4G Android phone megathread

Cellar-Door

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zenter said:
Wife is thinking of doing the HTC One tradeup thing. Anyone have it? My biggest concern for her is the camera - is it the real deal or is it a gimmick? The 4MP gives me pause because it maxes out a 8x10 prints which leaves little room for crops. Thoughts/advice?
It's for real.probably the best smartphone camera ever. This guy who runs a canvas printing shopdid a review and he printed out a 46"x8" print on canvas that is gorgeous.
http://spittingimages.ca/htc-one-camera-review-part-2-the-print/
 

Cellar-Door

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rembrat said:
Android Central says otherwise.
 
Not really, they say it depends on preference, and that the One performs best in low-light, action, macro and indoors. The S4 has a nice camera don't get me wrong, but for most
people, lowlight, indoors and action are where they need a phone camera to perform. I don't think most people plan to use a phone primarily  to
shoot landscapes and if they do they are idiots who should buy a real camera where they will get so much more for not much money.
GIzmodo says the One and Lumia are the two best:
http://gizmodo.com/5995337/samsungs-galaxy-s4-camera-versus-the-competition
http://gizmodo.com/5990360/htc-one-ultrapixel-camera-how-does-it-stack-up
Engadget thought it was the best phone camera when it came out (so they didn't have the S4 for comparison)
http://www.engadget.com/2013/03/12/htc-one-review/
and Dpreview who I trust more than any phone website says that while it depends on preference to some extent they think the HTC One is very good for a smartphone, best flash and low light, and that for the way most people use camera phones (ie social media, smaller compressed files), the disadvantages of a low pixel density are minimized. http://connect.dpreview.com/post/9219904986/shootout-samsunggalaxys4-vs-htcone-vs-iphone5-vs-lumia920
 

Zomp

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Hoping someone can offer some advice:
 
I dropped my S3 the other night and cracked the camera lens.  I cleaned it out the best I could but its still fucked and I get blurry pictures.  The top right corner of the phone's face was also cracked but that doesn't bother me so much.
 
I have insurance on the phone, but it would cost $99.99 to get a replacement...which is what the GS3 basically retails for right now.  Groupon is offering the S3 for $9.99 but it seems like you'd need to start a contract.
 
Any chance I buy the phone from Groupon Goods and they let me attach it to this number?
 
Anyone else have any ideas or am I getting pooned?
 

Cellar-Door

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Do you have an upgrade available? If not you'll need to pay the $100 I'd say. Without an upgrade on new line the s3 will run you about $500. If you do have an upgrade on one of your lines, you can get an s4 for $200 anywhere or an S3 for $50 at Best Buy, where you can get their black tie which covers free replacements for Accidental damage in the future.
 

Caspir

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So I ordered a Galaxy 4 from T Mobile online yesterday afternoon, and asked them if they were going to port the number before the phone arrived on Wednesday, to which they replied no. Fast forward to this morning, my Sprint service is disconnected because T Mobile ported the number immediately, so I have no service. This is a problem since I work in government and must have a phone (literally, I have to have it an cant wait half a week). I am going to go to a T Mobile store at noon because online chat did nothing for me (surprise!). Am I fucked here, or will T Mobile give me a phone and let me refuse delivery when the one I ordered arrives? I'm also waiting for 3 call backs on job interviews, so I really need to hash this out today and am looking for advice or experience from people who have been in similar situations.
 

Blacken

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Worst case, you can get a GSM flip phone or something for $30 or so.
 
 
(This is why my public phone number is a Google Voice number - I control where it routes.)
 

zenter

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Blacken said:
Worst case, you can get a GSM flip phone or something for $30 or so.
 
 
(This is why my public phone number is a Google Voice number - I control where it routes.)
I want to port my number to GV, but their issues with MMS are keeping me away. Have you had difficulty with it?

As for porting to another carrier, it should be an unwritten rule to always do this in person with the new device in hand.

Finally, and relatedly, we cancelled AT&T and moved to T-Mobile yesterday. Wife picked HTC One. I joined her since I'm at worst out $50 for restocking if I don't like it within 30 days. After 24 hours, despite build quality, I'm already wondering if I should exchange it for the S4. I'll hang on another week before fully deciding.
 

americantrotter

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I picked up the S4 this weekend.  I'm having withdrawls from Apple.  (Despite the fact that before I had my iPhone 4 I had the original Droid)
 
I have a list of stuff to do and work through.  (Including the fun task of converting iTunes, have pretty much exclusively bought from there for the past 10 years)
 
So far the camera rocks, the resolution is amazing, and I am nervously looking forward to getting the most out of the phone.
 

Caspir

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They gave me a credit to buy the phone in store at the discounted price, so now I have to refuse delivery of the online order and they'll refund the money. Got a free month of service for my trouble, so whatever. The S4 is the tits. Debating whether to root, but probably holding off for now since I don't see a reason at the moment (micro sd so internal storage complaints don't bother me). Still learning the random features like eye tracking and all that, but what a gorgeous device.
 

zenter

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zenter said:
Finally, and relatedly, we cancelled AT&T and moved to T-Mobile yesterday. Wife picked HTC One. I joined her since I'm at worst out $50 for restocking if I don't like it within 30 days. After 24 hours, despite build quality, I'm already wondering if I should exchange it for the S4. I'll hang on another week before fully deciding.
 
Update: After ~72 hours, a few HTC One thoughts.
  • Pro: LOVE the build quality. Feels super-solid.
  • Pro: Screen is legitimately gorgeous.
  • Pro: Brightness is bright and good in direct sunlight.
  • Con: The darn thing seems to get autobrightness routinely wrong - sometimes too dim in medium-bright areas, usually too bright in dark settings.
  • Con: Sense / BlinkFeed was annoying enough that I defaulted back to Apex Launcher. Part of this is the same problem I have with S4 - only 4 rows of space for widgets and icons, which is too spacious. The other part is that I just don't consume content in the Flipboard/BlinkFeed way and I can't simply disable it.
  • Con: Lack of notification area icon toggles. I got an app that added them back in (Power Toggles), but that means it needs to put an icon up there.
  • Con: Thing gets HOT. Typical scenario - I'm listening to podcasts through a bluetooth headset while playing some dumb graphics-medium game during my subway rides. By the end of the ride, the back of the phone is very hot, almost too hot. Wife noticed the same thing in different scenarios (playing Temple Run, for example). I attribute this in good measure to the backlight and LCD versus cooler-running AMOLED on S4. Am I wrong?
  • Con: Vibration intensity too high, not adjustable. This is documented all over, but basically (except for built-in keyboard and back/home buttons), vibration intensity could shatter a wine glass.
This is weighted to "con" mainly because these are the things that are making me wonder if I should go to the S4, on top of the camera and microSD stuff. Any thoughts from the rest of you on some of these things? I want to love this, but I wonder if I would end up loving the S4 more. One other consideration is longevity - the last 2 Samsung Galaxies I've had lasted about 20 months before having some kind of hardware flaw (S lost all sound in and out, S2 decided it liked eating microSD cards). Ideas/thoughts?
 
The one thing I'm loving is T-Mo's plans and wifi calling. Good riddance to ATT.
 

Blacken

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zenter said:
I want to port my number to GV, but their issues with MMS are keeping me away. Have you had difficulty with it?
I don't use it (the only people I send photos directly to are on my Google Talk list), but I know it's bad. 
 

zenter

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rembrat said:
HTC One gets hot because the back is metal.
 
I'm sorry if this sounds snarky, but this is simultaneously obvious and unhelpful. The obvious part is obvious - metal conducts heat and (in the presence of heat) will get warmer more quickly than another material.
 
However (and this gets to the unhelpful part), the presence of a heat-conducting material doesn't imply something will be hot, only that it will be more sensitive to temperature conditions (ie, it will get hotter faster and colder faster). Indeed, the newest iPhone sports a metal back as well, and it doesn't get nearly this hot. It does get warm more quickly than the glass- and plastic-backed predecessors, but it doesn't get too hot in my experience.
 
In essence, me saying that the phone gets "HOT... almost too hot" is a comment on my worry that there is a problem with the device. I was asking if we had flawed devices since they are generating (and thus dissipating) more heat than we expect. Heat has implications on power management, battery life, and usability.
 
A helpful response would talk about whether "almost too hot" is abnormal, or the implication on processor longevity, or the need to (or not to) adjust expectations of maximum phone temperature based on how this device works, etc. Maybe I'm hypersensitive to this - as my S2 started to die, it also started getting very hot, almost too hot. Having used that device for nearly 2 years, I correctly recognized heat as abnormal - the microSD slot was messed up and draining power (and burning microSD cards too) probably as a result of faulty contacts.
 

Caspir

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Have you used an app like TempMonitor or Elixir to get a precise reading on the temp? That would be the best place to start, then see how consistent it is, and what apps are running when it gets that hot. May be something simple and not a bad device.
 

LondonSox

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Zenter fwiw my Htc thunderbolt did that, got VERY hot if used for games etc. Then later just most of the time.
I went through 4 batteries in 18 months, they all buckled and stopped holding charge. I hope it's not a similar issue as 5 bucks and popping off the cover to replace was my cost post warranty but you can't do that on the one right?

My research suggested that this was a common though not universal issue with the phone, and while it was bad the back was rubber/plastic so slightly different in heat transference, cooling etc.

It used to get so hot I didn't like to put it in my pocket, and when the battery went bad sometimes it would get hot in my pocket just on wifi connection on standby. I know it's a different phone but HTC has had issues before which would make me nervous.
Obviously I'm biased as this was a reason not to get a one.
 

Caspir

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LondonSox said:
. I know it's a different phone but HTC has had issues before which would make me nervous.
Obviously I'm biased as this was a reason not to get a one.
Toward the end, my Incredible would be ridiculously hot and kill the battery within 4 hours. I love the visual layout of HTC phones, but I swore them off and switched to Samsung after that.
 

saintnick912

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My HTC One X gets pretty hot in the back just under the camera lens when something is "running hot" on it.  I'd imagine games may do this, though I haven't really used it for that.  I mainly use it as a proxy for an app misbehaving, since it rarely gets hot in my normal use, and when it does get hot my battery life tends to suffer in lockstep.
 
Since I've rooted/rommed, locked down the amount of autostart things, and stopped using Chrome (back to the stock browser) it rarely heats up too much and simultaneously I get about twice the battery life I used to (about 20h unplugged vs 10h and hoping to limp home after work).
 

zenter

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Okay. That is helpful, Caspir, LS, saintnick. Thanks.
 
I have about 4 days left before I decide to kick or stick, so I'll check out a temp app in the meantime. I'm not sure whether consistency will help me determine is this is a detrimental design flaw or a "mere" nuisance. While rooting is something I'm willing to do, I'd prefer that "out-of-the-box" behavior isn't prone to kill the device before 24 months.
 
Wife is definitely sticking with her HTC One, and she would likely never allow rooting, so this is mainly very useful information to file away if I need to go through an American Express extended return or extended warranty protection process.
 

rembrat

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zenter said:
I'm sorry if this sounds snarky, but this is simultaneously obvious and unhelpful. The obvious part is obvious - metal conducts heat and (in the presence of heat) will get warmer more quickly than another material.
 
However (and this gets to the unhelpful part), the presence of a heat-conducting material doesn't imply something will be hot, only that it will be more sensitive to temperature conditions (ie, it will get hotter faster and colder faster). Indeed, the newest iPhone sports a metal back as well, and it doesn't get nearly this hot. It does get warm more quickly than the glass- and plastic-backed predecessors, but it doesn't get too hot in my experience.
 
In essence, me saying that the phone gets "HOT... almost too hot" is a comment on my worry that there is a problem with the device. I was asking if we had flawed devices since they are generating (and thus dissipating) more heat than we expect. Heat has implications on power management, battery life, and usability.
 
A helpful response would talk about whether "almost too hot" is abnormal, or the implication on processor longevity, or the need to (or not to) adjust expectations of maximum phone temperature based on how this device works, etc. Maybe I'm hypersensitive to this - as my S2 started to die, it also started getting very hot, almost too hot. Having used that device for nearly 2 years, I correctly recognized heat as abnormal - the microSD slot was messed up and draining power (and burning microSD cards too) probably as a result of faulty contacts.
 
Well Jesus Christ, that's what I meant. Every review on the HTC One says that it will go from blazing hot to sitting on a toilet in the winter cold. And part of the reason is because of the metal backing.
 

teddykgb

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The HTC One gets really hot randomly.  I usually turn it off for a few minutes then turn it back on and it is fine.
 
That said, I'm probably going to sell mine and head back to my iPhone.  Really think it's the best android device out there, but that's still kind of the problem.
 

zenter

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And in other news, wife's One just randomly shut down and rebooted. I understand this is an ongoing HTC issue, especially on Verizon. Seems absurd that a manufacturer's "save our company" flagship would do that on T-Mobile.
 
teddykgb said:
The HTC One gets really hot randomly.  I usually turn it off for a few minutes then turn it back on and it is fine.
 
That said, I'm probably going to sell mine and head back to my iPhone.  Really think it's the best android device out there, but that's still kind of the problem.
 
If you bought the phone with Amex, you might be able to engineer a return - they provide 90 days of extended return protection up to $300:
 
• 90 Days of Protection - If you try to return an eligible item purchased fully with your eligible American Express® Card in the U.S., the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico or the U.S. Virgin Islands within 90 days from the date of purchase and the merchant won’t take it back, we can refund the purchase price. 
 

Foulkey Reese

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rembrat said:
Well Jesus Christ, that's what I meant. Every review on the HTC One says that it will go from blazing hot to sitting on a toilet in the winter cold. And part of the reason is because of the metal backing.
This exchange is hilarious.
 

SuperManny

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The verizon store near me was out of Samsung S4's tonight so I went to the Walmart nearby and they had it for $168 and gave me a $50 gift certificate as well. Pretty awesome deal considering I was going to spend $200 at verizon. 
 

zenter

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zenter's HTC One Adventures, Update Eleventy: I gave up and swapped for the S4 on Friday. It was hard giving up on such a pretty and solid-feeling device, but I've stopped wondering whether I chose the right phone... Which means I chose the right phone I guess.
 
For me, the little annoyances on the One all added up to something relatively intolerable. I love stupid-simple things like setting vibration intensity and volumes to reasonable levels - the One had an annoying habit of being way too loud even on the lowest volume setting, just like vibration intensity was too intense. I don't care for Samsung's crapware, but I can easily ignore it and eventually remove it after rooting. I also like that the phone hasn't yet gotten close to too hot to touch. :)
 

LondonSox

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Your experiences make me happy with my Htc perma boycott.
Metal phone too hot to touch in my pocket resting near my delicate areas is not something I care to experience.
 

InsideTheParker

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So, after 30+ years of paddling, our canoe turned over this morning and we discovered that there was a hole in the waterproof bag. A fairly big one. 
 
Anyway, my primitive cell-phone is fried  and I am considering a "smart" phone. My standards are so very low that none of you may be able to help me, BUT: I want to spend about $100. and I want to continue using my AT&T GoPhone account, which costs me a total of $100. a year. All I want to do is make phone calls, mostly using Bluetooth in my car, and browse the internet. I am not interested in games. The guy on Chat at AT&T recommended an AT&T Fusion 2, which I guess is an entry-level smart phone, but reviews make me concerned about its battery life. The other  "smart" offering on their page is the Galaxy Appeal, about $150. I am not sure whether or not I can buy and use any other phone with the Gophone account, as  the Chatter claims not to know and can't reach a human being by phone. If anyone has any ideas, I'd appreciate them.
 

Cellar-Door

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InsideTheParker said:
So, after 30+ years of paddling, our canoe turned over this morning and we discovered that there was a hole in the waterproof bag. A fairly big one. 
 
Anyway, my primitive cell-phone is fried  and I am considering a "smart" phone. My standards are so very low that none of you may be able to help me, BUT: I want to spend about $100. and I want to continue using my AT&T GoPhone account, which costs me a total of $100. a year. All I want to do is make phone calls, mostly using Bluetooth in my car, and browse the internet. I am not interested in games. The guy on Chat at AT&T recommended an AT&T Fusion 2, which I guess is an entry-level smart phone, but reviews make me concerned about its battery life. The other  "smart" offering on their page is the Galaxy Appeal, about $150. I am not sure whether or not I can buy and use any other phone with the Gophone account, as  the Chatter claims not to know and can't reach a human being by phone. If anyone has any ideas, I'd appreciate them.
A smart phone on Go phone will cost a minimum of $65 a month, you can bring most GSM phones on Go, but at least to me the occasional internet browsing is not worth an extra $700 or so a year.
If you really want to move to a pre-paid smartphone the more affordable options are Virgin and Boost, but even those are between $35 and $55 a month depending on features.
 

JakeRae

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So, after 30+ years of paddling, our canoe turned over this morning and we discovered that there was a hole in the waterproof bag. A fairly big one. 
 
Anyway, my primitive cell-phone is fried  and I am considering a "smart" phone. My standards are so very low that none of you may be able to help me, BUT: I want to spend about $100. and I want to continue using my AT&T GoPhone account, which costs me a total of $100. a year. All I want to do is make phone calls, mostly using Bluetooth in my car, and browse the internet. I am not interested in games. The guy on Chat at AT&T recommended an AT&T Fusion 2, which I guess is an entry-level smart phone, but reviews make me concerned about its battery life. The other  "smart" offering on their page is the Galaxy Appeal, about $150. I am not sure whether or not I can buy and use any other phone with the Gophone account, as  the Chatter claims not to know and can't reach a human being by phone. If anyone has any ideas, I'd appreciate them.

A smart phone on Go phone will cost a minimum of $65 a month, you can bring most GSM phones on Go, but at least to me the occasional internet browsing is not worth an extra $700 or so a year.
If you really want to move to a pre-paid smartphone the more affordable options are Virgin and Boost, but even those are between $35 and $55 a month depending on features.
The Walmart T-Mobile plan is $30 still, I believe. That's the lowest possible price point. The previous poster had it correct though. I'd guess what he really wants is a cheap phone and a cheap tablet. The latter fills the portable web surfing requirement, with WiFi, the former just replaces his current phone. This will still run north of $100, but will save money by the second month. Alternatively, he could get a cheap smartphone to fill the tablet role for even greater portability (keeping the phone inactive).

I'm somewhat considering doing something similar with my next phone. With the prevalence of WiFi, and the ability to pay for individual days or months via various systems, I'm having trouble justifying the huge monthly expense that a phone is.
 

InsideTheParker

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Thanks for the replies. I am going to get the AT&T Fusion2 from Best Buy for 80 bucks. I finally got through to AT&T customer service and they told me that I can keep the old cheap prepay. I will be able to turn down the data package and use wifi for surfing the net. (I just want to check scores and read the NYT.) We'll see if this works. I will not be able to go online in the back-of-beyond, but it may satisfy me.  If the usual Best Buy return policy applies, and I can transfer my old sim card (unless it too was fried by the water----it looks fine), I will be good to go. If not, I will return it and look into other options.
 

JakeRae

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Thanks for the replies. I am going to get the AT&T Fusion2 from Best Buy for 80 bucks. I finally got through to AT&T customer service and they told me that I can keep the old cheap prepay. I will be able to turn down the data package and use wifi for surfing the net. (I just want to check scores and read the NYT.) We'll see if this works. I will not be able to go online in the back-of-beyond, but it may satisfy me.  If the usual Best Buy return policy applies, and I can transfer my old sim card (unless it too was fried by the water----it looks fine), I will be good to go. If not, I will return it and look into other options.


One of the best feature of the NYT app is that it downloads all stories and stores them locally when it updates. That means you don't need constant data access to use it. Just update before you leave WiFi and you have a ton of reading material until your next update. As I am currently traveling without data, I am in love with this feature for obtaining reading material for train and bus rides.
 

InsideTheParker

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Thanks for the tip. I am posting from the phone now via wireless. I am probably in love.
 
Adding from the computer: if you know any cheapskates like me, this AT&T Fusion 2 is a wonderful starter smart-phone. It accepted my SIM card and all the info immediately.  If I were going camping, I'd buy the data package, but so far internet is fine if you happen to be somewhere a wireless network is available. The FM radio is outstanding. The GPS is beta, but I've already used it with some success. It even asked if I wanted directions to my favorite B&B. How'd it know that? It records and plays music and accepts a memory card so that you can store a ton of music and other stuff. The interface is dummy-friendly, since I have been doing a ton of stuff with it without reading the manual. 
 
p.s. I realize now that I shouldn't have posted in this thread, because my phone is only 3G, but when I started I didn't know enough to know what I didn't know.
 
p.p.s Just installed the AtBat app and it works perfectly. I'm hard put to understand why people want to spend so much more money.
 

Foulkey Reese

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I showed 4 separate people in my office how to use Google Now today.
 
They had a variety of phones, and none of them had any idea that it even existed. I can't imagine an iPhone owner now knowing about Siri.
 
Google really needs to figure out a way to make this front and center. 
 

Orange Julia

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I am loving google now although i haven't figured out how it is useful on my desk top, as useful as it is on my phone...
 

Nite Vizhun UV

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Foulkey Reese said:
I showed 4 separate people in my office how to use Google Now today.
 
They had a variety of phones, and none of them had any idea that it even existed. I can't imagine an iPhone owner now knowing about Siri.
 
Google really needs to figure out a way to make this front and center. 
 
 
I like it, but it pisses me off that it insists on showing me the score from the last completed game even 2 days after it was played, rather than let me know what time the next game is on. 
 

Orange Julia

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Agreed. It also isn't always as up to date as my last search. When it is, though, its pretty cool. I like that i can search for something on my computer and then boom, there are the directions to it on my google now phone.  But, it doesn't always work that way.
 

Foulkey Reese

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Nite Vizhun UV said:
I like it, but it pisses me off that it insists on showing me the score from the last completed game even 2 days after it was played, rather than let me know what time the next game is on. 
Yea every morning I swipe that away so it then shows the upcoming game. It's annoying. 
 

Curll

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Google Now is great, except when you want it to work. 
 
It is great that it figured out to tell me around 5 what the traffic is like to home with zero input from me. It is fucking amazingly stupid that if I tell my phone to show me "Traffic on my commute home" it has no fucking idea what I want.
 

rembrat

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So no reviewer got the Google Edition's HTC One's and Samsung S4's? I thought we'd have a few by now.
 

rembrat

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So, technically, the GE HTC One and S4 are not running Stock Android, does this mean they won't get updates as fast as a Nexus phone will? 
 

Foulkey Reese

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rembrat said:
So, technically, the GE HTC One and S4 are not running Stock Android, does this mean they won't get updates as fast as a Nexus phone will? 
The only real way to get fast updates is to root and install custom ROMS.
 
My Galaxy Nexus definitely did not get the super fast updates that I was expecting it to. 
 

Foulkey Reese

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Seven Costanza said:
Point of order: your VERIZON Galaxy Nexus did not get the super fast updates.  Every other version did.  :p
 
http://www.droid-life.com/2013/06/26/directly-from-google-or-not-google-play-editions-will-receive-updates-shortly-after-they-are-released/
 
No definition of 'shortly', but the GE phones won't be getting updates as soon as they are released like the Nexus line.
Ha true point.
 
So far I'm loving the hardware on the S4, but really hating TouchWiz.
 
Putting Nova Launcher on mitigates it quite a bit, but I'll probably root pretty soon to get rid of some of the bloat.
 
The S Health app looks pretty good actually, but everything else seems pretty junky.
 

jayhoz

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You can turn your HTC One into a Google Edition with this ROM: gizmo.do/F0SAikd
 

Caspir

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Foulkey Reese said:
Ha true point.
 
So far I'm loving the hardware on the S4, but really hating TouchWiz.
 
Putting Nova Launcher on mitigates it quite a bit, but I'll probably root pretty soon to get rid of some of the bloat.
 
The S Health app looks pretty good actually, but everything else seems pretty junky.
It seemed stupid/bloaty when I got the phone, but S Health is definitely pretty useful. I haven't rooted yet, but mostly because I've been happy with the phone as is so far.
 

Foulkey Reese

foulkiavelli
SoSH Member
Apr 12, 2006
21,795
Central CT
Caspir said:
It seemed stupid/bloaty when I got the phone, but S Health is definitely pretty useful. I haven't rooted yet, but mostly because I've been happy with the phone as is so far.
Yea the more I use it, the less desire I have to root.
 
Once you disable some of the bloatware and throw a custom launcher on, the phone performs really well. It blows my mind to have a battery last me over 12 hours. With the Galaxy Nexus I probably charges it 4-5 times a day.
 
Overall I'm really happy with the S4.