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(58,699 posts)
Sat May 4, 2024, 09:05 AM May 4

I am seeking advice on buying a replacement (new or refurbished) smartphone.

Last edited Sat May 4, 2024, 10:37 AM - Edit history (5)

I am an existing Tracfone customer. I have been for years. It does all I need it to do. I do not need to be able to play games with people worldwide with my phone, etc. All I need is basic stuff.

I have an iPhone 6s that is going on four and a half years old. The battery gave out well over a year ago, I guess, and since then I've used it while it was plugged into an external power source, which was either an external battery pack or one plugged into 120vac. This is slightly awkward, but as long as the phone worked, I didn't care.

I noticed something new a few minutes ago -- the battery has swollen, so much that the display glass is arched. Advice online said to turn it off and stop using it right now. Sounds good to me. I can either replace the battery or get a new phone.

I am extremely adept at repairing things, so battery replacement is a possibility. The downside is, when I'm done, I have phone that is past its lifetime. The last iOS update was to 15.8.2. https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201222
The iPhone 6s will never go past iOS 15. The 3rd generation iPhone SE runs on iOS 17. iPhone SE (3rd generation)

One thing I do not like: "Like its predecessor, the third-generation iPhone SE does not feature a standard 3.5 mm stereo headphone jack ..."

A new phone from Tracfone or elsewhere is not really that much more. Right now, Tracfone has the third generation iPhone SE going for $190. If it's like my iPhone 6s, the only thing about the SE that makes it a Tracfone is the SIM. When I got my 6s, it was a stock iPhone. Not until I put in the SIM did it become a Tracfone iPhone. It wasn't locked. I think the SE might work the same way.

I see Tracfone also has the iPhone 11. It's available new for $250 and refurbished for $170.



The warranty for the new phone is 12 times as long as the warranty for the refurbished --one year versus thirty days.

If I do get a new phone, I might just put a replacement battery in the 6s and use it with my Xfinity wifi to listen to Radio Garden or to take pictures or to send messages as a secondary mobile phone. The Tracfone service, which is cheap and which I will stay with, will transfer to my new phone.

I don't use my phone much for talking. I use it almost entirely for messaging and going online. The Consumer Cellular deals are of no use to me. I have the cheapest Tracfone plan possible. It suits me fine.

What I have now: https://everymac.com/systems/apple/iphone/specs/apple-iphone-6s-a1688-4.7-inch-global-sprint-verizon-specs.html
Introduction Date: September 9, 2015* Discontinued Date: September 12, 2018*

What I'm thinking of getting: https://everymac.com/systems/apple/iphone/specs/apple-iphone-se-3-3rd-gen-2022-united-states-canada-a2595-specs.html
Introduction Date: March 8, 2022 Discontinued Date: N/A

The iPhone 11: https://everymac.com/systems/apple/iphone/specs/apple-iphone-11-united-states-canada-a2111-specs.html
Introduction Date: September 10, 2019 Discontinued Date: September 7, 2022

Maybe, but it's way up in years:
Introduction Date:: September 12, 2018 Discontinued Date: September 14, 2021

At Tracfone: https://www.tracfone.com/phone/apple-iphone-se-3rd-gen-prepaid or https://support.tracfone.com/en/brands/Apple/TFAPISE3C/faq/3102889/

I'm not opposed to Android phones, but I'm an Apple shareowner, so it's as if I'm putting money back into my pocket. The screen on the 6s is small, but I knew that when I bought it. I could have paid more and got a bigger screen at the time. Money is not a problem, but I'm disinclined to spend much money on something that I might drop on the pavement.

Is an XR worth considering? I see them for sale online, but they've been out of production for quite some time.
It was replaced by the 11.

Thoughts? Thanks in advance.

14 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
Highlight: NoneDon't highlight anything 5 newestHighlight 5 most recent replies
I am seeking advice on buying a replacement (new or refurbished) smartphone. (Original Post) mahatmakanejeeves May 4 OP
Do you take good care of your phones? Shermann May 4 #1
Yes. NT mahatmakanejeeves May 4 #3
Husband and I have IPhones. MOMFUDSKI May 4 #2
swollen battery-- stop using phone Tetrachloride May 4 #4
Yes, a swollen battery is a fire hazard. . . . nt Bernardo de La Paz May 4 #5
I did not notice the swelling until this morning, and I use the phone every day. mahatmakanejeeves May 4 #6
I dunno bout iPhones but in Android universe, users can pry the back off to remove the battery. . . . . nt Bernardo de La Paz May 4 #12
This message was self-deleted by its author mahatmakanejeeves May 4 #7
I literally had no idea until about an hour ago. The swelling is brand new. mahatmakanejeeves May 4 #8
backmarket.com Tetrachloride May 4 #9
I see. mahatmakanejeeves May 4 #10
excellent -- that's the link Tetrachloride May 4 #11
I've got enough money that I can splurge if I feel like it. mahatmakanejeeves May 4 #13
The biggest con with the SE is the small screen size. But, ... mahatmakanejeeves May 4 #14


(7,760 posts)
1. Do you take good care of your phones?
Sat May 4, 2024, 09:09 AM
May 4

This varies widely from individual to individual. Mine usually look brand new after years of use, while some of my friends sport brand new phones all bashed up with cracked screens.


(6,903 posts)
2. Husband and I have IPhones.
Sat May 4, 2024, 09:09 AM
May 4

He got his on eBay for a great price. No problems at all. I bought mine at Apple Store new. Try eBay.


(8,097 posts)
4. swollen battery-- stop using phone
Sat May 4, 2024, 09:27 AM
May 4

get to a repair shop
or buy a phone at


suggest iphone 11 or 12. Better for eyes than SE. i have SE 2020

Response to Bernardo de La Paz (Reply #5)


(58,699 posts)
8. I literally had no idea until about an hour ago. The swelling is brand new.
Sat May 4, 2024, 09:38 AM
May 4

I have noticed that the iPhone 11 is not out of my price range. Any thoughts on reconditioned? I haven't checked how warranties compare.



(8,097 posts)
11. excellent -- that's the link
Sat May 4, 2024, 09:50 AM
May 4

if you decide to go super cheap, do not get iPhone 6 or 6s. -- battery drains fast.

with iPhone 11, software updates will be okay for a year.

iPhone SE has 3 flavors -- SE, SE 2020 and the newest. So, don't get plain SE.

note: I am not familiar with exact nuances between some of the models.

a friend of mine needs a bigger screen, for example. once you choose your acceptable screen size, the choices become more relaxing -- in my opinion of course


(58,699 posts)
13. I've got enough money that I can splurge if I feel like it.
Sat May 4, 2024, 10:03 AM
May 4

The 11 is beginning to look interesting. Even Walmart said they had them, for less than Tracfone too, but new unlocked ones are not in stock anymore. I'm near a lot of bricks and mortar stores in northern Virginia. I know some iPhone owners.

This is just the beginning.

Thanks again.


(58,699 posts)
14. The biggest con with the SE is the small screen size. But, ...
Sat May 4, 2024, 11:34 AM
May 4

It means that the phone can fit in any pocket. Bigger screen, lower odds that I can stick the phone is a shirt or jacket pocket.

Tracfone's SE is the 3rd generation. The refurbs on backmarket aren't much less than a new one from TF.

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