Phone Woe Decision Tree Needed
December 1, 2016 8:44 AM   Subscribe

I have phone screen issues that are making phone life very difficult. Should I suck it up until I can upgrade in May 2017? Should I pay to get the screen fixed? Should I get a refurbished phone for the mean time?

I have Samsung S5 that we got in May 2015. Since that time, I've dropped it twice and had the screen replaced, twice. I can't say definitively that it hasn't had any water damage, but I can say that I haven't dropped it in water or other liquids. For the past several months, the screen has been freezing periodically and usually at really inconvenient times. Now, it is acting up when I'm using the phone, particularly retrieving voice mails.

I have freed up a lot of memory just in case this was the issue. But, I am more and more convinced that there is something worse going on and it can only be fixed by replacing the screen. So, I need a decision tree on whether to suck it up until 5/2017 when I can upgrade through Verizon, pay to have the screen replaced (again!), or get a refurbished, used phone off eBay in the interim.

Other data points: I am not interested in Apple products, I am not interested in switching from Verizon, I have no landline or other phone so it is critical that I have a working phone, and I'd like to do this as inexpensively as possible.
posted by tafetta, darling! to Technology (4 answers total)
I had a Samsung Galaxy S5 that would freeze and lag something horrible. The only thing that would fix it would be to restart the phone/pull the battery out. Does this describe your problem?

Unfortunately, my solution was to replace/upgrade to a Galaxy S7. (In my case, I took advantage of my carrier's Black Friday sale)

You might try calling Verizon and see if they have any options for you.

Also, on my radio recently, they've been advertising a samsung care truck that roams around and can answer questions.
posted by INFJ at 8:58 AM on December 1, 2016 [1 favorite]

You're like me, you're hard on phones, and new phones, while fun, are a bit of a waste of money because I end up damaging it pretty soon after getting. I think you need to just get a functioning used phone off of ebay or kijiji or whatever and have that be your new life. Screw the upgrade. You SHOULD be able to get a discount on your monthly bill if you don't upgrade and therefore are no longer paying for the actual device any longer.

but for real, just stick to used. If you drop it down the stairwell and have it shatter into a million pieces, well, there's 50 bucks. get another used one. lather rinse repeat. In the long run you will spend a LOT less. People switch their phones so often these days that there are a LOT of perfectly good, perfectly working phones out there for sale for chump change. Nothing wrong with them other than that they aren't the newest iteration.
posted by PuppetMcSockerson at 9:05 AM on December 1, 2016 [1 favorite]

Get a refurb. You'll pay as much or less than you would for a screen repair. I recommend the Moto G - not horribly expensive, not loaded with crapware and it's a pretty decent phone. Make sure you get a Verizon version (4G as well, the first generations are 3G phones), and then call customer service so they can help you switch.
posted by azpenguin at 1:14 PM on December 1, 2016

Amazon sells some totally acceptable phones brand new unlocked phones for $60. Slightly nicer phone for $100.

If you aren't getting the screen replaced by Samsung the screen's glass is really low quality, so once you have a replacement you're way way more likely to break the glass.
posted by gregr at 1:38 PM on December 1, 2016

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