Phone-buying strategies


What are your strategies for buying cell phones?

My husband and I will both be needing new ones in the semi-near future, and after doing some research, I’m struggling to balance longevity and price. Anything more than $250 seems like a lot to spend on an item that is so easily lost, damaged, spilled on, etc, but I do want a phone that will last 4-ish years and has a decent camera. We use Republic–which I love–but is limiting in what phones we can use/bring.

I’ve been looking at some used phone stores on Ebay, but they’re still more expensive than I would like. Also, if I buy a good phone from 2015 (for example), I’m a little concerned that it won’t be able to function as long as I would like. Perhaps my expectations are out of line?

I’m curious to hear other people’s approaches to buying a cell phone. Please share!


We actually just got new cell phones to replace our 5 years old smart phones that had turned dumb and slow. It was becoming annoying and frustrating.

Hubby researched online and saw that Wind Mobile (Canada) was a good Black Friday deal on the Samsung Note Edge 8 (30% off) but only for new customers. Hubby spent an hour haggling :grinning: on the phone with the customer service agents and supervisor, until they accepted to give us the same deal too :grinning: .


I’m on Google Fi so my wife and i have Nexus 5x
I’ve always been a big advocate of most Android phones if they are STOCK android (meaning no fluff from the manufacturer.

Motorola just came out with the Moto X4. It actually has better stats than my old 5x and is $400 usd. May want to take a look at that.

I usually get insurance on my phone too (if it prices out ok). helps the phone last as long as possible, plus I am super clumsy.

ps (shameless plug) if you want to switch to Fi let me know and I’ll send you my referral code. you would get $20 off your first month

#4 they sell refurbs. Very pleased with them and their customer service. Phones are always in great condition like new.


Pay cash on amazon, moto g, get it with offers, pair with your favorite MVNO. Be done in seconds, don’t haggle with anyone, that’s silly.


We both have Moto X Play, they are amazing phones with an amazing battery life.
The trick to a long-lasting and fast phone is: don’t update all your apps too often!
If it ain’t broken, why fix it?


Agreed. Last 2 phones have been unlocked Moto G via Amazon or Best Buy (BB had a promo this last time). BUT, though they could maybe last 4 years, I’ve replaced after 2-2.5 yrs because at that point, apps seem to age out/stop being supported on older OS versions (and the phones stop getting OS updates).


I have an iPhone SE. I love iOS and found that apple does a better job of safeguarding my data and keeping older models updated. It’s their cheapest phone($399) and is small but I hope they keep releasing updated versions so I can update every 3-5 years.


@SFF, @OurFinancialPath @RedHoodedSweatShirt @budgetOnaStick

Our current phones are 1st Gen Moto G’s, and they’ve held up pretty well. It’s my first smartphone, and I’ve been pleased overall, minus the camera which wasn’t important to me when I got it and that they are only 8GB. I’m glad to see all the plugs for other Motos from this crowd. I’ll take a closer look at the X and Z

Also thanks @FinancialRookie for the tip on Gazelle. I’ll look into them.


Fyi You can get a$100 bill credit with Google fi if you buy the new moto through them


I personally wouldn’t pay more than $100 for a phone. I have the LG X Power, got mine for $75. It has the largest battery out there (I think) - it’s 4100mAh. I literally go about almost a week on a charge, sometimes a bit longer depending on what I’m doing.

Target has it now for $89.00 -

That’s on Virgin Mobile though and locked. I have VM and pay $35 a month for unlimited everything. And I’m not affiliated in any way to them or have any links on my blog, just like them and like the price.


What I do is buy very good condition 1-3 year old phones from You can ask sellers questions, their customer service is good, and you are covered for any issues with the phones with free return shipping through PayPal (they reimburse your shipping costs). I’m an Apple guy and go for the larger plus phones, just bought a 6s+ 64gb for $310 but the depreciation is so slow that we always resell for about $100 less than what we paid 2-3 years later. Good luck!


Here’s everything I know (from insiders).
*Pre-pay individual months. Don’t buy a year, buy 12, one month plans.
*No bundles (contracts with a free (or cheap) phone).
*AT&T has the coverage
*Republic, if your area has good coverage. AT&T Cricket if it doesn’t.
*T-Mobile “all the way”. They are the very best. (yeah, I was shocked too).
*Moto G if going with Republic
*iPhone5 series if shopping price
*iPhone6 if not shopping price. iPhone7… high price and no ear bud jack.

This is the best knowledge I have and is worth ten times what it cost you. :wink:

 -"Mad" Max Speedwell