Question Should I buy a newer phone even if the user doesn't use all its features?


Jun 24, 2009
I have a friend in his 70's that I bought a Samsung Galaxy S4 (circa 2014) last year to use with his budget phone plan, and it appears to have stopped working, so I got him a e Moto 6 (a budget phone for a budget plan, to be sure, but the latest budget phone) and he is pleased with it as the call and video call quality are both improved.

In a similar vein, I have a Galaxy S7 that I use on the same budget plan, and it works fine, but my mother has some kind of budget Samsung phone the carrier says has "cold flash" (?) which I guess is their term for the fact that data and calls do not go through anymore she only gets calls through the wifi calling function, I think. So I need to get her a new phone. I was thinking about handing her down my S7, but maybe I should get her a new one. I've talked to her about switching to the T-Mobile plan for seniors as well, so maybe a T-Mobile branded phone with 5G would be best? But she doesn't use much beyond the phone part of the phone, should I stick with the e Moto level of things?


Only you and her can determine what type of phone she needs. If she is not concerned about gaming speed or camera quality much than a cheaper phone is just fine. I would not worry about 5G at all, it's not widely available and while it has benefits, I doubt she would use any features that need faster speeds. The S7 is not a bad phone, only thing you need to watch for it the battery life and any end of life updates it may stop getting.


Jun 24, 2009
I had this question on the Tom's Hardware forum until they deleted it after informing me that Tom's Guide had a forum too, and that was the appropriate venue for this question. The upshot of the discussion there was:

  • Samsung's "A" line of phones is a reliable budget brand (I knew this, I already planned to get an A70 for myself)
  • T-Mobile makes really bad phones, so don't get the Revvlry
  • Nord 10/100 is OnePlus, and they make really good phones
  • The newer a phone is, the more future proofed it is, therefore it is more logical to buy a new phone (the most reliable of any price range one can afford) than handing down one's old phone (in this case, handing down my S7 to my mother)
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