The Best Phone Farming Phones – Making Money with Phone Farming

After having a modest phone farm of 10 devices running for the past few months, I can now confidently say that phone farming works. If you live in the United States or Canada, there is no reason you will not be able to make between $50-$100 per month with several old smartphones.

I’ve covered the basics of phone farming in my post How to Start a Phone Farm, and touch briefly on which smartphone models you should purchase and what websites sell recycled devices at low prices.

I’ve also covered passive money making applications in my post The Best Phone Farming Apps. If you are new to the concept of phone farming and making passive income online, I suggest you read both of those fundamental posts first!

However, as I am currently toying with the idea of expanding my phone farming operation, I realize that providing a list of the best phone farming devices could be of use to people looking to start their own phone farms.

This post will include:

  • The best smartphones for phone farming and what to look for in your devices.
  • Where you should shop for cheap smartphones.
  • What devices you should never use for phone farming.

Let’s get into it!

The Best Phones for Phone Farming – Hardware/Software Standards:

Phone farms utilize video watching apps to make the majority of earnings. Therefore, the more stable and efficient a device is at watching videos for hours on end, the more profitable that device will be.

Software Standards for Phone Farming Devices:

  • Buy Android phones: Used Android phones are cheap and the majority of phone farming apps are only offered on the Google Play Store. Stick with Android for your phone farming devices.
  • Look for Android Lolipop (version 5.0): While Android KitKat (version 4.4) is a stable operating system, time is not on KitKat’s side. Many phone farming applications are gradually phasing out old versions of Android operating systems, and KitKat will most likely not be supported for years to come. Look for Lolipop or Marshmallow (version 6.0) if possible.
  • Buy Unlocked Devices: While this isn’t exactly software related, you must make sure that your phone farming smartphones don’t require you to pay monthly bills.

Hardware Standards for Phone Farming Devices:

  • Buy devices with 1GB of RAM: If you want to ensure that your smartphones remain stable while watching videos, RAM is a great indicator to look for. You can certainly sacrifice and buy devices with 500mb of RAM, but be sure to keep an eye out for how much RAM your smartphones have.
  • Processors: Aim to find phones with at least a dual core 1.2 GHz processor. Anything worse could lead to issues with phone performance.
  • Internal Storage/Memory: Make sure you have at least 4GB of internal storage on your phone farming devices to ensure you can access a variety of phone farming apps.
  • Rooting your Smartphones? If you will be running a modest phone farming operation, do not worry about rooting your devices. Rooting smartphones allows users to have root permissions on their smartphone, which is essentially like being granted administrator access. This is incredibly useful for larger phone farms, but also requires more work. If you’re simply looking to make an extra $50 per month, keep things simple.

The Best Phones for Phone Farming – Specific Smartphone Models:

Alcatel OneTouch Pixi Glory A621BL:

Alcatel OneTouch Pixi Glory

The Alcatel OneTouch is an excellent smartphone for phone farming, and is a cheap and reliable buy that can help you get started with phone farming. Some specs include:

  • Operating System: Android Lolipop (version 5.0).
  • Processor: 1.1 GHz quad-core processor.
  • RAM: 1GB.
  • Memory: 8GB.
  • Where to Buy:
  • Price: $19.95.
  • Return on Investment Time: 40-60 days.
  • Score: 4/5.

LG Lucky L16C:

LG Lucky L16C

While I said to avoid purchasing phone farming devices below Android Lolipop, the LG Lucky L16C may be the only exception due to its low cost. I wouldn’t run an entire phone farm with LG Lucky L16C smartphones, but it could be worth supplementing your phone farm with 1 or 2 of these devices.

  • Operating System: Android KitKat (version 4.2).
  • Processor: 1.2 GHz dual-core processor.
  • RAM: 512mb.
  • Memory: 4GB.
  • Where to Buy:
  • Price: $12.95
  • Return on Investment Time: 30-50 days.
  • Score: 3/5.

Motorola Moto E XT1526:

While many phone farmers avoid purchasing Motorola phones due to their slightly increased cost, my 2 Motorola (Moto G) phones are the highest earning devices in my phone farm. Newer smartphones may cost more, but they are also more likely to be eligible in data collection apps that earn passive income, and this justifies the extra expense.

  • Operating System: Android Lolipop (version 5.0).
  • Processor: 1.2 GHz quad-core processor.
  • RAM: 1GB.
  • Memory: 8GB.
  • Where to Buy:
  • Price: $33.95
  • Return on Investment Time: 40-50 days.
  • Score: 4/5.

Moto G (2nd Gen):

Moto G 2nd Generation Phone

The Moto G device is the foundation of my phone farm. Moto G smartphones can run videos smoothly, are eligible for many passive data collection apps, and are an excellent phone farming device.

  • Operating System: Android KitKat (version 4.4) but upgradeable to version 6.0.
  • Processor: 1.2 GHz quad-core processor.
  • RAM: 1GB.
  • Memory: 8GB.
  • Where to Buy: – although it is sometimes out of stock.
  • Price: Between $25-$30.
  • Return on Investment Time: 40-50 days.
  • Score: 4.5/5.

Unlocked Smart Cell Phone by Plum (an Amazon Buy):

Edit: 5/28/2018: I’ve had this phone running in my phone farm for a few months and performance is starting to decline. In fact, I can only run very passive, low intensity applications with it. Purchase with caution.

While I do not particularly like this phone, it can be difficult to find unlocked cell phones on Amazon that also run Android version 5.0. Phone farming can allow you to accumulate Amazon gift cards, and if you want to reinvest your phone farm earnings into purchasing additional devices, you might have to make some sacrifices and pay slightly more for an average phone. Just make sure to buy used Plum phones if possible.

  • Operating System: Android Marshmallow (version 6.0).
  • Processor: 1.3 GHz quad-core processor.
  • RAM: 512mb.
  • Memory: 8GB.
  • Where to Buy: Amazon.
  • Price: Varies depending on manufacturer or reseller, but generally between $35-$45.
  • Return on Investment Time: 50-70 days.
  • Score: 2.5/5.

ZTE Maven 2 (an Amazon Buy):

The ZTE Maven is another Amazon purchase than can help supplement your phone farm and allow you to reinvest your earnings into more devices. Price can vary quite a bit with the ZTE Maven 2, so be sure to look for the best used deal available to reduce your break even time on investment.

  • Operating System: Android Marshmallow (version 6.0).
  • Processor: 1.1 GHz quad-core processor.
  • RAM: 1GB.
  • Memory: 8GB.
  • Where to Buy: Amazon.
  • Price: Varies depending on manufacturer or reseller, but generally between $30-$50.
  • Return on Investment Time: 50-75 days.
  • Score: 3/5.

Other Phone Farming Phones to Consider:

It can sometimes be challenging to buy phone farming devices in bulk. Stores have limited stock, buy limits, or are bought out quickly. While the list of phone farming smartphones I have provided can be a great starting point, don’t be afraid to continue your research and find other affordable devices.

Some great phone farming phones you can also consider include:

  • LG Optimus Zone 3.
  • LG Tribute 5.
  • LG Optimus Fuel (another cheap KitKat 4.4 option).
  • LG Sunset L33L – a great phone farming device, but difficult to find at low prices.

Where to Buy your Phone Farming Devices:

As you can tell from the list above, I have a few go-to sites for buying cheap phone farming devices. If you’re looking to purchase cheap, used smartphones, consider the following websites:

  • www.c7recycle.comWhile their stock might not always be full, c7recycle is always my first option for purchasing used smartphones. This website has a fairly extensive list of Android phones, regular deals, and sells chargers alongside phones for less than $2.
  • Amazon: It can be difficult to find cheap, unlocked smartphones on Amazon, but the ability to reinvest your phone farm earnings into buying more devices is sometimes worth sacrificing on price.
  • Walmart: Walmart occasionally has good deals on unlocked smartphones, especially if you live in the United States.
  • Best Buy: Best Buy also has great sales a few times per year, and you can also shop through eBates and get cash back for your purchases on Best Buy (this works with Amazon too)! I cover eBates in my post The Best Rebate and Cashback Apps, so be sure to check out other ways you can save when shopping online!
  • Friends and Family: Almost everyone I know has at least 1 old and cracked smartphone sitting in their desk. If they have no plans for using their old smartphones, you can probably buy them for less than $20 or even get them for free!

Phone Farming Mistakes to Avoid when Shopping:

Before you decide to purchase smartphones, be sure to know what mistakes to avoid in order to save money and ineffective phone farming:

  • Don’t Buy Apple or Windows Phones: Apple and Windows phones are more expensive than Android phones, and they also have far fewer passive income apps available. Don’t limit your earning potential by avoiding Android.
  • Don’t Buy Tablets: There was a period of time where Amazon Tablets were great for running apps like Perk TV, but those times are over. Tablets require too many work-arounds and tricks to run reliably, and aren’t worth the time or investment.
  • Don’t Buy Phones that are Ancient: Buying old smartphones for phone farming is great. Buying phones that are so old they can hardly run and have bloated batteries is less effective. Save money and buy old devices, but be sure to purchase from reliable re-sellers.
  • Don’t Jump the Gun: Before you spend several hundred dollars on starting your phone farm, make sure it works for you. Purchase 1-5 devices, run them for a few weeks, and do your research. Running a small phone farm is easy, but the more devices you add, the more work is required to keep the farm running effectively.

I hope you found the above list of best phone farming smartphones to be helpful! Phone farming can be a great way to generate passive income, and some spare change never hurt anyone.

Thanks for reading! Best of luck with starting your own phone farm.


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Devesh Dalmia

Great Article! Will definitely see if I can do anything with my used Androids

Mark Fox

It has been hard to find these phones you have listed, but I love the article. I really want to get into starting my own phone farm. I want to start with a $100 initial investment, but the phones you have listed are not on i.e. I am assuming that the phones that come in are random. I will continue to look everyday to try to find the deals when I can. If you have any other suggestions for me personally I would love to hear some freed back!! Thank you very much for taking the time to write… Read more »


How do you track your earnings per phone? Do you use a different account on each phone for all the apps? Sorry, just new to this 😀 It’s a great post!