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.

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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).

Refurbished 16GB Nexus 5 (unlocked) for $170 [was $150]

The 16GB Nexus 5 (made by LG) Android phone that is part of the Marshmallow wave is available in “certified refurbished” condition for $170 [was $150] with free shipping by two different sellers “BuySPRY” and “Magic Mobile Partners” with the order fulfilled by Amazon, so you get free Prime shipping (if a member) and you get to deal with the Amazon customer service in case of problems. This “certified refurbished” comes with a minimum 90-day warranty and testing/inspection according to the product listing over there… UPDATE 11/19/15: the price jumped from $150 to $170 🙁

From the same seller with similar terms you can get the 32GB version for $180. This does not have a microSD slot, so it’s a trade-off to consider. On the other hand, this is a 4G LTE phone, so if you have a fast connection and access to reliable Wifi, you may not need more than 16GB – at least for media purposes.

I haven’t yet bought any items that are part of Amazon’s Certified Refurbished category, so I can’t tell you what to expect. I am tempted by this Nexus 5 price though because I don’t currently have an officially sanctioned Marshmallow phone.

There are no customer reviews of either one of these listings, so perhaps this is for the more brave shoppers who don’t mind taking a risk.

Seller-refurbished Samsung Galaxy S5 (T-Mobile, Unlocked) for $210

If today’s Uncarrier X announcements got you excited about T-Mobile, but you don’t want to pay the big bucks for a new phone and you don’t want to sign up for those monthly plans, among the latest offers on eBay you can get the seller-refurbished Samsung Galaxy S5 (T-Mobile, but unlocked now) for $210 with free shipping by eBay seller “chubbiestech” (98.7%). This is available in either black or white, with a limit of 50 per customer. The gold color is sold-out.

The description over there states “phone in fair to good condition, Unit will have scuffs or scratches on body and screen. Comes packaged in after market box with compatible charger & battery”. If you are comfortable with the higher risk of seller-refurbished items, and you are not a perfectionist in terms of the cosmetic product condition, you may get a great deal out of this.

Since this is a T-Mobile unlocked phone, it should work great with T-Mobile. For other GSM carriers, check the bands to make sure it’s a good match. Of particular interest if you are a fan of microSD cards and removable batteries since Samsung yanked both of those features out of the Galaxy S6 🙁

No contract, you own the phone right away. You can always use it as a Wifi-only media device, or use it for development purposes or other experiments, or have it “eat” data from your mobile hotspot or other phones.

Seller-Refurbished HTC One M8 (model 6525) for $170 [Verizon with Unlocked GSM]

If you are comfortable with beat-up smartphones (an anti-euphemism for seller-refurbished), all it takes is $170 (was $150) to get the seller refurbished 32GB HTC One M8 (model 6525) from eBay seller BidAllies (98.7%). The description over there calls it “This is a B+ Stock item, meaning unit is in good cosmetic condition and may have minor scrapes or scratches since it’s been handled.”… Price updated in this post on 11/10/15…

Now if you only want to use it as a Wifi-only device, you don’t have to worry about the cellular part. But if you do, keep in mind, this is a Verizon Wireless model, with the GSM part unlocked. Some recent Verizon phones have GSM so you can use it while traveling abroad. So if you are planning to use it on GSM, make sure you check the bands, and check various forums, to make sure it will work to your satisfaction on your chosen GSM network.

Over 4900 units got sold from this offer so far. Only the Gray color scheme remains in-stock. The rest are sold-out. Some prefer the M8 to the newer M9 flagship, but that depends on preferences. The M8 was the first HTC modern-era flagship to bring back the microSD slot (the M7 does not have it).

No contract, you own it right away. You don’t have to use it wirelessly, you just have it as a Wifi-only device, such as a media player, or remote control, or have it feed off your hotspot or your other phone’s mobile hotspot.

The price is very tempting, but make sure you understand the risks of a “seller refurbished” item, and the potential band issues if you are planning to use it on a GSM network.

Open-box HTC One M9 (former AT&T, unlocked) for $350 (was $300)

Things are heating up in the world of smartphones, the flagships from the established phone manufacturers are getting a lot of pressure from upstarts (companies big and small that don’t have the gravitas of the Samsung, LG, HTC, etc). That means discounting across the board. Including the open-box (new-other condition) HTC One M9 (32GB, Unlocked, was AT&T) for $350 (was $300) with free shipping. The seller is QualityCellz (99.2%), and claims it is under HTC warranty but does not provide further details… Price updated in this post on 11/10/15…

The “new-other” part says it may have cosmetic imperfections. Sounds like open-box. eBay really needs to clean up their “item descriptions” as people seem to be finding loopholes to “prettify” their listings.

Since this was an AT&T phone, if you are planning to use it on some other GSM carriers, make sure you check the bands and frequencies to make sure it works to your satisfaction.

It is contested in some Android forums as to whether one should get the M9 or go for the M8, so it’s up to you to prioritize features and prices.

[DEAD] Mon only: unlocked Motorola Moto X (2nd gen) for $200

As of 12:05am ET, all three of the colors sold-out, ahead of the 24-hour expiration window…

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LG Nexus 5 for $175

The launch of Marshmallow (Android 6.0) changed the depth chart of the Nexus phone line-up. No longer can the trusty Nexus 4 get official OTA Google OS updates with the rest of the pack. So the lines have moved, now the Nexus 5 is the oldest phone that is going to be Marhsmallowed (yes, it’s a verb!). Of course there is (and will be) more work at XDA and other places to get 6.0 on the Nexus 4, but if you prefer the official OTA, it has to be Nexus 5 or newer.

Speaking of which, eBay seller “mobilepros1” (97.9%) is offering new-condition factory-unlocked 16GB LG Nexus 5 (model D820) for $175 with free shipping, with a limit of five per buyer. Only the black color scheme is available. This is a GSM model. No contract!

The warranty is curiously described as “Remaining US Warranty”. Remaining as in? 🙂

A quick refresher, this has 2GB RAM, 16GB on-board, no microSD, 5-inch 1080p display, Snapdragon 800 with Adreno 330, and things like that. Some are reporting battery life improvements with Android 6.0, which is a good thing since battery life was one of the knocks on this one when it came out.

Now strategically the question is, do you get this one or a Nexus 6? Other things equal, the Nexus 6 may get an additional official OS update over the Nexus 5. On the other hand, there’s breaking rumor-news now that Google will merge Android and ChromeOS, so I don’t know if that will throw a monkey-wrench in their OS upgraditis situation.

[DEAD] 5-inch Huawei SnapTo Unlocked 4G LTE for $98

This particular sale ended but with so many phones on the market, and with Huawei desperate to gain a foothold in the USA market, on the heels of its Nexus flagship phone, there are bound to be more sales in the future…

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[DEAD] Scratch and Dent Samsung Galaxy Former-Flagship deals

This daily deal expired…
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Power-hungry users: BLU Studio Energy 2 with 5000 mah battery (unlocked 4G LTE) for $180

If you are a fan of GSM and 4G LTE and battery life is your #1 priority, there’s a brand new smartphone coming out with a 5000 mah battery (that’s right, five thousand mah). It is a refresh of a previous model, but now with 4G LTE and improved specs. It is the new BLU Studio Energy 2. And a reasonable price of $180, unlocked without contract requirements.

Having said that, the rest of the specs are in the mid-range, it has 1.5GB RAM, 16GB on-board, microSD (up to 64GB), 5-inch HD AMOLED (which probably suggests 720p), and an unspecified 1.3 GHz quad-core processor (other Blu phones use MediaTek). It is a dual-SIM phone and comes with Lollipod out of the box.

The price at the moment is $180 at (no contract!). The shipment estimate, as of the time of writing is “Temporarily out of stock”.

Unlocked 32GB Motorola Nexus 6 (XT1103) for $300

If the new Nexus 5X and 6P devices are not to your liking, there’s further discounting on last year’s Nexus 6 by Motorola. You can get it in new condition, carrier unlocked, in the 32GB denomination for $300 with free shipping, with a choice of blue or white, with a limit of five per customer, from eBay seller “QualityCellz” (99.2%). This is model XT1103.

This does not have a microSD, but it is one of only a few phones at the moment that can work with Google’s Project FI, whose defining feature is giving you an account credit for unused data in your account.

Samsung Galaxy S6 (G920i) for $430 [no contract; unlocked!]

If you are comfortable with a Galaxy S flagship smartphone without a microSD slot and without a removable battery, you can get the international edition, factory unlocked, version of the Samsung Galaxy S6 (G920i) for $430 with free shipping, in new condition, with a limit of five per customer.

Only the black sapphire color scheme is available. The other two have sold out already. The seller of record is none other than Monoprice (their eBay store)! This is a GSM phone, unlocked, no contract!

LG G3 (D851, 32GB, T-Mobile Unlocked GSM, No Contract) for $250

If you like the sweet value of former flagships, and also prefer no-contract GSM unlocked smartphones, there’s another temptation among the latest eBay Deals, you can get the new condition LG G3 (32GB, D851), T-Mobile Unlocked GSM smartphone, no contract, for $250 with free shipping. Limit five per customer. The seller of record is MobilePros1 (97.7%). Over 1900 units got moved so far from this listing.

This was opened for unlocking purposes but it is otherwise new. As a refresher, it has a 5.5-inch screen, 3GB RAM, 32GB on-board, comes with Kit Kat and can be upgraded to Lollipop, and such. As a former high profile release, there’s plenty of information, reviews and hacks posted about it.