Get a cheap phone that has all the functionality you need.
Buy the flagship device from 2 years (aka 2 releases) ago.
Specific phone for Q1 2022? Pixel 4 used.
It is Q1 2022. Buy a used Pixel 4. It is 2 years old. It was $800 for the 64 GB version and $900 for $128 GB at release. Now it is going for < $200 used.
What I would do if I were getting a phone is get a flagship that is releases (2 years) back.
Get the Pixel 4 now, when the Pixel 6 was just released.
Get it factory refurbished or new if possible. The price is 25% of the release price and about 25% of buying a new flagship phone.
It is much better than spending $250-$350 on a mid-tier or low-tier brand new phone.
What did I do? I got another phone mainly because I could not wait to buy one used. The method I just described would be better.
Pixel is good because Google is providing security updates for longer. And because it is an Android flagship, lots of 3rd party support for it.
How to set up an old phone so it is fast.
1. You can put another launcher on it, so it is faster.
Put a text based launcher instead of a graphics based one.
2. Take everything off that is not necessary.
Remove all social media. Just have a browser if you need to use it. Just have navigation, text, calling, phone book, camera.
3. Turn off all the features that are not necessary
Turn off all the features that you do not need.