Tuesday: LG Stylo 3 (Boost Mobile) for $95

For Tuesday, until 11:59pm pacific time, NewEGG is offering the new condition LG Stylo 3 smartphone for $95 with free shipping. This is a no-contract phone but it is locked to Boost Mobile. You can always use it as a Wifi-only device without any Boost mobile account or service. Limit two units per customer during this sale.

I don’t have this model, but I have the previous model, the LG Stylo 2 (for Virgin) which uses a similar Pen technology (nowhere near as good as Samsung’s S-Pen). We have here a useful text and pictures unboxing of the Stylo 2, along with tips on how to deal with the pestery activation process. I do not know if Boost Mobile uses the same activation process, as far as I can recall, I never had a Boost Mobile locked phone.

Suensan LG V30 Black Case for $8 [Prime shipping]

If you are 99.9% certain you are going to buy an LG V30 when you find it available for purchase, and you want to have a case waiting for it before it arrives, and you like receiving things quickly with free 2-day shipping as a Prime member, then you may be interested in this $8 Suensan case for the LG V30 from ShunShiSheng, on sale at the moment.

You can buy as many as you like. There are seven pictures of the case, but obviously, since the phone is not out yet, there are no customer reviews.

The LG V30 is of course one of the most interesting phones of 2017. At least LG is trying to innovate unless some others *cough* Samsung, Pixel, iPhone *cough* that are just milking their popularity 🙂

Factory Unlocked Phone Deal: Huawei Honor 6X for $180

Factory unlocked phones are a great idea, especially if you are not planning to be a cost prohibitive flagship where an installment plan makes the price spread out over time more agreeable (eg, Note 8, latest iPhones, etc).

If you are looking at the budget side of things, but still want some interesting features, such as a dual camera, the new condition Huaweii Honor 6X is currently on sale, factory unlocked, and without any carrier obligations, for $180 with free S&H at amazon.com. Three different colors of this are available and on sale!

This is not a lightning deal, so I don’t know when the sale ends. Here’s a brief intro to the phone with our brand new “fact boxes” 🙂

Phone Huawei Honor 6X (Android)
Screen Size 5.5-inch 1080p
RAM 3GB RAM
Storage 32GB plus microSD
Processor Kirin 655 Octa-Core
Battery 3340 mAh
Connector micro USB 2.0
Carrier GSM, Unlocked
Weight 5.6 ounces
Notes dual camera, dual SIM (nano)

Alcatel 4S Idol for $199 [Windows Phone]

Windows Phone is not totally dead yet, Microsoft has not officially created a tombstone for it, plus there are a couple of smartphones running Windows Phone that are available in new condition from various sellers in the market.

One such phone is the Alcatel 4S Idol, available as fully unlocked, for $199 with free shipping at the official Microsoft Store. This is a GSM phone, so you can use it on those carriers, not Sprint or Verizon.

We are trying a new “info box” with the main specs of phones here:

Phone Alcatel 4S Idol (Windows)
Screen Size 5.5-inch 1080p
RAM 4GB RAM
Storage 64GB plus microSD
Processor Snapdragon 820
Battery 3000 mAh
Connector USB-C
Carrier GSM, Unlocked
Notes VR kit included; BT 4.1; Nano SIM

This is intended to be only a refresher of some of the main and distinguishing features of a phone. Check online for reviews and detailed specs for all the details 🙂

Sony Xperia L1 for $180 [Unlocked, USA warranty]

There’s an insane number of smartphone options these days, and at a wild range of prices. Many of the phones out there are available unlocked, which typically give you the most flexibility and better resale value (other things equal as many other factors determine resale value of a smartphone ~ not that we are buying these things as investments).

Which brings us to the Sony Xperia L1 getting its first discount, now going for $180 with free shipping in the three official color schemes at amazon.com. This is new condition, with USA warranty, and sold by Amazon actual. No contract, and you don’t even have to use it with a cellular plan.

It comes with Nougat out of the box, which is a step ahead of most Android phones out there (sadly!). It has 2GB RAM, 16GB on-board storage, microSD slot (Sony sells microSD cards, so of course they’ll support microSD storage), and GSM compatibility.

It has a 5.5-inch display with 720p resolution (it’s under $200 after all), with a MediaTek processor, a Nano SIM, USB-C connector, etc.

As you can see from the pictures, one semi-distinguishing characteristic of this is that there are almost no side bezels, but plenty of them at the top and bottom.

LG Stylo 2 for $75 (Boost or Virgin)

The new condition LG Stylo 2, without contractual requirements but locked to the prepair carrier it comes co-branded with, is on sale for $75 with free shipping by NewEgg actual in your choice of Boost Mobile or Virgin Mobile. Limit three of each per customer.

They also have a bundle for the Virgin Mobile unit bundled with a power bank (Powerocks Cirrus).

Virgin Mobile is not accepting new non-iPhone customers, but existing customers can still buy new phones and replace their existing ones. There’s even a secret place to buy Android phones at the Virgin Mobile USA website for existing customers.

I have the LG Stylo 2 and I’m using it as an indoors PDA of sorts. Performance wise it’s a step behind the Nexus 6. But once you go Knock Code with the LG phones, you then begin double tapping on every screen and window you see 🙂

I have two posts on the Stylo 2 with more in the works: the Unboxing (only text and pictures, nothing annoying or noise-making), and a walk-through on how to deal with the pestering activation menus (if you don’t plan to activate it for cellular service).

Motorola Moto G (4th Generation; 2GB/32GB) for $130

On the other half, if you want to stay under $150, and you are not tempted by the Moto G5 Plus offer, fear not, Amazon has a budget deal for you too IF you are a Prime member and you do NOT object to the “Lockscreen Ads” version of the Motorola Moto G (4th Generation) in the 2GB RAM with 32GB on-board storage denomination.

This very model is currently on sale, probably for a limited time only, for $130 with free shipping at amazon.com. Limit one per customer since this is a pretty, pretty, pretty good price (as the returning in October Larry David likes to say). The offer is only good on the black color scheme.

The standard versions without the Amazon Lockscreen Ads go for $200, so the difference is definitely big enough at the moment to put up with the Lockscreen ads.

This Moto G4 is also an “all carrier” smartphone, so you can use it with any of the big four in the US market, including the CDMA duo (Verizon, Sprint), along with the more flexible GSM duo (AT&T, T-Mobile).

This is a USA version, with manufacturer warranty and Moto’s blessings. This too may be eligible for an installment plan, five equal payments on your credit or debit card of $26 each. Screenshot of that:

CLARIFICATION: there are three versions of the Moto G4 phone. There is a PLAY version, a PLUS version, and this version. This version does not have a Play or Plus moniker 🙂

Motorola Moto G (5th Gen) for $250

If you need a smartphone right now that will work on all four major US carriers, and don’t want to wait to see what the Fall of 2017 will bring us, and want to stay under $300, there is a pretty good deal right now on the fifth generation Motorola Moto G Plus, in the more advanced 4GB RAM and 64GB storage option, in the Lunar color scheme, going for $250.

This is factory unlocked, with a USA warranty, and it is sold and shipped by Amazon actual. This is the standard version of the phone, NOT the Prime ad-subsidized model with Lockscreen offers.

So, other things equal, this phone has the best resale value. It is unlocked, a USA model, and works with all four major carriers. Yes, even the CDMA duo of Sprint and Verizon. This is partially thanks to the Snapdragon 625, a chipset that is getting quite a lot of good reviews in bang for the buck phones.

You May Be Eligible For A Simple Installment Plan
But wait, there’s more! The Amazon website may also offer you an option to purchase it with a five installment plan. There is no interest, and no credit check. The Amazon computers predetermine eligibility for these type of offers based on a customer’s Amazon account history and status and offer them automatically. They will simply charge your credit cards $50 for five consecutive months.

Here’s a screenshot for the offer IF eligible:

Existing Customers only: Virgin Mobile USA Android phones are still available for purchase!

If you are an existing Virgin Mobile USA customer, you can still buy Android phones! There are a dozen Android phones still available for purchase through the Virgin Mobile website, with prices ranging from $30 (LG K3) to $650 (Galaxy S8). A number of them are on sale. As far as deal hunting, this is something you can keep an eye out for when they have the “fire sale” where you can get good deals.

We have a very detailed post on how to do this, which includes the list of currently available Android phones and prices.

You used to be able to buy phones at the Virgin Mobile USA website using your available balance, but they changed that a few months ago. You can still do it, but you have to call their customer services and buy through them. Expect some waits. I did this when I bought the LG Stylo 2. Some phones are excluded from “pay with balance”, such as the iPhones and select Galaxy models.

(Unspecified) Mid-price smartphone coming to Project FI

So far, Project FI has been featuring only Nexus and Pixel phones. Of the new condition phones, prices are on the high side with the Pixels and Nexus 6P. For those willing to dig into the used market, more options open up with the Nexus 5X and 6. However, given the uniqueness of the Nexus phones, their price bottom is harder than the typical phone. So a need for something more affordable is mordant 😉

Good news is that responding to a customer’s question on Twitter, Project FI revealed that a new “mid-tier price” smartphone from a “partner” will be coming to Project FI later this year. No further details were given in the tweet, which you can see below…

WE TRY TO GUESS WHICH MID-PRICE PHONE IS COMING TO PROJECT FI
However, we can have some good educated guesses! Because Project FI is a mix of GSM and CDMA (Sprint), this compatible phone will need to be able to support both out of the box. There is only a small number of such phones that can do this at the moment. Since they are mentioned as “mid tier”, my first thought goes to the Motorola Moto G 4th and 5th generation phones. They are readily available and work with all. And there’s a pre-existing “relationship” between Google and Motorola 🙂

But they are not the only option. A number of other phones are using some of Qualcomm’s all-carrier processors, such as the Snapdragon 625. One such phone is the brand new Alcatel Idol 5S which just launched on Amazon. The product description says that CDMA support (Verizon, Sprint) is coming later this year. Which is when this new “mid-tier” phone is coming.

Considering the level of phones Google has made so far, a Moto G4/G5 or Idol 5S is probably as low as Google would go in terms of performance to showcase Android at its best. If they go lower, not as show-case-y.

I am currently doing the Project FI experiment with a Nexus 6. I switched from T-Mobile to P-FI last month with the good old Nexus 6. A review and more on Project FI is coming up. Spoiler alert: not perfect, but so far so good 🙂

Pre-order new Alcatel Idol 5S Unlocked for $200 with Prime Lockscreen Offers

If you don’t like contracts, but do not object to seeing ads and sponsored screensavers on your phone, and if you are a Prime member (or do not object to becoming one), you can get an $80 discount on the brand new Alcatel Idol 5S, unlocked and without contractual obligations!

Prime members can get this in the Prime Lockscreen Edition for $200, versus $280 for the standard version. It is the same phone, except for the ads. It is up to you to decide whether a $80 discount is an acceptable trade-off to seeing ads. Check reviews of previous phones Amazon offered in this fashion to see if this is something you can live with.

Certainly $80 is a bigger discount than some of the other phones Amazon offers in this program that range from $30 to $50. Trying to capitalize on the success of the Idol 4S, they pick up a well-received Snapdragon for this model, the 625 Octa-Core, with 3GB RAM, 32GB storage, and a microSD slot that can take up to 512GB cards, which is nice.

You get a 5.2-inch 1080p touchscreen, a very fresh Android 7.1 (compared to the fast majority of other Android phones out there). It supports T-Mobile and AT&T out of the box, and per the description over there, support for Sprint and Verizon is coming later in the summer.

The Snapdragon 625 is used in other “all carrier” phones like the Motorola Moto G5, so it is certainly capable for supporting Sprint and Verizon.

Both the Standard and the Lockscreen Ads versions of the phone are expected to be released on July 10 in 2017. So many phone choices, so little time 🙂

IF you are not a Prime member, but you want to get the discounted version, you’ll have to buy it at full price ($280) but after you become a paid Prime member, in other words after the 30-day free trial ends and you pay for the Prime membership, Amazon will give you an $80 gift card, the difference between the lockscreen and non-lockscreen version. There are some conditions in place to make sure people don’t try to cheat on this, so check the terms/conditions.

Motorola Moto G (3rd generation; 1GB RAM, 8GB storage) for $50 [Virgin Mobile USA]

In addition to the previously mentioned LG Stylo 2 sale, the official Virgin Mobile USA online store also has a sale on the new condition Motorola Moto G (3rd generation) for $50 with free shipping. That’s it, you own it!

You don’t even have to start service with it, but it will pester you to activate when you reboot it. There are ways to make this less painful [see our post for the LG Stylo 2].

Note also that this is the entry-level of the third-generation Moto G models. Unlike most other smartphones, the entry-level model has half the RAM and half the on-board storage from the more advanced models. So with this one you get 1GB RAM and 8GB on-board storage.

I haven’t used this smartphone, but I have the first generation Moto G, and it’s holding up rather well considering it was a $20 phone when I bought way back then.

LG Stylo 2 (Virgin Mobile) drops to $80

The Virgin Mobile USA official online store has the new condition LG Stylo 2 Android smartphone on sale for $80 with free shipping.

You have no contractual obligation, so you can buy it and use it as a Wifi-only device if you want to. However, every time you reboot it will try to activate. You cannot stop that but you can counter it – see our detailed post on this.

This comes with Marshmallow out of the box, but a Nougat over-the-air update is already available for it. I have this phone, and I will post a review of it as a Marshmallow phone, and once I do that, I will upgrade it to Nougat.

One thing that makes me delay the Nougat update is that Nougat blocks the various Task Managers apps, so it makes it harder to monitor and kill misbehaving apps (if you like to do this sort of thing). This is particularly relevant for this device because LG is almost TouchWiz level of having all kinds of apps you can’t turn off or uninstall.

The phone is versatile compared to many of today’s phones, it has both a microSD and a removable battery. See what’s included in the box in our LG Stylo 2 unboxing post. Fear not, it’s only text and pictures, you won’t be bombarded with annoying videos and slideshows and whiny voices 🙂

As the Stylo in its name suggests, this comes with a built-in Stylus, HOWEVER, this is not the same level of a stylus and stylus integration as the Samsung S-Pen. Then again, the phone sells at a small fraction of the price of a Galaxy Note 🙂

BLU Advance 5.5 HD for $76 (Unlocked, GSM, Dual SIM)

You can get plenty of smartphone for under $100 these days, although, as always, with apps and OS and the mobile web bloating up, you can almost always get a better experience in the $200+/300+ price range. But if $76 is all you want to spend…

… then you can get the new condition BLU Advance 5.5 HD for $76 with free shipping at Amazon by Amazon actual with a limit of up to three per customer. As with all BLU phones, this is GSM unlocked, without any contract obligations. It is a dual SIM.

This is not part of the Amazon Prime Sponsored ads program, only the BLU R1 is under that program. As the model number hints at, this has a 5.5-inch display, with the Mediatek 6580 quad core processor, 1GB RAM, 8GB internal memory, and a microSD slot (takes cards up to 64GB).

1GB RAM is not a lot these days, but BLU has little bloatware compared to carrier phones (they seem to have fixed the “China phone home” problem with some of their models), so if you are vigilant about which apps you install and allow to run in the background, it’s still usable. I have an older one like that, running Lollipod. I can free up about half of the RAM by paying attention to Task Managers.

This one though is running Marshmallow (Android 6.0). They only mention “HD” as screen resolution, which means it is 720p, which “computers” given the current price 🙂

As usual, double check to make sure it works with your carrier(s) of choice. There are many reviews and answered questions, and both are searchable when you drill further down the ever-growing Amazon website.

Used iPhone 6 PLUS for $200 (Virgin Mobile)

If you want to get a more powerful iPhone without breaking the bank, $200 will get you a pre-owned 16GB iPhone 6 PLUS smartphone, with free shipping at Virgin Mobile. This is locked to Virgin Mobile, so you can’t use it on GSM networks or Verizon. I don’t know if it can be used on other Sprint networks.

This is available in three color options, and there is a limit of two per customers. While with some Android phones you can pay with an account balance, for iPhones, Virgin Mobile won’t let you pay with an account balance. You have to use “fresh money”, eg credit or debit card or PAYPAL.

Per the listing, you get a 90-day warranty on the used phones.