that many reasons for me to get the S6 over the S5. I'd mostly be using the phone for basic stuff and I like the microsd slot in the S5. Hmmm, decisions.



#5

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Posted 13 May 2019 - 01:40 PM

Yeah, comparisons make them look pretty close... I'd suggest finding a review of the S6, because that'll compare to the S5 very nicely.


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I may occasionally give advice regarding (consumer) law, but it is only my opinion based on my reading – I am not a lawyer.

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#6

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Posted 15 May 2019 - 06:50 PM

So I bought the S5 from Expert Infotech.

 

Picked it up, got it home, noticed the factory seal was broken and there was no charger. Called the store asked about both these things. They said the seal being broken was to check something to do with it being the right phone for the right region or something like that. They couriered out a charger to me.

 

Charged it, booted it, used an app to check if it was refurbished - app says it is original, but says the charger has been connected 289 times, and the battery is draining really fast. I've just been using it for about 15 minutes doing this stuff and its down to 88%.

 

Is any of this suspicious? Seems strange to me.



#7

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Posted 15 May 2019 - 08:58 PM

So you bought online? They have several listings on their site, including a few refurbished options, so there is some possibility of something there.

 

The battery draining that fast is a bit surprising, but could just be age – the S5 is discontinued, so at best it is old stock. You could use something like https://play.google....tes.accubattery to check out the battery health, but it would need at least one significant charge before it can say anything.

 

Having nearly 300 charger connections is a bit strange too for a new phone. What app did you use to check that?

 

I wouldn't be surprised if it turns out it is refurbished.


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I may occasionally give advice regarding (consumer) law, but it is only my opinion based on my reading – I am not a lawyer.

Romans 3:23; 6:23; 5:8; 10:9-10,13


#8

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Posted 15 May 2019 - 09:06 PM

Between 7pm and now (9pm) it used 8% battery - just with wifi on but locked and unused.

 

Yes I bought online, not a refurbished one, and I also asked when I picked up and was told the device is new.

 

I used this app to check the refurbished status and charge count.

 

I suppose it could just be a really old battery, so maybe after it has discharged fully I'll use that app to check.

 

When I was in the store (I ordered online and picked up) there was a couple complaining that a phone from there had been replaced already and was still having battery issues. Pretty sure it wasnt an S5 but still, doesn't give me hope.



#9

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Posted 16 May 2019 - 09:41 AM

That is definitely discharging too fast (works out to about 25 hours of standby, should be around 15 times that).

 

I'd say it most likely is a refurb, combining the rapidly-discharging battery with the charge cycle count. What is the general condition of the phone?

 

I'd probably contact EI and tell them what's going on (including about the charge count), and see what they have to say.


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i5 7400, Gigabyte GA-B250M-D3H, 16 GB DDR4, integrated graphics, Adata XPG SX8200 480 GB (NVMe), 3x Kingston SSDNow KC380 120 GB, Corsair MX100 128 GB, Spinpoint F3 1TB HDD, DVD writer, all inside a wood case I built, Dell U2412M 24", U2311H 23" IPS and Philips 150B4 15" monitors, wood-bodied mouse, Dvorak keyboard, openSUSE Tumbleweed, Windows 8.1 Pro in a VB VM inside Linux

I may occasionally give advice regarding (consumer) law, but it is only my opinion based on my reading – I am not a lawyer.

Romans 3:23; 6:23; 5:8; 10:9-10,13


#10

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Posted 16 May 2019 - 03:36 PM

Doesn't standby time basically mean the amount of time the phone can last on battery, assuming no network use or use of the phone of any kind? ie The most pointless measure imaginable when thinking about a phone?


Edited by lvmarv, 16 May 2019 - 03:37 PM.

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#11

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Posted 16 May 2019 - 07:13 PM

Yeah, but it is also the situation with the lowest current draw. If the battery discharges rapidly with only the standby current, it will have a very hard time with a significant load.


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I may occasionally give advice regarding (consumer) law, but it is only my opinion based on my reading – I am not a lawyer.

Romans 3:23; 6:23; 5:8; 10:9-10,13


#12

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Posted 17 May 2019 - 01:46 PM

So I took the phone in, explained the issues I had, and ended up getting a refund.

 

The shop assistant I spoke to was really good. He couldn't explain the charge count when I showed him so he got the manager out who said the app is incorrect. The manager also said I cant expect the batteries in phones manufactured years ago to perform the same as new ones, so I asked him why he was selling them then, to which he replied he would probably pull them soon even though I was "the only person who had an issue". This also gave me a nice avenue for a refund, which he accepted.

 

I'll probably look into a 2018/19 phone on the cheaper end of the spectrum, maybe casting the net wider than Samsung if I need to. I just want something basic and reliable with a better camera than my old galaxy core prime for $250-300. I'll also go with a different retailer, not because my experience with EInfo was bad, but because there were some things I couldn't explain which made me suspicious:

- manufacturer seal on box broken

- charger missing

- phone reported charger had been connected 289 times

- battery discharged very fast

 

Maybe it was all legit and I just got a bad battery, but I think I'll try somewhere else next time.

 

If anyone has any suggestions outside of samsung I'd be super grateful.

 

Edit: Looks like the Xiaomi Mi A2 Lite or the Samsung J6 Plus stack up well in terms of specs around this price range. I guess its one thing to find a good phone in this niche, but another dealing with a parallel importer...


Edited by TomSahz, 17 May 2019 - 02:18 PM.


#13

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Posted 17 May 2019 - 05:05 PM

Fair enough returning it. I'm pleased to hear that they were OK with doing that. The other option would have been to see if you could get a (new) replacement battery, but that's obviously a bit late now.

 

I don't really know much about what is on the market right now. When I was looking in a similar price range late last year it was suggested I get a second-hand Nexus 6P, which I did. It is pretty good, but I did replace the battery (not particularly hard, but not easy either).


Recommended Power Supplies Recommended review sites Why stores shouldn't be removed RAM voltage

i5 7400, Gigabyte GA-B250M-D3H, 16 GB DDR4, integrated graphics, Adata XPG SX8200 480 GB (NVMe), 3x Kingston SSDNow KC380 120 GB, Corsair MX100 128 GB, Spinpoint F3 1TB HDD, DVD writer, all inside a wood case I built, Dell U2412M 24", U2311H 23" IPS and Philips 150B4 15" monitors, wood-bodied mouse, Dvorak keyboard, openSUSE Tumbleweed, Windows 8.1 Pro in a VB VM inside Linux

I may occasionally give advice regarding (consumer) law, but it is only my opinion based on my reading – I am not a lawyer.

Romans 3:23; 6:23; 5:8; 10:9-10,13


#14

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Posted 17 May 2019 - 06:09 PM

i recently got a pixel 2 from dextech on trademe for around $220, this was a display unit verizon import (locked bootloader :( ) with screen burn of the G logo on the middle but i figured for that price it was worth it especially how i was able to sell my aging 1st gen pixel for half of that.

i wanted more storage from 32GB and the screen burn doesn't bother as i leave the screen on maps while driving anyway.

 

if you want to play the bidding game you can bid on the $1 reserves, the buy now prices are too high.

https://www.trademe..../stores/dextech



#15

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Posted 17 May 2019 - 09:24 PM

Look at something from Xiaomi or Huawei instead. They're cheaper for better than Samsung's budget phones, and you don't want to buy an old Android phone as they don't have new security updates and won't be supported for as long as a brand new phone from the time of your purchase.

 

You could check out the new Redmi 7 at $299 (can be had as low as $229, depending on retailer and variant - 32GB models are obviously cheaper than 64GB models, and colour options also change the price due to availability) or go super-budget with the Redmi Go at $159 (which goes all the way down to $119 for an 8GB model, though I'd highly advise against that - you should aim for absolutely no less than 32GB of storage).

 

Huawei has the Y6 Pro (make sure it's the 2019 version) or the Nova 2 Lite, both at $249 (the Nova 2 Lite can be had for as little as $229, it seems).

None of them are amazing, but they'll be a  better buy than an outdated flagship such as the S5 or S6.

 

My personal choice out of the aforementioned would be the Redmi 7. Xiaomi's budget phones tend to be really good for the price, and the Redmi 7 is no exception (plus, it runs on Android 9 (Pie) so it's up-to-date).

 

Also, buy from a reputable vendor. Even if it's a company like PB Tech who you may not be in love with (and I hear aren't always good at honouring the Consumer Guarantees Act, just like Noel Leeming and Harvey Norman), at least they're a known entity. 


Edited by TCJJ, 17 May 2019 - 09:27 PM.


#16

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Posted 19 May 2019 - 11:31 AM

Hey guys thanks for the replies. I was strongly considering the Xiaomi Mi A2 lite but now I've swung more in favour of the Galaxy a10. Specs are great, and it's 249 from JB so I'm going go ahead with that, probably today. I'll let you know how it goes.

#17

TomSahz
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Posted 20 May 2019 - 11:44 AM

Grabbed the A10 from JB - So happy with it!

 

Incredibly good value IMO, performs flawlessly, UI looks great. Camera is fantastic too. Battery is a champ!

 

I've only ever owned sub $300 phones, so bear that in mind when evaluating my comments, but honestly I'm very impressed.


Edited by TomSahz, 20 May 2019 - 11:45 AM.

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#18

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Posted 20 May 2019 - 12:18 PM

That's great!


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I may occasionally give advice regarding (consumer) law, but it is only my opinion based on my reading – I am not a lawyer.

Romans 3:23; 6:23; 5:8; 10:9-10,13


#19

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Posted 22 July 2019 - 08:40 PM

Cool thread! still unsure what to purchase but I've learned a lot here. Thanks


Edited by Gangreno, 22 July 2019 - 08:40 PM.


#20

TomSahz
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Posted 23 July 2019 - 05:26 PM

Cool thread! still unsure what to purchase but I've learned a lot here. Thanks

The Galaxy A10 is even cheaper for the Vodafone/2Degrees versions, $200 from most reputable stores. I'd highly recommend it if you're on one of those networks. Even at $249 I've been super impressed. Whats your budget?






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