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Looking for a new phone under £150

Discussion in 'Which China Phone Should I Buy?' started by stu1872, May 14, 2017.

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  1. stu1872
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    By:stu1872May 14, 2017
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    Hi my name is Stuart (Stu) and i am looking for a new phone due to my Xperia Z1 compact's power button giving up the ghost.

    This phone will be for me to use at work so i am not looking to spend too much on it, my budget is £150 max.

    I have used a Chinese made phone before which was a Jiayu G4s. It was alright to use as my work phone tbh but the speakers failed on it and i could not find any spare parts so i couldn't fix it.

    As i work in construction my phones take quite a beating so i looked at a rugged phone like the Nomu S20. It was within my budget but after some research into the device it is claimed to carry a Triada trojan virus on the stock firmware and there is no other firmware to replace it with. The S10 also comes with this virus so iam staying well clear of Nomu tbh.

    I have over the last couple of days been looking at the Xiaomi range of devices. They mostly seem to be running with snapdragon/Adreno chips and have half decent screens. They are not rugged but as they are not expensive i can handle that. I will be after a screen no bigger than 5" so i have been looking mostly at the Redmi 4.

    There seems to be a good few different variants of the Redmi 4 with different internals. There is the 4, 4A, 4 Prime, 4 Pro and 4x. I think the 4x is the newest version but i am not sure if it is the best one out of the range. I will be after the one with the best internals and screen tbh.

    Does anyone have a Xiaomi Redmi 4. If so What are your opinions on it and the best place to buy price wise?

    Are there any devices i have missed that will compete with the Redmi 4 for the specs and price?
     
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    By:stu1872May 14, 2017
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    Been reading up more on the Redmi 4 Prime/Pro and it seems it does not come with a B20 800mhz band for 4G in the UK so it is off the list of potential phones.

    The hunt continues!
     
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    By:mrsimMay 14, 2017
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    hello mate...TBH depending on where you live having the b20 4g band means little to nothing unless you are out in the country somewhere have quite a few mates who have xaiomi devices and they have never had a problem connecting to any 4g network here in the UK,i would also forget all chinese rugged phones they are all shite and made by 2 bit companies who do not quality control their products before sending them out to the seller...they actually leave it up to the seller to do quality control for them...only the big companies like xaiomi,oppo,oneplus etc will quality control their product
    as for cheaper sub £200 chinese devices it is really hit or miss on getting a decent device due to the quality control issue
    try You must be registered to see links - Please Register or Login! and look for price comparison devices...then after you find one you like check out as many reviews on youtube and if possible contact the youtuber and ask for more info
     
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    By:stu1872May 14, 2017
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    My carrier is GiffGaff here in the UK so it's pretty much O2 coverage. I thought they only use the 800mhz/B20 frequency?

    I Have been searching all day today and have ruled out a good few phones due to them not having the B20 LTE. The Lenovo ZUK Z2 caught my eye and was in my price range or the Xiaomi Redmi 4x Global.

    Any idea on the probability on getting stung by customs on a £150-200 phone from HK/China?
     
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    By:mrsimMay 14, 2017
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    don't use DHL and you should be fine for customs...DHL are notorius for adding the customs fee period....the ZUK Z2 is a pretty nice device too...also do you know anything about custom roms at all...? so long as you are using a device with a qualcomm SoC then there should be decent development for it over at XDA,i am not a fan of xaiomi's skin on android MIUI it's far too like IOS for me but most of their devices have good development so flashing a custom rom onto it is easilly done once you have unlocked the bootloader,(which you will have to ask xaiomi permission to do),but other than that you should be good to go...also i would consider a second hand oneplus device like a oneplus one or oneplus 2 they should be pretty cheap now as well....and last but not least the nexus 5x is a half decent choice as well if you can still pick one up...will have the latest version of stock google android and a shit ton of development too

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    By:stu1872May 16, 2017
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    So after searching for days on end i have finally bought my new phone. I have stumped up for a Lenovo Z2 Pro.

    It is a bit bigger and more expensive than i had planned on but it has near enough the same specs as my main phone (Samsung Galaxy S7) and was over half the price. Only time will tell if it lives up to the decent reviews it has had online.

    While i await delivery of the phone i will now be reading up on how to sideload some app's onto it and try out the ZTE OS to it's full potential before deciding if i should go down the Custom ROM route in the future.

    A big thanks to MRSIM for the You must be registered to see links - Please Register or Login! link as it was a massive help in narrowing down what phones met my needs.
     
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    By:mrsimMay 17, 2017 at 11:13 AM
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    excellent glad to help...i hope the device works out for you HERE is a link to the XDA development page for this device where you will find TWRP recoveries,bootloader unlock guides and even a few custom roms
     
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    By:mrsimMay 17, 2017 at 8:42 PM
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    which Z2 pro are you going for the Zuk Z2 or the Vibe Z2...?
    also sorry for some reason my link went missing from my last post but am glad as i am not sure which one you are going for
     
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    By:stu1872May 18, 2017 at 12:20 PM
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    Lenovo ZUK Z2 Pro mate.
     
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    By:mrsimMay 18, 2017 at 12:58 PM
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    fucking awesome....lots of development for that device

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    By:stu1872May 18, 2017 at 1:20 PM
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    I have been browsing the XDA forums for the Z2 Pro since I ordered the my phone and tbh a lot of it is over my head.

    I have a rough idea that I will have to figure out how to flash a ROM with all English language and apps onto it but there are a good few to choose from and they are all not perfect from what I have read. I am also not sure if I will void the warranty putting a ROM onto it.

    I will just have to wait and see what exact ROM us on it when I get it and go from there I suppose.

    I don't mind having to tinker with a phone to get it how I would like with custom launchers and stuff but rooting and flashing is on another level. If I do have to flash a ROM I will just have to spend some time studying the ins and outs of unlocking bootloaders and flashing before I jump into it.
     
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    By:mrsimMay 18, 2017 at 1:42 PM
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    hahaha...no worries stu,once you try it it becomes infectious...unlocking bootloaders and flashing custom recoveries and shit is fun...also i don't think you void any warranty with lenovo...but maybe the store where you purchased it from could have some issue with you playing around with it...me personally i couldn't give a rats ass about warranty as it's easy enough to just get another device at these prices...it's not an iphone or samsung where you pay OTT prices
     
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    By:stu1872May 18, 2017 at 5:28 PM
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    Not long home from work and it has arrived!

    I have been playing about on it for half an hour and i think it may have a custom ROM on it from the supplier as it has Google Play Store installed but it will not download anything when i click on it. All i get is 'download pending' through WIFI or from my sim card. So i will be looking into flashing a ROM onto it asap.

    First impressions are that it is a lovely looking phone with great specs for the price.
     
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    By:mrsimMay 18, 2017 at 6:11 PM
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    excellent where did you buy it from...also do a check and make sure...1) it is real and not a clone 2) the system UI is not something the seller installed and is free of spyware/malware have a look over at the threads on XDA and see if any other people have had issues with it regarding playstore...it could just be that you need to update the store first
     
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    By:stu1872May 18, 2017 at 9:51 PM
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    I bought it from TinyDeals German warehouse.

    The Play Store just needed updated. I have scanned the device with Avast and Malwarebytes with no threats whatsoever. There are no Chinese app's on the device but it seems it is an older version with Android 6.0.1 on it.

    I have been reading up tonight again but i am getting nowhere on XDA or ZUKFANS.EU. As it came with Google Play it seems to have been tampered/updated by the supplier so i am weary of trying to flash the updated stock firmware in case it may brick the device. I will investigate further tomorrow after work and try to suss it out before jumping in to it. It may just be that the seller has put the international version on it as there is no way to search for an update from ZUK.

    I have already changed the launcher to Nova as the ZUI wasn't as easy to customize for my liking.

    I can feel that i will be looking into how to root and flash a ROM on safely over the weekend.
     
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    By:mrsimMay 20, 2017 at 12:41 PM
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    hey mate...was reading your posts over at XDA...those guides are terrible to follow but they should work eventually...one of the most important things is to make sure that your drivers are installed onto your p.c. correctly and that you have disabled 'driver signature enforcment' You must be registered to see links - Please Register or Login! is a tutorial to do that
     
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    By:stu1872May 20, 2017 at 9:12 PM
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    Thanks mate.

    I have been reading some threads over there and it's frying my brain!

    I also posted on the ZUKFans.eu site and i got no help at all apart from being told to read their tutorials and they closed my thread. I read their tutorials but as most of them are translated it's not easy to understand their jargon.
     
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    By:mrsimMay 21, 2017 at 5:20 PM
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    hey stu hows it going...did you manage to get anything flashed onto it yet
     
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    By:stu1872May 21, 2017 at 8:51 PM
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    Nope, not yet mate.

    I have been pondering over it all weekend and i am still undecided tbh. I have gotten used to the ZUI combined with Nova Launcher and i am loving the battery life with this firmware as well so far. It has zero bloatware Chinese apps installed and seems clean to use.

    It seems from what i have read that all of the custom ROM's come with some disadvantage. I didn't really see much of a difference going from Marshmallow to Nougat on my main phone (Galaxy S7) apart from better battery life and as this firmware gives me tremendous battery life i am wondering if i should bother tbh.
     
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    By:mrsimMay 21, 2017 at 11:35 PM
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    no probs mate...i can understand if it's feeling a little daunting and worrying about bricking the device...if you are happy with it no need to flash anything the most a custom rom will do is free up space and take less power from the CPU/GPU as they tend to be so much smaller than regular OEM system UI's also is also mostly for modifying...if you like to change the transitions and look and feel of your device then custom roms are the way top go...also as you noticed they are upgraded a lot quicker than regular OEM roms...like almost instantly your regular custom rom dev will have android 'O' on your phone the day it's released whereas the OEM can take up to 6 months to incorporate it into their skin
     
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