Best Used Verizon Android Phone For Less Than $200

Jul 10, 2013
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Let's get a few caveats out of the way...
I'm a long-time Windows Phone guy (I'm on my 4th or 5th Lumia Icon and I've been using numerous phones since Windows Mobile 6).
But, there are a couple things that I'm doing that require getting and Android and/or iOS phone (no app for Windows).
I don't have any interest in just getting a second phone for a couple of apps, so I'm considering just switching to Android.
Honestly, I've played with Android since it was originally released on T-Mobile (that weird landscape phone where the middle of the phone flipped up) and I've just never cared for it (but I really don't want an iPhone).
Most recently, I spent a couple weeks with my wife's Galaxy S9 (or maybe S8) and I still wasn't a fan of it (the phone or the OS).

I can get another Lumia Icon, on eBay, for ~$100, so I'm not looking to spend new phone money.
I'd like to keep it between $100 and $200.
The Icon is a Snapdragon 800 with a 5" 1080p screen.
I think it's plenty snappy and the screen is beautiful and crisp.
I would like something that is an upgrade, but it doesn't have to be a monster of an upgrade (like 128GB with a 4k screen).

Some of my preferences...
I really like optical image stabilization and a physical camera button (Nokia Windows phones have set the bar really high for phone cameras).
I would like to be able to use the phone with gloves (not phone gloves, just normal gloves - again, Nokia set the bar and I've been using them for years).
I would enjoy having a microSD card slot, but I haven't had one for so many years that it isn't an issue (I don't have much issue with my 32GB Icon - 64GB would be plenty by itself).
I think my perfect screen size would be 4.75" or 6+" (maybe even 7").
The Icon is 5" and it's just a bit too big to use one-handed, but it's a bit too small to change my habits and used it as a big phone (if I got a bigger phone, I would simply have to work with it differently).
I think I would like USB-C.
It's not that big of a deal, but I might as well.
I would like to not have to use a phone case.
I've broken so many screens (like I said, I'm on my 4th or 5th Icon), but I hate cases.
I've been using the Incipio Featherlite case, for a couple of years, and I've replaced the case multiple times, but the screen has kept from breaking.

Some things I haven't liked about Android phones...
When I swapped phones with my wife for a couple weeks, I couldn't get Bluetooth to announce a new text message and give me the option to reply.
Between the car, motorcycle, and gym, I spend a lot of time with Bluetooth and without my hands (I don't recall having any issues with phone calls).
Working with other people's phones (switching phones, doing factory resets, etc...), I've had a lot of problems getting their content (text messages, contacts, calendar entries, etc...) to push back and forth from the cloud.
They always seem to have a Google account and backup/restore activated in Settings, but it doesn't seem nearly as seamless as with Windows.
If I do a factory reset on my Icon or get a new phone, once I log into my Microsoft Account, everything just starts showing back up (including app installs and the Start Screen, if I choose to restore from a device backup).
It's possible that I'm just doing something wrong, with these issues, but I'm not a complete neophyte and the steps shouldn't be that complicated.
Different family members have had various phones from HTC, Samsung, LG, etc... and it's always such a pain when switching brands, because of all the brand-specific stuff (apps, interfaces, etc...).

I read about the OnePlus 3T, but I don't think it was available for Verizon (the 6 is, but that's way too expensive).
I've heard good things about the Sony Xperia line (like being able to use gloves and having a camera button).
A friend of mine really likes his Essential and I have to say that it's one of the best feeling phones I've ever held.

I did searches for Best Verizon Android Phone 2015/2016/2017 and these were some of their recommendations...
Samsung Galaxy Note 5
Motorola Droid Turbo 2
LG V10/V20
Huawei Nexus 6P (although I'm not sure I want a Google phone as I'll probably use a lot of Microsoft services)
Motorola Moto X Pure
LG G6 (some family members had G5s and we all hated them - especially the cameras)

So, given my proclivities and price points, what are your recommendations?
JJ
 

belodion

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Jun 10, 2014
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This will be difficult to answer except by those members familiar with Verizon phones. I’ll move it from AAQ to General Help & How To, where it may fare better.
 
Jul 10, 2013
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Take a look at what's available on https://swappa.com/mobile/verizon?ref=mobilenations&data1=UUacUvbUpU6467151. Many of them are newer than some that you listed and under $200.

I appreciate the link, but I was looking more for recommendations for specific phones.
The issue is that I just don't know which phones are good vs. bad and which phones have specific features vs. don't.
I've been reading reviews for the phones that I listed, but none of them mentioned ability to use with gloves or camera buttons (maybe because none of them do so there's no reason to mention it).
My friend with the Essential is letting me borrow his old Essential (he bought a second one just for a new color).
I still say that it feels great, in the hand.
JJ
 
Jul 10, 2013
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Some things I haven't liked about Android phones...
When I swapped phones with my wife for a couple weeks, I couldn't get Bluetooth to announce a new text message and give me the option to reply.
Between the car, motorcycle, and gym, I spend a lot of time with Bluetooth and without my hands (I don't recall having any issues with phone calls).
I've read multiple threads that say that this is just something that Android doesn't do.
That's really unfortunate, as I use it all the time.

Working with other people's phones (switching phones, doing factory resets, etc...), I've had a lot of problems getting their content (text messages, contacts, calendar entries, etc...) to push back and forth from the cloud.
They always seem to have a Google account and backup/restore activated in Settings, but it doesn't seem nearly as seamless as with Windows.
If I do a factory reset on my Icon or get a new phone, once I log into my Microsoft Account, everything just starts showing back up (including app installs and the Start Screen, if I choose to restore from a device backup).
It's possible that I'm just doing something wrong, with these issues, but I'm not a complete neophyte and the steps shouldn't be that complicated.
Different family members have had various phones from HTC, Samsung, LG, etc... and it's always such a pain when switching brands, because of all the brand-specific stuff (apps, interfaces, etc...).
Grant that all my contacts, calendar entries, etc... are within my Microsoft account, but I ended up having to use Nine - Email & Calendar to get my contacts and calendar entries onto my phone.
For some reason, adding my Microsoft account in system settings - accounts wouldn't add that account.
My personal e-mail address and Microsoft account use the same e-mail address, so multiple e-mail clients wouldn't allow having both (it would give an error saying that the e-mail address is already used).
Adding the Microsoft account to Microsoft Outlook would give access to the e-mails, but not the contacts or calendar entries (not sure why).
Nine did the job, perfectly, though.

I can't give information about keeping that information within a Google account.
I can say that I've used SMS Backup & Restore to transfer call history and text messages between Android phones or a factory reset.
I don't think that should be necessary, though, as it should be a system thing.
After all, when you switch between sms apps, you don't have to backup/restore between apps.
JJ
 

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