Are Smartphones Worth It?General


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  1. Camslam

    Camslam Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    Hello all. First I want to thank everyone that posts valuable information to this forum. I just found it a couple of days ago and wow, there is a lot of information.

    My question revolves around the idea of getting a smart phone in the first place. I'm due for an upgrade with Verizon in a few weeks and I have been trying to decide what phone to go with. The Droid Eris is what I am leaning towards because from what I have seen, for the price (free at Wirefly and others), it looks like it is tough to beat. I would be coming from an LG ENV2, which has been a great phone, but this will be my first foray into "smart phones".

    My priorities for the phone would be:
    1. An actual phone that does well with calling functions.
    2. A music/media/video player that will allow for quality viewing of each of those mediums.
    3. A quality experience browsing the web.
    4. Miscellaneous additions (apps) that will enhance both the use and fun of the phone.

    After reading a number of threads and posts, this is kind of what I have come up, but still have questions on.

    -Smart phones definitely open a new world to cell phone use as they are basically little major computers in your hand. But I have read a number of people talking about issues, shut downs, glitches, reboots, upgrades, etc.. that have happened to their Droid Eris and other smart phones. For someone that is fairly proficient with a computer and technology, are the problems encountered with Smart Phones that big of an issue? Thinking about "rooting" my phone and messing with the operating system and all that jazz, get me a bit nervous, as at the end of the day, I still need it to perform as a phone. (Does that make sense?)

    -From what I have read, it seems the Droid Eris is actually preferred to the Moto Droid, by at least a majority of the comments, reviewers, and posters from multiple websites. Would most agree with that assessment? Are the items that are great about the Eris, going to make it worth the wait for one of the upcoming HTC smart phones, since they will have those positives possessed by the Eris, and probably much more? (HTC EVO or Incredible)

    -How difficult is it to actually perform many of the actions that are found on this forum to improve your phone? Is it easy to "brick" or ruin your phone, or do most of the processes either work themselves out or a solution can be found and used? If you do screw up your phone, does Verizon rake you over the coals for it?

    I know these are fairly broad questions, I'm just trying to get a handle on what kind of jump I'll be making by going with a "smart phone".

    Thanks in advance for any comments and information.
     

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  2. divedivedivecfl

    divedivedivecfl Member

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    No matter which one you choose... once you have a smartphone, you'll never want to go back.
     
  3. avacomputers

    avacomputers Well-Known Member

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    That is so true. I will neve use anything else.
     
  4. Camslam

    Camslam Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    Yeah, I would agree with that sentiment, much like once you have keyless remote entry or power windows and locks on a car, you'll never go back to a car without them.

    I guess my questions are more wondering what I'm in for maintenance, technical needs, and overall frustrations.

    Any thoughts?
     
  5. OfTheDamned

    OfTheDamned The Friendly Undead VIP Member

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    First, welcome to the forum.

    Second......

    Smartphones really can be a hybrid between a netbook, mp3 player, digital camera, personal assistant and cell phone. With that hybrid you have to consider the fact that not everything part is going to be as good as the original. You will not get the same browsing experience as you would from a netbook or the same photos as you would from a digital camera. The sound quality will not be that of a great mp3 player and unfortunately the cell phone will not perform as well as a regular phone will. These are trade offs for having an all-in-one device that can do a little of everything. Smartphones really can be the definition of "Jack of all trades and master of none." Each user has to determine if the trade offs are worth it for them.

    As far as the Eris goes, I will tell you the same thing I would tell anyone else. Go play with it at a store. Compare it to the other phones there and see if it lives up to the hype you have read about as well as your own expectations. I can tell you what a great phone it is for what I do with it all day long, but that doesn't really matter. You will most likely not be doing what I am.

    There are other/better/newer phones coming in the future, but there always will be. If having the latest and greatest is the most important thing to you, then wait a little bit and see if you like the newer stuff. Since this is your first smartphone, I would say you are probably pretty safe in getting any of the Android devices, but if you are in need of something that runs at supersonic speed you may want to hold off. However, if you always wait for the next phone, you will never get one.

    Bricking the phone is always a possibility when you are doing stuff like loading leaked OSs or rooting the phone. There are people here that, by their own admissions, are computer illiterate that have done both.

    Hmmm this is my two thousandth post. I talk way too much.
     
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  6. tuahogary

    tuahogary Well-Known Member

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    Just so you know, you dont neccesarily have to root your smartphone once you get it. Most people are fine with their stock OS and as long as you know how to keep the system clean i.e. deleting unused files, installing apps you only need, your phone will run as smooth as silk. I know all the talk about bugs and glitches worry you but if you dont tamper with the system, nothing will go wrong. I personally dont root my phone and I leave it to the phone manufacturer to know whats best to tweak my phone. I only use task manager occasionally but I dont let it automatically control my phone (to prevent it from potentially doing something wrong) and maybe some apps that provide additional settings but again all the phone's processes are monitored and controled by me. That way if something does go wrong, you can track back to what you've done.

    Always remember all phones come with a limited set of feature whether or not that keeps you happy. If you try to force it to do more, there is always a chance of screwing up.

    Anyways, good luck in finding your new phone. Just make sure its Android ;)
     
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  7. smacky

    smacky Banned

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    The Eris has some pretty outdated technology and newer, better, faster phones are coming out across all carriers.

    Since this is your first smart phone, the Eris seems just fine. It just depends how often you use it and what for. Moreso the former since simply web-browsing for a few minutes on this phone can knock off about 5% of the battery.

    If you like to customize and mod your phone (and I'm not talking about the teddy bear with a heart keychain, I'm talking getting into the core of your phone and switching things around to your liking) then the Eris is NOT for you. The scene is too small and the phone is neglected by most hackers. There are some busting their asses trying to figure things out, but most Android phones are rooted before they are even released. The Eris got it four months after its release, which in technology terms, is a long time.

    If you want something simple, kinda introductory in nature and features, as well as price, go for the Eris as it is the cheapest and works pretty well. If you get it for under $75, you get a lot more than what you paid for. It's just not a cutting edge phone and expect it to be ridiculously outdated by the end of 2010. If you don't care, which you don't have to, then it's fine and get it.

    If you want something to last you, features and technology-wise, for the entirety of your two-year contract that you're about to sign, wait a few weeks and get the Incredible, or the Nexus One. Moreso the former on this one as well. It will be pricey, but shouldn't be more than $199, as many reports have indicated.


    I too came from an EnV (the original one, though) and it was an awesome phone. The Eris adds a good amount more frustration when things don't work, but if you like something for quick reference, either by using the web or an app, the Eris is definitely a good trade off.

    Note: I mentioned the expensive Incredible. Sell your EnV 2 for $100 and your Incredible is now also $100. And that would be awesome, were a geek to hear of this.
     
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  8. Camslam

    Camslam Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    I hear what you are saying about it being my first smart phone.

    When I look at what I've had, going to that type of phone, it will be a HUGE improvement in options, apps, function, and layout, regardless what I go with. :)

    I would be interested to know where I could sell the ENV2 for $100? Any recommendations on that would be appreciated.

    Also, as I've looked at the upcoming phones, particularly what is rumored for the Incredible or the EVO, they look pretty sweet, but seem to be just "souped up" versions of the Eris. Maybe I'm wrong about that, and I'd be the first to admit not knowing the particulars of performance that could be achieved by having a bigger processor, more ROM, RAM, and whatever else comes with the newer phones. What worries me is having a "super computer" in my hand like the phones I've mentioned and then having it go bust like computers can and do.

    I know that is where you get into backing things up and such, but when it comes down to it, I primarily will use the phone to communicate, through calls and text, and don't want to have to worry about it not working, or being glitchy, or getting ruined by something that gets into it, i.e. virus, etc..

    Who knows, this is all good information and maybe I'll just wait and see what comes out in the next couple of months, the EVO is supposed to be here this summer anyways.
     
  9. smacky

    smacky Banned

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    No one can speak for the Incredible or N1 on the VZW since they aren't out yet, but the Eris is not the best, in terms of not having bugs. It has a good amount and people end up compensating instead of fixing them. Dialer lag, battery life, etc. You'll see tons of threads on problems and very few are just "fix and forget it."

    The specs on the Incredible and N1 are relatively the same. The processor is twice as fast:

    Eris: 528 Mhz, I think? Off by a tens place, maybe.
    Incredible, Nexus One, EVO are on the Snapdragon processor, over 1 Ghz.

    The difference will be profound. The difference between a few Mhz is apparent when the Droid is compared to the Eris. Doubling that would be just ridiculous.

    Higher processor speed and more RAM will not alter how you make calls, but it will alter how quickly you can move through your phone. If you use it like a laptop, using apps left and right, running games and programs, it will be imperative to have the power to have them all running at once without bogging down (RAM) and then for the processor to sit down and work through each program and command efficiently (processor or CPU).

    If it's just for making calls, perhaps a smartphone isn't for you. It will most definitely add a minimum of $30 to your bill with the data plan. You may be able to get what you need to get done with your EnV2 with a $10 data plan that VZW also offers.

    I kind of threw a ballpark price for the EnV2. The orginal EnV goes for $119 new, unopened and about $70 on eBay. I thik $100 will be reasonable for your EnV2. Hell, $70 would be good too. I was surprised when I tried selling my EnV how much they could command. I was thinking around $50 until a friend told me otherwise.
     
  10. fungalMonk

    fungalMonk Well-Known Member

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    I came to the Droid Eris from an Env2 as well (and had no idea I could sell it for much, honestly, but that's ok, 'cause it's now my backup alarm clock). You'll find glitches and whatnot with a smart phone, but you'll also find the smarts.

    I love the smarts. I'd hate to go back to my old phone as anything other than a backup alarm clock now. The possibilities that open are enough for me, so much so that it took me ages (so to speak... had my Eris for not quite two months now) to finally root and upgrade. The Android Market alone can keep you interested for weeks with the old stock 1.5 Android software. If and when you do get the itch, we do have some awesome people working on the Eris -- I didn't root and install 2.1 until we had a way to revert to the stock install. It'll only get better, if even only marginally.

    To address what our Moto Droid brethren could say to counter, I've still never been interested in even playing with that phone. It's not an attractive piece of hardware, if you ask me, and HTC's Sense UI is truly a nice bit of icing on the Android cake we all get to eat. I hear it has many of the same minor issues we deal with on the Eris, but the most frequent thing I hear in either case is some vague complaint about lag. Maybe it takes perspective, but I don't mind if something I keep in my pocket takes a few seconds to load something the computers I grew up with would never ever be able to load, period.

    So patience is a factor, in terms of satisfaction and growth potential. I'm hooked on my Eris and I've apparently turned at least a couple of Facebook friends onto it as well. I've heard no complaints from them, apart from one that I lived too far away now to help her do "obscene" things to her phone. And by that, we're just talking root/update, not the Droid vibrator apps that my wife was compelled to check out for the sake of fun.

    And that's what it boils down to -- fun. That's tough to gauge, but I think the Eris is a very "fun" phone in any number of ways, but it does indeed still let me make phone calls, send texts, and whatnot. My Env2 was neat, but not nearly as much fun with its inherent limitations.

    I've not looked back, only forward.
     
  11. carmendiva

    carmendiva Well-Known Member

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    i could never see myself going back down to a non-smart phone ever again.
    It's like...I've tasted heaven and I dont want to leave

    Seriously though

    I like how there are different types of smart phones
    where basically anyone can use them.

    Phones like the eris are fairly simple for even the most technological challenged people
    even the iphone is very simple

    phones like Blackberry are a little more complicated for some people to understand and actually get a feel for but i just like how all the types of smart phones meet some sort of niche

    the eris to me is basically a dumb phone that happens to have smart phone capabilities...in my honest opinion it is one of the weakest smart phones I have ever seen however it bridges the gap between dumbphone to smart phone
     
  12. Camslam

    Camslam Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    There's the rub so to speak, for the money (free), it looks to me like the Eris is tough to beat. Even the HTC Hero on Sprint is $99 at the cheapest right now. Droid can be had for $49 on a renewal contract, but it doesn't seem to be incredibly more popular than the Eris.

    When I look at everything you can get in a free phone, I don't know that I could really complain much. I'm more worried about having something that is more problematic than it needs to be. But I would imagine if these phones didn't keep people fat and happy, they wouldn't be using them, right? :)

    I'll have to see what the costs are for the other phones in a couple of months and then go from there. For now though, the Eris looks like it is one of the best deals for a smart phone out there, if not the best, but who knows?
     
  13. alprazolam

    alprazolam Well-Known Member

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    I want to add that battery life is going to be an adjustment for you. You may think you have just walked into a terrible phone because you're gonna charge it for the first time and play with the phone constantly. The battery will die in just a few hours and you may be wondering what you got yourself into. Just know that more power = battery drains faster and you won't be disappointed. Some people feel that it is ridiculous to have to charge your battery midday but not everyone deals with that issue. It will come down to your signal strength and phone usage. Under "normal" usage, most people get 12-16 hours.

    To me, it is completely worth it.
     
  14. carmendiva

    carmendiva Well-Known Member

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    I honestly don't think the eris is more popular than the droid
    the 7000 some comments on verizon website vs the few comments on the eris and not just on the website....The droid is ugly but it is a more popular phone then the eris is

    Aside from the people i referred to the eris, i have actually never seen anybody with this phone since it came out
     
  15. AdrianC14

    AdrianC14 Well-Known Member

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    Yea I don't know anyone that has the Droid Eris other than my Aunt because we got our Droid Eris during the buy one get one free promo. I mostly see people with Droids.
     
  16. carmendiva

    carmendiva Well-Known Member

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    And I've seen literally one commercial...twice
    about the eris and that was way back around christmas....

    I've just started seeing Nexus one.
    This guy in my psych class has one.

    It's uglier in person lol
     
  17. grvthang

    grvthang Well-Known Member

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    My friend , there is NO smartphone that satisfies your #1 priority:
    1. An actual phone that does well with calling functions.

    It's been that way since cell phones first came out - manufacturers keep adding features without any regard to improving their basic function: as PHONES. And it's our (the users) fault for letting them get away with it - we're too busy being blown away by the bells and whistles ("Wow - this bootleg 2.1 OS is terrific! Now, if I could just send and receive phone calls...").

    I always say this - imagine someone developing a "smartcar" that can fly in the air, and go underwater. But it can't make left turns on the ground, and the brakes don't always stop the vehicle.

    And that's enough of my griping for today. ;)
     
  18. smacky

    smacky Banned

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    The Nexus One has the same amount of faults as the Eris. It must be an HTC thing. Just read an article a few hours ago on some guy's "real-life" use of the N1 as a GPS on a trip. Said it overheated, phone would freeze and lock up, reboot, etc. Sounds like an Eris on a bad day to me.
     
  19. Camslam

    Camslam Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    This thread:

    http://androidforums.com/htc-droid-eris/59508-battery-draining-insanely-fast-help.html

    Has an interesting question posted as the following:

    This goes right in line with my overall question of whether or not "smart phones" are worth it. If it gets to the point of not using options that you bought the phone for in the first place, what's the use of having the phone?

    Does anyone know which smartphone has the longest rated battery?
     
  20. AdmSuvvuk

    AdmSuvvuk Well-Known Member

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    Your original question is it worth it? And the answer to that is *maybe*. It depends on what you want to do with your phone. If all you do is text and make calls then probably not. Even limited email is acceptable on most feature phones. If you want to use email a lot, then yes it is worth it. If you want quick access to the web and you want it to be a pleasant experience then yes, it is worth it. If you want to use corporate (exchange) email, then it's necessary. So the best way to answer your question is for you to decide what you need your phone to do. I had to go back to a feature phone for a while because I couldn't afford the data plan, and I felt like I had an arm cut off.

    I don't know the answer to your next question of which has the longest rated battery life. The Eris has poor battery life with the stock battery, but I suspect it is probably median over all. Here is one article on battery life:
    Smartphones with long battery life - CNET Reviews
     
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  21. W4LLY

    W4LLY Well-Known Member

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    I will never NOT have a smartphone. *clings*
     
  22. alprazolam

    alprazolam Well-Known Member

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    I don't turn all of my settings off and I use my phone pretty regularly with texting, checking emails, checking the weather, looking at the news, and making bluetooth calls. Most of the time, bluetooth is used while I am driving and I have the phone plugged in and I do turn off bluetooth when not in use. Other than that...it all syncs every 5 minutes and my 3G stays on. I still get 12-16 hours per day.
     
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  23. smacky

    smacky Banned

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    Smartphones are relatively new. Were laptops able to go 12 hours on a single charge like netbooks do now? That's 20 years after they were first introduced. Find the longest last battery and I'll show you a dumbphone. The N1 has shitty battery, the iPhone has shitty battery, and the Eris, Droid, Hero, etc. are no different. Learn to live with it.

    I leave 3G on all the time. Even when I sleep and charge it. Location is on full blast so I can see myself shitting in my bathroom if I wanted to. And my phone now lasts the whole day.

    It sucks that you have to make SOME sacrifices. But if you're expecting a phone with the reliability of a pacemaker, you don't need a smartphone.

    My EnV, running on a 2.5 year old battery, would get about 3 days of use on one cycle. I didn't use the web, but I texted a lot more back then. Three days.

    Think about it.
     
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  24. W4LLY

    W4LLY Well-Known Member

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    Smacky, I come from an EnV as well, and that's all it was used for...texting and an occasional call.

    This is also why blackberries are favored by buisness people. You don't have to worry about your battery draining. Want to know why? BLACKBERRIES ARE BORING. THEY DONT DO ANYTHING. You check e-mails...and text message, and that stupid fricking BBM...that's it.

    Our smart phones are fun. iPhone, N1, Eris, ect. They do SO much, the interface is great, no physical keyboards, ect.
     
  25. smacky

    smacky Banned

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    Well, BlackBerries still enjoy more market share than does Android. People our age are not going through a revolution and going straight to Android. BB OS still serves some function that's why people still buy it. If there's a better OS out there, It is merely subjective.
     

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