Advice on buying two Android phones

So I am about to change our Verizon plan from 2 phones to 4, using the BYO option. That means I need two more Verizon/CDMA phones. These are for our young teens, who finally need real phones better than Tracfoneys.

I am finding it surprisingly hard to shop for good, reasonably inexpensive phones from reliable sellers. Some help appreciated.

[li]They have to be Verizon-compatible (CDMA), which are needles in the unlocked-GSM-phone haystack. Even the listings are sometimes untrustworthy and while the boilerplate says Verizon, the model number is a GSM phone.[/li][li]Android smartphones. Best performance I can get, with good durability. Smaller form factor preferred.[/li][li]Outright unlocked purchase. A vast number of choices in searching only give contract prices.[/li][li]$200 or under, $150 or under preferred.[/li][li]Pre-owned or refurb is okay if from a reliable vendor with some guarantee or return privileges.[/li][li]Seller that doesn’t have reviews making repeated use of the words SCAM and RIPOFF.[/li][/ol]
I’d like Galaxy S4 minis, but I can’t seem to find good ones at a reasonable price from a reliable vendor. But I’ll take lesser brands with equivalent chops. Verizon has used ones for about $280, I might see if I can get a deal.

Two phones I’m considering are the Moto G and Moto X. Moto X is quite a bit nicer but G may meet your needs for less than $100 new.

I think many phones are GSM and CDMA compatible, my old Moto Photon is.

The G is nice but I’d like to have 4G if possible. The X gets pretty expensive for purchase.

I’ve bought several “mint” phones though Swappawithout issue.

Very nice resource. Exactly what I was looking for. Thanks!

I would look for unlocked Nexus Phones (at least the Nexus 5) compatible with Verizion. Gazelle is another source for reliable used phones.

Note that Nexus Phones are always the first to be upgraded to the newest version of Android.


I wouldn’t buy one Android phone, much less two. unpredictable, battery-sucking pieces of junk.

Don’t forget to wipe.

I’m not that much of a phone-techy even for my own gear, and these are for teens who don’t much care what’s under the hood. Does Nexus even make a small form-factor phone? My impression is that they start large and get bigger. (Which would be fine for me; I carry a Note II. But the kids want something more pocketable than even the Mrs’s S3.)

Yeah, and we have to sit in the back of the bus while the first-class citizens flash their reflective logos at each other. Sucks, I tell ya.

I’m happy with my Moto E (2nd Generation).

I’m happy with my Samsung Galaxy S4, does whatever I need it to do, plus more.

It can do CDMA and GSM (I believe) as I can see from the phone’s settings. I don’t use either - I use WCDMA/UMTS or LTE (however LTE is slow to rollout in the UK).

Yes, I’ve been very happy with several Galaxy models over the past few years. I am leaning toward the S4 Minis, which are a little less powerful than the S4 but still quite good, and the size preferred.

Dual-band phones are rare in the US. It’s either-or, and the unlocked/full price market seems to be overwhelmingly GSM. Verizon is CDMA, so I have to sift through the haystacks.

Think I found what I want at Swappa, though. It’s been educational - I didn’t realize how hard it was to get a good price on a good phone outside of contract-bound pricing.

OOOOOOOOOoooohhhh…White…Clear…Silver…shiny…must purchase two and own before anyone else in my area code…must…purchase…two…

( yeah. that was Comic Sans. Because, you know. All the cool kids. )


Oh wait, a real reply? I’m an ardent Mac user for computing. Die-hard Android cell phone user. Love the Apps, really respect the open-source approach. Have had a Motorola Droid-X, then Droid-X2, and now for the last few years the Samsung Galaxy S-4. Just perfect for my needs. I already have a backup phone for when this one is lost/stolen/demolished.

I got burned on Swappa. Just sayin’.

I bought a few of the Moto G prepaids from Best buy on sale for about $30 each to use as micro tablets around the house and they’re great! The screen on the phone is much better (IMO) than the Moto X’s.

I am curious if it’s a Verizon family account you can get Galaxy S5s for $ 100 each or S4minis free with new 2 year plans. If it’s for young teens aren’t you going to be using them for at least 2 years? This would seem to be one of the situations where the discounted phones for taking on 2 year plans would make some sense.

I think they’ve stopped selling the Nexus 5, and I don’t know if you want to wait until the next version if you want to buy new. That said, I really like mine and it comes with every band you’re likely to ever need, GSM and CDMA both in a range of frequencies. Nice to have a completely stock version of the OS without a bunch of carrier crap.

I wouldn’t have a clue where to get a CDMA phone from - best bet is to have a search around. All of my families phones are GSM based.

Chances are the vast majority of the phones around are GSM based. To the OP: couldn’t you try using a network that is GSM based instead?