Which Phone to use with DreamSave: award-winning app for savings groups

Recommended Smartphones for DreamSave Projects

Which phone is best for DreamSave?


DreamSave is designed to work with any smartphone running Android 5 or later. This includes most models released after 2012.

While the price of Android phones continues to fall each year, it’s important to note that some budget phones use unreliable materials that can lead to hidden costs. If you’re not careful, these cheaper phones can result in higher rates of breakage, failure, and frustrating user experiences for savings groups.

For new DreamSave projects, we generally recommend phones in the “Standard” price range below. While these models cost a little more upfront, they help ensure a consistently reliable experience for all savings groups. This allows groups to focus on running their savings group, rather than wasting time managing potential quality problems with phones.

  1. Low-End (USD 30-50)
  2. Entry-Level (USD 50-80)
  3. Standard (USD 80-150)
  4. Standard Plus (USD 150-250)
  5. Premium (USD 250+)

Here is a list of commonly available phone models which DreamStart Labs recommends. These models are widely available and have a good reputation for quality and reliability.

Phone Model

Price (Estimate)

# 1

Samsung J4

USD 150

# 2

Tecno Spark 3

USD 105

# 3

Samsung J3 Pro

USD 102

Selection Criteria

The recommended models above were selected based on the following criteria.
  1. Screen Quality: a good touch screen is important for usability. Since many groups meet outdoors, you also want displays with good contrast and visibility (preferably Super AMOLED or IPS).
  1. Battery Life: 2600 MAh or more is preferable (lower capacity means phones have to be charged more often).
  1. Ease of Repair: The recommended models are all designed for easy screen repair, system repair, etc.
  1. Storage and RAM: 16GB+ and 2GB+ respectively.
  1. Android Support: DreamSave runs on Android 5 or later (which includes most phones released after 2012).
  1. Cost: Phones that meet these standards typically range from $100-150 USD. Note that there are entry-level models on the market that are half this price or less. While DreamSave will run on these cheaper phones, they are not recommended for projects. Low quality touch screens are often difficult to use on entry-level smartphones, and quality shortcuts often result in high hardware failure rates. Add to this the fact that many low-end smartphones are difficult to repair, and the ultimate cost can end up being higher than buying a high-quality mid-range phone in the first place.

Additional Tips

  1. Buying a case can help protect the phones against drops (cost USD 2+).
  2. Tempered glass can help protect the screen (a tempered glass overlay costs around USD 6).
  3. Note that some Chinese-made phones sold in Africa come with European style chargers. If you need to replace a charger, make sure it’s a high-quality model recommended by the store you buy the phones from (cheap knock-off chargers from street vendors can damage phones).

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