4G Android phone megathread

PC Drunken Friar

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How good is Non-Verizon service in the Boston (Dorchester, to be specific) area? We have Verizon and it is less than ideal service. Apparently our closest cell phone tower is inside a Churches bell tower and to upgrade it is risky because any damage to the school's property will be billed to Verizon. They haven't upgraded it in years. It is not unbearable, but there are the occasional dropped calls and at certain times there is no service from our back deck. With Black Friday coming up, we are looking to other providers (T-Mobile and AT&T). Cross posting this in the iPhone thread...Wife will be going with the iPhone, I like Androids. Any help is appreciated.
 

4 6 3 DP

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Oct 24, 2001
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My pixel 3 decided yesterday to just stop working. Went black, turned on once for about 15 minutes and now will not turn on. Much as I know I've had the phone a while I'm irate at the phone going from completely useful to brick with no notice. Going to bring it to the store tomorrow to see if I can factory reset but with no home phone and a tablet that doesn't have a sim card.. Bad day
 

saintnick912

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How good is Non-Verizon service in the Boston (Dorchester, to be specific) area? We have Verizon and it is less than ideal service. Apparently our closest cell phone tower is inside a Churches bell tower and to upgrade it is risky because any damage to the school's property will be billed to Verizon. They haven't upgraded it in years. It is not unbearable, but there are the occasional dropped calls and at certain times there is no service from our back deck. With Black Friday coming up, we are looking to other providers (T-Mobile and AT&T). Cross posting this in the iPhone thread...Wife will be going with the iPhone, I like Androids. Any help is appreciated.
I'm on Google Fi. T-Mobile works well for me in the city, Sprint better outside the city. Neither gives as good rural coverage as Verizon, around here or nationally (have been in Arizona/Wyoming/Utah a fair amount of time). Sprint is so far and away the worst where I live that it's comical.
 

Joe Sixpack

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How good is Non-Verizon service in the Boston (Dorchester, to be specific) area? We have Verizon and it is less than ideal service. Apparently our closest cell phone tower is inside a Churches bell tower and to upgrade it is risky because any damage to the school's property will be billed to Verizon. They haven't upgraded it in years. It is not unbearable, but there are the occasional dropped calls and at certain times there is no service from our back deck. With Black Friday coming up, we are looking to other providers (T-Mobile and AT&T). Cross posting this in the iPhone thread...Wife will be going with the iPhone, I like Androids. Any help is appreciated.
I can't speak to Dorchester specifically, but I'm in Canton and between here and Boston I get great service on T-Mobile's network via Mint. They also offer a starter kit for $5 with a SIM you can use to try it out and see if it works before you commit.

https://www.mintmobile.com/starterkit/
 

Max Power

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The Pixel will take significantly better pictures and the Galaxy has a slightly bigger, nicer screen. The Pixel will probably be a bit faster, but he may not notice it. It really just depends on how he values the screen versus photography with it.
 

jercra

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Any opinions on which is better, the Pixel 4A or the Samsung Galaxy A51?
Spouse looking to get his first cellphone and we are ignorant. Prices are comparable. TIA.
I can't speak to the Samsung, but I've both the Pixel 4a and the Pixel 4a-5G and the 5G is a much better phone, though both are very good devices. For a while around Xmas, they were basically the same price, so if you're leaning Pixel, see you can get the 4a-5G.
 

4 6 3 DP

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Maybe this needs to be in a tablet devoted thread, but I'm getting a tablet for work travel/general use. Price not being an issue should I get a 4g through Verizon or just use the hotspot on my pixel and stay with the wifi model?

Probably getting a Samsung tab 7
 

johnmd20

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Maybe this needs to be in a tablet devoted thread, but I'm getting a tablet for work travel/general use. Price not being an issue should I get a 4g through Verizon or just use the hotspot on my pixel and stay with the wifi model?

Probably getting a Samsung tab 7
Using the hotspot feature will crush your battery. If you don't have to pay for the costs of the 4g model, I can't see how having that will yield any downside. It's just more convenient. You'll always have a connection and you won't have to bother turning on the hotspot feature and draining the phone battery.
 

Harry Hooper

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OK, I have got an Android version 10 phone {Moto g power} which has spontaneously rebooted 5-6 times in the last 10 days or so. Maybe it's a flaw in the latest update that was installed around the same period where this behavior began. Anyone else seeing this? I've never seen this before in 15 months of use.
 

Harry Hooper

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OK, I have got an Android version 10 phone {Moto g power} which has spontaneously rebooted 5-6 times in the last 10 days or so. Maybe it's a flaw in the latest update that was installed around the same period where this behavior began. Anyone else seeing this? I've never seen this before in 15 months of use.
Things calmed down to rebooting 2-3 times/week about a dozen days after my original post, but now it's worse than ever (5x today already).
 

Fratboy

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In late May, while eating breakfast, my hand brushed by my Pixel 3 XL while it was resting on my dining room table, and it wobbled. Phones shouldn't do that! I took it out of its case and saw the battery had swelled, causing the back panel to be separated from the side of the phone. After panicking for several hours, I did some digging, and found it's not uncommon.

I contacted Google customer support, and they sent me an RMA to return my old device, and sent me a refurbed device after evaluating my old one. The whole process took about 11 days, but I got a new-to-me free of it.

Same thing happened to bf last week and we had to do the same thing for him. So if you've got a Pixel 3/XL, be aware this might be happening to you soon.
 

bibajesus

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Jul 15, 2005
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In late May, while eating breakfast, my hand brushed by my Pixel 3 XL while it was resting on my dining room table, and it wobbled. Phones shouldn't do that! I took it out of its case and saw the battery had swelled, causing the back panel to be separated from the side of the phone. After panicking for several hours, I did some digging, and found it's not uncommon.

I contacted Google customer support, and they sent me an RMA to return my old device, and sent me a refurbed device after evaluating my old one. The whole process took about 11 days, but I got a new-to-me free of it.

Same thing happened to bf last week and we had to do the same thing for him. So if you've got a Pixel 3/XL, be aware this might be happening to you soon.
I can't believe Google had you ship it back. That seems like a fire waiting to happen.
 

Bleedred

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Feb 21, 2001
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OLD MAN ALERT: I have a Samsung Galaxy S8+ which has served me well. There's nothing wrong with it but I recognize that I'm several generations of phone behind. What is today's equivalent of the S8+ and should I make the upgrade? I presume there's a way to transfer all apps from the old phone to the new one? Also, would the easiest way to transact this be to go to the local verizon store and just swap out the phones?
 

saintnick912

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My Pixel 3XL started bootlooping the other day at a very inconvenient time (trying to find an alternate route around the I-95 wreck in Seabrook). The usual recovery mode things didn't work, as it would just go straight back into the bootloop as soon as I released the volume key. Eventually got home and found someone with a similar issue, who prescribed some "percussive maintenance" on the power button. Turns out the power button was stuck "on" and causing the restarts and the inoperable recovery mode. Did some NES Advantage style button mashing on it and the phone is back to life. Hoping it lives until the 6 is released.
 

saintnick912

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Is the 6 worth waiting for? I was planning on getting the 4a 5g (or wait on 5a 5g)...
From what I saw when I was looking at potentially replacing this, there aren't a lot of 4a 5G or Pixel 5 out there, and who knows when the 5a will release. I think the chip shortage keeps delaying it.

The 6 is interesting to me. They seem to finally be updating the camera guts according to the leaks, which have been pretty much the same since the 2/2XL. The waterproof aspect isn't something I rely heavily on but I'm stuck in the rain sometimes and so I like it for that. And they seemed to have really nailed the battery on the 5 so I'm hoping that carries forward to the 6.

edit: looks like the 5a went through the FCC, news came out since I posted. So it may be out soon ish
 
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Bleedred

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Recommendations for ear pods for my new Samsung 21+? I've never been an ear pod guy (55 years old, old), but I'm thinking now is the time.
 

jayhoz

Ronald Bartel
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Jul 19, 2005
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Recommendations for ear pods for my new Samsung 21+? I've never been an ear pod guy (55 years old, old), but I'm thinking now is the time.
I love my Jabra Elite Active 65Ts. They are long in the tooth in tech terms now, but I would seriously look at the newer models.
 

Tangled Up In Red

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I love my Jabra Elite Active 65Ts. They are long in the tooth in tech terms now, but I would seriously look at the newer models.
Seconded. I don't know what new tech is in the 75s or 85s, but the 65Ts have excellent fit, sound quality and battery life. And can be found for pretty great $$ deals nowadays.
 

jayhoz

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Seconded. I don't know what new tech is in the 75s or 85s, but the 65Ts have excellent fit, sound quality and battery life. And can be found for pretty great $$ deals nowadays.
My one issue is that you can't use the left bud on its own like you can with the airpods. Would be nice to be able to use one while the other charges rather than having to go without music while they charge.
 

jayhoz

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I have no discomfort at all. The other issue that I just remembered is that pushing on the controls to change the volume or advance a song can push them in a little too deep requiring adjustment. Not a big deal to me.
 

Tangled Up In Red

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No discomfort for me, either -- quite the contrary. But that's ear by ear, I suppose. They don't fit for my wife with any of the 3 pad sizes.
@jayhoz is right about the single ear usage -- only the right can work by itself. But that has never proven an issue for me (I have backup charging case for the office (pre-covid) and even bought a backup set of 65ts, in case they were ever discontinued.
 

ElUno20

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S20 vs s21. All i do is internet and podcast listen really. Any real reason to lose the micro sd spot for the 21?
 

saintnick912

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Anyone else order a Pixel 6 (or Pro)? I have a Pro coming tomorrow, reviews seem positive so far. My 3XL was going to get cut off at work in a few months since updates have stopped at the 3 year mark.
 

drbretto

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I am tempted. I was hopeing I could justify it with the Pixel Pass, but it really only saves if you already use all of the included services. Even with Fi, YouTube premium and Drive space already it basically equated to getting free game pass, which I doubt I'd actually use.

It has a lot of features I'm very interested in as a tech nerd, though. That tensor chip enables some interesting stuff, like the realtime filtering on videos instead of only still pictures, or the realtime translation. I am extremely interested in where this is heading. This is potentially a path that could lead to real innovation down the line. I'm intrigued by the future of AI-specialized processors in general.

I'm a sucker for this stuff, but emphasis on sucker. I regretted my pixel 4 XL. I'm used to it now, but I hated it. I got it at launch cause my pixel 2 happened to just be paid off and fell for the little bells and whistles that totally didn't pan out. It's making me gun shy. Even though these new features do seem much more practical and less likely to be a bust. I would be very interested in others' hands-on experience.
 

Rustjive

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Anyone else order a Pixel 6 (or Pro)? I have a Pro coming tomorrow, reviews seem positive so far. My 3XL was going to get cut off at work in a few months since updates have stopped at the 3 year mark.
Yes, my Pro also is supposed to get here today. I'm moving from a OnePlus 6 but I had no choice but to upgrade - AT&T stopped supporting my phone on their network and disables any SIM put in. As compensation they sent me some $49 Alcatel prepaid so I've been on a two-phones-one-tethered-to-the-other situation for about 6 weeks now. I've been looking forward to specifically the Pixel 6 since I had been waiting to see what Google could finally do with better camera hardware. Reviews do seem extremely positive, except for on video, but I also think they can improve via software updates on that front.
 

Rod Becks Mullet

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I ordered a 6, just shipped today. Looking forward to it. My 3+ year old Pixel 2 is beaten to hell, ready to get replaced. I couldn't justify the extra cost for the Pro, think the 6 will fit my needs well enough.
 

ThePrideofShiner

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What are people's thoughts on the Pixel 5? My wife and I have 3s, but they are about paid off and we're not sure we want to invest in the 6 when 5s are so cheap right now.
 

saintnick912

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What are people's thoughts on the Pixel 5? My wife and I have 3s, but they are about paid off and we're not sure we want to invest in the 6 when 5s are so cheap right now.
Are you seeing the 5a for sale? The 5 was a much lower-spec phone that sold at a higher price than they are asking for the 6. The 5a is (I think) a great deal at $450, they added a much bigger battery and water resistance vs the 4a.
 

SumnerH

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I'm looking at options for a new phone. I was going to stick with Google despite them jettisoning the headphone port and SD card, but the fingerprint scanner on the Pixel 6/6 Pro is getting panned: That's exactly the sort of little thing that is used all the time but under-emphasized in reviews that seems like it would drive me crazy.

Non-negotiable:
  • Full support for Fi including Sprint and T-Mobile switching (eliminates all Samsung models as far as I can discern)
  • 1080p or better display (Eliminates Moto G Power 2021)
Probable deal-breaker:
  • In-screen fingerprint scanner, especially a poorly reviewed one
Strongly prefer:
  • MicroSD card support (non-negotiable if the phone has less than 256GB storage)
  • 3.5mm headphone jack
I don't care about the camera at all, and a curved/edge screen is a minor minus.

My 3 candidate ideas right now (none of which I love):
  • Suck it up and go with the Pixel 6 Pro and hope the fingerprint scanner is liveable
  • Get a Moto G Power 2020: This has all of the above, but I'm not sure it's really much of an upgrade over my Pixel XL.
  • Do yet another battery replacement for my current 2016 Pixel XL and keep going with it (it's running Lineage so I'm at least getting security updates).
 

ThePrideofShiner

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Are you seeing the 5a for sale? The 5 was a much lower-spec phone that sold at a higher price than they are asking for the 6. The 5a is (I think) a great deal at $450, they added a much bigger battery and water resistance vs the 4a.
Through Google Fi, we can get a 5A for $15 per month for two years, including device protection, and then gets an upgrade. We were paying more than $15 per month for our Pixel 3s. The Pixel 6 is $25 per month with no device protection.
 

changer591

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I just got a Pixel 5a for my parents...all I know it was very hard to find one about a month ago. I got it for $300...I dunno where you saw $450, but it's $300 right now at Best Buy.
I pre-ordered a 6 to replace my 3...very excited to get it in 2 days.

Also interesting that @SumnerH mentioned that the fingerprint scanner is being panned, as the reviews I've read have said it works pretty good.
 

SumnerH

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I just got a Pixel 5a for my parents...all I know it was very hard to find one about a month ago. I got it for $300...I dunno where you saw $450, but it's $300 right now at Best Buy.
I pre-ordered a 6 to replace my 3...very excited to get it in 2 days.

Also interesting that @SumnerH mentioned that the fingerprint scanner is being panned, as the reviews I've read have said it works pretty good.
I basically just read the first couple of reviews. The CNET one actually isn't that bad, if mis-registering was the original problem.

https://www.tomsguide.com/reviews/google-pixel-6-pro
One thing I dislike about the hardware is the fingerprint sensor. No longer located on the back of the phone (which is where I prefer it to be), the Pixel 6 Pro sports an in-display fingerprint reader. Like the Galaxy S21 or OnePlus 9 Pro, it’s fine, but I’ve noticed that it’s slower than the competition and it’s very picky about where you place your finger. Whereas I think the OnePlus 9 Pro or Galaxy S21 are more forgiving, the Pixel 6 Pro seems to have a smaller reader area.
https://www.cnet.com/tech/mobile/google-pixel-6-review-yes-it-lives-up-to-the-hype/
The front is covered in Gorilla Glass Victus. Under the screen is a fingerprint reader, which at first worked for me half of the time. It was frustrating and not a very good experience. After a maddening few days, I double-registered my thumbprints and it worked nearly every time. Now I don't even need to smash my finger into the screen.
 

drbretto

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Apr 10, 2009
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I'm looking at options for a new phone. I was going to stick with Google despite them jettisoning the headphone port and SD card, but the fingerprint scanner on the Pixel 6/6 Pro is getting panned: That's exactly the sort of little thing that is used all the time but under-emphasized in reviews that seems like it would drive me crazy.

Non-negotiable:
  • Full support for Fi including Sprint and T-Mobile switching (eliminates all Samsung models as far as I can discern)
  • 1080p or better display (Eliminates Moto G Power 2021)
Probable deal-breaker:
  • In-screen fingerprint scanner, especially a poorly reviewed one
Strongly prefer:
  • MicroSD card support (non-negotiable if the phone has less than 256GB storage)
  • 3.5mm headphone jack
I don't care about the camera at all, and a curved/edge screen is a minor minus.

My 3 candidate ideas right now (none of which I love):
  • Suck it up and go with the Pixel 6 Pro and hope the fingerprint scanner is liveable
  • Get a Moto G Power 2020: This has all of the above, but I'm not sure it's really much of an upgrade over my Pixel XL.
  • Do yet another battery replacement for my current 2016 Pixel XL and keep going with it (it's running Lineage so I'm at least getting security updates).
The Pixel 5a still has a headphone jack, as well as the back-of-the-phone fingerprint scanner. Fits all of your criteria except the sd card (I am assuming it doesn't have one but don't actually know) and has a huge battery and 5g.

I imagine it's a significant upgrade over the OG Pixel XL. It's really only a small downgrade from the Pixel 4 XL, but way cheaper. it's the best bang for the buck out there if you don't need the fancy stuff from the Pixel 6.
 

SumnerH

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The Pixel 5a still has a headphone jack, as well as the back-of-the-phone fingerprint scanner. Fits all of your criteria except the sd card
Interesting suggestion. Unfortunately it looks like you can't get it with 256GB internal, either. It's on the list to consider, though.
 

Spelunker

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Interesting suggestion. Unfortunately it looks like you can't get it with 256GB internal, either. It's on the list to consider, though.
What about an actual Pixel 5? The back fingerprint reader is great. No headphone jack, of course, but I've stopped caring about that.
 

Tangled Up In Red

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Through Google Fi, we can get a 5A for $15 per month for two years, including device protection, and then gets an upgrade. We were paying more than $15 per month for our Pixel 3s. The Pixel 6 is $25 per month with no device protection.
Yeah, this is the choice we made. 5a 5g. Super pleased with the quality to value.
No complaints about the phone (it's been a couple of months), but no sd card support, iirc.
 

johnmd20

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What about an actual Pixel 5? The back fingerprint reader is great. No headphone jack, of course, but I've stopped caring about that.
I ordered a Pixel 6 and I'm a little nervous about the on screen scanner.

The back of the phone scanner is SO GREAT that Google literally gave up on Face ID, which was on the 4 and was poor, and went back to the fingerprint on the 5. The fingerprint on the back is better than Face ID even on the iPhone. So hopefully that isn't a big deal.

Otherwise, I'm psyched for the 6. It is supposed to arrive today.
 

darnedsox

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I don't know nuttin about this, so pardon me if I don't read through. Darling bride and I need new, and are (unless otherwise directed) switching from Verizon to CC. Looking at refurbed i11s. We mainly text and call....and look for directions driving. Good idea?? got a better oen for us old farts?
Bill
EDIT AFTERTHOUGHT:
We have had Samsung only up to this point. Is it a good idea to stick to what we know? Is there a simple learning curve to make a switch to Apple phones?
CC=Consumer Cellular . Sorry.
 
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Time to Mo Vaughn

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I don't know nuttin about this, so pardon me if I don't read through. Darling bride and I need new, and are (unless otherwise directed) switching from Verizon to CC. Looking at refurbed i11s. We mainly text and call....and look for directions driving. Good idea?? got a better oen for us old farts?
Bill
EDIT AFTERTHOUGHT:
We have had Samsung only up to this point. Is it a good idea to stick to what we know? Is there a simple learning curve to make a switch to Apple phones?
What is CC?
 

drbretto

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Interesting suggestion. Unfortunately it looks like you can't get it with 256GB internal, either. It's on the list to consider, though.
Oops, I missed that one.

Could your storage needs be met with online storage? It's 2.99/mo for 200gb of Google drive space. I have found that it's been more and more convenient to keep everything "on the cloud" anyway. I constantly use it to access files on any device and never have to worry about hardware failure.