refurb iPhone 5s or save for iPhone SE

cybercylon

macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 12, 2016
4
1
Since I am not too familiar with iPhones, I have a few questions for you.

While I have resisted the idea for awhile, I have been thinking about getting a phone for my daughter. Texts, FaceTime, etc seem to be the main way most of her friend communicate (I guess email is getting passé for the younger ones).

Originally, I had planned to keep it to modest Android phone (no more than $150-$200). If it gets broken or lost, no big financial loss. That said, most of her friend use iPhones. The only new model that is on the table is the SE. By the time I have saved the cash, maybe they will be available!

That said, BestBuy is having one of their daily deals for $75 off Apple refurbished 5s unlocked phones. With store credit, I can get that under $200 (around $180... not bad).

It would mostly be used for texts, FaceTime, email, etc. Some web browsing, and a couple of game she would like to get. It seems like that phone should be good enough. My concern is how much longer the phone will be supported with iOS updates. How well does iOS 9 function on a 5s? Is it likely Apple will drop iOS support with iOS 10 now that everything that has an A7 has a viable replacement? The carrier will likely be Net 10 or Tracfone (either one will work if I order the SIM card) as I don't want a contract and that will force her on a budget. That leads to another question. If I am reading things correctly, unlocked 5s phones are GSM models only? Verizon has better coverage where we are.

So ultimate question, jump on the 5S or save the pennies for the SE (the SE is over my budget, but if the experience will be better.....

Edit... one other question. On the iPhone, is it possible to globally turn off data while still being able to text and make calls. I often leave my Android phone in that state and only turn data on when I need it.

Thanks in advance.
 
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keysofanxiety

macrumors G3
Nov 23, 2011
9,534
25,266
Honestly I'd just get the 5S at that price. It's a great perfoming phone, and iOS 9 is silky smooth on it.

It's important to consider that the iPhone 4S & 5 is still supported on iOS 9, and that the 5S has a 64-bit CPU, so it's likely to be supported for a few more generations once the 32-bit CPUs are dropped from iOS.

Also the CPU in the 6 isn't that much powerful than the 5S, so based on that I don't think they'll be dropping the 5S any time soon. :)
 
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0928001

Suspended
Sep 15, 2012
453
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I wouldn't say the experience with the SE would be worth the higher cost over the 5S. The camera is better and the device is faster overall, but the 5S is pretty fast itself. She is upgrading from an Android to an iPhone anyways, so any iPhone would be a massive upgrade.
 

cybercylon

macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 12, 2016
4
1
This would be her first phone. Her tablet is a Samsung, so android is not new to her. That said, we mostly have a Mac ecosystem.

I'd still like to know if data can be shut off globally as with my LG... she is going to be on a budget! That... and I still don't get the whole unlocked issue being GSM only for the iPhone 5s unless I am misreading things. It's more straightforward for the iPhone 6 onward.

As for a massive upgrade from Android to any iPhone, it all depends. There are some crap android phones out there to be sure that can make for a miserable experience, but that is not so much the OS, but the phone itself.
 

SuperKerem

macrumors 6502a
Oct 29, 2012
861
252
This would be her first phone. Her tablet is a Samsung, so android is not new to her. That said, we mostly have a Mac ecosystem.

I'd still like to know if data can be shut off globally as with my LG... she is going to be on a budget! That... and I still don't get the whole unlocked issue being GSM only for the iPhone 5s unless I am misreading things. It's more straightforward for the iPhone 6 onward.

As for a massive upgrade from Android to any iPhone, it all depends. There are some crap android phones out there to be sure that can make for a miserable experience, but that is not so much the OS, but the phone itself.
Data can be shut off easily in settings, or just by turning on airplane mode. The 5s will likely be supported until iOS 12-14, nothing to worry about there.

Sounds like the 5S is the one for her.
(Unless she's a big tech fan, and will really utilise the improvements in the SE!)
 

cola79

macrumors 6502
Sep 19, 2013
278
248
There is also an option in wifi settings that allows the phone to use data services if wifi is weak, that should be disabled too. If she does this, she can leave wifi always on and so maybe save mobile data as she is on a budget.

Considering the price of the 5s and that it will be her first phone, also most friends use iOS, I would take the 5s.

The Se might be an option if she wants to use it for years, but assuming she is younger you can never tell what will be "needed" a couple of years later.

The difference lays only in the camera (not so much better, but still) and the faster processor and more ram.

If she is happy with the actual speed on the newest iOS, she could wait a couple of weeks when newer iOS versions come out to see if it slows down other 5s.

So based on the price I would go for the 5s. You could even buy two and still save a little over the se, so if she accidentally smashes the phone she would have a backup.

If overall experience is important, take the se. It's not that different today , but maybe in a year it will be faster on newer iOS versions and power hungry apps that might be trendy then.

If you think your daughter will take care of her phone and mostly do texting, pictures and a few games etc then maybe give yourself a push and get her the se. This can be sold for more money if she needs something else in maybe two or three years, a 5s will not sell so good then.

In two years, the se should still be worth 200-250 dollars, consider this when thinking about saving money. Sometimes it's better to invest a little more in the beginning but the money is not lost, it's a little like putting it aside.

About the GSM thing, in the USA iPhones as much as I know work only on cdma with the carrier who sold it. Maybe some u.s. citizens can give you more details on this.
 
Last edited:

osta.doc

macrumors regular
Apr 1, 2016
130
101
Since I am not too familiar with iPhones, I have a few questions for you.

While I have resisted the idea for awhile, I have been thinking about getting a phone for my daughter. Texts, FaceTime, etc seem to be the main way most of her friend communicate (I guess email is getting passé for the younger ones).

Originally, I had planned to keep it to modest Android phone (no more than $150-$200). If it gets broken or lost, no big financial loss. That said, most of her friend use iPhones. The only new model that is on the table is the SE. By the time I have saved the cash, maybe they will be available!

That said, BestBuy is having one of their daily deals for $75 off Apple refurbished 5s unlocked phones. With store credit, I can get that under $200 (around $180... not bad).

It would mostly be used for texts, FaceTime, email, etc. Some web browsing, and a couple of game she would like to get. It seems like that phone should be good enough. My concern is how much longer the phone will be supported with iOS updates. How well does iOS 9 function on a 5s? Is it likely Apple will drop iOS support with iOS 10 now that everything that has an A7 has a viable replacement? The carrier will likely be Net 10 or Tracfone (either one will work if I order the SIM card) as I don't want a contract and that will force her on a budget. That leads to another question. If I am reading things correctly, unlocked 5s phones are GSM models only? Verizon has better coverage where we are.

So ultimate question, jump on the 5S or save the pennies for the SE (the SE is over my budget, but if the experience will be better.....

Edit... one other question. On the iPhone, is it possible to globally turn off data while still being able to text and make calls. I often leave my Android phone in that state and only turn data on when I need it.

Thanks in advance.
Just some food for thought, I bought my SE from BB one week after release, out of pocket.

$399.00 for the 64GB model, but I could have bought the 16GB for $299.00, if that helps your decision any?
 

SuperKerem

macrumors 6502a
Oct 29, 2012
861
252
There is also an option in wifi settings that allows the phone to use data services if wifi is weak, that should be disabled too. If she does this, she can leave wifi always on and so maybe save mobile data as she is on a budget.

Considering the price of the 5s and that it will be her first phone, also most friends use iOS, I would take the 5s.

The Se might be an option if she wants to use it for years, but assuming she is younger you can never tell what will be "needed" a couple of years later.

The difference lays only in the camera (not so much better, but still) and the faster processor and more ram.

If she is happy with the actual speed on the newest iOS, she could wait a couple of weeks when newer iOS versions come out to see if it slows down other 5s.

So based on the price I would go for the 5s. You could even buy two and still save a little over the se, so if she accidentally smashes the phone she would have a backup.

If overall experience is important, take the se. It's not that different today , but maybe in a year it will be faster on newer iOS versions and power hungry apps that might be trendy then.

If you think your daughter will take care of her phone and mostly do texting, pictures and a few games etc then maybe give yourself a push and get her the se. This can be sold for more money if she needs something else in maybe two or three years, a 5s will not sell so good then.

In two years, the se should still be worth 200-250 dollars, consider this when thinking about saving money. Sometimes it's better to invest a little more in the beginning but the money is not lost, it's a little like putting it aside.

About the GSM thing, in the USA iPhones as much as I know work only on cdma with the carrier who sold it. Maybe some u.s. citizens can give you more details on this.
The SE will lose most of its value as soon as you start using it. OP, don't even consider the resale value part - buy a $400 SE and sell it for $200, or get a 5S for $180 and sell it for $100...nothing like putting money aside.

Get the 5s for now, and if you notice that she takes good care of it and really appreciates it, maybe get the iPhone 7s/8 a few years down the line. The 5s will be great for AT LEAST 2 more years.

EDIT: Whichever phone you get, DO NOT get the 16GB model. Trust me with this one.
 

osta.doc

macrumors regular
Apr 1, 2016
130
101
The SE will lose most of its value as soon as you start using it. OP, don't even consider the resale value part - buy a $400 SE and sell it for $200, or get a 5S for $180 and sell it for $100...nothing like putting money aside.

Get the 5s for now, and if you notice that she takes good care of it and really appreciates it, maybe get the iPhone 7s/8 a few years down the line. The 5s will be great for AT LEAST 2 more years.

EDIT: Whichever phone you get, DO NOT get the 16GB model. Trust me with this one.
Can you buy a 64GB iPhone 5S for $180.00?
 

osta.doc

macrumors regular
Apr 1, 2016
130
101
A quick check at Swappa shows 5, 5s's in good condition for 250.00 to 300.00
[doublepost=1463085070][/doublepost]64GB....
 

SuperKerem

macrumors 6502a
Oct 29, 2012
861
252
A quick check at Swappa shows 5, 5s's in good condition for 250.00 to 300.00
[doublepost=1463085070][/doublepost]64GB....
"BestBuy is having one of their daily deals for $75 off Apple refurbished 5s unlocked phones. With store credit, I can get that under $200"

That's $200 WITH the $75 off + the store credit. Looks like a great deal to me, for a 32GB 5s.
 

osta.doc

macrumors regular
Apr 1, 2016
130
101
"BestBuy is having one of their daily deals for $75 off Apple refurbished 5s unlocked phones. With store credit, I can get that under $200"

That's $200 WITH the $75 off + the store credit. Looks like a great deal to me, for a 32GB 5s.
Or, 300.00 for the 64GB SE brand new, with the upgrades?
[doublepost=1463085762][/doublepost]
Or, 300.00 for the 64GB SE brand new, with the upgrades?
Sorry, 16GB......
 

cybercylon

macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 12, 2016
4
1
That is a good point about the 16 gb issue. My 32 gig iPad mini 2 is not loaded with tons of pictures, games, or movies, and there is about 12 gigs free.

I am not too concerned about resale value. We tend to find a use for something and hang on to it until it is dead.

This is the link. One thing I find a little misleading... this is not Apple refurbished. Anything refurbished by Apple gets an Apple warranty, no?

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/apple-c...ace-gray/4987600.p?id=bb4987600&skuId=4987600

It does boggle my mind when I see pre-teens and teens lugging 128 gig iPhone 6s Plus. Really?
 

cybercylon

macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 12, 2016
4
1
I decided to go for it. Despite the 16 gig memory issue, at that price, this is still a good starter phone for her... and at that price, enough to get the backup.

She wants to follow my footsteps and referee soccer games.. she can start that in two years, and if she wants something else, she can save up.
 

SuperKerem

macrumors 6502a
Oct 29, 2012
861
252
That is a good point about the 16 gb issue. My 32 gig iPad mini 2 is not loaded with tons of pictures, games, or movies, and there is about 12 gigs free.

I am not too concerned about resale value. We tend to find a use for something and hang on to it until it is dead.

This is the link. One thing I find a little misleading... this is not Apple refurbished. Anything refurbished by Apple gets an Apple warranty, no?

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/apple-c...ace-gray/4987600.p?id=bb4987600&skuId=4987600

It does boggle my mind when I see pre-teens and teens lugging 128 gig iPhone 6s Plus. Really?
I don't think it would have the original Apple warranty, but I think Best Buy have their own warranty for this.
[doublepost=1463133236][/doublepost]
I decided to go for it. Despite the 16 gig memory issue, at that price, this is still a good starter phone for her... and at that price, enough to get the backup.

She wants to follow my footsteps and referee soccer games.. she can start that in two years, and if she wants something else, she can save up.
Fair enough. I would at least let your daughter choose the colour of the phone :D
 

jetsam

macrumors 6502a
Jul 28, 2015
578
320
Neither Best Buy nor Apple warrant the phone. According to the Best Buy web page cited:

A limited 1 year warranty is provided by CCR Warranty. To obtain technical or warranty assistance, please contact CCR Warranty at 866-579-8436.
 

osta.doc

macrumors regular
Apr 1, 2016
130
101
How did you get the SE $100 off?
I asked BB to price match a sale that Walmart was having at the time, coupled with buying it outright. I thought it was a good deal for me on a phone released one week prior.

Also, to protect my unlimited data plan.
 

Channan

macrumors 68030
Mar 7, 2012
2,615
2,168
New Orleans
I asked BB to price match a sale that Walmart was having at the time, coupled with buying it outright. I thought it was a good deal for me on a phone released one week prior.

Also, to protect my unlimited data plan.
Wow, how nice. Wish I thought of that.
 

osta.doc

macrumors regular
Apr 1, 2016
130
101
Wow, how nice. Wish I thought of that.
I wanted the SE for my first iPhone, but I didn't want to be saddled with 16GB, so $399.00 for 63 GB worked for me, and I love this device, largely due to it's size.

Is it perfect, no, but every device is a trade-off in my eyes. Price vs size vs features.
 
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