n00b looking for advice

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  1. 3club

    3club Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

    Dec 6, 2010
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    Please forgive me. I apologize for posting this here: I am reposting my questions which I accidentally posted in the introductions forum. I searched, but could not see a way to move my post.

    So I'm thinking about getting a Droid X, but I don't want to post in that forum because I assume those people like their Xs and are biased towards them. I'd rather hear objective reasons I should change my mind. The Incredible is another phone I'm considering, and also the Fascinate.

    So here's my original post:

    Good morning to all my new friends.

    I've never owned a smartphone before, and would like some help in my decision making process. Maybe I'm just looking for a sounding board to bounce my thoughts off of.

    What I do:
    People call me for help, usually with their computers. I drive to their homes, often out in the sticks with no broadband, and sometimes with no cell signal.

    Why I want:
    I hate dial-up. I'd like to take some kind of broadband with me in such cases, to temporarily hook up to other people's computers.

    Also I like to set up a local network while I'm there to transfer files from my laptop to their pc. I'd also like to be able to check my appointments anywhere (I use Google Calendar) without getting out my laptop.

    Also (I have many "alsos") I currently have two Skype phone numbers and a Google Voice number. I'd like to free myself from having to lug out my laptop and plug in headphones every time I want to make a call.

    What I'm thinking:
    I currently have Alltel (I resist referring to them as Verizon because they piss me off) and think I'll stay because other companies seem to have worse coverage in rural areas. I'm leaning towards a Droid X. I welcome all comments from people suggesting otherwise. That's why I'm not posting this in the X forum just yet. Somebody please talk me out of this! lol

    My beef with verizon:
    Last year, before the evil V hijacked my service, I was perfectly happy with my Alltel account for $24.95 a month. I had 300 anytime minutes a month, free nighttime started at 6pm, and could call from just about anywhere in Michigan, free long distance to anywhere in the US, unlimited tethering for an additional $9.99 per month (which I dropped because I wasn't using it very often).

    Then the big bad came along and hijacked my account, promising that nothing would change. But then came the roaming charges, even within my own home town. They said my Alltel coverage area only included one tower, so if I drove to the other side of town I was roaming.

    After arguing all day, they bent me over a barrel and almost doubled my bill from $24 to $40 per month. I feel totally violated. Anyway... Sorry, it just feels good to get that off my chest.

    My concerns:
    I understand that if I get this droid, I'm also required to pull another $30/mo from my backside. That's where I draw the line, and I'll take it like a man. On top of that, another $20 for tethering??? That crosses the line. I'll root it first and not lose any sleep over it. But if I do this WiFi tethering, I've read that it's ad-hoc, not infrastructure, so will I be able to use it for pc-to-pc file transfers, like a router?

    At least it has Skype and Google Voice, right? But I hear that the evil V won't allow them as VOIP, even though I'd be paying for unlimited data, and that they'd burn my minutes instead. That also crosses the line. If I root my phone, is there a way to use VOIP?

    I do have ONE "friend or family", which currently is my Google Voice number. I currently have to call that number first, and then manually dial the person I'm calling. Is there any kind of "calling card" app that would do this automatically for me?

    Is there a calendar app that will sync with my Google Calendar and keep a local copy I can view when I'm out of cell signal range?


    I used to use the GPS app on my old phone, Samsung u520, but it would quit working if I drove into an area with no service, so I bought a real dedicated GPS, a Garmin Etrex Vista HCx and dumped Alltel's GPS program and the data package (which I also used for occasional tethering). If I get the droid, will it have the same problem? Does the GPS require cell signal to function? Will it work in airplane mode?

    GPS Sensitivity:
    My first GPS experience was backpacking with my friend's eTrex Legend. It would lose the satellites in the woods because of the foliage. So I bought my eTrex Vista HCx which has a high sensitivity receiver. Now I can get a satellite lock even in my basement. What is the sensitivity of the GPS in a droid? Would it be suitable for backpacking in dense foliage with no cell service? If I can carry one less piece of equipment, that would be great. Can I load topo maps on it and save my tracks to a .gpx file?

    Navigation from Calendar:
    When I'm looking at my appointment in Google Calendar, which has the address in it, can I navigate from there? I'd hate to have to write down the address on a piece of paper, close the calendar, open the gps app, and manually enter it in there. Can droid make it easy?

    Phone while GPS?
    Another problem with the old Alltel GPS was that if a call came in, it would take over the phone, and I'd miss turns until I ended the conversation. Another reason I switched to a dedicated GPS. Can a droid handle the call in the background and still let me navigate?

    I plug my phone into my car tape adapter to use as MP3 player. I do like that it would pause playing when a call came in, but if I want to initiate a call, I have to totally shut down the player. With a droid, can I just pause it instead? Also, and I know this is a long shot, can I play music while using the GPS to navigate?

    I have a Canon PowerShot A570IS, just a cheap but nice pocket camera. I know the DroidX has a big fat 8MP sensor, but with that little tiny lens, are pictures as good as my couple year old Canon, which has Image Stabilization and optical zoom? Also, does it automatically geotag the photos?

    Whew! I know that's a lot of questions. If you're still with me, thanks for hanging! If anyone can suggest a better phone for my needs, or any other ideas, I'm totally open to suggestions. If droid can't do most of these things yet, maybe I'll just wait another year or two and look again later.

    Summary of questions:
    Can wifi tether act as router for pc-to-pc transfers?
    Any hope for Skype or Google Voice to use VOIP instead of minutes?
    How about at least a calling card app to route calls through my friend or family?
    Can calendar cache a local copy?
    Does GPS work without cell service?
    If yes to above, is it sensitive enough to use in dense foliage?
    If yes to above, can I download topo maps and save tracks?
    Can I navigate in car while playing music or making a call?
    Does the camera geotag the photos?
    Could it replace my Canon camera?
    Is there a better phone I should consider?
    Should I just scrap the idea and keep waiting?

    Thanks everyone!

  2. larry0071

    larry0071 Well-Known Member

    Sep 20, 2010
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    Everything on your list can be done on an Imagio. I know, that is not your plan...

    I don't have a DX, but I have the Fascinate.

    Google calander is native and syncs.

    GPS requires cell service to download maps in real time. Third party apps may allow regional pre-cached downloads. That is how I used the Imagio.

    Geotag on photos on the Imagio was performed with a third party app, I would suspect that you could get a similar app for Android.

    Replacing your camera for outdoor use should not be an issue as long as the zoom was not important. Software zooms suck, so I never use them, all they do is cut true resolution.... basically it crops the photo and spreads the pixels out causing data loss.

    My retired Imagio could be configiured to meet your needs in 10 minutes. I am not sure the DX/Fascinate could, but some of the more experianced Droid guys will fill you in on the other points you asked about.

    3club likes this.
  3. 3club

    3club Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

    Dec 6, 2010
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    Larry dude, you rock! Now I feel like the things I'm looking for maybe aren't so crazy unrealistic. Thanks for posting.

    I googled imagio, and it says it is verizon. But I haven't seen it in any of their literature. ?????
  4. larry0071

    larry0071 Well-Known Member

    Sep 20, 2010
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    The Imagio was a Windows Mobile Pro phone, very similar to the looks and size of the Fascinate but about 1/3 again thicker. I think it was removed from the website about 2 months ago, as it was a fall of 2008 release phone. It was the Verizon top of the line and also end of the line Windows Mobile Pro 6.51 phone. I was really torn on dropping it for my Fascinate, and there are days I actually consider handing the fascinate to my daughter and going back to the "full featured" windows mobile phone.

    I'm betting that you can satisfy your list, I am just not so into the Android world yet like I was in the Windows Mobile world. My Imagio was freaking amazing and I shocked and amazed Iphone owners and Droid users with I could do that they couldn't.... Like free wireless tether, all the GPS features you could want and a very customized user interface with SPB Mobile Shell ($29.00).

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