Phone Death
February 19, 2019 2:43 PM   Subscribe

My Pixel 1 seems to be slowly dying. I am going to need a replacement probably but I had no plans to replace it for 2 years. I need options.

My screen is intermittently alternating between being black and non-responsive and gray pixelated and non-responsive though calls, sounds, and unlocking through fingerprint works fine.

1. I tried Google support but I'm way far out of warranty and I won't get anything worthy for trade in due to this.
2. I've tried every fix possible, so no suggestions for that.
3. I planned on keeping it 4 years (only been 2) and I'm having to pay some other high, unexpected costs so I'm weary to pay $800+ but I do need a phone and enjoy the perks that top of the line phones bring.
4. I had an iPhone 5 for 4 years and was so happy to go Android! I loved my Pixel like my own child but the current iPhone range is way more than I want to pay but I'd consider an older model.

What are some good suggestions for a replacement? I'm weary to get another Pixel even though that's where my heart is.
posted by Aranquis to Technology (16 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Could you try the repair route? A replacement screen with digitizer currently lists for $120 with tools at iFixit. It is a challenging job relative to other phones, but much less so if you aren't concerned about breaking the original screen, since it seems to already be on the fritz. Go ahead and replace the battery while you are in there for another $28. That total is a lot better than the new price tag, but it does also approach the prices I have seen on refurbished original Pixels which presumably do not have fresh batteries. Ask a handy friend if you don't feel comfortable or a repair shop but I could only speculate on their rates. Other than battery wear, I think it is still a great phone.
posted by metroidhunter at 3:00 PM on February 19

Can't repair. Have a tremor and no friends.
posted by Aranquis at 3:04 PM on February 19

So I've had a Pixel 1 repaired and it's only sort of cost-effective. The trouble is that the batteries don't last forever - I had the modem repaired which was great but now the phone only has half a day of battery life.

I've never had an Android phone that's lasted nearly 4 years. A couple years is a good run. 3 years is usually pushing the battery.

Anyway, you can try Google's own mail-in Pixel repair center which is probably less $$ than a new phone, but who knows how much until you send it in and you'll be without it for a couple weeks.
posted by GuyZero at 3:13 PM on February 19 [2 favorites]

The pixel 2 is wonderful. Really wonderful. I highly recommend staying in the Pixel ecosystem. The Pixel 3, however, isn't great, so I'd skip that iteration.
posted by Hermione Granger at 3:19 PM on February 19

If you're looking for a top-of-the-line phone, probably your best option is the OnePlus 6T. It's not cheap but the base model is $550, which is significantly cheaper than a flagship Samsung or Pixel phone. It is highly regarded by the folks at ArsTechnica, whom I generally trust for tech reviews.
posted by number9dream at 3:20 PM on February 19 [2 favorites]

Posted too soon. Let me add that my wife just got one and is quite happy with it.
posted by number9dream at 3:22 PM on February 19

Yeah the Pixel 2 is still really great if you don't care about the headphone jack and is only $550 currently.
posted by GuyZero at 3:24 PM on February 19

Have you checked out the used phones on Swappa? There are some reasonably priced Pixel 2s.
posted by wocka wocka wocka at 4:01 PM on February 19 [1 favorite]

I switched from a Pixel to a second-hand iPhone 8. It's... okay. The camera is disappointing. The app ecosystem is not as good. But Apple has a far superior privacy policy, and far superior support, and I expect this phone to last longer than my Pixel did. The Pixel was a paperweight after 20 months.
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl at 4:05 PM on February 19

I’m a bit unclear from your point 4 if you are willing to go back to iPhones, but I’ll just say that I recently got a perfect-condition iPhone 6s (the last model with the headphone jack) for $150 on eBay. There were tons of them available for $200 or less, I just waited a few days to find a seller with great reviews and detailed-enough photos of the phone in the listing (including IMEI number and battery life). You could consider doing the same for a used Pixel too.
posted by danceswithlight at 4:19 PM on February 19

If you want a replacement Android phone that’s cheaper than a new Pixel but has some of the same advantages, consider a Nokia 7.1. For US$350 you can get a new phone that's comparable in specs to the Pixel 1, and is part of Google’s “Android One” program which means it runs regular Android with no embellishments and gets full update support for 2 years (and security updates for some time after that). The Nokia 6.1 is even cheaper but its camera is not as good.
posted by mbrubeck at 4:34 PM on February 19 [2 favorites]

I would look at the OnePlus 6 or 6T. Materially less cost (~$600) new, runs OnePlus' own version of pretty much stock Android Pie, big online community for advice, tips, suggestions, solutions, etc. It is a larger than the Pixel phone. About the size of the Pixel XL or whatever they call the larger version.

I have both a 1st gen Pixel and a OnePlus (Also a Nexus 5X). I like them both and they both have really nice versions of Android. No manufacturer bloatware of special skin like Galaxy. With the Glaxy 10 on the way, there will probably be some very good deals on the Galaxy S9 too.

My OnePlus One, still is up and running after 4 years. I use it without a sim card at home to cast to my TVs and internet browsing. I mention this because for all the abuse this OnePlus phone has taken over the 4 years, it still runs solid as a rock. Slower than a new phone, but solid. I think you can get 3 or 4 years of daily driver use out of a OnePlus.
posted by AugustWest at 8:59 PM on February 19

I always recommens htc phones for durability. We have numerous htc one handsets still being used at work and I think that phone came out in 2011. My M8 lasted 6 years and in the end the (original) battery just gave out the phone itself worked fine. You can get a new U11 for $500 or a used one for $250.
posted by fshgrl at 11:50 PM on February 19

Slightly different recommendation: I have a Xiaomi Mi Mix 2S, can be had for $400. Great phone. Only weird thing is the selfie camera, but I never use that.

I've almost gone OnePlus so many times since the 2, but it's always been not quite what I'm looking for.
posted by booooooze at 5:44 AM on February 20

Google has a trade-in program if you buy an updated phone from them. Take a look at that, I'm pretty sure there's a calculator with a "not working" option. I was happy with a Pixel 2 XL, but I traded it in to upgrade to a Pixel 3 XL and I'm much happier with the new phone. You might find the Pixel 3 to be a good upgrade. Or you might not, it's a polarizing phone.
posted by Tehhund at 6:31 AM on February 20

Seconding eBay - Refurbished Pixel 1s are going for 110-150 USD. I got one a few months ago and all is well!
posted by mustardayonnaise at 11:24 AM on February 20

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