HELP - I'm getting a smartphone for the 1st time and I can't decide what's the best one?


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  1. rebasaurus

    rebasaurus New Member This Topic's Starter

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    I'm with Rogers AT&T, so yeah, I'm only picking phones subsidized by my carrier ..


    I've decided that I want a phone with the Android O/S, but I'm not entirely sure which phone should I choose.


    Perhaps you guys can help me with my decision by stating any positive and/or negative experiences you've had with any of the phones I've listed (ie: how durable is it? what's call quality like? battery life? etc etc)
    Here are the choices of what I've narrowed it down to so far:

    • Acer Liquid E
    • HTC Magic +
    • Samsung Galaxy Spica
    Also, you can recommend a phone that is not listed above.


    The qualities I'm looking for in a phone are: durability (I am a clumsy person), decent battery life, decent call quality (even though I txt more than I call, I don't want a phone where the other person or I can't hear shit) and good txt messaging.


    Thank you,!!
     

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  2. mjschmidt

    mjschmidt Well-Known Member

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    The Samsung Galaxy Spica is old and outdated, and likely won't be updated beyond where it is now. It's pretty much "end of life".

    I have a Magic, and I love my Magic, but the Magic is still stuck on Android 1.5. Rogers has promised to give us 2.1, and we are still waiting (at the moment they say they have 2.1 in-house for "testing" and we might not get it until end of August).

    The Acer LE is a nice phone, you can read my review of the Acer LE vs the Sony X10 (also on Rogers) here: Rogers Acer Liquid E vs Sony X10 Leave No Droid Behind

    The problem with Rogers is two-fold, the phones they have are out-dated "cusp" phones. The X10 and Acer are the best they have at the moment, but there are much better (next gen) phones now out in the US (Motorola Droid X, Samsung Galaxy S, and HTC EVO 4G). Bell is bringing the Samsung Galaxy S to Canada (under a different name, probably no front-facing camera). No word yet from Rogers if they will have any of these new phones. Telus has the Motorola Milestone (Droid), so maybe they will get the Droid X?

    My advice to you would be, if you can wait 3 to 6 months (for the Q4 season ramping up to xmas) you might see better phones here.

    If you can't wait, then i would suggest the Acer LE from Rogers, the Motorola Milestone from Telus, or the Samsung Galaxy S Vibrant from Bell. Of all the Android phones currently available in Canada, the Samsung Galaxy S Vibrant at Bell is the most powerful. Don't be confused by the Samsung Galaxy Spica, it is NOT the same thing (it is an older phone).

    if you must be on Rogers, then, if you can afford it, you might want to see about buying the phone you want out-right from one of the other carriers (like the Milestone or the Galaxy S Vibrant) and unlocking it to use on Rogers.

    The last option you have is to buy an HTC Nexus One, which is the official "Google" phone. It is a very nice phone, and is guaranteed to get OS updates.

    See my blog (link in my sig) for more on all the trouble we've had with Android on Rogers.
     
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  3. rebasaurus

    rebasaurus New Member This Topic's Starter

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    Thanks for your response! So I take it, you prefer the Acer Liquid E to your HTC Magic? Which one do you think is more durable?

    Rumour is that Rogers is releasing a X10 Mini Pro within the next 2 months-ish. I'm contemplating waiting for that, as well. Thoughts?
     
  4. mjschmidt

    mjschmidt Well-Known Member

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    I got to demo the Acer LE for 2 weeks from Rogers, and it sort of felt like the Magic's "Big brother", so yes, if I could _only_ choose between the Magic and the Acer LE, I'd pick the Acer.

    As for the X10 mini, I'm not big on small. The X10 was a sweet phone, except for the annoyance I had with the battery (again I tested it for 2 weeks) and the sensitivity of the screen could be annoying, but Sony actually released an update today (NOT 2.1) that is supposed to address these issues. I'm interested to see if it works, because it is a sexy phone. Except for being on 1.6!

    Like I said, if you _have_ to have one now, the Acer LE is likeable. If the update from SE fixes the annoyances with the X10, it might be a great phone choice again, but you will have to wait god knows how long for 2.1.

    Personally, I'd wait a few months (if you can) to see of any of the other new phones are coming north. Since Bell has the Samsung Vibrant (Galaxy S) I would have to assume that Rogers and Telus must have new phones coming as well. They'd be stupid not to.
     
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  5. rebasaurus

    rebasaurus New Member This Topic's Starter

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    Thanks. I'm currently getting a smartphone by Rogers within the next 1-2 months.. so, hopefully they release a few more phones in that time period D;
    Did you find the physical build of the Acer to be more durable compared to the hTC magic?
     
  6. bgoody

    bgoody Well-Known Member

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    Don't lock yourself in to a 3 year contract for ANY phone. Borrow the money from your mom if you have to and then get a NEXUS. With that phone you can go with any carrier in Canada month to month or whatever. It comes with 2.2 (the latest) Android installed, is one of the few existing phones which will be able to run Android 3 and by many opinioins is in the top 3 of all existing Android phones.

    Whatever you do, don't get a Magic on a 3year contract. Rogers is doing everything they can to make it obsolete.
     
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  7. GreatBigDog

    GreatBigDog Well-Known Member

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    Agreed, At the very least you need to get a phone with a 1GHz processor to somewhat future proof yourself.

    The only one currently available from Rogers with that processor is the Xperia X10 but it also has other shortcomings like a lack of multi-touch capability and really poor battery management. Although the currently available update for it is said to to include better battery management to increase battery life.

    If you're into hacking your phones and are willing to wait until the dev community has an overclock hack available, the Acer Liquid E has the same processor but it's underclocked to around 750Mhz. Build quality is on par with the HTC Magic but not as good as the X10

    Indoors or in shadows the Acer LE has the brightest screen available but in direct sunlight the X10 is the most visible. The Acer is Also the only device available from Rogers that is currently running Android 2.1

    HTC Magic - Android 1.5 (2.1 maybe at end of August)
    Acer LE - Android 2.1 (2.2 in Q4 or maybe Q1/2011)
    SE Xperia X10 - Android 1.6 (2.1 sometime in Q4)
    LG Eve - Android 1.5 (1.6 probably Q4 & 1.6 is the last update)
    Moto Quench Android 1.5 and I'm unsure of any updates.

    The OS does make a difference as there are application that require a minimum OS level to install and as time goes by there are more and more that are becoming unavailable to the older OS's.

    The only phone that you could get right now that is running the most current OS would be the Nexus one. You can't get it subsidized but it's unlocked and can be used on Rogers/Bell/Telus
     
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  8. mjschmidt

    mjschmidt Well-Known Member

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    It should also be noted that, though the Acer's processor is underclocked compared to the X10, the Acer has more RAM (512 MB). I personally found it was nice and fast! Although it's possible that the X10's UI and customizations might be responsible for any slowness compared to the Acer (it only has 384 MB RAM).
     
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  9. Brendanmurphy

    Brendanmurphy Well-Known Member

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    Both the x10 and acer have an under clocked snap dragon. its running at 8** or so mhz. And the reason for its slowness is sony's laziness in optimizing timescape.
     
  10. GreatBigDog

    GreatBigDog Well-Known Member

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    Timescape just sucks, to me it's just a waist of space and I don't even bother with it. Most of the slowness that Mike mentions is going to be the difference between the 2.1 on the Acer and 1.6 on the X10. There is a tremendous speed difference between the two Android versions.
     
  11. vikingisson

    vikingisson Well-Known Member

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    I setup an X10 for a friend and she likes it. I'm not as impressed but it has hope once rooted and if roms become available. The pending updates are supposed to improve things, you can also arrange things for better speed and forget the goofy Sony apps. For myself I'd be looking for an N1 or any unlocked device. I'm done with contract phones forever. They would have to give me a very fast phone for $0 before I'd consider ever doing that again.

    Even a rooted and unlocked Magic is more than usable until snapdragons are more common and available for cheap without being locked to the provider.
     
  12. Megs

    Megs Well-Known Member

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    I have a Samsung Spica. I love it - but I wouldn't recommend anyone else get it at this point.

    I got mine back in March. Didn't know anything about the OS other than a friend of mine had one. All I knew was that my LG Rumour kept randomly shutting off and that (due to family circumstances) really wasn't acceptable. Bell had extended the time for the new "upgrade" you could get by another six months and I had been specifically waiting for it. So I jumped ship, went to Rogers. My friend sold me the Spica. It was the newest and the best that Rogers had at the time.

    Then I decided to check online to see if there was anything cool I could find out. Came across these forums (among another ton of resources) and realized that maybe I shouldn't have been so rash. If I had thought to think about this beforehand...well...maybe things would have been different. Lessons have been learned. Count yourself lucky that you came on here first! :D

    So listen to these guys. They know what they're talking about.

    If for some crazy reason you *do* decide to go with the Spica, Rogers (has? will? is supposed to?) officially upgrade the OS to 2.1. I decided to jailbreak my phone (root it) and went to 2.1 on my own - works like a charm and I can remove those stupid Rogers Apps that don't work. There is some small rumour going around that Spica will get 2.2 from Samsung but its not confirmed. On the plus side one of the members of the community already has a half working version of 2.2 going on his Spica - so while it may not be official...there is hope.
     

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