what phone for 2014?

Discussion in 'Odds & Ends' started by heycal, Apr 11, 2014.

  1. heycal

    heycal Hall of Fame

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    So my cell phone contract is up in a month. I've got a lucid LG which basically stinks -- though I love that it displays the time in large font and the temperature on the home/main page. (Can iphone do that?) Should I finally make the switch to iphone, or perhaps galaxy?

    It irritates me that the iphones have such small screens. And when they increased the screen size from the 4 to the 5 -- they increased the length rather than the more important width. What the heck were they thinking??

    That aside, it seems most people I know use iphones and like them. I care nothing for gaming or watching movies -- I just want a phone I can use for messaging and web stuff, and one where I can see the screen with old eyes. I like wide and thin phones, and I understand that iphone is neither really.

    I recently switched over from pc to Mac, and I'm happy I did. I like that everything works like it's supposed to. Is it perhaps time to make the leap to iphone as well?
     
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  2. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Samsung Galaxy Note 3

    Big screen
     
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  3. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    The next iPhone is rumored to come in small and "fablet" size with a larger screen.
     
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  4. Feña14

    Feña14 Legend

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    Yeah, if you want a big screen, web browsing and messaging that's the best bet.

    You should be able to find a good price too.
     
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  5. heycal

    heycal Hall of Fame

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    In my preliminary reading, some say that a screen TOO big requires two hands, so that might be weird for me. I guess I could experiment some.

    As for the new iphone 6 rumors, they say the screen will be bigger, but they don't see in which direction. If those morons just make it taller again, that wouldn't be much help.

    I guess a big issue for me besides screen size is glitchiness -- my Lucid is glitchy and unpredictable, and my recent pleasant experiences with the Mac Air instead of my old glitchy PC's makes me wonder if I should just suck up the smaller screen and hope that apples phones are similarly competent machines.

    The thing I like about the Mac is, while it may not do everything the way I would like it done or have every feature I want, at least it reliably does what it's supposed to do. That counts for a lot.
     
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  6. Feña14

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    Yeah i'm a fellow Mac user (7 years) and can't get on with Windows at all these days. For me i'd decided the iPhone was the only choice because of that, but after using it, they drove me crazy.

    The Android phones of the past had a reputation for being glitchy, but over the last few years they've improved out of sight. The only real way to find out is to play around with both and see what you get on with better.

    The thing about Android that works for me the best is that you can get it to do whatever you want, look however you want, show you the information you need etc.. i've got a completely black background, the icons are personalised, the clock fits my eye, the weather thing you mentioned, there are thousands to choose from.

    This is what it looks like out of the box:

    [​IMG]

    This is what mine looks like after 5 minutes of making it my own.

    [​IMG]

    The web browser is the one that works for me, the keyboard works how i like it to, not how Apple tells me it should etc..

    Have a look at the S4 if you get a chance, with the S5 coming out the price is falling and the screen isn't as big as the Note.
     
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  7. heninfan99

    heninfan99 Legend

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    Go opposite of trend:
    [​IMG]
     
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  8. LameTennisPlayer

    LameTennisPlayer Professional

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    You're battery charge went from 99% to 28% in 5 mins? I'll rather go with the Nokia Lumia 1520
     
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  9. Feña14

    Feña14 Legend

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    Haha no, the default picture was found on the web as i'd not taken a screenshot of it stock. The after was taken a few months back after being off charge since 7 in the morning (so i'd still got 28% left after using it for 17 hours).
     
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  10. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    A coworker of mine summed up Mac versus PC with this quote: "With the Mac, I'm not always fighting the computer to get it to do stuff for me." Once you learn the Mac way, the PC just becomes annoying especially Windows 8.

    I've played around with Androids before and they just don't work for my brain. I find it strange since I love most other Google products for their simplicity. The iPhone does everything I need it to do and the software meshes with my brain.
     
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  11. Feña14

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    That's a good way of putting it, for most people their phone is always with them and it's a big part of modern day life. Some people like iPhones, others Android. For me iPhones are just too small and rigid in the way they do things. The notifications at the top of my phone are alot clearer to me than the drop down menu in iOS, the icons (especially in iOS7) are ugly imo, the way photo's are organised doesn't make much sense to me, having to swipe the screen on messages to see the time someone sent a message is weird. The Apple keyboard doesn't feel right whilst SwiftKey does, the themes, layouts, sizing and ability to swype is like second nature now. Also i'm a bit of a typography geek, being able to download any font that gets used for everything on the phone is a thing of beauty for me.

    So yeah, whatever works is the right one for you. Everyone is different and has different needs and preferences. For me when i'm unlocking the phone to see the neon blue icons, beautiful weather symbols and see the bright purple keyboard with my favourite font when it comes to replying to a message? That's what i'm a fan of in a phone.
     
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  12. movdqa

    movdqa Legend

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    I have an iPhone 5 and a Nexus 7. The iPhone 5 is a great phone but there are times that I wish that it had a bigger screen and there are times where I love how small it is when a convenient pocket is fairly small. I like the apps on the iPhone 5 and I like iCloud.

    That said, I love the flexibility of Android - the customizable home screens, the ability to drag and drop files from my PC or Mac to the Android File System.

    If you really like the iOS Ecosystem and want a bigger screen, I'd wait to see what Apple releases this fall - of course it may feel like a long wait. My contract is up in the fall so I'm going to see what they come up with. If I don't like it, then I'll just stick with my iPhone 5.

    My favorite Android phone is the Nexus 5. My wife has one - big screen, very thin, Pure Android, very fast processor. There were a few issues with software when it shipped involving sound and camera but I think that those have been fixed. The price is pretty good too. I would most likely go with the Nexus 5 if I wanted an Android phone.

    It doesn't have the most or best features but it would do what I would want it to do.
     
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  13. heycal

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    Thanks for the thoughts and info. guys. I was leaning towards the iphone -- partly because of my positive experiences in switching over to the Mac, and partly because virtually everyone I know uses and likes the iphone -- but you've made some compelling arguments against it.

    Two questions:

    1) I love how on an iphone, I can make the message text as large as I want it to be, which helps me read a text without reaching for my glasses. With my android Lucid, I could only do this if I downloaded some message app or whatever, and that never worked well, and I finally just gave up. This, of course, goes against the notion that iphone is limited and the android is limitless -- in this case, the iphone will let me make the font exactly as big as i want, whereas the Lucid is like 'Nope, 'large' is as big as it's going. Download some app and try a workaround to make it big enough to read without glasses if you don't like it".

    2) On an iphone, is there really no way to make the home screen display the time and temperature in a nice big font? I use my phone as a watch frequently, and having to press a few keys to get to this would annoy me.
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2014
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  14. Nostradamus

    Nostradamus G.O.A.T.

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    I have Note 3. very happy with it. but when IPhone comes out with phone just as big screen, I will switch
     
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  15. Bartelby

    Bartelby G.O.A.T.

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    If these things were just phones, then smaller would be good.

    But they are mostly used as 'viewing and inputting screens' and not speaking and hearing devices.
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2014
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  16. movdqa

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    The lock screen displays the time. From the lock screen, you can pull down notifications which can have the weather at the top. You really don't have the concept of home screens on iOS.

    I have calendar entries, email entries, weather bar, big clock, stocks and my most used app icons on my Nexus 7 homepage - it would be nice to have that on iOS.
     
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  17. heycal

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    I'm thinking there is a sweet spot when it comes to size. Part of me longs for a bigger screen than my lucid -- which is a tiny bit bigger than the iphone 5 -- but I do want it to fit in my hand nicely and be able to use it with one hand. I imagine going much wider than I have now could feel awkward when it comes to day to day use. (Or I'd get used to to it in three days and be like "what was I thinking with those smaller screens?" Tough to say….)

    There is something appealing about the way the iphone looks and feels, at least superficially. That aside, I'm still having trouble understanding what's supposedly so great about it or why they are so popular.

    One thing I do like about the iphone is that icons appear bigger than ones on my Lucid, and the keyboard looks somehow more spacious as well.
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2014
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  18. Bartelby

    Bartelby G.O.A.T.

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    I could imagine that for me anything over 4.5 inches could be a problem.

    If apple does launch a 4.7 and 5.7 inch phone I'm pretty sure I'd buy the former in a heartbeat.

    Migrated to apple for home computers and like it so it's now hard to escape, but I have an android but use it more as a phone than a smartphone.

    If I were to upgrade it would be to an iphone 4.7.
     
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  19. heycal

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    The lock screen on iphone displays the time? Meaning you can touch one button or less to find out what time it is? (That's how my current phone works -- I pull it out of pocket, press one button on the side, and screen lights up with a time display in big font, and the date in smaller font).

    And is it displayed nice and big for old eyes/or able to be made big? Is any other aspect of this screen customizable?
     
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  20. heycal

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    I agree that may be about the best size. But of course, width is even more crucial. How comes when it comes to phone size, the arguably more important dimension, width, isn't mentioned very much?
     
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  21. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    How about a nice basic flip phone? :)
     
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  22. Bartelby

    Bartelby G.O.A.T.

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    ... because people want a computer on wheels even if it is chronically underused.


     
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  23. movdqa

    movdqa Legend

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    [​IMG]
     
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  24. dParis

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    I jumped from Apple to Android primarily due to screen size. I went with the LG G2, which is the company's current flagship phone. It has a big, beautiful screen and the thinnest bezels on any device out there, I think - so I can still use it with one hand. Any bigger (think: Samsung Note) and I would have to use two hands most of the time and carry around a ridiculous looking device tht looks less like a phone and more like a small Xerox.

    I like that the G2 is a phone first. It's also a snappy and smooth operator. And the batterey lasts, like, forever. As for Android, I think you can make of it what you want. Keep it simple (like I do), or customize the hell out of it like some people with no life outside of their mobile devices do. I think with each new release/update of operating systems, Android and iOS are becoming more and more alike. I don't find anything wrong with iOS. As a matter of fact I like the newest version and if Apple decides to increase the iPhone's display size, I'd consider going back. But now when I use my wife's iPhone, I know there is no way I can go back to that small a screen.
     
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  25. Bud

    Bud Bionic Poster

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    Give the Nexus 5 a peek.
     
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  26. Feña14

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    Yeah there are alot of good Android options out there, which I like. The HTC One looks like an incredible phone too, the poor camera is the only thing stopping me. I use Instagram alot and the camera just isn't good enough unfortunately. So yeah, I'll be upgrading from the S3 to S5 next month.
     
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  27. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    This is the first civil phone discussion I've seen on TTW. Usually it turns into a bash fest. One thing that I've never liked with the iPhone is the speaker volume. If I'm in a loud environment, I can't hear the other person on the phone. The music does not play very loud either.
     
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  28. movdqa

    movdqa Legend

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    Not sure which iPhone you're talking about but the speakers on the iPhone 5 are pretty loud. When I'm in the office gym alone, I put the iPhone on speaker and listen to talk shows or music and can hear it from the whole gym. I normally use a headset so that I don't disturb others in the gym.

    There's less controversy on phones as they're all mostly incorporating similar features. I think that most can see the advantages and disadvantages in the ecosystems.
     
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  29. Power Player

    Power Player Talk Tennis Guru

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    I think its leveled out. People dont care anymore and realize you are picking an os at this point. You already outlined why some of us prefer ios. I had droids long enough and ios just fits how i use my phone better. They all have similar specs and perks.

    The nokia windows phone has a crazy good camera, maybe the best i have seen, but i hate the os. Im just going to stay with iphone until something comes out and changes the game like iphone did back in the day.

    Imo it was like this - motorola - blackberry- iphone. In terms of major innovation. Not sure what is coming next, but the new iphone needs to be waterproof and have an even stronger screen imo.

    I have zero complaints with the size of it, but thats personal. I dont like big phones, and i owned an evo which looked like a tablet when id pull it out.
     
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  30. heycal

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    Thanks for all the thoughts, gentlemen. Much to think about. Funny how we talk about how great the phones have become. In some ways yes, but in others ways the phones I've had in recent years all lack two basic and obvious things i loved about my old Motorola Startac or whatever from 15 years ago:

    1) The ability to control the volume of the vibration. Some times you want it strong, other times very subtle, no?

    2) A vibrate then ring feature. Four vibrations and then two rings or so. So simple, so handy, and so elusive in the 21st century…

    Why is this so?
     
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  31. movdqa

    movdqa Legend

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    Well, the nature of engineering products is that product managers gather up feature requirements and user requests, from various sources including marketing and then decide on which features to put in based on competition, user requests, cost to implement, etc.

    Fine-tuning vibrate/ring apparently isn't high on the request list.

    A request to Google for a Google Tasks app has been around for several years - right now, you have to use a third-party app (and give them your credential) to use Google Tasks as an App. That's why I use iCloud Reminders. There are a lot of things that you would think would be easy but they just never bubble up to make the cut for the next release.
     
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  32. dParis

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    :lol: I had forgotten all about the Startac. You could knock it off the bar counter, then kick it across the room and it would just keep working. Built like a tank.

    Btw, the LG G2 has the vibration volume thingy. Not sure about the vibe-then-ring feature but if it doesn't, there is probably an app for that.
     
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  33. heycal

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    Startac was awesome. You weren't buttdialing anyone with that sucker, either.

    This R2 D2 phone you speak of may have vibration and ring at the same time, but I doubt it has the vibrate then ring feature. That would be a too obvious and useful feature for a 21st century phone.

    Now can anyone explain WHY we can't have these simple things anymore?
     
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  34. movdqa

    movdqa Legend

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    I think that my RAZR had that huge list of ring/vibrate options too.
     
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  35. heycal

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    Sounds about right.

    Going out of town for a few days. I'll try and get my hands on some of these phones whilst gone and see what I think.
     
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  36. Power Player

    Power Player Talk Tennis Guru

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    The vibration options on my i5 are pretty deep.
     
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  37. heycal

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    The iphone 5?

    So I had a chance to look at the iphone 5, and briefly, some Samsungs. The iphone was all right, but do wish the screen were a just a wee bit wider. Some of the Samsungs were way too huge for me. I think I liked the size of the galaxy 3 mini, I think it was. Basically seemed similar to the size of the Lucid I have now, which is 4.7 x 2.45 x .45, and a portly 5 oz.

    I'm a verizon customer, btw. My current phone is dying and I need a new phone like now. Can probably make it until my upgrade is avail on May 3, but not much longer.

    But if I upgrade to either a nice android or an iphone 5 now, will I be kicking myself if/when the iphone 6 comes out in the fall and it finally provides a little bit more width as God intended? (IF It does, that is. The iphone 5 stupidly was not made any wider than the 4….)

    Phone experts among you, please advise a course of action and what my options may be….
     
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  38. Feña14

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    Did you not like the S3? After two years i'm still loving it, but it's looking tiny compared to the phones that have come out since! :)

    Worth noting that the iPhone 6 will probably be wider than the older versions, but that will also make it bigger and a similar size to the Android's you feel are too big.

    Anyway, here's a picture of the S3 and the current iPhone, side by side. Apart from the S3 being wider and more natural looking imo, the size in general isn't a huge difference.

    [​IMG]
     
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  39. Power Player

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    Yes, the i5. My advice would be this -pick an OS, not a phone. If you are that worried about width or screen size you are focused on the wrong thing imo.
     
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  40. dParis

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    If you can't wait until Aug/Sept, then the size of the i6 display is moot - unless you want to pick up a "beater" phone to use over the summer until the fall flagship phones hit the market.

    Consider the Moto X. Only slightly bigger than your current phone (5.09 x 2.57 x .41), users and reviews laud the simple and reliable application of Android's latest operating system and user-friendly features. The display is measured 4.7" compared to i5 4.0". That's probably the best screen size of any phone with a similar form factor. Made in the USA, if that matters to you.
     
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  41. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    Maybe "a beater" is the answer. Pick up a cheap I4 and play with it until the I6 comes out.
     
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  42. heycal

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    I did kind of like S3, but only had two minutes with it and need some more time to see. It might be the sweet spot in terms of size for me.

    You think so? Maybe. But it seems size of phone is something that seems pretty important to most people, and perhaps me as well.

    I'll check it out. Thanks. (Also intrigued by the LG G2 you mentioned earlier. How's that volume buttons on the back thing? And the speaker quality?)

    Where are these cheap phones found? Certainly not at my verizon store, which would charge me plenty for an interim iphone 4.

    Gentlemen, are we fairly confident that we believe these rumors of iphone 6's coming out by September, as planned? Or might September stretch into 2015?

    Does anyone know the rumored WIDTH of the rumored 4.7 iphone 6? Tons of info about this coming phone on the internet, but of course I can't find the one thing I most want to know about it.


    Too many choices! Oh, the stress of life in 21st century America….
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2014
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  43. Power Player

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    Iphone is definitely coming out this year. Buy a used one on craigslist that works on verizon and wait it out. Best time to buy tech is usually q4 anyway, so see if you like the os and what other options are out by then.
     
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  44. movdqa

    movdqa Legend

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    You could go with a feature phone for a while and then see what the landscape looks like in the fall. Do you need mobile data?
     
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  45. heycal

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    Thanks. Maybe I'll check out craigslist or similar, or perhaps just try and live with my lousy smartphone for a few more months.

    I'm gathering that the consensus here is that if I am going to go with apple/iphone, don't buy an iphone 5 now?

    And speaking of iphone 5, can you guys confirm that you can change the strength of the vibration if you want to, or is it pre-set to one strength like my lucid? Same question to any Samsung owners.

    What do you guys think of the droids? Do they really offer much longer battery life than the some of these other phones? That's obviously a nice thing if so.
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2014
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  46. Feña14

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    As a Samsung owner, you can certainly change the level of vibration for different notifications. You can also have different vibration patterns so you know what kind of incoming message you have when it's still in your pocket. Another thing i'm a big fan of is the LED on the front that flashes a different colour for each notification. Waking up to a green one means i've got a missed call, a purple one for a text etc..
    On first getting the phone i'd thought it was a nice little novelty, but over time it's become invaluable.

    As someone mentioned before in here, it's really best to pick an operating system because they offer different things and over time you come to not be able to live without the little things. With Android the phone can work however you want it to, with iOS you don't really have much wiggle room and you have to learn to love it. The system is very good and it's certainly possible to do that, but for me over two years that restriction would drive me crazy.

    As for the battery life, the Android's have a battery that you can replace when it runs out if that's a big thing for you. Apple has a fixed battery that you can't access.
     
    #46
  47. movdqa

    movdqa Legend

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    I didn't find a way to change the vibration strength - only the vibration patterns. You can also create your own custom vibration pattern.

    Replacing the battery on the iPhone 5.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sQqPm3LmwV4

    The iPhone 5 was a great improvement in repairability. If you're squeamish about doing this yourself, you can probably bring it into an Apple Store or local PC/electronics shop and have them do it.
     
    #47
  48. heycal

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    Really? No go? I thought PowerPlayer implied he could on his iphone 5. This is semi-important to me.

    Unrelated question: If my phone doesn't hold a charge well and runs out of battery power often but otherwise works well enough, is it just a question of getting a new battery, or is something else the problem?
     
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  49. dParis

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    Correct.

    -----------

    The LG G2 might be too big based on what you've posted so far. I like the back buttons on the G2. Moving the buttons to the back was a bold move and a stroke of genius, imo. The back buttons are out of he way but within easy reach. This allows a seamless look and feel to the phone. I put a very slim case on the phone, of similar (matte) texture to the old Volkl Tour 10, and the phone retains its sleek look and feel. But... this phone is on the larger end of the spectrum. Similar to the Samsung Galaxies, but not as big as the Samsung Note. Also, you mentioned you are a Verizon customer. Because VZN exclusively offered wireless charging on their G2, the back of their G2 is designed differently than the others. The buttons are smaller and harder to identify by touch. Basically, they f'ed up a good thing. I might pass on the G2 if I were a Verizon customer looking for a phone about the size of an iPhone or Galaxy Mini.

    In addition to the Moto X I suggested earlier, I'll also suggest you consider the successor to the HTC One. Good size display, but not too big in hand. It's built like a BSH with an attractive aluminum shell and it has the best speakers of any smartphone, by a large margin.
     
    #49
  50. heycal

    heycal Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2006
    Messages:
    3,451
    What about changing it for the same type of notification? Let's say you want to have your phone on vibrate while it's sitting on your desk, for example. In that case, you would lower it to very weak so you don't have a heart attack as the phone jumps across the desk when someone calls you. Later that night, you go to a loud party and you have your phone in your pocket. Now you'll want those phone calls vibrating very strongly in order to get your attention.

    Can you confirm it's possible and easy to change vibration strength? I had this feature on phones long ago, I think just by using the volume toggle, and used it frequently, and would love to have it again.

    You make some good arguments for the Samsung 3 mini, Fena14. (It is the mini, right?) Do you recommend this one, or the 4 mini?
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2014
    #50

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