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4G Android phone megathread


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#2351 TheShynessClinic


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Posted 26 July 2014 - 06:45 PM

Sumner - I hold you in the highest regard, and think you're actually a self aware computer - but you're wrong here.

 

Maybe in the older, nerdier crowd camera doesn't matter as much as other things. But for anyone under 30 - the ability to take great pictures you can post to facebook/instagram/tumblr/twitter is probably 3rd behind 1.) What's really cool right now 2.) what has the best social media integration.



#2352 jayhoz


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Posted 26 July 2014 - 06:59 PM

My point about only taking snapshots was that for many people their phone is the only camera they own. They need it for the millennial activities TSC mentioned, but also to create photo books for relatives or print out 5x7s to go on the mantle.

Edited by jayhoz, 26 July 2014 - 06:59 PM.


#2353 NortheasternPJ


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Posted 26 July 2014 - 07:03 PM

I'd put network in a completely different category. Of course making sure it works where you live is number one and you can afford the plan. Outside of the iPhone when it was ATT only, what percentage of people are switching networks based off of a phone these days?

There's either an android that meet your needs or an iPhone on all major carriers.

Putting camera fifth on a list of network, OS, form factor and battery doesn't make it a non-important factor.

#2354 Bunt4aTriple

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Posted 26 July 2014 - 09:12 PM

Network, os, camera for me. I had a Droid 3 with a shit camera and it pissed me off every day. I replaced it with a galaxy s4,despite the moto x being the more appealing phone in all aspects except the camera.

#2355 Caspir

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Posted 27 July 2014 - 07:25 PM

Camera is right there for me at the top of the list. I can't think of anything other than battery life that I would definitely rank ahead of camera quality. Network should definitely be in an entirely different category, and speaking of networks, I'm finally tired of T Mobile's fucking shit service so I'm going to sell my S4 and grab a G3 on ATT. The one thing that has made me hesitate is that ATT is using PMA instead of Qi for wireless charging, and it seems like there's even slimmer pickings on that front, with Duracell being the primary (only?) major carrier. Not a huge deal, but it would be nice to be able to use the same technology as everyone else, I suppose. Verizon is just too expensive, and Sprint is marginally better than T Mobile but still sucks, so I'll end up ordering the phone tomorrow from ATT, but that's a frustrating little tweak.



#2356 timlinin8th

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Posted 27 July 2014 - 09:06 PM

Network, os, camera for me. I had a Droid 3 with a shit camera and it pissed me off every day. I replaced it with a galaxy s4,despite the moto x being the more appealing phone in all aspects except the camera.


I'm in the market for a new phone, and I would say those three are my top as well. My network is basically defined as I get a discount through my work on one, the OS and interface/usability is definitely on the list (I've tired of iPhone/Apple's limits) but among the Android flavors on my carrier, the camera quality is probably the third distinguishing factor. I don't use my phone for a lot of "power user" functions so some marginal and ambiguous test score doesn't apply to me, screens are all HD quality and while size is a consideration its hardly a dealbreaker, and even with battery life I can make concessions to have a charger with me, where I'm not going to improve the quality of the built in camera through any concessions I can make. I have a young son and I use my phone as my primary camera - just about everything else on the phone can be adjusted through various software means.

#2357 Seven Costanza


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Posted 28 July 2014 - 07:13 AM

I switched from Android to iOS several months ago and the biggest reason why was the camera. 



#2358 LondonSox

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Posted 28 July 2014 - 08:08 AM

I normally take a nice camera for real picture taking etc, but recently I have had to travel with limited luggage and couldn't justify taking an extra camera.

 

I was pretty blown away how solid the pictures came out on my galaxy 4, it's really changed my view on having that as a usuable camera for a majority of things. I don't know I would care if the camera was similar quality, but worse - and bad enough to limit this usage- would suddenly be important to me where it wasn't only a month ago.

 

But I'm only really discovering what the cool kids did ages ago. If it can't take a selfie in a nightclub what use is it? A phone? Pffff



#2359 Foulkey Reese


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Posted 28 July 2014 - 08:19 AM

I switched from Android to iOS several months ago and the biggest reason why was the camera. 

The camera of your specific phone though.

 

It's not an IOS vs Android issue. 

 

But yea, I specifically bought the S4 over the HTC1 because of the camera. I think it's a top 3 feature for most people, especially the younger generation. 

 

I notice the pics my wife takes of the baby with her old iPhone 5 and cringe when I compare them to the S4. 


Edited by Foulkey Reese, 28 July 2014 - 08:23 AM.


#2360 glennhoffmania


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Posted 28 July 2014 - 08:33 AM

This doesn't pass the smell test to me. To most people I talk to, the type of phone (smart vs. other) which network it's on, the OS, price, battery life, and form factor (including screen size) are all more important than camera quality.  Camera quality might be 6th or 7th, but it's down in the "shit that doesn't really make a difference" category compared to those.  Almost nobody selects their phone because of the camera, compared to how many will rule out Sprint or AT&T entirely, or pick the iphone because it's an iphone, or because they got a really good price on the phone/plan, or even because of the  screen size.  I'd even say that voice quality is something I hear more people care about than camera quality.

 

Just look at this forum, we get tons of questions about which network to choose or coverage, about pricing plans, and discussing battery life.  Questions about camera quality are comparatively rare.

 

Unfortunately it's tough to find any real data.  Googling "most important phone features poll", of the first few polls this one didn't think camera quality was even worth asking about, this one had camera quality 5th, this one didn't include camera, this one had camera 6th, this one had camera 5th.  They're virtually unanimous in putting battery life and network quality near the top of the list.  Some of them are smartphone only polls so that question is just assumed.  Obviously none of them are scientific, but that basically agrees with both my personal experience and what we see posted here.

 

 

 

 

 

This describes me exactly.  Sure I'd like to have a better camera but I'm far more concerned about other things like speed, battery life, network reliability, video quality, etc.  I take a fair amount of pictures but not too many and almost all of them are of my kid doing funny shit.  When I send them to other people or view them on my computer there are zero issues.  I'm hardly a camera geek so I'm assuming that people who know more about photography would pick up flaws that I wouldn't.  Unless the camera was basically useless I'd never reject a phone because of it if all of the other features are exactly what I'm looking for, and this applies to the M8.


Edited by glennhoffmania, 28 July 2014 - 08:35 AM.


#2361 smastroyin


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Posted 28 July 2014 - 08:39 AM

No matter what the specifics are, HTC has had poor sales of the M8.  I think in general the camera is pretty important to people.  There may be other reasons than the camera (brand recognition alone can be tough to overcome), but certainly they don't seem to have helped themselves by going rogue on the camera.  However maybe as they refine it it will prove a better technology.  Most people agree that the basics are there.  Just get a better CCD and algorithm.  There are already third party algorithms that improve the photos, but again you have to root.

 

I think there is an inherent amount of quality that people assume when they take these polls.  For instance, most people in the US would not have "quality of water" near the top of their reasons to choose a community, but would get disenfranchised fast if they had to boil all of their potable water.



#2362 Seven Costanza


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Posted 28 July 2014 - 08:44 AM

The camera of your specific phone though.

 

It's not an IOS vs Android issue. 

 

But yea, I specifically bought the S4 over the HTC1 because of the camera. I think it's a top 3 feature for most people, especially the younger generation. 

 

I notice the pics my wife takes of the baby with her old iPhone 5 and cringe when I compare them to the S4. 

 

Oh, it's an iOS vs Android issue jerkface. 



#2363 Foulkey Reese


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Posted 28 July 2014 - 08:46 AM

 

Oh, it's an iOS vs Android issue jerkface. 

Tiny screen for a tiny mind.



#2364 smastroyin


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Posted 28 July 2014 - 11:40 AM

Here's a dumb question - since I'm not impressed with this round of phones compared to the last round of phones, I was thinking of just picking up a Galaxy S4 used (ebay I guess?) and just moving my SIM card over. This will let me preserve my current plan.  Since it is just me and I don't go over my talk/text amounts, any new plan is going to cost me more money, even ignoring the loss of data, so I want to stay on my plan (which has unlimited data).  I had thought about paying full price for a new device but don't want to be screwed if in a month or two VZW forces everyone to switch to new plans anyway (something they are apparently talking about doing).  

 

My S3 is starting to have some issues (I don't know why we generally just accept the 2 year lifespan for these things, but whatever) and while I don't need to upgrade, it would probably be nice.  

 

Is there a better source than ebay?  Has anyone done this on Verizon?



#2365 deconstruction

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Posted 28 July 2014 - 12:30 PM

Here's a dumb question - since I'm not impressed with this round of phones compared to the last round of phones, I was thinking of just picking up a Galaxy S4 used (ebay I guess?) and just moving my SIM card over. This will let me preserve my current plan.  Since it is just me and I don't go over my talk/text amounts, any new plan is going to cost me more money, even ignoring the loss of data, so I want to stay on my plan (which has unlimited data).  I had thought about paying full price for a new device but don't want to be screwed if in a month or two VZW forces everyone to switch to new plans anyway (something they are apparently talking about doing).  

 

My S3 is starting to have some issues (I don't know why we generally just accept the 2 year lifespan for these things, but whatever) and while I don't need to upgrade, it would probably be nice.  

 

Is there a better source than ebay?  Has anyone done this on Verizon?

 

Apparently, if you order a subsidized phone through Best Buy (online + shipped, not in store), there's an option to "keep your current plan" (re-upping for another two years and keeping UD). When the new phone arrives, simply switch in your old SIM card before activating the new phone and you're good to go. Anecdotes here. I haven't gone through this method, but it seems plenty of people have had success with it.  


Edited by deconstruction, 28 July 2014 - 12:34 PM.


#2366 smastroyin


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Posted 28 July 2014 - 01:07 PM

That is definitely interesting.  Seems like a loophole they will end up closing.  But might work for now.

 

If only they would offer an individual plan with actual data (this means any of the majors)



#2367 deconstruction

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Posted 28 July 2014 - 01:20 PM

I'm in the same boat you're in: Just out of contract with the S3, but if it wasn't for the power button being almost unusable (hypersensitive), I wouldn't be thinking about a new phone. I've found a way to make it work (home button to wake up, Button Savior to sleep), and as long as I don't touch it, I'm good, but I'm afraid I'll get to the point where the phone will just randomly shut down or go into boot loops. And it's a common hardware problem on the S3.

 

If the G3 was "available for shipping" on BB, I would likely jump on it.   



#2368 PortlandSoxFan


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Posted 28 July 2014 - 01:58 PM

Got the Net10 sim card Friday, but the Nexus 5 today.  Popped the sim into my Nexus 4 and compared connectivity with that to our other Nexus 4 that still had a T-Mo sim in it.  At least for my part of CT, it was night and day...the AT&T/Net10 phone was connected (and faster) virtually everywhere; especially in areas where T-Mo is generally 'no signal' (East Haddam/Salem/parts of Colchester and Marlborough).  Guess I'll be cancelling T-Mo this week (and saving about $25 a month).  That said, I was happy with T-Mobile, and if I lived in central CT I don't think I would have even investigated switching.

 

Haven't had time to play much with the Nexus 5 yet, but at first glance it's lighter and the screen is much sharper than the N4.



#2369 Fratboy


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Posted 28 July 2014 - 02:46 PM

Are Net10 and StraightTalk essentially using the same network/bands/towers, etc.?



#2370 Harry Hooper


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Posted 28 July 2014 - 03:09 PM

Are Net10 and StraightTalk essentially using the same network/bands/towers, etc.?

 

When I signed up for Straight Talk, the email I got from tech support was from Net10.



#2371 saintnick912


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Posted 28 July 2014 - 03:12 PM

Straight Talk and TracFone are somehow related as well.  Some of the setup information for Straight Talk AT&T SIM cards uses tracfone namespaces.



#2372 Fratboy


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Posted 28 July 2014 - 03:34 PM

So, Harry Hooper, how satisfied are you with your Moto G LTE StraightTalk experience?



#2373 Harry Hooper


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Posted 28 July 2014 - 03:50 PM

So far, so good. Keep in mind I haven't used a smartphone in years, so I am not exactly pushing the device to its limits. I am a bit puzzled by the speed results I have posted above in this thread. I am seeing nothing like the LTE speeds described here.



#2374 Fratboy


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Posted 28 July 2014 - 05:16 PM

Net10/StraightTalk etc., essentially leech off the big boys' networks, and you get compromised speed as a result. I'm curious if that impacts your day to day usage.



#2375 SumnerH


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Posted 28 July 2014 - 05:23 PM

Net10/StraightTalk etc., essentially leech off the big boys' networks, and you get compromised speed as a result. I'm curious if that impacts your day to day usage.

 

They use those full networks, they're paying for access not leeching.  You should get full LTE speeds (often 10+ Mbps downloads, depends on where you are) when you're in a not-crowded LTE-enabled area, so long as you're not over the bandwidth cap.  If you're over the cap you get throttled.



#2376 PortlandSoxFan


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Posted 28 July 2014 - 05:55 PM

speedtest.png

 

Frat; this is taken from my house, which when on T-Mobile was on 'E', which is essentially 2G.  My entire ride home I was either on 'H' or 'LTE', where with T-Mo I was on 'H' for part of the ride, and 'E' for most.  I was parked in a part of town today where with T-Mo I would have ZERO service.  I had similar speeds to what you see above with Net10/AT&T

 

I'm switching our other phone this week; the selling point is my girlfriend has ZERO service on her drive to her summer job (when she's coming home at 2 AM sometimes) and yesterday we tested the same route and never lost signal.

 

The fact that we'll be saving some $$ is a nice bonus.



#2377 PortlandSoxFan


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Posted 28 July 2014 - 05:56 PM

And my cap is 2.5 gig.  Which I've never come close to in all my years of having data on my phone.



#2378 SumnerH


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Posted 28 July 2014 - 06:03 PM

If it's straight talk, I think they bumped the limit from 2.5 to 3GB recently. I could be wrong but I thought I heard that.

#2379 PortlandSoxFan


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Posted 28 July 2014 - 07:51 PM

Net10; within the past several months they bumped from 1.5 to 2.5 I believe.



#2380 Harry Hooper


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Posted 28 July 2014 - 08:03 PM

If it's straight talk, I think they bumped the limit from 2.5 to 3GB recently.

 

 

yes, 3GB.


Edited by Harry Hooper, 28 July 2014 - 08:10 PM.





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