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Buying an iPhone is Hard

Discussion in 'BYTE ME: Technology discussion' started by Scott Cooper's Grand Slam, Dec 28, 2017.

  1. Scott Cooper's Grand Slam

    Scott Cooper's Grand Slam Member SoSH Member

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    1,626
    My first salaried job came with a Blackberry. I got a Moto Droid when that was released. I went pretty deep down the Android rabbit hole, flashing roms and enabling hotspots and customizing the OS. Then I got sick of tinkering with my phone and got an iPhone 5S in 2013. I upgraded to the SE when it was released in March of 2016. I didn't get AppleCare because I never broke a smartphone and the SE was relatively inexpensive. (I did get AppleCare on Macs and iPads because I'm clumsy with those, but I digress).

    I broke the iPhone SE today. I briefly considered the Pixel 2. The 'ette has a Moto Z Force and swears by it. The Pixel 2 is a really compelling phone, but ultimately I need access to some iOS-specific features for work, most of my friends are on Messages, and Apple's done right with Touch ID.

    I should've done the fiscally responsible thing and replaced my screen on the perfectly cromulent SE, but the Moto Z Force has similar dimensions to the iPhone Plus line, and after playing with her phone for an hour I was sold on the larger form factor.

    I ended up getting the iPhone 8 Plus (because I use Touch ID and the home button a hundred times a day and I just didn't want to consider the iPhone X), but even then I didn't see a really compelling case to get the iPhone 8 Plus over the 7 Plus or even the 6S plus. I justified it to myself with the 8 being capable of Fast Charging (after a $20 charger from Anker and a $25 lightning-to-USB cable from Apple), but there's no good reason to pick an iPhone 8 Plus over the 7 or even the 6, right? I've never used Qi wireless charging, but the fact that Apple hasn't released a charger for it and the fact that the 6 and 7 have metal backs to shatter-happy glass backs of the old iPhone 4 make a decent argument for picking the cheaper 6 and 7 over the 8... to say nothing of the X.

    Apple's narrative is kind of a mess, isn't it? How are others out there handling smartphone upgrade drama, either for yourselves or for family?
     
  2. jon abbey

    jon abbey Shanghai Warrior Dope SoSH Member

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    37,533
    I have the 8+ and had the 6+ before that, the camera is good in both but better in the newer one.
     
  3. Pepper03

    Pepper03 Member SoSH Member

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    196
    I just went through this so I really understand your calling it a drama!

    I ended up replacing my iPhone 6 with the 8 plus. I can't believe how difficult the decision was though. It's not simply the money is it?
     
  4. Smiling Joe Hesketh

    Smiling Joe Hesketh All Hail King Boron Dope

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    29,996
    Well this will be a helpful thread, because tomorrow I'm going to buy a new iPhone for the first time in 11 years to replace my still-functioning iPhone 3, and I have no clue what to get. I'm fully expecting the staffers at the Apple store to burst out laughing at me for showing them my current fossil of a phone.
     
  5. shoosh77

    shoosh77 Well-Known Member Gold Supporter SoSH Member

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    Wife and I just both got the X. Camera is amazing (her review, and she's a photo taking nut), and it's really slick. Interface is different without the home button, it's smaller than the plus sizes for 6/7/8, but I'm like it so far. I've had 3 iphones before this, still have a 6S from work.
     
  6. Seven Costanza

    Seven Costanza Fred Astaire of SoSH SoSH Member

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    2,686
    To address the OP- the 8 will simply be supported (in terms of regular software updates) for a year longer than the 7 will, two years longer than a 6s will, three years longer than a 6 will... you get the point.

    If you're looking to maximize longevity/value, just buy the most recent one and ride it as long as you can. With non-power user use, there's no reason an 8 couldn't last for 3 or 4 years and be perfectly fine. Apple will support the phone (software wise) at least that long.

    SJH- just look at the SE or an 8 as your options. Spend the money now and you'll be fine for a good long while. (8 is an objectively much better phone, but if you've been rolling with a 3 for this long, the SE will provide you a lot of value for a long time at a very reasonable cost)
     
  7. staz

    staz Intangible Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    10,237
    That iPhone 3 was a great device - mine is still in service, running SiriusXM app for the home stereo.

    Started with Apple stuff in 1978 and with smartphones, have only known iPhone (1,3,4,5,6,SE). Upgraded an iPhone SE and iPhone 6 to two iPhone 8s with AT&T's BOGO offer. It was a bit of a mess, but worked out eventually. Lesson learned: if you upgrade through AT&T, go to a bricks and mortar retail store that's owned by AT&T... upgrading online/over the phone is a joke.
     
  8. pk1627

    pk1627 Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    1,687
    I had the 6+ and used it for everything. Found it was big enough that I didn’t need an iPad. My only issue was that it was a bit unwieldy.

    I just upgraded to the X. Same screen size, smaller and lighter phone. I love it. Dumping the button was easy. Noticeable battery difference. No one can read my notifications. I love it.
     
  9. Smiling Joe Hesketh

    Smiling Joe Hesketh All Hail King Boron Dope

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    29,996
    So it's not worth going all the way to an X then? I'm fine with an 8, just want to be sure.
     
  10. Seven Costanza

    Seven Costanza Fred Astaire of SoSH SoSH Member

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    If you've been rocking a 3 all these years, save the couple hundred additional bucks and get the 8. Either way, you're going from a Trabant to a McLaren. ;-)

    The X has some additional camera whizbangs that are absent on the 8, but other than that and the lack of a home button, they're the same phone. They both have the same chipset.
     
  11. Smiling Joe Hesketh

    Smiling Joe Hesketh All Hail King Boron Dope

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    29,996
    OK that sounds fine to me. Prepare thyselves for many, many selfies!
     
  12. GoJeff!

    GoJeff! Member SoSH Member

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    I'm getting a new phone for my wife, primarily for the camera. Is the X worth it over the 8 plus? I don't think she really cares about the phone size either way.
     
  13. ifmanis5

    ifmanis5 Member SoSH Member

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    28,993
    Choosing and buying is the easy part. Migrating your data can be a disaster. I've lost entire days trying to get everything the way I want it.
     
  14. B H Kim

    B H Kim Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    If she doesn't care about the size, I'd recommend an 8 instead of either the X or the 8 plus.

    I like the bigger phones and went with the 8 plus this year. I have no problem with the bigger overall size and don't see the facial recognition as a big improvement over TouchID. The X has a slightly better camera, but I don't see how that makes up for the price difference.

    Just to be pedantic, I'll be the one to note that there's no such thing as an iPhone 3.
     
  15. GoJeff!

    GoJeff! Member SoSH Member

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    By not caring about the size, I meant she doesn't mind a big (plus) phone. I'm only considering the 8 plus or X for the depth of field effect, which I know she really wants. The X also has a slightly better camera and offers portrait mode off the front camera. I'm wondering if anyone has compared the two and has a strong opinion about the X's advantages.

    She won't care about facial recognition or OLED, so I'm just looking for camera opinions.
     
  16. shoosh77

    shoosh77 Well-Known Member Gold Supporter SoSH Member

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    No strong opinion, but I know the portrait mode was a big hit at Xmas with the family who haven't used it.
     
  17. shoosh77

    shoosh77 Well-Known Member Gold Supporter SoSH Member

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    ICloud (unless you have nudes that might be stolen...).

    I went from one phone to the other in under an hour using it.
     
  18. ifmanis5

    ifmanis5 Member SoSH Member

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    28,993
    Yes, backed up to iCloud then the carnage began with syncing. A day later I finally sorted out the mess of duplicate and/or incorrect contact info, up to date apps, settings and passwords. I get that mileage can vary but it can be a disaster and was for me.
     
  19. the1andonly3003

    the1andonly3003 lurker

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    1,892
    I started with the iPhone 5 in 2012 and upgraded to the 5S two years ago. Nothing wrong with going with the oldest, cheapest models and riding it out.
     
  20. Vinho Tinto

    Vinho Tinto Member SoSH Member

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    Yes. My wife and I learned the hard way. Just pay for the increase in size and do a backup before buying the new device.
     
  21. Scott Cooper's Grand Slam

    Scott Cooper's Grand Slam Member SoSH Member

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    Yeah, I bit the bullet on this. "Fast setup" (tapping two devices together to get the old one set up identically to the new one) is pretty slick, and it was worth 99 cents to put off futzing with my iCloud storage and just click "back up now."

    My next challenge will be dodging Verizon's activation fee. Both my SE and the new 8 Plus are "SIM out" devices. In theory, I should be able to pop the sim out of the broken phone and into the new one and continue on my merry way. Am I losing anything by not telling Verizon?
     
  22. sox311

    sox311 Member SoSH Member

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    Step one is knowing your iTunes/iCloud password, which is what 65% of the iPhone user base fails at.

    Step two is/was having your settings dialed in far before you decide it is time for a new phone. The time to prepare isn't when you are sitting in a store setting up a new phone and trading in your old one.

    I, however, recommend not backing up from an iCloud backup, just start fresh, iCloud will bring over the important items like contacts, calendar, and notes. First have your iCloud settings as you choose, long before you want to set up a new phone. All you do is log in once and all your stuff is there, then go to the app store and download what apps you want. Take the opportunity to purge of the crap you don't use.

    If you need five years of old text messages, or your candy crush results then rely on the cloud, but have it turned on and backed up and know how to do it.

    I'm not pointing fingers or trying to be rude, it is amazing the level of tech that we have in our pockets and what people want from it but the little they attempt to learn/do it themselves. America.


     
  23. Smiling Joe Hesketh

    Smiling Joe Hesketh All Hail King Boron Dope

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    29,996
    The title of this new thread is very apropos.

    I now own a new iphone 8....that's not turned on yet because AT&T is useless. Told me I wasn't listed on the account so they wouldn't transfer the number over to the new phone unless the account owner (my wife) called their customer service. My wife set up the account like 12 years ago. You have got to be fucking kidding me.

    Goddamn them to hell. Will likely be able to get it turned on Tuesday, but Christ is this the most annoying process ever. So kids, not only should you backup your old device, but make sure your carrier info is up to date, and try to deal with an employee who doesn't have their head up their ass.

    No wonder I never upgraded over 11 years. Ridiculous.
     
  24. Eddie Jurak

    Eddie Jurak Go Leafs Go Lifetime Member Gold Supporter SoSH Member

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    17,705
    So what inspired you to bite the bullet and upgrade from your antique iPhone?
     
  25. sox311

    sox311 Member SoSH Member

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    Where did you get your phone? How did you get a phone without it being activated?

    On that back of the box is the SIM and IMEI number, simply have her call customer care and have them change the information. Go to your MyATT App and make you an authorized user.
     
  26. Scott Cooper's Grand Slam

    Scott Cooper's Grand Slam Member SoSH Member

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    1,626
    I got my phone non-activated direct from Apple. You can order one on Apple.com. The phone arrived literally frozen after being on a FedEx truck in subzero temperatures all day.
     
  27. Papelbon's Poutine

    Papelbon's Poutine Homeland Security SoSH Member

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    15,793
    Go to a store. About two years ago my then girlfriend (now fiancée) and I did the math and figured out we could save money by using a joint account. I went to the store, ported her number to my account and got us both new 7’s. When she got home she made a simple call and activated it. It was pretty easy and it was immediate. I don’t think it’s an AT&T issue as much as it’s a shitty customer service rep.
     
  28. 88 MVP

    88 MVP Member SoSH Member

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    238
    Has anyone dealt with upgrading the phone and switching carriers at the same time? I’m planning a switch from Sprint to T-mobile and I’m not sure whether it would be easier to transfer my current phones to a new carrier first or to buy new phones at the time of the switch.

    From what I can find, our current iPhone 7’s should work on T-Mobile’s network, but getting Sprint to unlock the devices can be a hassle (we bought the devices through the Apple upgrade program, so from the carrier perspective there is nothing owed on them, but Sprint customer service is terrible). On the other hand, buying new devices from Apple and trying to cancel with Sprint, open an account with T-Mobile, and port our numbers over sounds like a potential headache. Anyone tried to do this before?
     
  29. Smiling Joe Hesketh

    Smiling Joe Hesketh All Hail King Boron Dope

    Messages:
    29,996
    Was having difficulty charging it, got tired of all my apps dying as they were no longer supported on the old phone, and frankly it's time. I'm missing out on the selfie revolution.

    I bought the phone at an Apple store. When the Apple rep (who was super helpful) saw that my wife's name was the primary one on our account, she suggested I walk down the mall aisle and talk to the folks at the AT&T store, where they could switch the old phone's number over to the new SIM. Except that the didn't.

    And my wife is working, man. At the hospital, where she cannot take the time and/or exasperation to call the fuckwits at AT&T and be on the phone with them for 35 mins. That's what makes this so enraging: here's my number, there's the account. Change the fucking phone.

    I did go to a store. The AT&T store. Where I had some 21 year old kid tell me he couldn't do anything for me.

    So basically, I left the mall, went back to work, logged on to our AT&T account online, and added myself as a user who can upgrade plans. I could have done this at the mall on one of the computers at the AT&T store except that they refused to help me do so. I will have to go back to the mall on Tuesday, first to the AT&T store where they can switch my number over to the new phone and SIM (because now I'm listed on the account) and then to the Apple store to have them insert the SIM and make sure everything is working OK.
     
  30. sox311

    sox311 Member SoSH Member

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    1,574
    So, the “fuckwits” at the ATT store protecting your personal information, your wife’s in this case, and keeping the possibility of fraudulent activity in your account away is the problem?
     
  31. Smiling Joe Hesketh

    Smiling Joe Hesketh All Hail King Boron Dope

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    29,996
    Oh please. He could see my phone number on the account, my driver's license in my hand with a name that matched my wife's, all the info he had at hand to set me up.

    They aren't protecting us from fraudulent activity, they're blindly following directives and not listening to the customer in front of them. This has nothing to do with account protection.

    He was spectacularly unhelpful. All he did was shrug. Eff that. I'm not a demanding person, honestly, but my time is limited and he had no inclination to find a solution. Throwing up your hands and saying "nothing I can do" is complete bullshit. At least offer me a laptop so I can log on to my account and see if I can change it then and there.

    So yes, I'm very annoyed. And this is why I never bothered to upgrade before this, because I knew the process is a total hassle and unnecessarily so.
     
    #31 Smiling Joe Hesketh, Dec 30, 2017
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2017
  32. sox311

    sox311 Member SoSH Member

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    1,574
    You’re pretty much wrong on every account there. That 21 year old kid, or 45 year old woman with three kids isn’t going to risk losing his/her job to get into your account unverified.

    For all he knows you could be going through a divorce and the account holder has specifically said not to allow you into the account.

    You are wrong on all accounts. Your perception may be of what you write, but selective listening and frustration is clouding your view of it.

    People want things done for them and don’t want to put in the, albeit possibly tedious steps, to get hem properly accomplished, this goes for these type of interactions. Melinials get a bad wrap, about being entitled and such, but each generation has this problem and it is getting worse and worse, more so with the above 40 crowd.
     
  33. Smiling Joe Hesketh

    Smiling Joe Hesketh All Hail King Boron Dope

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    29,996
    That's like, your opinion, man. I'm wrong because I asked for a phone number switch? OK sure.

    I have zero against Millennials, I work with them every day and have them as students and generally think they're pretty awesome, really. They are smart and driven and want things to be better and I enjoy their company a great deal. Don't make this into some sort of generational gap thing.

    I have a problem with terrible customer service and needless frustrating steps put in to seemingly prevent accomplishing what I needed to get done yesterday. I showed the guy my contact list with my wife's name in it, for crissakes.

    There is a difference between following company policies and being obtuse. "Here is my problem, can you help me?" "Nope." That's what I got. My phone number pulled up the account when he plugged it into his system, there's zero reason for him not to transfer the number over. I'm sorry, you can claim it's for protection or divorce or whatever but that's simply not true.

    I even called my wife (who was driving back to Maine from Boston in terrible traffic in snow at the time) to see if she could tell the guy standing in front of me to add me to the account, but was then told she had to call AT&T customer service, that a rep couldn't help. But in the car with a 7 year old in the back and in bad traffic and snow, a call like that isn't going to happen.

    I'm honestly so annoyed I would transfer my account over to Verizon if that wasn't also equally as tedious and frustrating.

    In any case, for anyone else contemplating doing an upgrade, learn from my frustration and don't give AT&T or your carrier any reason to annoy you. Check your accounts to make sure you can switch over numbers on a dime by checking the permissions. Otherwise you'll be forced to jump through inane hoops like I was, because Lord knows they aren't going to help you otherwise.The real problem is the provider forcing you to carry out these tedious steps in the first place.

    Now get off my goddamn lawn. I'll bump this thread in 2027 when I next upgrade my phone, christ knows I ain't gonna try to do so before then.
     
    #33 Smiling Joe Hesketh, Dec 30, 2017
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2017
  34. Oil Can Dan

    Oil Can Dan Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    Your phone number pulled up who’s account when he plugged it into his system? Yours? Or some other person that you really really swear would say it’s alright for you to make changes to their account (but they’ll have to take your word for it because she’s unavailable to call in on your behalf)? You’re definitely on good terms with this person! I mean, they’re even in your contact list and look, here’s a picture of her and you together!

    Look at this from the sales person or AT&T’s perspective. I know you as a fair and honest person that would never tell a lie, but unfortunately they have to have policies in place that account for people a little less honest than you.

    It’s very reasonable to expect that only an account owner or a verified user can make changes to an account.
     
  35. Smiling Joe Hesketh

    Smiling Joe Hesketh All Hail King Boron Dope

    Messages:
    29,996
    My phone number pulled up my wife's name as account owner and her number, and my name as being on my number attached to that account. I guess that's not enough to make me a "verified user" or whatever.

    No dice to making the change with that.

    We'll see if I can get this finished on Tuesday, now that I've gone in to the account online and made some changes there. Like I said, I hope others will learn from this insanely pointless experience of mine. I'm never doing this again.
     
  36. lithos2003

    lithos2003 Member SoSH Member

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    So I'm going to chime in here with a very different experience at an AT&T store. My buddy is on my cell phone plan and wanted to upgrade his phone and I had some other things to do at the mall so we went together and split up when we got there. I told him to call me when he got to the point where they needed me to come over to the store so I can verify the information since I'm the primary and he's not an authorized user. Anyway the rep was very nice and called me directly on the phone that was listed as primary - my cell - and asked me if I was giving him permission to make changes to the account in the form of buying this new phone and adding it. I said yes and verified the needed personal information. Then I said do I need to come upstairs to sign anything and I got nope, we're all set. I'm sure if the rep you dealt with could have done something similar on the phone with your wife with you standing there it wouldn't have been a big deal.
     
  37. Smiling Joe Hesketh

    Smiling Joe Hesketh All Hail King Boron Dope

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    Yes, that would have been a workable solution for me. Had the rep talked to my wife over the phone at the time and gotten her verbal permission to add me to the point where the phone number could be switched, I'd have zero problems with the interaction. I'd have left the AT&T store a happy customer.
     
  38. Oil Can Dan

    Oil Can Dan Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

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    6,244
    Oh. Then yes that seems pretty stupid.
     
  39. Papelbon's Poutine

    Papelbon's Poutine Homeland Security SoSH Member

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    15,793
    Which reinforces my point that you just had a shitty rep. It's a one-off. AT&T is pretty solid as far as telecom goes. Try doing what some dummy upthread is doing and moving TO Tmobile. See how that goes.
     
  40. the1andonly3003

    the1andonly3003 lurker

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    1,892
    This is usually what happens for any utility (electricity, heating, cable, etc) esp when there is a language barrier and you need adult kids for translation
     
  41. Pepper03

    Pepper03 Member SoSH Member

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    196
    I bought my 8 plus through Apple. I bought it without a SIM card. I put the card in from my Verizon 6 it was easy. I wish I had held on a little longer with my 6 for the battery replacement as I attempted to do it myself and while the battery replacement was successful I messed up some connection and the screen will not brighten much at all I can barely see it.

    I like the phone. It's a little bigger than I would like but the screen size is much better for my older eyes.

    My main issue is the Bluetooth. I can't use my wireless earbuds with this phone and I'm reading that there are issues with Bluetooth so I'm not sure what to do. I do t need expensive ones I listen to podcasts and sports talk streaming so I have a couple of them I spent $20 on that were great but don't connect with my new phone.

    I've been fortunate so far with customer service when I've needed to get info.
     
  42. wade boggs chicken dinner

    wade boggs chicken dinner Member SoSH Member

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    14,576
    It is certainly fine if the CSR was trying to protect the account from fraudulent activity but there are a few ways to get this done and the CSR should have known. At the very least, the CSR should have been able to tell SJH that if he or his wife logged into their account online they can add a verified user. Then SJH could have gone to the Apple store and done it from there.

    It drives me crazy when CSRs don't know the answers to common questions or don't know enough to ask someone who might. I mean it's not like SJH is the first person to have this question.
     
  43. Smiling Joe Hesketh

    Smiling Joe Hesketh All Hail King Boron Dope

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    29,996
    I have an update, and it's a positive one:

    So I finally got my account status stuff settled and headed back into the AT&T store today. Got a rep, he moved my phone number over to the new phone, got everything set up, and sold me a new phone case too. Couldn't have been easier, a much better experience than the last visit, and everything seems to be working fine on the new phone. I synched it through iTunes and all my contacts, music and photos came over. Most of my texts did too, although there's a small gap where some are missing. I had to call AT&T later to make sure my voicemail was set up properly but that was pretty smooth as well.

    Overall, now I'm quite pleased. And Seven was right, this new 8 is a McLaren compared to the Plymouth Duster that was my old 3G.

    So all's well that ends well.
     
  44. wade boggs chicken dinner

    wade boggs chicken dinner Member SoSH Member

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    14,576
    Welcome to the 21st century!
     
  45. Smiling Joe Hesketh

    Smiling Joe Hesketh All Hail King Boron Dope

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    29,996
    It's about friggin' time.
     
  46. sueh1

    sueh1 Member SoSH Member

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    862
    I'm still milking a 6 on warranty replacement-is is there any compelling reason to switch to the 7 or 8 if I'm not a big camera buff? Are there major problems with either? It seems like a decent model, but it did die after 2 years (hence the replacement I just ordered, which will just get me a refurbished one that will die soon enough)-it was much better than my first one, the 5c, which gave me all kinds of problems. An X isn't even an option, because I'm cheap and worry about money, so eventually I may be priced out of iphones, but I'm willing to pay for the 7 or 8.

    Thank you for letting my pick your collective brain rather than wade through articles analyzing all the phones.
     
  47. Smiling Joe Hesketh

    Smiling Joe Hesketh All Hail King Boron Dope

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    29,996
    My wife has a 6 and it does everything she really needs. She just had the battery replaced too.
     
  48. Bowhemian

    Bowhemian Member SoSH Member

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    1,853
    I had a 6, and now have a 7. I can honestly say that the 7 is WAY faster than the 6. That was the biggest difference i noticed.
     
  49. sueh1

    sueh1 Member SoSH Member

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    862
    Thanks. I just replaced my battery, too, when it started needing charging all the time, and then the hardware crashed-but until then it was working fine.
     
  50. sueh1

    sueh1 Member SoSH Member

    Messages:
    862
    Thanks. I may get one next if the price is good.
     

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