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Thread: Any mini phones that support 3G for calls?

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    Any mini phones that support 3G for calls?

    I need a small phone for a backup device for my Tru SIM just to make and receive calls, not SMS or data.
    There are tiny phones on Amazon the size of a thick credit card with good reviews.
    However they tend to be quad-band GSM (2G) only.
    As 2G starts to get wound down it will be less useful and I imagine WCDMA/UMTS support will be necessary.

    Does anyone know what the smallest phone with a large range of calling frequencies is?

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    There's a few 3g phones that fit the ticket.

    One idea is a mini smartphone ($70-$110 is a fair price). Normally quad band 2g plus tri-band 3g (800 and 1900 3g for at&t us plus 2100 mhz for limited foreign 3g; t-mo US would be mostly 2g other than a few 1900 mhz 3g areas they cover) http://www.ebay.com/itm/New-Mini-Sma...MAAOSw5dNWk4iR

    Other idea would be a 3g watch phone but beware some operate only on 3g for non-US frequencies.

    Or how about buying an unlocked (or easily unlockable) T-mo or AT&T prepaid flip phone or candy bar phone? Many are sub $50.

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    For AT&T 3G you need UMTS 850 mHz (band 5) and/or 1900 mHz (band 2). For T-Mo you need 1700/2100 (band 4) or, in their "refarmed" areas, 1900 mHz (band 2). So you probably want a phone that supports at least bands 2 and 5. More would be nice for international use. A typical international phone from around 2008-2010 would be 3G 850/1900/2100. These often sell used or refurbished for $30-50. I probably don't need to mention this, but be sure you get one that's unlocked.

    Phonearena has a search function ("phone finder") that lets you set limits on size, style, band support, and so on. Be careful though, I find that it often digs up phones with fewer bands than I asked for; it seems to act more like an OR than an AND.

    Phones are also sometimes frequency-customized for different carriers. Before you buy, check with the vendor for the individual specs for that very phone.

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    Quote Originally Posted by barryspar View Post
    I need a small phone for a backup device for my Tru SIM just to make and receive calls, not SMS or data.
    I used to keep a flip phone for that purpose. It was cheap, compact, and had a long battery life. Then I switched to a smartwatch because it looked like it would be more convienant. I became hooked, it was much easier to wear a phone than to carry one. Unfortunately, the manufacters haven't realized this, so it's far from perfect in execution. As a result, I'm on my third watch.

    Here's the state of the industry as of March 2016. There are a ton of cheap ($25-100) Chinese phonewatches, most of them are 2G, a few have 3G capability via the 850 band that AT&T uses. There may be one that has the 1900 band but its just been released so jury is still out. Beyond the radios, there are other issues: quality control is bad, battery life is marginal, in general, execution is poor. Unless you're willing to spend the time and money diving into this abyss, I suggest avoiding them. From the major manufacturers, there are only three models currently available that take a SIM and are therefore capable of phone calls independently: Samsung Gear S and S2, and the just re-released LG Urbane 2. In addition to being pricey, all of them have serious shortcomings (beyond the scope of this post) not the least of which is still requiring a smartphone for setup.

    Regardless of what direction you take, remember that shrinking components requires costly engineering, so we can pick any two: small, cheap, or good.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GadgetKen View Post
    There's a few 3g phones that fit the ticket.

    One idea is a mini smartphone ($70-$110 is a fair price). Normally quad band 2g plus tri-band 3g (800 and 1900 3g for at&t us plus 2100 mhz for limited foreign 3g; t-mo US would be mostly 2g other than a few 1900 mhz 3g areas they cover) http://www.ebay.com/itm/New-Mini-Sma...MAAOSw5dNWk4iR

    Other idea would be a 3g watch phone but beware some operate only on 3g for non-US frequencies.

    Or how about buying an unlocked (or easily unlockable) T-mo or AT&T prepaid flip phone or candy bar phone? Many are sub $50.
    This POSH Micro X S240B you linked to is very intriguing. It's priced even lower on Amazon where it has pretty decent reviews. The annoying thing is that according to GSMarena (http://www.gsmarena.com/posh_micro_x_s240-7493.php) there is a version called S240A that supports AWS 3G, which would come in handy for T-Mobile. All the Ebay and Amazon listings seem to only have the B version.

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    Just to update - I bought that Posh Micro X on Amazon for $45.

    It is quite intriguing!

    For the most part it is fully functional despite its impossibly small size. There's a full suite of Google Play Services, the GPS chip was fast and accurate, and most apps seem to run just fine on it.

    It's definitely going to be useful as a spare for my Truphone SIM.

    The 3 main drawbacks are: 1) It's really hard to type on such a tiny screen. 2) The battery is small (duh..) 3) Only 512MB RAM, although their KitKat software does a decent job even so.

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    Quote Originally Posted by barryspar View Post
    Just to update - I bought that Posh Micro X on Amazon for $45.
    It is quite intriguing!
    Thanks for the update. Since it only came out in July 2015 it is state of the art for the size and cost.
    Tell us more in a month about it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by barryspar View Post
    This POSH Micro X S240B you linked to is very intriguing. It's priced even lower on Amazon where it has pretty decent reviews. The annoying thing is that according to GSMarena (http://www.gsmarena.com/posh_micro_x_s240-7493.php) there is a version called S240A that supports AWS 3G, which would come in handy for T-Mobile. All the Ebay and Amazon listings seem to only have the B version.
    Unless you absolutely need to use the phone with Wind or Moblicity up in Canada, there is no need for the B version with AWS frequencies.

    This is because in many cities, T-mo has moved their UMTS network exclusively to 1900 while leaving all of their AWS spectrum for LTE.

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    Posh Micro X S240 discontinued?

    I bought a Posh Micro a few months ago for $45 and loved it. Recently wanted to buy another one but it seems they are now much harder to find and, if they can be found, the price is much higher ($150 or more). What happened? Anything similar on the market today for under $100?

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    How about something like this

    Unihertz Jelly Pro, The Smallest 4G Smartphone in the World, Android 7.0 Nougat Unlocked Smart Phone with 2GB RAM and 16GB ROM, Space Black https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0752BYRHM..._4-oGAb9ZR36GB

    Sent from my LEX727 using Tapatalk

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    Quote Originally Posted by ShredFred View Post
    How about something like this

    Unihertz Jelly Pro, The Smallest 4G Smartphone in the World, Android 7.0 Nougat Unlocked Smart Phone with 2GB RAM and 16GB ROM, Space Black https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0752BYRHM..._4-oGAb9ZR36GB
    The Jelly Pro is a nice phone, although almost three times the (recent) price of the Posh, and the Jelly does not seem to have many more features, other than Android 7 and more ROM.

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    The unihertz jelly looks like a superior device. Other than modern os and 2 gig ram, it has removable replaceable battery, dual sim, micro SD card slot and 4g.

    You get what you pay for but why stay in 2015 with kitkat and 512 mb of Ram?

    Sent from my LEX727 using Tapatalk

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    Quote Originally Posted by ShredFred View Post
    The unihertz jelly looks like a superior device. Other than modern os and 2 gig ram, it has removable replaceable battery, dual sim, micro SD card slot and 4g.

    You get what you pay for but why stay in 2015 with kitkat and 512 mb of Ram?
    Agreed, the Jelly Pro is definitely superior. Only question is whether it is worth the 3x price. But it may be a moot question since it looks like the Posh has been discontinued.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rfranzq View Post
    Thanks for the update. Since it only came out in July 2015 it is state of the art for the size and cost.
    Tell us more in a month about it.
    @franzq - I apologize for never coming back to update this thread. Let me do so now.

    I bought the 240A because the 250B with AWS support doesn't seem to actually exist. I realized that with the small battery I was going to need to root it, which I did. Somehow I managed to brick it. Doh. Fortunately Posh agreed to exchange it! The second try worked (KingRoot followed by SuperSume.)

    It turned out to be quite a capable device! All my apps worked just fine, including Waze navigation. I solved the typing issue with Big Buttons Keyboard.

    It was really mind boggling to see such a tiny thing running full featured Android! There didn't seem to be anything technically out of bounds for the device.

    One thing it was not accurate enough for was using it as a GPS tracker for exercise. I never figured out exactly why but I never got good results. I'm not sure if it was the GPS, or that the battery or RAM management was shutting it down in the background. It didn't matter as I don't think the battery could have lasted long enough anyhow as GPS is very intensive. It is useful however, if you're going out for a jog and want to have a phone just for emergencies, because it's so light and fits anywhere. I would use a GPS watch for tracking. I actually think the Posh would also be good for listening to music while exercising but I didn't try it.

    (The Jelly has an Amazon review which says it works well for GPS tracking after an update.)

    Currently I have sort of given in to the big phone trend and am using a Moto G4 Plus. I don't think I'd be able to give up the long battery life, 4 GB RAM, and fingerprint scanner. But I do toy with the idea of considering the Moto sort of like what my laptop used to be - my work device, and the Posh being my actual phone...

    Right now as I type this, however, the Posh is relegated to sitting in the basement mining Bitcoin.

    No, I'm kidding, it couldn't mine anything. I'm running beermoney apps on it for pennies a day.

    All in all, I think it was worth the purchase price. I considered putting it on Ebay for $100 or so just in case someone bites, but it felt borderline unethical to do that because I think anyone looking for a mini phone should just pay the extra $25 and get the Jelly due to its many advantages (Dual SIM, Android 7, and LTE support).

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    Thanks for the report on the Posh. It worked great for me, so sorry that it has apparently been discontinued. There are some on eBay selling for a lot more than $100, guess they are looking for suckers who don't know about the Jelly. I put the Posh in model rockets for tracking and it is perfect for that use, and it was so cheap it didn't matter if was damaged during flight. One time a rocket's parachute failed to open and the Posh survived a 1000' free fall with just a small crack in the screen.

    There are now a few tiny phones on the market in the $50 price range, but none has even close to all the features of the Posh. If anyone hears of a tiny phone which
    * costs around $50
    * has Android 4 or higher
    * works with 3G sim, and
    * has GPS,
    please advise.

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