Jump to content



Photo

Purchase advice wanted - new Android phone


  • Please log in to reply
19 replies to this topic

#1 moeburn

moeburn

    tracer bullet

  • Joined: 10-March 04
  • Location: Toronto, Ontario

Posted 03 October 2013 - 17:03

So the touchscreen on my 3 year old Motorola Atrix has a massive dead zone, and I'm getting a new phone.  I'm with Bell Canada and I have a few hundred $$ in credit, so I'm going to stick with Bell.  I also want to avoid everything but Android.  So my choices are available here:

http://www.bell.ca/M.../Android-phones

The price isn't really an issue, but of course keeping the price lower is better.  I love everything about my Atrix, and I'm sad to see it go, and yet I have had the worst imaginable experience with it; Camera won't focus, screen won't auto-rotate, touchscreen has a dead zone, audio jack works intermittently, Motorola froze the device at Android 2.3.2 and refused to release the display drivers so that the community could build their own Android 4 on it, and then Motorola threatened to sue the guy that managed to develop his own display drivers from scratch... But it was my first Android.  And I absolutely love that I can do absolutely anything I want with an Android; I rooted and unlocked the phone, installed a customized version of Cyanogen on it, I made it my phone.  So I'm sticking with Android.

 

My only requirements are that the phone be unlockable and rootable.  I was able to both unlock and root my Atrix by myself, using software and a USB cable, with no difficulty whatsoever, and I would hope my next Android would be the same.

 

Some things that I would like to see, but don't really need are;

  • A gyroscope sensor (the more accurate version of an accelerometer sensor),
  • an AMOLED/OLED screen (I've never even laid my eyes on an OLED screen before),
  • big-format (my atrix is small phone format, but I like the idea of those halfway-between-phone-and-tablet sized phones),
  • hardware buttons (my atrix has 4 touch buttons, and I'd like to keep it that way.  I do not like the idea of relying on the display driver and hardware to update the screen to show me the button to close a program.)

 

Things that make absolutely no difference to me, and I would not pay extra money for:

  • Thinness and weight (I don't care how thick my phone is, and I don't care how much it weighs),
  • fingerprint sensor (seems to be all the rage with the new iPhone, but my Atrix already has a fingerprint sensor!  And I never had any use for it!)
  • Shape, color, material, or any other purely aesthetic qualities.  I do not care how my phone looks.  If I had the money, time, and expertise, I would build my own ugly-ass DIY cell phone and put it in a clear plastic case, because I am a geek, not a walking fashion statement.

 

Thanks for any advice!

 

 




#2 Houtei

Houtei

    Neowinian

  • Joined: 02-November 07

Posted 03 October 2013 - 17:14

Well me personally after going down to the ATT store here and playing with all the phones I am sold on the LG G2 which i on the fence for either that or galaxy s4 and the note 3 but I am def going LG G2.  Have not checked about unlocking but i know its rooted already just do not know how easy. I would venture to guess its very easy. 

 

If unlocking and modding is the biggest thing to you then the galaxy s4 is for you because it takes a few seconds for that one lol



#3 shozilla

shozilla

    Neowinian Senior

  • Tech Issues Solved: 6
  • Joined: 11-January 09

Posted 03 October 2013 - 17:14

The following phones you could get one from:

 

- Mega

- Note 2 (or you could wait for Note 3 which is released soon)

- S4

- S3

- LG G2

 

That these phones can be rooted with root app is available now.



#4 Pupik

Pupik

    Neowinian Senior

  • Joined: 09-December 05

Posted 03 October 2013 - 17:16

Not familiar with Bell or their credit system. Are those credits for talking/data usage, or in total for the budget for the phone from the company too?

Do you have the option to import a phone yourself? Because from my recent findings, I'd highly recommend importing one from China.



#5 OP moeburn

moeburn

    tracer bullet

  • Joined: 10-March 04
  • Location: Toronto, Ontario

Posted 03 October 2013 - 17:28

Not familiar with Bell or their credit system. Are those credits for talking/data usage, or in total for the budget for the phone from the company too?

Do you have the option to import a phone yourself? Because from my recent findings, I'd highly recommend importing one from China.

 

Credit towards the entire phone, not the contract plan, but only towards phones in their stock, because they get sponsored from phone manufacturers.

 

I'm almost definitely going to get the Samsung Galaxy S III at the moment, please let me know if this is a bad idea.  All of their $0 phones are $200 without a contract.  The S III is listed as $50 with contract, or $800 without, so it seems like the best deal.  It's a large format phone, with a dual core, OLED screen, honestly it has everything i asked for, at a sweet price.  I think im gonna get it.



#6 Houtei

Houtei

    Neowinian

  • Joined: 02-November 07

Posted 03 October 2013 - 17:35

I will say this.  Coming from the atrix you will love the s3.   



#7 Growled

Growled

    Neowinian Senior

  • Tech Issues Solved: 1
  • Joined: 17-December 08
  • Location: USA

Posted 03 October 2013 - 17:39

I'm basis because I have a Note 2 and love it. You can't go wrong with anything in the S series.



#8 quick

quick

    Neowinian

  • Joined: 11-March 03
  • Location: Everywhere

Posted 03 October 2013 - 17:46

Credit towards the entire phone, not the contract plan, but only towards phones in their stock, because they get sponsored from phone manufacturers.

 

I'm almost definitely going to get the Samsung Galaxy S III at the moment, please let me know if this is a bad idea.  All of their $0 phones are $200 without a contract.  The S III is listed as $50 with contract, or $800 without, so it seems like the best deal.  It's a large format phone, with a dual core, OLED screen, honestly it has everything i asked for, at a sweet price.  I think im gonna get it.

 

Galaxy S3 is at least 1.5 years old now. You really want to be stuck with such an older phone for 2-3 years (not sure what your contract are there).

 

 What's the price for the S4? Canada's prices are always so much damn higher it's annoying. Here (Canadian living in USA) you can get the S4 for $50-$99 easy.

 

Problems with buying older phones:

 

  1. Updates, you might not see the latest version of android come out ever. Specs may limit it or Samsung can just decide its not worth bothering.
  2. Custom ROMs, even though its easy to say, oh well I just get a hacked version of the update for my phone and put it on it. Usually these custom ROMs are based off of manufacturer's ROMs so the older the ROM they are basing it off of the harder to make any new versions of android work onyour phone. Things like drivers, and bugs.
  3. Slow downs, newer apps come out that tax hardware more and more, and older CPUs/GPUs struggle to keep up with the latest apps sometimes.

etc...

 

Many more reasons not to get that phone. Galaxy S4 would be the oldest phone to get IMO. If you don't mind big phones, the LG G2 has a really nice screen and fastest available CPU (on Android), with a nice camera with optical image stabilization.

 

In order of old to new...

 

GS3

Note 2

------ Buy anything below this line....

GS4

LG G2

Note 3



#9 Pupik

Pupik

    Neowinian Senior

  • Joined: 09-December 05

Posted 03 October 2013 - 17:48

Credit towards the entire phone, not the contract plan, but only towards phones in their stock, because they get sponsored from phone manufacturers.

 

I'm almost definitely going to get the Samsung Galaxy S III at the moment, please let me know if this is a bad idea.  All of their $0 phones are $200 without a contract.  The S III is listed as $50 with contract, or $800 without, so it seems like the best deal.  It's a large format phone, with a dual core, OLED screen, honestly it has everything i asked for, at a sweet price.  I think im gonna get it.

Well, that's too bad. For less than 400 USD (you can find it for as low as $369 online), you could have bought this baby unlocked: http://www.xiaomi.com/en/mi3

 

It sure beats Galaxy S3 (and even S4 (got better battery on it and better cpu)) and there are even cheaper options out there, with nice power to them.



#10 shozilla

shozilla

    Neowinian Senior

  • Tech Issues Solved: 6
  • Joined: 11-January 09

Posted 03 October 2013 - 18:47

Galaxy S3 is at least 1.5 years old now. You really want to be stuck with such an older phone for 2-3 years (not sure what your contract are there).

 

 What's the price for the S4? Canada's prices are always so much damn higher it's annoying. Here (Canadian living in USA) you can get the S4 for $50-$99 easy.

 

Problems with buying older phones:

 

  1. Updates, you might not see the latest version of android come out ever. Specs may limit it or Samsung can just decide its not worth bothering.
  2. Custom ROMs, even though its easy to say, oh well I just get a hacked version of the update for my phone and put it on it. Usually these custom ROMs are based off of manufacturer's ROMs so the older the ROM they are basing it off of the harder to make any new versions of android work onyour phone. Things like drivers, and bugs.
  3. Slow downs, newer apps come out that tax hardware more and more, and older CPUs/GPUs struggle to keep up with the latest apps sometimes.

etc...

 

Many more reasons not to get that phone. Galaxy S4 would be the oldest phone to get IMO. If you don't mind big phones, the LG G2 has a really nice screen and fastest available CPU (on Android), with a nice camera with optical image stabilization.

 

In order of old to new...

 

GS3

Note 2

------ Buy anything below this line....

GS4

LG G2

Note 3

 

Doesn't matter how old it is.. Samsung phones will get Android 5.0 when it comes out. S3, S4, Note 2 will get Android 5.0 upgrade. Which I can get an quote from the site for you:

 

 

Samsung's Android 5.0 upgrades

Although Samsung is yet to officially confirm its Android 5.0 schedule, a SamMobile source is claiming to know which phones and tablets will be getting the upgrade. According to the source, the devices set to receive the upgrade are the Galaxy S4, Galaxy S3, Galaxy Note 2, Galaxy Note 8.0 and Galaxy Note 10.1. Do note that this claim was made before Google announced Android 4.4, so if it was ever correct, it's probably a lot less correct now.

 

 

Research first before you post anything.



#11 shozilla

shozilla

    Neowinian Senior

  • Tech Issues Solved: 6
  • Joined: 11-January 09

Posted 03 October 2013 - 18:55

I'm basis because I have a Note 2 and love it. You can't go wrong with anything in the S series.

 

That's right.  I have a Note 2 as well..   :)



#12 +sanke1

sanke1

    Member

  • Joined: 07-October 07

Posted 03 October 2013 - 19:01

Note 2 is not getting any update ever. The only update they will push out is the region locking one. 1 year has passed and it's still on Android 4.1
Samsung first said it's getting 4.2 then they said they are skipping directly to 4.3 and now there are reports of it directly getting 4.4

In the end they will not release anything as the phone will be more than a year old and most Androids are dead support wise once released.

I will only buy a Google phone if it's gonna be an Android. I had enough of this update shi*.

I might even think of iPhone next year if the screen size is 4.5-5 inches.

#13 quick

quick

    Neowinian

  • Joined: 11-March 03
  • Location: Everywhere

Posted 03 October 2013 - 19:18

Well if the S3 does get the 4.4 update (nevermind 5.0 which I highly doubt) it will be the last on the list, which means you could wait up to a year. Also it only has 1gb ram, it might run pretty sluggish down the road with these updates. 

 

My sister had an Atrix and motorola promised an update to 4.0 yet changed their minds 1 year later... so rumors or press released don't mean much especially if it takes a such a long time to get the update. You are at the manufacturer's mercy, and low on their priority list.

 

So whats the point by the time you get the update your contract is up lol. Doesn't make any sense to buy such old phones, other than financially of course.

 

If you have to pay a $300 to get the S4 instead of the the S3 for $50 thats another story. Did he say how much it would cost for an S4?



#14 OP moeburn

moeburn

    tracer bullet

  • Joined: 10-March 04
  • Location: Toronto, Ontario

Posted 04 October 2013 - 02:28

Well I ended up getting the Galaxy S3.  Mostly because it was so much cheaper, it really was the best deal in the house, but the guy at the cash at Bell (who was a very smart and upfront guy) said that he owned an S3 and switched to an S4, and personally prefers the S3 because of some performance issues he had with the s4, and not really anything new or better with it to make the performance issues worth it.

 

As for the fact that its an old phone, well so was my Atrix when I got it.  And Motorola locked us all at Android 2.3.2 for the Atrix.  Because they're *******.  But I believe Samsung has had a better track record with updating at least a stretch older than Motorola.  But ultimately all I felt like I was missing was a UI change, a few novelty features, and a handful of apps that I couldn't install that I wanted, because they required Android 4.0 and up.  But it was still a great phone, and I honestly loved it so much that I really just wanted to try and fix it and not get a new one.  But then I found out I had the credit at Bell :D

 

The guy at Bell warned me about unlocking to install a custom ROM that it would void the warranty, and something about "even if you change the number back, they can see that you've changed the number", not quite sure what he was talking about there, but how about rooting?  Is it still like it was with the Atrix, where you just use SuperOneClick, and if you need to send it in for warranty, you use the same program to unroot?  Because I have a 1 year warranty, and I think I'm gonna ride it out before I unlock it.



#15 Growled

Growled

    Neowinian Senior

  • Tech Issues Solved: 1
  • Joined: 17-December 08
  • Location: USA

Posted 04 October 2013 - 02:41

Note 2 is not getting any update ever. The only update they will push out is the region locking one. 1 year has passed and it's still on Android 4.1
Samsung first said it's getting 4.2 then they said they are skipping directly to 4.3 and now there are reports of it directly getting 4.4

In the end they will not release anything as the phone will be more than a year old and most Androids are dead support wise once released.
 

 

I honestly don't see the fuss over updates. I can run any app I need to and my phone works just fine. What is in an update that will make my phone that much more usable? I may feel differently in a year, but right now I'm with it like it is.