Need advice on cheapest solution for malfunctioning Samsung

maisybo

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Jan 31, 2018
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I've been an AT&T customer for 25 years.
My 2 year old Samsung Galaxy phone stopped working in Oct 2016; the touchscreen wouldn't do anything. The warranty had expired, & I've never thought adding insurance to my account was worth it. To have the phone fixed was over $100-$150. So I got another Samsung phone; Galaxy J3. Since I'm disabled & my only income is Social Security, I'm paying $9/month for 30 months on AT&T's plan; I have to have a phone & I couldn't figure out another inexpensive way to get one.
In Nov 2017 one month after the warranty expired, the J3's screen keeps flickering & turning a solid yellowish color, obscuring everything on the screen. I still owe $120 or so on the phone, so of course AT&T said I'll have to finish paying for the phone. They didn't offer any suggestions or solutions other than paying full price for a new phone, the cheapest of which is over $200, & I simply can't afford that. I don't trust Samsung phones anymore.
Can I buy an AT&T Go-Phone & just put my current SIM card in it?
What about an "unlocked" phone?
I've pretty much had it with AT&T & want to end my service with them once I pay off my now unusable phone.
I live in East Texas & there are several other carriers, both prepaid and the kind of account I have now where I pay in advance each month. The plan I have is unlimited talk & text with 1 gig of data for $55/month.
I do use a lot of talk & text but usually don't use the whole gig of data -- I check email & have light internet usage, but I'd like a phone I could still use the internet with easily. I'd also like to make sure I can text & receive pictures.
I'd really appreciate any suggestions for a different carrier, plan (prepaid or not) & phone that will fit my needs.
I need some kind of phone that's under $100-$150.
Can I get a phone with good features for that amount, or am I dreaming?
I know there are unlocked phones, refurbished phones, & Go-Phones/prepaid, but I have no idea which would be the best & most economical choice.
Thank you for any & all advice, information & suggestions.
Dana
 

hang-the-9

Titan
Moderator
Yes you can get an unlocked GSM phone and activate it on your AT&T account. No you can't get a "good" phone for $150 new, but you can get a used one. I bought my son a used Samsung S5 for about $100, been working fine for a while now.

The biggest difference between a good phone and a cheaper one is almost always in the screen and camera quality, along with the cheap phone using a decent but not nearly as good CPU/video chip. If you don't like Samsung, something like an iPhone 5s should be pretty cheap, or an LG G3 phone. This ZTE is great for the price https://www.amazon.com/ZTE-Blade-Factory-Unlocked-Phone/dp/B01N7IW7JX?SubscriptionId=AKIAIPHVZTVH6LZ5BFZA&tag=hawk-future-20&linkCode=xm2&camp=2025&creative=165953&creativeASIN=B01N7IW7JX&smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER&ascsubtag=trd-2124583545-20

Keep in mind that lower end phones are very likely to have worse reliability than better phones.
 
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