Smart Phone Choices
December 28, 2011 2:29 PM   Subscribe

I use Verizon Wireless and my two years are up on one of my phones and I am looking to keep the cost under $100. I can get a refurbished Samsung Fascinate for $19.99 and it looks like a good phone. I can also get Samsung Stratosphere or a Droid X2 for $99.99. With my two year plan those look like my three best buys. Are the refurbished phones ever worth a darn? I bought a refurbished laptop over three years ago and it's running great still. All three are rated high and look OK but another few opinions won't hurt.
posted by zzazazz to Technology (18 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
i love my droid 2 and my husband loves his droid x. if i were replacing my phone today i'd get another droid, i think.
posted by nadawi at 2:33 PM on December 28, 2011

If Apple's devices interest you, the 8GB iPhone 4 on Verizon is $99.99.
posted by RichardP at 2:33 PM on December 28, 2011

My husband has had a refurb Droid X for about a year with just a few complaints. The battery life is not-so-good, but I think that may be true of most cellphones. Also, it gets warm when you use the GPS for more than a half hour. Other than that, it's great.

I'd seriously consider RichardP's suggestion of an iPhone, though.
posted by desjardins at 2:44 PM on December 28, 2011

Only the Fascinate is refurbished. The Stratosphere and X2 are both new.

That Iphone is looking pretty tempting...
posted by zzazazz at 2:47 PM on December 28, 2011

I got an 8 gig iPhone for $50 thanks to the Verizon discount. Don't buy any accessories-that's where they get you
posted by glaucon at 2:55 PM on December 28, 2011

My first iPhone 4 (on AT&T) was buggy so I exchanged it at the Apple Store for a "new" one (AFAIK, all of these replacements are actually refurbished phones). It was in like-new condition and has worked like a charm for the past year.
posted by puritycontrol at 3:03 PM on December 28, 2011

Apple refurbished phones are good to go. In addition to whatever warranty Verizon provides, you get the original warranty period from the original phone's purchase date from Apple (which could be an entire year). I've purchased my share of Apple refurbs for myself and others, and they are pretty indistinguishable from the brand new phones.
posted by meowzilla at 3:04 PM on December 28, 2011

I have the Samsung Stratosphere. I got it because it was the first 4G phone on Verizon with a physical keyboard. 4G speed rocks and the keyboard is great. I will say that it's on the heavy side, and chews through the battery fast, but otherwise I like it fine.
posted by gingerbeer at 3:06 PM on December 28, 2011

I've worked in a refurbing operation for a regional carrier. Go with new if at all possible.

I would be okay with an Apple refurb (knowing their QC standards), but anyone else's phones are just too much of a gamble, no matter how cheap it is.
posted by chrisfromthelc at 3:09 PM on December 28, 2011

I got my droid x2 on release and love it. If you go with it make sure to check out the relevant xda developer boards.
posted by dstopps at 4:04 PM on December 28, 2011

I'd probably go iPhone or HTC Trophy. For $29, the latter has great reviews and a critically lauded OS. And the former is an iPhone for under a hundred bucks.
Nothing wrong with android, naturally, but those are pretty sweet deals on non-refurb phones.
posted by willpie at 4:23 PM on December 28, 2011

The $99.99 iPhone is a good deal. I have the iPhone my wife has an Samsung Infuze. She has nothing but complaints about it especially battery life. In my opinion the iPhone offers a much better experience all around.
posted by jmsta at 4:38 PM on December 28, 2011

Lots of people around me have the iphone and it is an amazing device, but when my daughter wants to watch a movie while waiting in line, or play games she likes the bigger screen, and even with the awesome resolution of the iphone i really like not having to squint to read on my droidx2
posted by dstopps at 4:47 PM on December 28, 2011

The Droid X2 is one of Verizon's 2 best phones (the other is the HTC Incredible 2 which I mega heart). I would go with that one, especially since you don't have to risk it since it's new.
posted by DoubleLune at 5:07 PM on December 28, 2011

The fascinate is a great phone if you choose to get it. Roots well, is fast, and for 19.99, I would totally do it. I paid close to 300 for it just over a year ago.
posted by sushi69 at 6:45 PM on December 28, 2011 [1 favorite]

Amazon Wireless is amazing for this kind of thing. For instance, I was able to pick up the new flagship Galaxy Nexus for $150. They usually has a good selection of new phones on sale with a new 2-year contract, and if you're looking for a specific phone it usually will come up for a penny in a month or two. Just looking at their current list there seems to be a decent selection of mid-to-high end phones like the Droid Bionic and Thunderbolt for $50 or less.
posted by zombieflanders at 6:08 AM on December 29, 2011

I was going to come in to second Amazon Wireless. I just got the Galaxy Nexus last week as well at more than $100 less than what Verizon was offering it for. I think the only downside is that you have to keep your phone for 6 months or a clause in the Amazon contract states that you have to pay them $150 on top of any early termination for Verizon. That's not a problem for me, but Verizon kept bringing it up when I talked to them as a reason why I should buy from them instead.
posted by kookywon at 7:51 AM on December 29, 2011

Thanks for the input. I went ahead and got the Iphone for $99.
posted by zzazazz at 9:59 AM on December 29, 2011

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