Phone suggestions for a fairly basic user

If this has been asked so many times that there’s an archive or FAQ somewhere, please feel free to redirect me. Absent that:

I think it’s time for a new phone (notice I didn’t say “upgrade”) I have moto g play that’s about 4 years old on a 3.0 plan with 1 GB of data. Stuck on android 7.1.1. I’m very happy with it, but i’m concerned about the aging OS.

This is my business phone, so it needs to work well, but my needs are basic: The important ones are:

Decent audio quality;
good reception and connectivity over a range of networks and conditions

I’d also like the ability to change batteries, rather than have to replace the phone when the battery croaks.

I use a few, fairly basic apps.


Will another basic moto work for me? Will I gain anything important by upgrading to a more expensive phone?


To provide a partial answer for your quest … replaceable batteries are noted for 8 of the currently approved phones, looks like 4 Moto’s and 4 Samsungs. These can be found in the Tips & tricks section

If you’ve been happy with the Moto G series I see no reason not to get the latest iteration of the Moto G. Regarding removable batteries, there really aren’t any phones I would recommend with a removable battery. I don’t even think it’s desirable. It’s true that phone batteries typically only last 2-3 years, but with the pace of network updates, consolidations, and the expiration of security updates for whatever phone you buy, 2-3 years is about the expectation for useful life of a phone.

Thanks for the feedback. I shake my head in amazement (and dismay) at how few phones are designed to allow easy battery replacement, but I guess that’s just the way it is. Seems like a terrible waste. But don’t let that bit of commentary detract from my gratitude for the help - I appreciate it.


Manufacturers had much rather sell you a new phone than a replacement battery. It’s part of built-in obsolescence for consumer devices.

Some thoughts and considerations on a simple great sounding phone with good reception.

For reception and sound quality Tom’s Guide and GSM Arena provide data and recommendations in their reviews. I also like J Williams on Youtube.

Size, features, memory size, SD card slot, screen quality and brightness, etc. are important too. (ie: Because I mount my phone to the windshield I wanted a front fingerprint reader.) Most phones are bigger than they used to be and many no longer have a headphone jack.

Google Pixel phones (and I believe “Android One” phones) get 3 Andriod OS updates and security patches from the time of their release date. Everybody else has different amounts of updates for their various grades of phones.

Pixel phones run pure Android with Motorola and OnePlus phones adding only a few tweaks. At work I have to use a company provided Samsung on Verizon and the combined bloatware is a nightmare.

5G service is expanding and you may want to consider a phone like the Pixel 4a 5G but it probably isn’t worth it for talk, text and light data use. (If you do decide on a 5G phone make sure it works on RW’s service.)

The Moto G Power has a huge battery and it may have a longer life than other phones if you let it drain to a low percentage each time before charging it.

If you like what you have you might try what I did for awhile. I had an old Motorola phone and ran the Bitfender antivirus / malware / ransomware / privacy etc. protection app on it with the old Android OS running just fine until it the camera died There is a free version but I pay for coverage on 5 devices. With many other antivirus, etc. apps out there choose which ever one you like.

That said I bought the OnePlus 7T (used) on Swpppa and I’m very happy with it, but its not cheap and its too big to fit easily in a shirt pocket. The reception is excellent in the fringe areas that I drive through regularly and its instantaneous when “loading” the camera, opening contacts,etc. It started on Android 10 when released, is now on 11, will only get 12 for sure, and maybe 13 if I’m lucky.

Good luck with whatever you decide that works best for you.

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