General Discouraged and depressed. No good options anymore. What is there to do anymore?

Discussion in 'Android Lounge' started by codezer0, Oct 27, 2016.

  1. codezer0

    codezer0 Well-Known Member
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    This has been something that's been on my mind for several days. But now that i'm currently on medical leave from work, and not really been able to do much, it's been something that's been nagging me to think about, and wanting to at least vent, if not gain some perspective from others. Apologies in advance if this gets wordy, but I'd be doing a disservice to you and myself if I "tl;dr" this. Anyone looking for that, well... chances are you're not going to have much to contribute to this, anyway.

    Even from the beginning of smartphones showing up, Android appealed to me for the fact that it seemed more designed for power users from the beginning. Things like removable batteries, easy rooting and recovery, and having pretty solid and even budget phones having excellent options for external storage and the like just meant that there were many great options to tune and tweak to my heart's content. And for a while there, if I needed to, or wanted to, upgrade my phone, the benefits were real, tangible, measurable, and usually led to a greater experience. However, lately, it just seems like the Android ecosystem has somehow lost its way.

    First, it was things like how a build of the Facebook app not only tried to make itself startup with the phone, but effectively replace the OS of the phone entirely. Then there were things like Samsung's Knox, which were marketed to be toward making the phones secure. Then we started seeing high end phones sold without the ability to replace the battery at all, culminating with the recent reports of exploding Samsung phones. We have many a Sony phone that unless you had some specific sub-model, has no avenue to root whatsoever. Then we have google pushing Android OS updates that basically block or brick the access to any form of external storage whatsoever, which still boggles my mind. And the more recent attempts by google to basically bury Project Ara harder and faster than - to put a parallel to it - when the WWE buries any up and coming star by making them lose to John Cena. :(

    To put it in perspective... here at home I basically have two phones left. One is a galaxy note 3... that for whatever reason, because it's not carrier locked (SM-N900), all the ROM and mod makers pretty much ignored. Xposed won't even try to make a version of their framework that would even work on any Samsung phones rocking Android 5 or better. And that phone certainly has the guts to handle Android 6 in my opinion. But no such luck for it from anywhere. Couple this with it lacking any of the LTE bands, I had to start looking elsewhere after a year... even after basically buying it new for ~$530 + another $65 for the Zero Lemon battery that only seemed to get me two days of battery use compared to anywhere from four to six days like I got with prior phones.

    More recently, I have been using a Moto X Pure that I paid $400 for on April 2016; I hated having to spend that much on an NRB, even then. on the software front, it's been great to basically have a rom that is rooted from the beginning without any companion apps required, and between Xposed and such, it's performed very well, usually. At the time, I chose it because it was the only phone that had all the US carrier bands supported, and external storage support via the SD card slot.

    That said, I can't say that my experience with the phone has been anything but smooth. OEM charger pretty much stopped quick charging altogether, and kept getting slower and slower, forcing me to spend more money on both a new wall charger, car charger, and a power bank for it since of course, the stupid non-removable battery that I have always loathed. To say it's been a misadventure is an understatement. I've so far had several USB cables ruined that I'd tried using for charging the phone, and just like the Xperia T2 Ultra that I used to have, I would have fits where it would basically refuse to charge. Only, rather than it popping up a dialogue box telling me "oh, I can't charge anymore", it would simply get hot, drain the battery pack and not actually increase in %age. Even though this would imply some kind of hardware fault, Motorola wouldn't do a damn thing about any of it. So worse than I initially feared, having to have a power bank is basically costing me more money in having to frequently replace usb cables because they all keep getting broken. And then of course it never fully charges the phone, so it just drains itself faster and I'm then having to juggle between what to charge when I do get home, because I only have the one quick charging port for both the phone and pack, and attempting to daisy-chain (wall charger -> power pack -> phone ) just leaves the power bank completely flat and it refusing to charge at all, which then makes it not want to deal any current to the phone. :mad: All this, and even with what should have been good conditioning and training, and I damn sure don't get anywhere near the "all day battery" that these phone makers tout and toot about on their advertising pages. Not ever. Even the best of days, GSam basically says I only get about five actual hours of screen use with this stupid moto x pure (usually only getting 3~4), where I was getting anywhere from 11~20 with the Note 3 + ZL battery.

    At least with the extended battery, even if it took longer per charging cycle, it was for sure charged, and would last me for at least a solid day, if not more.

    Ever since I started buying phones outright, I usually at least tried to keep a mind of having "one good alternative", so that if something happened catastrophically and suddenly to whichever I was using then, I still had one I could be happy with if I had to replace it. I used to be able to always have a model in mind in that respects. However, it just seems like this era, there literally is no such thing, from any manufacturer, or any OS that I could see.

    Apple's finally got phones with full carrier band support as of the 6S, and while the MSRP of the 7/plus is a fair chunk less, the NRB and the lack of headphone jack are two things I cannot ignore or abide by.
    I haven't ever ruled out Windows phones entirely, at least on the OS portion. The 550 that my fiancee insisted on having has not been bad - removable battery, SD storage support, excellent pricing. But neither Microsoft nor anyone making windows phones make one that support all the carriers like I'd prefer.
    Android presently, just feels like staring into a discombobulated mess right now.

    I just want an actual power users' phone again. One I can then actually put an extended battery on like I did before. Despite google's hate boner for any non-cloud storage, I know that with an SD slot, I have a ready-made way to do an image backup and quickly recover if either had something bork spontaneously or just plain bit rot :eek: and be back up and running usually within 5~10 minutes. As far as the bands go... that's more or less stemmed from my experiences with the carriers in general. I've had so many instances of basically phones that used to work well just suddenly not able to get a signal anymore, and being fed up enough to want to switch, only to be forcibly delayed because now I have to buy another phone to do it. Having one that at least supports most of the carriers (if not all) enables me the power to walk away if a carrier wants to be a brat to me.

    Looking at the Android landscape now... there just seems to be literally nobody attempting to make anything that meets this criteria. At this point, it's like no phone anywhere seems to be meeting this need. Not just none on android, no phone period. And they want us to spend $800+ to basically rent a flagship phone that will just go flat within a year.:mad: Even more aggravating if say, the service suddenly gets awful, and I want to switch carriers, but now have to buy a replacement phone for the new carrier because the existing phone I invested in both doesn't work and won't even fetch 1/5th of the value I paid for it.

    This Moto more or less has only justified my prejudice toward phones with non-removable batteries, because it has been doing exactly the same thing every other phone I've ever had with an NRB do. Refuse to charge, get hot and drain other power but not actually charge, drain too fast, need to be plugged in at least twice a day... and now not only having to juggle extra baggage with the power bank, but then basically having to buy replacement USB cables that get ruined or smashed when I have to stow it in my pockets.

    So, I guess if I had to make a tl;dr version? Hating this NRB phone. Can't justify spending more than $200 for an NRB phone because I know they won't last. If it exceeds $200 USD, I consider it an investment. But nobody seems to be making a phone at any price that has the ability to replace the battery (with an extended capacity version), with the carrier bands, and support for external storage.
     

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  2. zuben el genub

    zuben el genub Well-Known Member
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    Sorry you are having so much trouble with the MXPE. I also have one, bought it as supposedly dinged on the back from Amazon.

    So far, no problems, but I don't use the phone for long times at a stint as entertainment watchers and gamers do. The worst is when I'm arguing with Samsung Print and the Samsung Printer. Just using GPS and astronomy apps which need no connection don't seem to be as bad. Same for nature apps.

    I'd like to see a phone with the SD card, and the battery. The only one listed is the new LG20. I don't trust LG. The TVs snoop. Google is bad enough. I wish that some of the Chinese phones would have TMO bands. I loved that Oppo. I'd buy another. I even miss the Oppo forums. They were truly international. You got a lot of different viewpoints. I'm tired of US marketing. They never bother with full specs or even some of the other questions. It's got a great screen! You can use FB messenger! Good for Pokemon!!!

    I hated the Nexus 4. That's an LG phone. It just never felt right and it was a pain so I rooted it.

    BTW - I had a Nokia C3 which was a EU phone. I didn't need data, and didn't have to buy it at the time. If I wanted an answer about any part of this phone - I had to use Nokia India. The US version of Nokia help was clueless and smug.
     
  3. codezer0

    codezer0 Well-Known Member
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    Didn't even know anything about the TVs snooping. Then again, not really interested in a smart TV, either. V10 has a zerolemon battery for it finally, and v20 would be easier if they get one up for it to deal with it. But all i find is that lg still only wants to make carrier locked phoned with only the bands that the carrier uses. And last I checked, one cannot just swap the radio chip out of one for another.

    Why did google have to neuter project ara? It would have solved this stuff so much earlier and easier. :mad:
     
  4. Davdi

    Davdi Well-Known Member
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    I've got the original Moto G with NRB. When I'd had it for around 9 months it stopped charging properly, so I returned under warranty to Virgin Media, they factory reset it and returned it saying the micro USB port was damaged. Since then it's behaved itself perfectly, charging to full, and a charge lasts around a day and a half. Note, I'm not a screen junkie, it gets used for actual voice calls and a few texts, gps and the camera.
    If you haven't yet, try a factory reset.
     
  5. chanchan05

    chanchan05 The Doctor
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    Maybe it's just your particular way of handling it. My Note 2 is still rocking the original battery and lasts 2 days on standby.
     
  6. codezer0

    codezer0 Well-Known Member
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    Another reason why I want a phone I can put an extended battery on.

    Besides, none of this also doesn't answer the fact that since having to be on an NRB phone again, that all it's doing is basically wrecking all my USB cables to connect it to its stupid power bank when I do need it. Just so it can refuse to charge and burn up both batteries at the same time. :mad::thinking:
     
  7. Rxpert83

    Rxpert83 Dr. Feelgood
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    After having 64GB SD cards on my previous phones, and since moving to Nexus - I realized very quickly I didnt actually /need/ all that crap I was carrying around with me before. I was just doing it because I could. I moved to a 32 GB nexus 5, 32 GB nexus 6, and am currently rocking a 32 GB nexus 6P - of the 24.17 GB available to me on the internal storage, more than half of that is unused. I've adapted, and I have no intention of spending more money for more GB on a future phone.

    On the extended battery front - with quick charge I don't find I need it. Theres a charger at my work desk and a few around the house. Plop it on there for a bit at a time and I don't have to worry about it. In the event I'll be away for a day or two - I have a 20,000 mAh Anker external battery I can toss in a bag and be worry free once again. Its also nice that I don't have to buy a whole new case because a bulky extended battery necessitates it.

    As far as other tweaking we used to have to do - I love that I don't need to anymore. I still unlock/root, but my amount of apps I actually use with root can be counted on one hand. I could easily go without it, and that is GREAT.

    Androids grown up.
     
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  8. codezer0

    codezer0 Well-Known Member
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    Yea, I don't work at an office. I don't have the access to an outlet for about sixteen hours out of the day. So with a powerbank, whereas a phone with an extended battery would still take up only a single pocket, I basically have to set aside a minimum of three pockets for the phone, a power bank, and another USB cable to get broken, again. In the space of two months, I've had both the USB cables the power bank came with, and about four extra usb cables I've had laying around ruined.

    Quick charge doesn't matter if there's nowhere to charge to begin with.

    Nowadays we get more ads than ever. Ads in email. ads in apps. ads in the browser because chrome refuses to support extensions like uBlock origin. Xposed is indispensable to me now because I pretty much use its added modules pretty regularly.
     
  9. mikedt

    mikedt 你好
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    I ruled out Windows Phone sometimes last year, ever since it died slow and silently in this country(China). I was actually in the Jinan flagship Microsoft Store yesterday, and they stocked Sony Xperia Android phones, along with the Xboxes and the horribly expensive Microsoft Surface tablets and laptops, that makes MacBooks and iPads seem cheap. :D

    So basically if I wasn't buying an Android smart-phone I'd be buying an iPhone, and for me there's plenty of Androids choose from, here the sky's the limit literally. :)
     
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  10. mikedt

    mikedt 你好
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    I just bought another Oppo yesterday, R9 Plus, and this will be my third Oppo device in a row, :) ...well apart from a very brief venture with a Samsung, which didn't work out too well for them at all. Although I think R9 and R9 Plus is only available in China, it's not listed by Oppo's international site. The one I got is 4GB RAM, 64GB internal storage, along with a 128GB micro-SD. Which is more than enough room for all my stuff at the moment.
     
    #10 mikedt, Nov 1, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2016
  11. zuben el genub

    zuben el genub Well-Known Member
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    Needs band 12 (700) for TMO.
    They can cover larger areas with this - my phone doesn't do wifi calling, but I have Viber if I need to call. I can get data.

    China must have areas like our Colorado Plateau. I like the area. RED ROCKS!!!! Green River Overlook, Canyonlands 14780907736471.jpg
     
  12. CenturionB

    CenturionB Well-Known Member
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    I use powerbank only if the gadget molded body. Otherwise, really easier and more convenient to buy a few spare batteries. I do not know how others do not understand this.
     
  13. mikedt

    mikedt 你好
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    Yeh, there's Mount Danxia, not been here yet though.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Danxia
     
  14. mikedt

    mikedt 你好
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    I bought a phone that has the large "extended" battery already inside it, runs for two days no problem, so found no need for external battery packs or spare batteries or power-banks whatever.
     
  15. chanchan05

    chanchan05 The Doctor
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    If you're going to get an extended battery which increases the size if the phone, just get one of these for the S7 then, does the same thing:

    http://www.gottabemobile.com/2016/08/30/best-galaxy-s7-battery-cases/
     
  16. codezer0

    codezer0 Well-Known Member
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    And have twice the explosions? No thanks. Samsung also has the problem of Knox ensuring automatic bricks, and the fact that xposed won't work on any Samsung past Android 4.4... Something I'm suffering with on my old note 3 now.

    There's also the fact that those cases do not actually replace the internal, NRB. So all that does is make it burn up its charge cycles faster, go flat faster, and basically be useless faster.

    An extended replacement battery is about replacing the miserable, inadequate battery that is put in by the factory for one that has the capacity to actually last more than a day like these phone makers have the audacity to claim.
     
  17. chanchan05

    chanchan05 The Doctor
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    Uh, there are non-Samsung battery cases in that list. There are Mophies and Incipio battery cases.

    And sure be afraid of explosions. Never mind the fact that any battery can explode.
     
  18. codezer0

    codezer0 Well-Known Member
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    Here's the difference. If I had a swollen battery in a Note 3, it's nothing to buy a replacement and drop it in. $10~20 USD for a stock replacement, or $60 for a higher capacity replacement like the ZeroLemon battery I've had on it for the past two or so years. On average, said ZL battery netted me at least two full days of use per charge cycle, or 20+ hours of marathon streaming from Twitch via Wi-fi or Cellular data.

    Samsung has already done everything in its power to chase away the power users with NRB's, horrible alterations that make open source stuff like Xposed impossible to work on them, and Knox to basically brick your phone if you even so much as flash the same ROM with a different country code, much less attempt to downgrade. Now, Karma has saw fit to make their S7's and Note 7's explode on command. Not until I see a massive shift in how they choose to do business, would I buy a Samsung phone again.

    Already dealing with a miserable NRB in my Moto X Pure. Bugger only ever wants to give about 4 hours of use when I actually need to use it, and charging is a pain. Doesn't matter if it's with a quick charger or not. Even when not playing a game on the phone, just watching a youtube video or twitch stream while charging, I would check back on the battery panel later (either stock or GSam) and find that while it's been supposedly "charging via AC" as it calls its quick-charging functionality, the %age of charge refuses to go up at all. So then, the 13400mAh power bank that by the numbers should be giving me four full charge cycles per its one, is lucky to get me two full uses because it wants to be a goddamn power hog. What, do I have to like, SLI a bunch of power banks for this stupid thing?

    And at the same time, if its NRB decides it wants to take a dive, the phone's dead. There's no restoring it, or plugging it in to get whatever was stored internally. Why? Well, it's no different than laptops now. Even if they have AC power plugged in, many of them won't start or run if the battery doesn't work. With that in mind, the cost of buying the phone is no longer the cost of owning it, it's the cost to rent it. Yet they want how much for that privilege? Yea, that's where I have a problem with it.

    Only way I could excuse such a miserable NRB is on a phone that is under $200, because at that point I don't expect it to last. Once it crosses that threshold, I'm expecting a minimum of two years out of the phone. But no NRB, especially from these companies so self-obsessed with making everything as thin as (in)humanly possible, is capable of doing that. At best, you basically get 18 months out of an iPhone before its NRB is toast.

    Looking up for replacing said battery, showed me this youtube video:

    While it does cover up to the point of replacing the battery, it stops before talking about reassembly, and whether you could even get the thing back together as it came. And though I'd have zero issue with a thicker phone to have a meaningful capacity, no such options are available.

    What you are failing to understand with said "battery cases" is that all they do is basically put a hot battery, up against a phone that already has a hot battery, so then you have both of them accelerating to burn up each other for an attempt to charge. And basically running through your charge cycles faster and faster. Now, if you basically only ever buy your phones on payment plans that have some kind of extended warranty service, I could maybe understand why you fail to see a problem with this. But when you're used to having to buy a phone outright, those battery cases are basically like attempting to clean the 72-pin connector on an NES as opposed to replacing it with a straight connector like the Blinking Light win. It is, at best, a band-aid on a problem that shouldn't have happened in the first place. Being able to replace the battery, and further, enabling a design that allows for a larger capacity battery, just solves a lot more problems than some arbitrary "fashion violation" that turbo hipsters that demand these ultra-thin phones seem to whine about.
     
  19. zuben el genub

    zuben el genub Well-Known Member
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    My Acer tablets will run on the charger if the battery is down. It will be charging, too.
    One of the Acers is a newer Android. I watch MLB At Bat at night.

    I've run a Nexus 4 on charge only. I was sending it to kid in UK. I can run the Oppo the same way.

    Haven't run the MXPE down that far, but I have used it on the charger and it is showing a charge. If I pull the shade down, the increase in charge is reported.

    So does the old HP Pavilion laptop. (7Pro)
    I have the battery out totally. No problem.

    I do agree about fashion. When the electronics start to bugger in the fashion phones -----
     
  20. chanchan05

    chanchan05 The Doctor
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    Depends probably on your environment and setup, I haven't had my power banks running hot, nor my phones running excessively hot. I use power banks not these bulky cases, I just suggested it since I fail to see the difference between these and extended batteries.

    NRBs are mostly a fault of the consumers. As Samsung kept with the removable batteries with acceptable capacity and as a consequence thicker phones, their sales declined steadily after a high with the S3. Because researched pointed that majority of people disliked their plastic phones and thicker phones. And when their sales skyrocketed again with the S6 with little backlash on the removable battery, the NRB on the S7 was obvious. However, the battery is still replaceable, just not user replaceable. A Samsung shop can still replace the battery for you. Also, some decent power banks and battery cases has pass through technology. The power bank is only charged when the phone is already full charged.

    It is also interesting to point out that it is only in the US where you find locked bootloaders. International variants with the Exynos chips can still be flashed with ROMs.

    On a side note as to why I don't really mind NRBs, my 5 year old Note 2 is still on the original non swollen battery, and now that my mom uses it, it's standby time still lasts 2 days.

    Knox is there to ensure that the phone cannot be tampered with, in terms if security, as a boon to companies who want their data secure. As far as I know, Knox will only do that if it's activated.

    In the end it's about business. Samsung decided to cater to the bigger marker (non power users), especially since power users generally find ways to cope (custom ROMs) and in general do not seem to mind voiding warranty anyway.
     
    #20 chanchan05, Nov 4, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2016
  21. codezer0

    codezer0 Well-Known Member
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    Um, Knox is very much alive even on my SM-N900 note 3. And literally cannot find ANY deodexed ROM replacements for it, that would enable me to finally use Xposed on it again to at least have some reprieve from the rampant ads in so many apps and browsing. The closest thing I could find should indeed fit, but has the wrong country code. Wrong country code? brick by knox. Downgrade? brick by knox. And nobody on XDA wants to make one that will work for this phone and country code. So, no. Knox is very much causing me fits and problems with that Note 3. There are literally no custom ROMs out there that can help me without tripping knox and bricking it. Frustrating, because I still want to hang onto it as an emergency backup, and because it's the only android thing that my fiancee can use for apps and stuff (since she has the Windows Phone).

    There's no such thing as a "decent" battery case. And as I explained several times before, all having a power bank will do, is basically make you burn up more charging cycles to basically kill the NRB faster. That's not even opinion. That's simple science and physics at work. If you're having to keep it constantly plugged in or charging, you're running through its charge cycles every time.

    You can claim "all day battery" all you want, but I've never, ever seen such a thing from anything short of a phone where it was possible to replace its battery for a larger capacity model. I was even desperate enough to consider this one off-brand that I never heard of - an Oukitel K10000 - in part because it was the only phone I'd seen come with a 10,000 mAh battery from the factory. Problem is, it had absolutely no compatible bands with any carrier here. I've never seen more than five hours at a time of actual use from any phone.
     
  22. chanchan05

    chanchan05 The Doctor
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    Again depends on how you abused the battery. As I said, I have a 5 year old Note 2, still on the original battery, which is not swollen, for which I use power banks, that still lasts 2 days on standby (no actual use, we just have a prepaid SIM in it and it's perpetually connected to WiFi and sits at home).

    You call yourself a power user, then so be it. You want a high end phone with a replaceable battery. Then the LG G5 sure fits the bill for you then. User replaceable battery. I think LG also has an extended battery pack for it. LG did advertise its inviting third party accessory vendors to build modules for its phone.

    You can't blame Samsung for choosing the route that will give them a bigger market to earn. That's the entire reason why they designed the Galaxies in the first place.
     
  23. Rxpert83

    Rxpert83 Dr. Feelgood
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    5 hours of screen-on time is pretty standard for today's flagships. That will change with specific use cases, but outliers on both end of the spectrum are possible. A recent Pixel XL user running franco.kernel hit 8 hours 25 minutes:
    https://plus.google.com/+FranciscoFranco1990/posts/hGW4JubJtk2?sfc=true

    Again, thats heavily dependent on many factors. Specific use plays a large role.
     
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  24. codezer0

    codezer0 Well-Known Member
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    5 hours is very much unacceptable when already used to so much more than that. Even worst case, my note 3 was able to do more than 12 hours sot according to gsam with the extended battery.

    @chanchan05 , the reason I feel in a pickle, is because nobody is making a phone with the replaceable battery, *and* has the bands to support multiple carriers, at least here in the states. To date, it is still a very short list of the phones that even have universal carrier support for us carriers. And NONE of those have removable batteries.

    I've even been mentally desperate enough to see if it were possible to make a fatter back for this phone, that would allow enough room to wire multiple batteries together to see if that would get the capacity I need. But as hot as this one gets while charging or actually using it, I don't need a note 7 event.

    The g5 has numerous problems, but the short list that rules it out for me, is: (a) the unibody design prevents the ability to have extended capacity batteries, (b) there's no carrier-agnostic model of the phone anywhere; all versions would only work with the carrier they're locked to, unable to physically work anywhere else. Yet, even with lg's absolutely backwards policy of refusing warranty service for unlocked phones, even if purchased that way, I find myself hoping for such a "universal" edition of the v20, if only because it is ticking the right boxes in every other respect, and there are multiple high capacity extended batteries for its predecessor, the v10.
     
  25. Hadron

    Hadron VIP Member
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    In principle the G5's semi-modular design would allow and extended battery pack - it just needs someone to make one. The camera add-on I think includes some extra battery, but it's a dedicated battery pack you are after rather than that. I guess that so far nobody's thought it worth making.

    Maybe the Moto Z (or one of it's variants), since I think they have a battery add-on. Don't know about US network variants because that's a US-specific problem, and outside my beat.
     

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