Finding an MP3 player in 2022: using a cheap smartphone

When I was a teen, and we all grew out of the MP3 players, I used my Samsung Galaxy Young as my primary music player. As time went on, smartphones adopted the all-in-one-package mentality — now all your streaming services were available on anything that had a screen.

Is it possible I could find a cheap smartphone that I could gut the innards out of, to use as a dedicated music device?

Alcatel 1V: the cheapest smartphone available

Alcatel 1V (2020): lowest low-end smartphone currently existing.

Still, on a self-imposed tight budget, I found myself an Alcatel 1V: a super low-end phone you can pick up under the Telstra/Vodafone/Optus banner at your local Woolies if you so desire. But I wouldn’t exactly encourage you to go ahead and immediately do what I did.

Once I loaded Spotify and downloaded my gazillion Spotify songs and playlists for offline listening, the Alcatel struggled. Despite it having an ample amount of storage, its mediocre RAM (2 GB) struggled under the stress of running Spotify and Google Books, even when I deleted most of the bloatware customarily pasted into Android devices these days.

Not to mention, the Alcatel is about the same size as my Find X2 Neo. I’m essentially lugging around two four-inch-tall devices, as well as my keys, wallet, and headphones. I’m running out of pocket space with this thing, and it’s struggling just to load (and not crash) my Spotify playlists.

I used this method for a few months before I left the Alcatel in my car and just stopped bothering to charge it. It’s slow, struggles even when it’s not connected to the internet, and Spotify crashing in the middle of a study session — when all it was doing was playing music — was the final straw.

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