Best Budget Smartphone for 2013

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Best Budget Smartphone for 2013

Postposted on Fri Feb 22, 2013 1:16 pm

I'm currently on Virgin Mobile and my LG Optimus V is showing its age. It was my first smartphone and its served me well (except for a few hiccups, like crappy Bluetooth), but I'm looking to upgrade. I'm considering jumping to Straight Talk over AT&T before that goes away, so I'm in the market for an unlocked phone that doesn't completely bankrupt me. If not, I'll probably just grab an HTC One V (I missed that deal from a few months back, but the price still looks good) and continue on Virgin Mobile.

Minimum Requirements:
HTC One V

Preferred Requirements:
960x540 resolution or similar
4G LTE (unlikely, but I can still hope)
Android 4.2 (unlikely, but I can still hope)
MicroSD slot (covered by minimum requirements, but repeating here so it isn't missed)
Bluetooth 4.0 (covered by minimum requirements, but repeating here so it isn't missed)

Price: ~$200-$250

Right now the Google Nexus 4 is looking to be the budget unlocked smartphone champion, even though it is slightly overbudget and lacks a memory card slot.
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Re: Best Budget Smartphone for 2013

Postposted on Fri Feb 22, 2013 1:51 pm

I would definitely save up the extra cash and get the Nexus 4. It has to be the best "bang for your buck" phone on the market.
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Re: Best Budget Smartphone for 2013

Postposted on Fri Feb 22, 2013 2:03 pm

I think you've narrowed down your options about as far as they'll go. If you can get by without the SD slot, save up for the 16GB Nexus 4. The Google reference devices will generally have the best and longest third-party ROM support, should you need it. Plus, having Android 4.1 or better is worth it for the "project Butter" UI improvements, especially after coming from a clunky Android 2.x phone like you have now.

Also, I think the One V's curved base would cut into my leg while riding in my pocket.
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Re: Best Budget Smartphone for 2013

Postposted on Fri Feb 22, 2013 2:11 pm

T-Mobile is offering the Nexus 4 for free until Sunday, provided you sign a contract. It might not be ideal, but you could always move to StraightTalk after the contract is up.

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Re: Best Budget Smartphone for 2013

Postposted on Fri Feb 22, 2013 2:16 pm

If you're considering the Nexus 4, then definitely save up and get it. Otherwise you'll be sorry you didn't when your phone is stuck with some lame customized old version of Android while the Nexus 4 gets the newest shiny bits!
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Re: Best Budget Smartphone for 2013

Postposted on Fri Feb 22, 2013 2:52 pm

How much storage do you want on this phone? $299 for an 8GB Nexus 4 is pretty darn good - not getting anything nicer for that price. $350 for 16GB is nearly highway robbery, given the only difference is in storage. If it had micro SD the 8GB would be perfect. As it stands, you have to make a tradeoff.

I'm a big fan of the HTC One S, but as has been pointed out, I'm not likely to get 4.2 and neither is much of any other "budget" smartphone.
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Re: Best Budget Smartphone for 2013

Postposted on Fri Feb 22, 2013 3:16 pm

The Thread wrote:Why the hell haven't you bought the Nexus 4 already?


Yeah, that's pretty much the consensus everywhere I ask. I am somewhat concerned since I know there are some new phones coming down the pipe in a couple of months, though I suspect they won't be worth the wait.
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Re: Best Budget Smartphone for 2013

Postposted on Fri Feb 22, 2013 3:22 pm

There is always something coming in a couple months. It's also not going to be in your price range.
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Re: Best Budget Smartphone for 2013

Postposted on Fri Feb 22, 2013 3:33 pm

Kurotetsu wrote:
The Thread wrote:Why the hell haven't you bought the Nexus 4 already?


Yeah, that's pretty much the consensus everywhere I ask. I am somewhat concerned since I know there are some new phones coming down the pipe in a couple of months, though I suspect they won't be worth the wait.

let me put it this way:
I've been busy making an epaper app for a local newspaper, and the Galaxy Tab 10.2 tablet that I've been using to develop and test my app is okay. I mean, it's pretty nice and my app works pretty well on it. My girlfriend's Nexus 7 tablet takes my rather mediocre app and makes it look like I'm some sort of godlike app-creating wizard! The difference in handling is really astounding, no doubt because that Tab 10.2 is still stuck on Android 4.0.x while the Nexus 7 has the newest Android 4.2.x. Now, that Tab 10.2 will get an update sooner or later as the 4.1 update is apparently already out there (although not available for my dev tablet for some reason), but fact of the matter is that the Nexus 7 has a major advantage purely by being a main development target for Jelly Bean.

I expect the Nexus 4 and future Google phones to hold a similar advantage to any Android-based competitor. The only reason I see to get a different phone is to get significantly better performing hardware, but only if I'm 100% sure that it wouldn't get bogged down by an out of date OS.
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Re: Best Budget Smartphone for 2013

Postposted on Mon Feb 25, 2013 8:06 am

Can't you force update your tablet through Samsung Kies?
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