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Thread: Recommend sub $100 unlocked 4g LTE smart phone.

  1. #1
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    Recommend sub $100 unlocked 4g LTE smart phone.

    Helping a very non technical friend desiring an upgrade from Tracfone flip phone. Looking at a $99 a year Red Pocket Verizon plan with 1000 minutes, unlimited texts and 1 GB data. Desires a smaller phone for under $100.

    Any suggestions to a phone and retailer?

    Sent from my SM-T500 using Tapatalk

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rojniles View Post
    Helping a very non technical friend desiring an upgrade from Tracfone flip phone. Looking at a $99 a year Red Pocket Verizon plan with 1000 minutes, unlimited texts and 1 GB data. Desires a smaller phone for under $100.

    Any suggestions to a phone and retailer?

    Sent from my SM-T500 using Tapatalk
    I don't think there is much available that combines larger than a flip but smaller than the average smartphone and also under $100.

    Can your friend learn a smartphone?

    If the friend is used to Tracfone, there are deals on HSN, QVC, Tracfone Store on eBay, Tracfone on its website.

    There are usually some types of discount coupons available.

    Red pocket is having problems right now, and if there are issues, you may have to handle the issues yourself. Might be worse than dealing with Tracfone.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rojniles View Post
    Helping a very non technical friend desiring an upgrade from Tracfone flip phone. Looking at a $99 a year Red Pocket Verizon plan with 1000 minutes, unlimited texts and 1 GB data. Desires a smaller phone for under $100.

    Any suggestions to a phone and retailer?
    The only thing I can think of is a Moto E6. It's smallish for a smartphone, and thin and light. This is a pretty basic phone. It's not going to impress anyone. I used one for a year as my daily phone and it worked fine for me. This is not a current model phone, but there should still be some of them out there for under $100.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rojniles View Post
    Helping a very non technical friend desiring an upgrade from Tracfone flip phone. Looking at a $99 a year Red Pocket Verizon plan with 1000 minutes, unlimited texts and 1 GB data. Desires a smaller phone for under $100.

    Any suggestions to a phone and retailer?

    Sent from my SM-T500 using Tapatalk
    Target and Best Buy carry the 5.5" 3GB/32GB TCL A3, $39.99; You can use the Tracfone version for a couple months and unlock, then use on Red Pocket. It's on the AT&T whitelist, so it'll work on the GSMA network. RP has $60/yr and $99/yr plans, and up. I would check for an in-store stock because if you order it for shipping the likelihood is high that it will leave the warehouse unscanned and listed as lost/stolen. Big headache. Target also carries Total Wireless and Simple Wireless versions but since you're already on Tracfone it'll be simpler.

    *to add: you can purchase 2 9.99 30 day basic plan on ebay from their Tracfone store. The plan is intended for feature/flip phones but I've used it for a smartphone.
    Last edited by AnciusD; 05-03-2022 at 05:47 PM.

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    I was going to suggest QVC's Tracfone Moto bundles, but AnciusD's suggestions in Post#4 above are way better. I know someone who uses the TCL A3 that AnciusD suggested, and likes the phone a lot because of its size.

    The QVC Moto's are larger and more expensive. They come bundled with service, though. And I believe there's a coupon code for $10 off for new customers.
    You can activate new service on Tracfone and get $80 by using my referral code (you get 8,000 rewards points - that's $80 in service or a brand new phone!)
    You can sign up for Red Pocket and get $25 off your monthly-plan order using my referral code. Feel free to PM me for the codes. Thank you!

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    I also have a Tracfone TCL A3, now unlocked, and I like it quite a bit. There aren't many smaller size phone options. Once unlocked, it's eligible and decently equipped for all 3 major carriers.

    I believe this factory unlocked TCL A30, at $100, is essentially the same phone. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B09B79YT3S

    If the Tracfone + unlocking method is acceptable, the Tracfone website has had Samsung Galaxy A01, reconditioned, for $15 plus a required $15 or larger plan purchase. They sometimes also have the Samsung A10e at $35, reconditioned, with a similar required plan purchase. I've played with both, and both are also good small phones. The 2 Samsung models are perhaps a little more refined feeling than the TCL-- some people love the Samsung Android build, some don't.
    My Tello referral code is P3BSR5HV, and gets both of us 10 Tello Dollars to pay for a plan.
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    I’ll throw out the Essential Ph-1 as probably a terrible idea. It’s old and even if you replace the battery it’s probably an old battery. You’d have to buy it used. But I paid about $125 for mine over a year ago, it’s a compact form factor, it’s on the AT&T list and performance wise probably beats anything you could get for under $100 new. Oh, and no security updates.

    If I hadn’t gotten my XR for Tracfone points I’d probably still be happily using mine. I miss the size.

    But, yeah, probably a terrible idea.

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    Does it have to be an Android? The iPhone SE 1st generation is a very small phone deliberately made for people who want a small smartphone when they started getting larger with the 6S. It's 4G compatible and capable of iOS 15. The only reason I'm not using mine any more is because my son cracked the screen on his SE 2nd generation and didn't want to bother getting it fixed. So I paid 119 bucks to have the screen replaced and I upgraded.

    There are probably a lot of them available used for less than $100 on eBay, Swappa, Facebook marketplace and elsewhere.
    If you think the pandemic is bad now, just wait. Doctors tell us the next variant plays the accordion.

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    If he doesn’t need data get a TextNow sim for $.99 and totally free call and text. I personally don’t use data, except on WiFi, so free is great!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zipy View Post
    If he doesn’t need data get a TextNow sim for $.99 and totally free call and text. I personally don’t use data, except on WiFi, so free is great!
    A phone for a non-technical friend switching from a feature phone and TextNow doesn't sound like a good combination.

    You have to use the TN app for calls and texts. It won't receive verification texts unless you pay extra. Even if you pay extra not all places will send verification texts to a TN number.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by malet View Post
    I’ll throw out the Essential Ph-1 as probably a terrible idea. It’s old and even if you replace the battery it’s probably an old battery. You’d have to buy it used. But I paid about $125 for mine over a year ago, it’s a compact form factor, it’s on the AT&T list and performance wise probably beats anything you could get for under $100 new. Oh, and no security updates.

    But, yeah, probably a terrible idea.
    I agree with all you said about the Essential PH-1 (I have one in mint condition that I bought used for $150). I'll add that it gets good signal from AT&T and T-mo, but is terrible with Verizon signal. I used the Network Signal Info app to compare its signal with my other phones at the same location.

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