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Cell Phone Advice?

 
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Cell Phone Advice?
 PostPosted: Sun May 22, 2011 7:32 pm Reply with quote  
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  Crash Override
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I've been on a shared plan through AT&T and used the iPhone 3G and then 3GS for a few years, but I've decided to get my own plan, and I'm pretty much 99% decided upon Verizon, though I'm reserving a 1% for a compelling argument to go with T-Mobile or Sprint, or to stick with AT&T. I'm also getting a new phone to go with the plan, and I want a phone that's fairly new since I'm going to need a 2-year contract to subsidize the cost so I'm not paying $500-600 for it, so I want it to be slightly "future proof" in that regard.

My reason for choosing Verizon is that all evidence I've seen indicates that they have the best network coverage, and they have the best "4G" network. I've heard their LTE is a lot better than Sprint's WiMax -- plus AFAIK Sprint's WiMax doesn't have coverage in my area but Verizon's LTE does. Finally, I get a discount on Verizon through my employer.

So right now there's four phones I'm looking at, all which support Verizon's 4G LTE: the HTC Thunderbolt, the Samsung Droid Charge, the LG Revolution, and the Motorola Droid Bionic. The latter two haven't been released, though the LG phone is due out on Thursday. The Motorola phone has been delayed, so it could come out in June or it could be off for a few months. I figure I can wait a week to at least look at some reviews of the LG phone, but I'm mostly debating between the Droid Charge and the Thunderbolt.

Right now both phones have a few caveats I'm worried about. In the case of the Thunderbolt, it seems like it's mostly based on HTC's Sprint Evo, which would suggest it's sort of a "last year model" re-released on Verizon this year. I've heard its audio quality for calls is bad, and its battery is small and dies quickly.

My concerns about the Droid Charge are that I've heard it has some issues with Adobe Flash on its browser, it's slightly more expensive than the Thunderbolt, and I've heard that Samsung is very slow to release firmware updates. Both phones are currently running Android 2.2 Froyo, while Gingerbread is available for some phones. Thunderbolt is supposed to get Gingerbread by 3Q of this year. Finally, the Thunderbolt has a slight storage advantage over the Droid Charge in that it has 8 GB internal with a 32 GB SD card. Droid Charge has 2 GB internal with a 32 GB SD card.

I have 16 GB on my current phone and I run out of space really easy with music, audiobooks and podcasts, so having a lot of storage would be nice. And the iPhone doesn't even run Adobe Flash at all, so I think at least the Droid Charge runs it, even if it slows down loading webpages somewhat.


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 PostPosted: Mon May 23, 2011 12:32 am Reply with quote  
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  Mara Jade Skywalker
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Well, Jedi, I'm afraid I will be of no help in this situation, other than to say bless you for ditching the iPhone.

I got my current phone 4 years ago for graduation, and it still works perfectly. I have dropped it numerous times, but it is quite sturdy. It seems nothing will kill it. It's a flip phone, yes, but I think it's quite cute. The Sony Ericsson w300i:



It does everything I need it to do and has never failed me. My dad's iPhone, however, makes me mad everytime I use it. The touchscreen is very nice and extremely responsive. But the happiness ends there. I won't go into it further, but I have never understood the ridiculous love for the crazy things.

Anyway...! Best of luck on your phone hunting. Personally, I am very happy with AT&T, but I hear good things about Verizon as well. Sprint and T-Mobile...not so much.
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 PostPosted: Mon May 23, 2011 12:42 am Reply with quote  
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  Crash Override
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I think the AT&T coverage in my region is really spotty. Right now I'm actually working as a cell phone tester for a Sprint phone that runs the Android OS, which is why I've become enamored with that sort of phone. I'm going to start using that phone to make my calls instead of my iPhone, and see if either the terrain, or simply volume of usage is responsible for my dropped calls on AT&T?

Why do you dislike the iPhone? Do you dislike smartphones in general? I know the first time I used an iPhone I had no clue what I was doing, and that the same was initially true of the Android back when I tried one out late last year when I first considered getting my own plan.

My prior phone was a Motorola RAZR:


Now I use my phone almost like a laptop and a MP3 player, so I don't think I can go back to a non-smartphone.
These are the two I'm debating between:


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 PostPosted: Mon May 23, 2011 3:54 am Reply with quote  
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  Life Is The Path
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Too, I'm afraid I can't help you. I've nothing against iPhones, I've never used them, it's merely that I've had mine for years. The Nokia 5070: . Apart from making the multimedia messages unreadable after I clear out my inbox (though that's easily remedied), it's a nice enough phone, so I feel no need to get a new one.

Good luck on your hunt, though!
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 PostPosted: Mon May 23, 2011 6:02 am Reply with quote  
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  wookie_inked
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my cell phone carrier is T-Mobile, I'm happy with them


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 PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2011 9:32 pm Reply with quote  
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  Crash Override
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My further research has left me befuddled and I'm now completely open to anything. I ideally want a "Google phone," that is a phone running the pure Android OS without any sort of manufacturer or carrier additions. As of now, the only phones that do this are the Nexus One and the Nexus S. I'd pick up the former and use it on my AT&T contract right now for the next few months if they weren't selling for $200-300, as it was produced for every carrier but Verizon.

The Nexus S is currently available subsidized on contract for T-Mobile and Sprint, with the latter model supporting Sprint's 4G WiMax network (which sucks compared to Verizon's LTE network and AT&T's forthcoming LTE network). It's also possible to get the T-Mobile variant, which supports AT&T's 2G EDGE network, with a radio supporting AT&T's 3G bands. But that's an unlocked model that costs around $500.

The appeal of the "Google phone" is that by virtue of running pure Android OS, they receive updates to Android as soon as Google releases it. Other phones require the release to go through the manufacturer and carrier to potentially lock new features they don't want you having, that is, without paying them for them.

So I'm kind of hopeful that a new Google phone will be released this winter with support for 4G LTE network. But I'm also afraid that Verizon and AT&T won't want this phone, because they want their stuff locked down... I might have to settle for the Samsung Galaxy S 2, if it supports Verizon LTE.


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 PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2011 8:29 am Reply with quote  
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  comanderbly
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If you want a pure google phone then get the Nexus S 4g on sprint. The other thing to keep in mind if you like google is that sprint and google are creating a solid relationship - integrating google voice and possible NFC payment systems. The next android super phone is the Galaxy S II which is expected to hit US carriers in Sept. The 2 phones I am eying to replace my iphone 3g are the Nexus S or the Galaxy S II on sprint. To get pure android you can always consider rooting another android phone (although you void your warrenty I think).


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 PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2011 9:50 am Reply with quote  
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comanderbly wrote:
If you want a pure google phone then get the Nexus S 4g on sprint. The other thing to keep in mind if you like google is that sprint and google are creating a solid relationship - integrating google voice and possible NFC payment systems. The next android super phone is the Galaxy S II which is expected to hit US carriers in Sept. The 2 phones I am eying to replace my iphone 3g are the Nexus S or the Galaxy S II on sprint. To get pure android you can always consider rooting another android phone (although you void your warrenty I think).


Yeah, you void your warranty. Is the Galaxy S II going to run pure android, though? I was thinking of getting that one, but I think it will have Samsung's TouchWiz skin.


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 PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2011 10:03 am Reply with quote  
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  comanderbly
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LivingJediDream wrote:
comanderbly wrote:
If you want a pure google phone then get the Nexus S 4g on sprint. The other thing to keep in mind if you like google is that sprint and google are creating a solid relationship - integrating google voice and possible NFC payment systems. The next android super phone is the Galaxy S II which is expected to hit US carriers in Sept. The 2 phones I am eying to replace my iphone 3g are the Nexus S or the Galaxy S II on sprint. To get pure android you can always consider rooting another android phone (although you void your warrenty I think).


Yeah, you void your warranty. Is the Galaxy S II going to run pure android, though? I was thinking of getting that one, but I think it will have Samsung's TouchWiz skin.


No the galaxy S 2 won't be pure android. However Sprint tends to be better about adding bloatware than most carriers from what I understand. I know what you mean about wanting it to be a pure android. Its the big reason I am leaning to the nexus s right now. Apple lost me along the way, no way I am waiting until 2012 for the iphone 5 that may or may not have NFC. As much as I love the iphone they just kill me with the release schedule. Besides I only use 4 apps pretty regularly. And don't get me started on itunes.


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 PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2011 8:18 pm Reply with quote  
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Well, now my iPhone's speaker stopped working, requiring me to use either speakerphone, bluetooth, or earbuds when making calls. I think I should probably just pick either the Droid Charge, which I guess is a watered down Galaxy S II with 4G LTE, or the Thunderbolt which is basically a year old phone with faster 4G than the Evo. Then, when I'm eligible for an upgrade in about a year, that will be around the time when Ice Cream Sandwich will actually start rolling out on phones.

Waiting for Galaxy S II would be nice, but I suspect that it won't have LTE. Plus it's my understanding that Verizon's model for Galaxy S was really gimped with Bing and Eclair instead of Froyo.

I suspect a new Google Phone with Ice Cream Sandwich will be released around the time it's finished Q4 like the Nexus S did for Gingerbread, but if history is any indication it'll be on T-Mobile and maybe Sprint and not AT&T or Verizon, and if it is on either of those they won't subsidize it with contract, so if I chose to get it I would be paying full price either way.

I also heard that Google is going to be setting new standards with regard to updates, so they're probably going to be forcing HTC, Samsung, T-Mobile and LG to get updates out quicker on non-Google phones. They apparently are requiring them to support phones for a year and a half after release.


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 PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2011 8:40 am Reply with quote  
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  comanderbly
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I had to upgrade the OS on my iPhone 3g to use the latest MLB at bat app and its so slow its useless. Plus the battery is getting really bad.

Based on my reading/research Verizon bogs down their phones with junk more than most carriers. Then again you are getting a deal from work.

I don't have the same storage issues. In general I use pandora for music so I do not have a lot of music or video on the phone.

I am hoping to there will be an official release date on the Galaxy S II. I really hope google can get the carriers and manufacturers in line with updates. Fragmentation is a huge issue and a big reason I have been so reluctant to switch to Android. I am really excited about the Google Wallet announcement. NFC payments would be super cool.


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 PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2011 6:43 pm Reply with quote  
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And so, I think I'm going to go with Verzion now, because they currently have their unlimited data plan which they will end at an unspecified time in the future, and having it currently grandfathers you into keeping it.

I went to the Verizon store and the guy there heavily recommend the Droid Charge over the Thunderbolt due to the battery life. The Droid Charge has a larger battery capacity than the Thunderbolt, and apparently doesn't drain it as quickly either.

I suspect the time to upgrade will be about a year from now, because Ice Cream Sandwich is coming out Q4 2011, and unless I get a Google Phone, there probably won't be phones designed for it or receiving it until around this time next year, given how slow HTC, Samsung, et al. drag their feet to update.


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