These are the phones (with the exception of the iPods) I think you should look at to begin making money. Most are devices I have used and are on my tally spreadsheet. They are grouped by price. When you are shopping, remember to follow the basic principles I outlined!
These phones are good starter phones for those who do not want to spend much money at the beginning but want to get multiple phones from the start. These phones may die on you in a year or two. They die since we abuse them so much using them 24/7. They also won’t be able to use all of the apps as many of the devices on this level are at the end of their support life. The Androids are restricted to Android 4.4 KitKat and the iOS counterparts are restricted to iOS 7 or are just slow. They will work but not very well. Passive apps aren’t so passive. Things don’t always load like they should. You are sacrificing reliability and future-proofing here for a quick start. If you want my input, don’t buy these. Go for the more or most expensive options.
LG Optimus Fuel
These were my workhorses for awhile, and they are really what exploded my smartphone count. I used to have 11. All but 1 died over the course of a year with boot loops. You say fix them? Why waste the time on a $15 phone? This last one still remains today. They work with most major apps. They cannot be upgraded past Android KitKat 4.4. They cost anywhere from $11 all the way up to $30 a piece on Amazon. I wouldn’t pay anymore than that. Check the used and refurbished sections as always!
LG Exceed 2
The LG Exceeed 2 was another phone I had success with. It’s lifespan was about a year. I had 2. These are also non-upgradable from Android 4.4 KitKat. They work with most major apps. You can get them anywhere from $20 to $50 on Amazon. I wouldn’t pay any more than that.
I have a few of these being used. They don’t work well on many new apps, but there are some that are still working OK and compatibly on them. They can be found extremely cheap! They usually cost $14 or so and never go above $20.
iPhone 4 & iPhone 4S
These are old iOS devices that can be purchased for $20 to $60 on eBay. I wouldn’t pay anymore than that. Above $60, and you should be able to find and iPhone 5 or iPhone 5S deal. The iPhone 4 is stuck on iOS 7 and quite slow. I still have one, but it rarely does what it is supposed to do. The iPhone 4S is a bit better as it is a year older. It runs iOS 9 and that is all the further it will go. I shop for these on eBay with the guidelines from the previous post. The search parameters on these links are choked to $50 and $60 as the max price with the search term “bad esn.”
Shop for iPhone 4 on eBay | Shop for iPhone 4S on Ebay
This is where my selection tends to lend itself these days. These devices can be used with Android 5.0 or Android 6.0. The iOS counterparts can be used on the latest iOS. They may be in the middle of their support life or nearing end but are not obsolete. These are a great medium to provide you with the future-proofing you need and the reliability you need while still not breaking the bank. Some of the most popular budget devices are on this list.
LG Optimus Zone 3
The LG Optimus Zone 3 has been a great budget choice for me. It is what replaced my LG Fuels. It runs Android 5.0 and can be purchased anywhere between $20 – $50. I purchased mine used (as you always should for this) for about $25 on Amazon.
Moto G 3rd Generation Global GSM
This is one of the most popular budget phones you can buy and the latest version of it. They come with Android 6.0 Marshmallow and it is very quick and reliable. It is still in its support life. I have 4 of them. They cost about $100 as Global GSM models. Buy those if you need root.
Moto G 1st Generation Global GSM
I know what you are thinking! How could you put a Moto G Version 1 and Moto G Version 3 in the same category? Shouldn’t it go in Cheap? The Moto G Generation 1 was released in November 2013. It works on 4.4 KitKat but can be updated to 5.0 Lollipop. It isn’t slow at all and still operates on most Android cash apps. I would buy this if you don’t care much about the future-proofing aspect of Android 6.0. They cost about $70 as Global GSM models. Buy those if you need root.
Moto E 2nd Generation Global GSM
This as you can tell is closely related to the Moto G. It is like the budget of the already budget Moto G. But make no mistake! It is still powerful. This is the type of phone I have in most abundance. I have 5 of these. It runs Android 5.0 and does most cash apps. You can get it for about $50 to $90 used. Make sure you get the Global GSM unlocked model if you need root.
Moto E 2nd Generation Boost Mobile
You will see me buying more and more of these lately. They are basically identical for money-making purposes to the Moto E 2nd Generation Global GSM shown, but are cheaper. Not only that, but it is a rootable model! You can get them for $30 and sometimes $20. I recommend searching Walmart or the Boost Mobile website for these deals on brand new ones.
LG Tribute 2
This is another one of the many low-cost LG phones you can get for making money. You can get it for as low on $20 in some cases. I recommend this one over the LG Tribute 5.
LG Volt 2
This is another great phone for $50 to $70. It isn’t as quick as the Moto G phones, but it is just as reliable. It runs Android 5.0. You can root this with KingRoot easily and then switch to SuperSU using Super-Sume Pro.
iPhone 5, iPhone 5S, and iPhone 5C
These are the current sweet spots for iOS devices. You can get these models anywhere from $80 to $120. Sometimes you get lucky and find listings of these models in the $70 range. They run the latest iOS, are still supported by Apple, and are reliable enough to do most money apps well. Make sure they aren’t iCloud locked and are on a jailbreakable version if you need jailbreak. These search results are choked to $120 to $130 as a max price and use the search term “bad esn.”
The only phones I recommend and that I have purchased myself in this position are some high-end iOS devices. Even then, I managed to get great deals on them. Go for these if you are all about future-proofing your cash setup and price isn’t an issue. These are also good for people who are veteran at this and place more value on this type of thing. Still try to get the best deal possible always.
iPhone 6 & iPhone 6S
I have 1 iPhone 6 and 1 iPhone 6S. They both work phenomenally and never have safe mode issues with their jailbreak. I got the iPhone 6 (not cracked) for $250 and $300 for the iPhone 6S (cracked). Both had a bad ESN.
Yes, hefty prices for some cash devices! They were both on jailbreakable versions. The search terms below contain “bad ESN” with liberal prices. Find cracked ones if you can to lower the price further.
iPod Touch 6th Generation
I have 2 of these currently. I plan to get more. These are cheaper than iPhones but will cost more than a mid range Android phone. I have bought them on Amazon and eBay. I was OK with buying these on Amazon because there are less places to save money vs an iPhone. If you need jailbreak and there isn’t one out currently, ask the seller what version it is on and buy off eBay.
Go here to see recommended computers if you need to.