Cheap android phone for use as a DAP?

I’ve been looking around at DAPs and had sort of an epiphany; I could probably just get a phone for cheaper and use it only as a DAP, hooking up my Topping NX4 or Radsone ES100 to it, use Neutron and Amazon Music, etc.

Finding unlocked android phones and ones that meet my needs has been hard though and I need some help.
I have 3 needs in descending importance:
1: large expandable storage, at least 1TB, but 2TB would be cool.
2: bluetooth capability, LDAC
3: solid battery life

If anyone has any ideas on what to look at, I’m all ears.

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If you want a phone that actually has a pretty good dac chip, you can pick up a LG v20 for a decent price. Very nice phone


I’ve had a V20 for a few years. Still working great.

Your storage requirement for a phone isn’t realistic, as 1 TB sd cards are a recent development and some are more expensive than the phones. 512 GB cards seem to be readily available though. Just watch out for fakes. V20 does support 2 TB of expanded storage, but I doubt any of them will live long enough to see a 2 TB sd card.

I use LDAC regularly with ES100 and Audeze Mobius

Battery is about a day, but I’ve been using mine for a while. Batteries can be swapped in these, so when it starts to wear out and not hold a charge as well as it used to, you can just get a new one and be good to go.


I think prices will eventually come down, but I do agree it doesn’t make a bunch of sense to buy a 1tb SD card. I like my fiio m11 because of the dual sd slots so I have 2 512g cards in there, and that might be a more cost effective way to get more storage if you find a phone with dual sd card slots


Agree that the 1 to 2 terrabyte thing is not realistic. I’ve used android all my life and am up to date with all the newest phones and it’s not a thing. Theres some like the galaxy series that you can add a 512 gig micro sd card and buy the 500 gig phone version but you are easily spending m well over a thousand bucks just there

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LDAC is owned by Sony, and is recent, so if you absolutely want LDAC, it will mostly be Sony Xperia phones.


Starting from Android 8.0Oreo”, LDAC is part of the Android Open Source Project, enabling every OEM to integrate this standard into their own Android devices freely.[6][7]

I know there’s a website listing all phones/headphones with AptX and AptX-HD support, but I don’t find one for LDAC.

You could always reflash the v20 to put any rom on there if you felt something was lacking

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When I put the size requirement up there I was just going off of spec pages for phones which listed everything up to 2tb, so I just assumed that that was actually a thing, but I learned late this morning reading here and checking amazon that 512mb sd cards are really the max of what you can reasonably get now. It’s whatever, but disappointing to know after seeing 2tb on so many spec pages >_>

The V20 seems like a really solid rec, ticks the boxes of what I want, is easily able have its battery replaced (!) and is going for around $117 or so when I checked ebay.

Thanks to everyone that replied so far. Looks like I’ll be getting a V20 :smiley:


Its a previous flagship that can still hold up today, great for the price

And apparently, 4 days ago, someone on Reddit bought a LG V20, and it could be upgraded to Android 8.0. So you could get LDAC too, maybe?

It might, but if not you might have to try and flash it

From what I’ve been able to gather: All LG V20s are able to be updated to Android 8 and as of sep,oct of this year, models that get their updates straight from LG are eligible for Android 9. LineageOS 16 can also be installed on the phone as well and that runs Android 9. In any case, every V20 should have LDAC capability and XmetaldaveX confirmed earlier in the thread that he uses LDAC with his ES100 using the V20 so it’s all good.

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Yup, should be just fine

I have had several of the Sony Xperia Z and X compact and ultra variants. The sound quality is exceptional, they have expandable storage, and most of all, the battery life is unbelievably long. The one other consideration you may want to include is that the Z and X compact models are tiny, which in this case seems like a plus.

Another vote for the V20 here. I use it with my 64 Audio U18t and sold my Chord Mojo because I just didn’t feel like I needed it. Great phone that can act as a DAP. Install UAPP and you’re laughing


Yeah UAPP is awesome, probably the most refined (in functionality and sound quality) music playing app out there

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Oh, so UAPP could make a difference even if you don’t use an external USB DAC? Interesting.

Might be worth it only to get rid of my buggy VLC :stuck_out_tongue:

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What jumps out at you specifically that makes UAPP better than others, and in comparison to Neutron, if you’ve used that one.

The UI is clean, the player is fast and bypasses Android audio so it goes directly to the dac in the v20 without resampling, it has lots of features like music streaming support and plugins, and generally I have had less problems with it compared to neutron


Neutron… my name’s Jimmy so l’ll pass.

…And above all, UAPP has more interesting options. :stuck_out_tongue: