*****UPDATED**** ET phone home?

So, I dropped my phone (not the first time), and now it’s acting up. Camera activation is on a hair-trigger, waking my phone up in my pocket and draining battery, and generally being a PITA when I try to use the phone in any mode but phone, switching to camera at the mere graze of a button.

I would rather buy outright than get locked in on a plan, but my budget is rather tight.

I currently have a Sony Xperia Z3 compact, and I like the smaller form factor. I was thinking a Moto G5 plus, but do any more tech-savvy people have better ideas?


Took it to a repair place, and the guy had a million-and-six reasons not to fix it, starting with the fact that it’s a Sony and moving up from there. Kept trying to sell me a used Gaxlaxy S7 for the same price as the Moto G5 (and I KNOW that Samsung sucks at providing software updates, so it’s running Marshmallow at MOST). He also kept swearing that I should stay away from anything other than Samsung/Apple and that he’d gotten tons of Moto/Lenovo motherboards in for repair.

Given that I was getting a lot of skeevy salesperson vibes off the guy and I couldn’t find a lot via the web about these motherboard problems…

Moto G5 plus, or Xiaomi Mi A1 (which has the advantage of being Google One, and therefore is likely to be updated)? Has anyone here heard bad things about Moto in the last few years, or Xiaomi?

I know for this price I am not likely to get the kind of fancy specs a flagship will give me. But a basic phone good for some surfing, email, etc… what should I go for?


Did you try taking it for repair? If the camera button has been knocked loose you might be able to get away with replacing just that part.


Of course, the cheapest option would be rigging a See and Say up to an umbrella somewhere in the forest.


You looked on ifixit?


A bit above my abilities and time availability.


Taking it apart myself is a bit above my abilities.


I have an S7 that I bought second hand a year or so ago, and an iPhone 6 that work gave me. The iPhone feels really clunky and underpowered but the S7 is a genuinely nice bit of tech.

The main problem with Samsung phones is that the Samsung version of Android, TouchWiz, is utter garbage. It took about half an hour to reflash my phone with a stripped down version of Android Nougat (SupermanROM) that has none of the bloat of the original OS and gets software updates every few days.

Pair that with Nova Launcher and you can make it as close to vanilla Android as it’s possible to get . Cutting out all the unnecessary crap has the added benefit of doubling the battery life, as well as making the phone actually pleasant to use.

I’ve only heard good things about Xiaomi phones but they’re pretty difficult to get your hands on around these parts. As a general rule though, the more obscure the phone, the fewer options you have in terms of custom ROMs. I don’t feel like I own a phone until I have reflashed it but ymmv…


Okay… consider that I am not programming savvy and do not want to wind up with something that is going to be a nightmare:

What is the best resource for figuring out how to reflash the phone with stock hardware?


There’s no coding involved. Google what ROMs are available for your phone, find the one you want, download the zip file to your phone’s internal memory, restart the phone in debug mode using whatever combination of buttons triggers it on your particular phone, boot from the ROM, profit.

Superman ROM was much easier to install than the other custom operating systems I’ve used in the past. It even downloaded all of the apps I had before I changed OS, installed them automatically and made sure they were up to date as part of the install process.


Thank you.


One of my main reasons for the Pixel 2 was no 3rd party bullshit software that is Samsung.

And, for work, can’t have rooted / Rom’d phones due to “security”

(I suppose, since MDM is under my management, I could exclude myself, but I’m not going to be that IT guy)