New to this forum... (Kind of) new to Android...


New Member
Nov 29, 2015
Reaction score
Current Phone Model
Motorola V170
Hello! I asked around the Google Product Forums and someone recommended I visit here, so here I am!

Even though I technically don't own an Android phone, the family business I work for has me carrying theirs on a regular basis. So I guess I'm not (yet) an Android owner, but I am an Android (smartphone) user.

I live and work in a very rural, hilly area. Monthly subscription-fee-based cellphones from national carriers like Verizon Wireless and AT&T are available, but in my company's opinion (and mine personally), they are not worth the $40 (or more) per month for their subscription cellphones. Instead, we rely on pay-as-you-go, minutes-based phones from Tracfone. Buying minutes and keeping them active costs only $23 every 3 months. Larger minutes packages can also be purchased.

Over a year ago, we used to have nothing but dirt-cheap throw-away "dumb" cellphones (Motorola V170, locked into Tracfone), but we replaced one of the old dumb-phones with a cheap deal on an LG L39C smartphone. It may seem old and hilariously backward to some here, but this LG was our bargain-discount introduction to Android. We don't use the LG for much; light phone traffic, occasional text and e-mail, using Google Maps for turn-by-turn navigation, and maybe as a calculator or an occasional web browser. That's about it. (The LG uses Android OS 4.1.2)

I may be starting a different job soon, and it may require me to use my own (separate) smartphone. I may be doing quite a bit of cloud-based work on an iPad at the new job, and the iPad would have WiFi-only, so the smartphone would need to occasionally act as a WiFi hotspot. Currently, I'm still using another ancient Motorola V170 dumb-phone as my personal cell. I'm looking at getting a newer, more current Android, unlocked, and logging onto to Tracfone through their "B.Y.O.P." (Bring Your Own Phone) sim-card installation program.

I see that Motorola offers some modern unlocked Android phones at some very attractive prices. If the situation works out with my new job, I'm thinking about getting a new/ late-model Motorola Moto G or E and getting it hitched to Tracfone. If the work requires I move to a more conventional national wireless carrier down the road, I can either decouple the new smartphone from Tracfone or I can buy another phone from Verizon Wireless or AT&T. Both have shops in town.

Here's what I'm looking for:
  • Android smartphone with reasonably recent Android operating system
  • Bluetooth, WiFi
  • GPS
  • 5 to 8 megapixel camera, at least 720p video ability
  • At least 3G, maybe 4G LTE (Would be really nice if the new phone had both USA GSM and CDMA, but I'm not holding my breath on that one)
  • Does not have to be a "phablet", but a good-size decent touchscreen with good glass
  • MicroUSB charging connectivity
  • MicroSD card storage ability, at least 32 GB capacity (I have a black card)
  • Good battery
  • Good support
  • Ability to utilize Evernote, Google Drive, Google Maps, Google Docs, DropBox, Chrome browser, G-Mail, and texting, as well as possibly occasionally serve as a personal WiFi hotspot.
  • My desktop computer is a late-model iMac running MacOS 10.10 "Yosemite"; would like to explore the possibilities in figuring out how to interface the computer with the smartphone, possibly to share info.

An unlocked Moto E, 2nd gen., is listed on Motorola's site at $119, while a 2015 Moto G is at $179, which is a wee bit pricey for me. Amazon lists the same Moto E as $95, and I think the G is $177 so that's a wash.

I am sticking with Tracfone for the time being to contain costs in case the new job doesn't work out. The new phone would become my personal cell and work cell. I would have Tracfone transfer my minutes from the old, "dumb" V170 to whatever new Android I get. I don't know if there are any late-model Android unlocked smartphones on the market that are factory-refurbished.

Any comments or suggestions?
Welcome to DroidForums, Wingsley! Great to have you. A great place to look for a decent phone at a great price might be swappa. Most of the phones listed are used but their esn #'s (similar to a model #) are checked to make sure they can be activated without problems. I believe most at&t phones can be activated on tracfone. And most newer model phones are unlocked.

Sent from my SM-N920V using Tapatalk
Welcome to the forum definitely have some good choices with unlocked phones ...Nexus 6 has some deals around 200 ...I've heard the Moto G is solid on battery and gets the job done ...

6s plus Tapatalk
Welcome to the Forum @Wingsley. You certainly came to the right place for buying recommendations. Keep in mind, we always suggest you go to a local store to check these devices out as you may not like what I or someone else likes.
Can anyone comment on that QVC link? How old is that E? Can that E's OS be updated to current? I ask that because it looks like a pretty nice deal, 1,200 minutes and car charger included.