My wife said I can buy a new phone
June 18, 2017 9:21 AM   Subscribe

My father's day present is encouragement to replace my ageing LG G2 phone. What do I want to replace it with?

Pertinent details:

T-Mobile , so GSM

Budget: $250 neighborhood, unlocked / certified pre-owned or similar would be fine. Not interested in iOS - staying with Android.

Use case: Not a power user. Do little to no gaming on phone. Good camera is important, don't really want to get up into phablet land where one handed use is impossible. It's primarily a communication device for me, email / text / Twitter / Facebook / and music and podcasts when in car.

Initial thought is to pick up unlocked LG G4 or G5 on Amazon, as I've been happy with the G2, it's just that it has trouble multi-tasking now without significant delays in switching apps.

What other devices should I take a close look at?
posted by COD to Computers & Internet (16 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Nexus 5X, also made by LG. Might be a bit large, but it's still significantly smaller than, say, the Nexus 6P :)
posted by floatboth at 10:22 AM on June 18, 2017

The Moto G has long been considered the best budget Android smartphone. I had a good experience using one a few years ago. Wirecutter agrees.
posted by General Malaise at 10:23 AM on June 18, 2017 [1 favorite]

The HTC 10 is currently available from Sprint for $240. That's an outright purchase; you don't need to get Sprint service on it but can use it with T-Mobile (might need a new SIM at most). I have a 10 and it's a quite nice phone. I paid a lot more for mine, though.
posted by kindall at 10:46 AM on June 18, 2017

Also, I would avoid the LG G4 and G5 due to the bootlooping problems. A fair number of them just one day decide to start rebooting and rebooting and rebooting. I had two G4s that did that.
posted by kindall at 10:48 AM on June 18, 2017 [3 favorites]

Belay that: Sprint does want you to sign up for service to get that price on an HTC 10. You can get them to unlock the phone and cancel service eventually if you want to stick with T-Mobile.
posted by kindall at 11:03 AM on June 18, 2017

In that price range you can't beat the Nexus 5x's camera. Though, there is the bootlooping issue.
posted by gregr at 11:16 AM on June 18, 2017

I used a Moto g for a year or so (and then my wife used it for a year) and we were both underwhelmed by the camera. The camera on the Moto x pure from a year or so ago was much better (and what my wife currently uses). I'm now on the budget busting pixel because the camera is really that much better than the rest.
posted by noloveforned at 11:22 AM on June 18, 2017

Like kindall, I had a LG G4 bootloop and found it pretty devastating. Other than that problem, I loved the phone. But I do want to encourage you away from the LG G4 (and its close cousin the V10 which also has bootloop problems reported). I have no experience with the G5 or G6. The G6 and V20 are definitely phablet-sized.
posted by possibilityleft at 11:43 AM on June 18, 2017

Also, I would avoid the LG G4 and G5 due to the bootlooping problems.

This is true for the Nexus 5x, as well. Loved that phone until it bootlooped and died.
posted by notyou at 11:51 AM on June 18, 2017 [1 favorite]

I've read that the new Moto G5 Plus camera is pretty good.
posted by sockpup at 11:55 AM on June 18, 2017

Just got a cheap substitute phone on Friday so I can go out of town Wednesday. My beloved LG G3 entered the dreaded boot loop and died an unholy death. I've been told by tech savvy friends and even the gal at AT&T that ALL versions have this problem. I can't tell you what I'm going to go with eventually, but it won't be an LG, even if it's a great phone (until it bricks.)
posted by BlueHorse at 4:53 PM on June 18, 2017

Definitely don't get a Nexus 5X.... I loved mine too, until it started bootlooping. Luckily I got a refund from Google. I'd recommend a Moto phone in your situation.
posted by barnoley at 5:45 PM on June 18, 2017

I used the Moto G4 for a while and recently got the G5 Plus. Solid, reliable phones with decent cameras, but that's not a huge consideration for me, so YMMV. As others have noted it's been received warmly by reviewers.
posted by invokeuse at 7:28 PM on June 18, 2017

I just got my wife a Moto G5 to replace her smartphone. It's a decent-enough phone, but the camera is not good.

On the other hand, I'm comparing it with my Nexus 6P, which has an amazing camera (it's actually the software). I also encountered a bootloop issue with the 6P. While it was getting fixed I had a Samsung 6S loaner, which I hated. The camera, which got good reviews, was nowhere near as good as the 6P.

So, I don't think you'll find a good camera on any smartphone outside of the 6P, Pixel or iPhone.
posted by My Dad at 7:28 PM on June 18, 2017

Our LG G4 had the best camera I've ever used on a phone. Our night shots from Osaka and Tokyo are glorious.

Until, like others above, it f*&^ing bootlooped and died. It developed a split screen glitch before that.

So no, don't get the LG G4.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 8:01 PM on June 18, 2017

Ordered a Moto G Plus this AM. All phones in my price range have tradeoffs, but I can live with that. Thanks all.
posted by COD at 6:50 AM on June 19, 2017 [1 favorite]

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