Help me choose a phone

Been outside more than usual this past week. Made the mistake of quick rinsing my phone with soap and water in attempt to remove any COVID-19 viral residue that may adhered to the surface. As a result, the SIM card can’t be read: no texts or calls. :sob:

Here is a fun exercise: help me choose a phone from Yes, the selection is limited and I will limit you even further by saying that I only want $0 down and less than $15 per month. Hope my phone starts working tomorrow. :crossed_fingers:

Before giving up on your phone, have you tried putting it in rice. Sometimes it draws out enough moisture to bring electronics back to life. Here are my experiences:

  • a few weeks ago, my car key/fob went through the washing machine. The fob was dead, and was useless for opening my car. I put it in a bag of rice and tested daily. After four days, it worked again. It’s fine now.
  • In February, my wife and I went for a vacation. She brought our daughter’s waterproof point and shoot. The battery/SD card access door wasn’t properly latched, and sea water got in. With rice, the camera was brought to life. The SD card was unrecoverable though.

From your description of your problem, your phone may be OK other than the SIM card. It sounds like you will need a new SIM card, whether it goes back in that phone, or into a new phone. If rice doesn’t do the job, maybe investigate getting a new SIM card before investing in a whole new phone (or is new-phone-itis starting to rear its head ? :wink: ).

Of all of those in the list, I might go with Huawei P30 lite or Samsung Galaxy A50.

I would not pay over $650 for a phone. Nope. Especially if it not a phone that supports rooting.


The politics around Huawei makes me hesitant…

Then either a iPhone or moto. I can’t believe I just recommended a iPhone, but there it is.

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Rice is my staple. I have 8kg+. Will keep it there until Sunday. Fortunately, I don’t depend on calls, except for emergencies regarding my dad (mom’s phone is working so that should be fine).

I blundered a bit by not noticing the problem at first and continued to browse the forum. When I did, I placed it next to the dehumidifier (on, I forgot to turn it off). Later, I turned it off and removed the SIM and tray for further drying. Finally, I placed it in the rice bin.

I’d lean towards the pixel 2 with lineage os.


Last time I bought a phone, a few years ago, it cost 50p or maybe £1 at a church fete. It plugs into a wall, and I can make and receive phone calls. That’s all I want from a phone.

Sorry, I’m not much help.


Rice doesn’t really work and can damage your phone worse (dust and rice bits ending up where they shouldn’t.)

Best is to leave it alone to air dry, or in a baggie with some of those silica-gel pouches that come with electronics.


all smart phones are evil tracking devices.

if you want to boycott them, by all means do so, but don’t think you’ll have any more privacy with any other manufacturer. If you live in a first world country your government is recording everything anyway, and it pays to be realistic - they’re the ones that will have you in the gulag or against the wall well before the Chinese government can get to you.

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@paperdigits Wanted to try Lineage but it seemed complicated for my current phone. Hoping to have full camera2 API compatibility.

@snibgo 50p?! Nothing costs less than $2 here, except for the 5¢ / grocery plastic bag charge.

@Karl Placed it in a partially open plastic food bag first.

@black_daveth Not afraid. Just don’t want the phone to be blocked at some point.

Getting warnings about bad traffic because google monitors the traffic situation I wouldn’t call evil but rather very useful. Giving my movement data to other street users and helping them is a type of community sharing I am gladly do.

But it’s actually much worse here on people even see what type of software and gear I use.

Try the rice option. The phone does not need to touch the rice, have is somewhere about it in a sealed container is fine. Alternately oven drying is even better, some hours at 70°C will dry out any moisture.

Water does not damage electronics, water is very often used to clean electronic modules. Not clean water (means not distilled water) does leave a residue that can effect contacts though.

@afre use duckduckgo (or similar) and search for

ifixit water phone

Good luck!
Claes in Lund, Sweden

And not just the model, but by default, the serial number is there too!

Oven dry the rice first then it will absorb more moisture. We use it for drying out seeds at work. I managed to rescue a laptop that I spilt beer into by drying it out for 4 days…

Sorry to hear about the accident @afre. Hope your phone recovers. If not, amongst the choices, Pixel 2 XL is the most attractive to me. SD835 is far more than enough for normal use and it will have the latest Android by default for some time. Also, its camera is pretty good. And it is available at clearance price. 'Nough said!

The story ain’t over. I couldn’t find info on SIM card replacement on the site. After lots of searching, I finally found live chat but it was super slow. Likely latency (few minutes) from talking to an agent on the other side of the planet. I discovered that I had to go to a third-party vendor. I went there and discovered that I needed a pin to replace it. I have had it for more than a decade, so there is no way that I would remember. To be continued… :man_facepalming: :woman_facepalming:

You can try the SIM card in another phone to see if it is recognised. Try cleaning the SIM card contacts (gentle use of an eraser, or isopropyl alcohol. If the SIM card checks out OK in another phone, possibly the contacts in your phone need cleaning. This can be done with a thin piece of card to fit the SIM card slot soaked in alcohol or even clean water.
Hope this is of help.


Good idea. Tried it but doesn’t seem to work.

The screen also has a sheer curtain look sometimes. Cool effect but not cool for my viewing.

I visited 3 different third party stores (first parties are closed due to covid) and live chatted 3 times. The last chat’s operator finally helped me reset my pins and ordered a new SIM but it will take 1 week to arrive in the mail. Hours of my time wasted on nothing. :angry:

Hard lesson: don’t rinse your phone, even lightly, with soap and water. I don’t have micro fibre cloth or disinfectant wipes though, the stores have run out of them…

Depends on the phone :wink: Cat actually makes it a selling point: