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Support Need options: Cheap phone with good camera

Discussion in 'Android Help' started by JasonChance, Jul 25, 2016.

  1. JasonChance

    JasonChance Lurker
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    I'm working on a little project where I want to give my kids a really inexpensive smartphone that takes pretty decent pictures. I need the phone to be less than $50 as I suspect it will get broken / lost / etc...

    Phone doesn't need cellular service or a big screen, but it does need to take decent HD pictures, have a front and back camera, and have a flash. It also needs to run android as I will be installing a custom app, but version of android is unimportant.

    I have tried some of the very affordable pre-paid smartphones (ZTE Maven, Onetouch Elevate) but they take poor pixilated photos and are terrible in low light.

    Prefer a new one, but a used one should be fine as well so I'm wondering about models that are a couple of years old.

    Any ideas on a phone that might meet my needs?

    Thanks,
    Jason
     

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  2. mikedt

    mikedt 你好
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    Budget phones can have crappy cameras, yes. What about a used Samsung S4 or S5, or HTC One M8 or M9? Good cameras, not too old, and should be available for a reasonable price. Have a look at Swappa.
     
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  3. svim

    svim Android Expert
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    Maybe a Galaxy S3 will suffice? Take a look at swappa.com, at this time I didn't see any listed at $50 if you're not in a hurry just keep an eye out for any bargains.
    https://swappa.com/buy/devices/samsung?search=galaxy+s3&type=phone
    http://www.gsmarena.com/samsung_i9300_galaxy_s_iii-4238.php
    I'll also suggest maybe getting a belt holster or belt pouch. Maybe if the kids get in the habit of always leaving their phone in a pouch it will extend the longevity of those phones by a few weeks or months ;-)
     
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  4. Gabs1

    Gabs1 Newbie
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    I jus bought a HTC Desire 512 for my daugther from Cricket Wireless for 9.99 it is only a online offer, I believe that is a ecxelent price, you can check the info here

    https://www.cricketwireless.com/cel...mepage&woo_medium=HPC3&woo_content=Desire_512
     
  5. svim

    svim Android Expert
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    Should be noted that it's a subsidized phone price, with the details hidden about the actual price you'll eventually be paying to fulfill the contract. "...Req's qual. plan (min. $40/mo). Tax & first month svc charge due at sale." is in the 'See offer details' link. Also, depending on how old your daughter is and what she'll be using her phone for, it only has 1 GB of RAM and 8 GBs of storage memory, which for practical usage is the bare minimum. If she's still in her early teens this probably won't matter much but any older, judging from the numerous postings on these forums this will soon become a hindrance once she wants to do more things with her phone.
    http://www.devicespecifications.com/en/price/11fd334d
     
  6. JasonChance

    JasonChance Lurker
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    But how is the camera on the HTC Desire 512? Even without the subsidized it is in the $50 price range I was looking for....

    What about the M7? Seems I can get one of those for like $75 which might work. Any opinions on if its camera is workable?
     
  7. mikedt

    mikedt 你好
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    Samsung Galaxy S3 has a pretty good camera IMO. Although a phone that old you'll possibly have to replace the battery, if it's had a hard life.
     
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  8. Gimmick_User

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    For the $50 range, you won't find any really good cameras. However, the LG Leon is a pretty good phone if you want a new phone in that range that takes DECENT pictures. Other than that, you'll have to double your budget and get a used S5 or S4. The upside is, you'll have a gyroscope, which most kids want in their phones so they can use Google cardboard. The cheaper phones don't have gyroscopes. Another option is to put a photo editing app on the cheap phone to enhance the pictures, but like I said, no gyroscope.
     
  9. Gimmick_User

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    Another option is to look for a Blu Vivo Selfie. They're like $125 brand new. I'm sure you can find one for half that with minor wear. They take EXCELLENT photos.
     
  10. svim

    svim Android Expert
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    Any good smartphone camera is a combination of good hardware (the camera module itself and a decent lens) and good software (firmware and the camera app on the front end). I haven't had any experience with any HTC Desire 512 so this is just pure speculation but for any bargain-priced phone there simply has to be a lot allowances made as far as development and manufacturing. That's a given, so the odds are the camera will be adequate but certainly not comparable to something like a flagship Android model or an iPhone. A lot depends on how old your kids are and if these phones will used to take just typical everyday photos with friends and family, or is it something more extensive?
     
  11. svim

    svim Android Expert
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    I think you can. Something like a S3 that was Samsung's flagship model four years ago had a well rated camera. It's of course been surpassed many times over by newer phones but it's not like the camera components 'wear out' over time.
     
  12. AZgl1500

    AZgl1500 Android Expert
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    any of the older Samsung Galaxy phones will do just fine.

    I still have my original Galaxy S, the first one in the series, and it did a very good job, more than adequate for forum use. Mine still has the OEM battery in it, still working good. If you can find one, it should be less than $10 now

    go to www.swappa.com and look there for phones under your price range.


    $63 https://swappa.com/buy/samsung-galaxy-s-iii-verizon

    $55 https://swappa.com/buy/samsung-galaxy-s-iii-mini-verizon

    $50 https://swappa.com/buy/motorola-droid-razr-hd-verizon

    Choose the carrier that is appropriate for you. All I am doing is showing where to find what you want.


    CAVEAT with Verizon:

    do NOT choose one of these, because they refuse to boot up without a SIM card or service.
    My 'S' phone is one PITA to get it to work, you have to enter a special secret code every damn time you turn it on..... I hate that... once you get it turned on, it is okay.. but VZW phones w/o service are NOT for kids to play with... they won't remember, nor have the patience to go thru the drill.
     
    #12 AZgl1500, Jul 26, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2016
  13. Jfalls63

    Jfalls63 Android Expert
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    Another thought with Swappa is searching the Bone Yard. You stated that the phones will not be activated on a network and sometimes you can find good phones with bad/ blacklisted IMEI pretty cheap. These are mostly sold for parts but are fully functional except for being able to activate on a network.
    I have bought several for parts or to experiment with. Recently a 2013 Nexus 7 stuck in a bootloop for $50.
    https://swappa.com/boneyard
     
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  14. svim

    svim Android Expert
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    I think whatever you end up buying this is a relevant point -- whenever you're shopping around for refurbished phones focus on models with user replaceable batteries. Within that $50 price point you're either going to end up with a budget phone with a questionable camera or a good, used phone three-five years old. Smartphone batteries age and some models/brands use fixed batteries that require tearing the phone down to access them.
     
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  15. AZgl1500

    AZgl1500 Android Expert
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    thanks for that valuable tidbit... I was not aware they offered that service.
     
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