Phones as DAPs: refurbished LG V20 for $230

From the “Phones as DAPs” department, especially if you want one for a big enough screen to watch music videos or music performances, eBay seller Guaranteeee Cellular is offering the seller refurbished LG V20 for $230 with free shipping and 30-day returns and a 60-day seller warranty.

It is available in two color schemes. This is the Verizon version with unlocked GSM. Check bands and such if you are planning to use it as a phone as well. Given the screen size and specs, you can also use it as an in-home/in-office mini-tablet.

Seller refurbished is a higher risk than manufacturer refurbished, as you rely on the seller to stand behind their work. That’s why the price is lower, so that’s a trade-off some are willing to make.

In addition to the praised DAC/Audio module, this has other music-playback friendly features, such as 64GB on-board plus microSD (up to 256GB), 4GB RAM, a previous generation flagship processor (so it won’t have problem using music/streaming apps for many years), 5.7-inch screen, etc.

PS: I have now began putting the “Phones as DAPs” under the Digital Audio Players category

Phones as DAPs: LG V30 (USA warranty, Unlocked) for $675

From the “Phones as DAPs” department, the well-regarded LG V30 is now on sale for $675 with free shipping, factory unlocked, with USA warranty at B&H Photo, a very reputable online and B&M dealer.

Of audio interest, in addition to the well-regarded DAC/amp, this has 4GB of RAM, 64GB of on-board storage, a Snapdragon 835, a microSD slot, Bluetooth 5.0, NFC, 802.11ac, water/dust-proof, headphone jack, USB-C charging/connector, and more. All these means it will be able to keep up with music streaming apps for many years to come, and it has the latest Bluetooth version and fast Wifi.

FREE NRG Player Adblocker for a limited time [GPLAY]

For the Android music player fans, the Adblocker (ad remover) for the NRG Player is currently FREE for a limited time on Google Play. The price before this promotion was $5. This is the unlocker (ad remover). To play music, you also need to install the main NRG Player app.

Also free during this promotion is their Robo Skin and Car Skin.

FREE PowerAudio Pro Music Player (Google Play)

For a limited time only, Google Play is offering the otherwise not-free PowerAudio Pro Music Player for FREE. It goes for $0.99 typically.

Another music app, the PlayerPro Music Player is on sale for $2, instead of its usual price of $4.

Phones as DAPs: refurb HTC M8 for $75

If you are looking for a Phone as a DAP, the good old HTC M8, a Verizon unlocked phone, in the red color scheme (which makes it loom more DAP-ish than phone-ish) is on sale for $75 with free shipping in seller refurbished condition by eBay seller “Guarantee Cellular” with a 60-day seller warranty. The other colors are sold out.

Android phones, even older ones, are typically better suited at dealing with music and streaming apps than Android DAPs since the DAP manufacturer have nowhere near the same level of Android experience as a phone manufacturer (other things equal).

The M8 has a microSD slot, it marks the re-embrace of the microSD card by HTC after the M7. HTC was also among the first to abandon the headphone jack, so they may be among the first to do the mea culpa 🙂

The M8, M9 and M10 all have a headphone jack. The HTC U11 abandoned it.

Phones as DAPs: LG V30 for $540 with a 24-month Verizon Installment Plan

On the “Phones as DAPs” front, the current LG flagship, the new condition with USA warranty V30 phone with all its state of the art phone audio features has a special promotion until 12/13/17 at Verizon Wireless. If you purchase it with a 24-month installment plan, you will get a $300 off discount on its current price of $840. You will pay $540 for it, divided over 24 months, making it a $22.50/month installment. You own the phone at the end of the 24 months, this is not a confused Sprint lease plan 🙂 On approved credit and all that good stuff.

FREE JBL Aware C USB-C earphones with HTC U11 purchase for $599

During the Black Friday and Cyber Monday festivities, the HTC website has dropped the price of their U11 smartphone (no headphone jack) to $599 factory unlocked with USA warranty BUT they are also including for free the JBL Aware C USB-C earphones. The product page there just mentions “FREE JBL earphones”, it’s when you add the U11 phone to the shopping cart that you see more details about the free JBL USB-C earphones.

Here’s a screenshot of the shopping cart with more details on the earphone:

[DEAD] Open-box Sony Walkman NW-ZX2 DAP for $929

The eBay listing for this is over…

[Read more…]

Phones as DAPs: certified refurbished LG V10 for $180, refurb LG V20 for $290, or NEW for $390

The LG V30 was just announced, with a price expected to be somewhere between the Galaxy S8+ and the Note 8. But if you want a smartphone with some quality audio and don’t need to have the latest and greatest model, the previous generations of the LG V-series are dropping in price as follows:

+ certified refurbished LG V10 (Unlocked T-Mobile model) for $180 by marketplace seller with the order fulfilled by Amazon (Prime eligible)

+ certified refurbished LG V20 (T-Mobile) for $290

+ new condition, USA model with USA warranty LG V30 (Titan Grey) for $390

Why Use a Smartphone as a DAP

We call using smartphones as digital audio players PADs (Phones As DAPs). You can get something like a Fiio X1 [text unboxing here] for under $100, so why would you need a smartphone?

One reason is because you want to use music subscription services, and phones are better at running Android apps than the few DAPs that are running GooglePLAY Android.

Another reason is because you also want to use the smartphone as a phone, or use it for various other purposes, eg as a media remote control at home, a bedtime Wifi device (so you don’t eat up your daily driver phone’s battery or sleep with an AC charging cable next to your head), and so forth…

More on this in a future post.

What is Amazon’s Certified Refurbished?

On Amazon, “Certified Refurbished”, when indicated so on the product listing, is a program run by Amazon that offers refurbished products that include a minimum 90-day warranty, and a charger or cable (that may or may not be original). More details at the Certified Refurbished Home page.

Amazon only allows some sellers to participate in this, so in theory, you would have more leverage in case of warranty issues, because if a seller is playing games with you, you can call Amazon’s customer service and complain, and if they are caught mistreating customers, they can lose their status in the “certified refurbished” program, or even get booted off the program.

Phones as DAPs: LG V20 for $500 (Factory Unlocked, USA warranty)

If you want to get the LG V20 but don’t want to be hogtied to a cellular carrier and don’t want to risk buying used or seller-refurbished on eBay, there’s another option, you can get the 64GB LG V20 in new condition, in the titan color scheme, factory unlocked and with LG USA warranty for $500 at B&H Photo. It comes with a 30-day return policy as well.

This being factory unlocked and able to work on GSM and CDMA networks, it will likely fetch a price if/when you decide to sell it later on. Only a small percentage of smartphones out there are “all-carrier phones”.

Of headphone/music interest of course is the Quad DAC, 64GB on-board storage, microSD slot, 4GB RAM so you can run various music apps, nice screen for music videos (eg YouTube Music app), removable battery, Android 7, etc.

Phones as DAPs: LG V20 (LS997, Sprint Locked) for $300

On the “Phones as DAPs” front, for the more adventurous shoppers, eBay Seller “Cellular Stream” (98.2%, Lincolnshire), is offering “New – Other” condition of the Sprint-locked LG V20 smartphone, model LS997, for $300 with free shipping. Limit up to five per buyer.

Cellular-wise, you can only use it on Sprint and any of the Sprint-approved MVNOs (Ting, FreedomPOP, etC). It is LOCKED to Sprint. It comes with a 30-day warranty from the seller, no LG warranty. The LS997 is the Sprint-designated model (see Tech Walls or use your favorite search engine).

Per the listing, you get the phone, the battery, the OEM LG charger, and a USB-C cable. No original box, nothing else included. The listing promises a Clean ESN.

If you are planning to use it strictly as a Wifi-only DAP and Media Player (5.7″ screen and microSD card along with 64GB on-board storage and 4GB RAM), then the cellular part is not as important. However, this being Sprint-locked, it means (other things equal) that if you decide to sell it in the future, it will fetch less than a GSM-unlocked model would.

Also, since you are only getting a 30-day seller warranty, this increases the risk. All of these factors, along with the seller’s feedback score, contribute to this being offered for $300 instead of a lot more.

If any of the above does not make you comfortable, DO NOT BUY!

Pre-order new Fiio X5 III DAP for $400

The third generation Fiio X5 Android-powered but dual-OS digital audio player was one of the products that stood out during the CES 2017 cycle, and now, if you want to get in line to get it, as a boldly-going early adopter, you can pre-order it for $400 at authorized dealer Adorama.com. Your credit card will be charged after it ships. There is no shipping estimate at the moment. Orders will be sent out on a first-come first-served basis.

Pioneer XDP-100R-K Android DAP for $300

The Pioneer XDP-100R-K digital audio player is offered in new condition for $300 with free shipping by Electronics Expo (East Coast B&M retailer) thru NewEgg and also through NewEgg Flash. This DAP has both 32GB of internal storage, and two microSD slots (up to 200GB cards per slot). A variety of features, including a built-in speaker, and a 720p touchscreen. This is an Android-based device with Google Play support and a Snapdragon Krait 400 quad-core processor with Adreno 330.

JBL Coach E40 Bluetooth On-Ears + Huawei Honor 8 Dual Camera smartphone for $300

The JBL Coach E40 bluetooth on-ear headphones appear to be NewEgg’s favorite smartphone bundle. Earlier on they were bundled with a ZTE Axon, now they are bundled with the Huawei Honor 8 Dual Camera smartphone, together for $300 with free shipping. This is an unlocked phone with 32GB storage, USA warranty. They also include a few more phone accessories for free.

JBL Coach E40 BT LE On-Ears + ZTE Axon 7 (64GB, Unlocked, NA Warranty) for $350

It’s bundle time! The closed-back on-ear JBL Coach E40 bluetooth headphones, in a Limited Edition Pink-Black color scheme is bundled for FREE with the new condition unlocked no-contract 64GB ZTE Axon 7 Android smartphone with North American warranty, for $350 with free shipping at NewEgg by NewEgg actual. Limit up to five bundles per customer… No coupons, no rebates, a welcome surprise for NewEgg :)… Upon receipt, you can split them and they can make two gifts for the price of one 🙂

Used Fiio X7 DAP (Android) for $456 [was $497] {updated}

If you can’t wait for future discounts, the new Fiio digital audio player flagship, the Android powered X7 is available in Used condition for $459 $497 to $499 by various sellers including Gramophone (Maryland) and “All About Office” through Amazon Warehouse Deals… Price updated in post here 6/17/16…