Value for money (sub $ 250 Android phone) closest to apple / iOS

Discussion in 'Alternatives to iOS and iOS Devices' started by Subu, Apr 20, 2016.

  1. Subu, Apr 20, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2016

    Subu macrumors regular

    Jan 10, 2013

    I'm Trying to buy a smart phone for my mom, who already knows / uses iOs (she used to use mine). I've tried getting her to use BB etc., didn't work :-(

    I don't want to go for an 5S or SE ($ 400) unless there is no other option

    I'm wondering if there are $ 250, sub $ 250 Androids that mimic iOs ? or feel like iOs on the UI (not speed but just UI)

    Request user experiences / comments from experienced users :)

    Yes I've googled and read, but the more you check the more all non stock android seems good for just 1 year (works between major updates)

  2. keysofanxiety macrumors G3


    Nov 23, 2011
    iPhone 5Ss are below that price now -- from distributors as well, not private sellers.

  3. bufffilm Suspended


    May 3, 2011
    Motorola Moto G LTE (3rd Gen.)

    16gb storage w/2gb RAM $219

    Uniformly very good reviews...great phone for only $200 bucks with good battery, nice camera. my sis-in-law has one and is happy. My brother's family are all Android.
  4. techigramps macrumors newbie


    Apr 13, 2016

    The One Plus X is another option. Fact of the matter is due to competition in the Android world there are a lot of options to choose from. While I love Apple products I find it amazing because of the closed market how easy folks talk about a 400-500 dollar phone( IPHONE SE) being Apple's input into the "value " market. Frankly for that kind of money there are plenty of better Android choices. I've been operating a One Plus One for two years now which at the time had pretty awesome specs and still works terrific today and that cost me 349.00 two years ago! We're talking a phone with 5.5 inch screen, 3gb of memory, 64gb of storage and all day battery life and now can be bought for under 300 bucks!
  5. MRU Suspended


    Aug 23, 2005
  6. ozaz macrumors 65816

    Feb 27, 2011
    I think trying to find a phone that mimics iOS will be problematic. I guess MRUs suggestions above were motivated by the fact that these phones don't use app drawers, and app drawers are one element that's different between iOS and Android. But I'd go with a phone that uses stock or close to stock Android, as having two versions of things like email apps and web browsers is a problem on heavily skinned versions of Android and will be confusing for her.

    Moto G is an excellent, near stock choice well within your budget.

    You will need to teach her the difference between home screen and app drawer, how to use the app switcher, the back button, and where to go to get to settings. But it's not too challenging.
  7. Subu thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 10, 2013
    Thanks a ton !

    I checked both those links. One was refurbished and the other one says "“This item is in 9+10 condition. The phones were a Verizon display or excess inventory. It has been checked, tested, and cleaned..." so most probably something has been on display and is re sold now !! :-(

    I really appreciate you taking time and replying. thanks for that. However I'd prefer to avoid display / refurbished pieces

    --- Post Merged, Apr 20, 2016 ---
    Thanks to everyone who replied

    So Moto G seems to be most popular choice (ok at least two votes so far !! )

    Such a pity that STOCK Android phones cost more than ones with skins for the same specifications !! hmm...

  8. r6mile macrumors 6502

    Feb 3, 2010
    London, UK
    I have a Moto X Play which I'm very happy with - great performance, large screen, stock android, and a great price.
  9. Fernandez21 macrumors 601


    Jun 16, 2010
    Any particular reason your looking at something different than ios other than price? And does she use facetime/imessage/itunes/ect.? And what phone does she use now? How important is the camera? Battery life?
  10. Surface3User macrumors newbie

    Jun 23, 2015
    FaceTime and camera are the only reasons why my wife sticks with an iPhone. She only uses about 5-10 apps on a regular basis, and FaceTime is the only unique Apple app. She just wants to be able click on a few icons and be done with it, which is why an iPhone is great for her.
  11. Breaking Good macrumors 65816

    Sep 28, 2012
    There aren't any Android devices that feel like iOS. Android is Android in all its flavors and iOS is just iOS.

    If your Mom is happy on iOS just leave her on iOS. Just wait a month for the 64 GB model supply to catch up with demand and buy here an iPhone SE. It will work fine for at least three years and you'll both be happier in the long run.
  12. mclld macrumors 68020

    Nov 6, 2012
    You should just buy an iphone if you are trying to mimic the experience
  13. Subu, May 2, 2016
    Last edited: May 2, 2016

    Subu thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 10, 2013
    sorry for the delayed reply. I seemed to have lost this thread !! :-(

    No reasons other than the price. Or could I say the best for a given set of features, like camera, screen size etc.. is what I'm looking at. I haven't made up my mind to buy an iPhone for 325 ~ 400 USD


    iPhone 5

    Camera : quite important

    Next : Good Screen (meaning good viewing angles and quality

    Next : Screen size in the 4.8 inch ~ 5 inch area. This would be better than a 4 inch screen . But I am NOT looking at some 6.5 inch phab !! Big is better, but NOT without limits :-(

    Battery : NOT so important, she doesn't travel much

    Hope I answered your questions

    Thanks in advance for your time and replies

  14. Subu thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 10, 2013
    Yes. Last 2 week of checking out phones tells me that !! :)

    probably I'll switch to Android and give her my iPhone !! :)
  15. Fernandez21, May 2, 2016
    Last edited: May 2, 2016

    Fernandez21 macrumors 601


    Jun 16, 2010
    Ok, good camera is going to be tough on a cheaper, smaller android phone.

    I would suggest looking at the Sony Xperia Z compact series, they have good cameras and have 4.6" screens. Not sure about viewing angles since I've never seen one person. The newest model (Z5c) might be out of your price range, but you should be able to find decent pricing on last years model (Z3c). They were around $200 eBay last I looked. They've also been upgraded to marshmallow, and from the videos I've seen it looks really close to stock android.

    Here is a link to one, but not sure if this works with your carrier.

    You could also try looking into a Galaxy S6, or even iPhone 6, they still have some of the better cameras out and the GS6 can be had for a very good price. The iPhone 6 you could probably find for cheap online too. Though these would be slightly above the $250 your looking for, they'll run between $300-$400.
  16. maxsix Suspended


    Jun 28, 2015
    Western Hemisphere
    Two stellar choices are the Nexus 5X and 6P.

    I own them both and I'm super happy with how fast, fun, effective and reliable they are. Don't get me wrong, my iPhone 6S Plus isn't bad, but Android version 6.x.x Marshmallow is just amazing.

    With four active lines I have the luxury of my choice of smartphones on any given day. As much as I enjoyed iOS, Android has surged into the lead. With a very intuitive and efficient UI, it's the lack of wasted steps that makes Android stand out. Once one has used Marshmallow for a week or two of regular daily tasks and discovered the brilliance of it, that it became apparent that I may never go back to an iPhone as my primary smartphone.
  17. macrem macrumors 65816


    Mar 11, 2008
    What exactly is brilliant and just amazing that the 6s+ doesn't have & everyone or let's at least say the average mom wants? I ask because I also have the same iPhone and a Nexus tablet to play with Android (as I like to stay on top of all sorts of gadget technologies), but nothing I am currently aware of about Android is compelling enough to lure me away from iOS.

    An Android phone would be a bit of a bitter sweet gift to me appreciating that my child did something so nice for me spending hard earned money but at the same time I just wouldn't want to switch to an Android phone. Don't get me wrong, I don't dislike Android there are just too many things I very much appreciate about iOS/iPhones.

    It sounds to me proven OP's mom would appreciate a new iPhone but whether she'd really like switching to Android is unknown. It could be a bit like: hey mom, I know how much you love roses, so here are some petunias. She may not really care about the things you consider brilliant, may downright not like some other things, & may not be interested in adapting to a new ecosystem. Nothing else really feels like nor mimics iOS well.
  18. Fernandez21 macrumors 601


    Jun 16, 2010
    Well, from my own experience, the feature my mom loved about the iPhone was FaceTime. That one feature is what got her into a smartphone because she really didn't need or want one. But being able to easily receive a FaceTime call from my son, her grandson, was priceless to her.
  19. ozaz, May 4, 2016
    Last edited: May 4, 2016

    ozaz macrumors 65816

    Feb 27, 2011
    There are a number of things that make Android compelling to techie people. For me, these include widgets, app drawer, more hardware choices, desire to have best version of Google apps.

    But for people not into such things, the key one - and it's important - is value for money, or the desire not to spend $600-$900 when a $200-$300 phone is perfectly capable.
  20. Savor Suspended


    Jun 18, 2010
    Huawei Honor 5X for $200 on Amazon. Probably still one of the Top 3 phones for that price. EMUI also doesn't have an app drawer similar to iOS to lessen the confusion. Another device if you really want to save is get an AT&T Go phone of the ZTE Zmax 2 for $100. How to unlock it? Easy.

    DO NOT TURN ON the phone yet. Leave it inside the box if you can. Go to the AT&T unlock page and ask for a request. Say you are an AT&T non-subcriber. Put the IMEI there which is located outside the box. Put your email. Wait three days. Before you turn on the device make sure to install your preferred sim inside first. Input the unlock code you got from the email. Done. Google search how to unlock AT&T's Lumia 640 and same method. Easy process and only takes three days.

    Look at the Amazon reviews for Honor 5X or Best Buy and Walmart reviews for the Zmax 2 and they are all 4.5-4.6/5 stars. Over 90% approval. Some terrific phones out there.
  21. crashnburn macrumors 6502

    Nov 18, 2009
    Maybe there is a Skin/ Theme that makes an Android look super iOS like?

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