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Cheap Android phone recommendations

cybershot

Well-Known Member
I found myself needing an Android phone because I could hack Android Auto onto my car's infotainment system (mazda 3) which is obviously useless without an Android phone. I'm an iPhone user so wanted to spend as little as possible on a device without it being unbearably slow and too low on internal memory. A difficult ask.

Yesterday I went to Argos as I'm an impatient bugger, and picked up at first an Alba 4, it didn't even get to the choose wifi network screen on setup, just sat at the 'just a sec' screen for 2 hours. Good start, already finding Android to be a thorn in my side. Sent it back, didn't have another in stock, so they exchanged it for a Alcatel, or something. Turned out after I powered it on it had 4GB less internal storage than the previous choice, it was also terribly slow, the screen felt crap, and in the end I decided this phone was not worth £25, let alone £50 so back that went too.

Being slightly more patient as I have Amazon prime I ordered a Blackview A7 for £52.99 from Amazon. I think I finally made a good choice.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B074M7S6CW/ref=psdc_356496011_t1_B07BCVWQ3X

For what I will use it for, which is basically, tethering data off my iPhone to run Android Auto with Google Maps/Waze/Google Play Music/Spotify & radio apps, it does the job. It would probably do social media fine as well. Camera is ok, has headphone jack, 2 sim card slots and can take micro sd to 32GB which I'd suggest you put something in there if you made it your daily phone.

Downsides: It's 3G only, but I'm not using a SIM in it, so I don't care. Seems you can move almost nothing to the SD card app wise. I have about 3GB free still after installing all the above. Android still seems too 'faffy' and while I can see the appeal for some, it's not for me.

If you're after a mega cheap phone and won't install loads of apps and don't need loads of internal storage space it's worth a look, and with distance selling regs or whatever it's called these days, if you don't like it before 14 days, just send it back!

Of course if you have a bit more patience than me, you can probably still get something even better for £50 if you're prepared to order from China!
FWIW I returned the A7 and swapped it for an A10. Which is essentially the same phone as the A7 except has an extra GB of RAM and an extra 8GB of internal storage and this one has a fingerprint sensor for an extra £8!

It loses the dual camera lenses which I never used and to be fair I doubt it was any good.

I’m quite impressed with these
Blackviews. The stock rom is pretty basic. No bloat. Some lite versions of browsers and file storage etc. Looks like the same suite that would come with the lineage OS custom ROM.

They do some more expensive models and if I was in the market for spending more on a android phone. I’d certainly be prepared to give a more expensive blackview a go, especially knowing with amazon the returns process is pretty easy and generally no quibbles. The a7 refund was issued same day as I posted the parcel in amazon credit as I knew I’d just be spending it again on the different model.

There’s English speaking support forums on their site and they do seem to post updates to fix stuff. Although I wouldn’t hold my breath on newer major versions of android than what it ships with, but if you’re spending £60 - £150 then it’s not so much a bitter pill to swallow.
 
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Chz

Stark Raving Sane
I can see that. The SoC is still slower than molasses, but 2GB of RAM makes it quite usable for general purposes (rather than the single use you bought it for) I'd imagine. I'd say it's well worth the extra £8!
 

Idaho

blah blah blah
Ok, to replace my 4 year old samsung s5, I have the option of:

Huawei p smart
Samsung j6
Samsung s8

Any opinions from people who know about this? I am leaning toward the s8 as I have had Samsung s series phones for 7 years and they've always been good.
 

Chz

Stark Raving Sane
Nice hardware, import only, new and glitchy as fuck right now. It's a fair bit more powerful than the ~£200 phones for not a lot more, but it's also questionable whether anything needs to be more powerful than the current batch of ~£200 phones.
 

Rosemary Jest

Wrong and Unstable
I got a Cubot P20 recently, it's got 4 GB ram and 64 GB of storage, so more than enough and was just 140 quid delivered from the UK, so came pretty quick.

Does everything I need and will go sim only once my current contract runs out in a couple of months. My previous phone was a LG K8 and was useless in terms of storage. Had 8gb so I could only put 2 apps on it before it was full. :(

The irony is, I've now got 64 GB in my phone and another 64 on an SD card and am only using 12 GB in total... Still, at least it's there if I need it!
 

tommers

Not just a little bit of a slag, but a total slag.
Pocophone arrived yesterday. It's great. I ran it next to my Redmi Note 4 and it's much quicker. Nicer screen, decent camera (I'm no expert). 128GB storage and 6GB RAM. Feels like the first decent phone I've owned (although the Redmi felt like that too).

Feel like I should do more stuff with it but not sure what. :)
 

Miss-Shelf

I'll meet you further on up the road
Pocophone arrived yesterday. It's great. I ran it next to my Redmi Note 4 and it's much quicker. Nicer screen, decent camera (I'm no expert). 128GB storage and 6GB RAM. Feels like the first decent phone I've owned (although the Redmi felt like that too).

Feel like I should do more stuff with it but not sure what. :)
Where did you get it from?
 

tommers

Not just a little bit of a slag, but a total slag.
Where did you get it from?
Gear Best. Took about three weeks I think.

It was about 250 for the 64GB version and 280 for the 128.

Figured if it lasts two years then it's about a tenner a month.

Xiaomi have just launched in the UK with 3 but not sure if they sell this phone or how much it is there.
 

tommers

Not just a little bit of a slag, but a total slag.
Although have just seen that they are now on sale on Amazon, for about 60 quid more.

Did realise this morning that my mobile data wasn't working but I just needed to set up the access point details.

I also never had 4G on my last phone and I can't seem to connect with this either. Virgin assure me that it's all set up correctly and should work but it tells me I'm not authorised when I try to connect to the network. Probably more of a virgin thing than the phone.
 

Idaho

blah blah blah
Still haven't got a replacement for this s5, and now I've cracked the screen and the speaker is dying.

Been looking at these xiaomi and other budget phones... But it's just a cascade of tedious technical specifications.

My priorities are :

Stability
Robustness
Longevity
Battery life

That's about it. Don't care about fingerprint scanners, advanced cameras, gaming, fancy screens. I just need a workhorse. Any nominations for around £200?
 

Rosemary Jest

Wrong and Unstable
I got a Cubot P20 recently, it's got 4 GB ram and 64 GB of storage, so more than enough and was just 140 quid delivered from the UK, so came pretty quick.

Does everything I need and will go sim only once my current contract runs out in a couple of months. My previous phone was a LG K8 and was useless in terms of storage. Had 8gb so I could only put 2 apps on it before it was full. :(

The irony is, I've now got 64 GB in my phone and another 64 on an SD card and am only using 12 GB in total... Still, at least it's there if I need it!
Still haven't got a replacement for this s5, and now I've cracked the screen and the speaker is dying.

Been looking at these xiaomi and other budget phones... But it's just a cascade of tedious technical specifications.

My priorities are :

Stability
Robustness
Longevity
Battery life

That's about it. Don't care about fingerprint scanners, advanced cameras, gaming, fancy screens. I just need a workhorse. Any nominations for around £200?
See my post above, pretty pleased with phone so far, does everything I need and more for 140 quid. I think you may be able to get something slightly better if you order from China but for a similar price and a few weeks delivery. I think John Lewis even sell the Cubot, worth a look at imo.
 

izz

Madam, to you. :-P.
Hello, I'm pondering a Huawei p smart, I'm pondering buying it and putting my PAYG SIM into it. I have been informed that I need a contract in order to use the WiFi calling and text features, is this correct ? If so, is there any technical reason why this should be so ?
 

iona

makes George Orwell look like a dalek
Hello, I'm pondering a Huawei p smart, I'm pondering buying it and putting my PAYG SIM into it. I have been informed that I need a contract in order to use the WiFi calling and text features, is this correct ? If so, is there any technical reason why this should be so ?
Think that's a network thing rather than a technical phone thing.
 
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mauvais

change has become unavoidable
Additionally you may need to buy the phone from, or at least on, the relevant network, i.e. not SIM-free or branded with another network.
 
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izz

Madam, to you. :-P.
Think that's a network thing rather than a technical phone thing.
I think so too. This is interesting as I'm pondering doing this in order to stay with O2 who provide some, patchy cover where we live.
 

mauvais

change has become unavoidable
I think so too. This is interesting as I'm pondering doing this in order to stay with O2 who provide some, patchy cover where we live.
With O2 you definitely need a contract and an O2 branded phone. It might be possible to flash branded firmware onto an unbranded phone but, aside from it needing technical knowledge, I'm not sure if it works. Someone at work was doing this so I'll check to see if it's happened yet and how they got on.
 

UnderAnOpenSky

baseline neural therapy
Still haven't got a replacement for this s5, and now I've cracked the screen and the speaker is dying.

Been looking at these xiaomi and other budget phones... But it's just a cascade of tedious technical specifications.

My priorities are :

Stability
Robustness
Longevity
Battery life

That's about it. Don't care about fingerprint scanners, advanced cameras, gaming, fancy screens. I just need a workhorse. Any nominations for around £200?
Just bumped an old thread, but Nokia 8 fits the bill nicely for this. Only thing I really miss from my S8 is the camera, but it's quite passable by modern standards and feels well made.
 

UnderAnOpenSky

baseline neural therapy
Dad has decided he wants a smartphone. Mostly I suspect to look at my sisters Instagram feed.

Anyway was looking at a Honor 9 Lite as OH is fairly happy with hers and the price has come down a little. Any better suggestions for £125?
 

Throbbing Angel

Gabba Gabba-pentin

UnderAnOpenSky

baseline neural therapy
Yeah, more then it's worth paying for a full fat version. I'm still not totally convinced he will use it, but he has decided he wants one and to give him a fighting chance it's worth having something that isn't to sluggish and fustrating.
 

Badgers

Mr Big Shrimp!
My Samsung Note 4 is really creaking now. Still working just well enough to stave off replacing it but the writing is on the wall :(

So I want a big screen note phone with as much storage/spec as possible to replace it. Not Apple for the usual reasons ;) and not got a huge budget so although a Samsung Note 9 would be nice it is out of my range.

Not getting a contract again as I paid £1,200 for this one on contract over 24 months :facepalm:

Xiaomi seems the best spec for buck? Been having a look online and hard to work out what is best

Huawei also look decent? Are they a big enough step up from Xiaomi to justify the higher cost?

Any recommendations?
 
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