Viewing 14 posts - 1 through 14 (of 14 total)
  • Cheap, cheaper, cheapest iThing to access Apple walled garden,
  • stripeysocks
    Full Member

    I’m thinking of getting a cheap iPhone or similar, not as a main device but, for two purposes:
    1) to be able to access things like apple watches, airtags, where the non-apple offerings just aren’t as good
    2) to have an “alternative” outside the Google/android infrastructure (I’m going to set up auto forwarding from my Gmail account)(*)

    Looks like I can get a refurb for £1?? – any recommendations for what I should go for? My RL apple-world friends are all the sort with a £50/month contract buying the latest greatest iPhone so fat lot of good they are for “which cheap scratched outdated iPhone is not too outdated and a bargain”!

    (*) Of course if the problem I’ve had with Gmail not autoforwarding to Hotmail is on the Gmail end, I’m stuffed, because presumably then it would also not work for… 🙁

    Full Member

    Last point first – you don’t need to forward anything, you can just access your Gmail directly, from the Gmail app on iPhone, the default Mail app or indeed any mail app! Unless I’m missing something?

    You also obviously don’t need a £50/month contract. You could buy a new or used phone outright and get any SIM-only monthly contract – could easily be a tenner or less.

    The cheapest (refurb) iPhone available new is the SE. Perfectly good phone. I’d be a bit wary of buying something too old, as once it’s no longer updatable becomes significantly less useful (no online banking, for example).

    Are you saying you won’t be carrying it at all times, or you’ll be carrying 2 phones? Things like AirTags & non-cellular watches won’t play nicely if separated from their parent phone.

    Full Member

    you’ll need an apple ID, but you can register for one with any email address. doesnt have to be an icloud one.

    Free Member

    If it’s something you want to keep working in the future with minimal effort, then a refurbish 2nd generation (not 3rd) SE will continue to be supported for a long time. Pair that with a really cheap PAYG SIM and you’re sorted.

    Full Member

    If you already have a decent phone, but just want a way into the Apple Ecosystem would an iPad or a Macbook Air cost about the same as an iPhone SE of similar vintage and give you additional options? I have a recent iPhone SE for work and it barely feels like an upgrade from my 4S from yesteryear.

    Free Member

    have a recent iPhone SE for work and it barely feels like an upgrade from my 4S from yesteryear.

    In what way ? Mines much faster and the cameras much better.

    I have been android since the 4s years ago. I got an SE for work last year and I’ve not looked back. It just integrates with other things apple and non apple seemlessly.

    Eg I rented a car in France. I went to fire up my android phone and pair it “download this app” …

    Poke that – apple phone – carplay connected in 5 seconds Siri navigating while my music starts playing.

    Remembered why it was a good thing. Android is ok. But apple is better if you can get over your self with the lack of customising and third party apps which ironically are largely the reason for its shit integration with other products as it’s not really its own ecosystem just vaguely similar protocols

    Full Member

    Edit (because there’s a post in-between) – in reference to getting an iPad/MacBook Air:

    Don’t think they’ll work if the plan is to use it to set up a watch – they need a phone.

    If there’s no watch plans – I don’t think you even need an iDevice. You can get most other things at on any browser.

    Full Member

    Any iphone 8 or above will get the next iOS update. The ones with notches tend to have better screens and cameras. Usually the best time to get one is when ebay has a 15%-20% off code. With refurb phones you might have to buy a few and send them back until you get one that is in good condition.

    I find Apple stuff to be like Islabikes – costs a lot to start with, but if you look after them and time it right you can flip them every so often and upgrade for very little – so if you did spend a bit more on an iPhone 11 (honestly they haven’t changed much since then), you’ll be able to sell it for more later. But if you just want to dip your toe in the water a gen 2 iPhone SE will do the trick.

    Free Member

    I recently got an iPhone Mini 12 from the Apple refurb store after having an 8 for years.
    It’s really good – has the two cameras and a bigger ‘edge to edge’ screen but is still the same size as the iPhone 8.
    About £500 contract free so not cheap. Apple refurbs give you a new case / body and battery so it’s essentially a new phone. Refurbs from eBay are actually just 2nd hand phones and the condition will be variable.

    Full Member

    I’ve just upgraded my 5SE for a 2020 SE, the old SE was okay, the battery only lasted a day. That’s the only reason I upgraded. You can get them dirt cheap now.

    Full Member


    Tiddly screen, jumbo bezels, slow refresh rate, clicky home button, so-so camera, etc.

    I’m sure it is better than my 4S but having been Android ever since the let down that was the iPhone 5 release it felt like I’d stepped back to my old faithful.

    ah, shame you can’t use something else if you already have an alternative phone. 😕

    Full Member

    @johnnystorm that sounds like a gen1 iPhone se which is still in the same body as the 4/5 etc. iPhone se 2020 is essentially in the iPhone 8 chassis with a glass back. The hone button isn’t actually a button but it makes a vibration when you touch it so it feels like a button.

    It has the a13 chip which I think is the same as in the iPhone 11 so would have thought it would receive updates for a few years yet.

    The main thing it’s missing vs newer iPhones is 5g

    Full Member


    Yeah, that’s what I’ve got, the new one. Having a button that isn’t a button but feels like a button sounds like it’s essentially got a button.

    I appreciate it isn’t the same body as my 4S but compared to what a couple of hundred quid gets you elsewhere it just feels antiquated. My daughter’s £90 Xiaomi is nicer to use.

    Full Member

    One thing I’ve just thought of is only iPhone 11 onwards have the U1 chip that allows for precision finding with Airtags. Basically you get an arrow on your phone pointing in the direction of the tag. It’s pretty neat, but not really necessary.

Viewing 14 posts - 1 through 14 (of 14 total)

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