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4G Android phone megathread


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#1251 Blacken


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Posted 03 December 2012 - 02:03 AM

I don't have one yet, but I got some hands-on time with the Nexus 4 today. Ho-lee shit is it nice. I want. I want it now.

This guy is dumb.


I'm glad I got mine for free, because it's sort of a step sideways compared to the Galaxy Nexus. The screen is nice, but washed out; I like the added width of the screen but I don't like the grip of the device. The thing also runs really, really hot.

I'd actually get a Galaxy Nexus instead of the Nexus 4, if you can find one. The performance delta is imperceptible unless you're playing games (the Mali T604 GPU in the Nexus is really fast) and the device feels a lot more friendly. Better first-party accessories, too--a big factor in my dislike of using it as a daily driver is not being able to get a car dock.

(It's still the best Android phone of the current generation, but the current generation isn't much better than the previous generation in most respects.)

Edited by Blacken, 03 December 2012 - 02:10 AM.


#1252 hunter05

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 11:16 PM

Just got Jellybean on my S3 on ATT via Kies. Quick thoughts: Holy shit its fast, my WiFi signal strength is better, and they fixed the cut and paste issue.

#1253 jayhoz


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Posted 04 December 2012 - 09:35 AM

Just got Jellybean on my S3 on ATT via Kies. Quick thoughts: Holy shit its fast, my WiFi signal strength is better, and they fixed the cut and paste issue.


Check out Google Now.

http://www.google.com/landing/now/

#1254 smastroyin


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Posted 04 December 2012 - 10:11 AM

I wonder how many people like me are still tethered to VZW solely because of unlimited data. I wonder this because I wonder if VZW will actually continue to grandfather people going forward if there are enough of "us" that we will drop them the instant we can if they offer no advantage with the data plan.

I think I said this earlier in the thread, but I almost wish they hadn't grandfathered this time around so I would have gotten the push away from them. They suck. If you're going to lock my bootloader don't be total fucking shitheads about pushing updates. And don't fill your updates with 4756475234 lbs. of VZW specific horseshit that fucks up the functionality of my phone.

#1255 TallerThanPedroia


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Posted 06 December 2012 - 09:59 AM

My Razr HD Maxx is currently sucking down Jellybean. Very exciting.

#1256 Seven Costanza


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Posted 06 December 2012 - 10:28 AM

Don't let Blacken read this, but I've done a 180 and am going to stick with Verizon. Coverage area and call quality are of importance to me and I'm really not the power user that I think I am. If I choose the 4GB of data a month, with my corporate discount I'll only pay 10-15 bucks more a month than I am now. I figure that's worth it for the piece of mind and all. As much as I like the idea of pure Android and a no contract GSM phone , I do have a Nexus 7 and it's not like I go to Europe multiple times a year. I already have a Vodafone dumb phone anyway.

Eligible for upgrade tomorrow. Galaxy Note 2 here I come.

#1257 Foulkey Reese


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Posted 06 December 2012 - 10:33 AM

Don't let Blacken read this, but I've done a 180 and am going to stick with Verizon. Coverage area and call quality are of importance to me and I'm really not the power user that I think I am. If I choose the 4GB of data a month, with my corporate discount I'll only pay 10-15 bucks more a month than I am now. I figure that's worth it for the piece of mind and all. As much as I like the idea of pure Android and a no contract GSM phone , I do have a Nexus 7 and it's not like I go to Europe multiple times a year. I already have a Vodafone dumb phone anyway.

Eligible for upgrade tomorrow. Galaxy Note 2 here I come.


I freaking LOVE the GN2. If I could upgrade today I would get that phone in a heartbeat.

I'm also fine with Verizon for now. Zero droppedcalls, unlimited data, and great service when I've needed it. No reason for me to switch now.

#1258 Seven Costanza


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Posted 06 December 2012 - 10:48 AM

I'm going to lose unlimited data, but I generally only use between 2-3 GB a month anyway.

I'm not going to shell out full retail with no guarantee that Verizon will keep unlimited data in perpetuity.

EDIT: I feel like I've earned this, given that I've used a Thunderbolt for the last 20 months.

Edited by Seven Costanza, 06 December 2012 - 10:50 AM.


#1259 behindthepen


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Posted 06 December 2012 - 02:38 PM

I wonder how many people like me are still tethered to VZW solely because of unlimited data. I wonder this because I wonder if VZW will actually continue to grandfather people going forward if there are enough of "us" that we will drop them the instant we can if they offer no advantage with the data plan.

I think I said this earlier in the thread, but I almost wish they hadn't grandfathered this time around so I would have gotten the push away from them. They suck. If you're going to lock my bootloader don't be total fucking shitheads about pushing updates. And don't fill your updates with 4756475234 lbs. of VZW specific horseshit that fucks up the functionality of my phone.

dont hold your breath. Between the network quality advantage and the share plan, VZW is taking more share now than they have in years.

I messed around with the GN2 at the mall last week, and while its bigger than what I would normally want for a "phone", its a great device.

#1260 TallerThanPedroia


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Posted 06 December 2012 - 05:46 PM

I will never understand tech companies' propensity to remove perfectly useful options. In this case, I no longer have the ability to put my phone in Sleep Mode. When I long press the power button, I can turn it off or put it in Airplane Mode.

#1261 Foulkey Reese


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Posted 06 December 2012 - 06:06 PM

There's an app for that

#1262 smastroyin


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Posted 06 December 2012 - 06:30 PM

I'm still pissed that my VZW GS3 remains the only GS3 in the world that requires you to do:

- Pulldown
- Settings
- Display
- Brightness

To then adjust brightness.

Whereas Samsung put it right in the pulldown.

Since it is programmed right into TouchWiz, this means some fucking genius at VZW decided it was a feature that should be removed.

I hate them and want to hang them by their entrails. And yet I continue to sell out for my unlimited data.

#1263 jayhoz


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Posted 06 December 2012 - 08:12 PM

First World living is such torture!

#1264 smastroyin


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Posted 06 December 2012 - 08:16 PM

Sorry, if this were the poverty thread or the war thread or the million other shitty things the rest of the world has to deal with thread, rather than the "pampered internet mouthbreathers talk about their phones" thread, you'd have a point.

#1265 jayhoz


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Posted 06 December 2012 - 08:25 PM

My post lacked a smiley. I was just making a funny.

#1266 bsj


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Posted 07 December 2012 - 03:46 PM

I will never understand tech companies' propensity to remove perfectly useful options. In this case, I no longer have the ability to put my phone in Sleep Mode. When I long press the power button, I can turn it off or put it in Airplane Mode.


Ditto. I always made fun of my iPhone friends because android could manage this and they couldnt.

No more.

Sound Manager is an app I am using that works decently, but not great...

#1267 saintnick912


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Posted 07 December 2012 - 05:35 PM

What do you mean by sleep mode? If I put mine in airplane mode and shut off the screen it uses very very little power. Did it just disable the screen but leave the radio enabled?

#1268 bsj


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Posted 08 December 2012 - 08:44 AM

I mean it quite literally. Stock Android used to have an option for all sounds to be muted between certain foods. Mine were 11 to 7. Extremely handy for bedside chargers such as myself. Jelly bean seems to either have eliminated this option or hidden it so I needed v to download a 3rd party app to do it.

Edited by bsj, 08 December 2012 - 08:44 AM.


#1269 smastroyin


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Posted 08 December 2012 - 09:11 AM

My post lacked a smiley. I was just making a funny.


I took it in that way and tried to respond in kind. Smiley's all around.

#1270 smastroyin


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Posted 08 December 2012 - 09:24 AM

As for sleep mode vs airplane mode - if you are in airplane mode, you aren't getting notifications, right?

I believe (I'd have to read more) that the sleep mode TtP is talking about is forced sleep mode. Every android still goes into sleep mode (as does every iPhone) after a certain period of dis-use (no apps running in the backround, WiFi, GPS, BT, 3G/LTE antennas shut down. The long press on the power button used to let you force the phone into that mode. Maybe they just figure their battery management is so much better now that they don't need this feature? I can definitely see the use, because airplane mode means no calls - sleep mode shuts everything down but if you get a call it will wake up (not sure about other notifications)

For you, bsj, why wouldn't just putting it in airplane mode work for you? I realize that this becomes something you have to do actively instead of something that runs in the background, is that your biggest issue?

#1271 TallerThanPedroia


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Posted 08 December 2012 - 10:20 AM

I believe (I'd have to read more) that the sleep mode TtP is talking about is forced sleep mode. Every android still goes into sleep mode (as does every iPhone) after a certain period of dis-use (no apps running in the backround, WiFi, GPS, BT, 3G/LTE antennas shut down. The long press on the power button used to let you force the phone into that mode. Maybe they just figure their battery management is so much better now that they don't need this feature? I can definitely see the use, because airplane mode means no calls - sleep mode shuts everything down but if you get a call it will wake up (not sure about other notifications)


I don't know Android well enough to distinguish what the exact mode was - other people complaining about the loss of the option are calling it Deep Sleep. It was described as very low power use with instant on (it took a few seconds in practice). To me it seemed the equivalent of putting my Windows machine on hibernate (as opposed to sleep). It would not wake up for calls or flash notifications or anything.

And what you say here is likely the explanation for why it's gone, but it also goes to my original point: if it's redundant why remove it? It's not taking up space (it's not like the long-press power button menu was packed with items), and it might still be useful to some people. Sometimes it's good to have more than one way to do things.

It's not a huge deal - between my giant battery and the relatively short boot-up time from turning the phone totally off, I'll get by. These things just puzzle me.

#1272 jayhoz


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Posted 08 December 2012 - 02:29 PM

I mean it quite literally. Stock Android used to have an option for all sounds to be muted between certain foods. Mine were 11 to 7. Extremely handy for bedside chargers such as myself. Jelly bean seems to either have eliminated this option or hidden it so I needed v to download a 3rd party app to do it.


Hmmm.... I'm on Cyanogen Mod 10 which I thought was close to stock. It has something called quiet hours under settings / sounds. I'm guessing you've looked there.

#1273 Fratboy


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Posted 08 December 2012 - 04:45 PM

The Droid RAZR Maxx has sleep mode too, and it's pretty close to stock Android.

#1274 Spelunker

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 06:13 PM

Stock JB (on the Nexus 4) doesn't have the quiet hours setting, so that seems aftermarket.


#1275 Blacken


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Posted 09 December 2012 - 06:31 PM

It is. It's part of TouchWiz.

#1276 Seven Costanza


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Posted 10 December 2012 - 11:48 AM

So I got a Verizon Note 2 on Friday. This phone is a beast, literally and figuratively.

It's big, but not overwhelmingly so. I'm 6 feet tall- fits in my pockets fine (it's quite slim) and fits well in my hand. I've found I've gotten used to the size pretty well already- both holding it in my hand and the screen size. I definitely look at it as a very large phone rather than a tablet of any kind. I wouldn't even go so far as to call it a 'phablet' as some are prone to do. Definitely not a one handed device though in terms of typing.

This thing FLIES with JB and that quad core processor. Absolutely flies. The S Pen is pretty rad.

Battery life is very nice (at least compared to what I was coming from). As I write this, been on battery for 1d5m with a screen on time of 3h32m. I have 33% remaining.

EDIT: This is my first Samsung device, so getting used to Touch Wiz and the 1000 little tweaks and settings is somewhat time consuming. No real complaints so far.

EDIT#2: Verizon actually gave me 33 bucks for turning in my Thunderbolt. I'm surprised I didn't have to pay them to take it away from me.

Edited by Seven Costanza, 10 December 2012 - 01:36 PM.


#1277 bsj


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Posted 11 December 2012 - 04:52 PM

EDIT#2: Verizon actually gave me 33 bucks for turning in my Thunderbolt. I'm surprised I didn't have to pay them to take it away from me.


Yeah. I got nearly 50 for my original HTC Evo from Sprint, Was shocked. I was just gonna keep it as a keepsake...

#1278 Tim Naehrings Girl

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 06:35 PM

I actually got crazy lucky and got $240 for my original HTC Evo because I signed up for the no longer available buy back program when I bought it. Talk about shock. What kind of phone did you get bsj?

#1279 genoasalami

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 11:18 PM

I actually got crazy lucky and got $240 for my original HTC Evo because I signed up for the no longer available buy back program when I bought it. Talk about shock. What kind of phone did you get bsj?


It shows how much these phones are subsidized by the carriers to get you to sign up for two years

#1280 Tim Naehrings Girl

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 11:21 PM

It shows how much these phones are subsidized by the carriers to get you to sign up for two years


This wasn't through the carrier, it was at Best Buy.

#1281 jayhoz


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Posted 13 December 2012 - 08:32 AM

I think he means we don't appreciate the true value of the devices since when we purchase them the carriers throw in such a huge subsidy. Getting $250 for a phone that you only spent $200 for seems weird. When you consider that the phone you paid $200 for costs $600 off contract it makes more sense.

#1282 EddieYost


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Posted 13 December 2012 - 08:50 AM

Bestbuy sells the phones on cowboom.com. Check out what they sell the phones you trade in for. I am guessing they get over $100 for a used thunderbolt.

#1283 bsj


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Posted 13 December 2012 - 12:31 PM

I actually got crazy lucky and got $240 for my original HTC Evo because I signed up for the no longer available buy back program when I bought it. Talk about shock. What kind of phone did you get bsj?


Galaxy Note 2

#1284 Monbo Jumbo


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Posted 14 December 2012 - 07:08 PM

HTC Evo 4G LTE pushed a software update through my phone today. There's a new 'power saver' mode, I turned it on, and battery use seems lower. Maps locked up on my a couple of time since the update - not sure what that's about.

#1285 Blacken


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Posted 15 December 2012 - 05:41 PM

The nice thing is that we will be seeing a very hard price floor form outside of the Verizon/Sprint insanity. When Google commits to selling top-end phones under $300, that limits what the crappy four-generations-old used phones can sell for.

(Also we will hopefully be seeing the fall of the subsidized, postpaid phone arrangement outside of the bottom-rung offerings, but I might be getting ahead of myself.)

#1286 PaulinMyrBch


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Posted 20 December 2012 - 05:08 PM

Anyone have any information/recommendations on the HTC DNA on Verizon? I'm waiting for the price to drop on the G Note 2, and while I wait I noticed the DNA. Since I'll be moving from an Incredible, I think the DNA might make the transition easier. I think its at $150, slightly smaller than the Note, but with 1080.

I haven't seen one live yet.

#1287 Blacken


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Posted 20 December 2012 - 07:49 PM

The DNA has atrocious battery life and the SoC in the phone has some trouble driving the 1920x1080 display in some use cases. And at that phone size, you are very unlikely to be able to differentiate between 1280x720 and 1920x1080 in regular use. The operating system has changed sufficiently that the HTC 2.x stuff doesn't bear a lot of similarity to the HTC 4.x stuff. It's still non-stock junk, but it's changed quite a lot (not for the better).

On the other hand, it isn't a dinner plate masquerading as a phone. So it has that going for it.


I'd look at the new Razr with the testosterone-injected name over both of them. The phone's a bit chunky, but it comes with a very good battery and performance will be completely fine for anything you're likely to use it for. Verizon users aren't getting a Nexus, so that might be the closest you'll get.

Edited by Blacken, 20 December 2012 - 07:49 PM.


#1288 Zomp


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Posted 22 December 2012 - 11:43 AM

So I got the OTA update for JB 4.1.1 and I haven't noticed much of a difference, except now my battery drains in about 5 FUCKING HOURS.

WTF.

#1289 sibpin

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Posted 22 December 2012 - 09:11 PM

Try restarting? I had that happen once, phone just ripped through the battery once for no apparent reason. Also, uncheck Maps Location History (makes Google Now a little less useful) and Chrome > Developer Tools > Fling Scrolling. Those two things were slowly eating my battery.

#1290 Turrable

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Posted 25 December 2012 - 06:15 PM

So I'm getting my first smartphone tomorrow (Verizon) and I'm looking at the GS3 ($200) and the Droid Razr Maxx ($250). Leaning towards the GS3 since battery life isn't a huge deal for me as long as it can get through a day, and since I can pick up a 16gb SD card on Amazon for 10 bucks. Anything else I should know or consider before taking the plunge? I'm completely new to this so I'd welcome any thoughts.

#1291 Huntington Avenue Grounds

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Posted 25 December 2012 - 08:40 PM

So I'm getting my first smartphone tomorrow (Verizon) and I'm looking at the GS3 ($200) and the Droid Razr Maxx ($250). Leaning towards the GS3 since battery life isn't a huge deal for me as long as it can get through a day, and since I can pick up a 16gb SD card on Amazon for 10 bucks. Anything else I should know or consider before taking the plunge? I'm completely new to this so I'd welcome any thoughts.


Just last Sunday picked up a GS3 to swap for my Razr Maxx and unless battery life is the overwhelming need you have it's no contest between the two. The screen size, camera and image quality are superior on the Galaxy and the Jelly Bean interface is slick. Compared to the Motorola-flavored ICS the Maxx just feels flatter and slower. Got mine for $50 at Best Buy on a one day sale, but you might get lucky and find it for less than $199.

Swapped out a Droid Bionic in the family smartphone pecking order, if you want to pick one up on the cheap let me know.

#1292 Turrable

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Posted 25 December 2012 - 09:02 PM

Awesome, that's good to hear. I see Best Buy has it at $150 so I might get it from there.

#1293 jayhoz


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Posted 25 December 2012 - 10:08 PM

Staples has it for $99.

Edit - make sure your local store sells them. Not all stores do.

Edited by jayhoz, 25 December 2012 - 10:13 PM.


#1294 Huntington Avenue Grounds

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Posted 26 December 2012 - 10:51 AM

Awesome, that's good to hear. I see Best Buy has it at $150 so I might get it from there.


Don't forget Amazon Wireless, looks like $99 there to upgrade.

#1295 Turrable

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Posted 28 December 2012 - 02:04 PM

Picked it up for $150. I love this thing. Thanks guys.

#1296 crystalline

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 04:12 PM

For serious: Nexus-branded devices on GSM networks are pretty much the way to get the most out of your Android stuff.


Ok, I'm on Verizon now.
I can switch to T-Mobile's $30/mo prepaid plan, 100 minutes talk, unlimited text and 5GB of data per month, no contract, and buy the Nexus 4 for $300.

I don't talk that much and I could probably use Google Voice for more. I have VZW unlimited data now but I probably use < ~1GB of data per month. I like Android phones. I don't travel to GSM-only countries that much probably 2x yearly, and being able to swap in a local SIM instead of using shitty internet cafes would be a godsend.

That sounds too good to be true. Cheaper and better all around. What's the catch? Please enlighten me, oh Blacken.

(The one downside I can see - I have a gen 1 Droid that I like to run with and use GPS tracking apps to count mileage and speed. The Nexus 4 is bigger and might be hard to run with.)
Oh one upside - since I'd be rooted on the N4 I could use it as a limited hotspot for my laptop for low-bandwidth apps when I'm out of wifi range.

Edited by crystalline, 29 December 2012 - 04:15 PM.


#1297 Blacken


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Posted 29 December 2012 - 04:36 PM

The phone is fantastic and it's a pentaband phone that will work on any GSM network you'll run into.

The only catch I can think of is you don't have roaming. But I use Google Voice as my primary phone number, so I can (and have) dropped a $2/day AT&T SIM in my phone when well out of T-Mobile range and just forward to that SIM's number instead. If you go out of range often enough, the $50 prepaid AT&T GoPhone plan is probably a better deal because of coverage.

The reason it sounds "too good to be true" is because cell phones have been an ongoing scam for a very long time. I mean, it is hard to underestimate the scam that the AT&T and Verizon shitbags have perpetuated upon a largely unsuspecting consumer base. The bill of materials for construction of an iPhone 5 is $200. It retails for $600. With a plan, it's even more (relative to the cost of a fairly equivalent prepaid plan). The Nexus 4 has a BOM a little higher than the iPhone 5, and sells for $300. Google is doing something here to take on the insane markups and US-style postpaid plans; it sounds too good to be true because Google is trying to fix it.

Edited by Blacken, 29 December 2012 - 04:42 PM.


#1298 Warning Track Speed

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 07:59 PM

Another new GS3 owner here. Here's my (first) question: The thing has imported a very select number of old photos of mine from.... someplace. I've set up my gmail account on it and established facebook, but I've not yet plugged it into my laptop or tried to transfer any files to it. Yet when I opened the Gallery, there are: the three photos I've taken with it; a folder of my vacation photos from June '09; and a handful of photos from a private family blog my wife was posting to at around that same time. Both of these galleries have the Picassa logo, but I've not accessed Picassa from this phone.

Not a huge deal really, but I'd love to know where it went and got these photos.

#1299 Dernells Casket n Flagon

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 08:04 PM

Another new GS3 owner here. Here's my (first) question: The thing has imported a very select number of old photos of mine from.... someplace. I've set up my gmail account on it and established facebook, but I've not yet plugged it into my laptop or tried to transfer any files to it. Yet when I opened the Gallery, there are: the three photos I've taken with it; a folder of my vacation photos from June '09; and a handful of photos from a private family blog my wife was posting to at around that same time. Both of these galleries have the Picassa logo, but I've not accessed Picassa from this phone.

Not a huge deal really, but I'd love to know where it went and got these photos.


Most likely your google plus galary if not directly from Picasa. Remember that your Google accounts are all linked.

#1300 Warning Track Speed

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 09:05 PM

Google plus indeed. Which begs the question how Google plus got ahold of those 2 albums/32 photos and no others that I've moved around to various places, but that's a question for another thread. Thanks for the prompt direction.




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