Thread Author (OP)
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Portland, Oregon
Device(s): Samsung Galaxy S4
Thanked 39 Times in 32 Posts
My smartphone story
I thought I would just make a post about my (almost) 3 years of Android phones. I'm just going to talk about my experiences, notable pros and cons of phones, things I've learned, and such.
So, when I started with Verizon in late 2008, I had one of those popular ENV2's. It sucked. Seemed nice when I got it but I replaced it 5 times due to different problems, ending with an inner screen not working when I walked out of the Verizon store with my last refurbished replacement. In October 2009 I walked into a Verizon store and saw my future phone......................it took my breath away...............the Motorola Droid!
Finally, in June 2010, I got the original Motorola Droid. I wanted the Incredible since it was out by then, but nobody had any, and it was weeks of waiting to order it. I was very happy. We didn't even have a router and Wi-Fi at home yet. I Googled everything I needed to know about it, and went crazy downloading apps and getting to know it.
I only replaced it once, due to a bad headphone jack. I carried it naked most of the time I had it, and besides some scratches, and dust under the glass (annoying), it was solid as a rock. I dropped it on concrete and even though the battery cover and battery came off, it held up.
I had read about rooting, and learned lots about what it meant. I found out terms like "kernels, rom's, flashing, boot in recovery.....etc". I dared not try it myself.
The time came when a friend rooted it and installed Cyanogen 7 (GB based). I loved all that it did, but it was too little too late for the hardware. Then it looked like it wasn't charging sometimes, so I got a new phone.
In January 2012, I got my HTC Rezound. I was so amazed at how beautiful the screen was, the phone was so fast! With being new to 4GLTE, and a quick vacation out of town I left for the next day, plus NPS (new phone syndrome) made it die constantly, plus the battery was a major issue as I found out very quickly. I loved the Beats, both the earbuds and the software. The only problems I had were the crappy battery life (on Wi-Fi, with 5 hours of light use it would be at 60% on the stock battery), and the screen that wasn't viewable in sunlight (and slow to respond to touch when playing "Draw Something".
I quickly bought two extended batteries from a Verizon store during the 50% sale, and I got a charger for them also. It made the thing a brick, but it was tolerable. I also loved the camera, it was so sharp with vibrant colors. The form factor was nice, and it was easy to hold.
I was happy, and intented to keep it for a long time...... but that quickly changed.
Then, I started to read on here and other places that in the summer of 2012 that Verizon would stop grandfathering people with unlimited data. I had gotten a ghost line to get the Rezound, and I had an upgrade available. I pulled the trigger in June of 2012 to get my upgrade.
I got the Razr Maxx, and wow! I was amazed at how light it was. It felt like I was holding styrofoam. It also had a much lower screen resolution but richer colors. I was ok with it. It was more responsive and viewable in sunlight. The battery life was amazing, and I was amazed at how it compared to the Rezound's stock battery. For a comparison, I had tried using Pandora at work for 5 hours straight with the screen off. The Rezound's stock battery was down to 1% after those 5 hours. The Razr Maxx was only down to 60% in the same time period! WOW! The only major issue I had early on was the data signal being lost. I got my SIM card replaced twice and then the phone replaced with a new one (it was within 14 days). Then one more SIM card, and no more data issues.
One day I finally got Ice Cream Sandwich! Months later I got Jelly Bean! I factory reset each time and therefore had no issues. Wow that made it so much better. I also loved the macro camera capabilities. Nothing rivaled it except the Droid DNA. However, there was one issue that kept coming back. It had a bad headphone jack. I had never abused my phone, and rarely did the headphone cord snag. I used it at work with earbuds ( I work outside and move around a lot) and in my car. I would have to jiggle the end of the cord to play in my car for it to work, and eventually it would stop working. I got a total of 3 warranty replacements of the exact same phone for this issue. I became a pro at activating the refurb replacement, setting the phone up completely in less than 2 hours, and sending in the old one in.
Finally, I got the bright idea to try my luck. I heard stories of people who had elevated their complaint and gotten to choose their replacement phone and not had to get the same one again. Up to this point, I had always gone to my favorite Verizon store and had them order it. This time, I called them. I told them what's going on, and asked for something else. The guy said no before he transferred me to Tech Support, and I asked that lady. She said I could get the Droid HD!
So, my Droid HD came. It was the first time I had gotten a free upgrade for a warranty replacement. I immediately saw how much more power efficient it was. It was also faster, and seemed thicker and heavier. It would last longer on the battery at idle, and almost as good under heavy use with the screen constantly on. However, there were a few issues. One, the macro camera setting was gone, and despite all efforts, it never did as well as the Maxx. Also, with ICS/JB buttons, I really missed the options button. I now had a Home button, Back button, and Task Manager button. Why didn't they just add the options button instead and let me hold down the Home button to access the task manager? Stupid I think. Also, the automatic screen brightness wasn't very accurate. The phone seemed to be fooled by the direction from which the light was coming. It just didn't do well. I also didn't like the Led notification light. Instead of what most phones have, this one has a plastic piece that diffuses the light so it's impossible to see unless the room I'm in is quite dark. In my opinion, the LED on my first DROID was the best.
Anhow, then I got an idea. I went and got a Galaxy S4 full price on the installment plan. Why? Well besides the fact I simply wanted to get it, and that is't not 6+ months old when I get it this time, and that Samsungs seem to last longer and have more goodies than what I've been getting, I just did.
I love this phone. What I noticed is the bright screen that has great accurate colors. It's SUPER fast. The 2GB of ram really helps. No lag at all. Also, it has more case choices since it's not Verizon exclusive. The camera is super sharp, including macro. It has the smoothness and polish of IOS with the fun of Android, no wonder Samsung is so popular. I'm still getting used to the volume buttons and power button being on opposite sides. I'm adjusting to the physical home button, since I've never had one other than the short time I had an iPod touch. I can't seem to get voice activated texting to work, but I'll figure it out eventually. I wish there was on option to choose LED notification colors (built in), and not have numbers on the keyboard constantly. I've played around with other third party keyboards on other phones and may again. My options button is back!
Anyhow, I'm on my 5th Android phone in less than 3 years. Excessive? Probably. NO argument there. I love Android, and the Original Droid really drove that home for me. There has been so much progress since then. I'm glad I stayed away from some of the phones like the Thunderbolt, Galaxy Nexus, Incredible 4G, and Galaxy S3. (the last two on the list weren't out in June 2012 before the unlimited data grandfathering cutoff, so I didn't want to buy something I can't try out first)
What's next? Who knows! I'm not getting anything else until this is paid off at the earliest. I'm selling my Razr HD to a friend on Verizon who uses 100 GB a month of data (Netflix, dang you!) and can't afford to lose her unlimited data. It's a win-win for both of us! I don't see a phone with 2GB of ram, quad core processor, and 1080P resolution becoming completely incapable of doing what I need within a couple years.
If your best choices brought you to where you are and you don't like that place
, then remember it won't be the same type of choices that will get you out.