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 🙂

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:

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.

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.

Seller Refurbished 32GB Samsung Galaxy Note 4 (unlocked GSM, 4G LTE, S-Pen included) for $150

If you want to get your Samsung Galaxy Note smartphone fix while waiting to see what the follow-up to the ill-fated Note 7 (which may have been the best smartphone of all time – ironically), the used market is one way to go. Among the latest eBay Deals, you can get the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 in seller-refurbished condition for $150 with free shipping by QualityCellz on eBay (99.4%, ships from Southern California). This is model N910, with 32GB on-board storage, microSD slot, and unlocked 4G LTE. No contract – you own the phone upfront!

NOTE if you are planning to use this with a cellphone plan (not as a Wifi-only device), make sure you check the bands are compatible with your carrier(s) of choice. If not certain, check the various Android/smartphone forums, or use your favorite search engine.

The S-Pen is included per the ebay listing. Some claim the Note 4 was the first in the Note series to “get it right” but of course that’s always subject to debate. It came out in 2014, with a Snapdragon 805, and 3GB of RAM which is nice (assume 1GB is eaten up by “TouchWiz”).

NOTE #2: the Note 4 is not currently among the first wave of smartphones supported by CyanogenMOD-Reborn, aka LineageOS. I wish they gave it a better name. LineageOS sounds like an ancestry-obsessed fan club 🙂

HTC One M9 (32GB, Unlocked, No Contract) for $350

With current generation flagships priced so high, a previous generation flagship may be an alternative if none of the mid-tier flagships from upstarts and big names alike strike your fancy. Which brings us to the new condition factory-unlocked no-contract 32GB HTC One M9 going for $350 at amazon.com. Make sure you check that Amazon actual is the seller and not any of the iffy marketplace sellers. Amazon actual is authorized, so you get the USA warranty. The marketplace sellers, I have no clue, so don’t buy from them unless you know for certain.

Note that Amazon’s compatibility listing appears to be inaccurate. Check the reviews and answered-questions and HTC’s own website for more details.

The M8 and M9 were a bit divisive, some people did not like them and prefer the the M7/M10 releases, while others are fine with them. It’s good to have choices in the market, as long as you are willing to do the necessary research to get the phone that best fits your priorities. The M9, just like the M8 (but not the M7) support microSD cards.

Refurbished HTC One M8 for $110 [WinPhone or Android]

From the current flagship, we go to a flagship of yesteryear, it’s HTC time. It’s the One M8, the first flagship in their line to include a microSD memory card. This particular offer is “seller refurbished” which is a higher risk (and lower price) typically compared to manufacturer refurbished. So if you don’t like risks, you may want to skip this. On the other hand, if you are comfortable with the risk/reward of such offers, keep reading…

eBay seller “Quality Cellz” (99.2%) is offering the seller-refurbished HTC One M8 for $110 with free shipping, with a limit of five per customer. It ships from California.

IMPORTANT: this listing sells two different versions, Android or Windows. Make sure you select the correct OS! This is unlocked without any contract requirements.

The specs are three flagships ago, a Snapdragon 800, 2GB RAM, 32GB on-board, microSD, 5-inch 1080p display, etc. Be sure to check Bands and Network compatibility if you are planning to use it with cellular data.

Refurbished Nexus 6P (Huawei) for $350

If you want to get the latest flagship Nexus phone but don’t want to pay a flagship price, there is the refurbished option, which is more appealing when it is manufacturer refurbished. Which brings us to the manufacturer refurbished 32GB Nexus 6P (made by Huawe), unlocked without contract requirements, going for $350 with free shipping by Best Buy’s eBay store. This is an online only offer, there is no store pick up option. Limit three units per customer.

It is as usual a never-ending cycle, do you buy the latest phone now, or wait for the new Nexus phones in the fall that will likely come out to coincide with the release of Android 7.0 (aka Nougat)? This is where refurbished may be a good option, since we are closer to the future models than we are not.

Subsidized Phone: BLU R1 HD for $60 (Prime members only)

There’s a new development in the world of phone-buying and this time around it’s not T-Mobile that is changing things up, but rather Amazon. This new promotion is available to Prime members only, and borrows from the Kindle e-reader Special Offers philosophy. You get the phone at a discounted price and for that you get Special Offers on your Lock Screen, below your Notifications and have Amazon apps pre-installed on your device. This is still a no-contract unlocked phone, with the only exception being the Amazon subsidy restrictions.

The first phone to participate in this promotion is the brand new Blu R1 HD. It is available as either a 1GB RAM with 8GB on-board storage for $50 subsidized (or $100 unsubsidized), or 2GB RAM with 16GB on-board storage for $60 subsidized (or $110 unsusbisized). The decision between the two is crystal clear. For an extra $10, you have to to get the 2GB RAM and 16GB on-board storage. You will have fewer performance and multi-tasking restrictions with twice the RAM and internal storage!

[Read more…]

Free 128GB microSDXC card with new Sony X Unlocked Smartphone for $550

Sony’s new line-up of X-series smartphones has arrived in the US market, and the mainstream option of this line, the “Sony Xperia X” is now available for $550 in four different colors, but that’s not all! Amazon.com is bundling this with a 128GB Sony-brnaded microSDXC memory card for the same price of $550. This is pretty good since the phone can take microSD cards up to 200MB! This particular combination is in-stock and shipping as of the time of writing.

This is their flagship deputy (or sidekick, choose your own analogy here), with a 5-inch 1080p display, 3GB RAM, 32GB on-board storage plus the aforementioned microSD slot. It is running Android 6.0, and is powered by the Snapdragon 650 and Adreno 510 combination. Its camera has a decent size sensor for a smartphone, a 1/2-inch Exmor RS.

The big decision for Sony fans may be between this and the X Performance flagship. Many of the specs are similar between the two, but the X Performance has the Snapdragon 820 and Adreno 530 combination and a slightly larger battery, along with IP68 water resistance certification (one of the early signature characteristics of Sony flagships). This goes for $700 and does not come with a free memory card. It is expected to ship in mid July.

The product pages mentioned above have a detailed list of compatible GSM providers as this is a factory unlocked phone with a USA warranty. The USA market has the usual suspects, AT&T, T-Magenta (okay, T-Mobile), their prepaid sidekicks (Cricket, MetroPCS), Straight Talk, Net10, H20 Wireless, and more.

Nextbit Robin drops to $300 again [limit 3]

The cloud-friendly NextBit Robin smartphone is on sale again for $300, in new condition, with a USA warranty and without any contractual obligations, in two different colors, at Amazon by Amazon actual. Limit three per color per customer.

It averages 3.9 out of 5 based on 80+ customer reviews so far, its hype is more inner-circle of Android fans than the general mythical average consumer. This was a phone born out of Kickstarter after it brought it over $1 million in pledges.

Huawei Honor 5X for $160 (Unlocked 4G LTE, No Contract)

Mid-range is the new flagship in the world of smartphones these days as technology has advanced to the point where you can have a nice phone without breaking the bank on a flagship (unless you want to or it has must have features or performance).

If you are in the former category, the official NewEgg eBay store is offering the new condition, unlocked with USA warranty, Huawei Honor 5X Metal smartphone (formal name KIW-L24) for $160 with free shipping. You have three colors to pick from (gray, silver or gold) and up to five devices per eBay buyer (NewEgg enforces the limits). Already nearly 900 units got sold as of posting time.

[Read more…]

32GB HTC One M7 (AT&T Unlocked) for $150

Things move fast in the world of smartphones, which means you can get previous flagships for less a couple of years later. But they also rarely run the latest version of Android, so you have a tug-of-war of trade-offs to make. Be that as it may, among the latest offers on eBay you can get the new condition unlocked 32GB HTC One M7 for $150 with free shipping, in either the black or silver color schemes. The seller of record is QualityCellz (99.2%).

This is the last HTC flagship before they re-embraced microSD cards with the M8. So if 32GB is enough for you, and you don’t care for a microSD slot, keep on reading. The listing describes it as “factory unlocked” but it says multiples times this is “AT&T unlocked”. So if you are planning to use it with other GSM carriers that do not operate in the AT&T universe, you may want to check the bands or your favorite Android phones first.

As a quick refresher, this is powered by Snapdragon 600 processor with 2GB RAM, a 1920 x 1080 Gorilla Glass 2 screen, and such. It originally came out during the reign of Android 4.1.2 (Jelly Bean).