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Thread: Which Used Android Phone For a Media Device?

  1. #1
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    Which Used Android Phone For a Media Device?

    Hello everyone,

    I am using a Samsung Galaxy S5 for a media device and GPS. I have a 128gb sd card in it and I pair it to different vehicle radios by bluetooth or directly by aux cable if the radio doesn't have bluetooth. The phone does not have a SIM card and it only connects to the internet when I get home and update Podcast Addict app.

    This has been working well for me for a couple years, but the phone is starting to get flaky (the screen refuses to light occasionally). It is also almost out of internal storage. It appears that all the updates over the years are ballooning the bloatware and mb by mb it is getting to the point where I won't be able to have the GPS on the phone (The application has no provisions to move it to the sd card).

    I am looking for advice on a cheap phone with a headphone jack, sd card slot and more internal storage than the S5 (16gb).

    Cheap is relative, obviously, but I paid $178 for the Pixel 3XL that is my current daily driver phone. I'd like to pay less than that for an older phone for use as a media device.

    Thoughts and advice gladly accepted.

  2. #2
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    I use my old phones for utilitarian things, but mine are all cheapies, old Tracfones and the like.

    If you don't have any preconceived notion of what to look for, and you don't have to stick with Samsung, you might look at some of the Motorola models that have large batteries for longevity, and large screens for better visuals if you use it for anything that requires it. Unlocked models can be had for less than $175 on Best Buy. As you no doubt know, locked prepaid ones are usually cheapest. Just remove the SIM if you don't want to activate it. That's what I usually do.

    I have a Moto e5 and an e6 and no experience with the G series but there are some with large screens and big batteries. You could pick one off for under 150, read the reviews at various sites to see if they might be what you want.

    Motorola Moto G Power Total Wireless locked version 129.99 seems to have some decent specs. 5000mAh battery and 6.4" screen. 4gb RAM, 64gb onboard storage.

    https://shop.totalwireless.com/shop/...power-xt2041dl

    The price rises steeply for an unlocked version. There are 32gb and 64gb versions, can see them at Best Buy website priced higher for unlocked Activate later or less for activate now. I use various sites for window shopping just to get ideas and to read the reviews.

    Hope you find what you want.

    Sent from my LGL423DL using HoFo mobile app

  3. #3
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    Here's a Tracfone locked Motorola G at HSN with a year's service for 119.99 and similar specs to the Total Wireless Moto. 5000mAh battery, 6.4" screen, 64gb on board storage, 4gb RAM. Type C cable.

    You may not want prepaid service but the it's 1500mins/1500messages, 1.5gb data, a year's service.

    Just an idea.

    https://www.hsn.com/products/motorol...ata-fo/9750600

    Sent from my LGL423DL using HoFo mobile app

  4. #4
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    I've bought several new & used Moto E4 (not E4+) XT1768's off of eBay for myself, as well as family and friends, for prices ranging from $40-$70. The "US Cellular" version is completely unlocked, but this isn't widely known, so they tend to go for less than one advertised explicitly as being unlocked.

    These include a micro-SD slot to supplement 16GB of internal flash, 2GB of RAM, analog headphone jack, and a removable battery. They are easily rootable using Lenovo's online unlocking tool, if you care about that. Root access makes these more flexible as LTE modems for USB tethering. The attached host can bring cellular connections up and down, control the routing table, etc. via ADB scripting, without ever having to touch the phone itself. Also, root-only software like "Battery Charge Limit" by Sl/\sh allows one to stay plugged into USB power semi-permanently without prematurely wearing out the battery (holding a lithium cell at 100% state-of-charge is chemically stressful).

    On the negative side, these E4's come with Android 7.1, are a little slow (Qualcomm versions, like the USC one less so than a MediaTek variant), have mediocre cameras, and their 5" 720x1280 screen certainly isn't the best, but for many purposes they're adequate. There is no message-notification LED-- for some reason Lenovo/Motorola doesn't believe in those, but the Tasker app can be set up to use the front LED flash as a (very bright!) substitute, or to turn on the screen backlight periodically, etc.

    They are missing the Gyroscope sensor that most phones have, so games depending on this won't work, nor will motion-based control gestures supported by most Moto phones, like the double-shake to enable the flashlight. There is an accelerometer for automatic portrait/landscape shifting.

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    WheelieBoot and fetcher, thank you for the information. I will be looking at those ideas.

    That Moto G is very intriguing. And, so is the used E4 since I am interested in rooting a phone (though, I bricked my Brigadier trying...), and it would make 16 gb internal sufficient for a while. I will research this.

    Any other thoughts are welcome!

    Thanks again.

  6. #6
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    https://www.howardforums.com/showthread.php?t=1922247

    Motorola Optimo Maxx mentioned in another thread is stated to be comparable to the Moto G I mentioned in previous posts here. A locked one would be cheaper. Tracfone has them.

    Amazon has the TF version for about 60, it has 5000 mAh battery, 32gb onboard memory, 3gb RAM, 6.2" screen.

    https://www.amazon.com/Tracfone-Moto.../dp/B07Y5TJPYR

    Sent from my moto e5 (XT1920DL) using HoFo mobile app

  7. #7
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    I went down the rabbit hole and found this comparison of the two phones..

    Thank you. I will continue to research.

  8. #8
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    Today toward the end of work my trusty S5 completely stopped displaying its screen. I can actually "use" the screen (Launch an app or start playing the podcast that is loaded) but the screen is black. No amount of rubbing or warming will bring it back. sigh.

    I have been perusing eBay and Amazon listings for Moto phones as they seem to have the essentials I want and a low cost point (for used/prepaid). They also seem to be rootable and possible LineageOS candidates.

    Since I have had my hand forced, I ended up buying an unlocked Amazoned Moto G7 for about $100. Minus my credit card points that came to $35 out of pocket and it will be in my hands on Sunday so I can load it with tunes and podcasts for work on Monday morning.

    Since it can be rooted, I can strip out the Amazon apps and other cruft if I need to and if it is actually a XT1962-1 I can load LineageOS on to it if I get brave. I can also use it as an emergency replacement phone if something happens to one of the others in the house since it is unlocked.

    I will update when I get the phone and see how wisely I have chosen.

    Thank you again for your input and advice. Feel free to add any thoughts or ideas.

  9. #9
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    Thanks for letting us know. I hope the phone proves to be what you need.


    Sent from my LGL423DL using HoFo mobile app

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