what is my new phone?
September 15, 2019 4:26 AM   Subscribe

My much beloved Samsung S5 mini is on it's last legs. What's my next phone?

I've had my phone for a long time now- probably four years, and it's been running pretty well. But I dropped it earlier this year and the back cover doesn't fit anymore (I've got a cover on it instead of the back cover plate), it's running slow, and the camera doesn't work any more. (I can still take selfies though!)

Things I like about this phone:
It's pretty tough.
It's small enough to fit into my pocket.
It has an IR blaster so I can use it as a remote. (I know this is something that isn't included much these days, and am willing to let this go.)
It's an android.

I'm in regional/rural Australia so the phone needs to be available on the Telstra network and have good reception.

My husband has the S10 and it's frankly too big for me. I like my little phone for my little hands.

There are kind of a two kinds of answers for this question:
I'm finding the fact that I need a new phone super overwhelming*, because I haven't really followed phones for the last 4 years. If you could recommend a successor, that's amazing!
If you can give me some pointers on how to find a good phone, that would be good too.

Bonus extra- can I do something to fix this phone and keep using it? I would love to do that.

*assorted life stuff also contributing to the much overwhelm.
posted by freethefeet to Technology (7 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
My 3 year old phone got wet and died. Moto XT 1575. I started to research phones, but it's so time-consuming. So I bought a used duplicate of it. No learning curve. I used swappa, but you have eBay, probably similar used tech sites.

I had already ordered a new battery, and had it installed in the new-to-me phone.
posted by theora55 at 6:02 AM on September 15, 2019

Thanks for the thought, but I do want to upgrade, I think. I'd like something with a bit more processor/ram. The laggyness of this device is starting to get old.
posted by freethefeet at 6:15 AM on September 15, 2019

The iPhone SE has a devoted following amongst people that prefer smaller smartphones. I actually just bought an iPhone SE yesterday on swappa.com for $69. The iPhone SE is guaranteed to receive security updates for another year until September 2020. There are rumors that Apple will release another smaller form smartphone in 2020.
posted by mundo at 7:19 AM on September 15, 2019 [1 favorite]

Gsmarena.com is a pretty good resource to see what sub models are compatable with different countries networks and carriers and comparing features, sizes, etc. Motorola is a pretty good brand on the cheaper side of the spectrum that has most phones compatable worldwide.
posted by Short End Of A Wishbone at 9:13 AM on September 15, 2019

The S10e is the small model S10.

I had great luck with a Moto X. I would have gone back for another Motorola phone except for special circumstances.
posted by SemiSalt at 10:04 AM on September 15, 2019

I'd like to weigh in with a dis-recommendation: don't get any of the Nokia models between 5.1 and 7.1. Despite the 6.1 being recommended by The Wirecutter as the "best budget Android," these phones have a known design flaw with a loose charging port that gradually becomes less and less functional until the phone doesn't charge anymore. I got mine in hopes of getting something on the smaller/cheaper/more durable side, but I've already had to send it in for weeks-long warranty repair and I haven't even owned it for six months yet. The 8.1 may not have this issue, but given my experience I wouldn't personally trust it.
posted by ourobouros at 11:59 AM on September 15, 2019 [2 favorites]

Thanks everyone. I ended up tossing up between the Samsung S10E (the smaller version of the flagship) and the Google Pixel 3a- ended up with the Pixel. It was not cheap, but not the most expensive version, and thankfully were able to get a nice discount.

It's odd (and cool) to be rocking the very latest Android, though!
posted by freethefeet at 3:44 AM on October 4, 2019 [1 favorite]

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