$10 smartphone sucks

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If my price range is in the $10 area, I’m buying a fucking feature phone. At least those have been around for literally decades and have had all the kinks worked out.

I’d even take a Motorola RAZR V3 over a $10 smartphone sight unseen.


If you tap the screen, something (eventually) happens

But… WHAT happens? Don’t leave us like that!


Stuff. Things!


I cracked the screen on my iPhone 3 two years ago. Still works great, but it’s getting a little jagged. Am wondering if this would be a good replacement?


I bought one too and I really disagree with the article. I needed a low-end Android test device and this, well, definitely fits the [$10] bill. The day the phone came in from my ship-to-store order, I happen to shatter the screen on my iPhone 6S, so I decided to use the LG as a stand-in until my replacement 6S came in.

For me, the $10 LG did 80% of what I needed it to do as well as the iPhone 6S. Sure, it’s fat, the screen is on par with an Palm Pre, it’s pokey, and the camera is terrible, but nothing out-right failed. It was fine. And at 1/64th the price of a iPhone it’s amazing.


I’d love to know what the actual cost of this sort of device is. I can’t imagine that the carrier ‘subsidy’ is anywhere near as high as in the ‘2 year contract with an expensive data plan and a stiff ETF’ case, since there just isn’t the same amount of more or less guaranteed profit; but all the low-end prepaid devices I’ve encountered have been pretty heavily locked down(not necessarily at the OS level, if smart enough for ‘the OS’ to be something you can poke at; but very, very, vigorously SIM-locked); which suggests that the retail price is set based on some expectation of future earnings, not because it is directly profitable.


He sounds really disappointed his $10 phone isn’t state-of-the-art.


Does it allow you to talk to people who aren’t in the same room as you? Sounds an ideal festival phone.


Is “dash cam” really such an obvious use for a disposable smartphone? Do people actually make this work?


Oh, and since this never, ever gets old:




With the right software (possibly a native-language app to avoid the resource penalty of java) it could be good as a controller. Attach an arduino and sensors/relays, and voila, a nice smart user interface. And battery with charger included.

With the cellular interface it could also serve as a remote sensor or controller. I can imagine it attached to a compressor station in the middle of nowhere, fed from a solar panel, and report status once per five minutes.


The really bonkers thing is that Walmart is selling LITERALLY DOZENS of smartphones for under $35… In the context of $600 iPhones, I’m sure a couple of those are well worth the money.


I’m using an LG Tribute that was $40 from Best Buy (hell it’s $30 now from Virgin Mobile). It’s got about twice the specs as this, 1Gb of RAM, 800x480 res, 4gig rom, msdhc slot, decent camera, 1.2Ghz quad core. It’s not a screamer, but god damn it’s $30.


I’m using a Moto E which some consider one of the better “shit” phones. Yea the camera sucks but otherwise it works just fine.


I suppose if you let a little kid play with it you wouldn’t have to worry much if they broke it. A fake plastic phone could cost more.


What’s the battery life? Because I’m sure it does calls and txts maybe even better than a feature phone, but if the battery life is rubbish, it’s useless.


If it’s just the jagged glass you’re worried about, why not pick up a tempered glass screen protector to seal it all up? No more jaggies, and it’s like you’ve got a new screen. :slight_smile: (Edit: ok, it’s still all shattered, but it feels like a new screen to touch)


Hmm, a device that can play audio for the price of a bargain bin MP3 player with an interface that can’t really be worse than that of a bargain bin MP3 player and that doesn’t use the battery of anything important.


Actually, it’s still $10, at least in the Wal-Mart stores. Or at least it was yesterday when I bought one at a Wal-Mart here in Indianapolis.

I’m planning to send one to my Mom for Christmas. Being that she’s an amputee, I think she could use a smartphone of some kind–it would be easier to use one-handed than the Nexus 10 tablet she owns, or even the 7" Fire she just got. But it’s the sort of thing she’d never think to buy for herself. The nice thing is, my parents already use TracFone feature phones, so this $10 smartphone would be able to use her existing minutes and everything.

She insists she wouldn’t get much use out of it, but hey–a $10 phone is a great way for her to try out even a lousy smartphone, and if she likes the general idea, she could pay more to upgrade to a better one later. Plus she could use it around the house via WiFi as a one-handed mini-tablet, which means she’d get a lot more use out of it than she does out of the feature phone she rarely uses except when one or the other of them is in a store and the other is in the car.

It was kind of amusing reading the Ars Technica article, though. The cognitive dissonance in reading a review this thorough of a device this cheap is considerable. It’s like having a professional sommelier report on MD 20/20, or reading a high-performance sports car magazine article about a Yugo. Ars Technica probably paid Ron Amadeo many times more money for writing it than it paid for the phone itself!