So I want Android - Model/Carrier Recommendations?


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  1. togakangaroo

    togakangaroo Active Member This Topic's Starter

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    Let me start by saying that I'm sure this has been covered but a search revealed nothing and an updated discussion can always help. So again, sorry for covering treaded ground, but here we go...

    I'm leaving my job and giving up my company blackberry - so I need a new phone/carrier/the whole package. I am at this point pretty darn addicted to smartphones and use them heavily for web browsing, email, maps, twitter, playing music, and scheduling myself (I don't really play games though). While my blackberry curve was leagues better than my old Windows Mobile-powered-Wing it still has left a lot to be desired. I need a step up.

    So its basically iphone vs an Android phone and while the iphone seems to win in nearly all the benchmarks out there, I just can't get past the Apple Tax, closed platform, non-replaceable battery, and my general Google fanboy-ism. I could also see myself developing OSS apps at some point - which Android has the more compelling story for.

    Further research has lead me to view my options as the Nexus, HTC Droid, or Eris. The Eris - although it has great reviews - just seems a bit kiddie so it's a distant third.

    My concerns are in this order
    • * Good hardware (I'm ok with an onscreen keyboard unless the touchscreen sucks)
    • * Total cost of ownership
    • * Ability to use at my new job (meaning syncing with Exchange Server - though this shouldn't be a huge problem)
    • * Snazzy Operating system

    So what do you guys think about my options?

    I hear the Droid is less buggy than the Nexus but this infographic from billshrink seems to imply that it is a far more expensive option. Since it's older that is very surprising. Does this seem accurate? Also, whats up with the Nexus specs? 4GB - can I use a micro SD card?

    What are your opinions? I'm really just looking to engage in a discussion on this topic.
     

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  2. milrtime83

    milrtime83 Well-Known Member

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    It would mostly depend on which carrier has better service where you will be using it.

    Good Hardware - 3Gs, Droid, or Nexus would be the best hardware choices right now. The Eris has an older processor and not quite as good as the other three.

    Cost - T-mobile has the smallest 3G network and coverage, but if it works where you need it, the Nexus would be the least expensive of the choices you are looking at. The 4GB for the Nexus is an included micro SD card, you can replace that with a larger one if you would like. Same for the Droid, it is an included 16GB micro sd card. The iphone on the other hand is built in memory and is not upgradable or replaceable.

    Exchange sync - I can't comment on too much as I don't use it but, I don't think either an iphone or Android phone are as good as Blackberries in that area.

    Snazzy OS - Can't get any better than Android especially if you would like to tinker and customize it. Look through some of the Sweeter Home threads for ideas on ways you can customize with the home screen.
     
  3. togakangaroo

    togakangaroo Active Member This Topic's Starter

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    Thanks for the reply.

    Given how the Nexus board is full of complaints I'm very concerned about jumping into bed with them. Sure it seems to be mostly software issues but given that I will be starting a new job where I'm working remotely within three weeks, I might not have time to wait for a fix.

    The droid on the other hand seems to have a total cost of ownership right up there with the iphone 3Gs. Then again, it would seem like it is possible to pick it up on the cheap with only a 1 year contract as opposed to two.

    Does all that sound right?

    Also, is the Droid only available from Verizon? Does that mean that it does not have a SIM card? If my new phone busts would I not be able to default to an old one easily?
     
  4. milrtime83

    milrtime83 Well-Known Member

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    Everything sounds about right. If you get the Droid at a Verizon store it is only $30 more on a 1 year contract ($230) compared to a 2 year contract ($200) after rebate.

    Amazon currently has the droid for $110 with a 2 year contract:
    Motorola DROID - $109.99 at Amazon (New AND Existing Customers) - SlickDeals.net Forums

    Droid is Verizon only in the US. Correct, it does not have a sim card. If it happen to break, you could switch to an old phone in your online account or by calling customer service, but it would have to be a former Verizon phone.
     
  5. graff_king

    graff_king Well-Known Member

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    As stated above, it would all depend on what carrier has the best coverage for you in your area. I had the Droid and the eris on verizon but recently switched to t-mobile and have a fender edition mytouch. Yes the eris has an older/slower processor but compared to a curve it is still leaps and bounds better than a bb. For the offerings verizon has I would say to try both and see if you are comfortable with having solely an onscreen keyboard vs a hardware as an option.
     
  6. Josh0187

    Josh0187 Well-Known Member

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    I have the Motorola Droid and hzave played with the Eris. I recommend the Droid heavily.
     
  7. togakangaroo

    togakangaroo Active Member This Topic's Starter

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    Thanks for the recommendations.

    Ugh. The no SIM-Card thing makes me nervous. I tend to do stupid things like drop my phone into full glasses of whiskey (twice!). Not being able to simply switch to one of my old phones with be a major pain.

    So one thing I don't understand with the Nexus. It seems like they're only offering to sell it to you unlocked or with the 500 minute plan. I'm going to be using this for work - 500 minutes might not cut it, can I get a better plan with it or what?

    Perhaps my research is over-representing people unhappy with the Nexus. Are there many happy users?
     
  8. Esquire1

    Esquire1 Well-Known Member

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    If you've never owned an iPhone before, get one. It's fantastic. I have no idea what Apple Tax you're talking about. Their computers are just as competitively prices as comparative PC models. And, more specifically and more relevant, the iPhone is not an expensive piece of hardware. The AT&T Tax, on the other hand...

    I own a Nexus and I'm very happy with it. Of course the vocal crowd will be the upset crowd.

    Further, I've owned an iPhone since the 2G model. I just got sick of it and wanted to try something different. But as an overall experience, I really enjoyed my time with the iPhone.
     
  9. togakangaroo

    togakangaroo Active Member This Topic's Starter

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    Actually, I'm really glad to hear the 'get an iphone' viewpoint represented on here, I was afraid to really bring it up, but that is indeed one of my options.

    Let me throw out some thoughts on why I don't think an iphone is for me and I'd like to hear your opinions.
    1. The price - Its definitely more expensive than the Nexus. Though I did not realize that the Motorola Droid would run roughly the same amount, that is disappointing.
    2. Built in battery. I'll definitely need to replace the battery at some point. I'ts annoying that I cannot do it myself (within the warranty).
    3. Inability to expand memory with a SD card. I like to use my phone for a music player, and I find this obnoxious. I'm also not a big fan of managing my library ONLY with itunes.
    4. As a programmer (a Microsoft one no less) I could see at some point wanting to create a phone application. The fact that I would need Apple's permission to put it even on my own phone really rankles me. Yes, if I was going to sell the app, iphone is by far the bigger market, but I think I would far more likely that do it as a learning experience and want to release the app for free.
    5. The concentration on apps in general. I just don't really play games on my phone. I web surf (a lot), email, listen to music, audible, and twitter - I want a phone that gets all that stuff right before it runs off in other directions
    6. Fear of a google lock-out. Rumor mills are buzzing that iphone is going to try to retaliate at google by directing search traffic through bing or something. I just don't want to get caught in that battle.
    7. Can't run multiple apps. Ok so from what I understand this isn't really that big a deal but it still bugs me.

    That being said, from every review video that I've watched clearly the iphone is a superior piece of hardware/software - just not necessarily by enough.

    Thoughts?
     
  10. takeshi

    takeshi Well-Known Member

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    Yup -- always select the carrier first based on real world coverage. Do not assume that coverage maps are accurate. I've lived in many "good" zones with little to no coverage.

    The Droid doesn't have a SIM card slot but that's not because it's from Verizon (VZW does offer hybrid devices) -- it's because it's a CDMA only device.

    Only if you purchase it unsubsidized, IIRC.

    You do need to keep in mind that ANY discussion forum is going to be full of posts from people with problems.

    "Superior" really depends on your needs and preferences.

    It does have a slick interface and it's very easy to use and you're less likely to get yourself in trouble. That is, however, a double-edged sword as you've noticed. You are stuck with whatever apps Apple approves unless you're willing to jailbreak it. You can't multitask except for certain core apps unless you're willing to jailbreak it. It's really a matter of where your priorities lie. I really do like the iPhone a lot. I just really dislike Apple telling me what I can and cannot load. YMMV, of course.

    Depends on where you get it. You don't have to buy directly from Verizon. Places like Amazon ($109 last I checked), Best Buy, Dell Mobility, Wirefly, etc frequently have much lower pricing. Though be very careful and read the fine print if you purchase from authorized agents. It's not uncommon for them to force you to stick with data plans or stick with a certain voice plan for a certain period of time or pay a fee if you make changes that don't comply with their terms.


    Keep in mind that carriers do offer an initial return period (so you can cancel without an ETF if you're not happy with the device or coverage/service). I'm not sure how using an authorized agent will affect that return period so, again, read and understand the fine print if you go that route.
     
  11. togakangaroo

    togakangaroo Active Member This Topic's Starter

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    Of course. By superior I mean that the iphone's on-screen keyboard seems to beat the competition, hands down. The accuracy of its touch surface (the drawing grids test) seems to be better, with only the Eris coming close. And its speed for rendering webpages seems to be better far and away.

    These are all observations backed both by video-reviews and personal experience. It seems unlikely that any of the android devices currently on the market can compete with the iphone in these hardware areas.

    That being said, the previously listed points against the iphone are still keeping me from jumping on that bandwagon.
     
  12. IOWA

    IOWA Mr. Logic Pants Moderator

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    Since when are apple products competitively priced? Never? So I guess a 400 to 600 dollar differnce is competitive to you. Oh please.

    I'm quite shocked people left sprint out of this... sprint has been rated most reliable 3g network by many 3rd party sources, including pc world. Also, the samsung moment is an amazing device, with a faster processor and better screen than eris, droid, and hero. And the upcoming superrsonic is going to be similiar, but better than then nexus one. It will have 4g capability, and just plain awesomeness.

    Also sprints plans have the absolute best pricing hands down. Check your coverage with sprint, if your in a covered area,(which is more than likely) then give them a shot.

    Also keep in mind iphone more than likely will never support flash, and android will shortly. Also the majority of android apps are free, and iphone apps will cost you a bundle. Atts network is shotty at best, and charge iphone owners a premium. Also keep in mind iphone does not multitask, cannot be customized, no removable battery or memory, and iphone may also stop supporting google apps/services. They already don't allow google voice. The droid nexus one htc hero, and samsung moment are your best options. Also with sprint, you get upgrades every year instead of two years, and sprint is the first to 4g.
     
  13. togakangaroo

    togakangaroo Active Member This Topic's Starter

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    Great tip thanks! I'd honestly never even heard of the moment, and had not even considered sprint before.
     
  14. TheBiles

    TheBiles Well-Known Member

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    Sprint is by far the best option if you are looking to save cash. Unlimited mobile-to-mobile, nights and weekends, data, text, MMS, 450 anytime minutes for only $70/month. I would go with an HTC Hero and upgrade to the Supersonic or Nexus One when they become available.
     
  15. Esquire1

    Esquire1 Well-Known Member

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    2. Why do you think you will need to replace the battery? I owned a 2G iPhone for two years, drained the battery often, but charged it every night. The battery was just fine. Further, do you plan on keeping the N1 for more than 2 years?
    3. Fair point. I prefer not having to use sd cards but that's a matter of opinion. Moreover, there are alternatives to iTunes.
    5. If that's the experience you want, then an iPhone is a better choice than an Android phone, IMO. I don't play games on my phone either. The applications on iPhone far surpass anything on Android. Tweetie 2, BeeJive, whatever. The only problem I can see is running something like Pandora in the background, which you can't do stock. Jailbroken, however, you most certainly can. And with your tech background, sounds like you'll want to Jailbreak asap.
    6. Doubt it but that's your concern. Apple doesn't have anything like Google Maps in its pocket. Maps will continue to stay. Anyone thinking Apple is going to remove Maps after iPhone users getting used to it for years is paranoid. It's a bad business decision for both companies.

    Next, you can use Google Voice natively if you Jailbreak.
    7. You can if you Jailbreak. And it's very easy. There's a very nice interface for multitasking, as well. It's similar to Palm Pre's OS.
    I'm going to ignore the computer argument because it's not relevant to the OP's interest and it's a waste of my time to debate over it right now. I should not have brought it up in the first place. Perhaps if another thread is created.

    A Spring Moment might not be a bad choice. However, if you're looking at going with Sprint, the Nexus One for Sprint is on its way.

    Flash is garbage and anyone wanting it on their phones are shortsighted. These are the people who wanted to keep their floppy drives when we were on our way to CDs. Yes, you will pay a price in the transition. However, the end result is worth the initial headache and will ultimately lead to less pain. HTML5 is on its way. Keeping Flash is just going to make the transition harder. I'm sure the OP understands this ;)
     
  16. togakangaroo

    togakangaroo Active Member This Topic's Starter

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    Ugh, the perception of my "technical background" - the bane of my existence. You want me to program something javascript, C#, Ruby, Powershell, make a webpage, build a database, or design a robust architecture for generations to come - no problem. Just don't ask me to fix a computer or jailbreak a phone. As far as I'm concerned, the hardware and OS levels are a magical fairyland where bytes are actual gnomes that run along silicon footpaths delivering sacks full of 1s and 0s to their master the CPU. The details might be wrong but I'm pretty sure that's roughly how it works.

    But yeah, jailbreaking - another factor I haven't really given too much though to. How does it work in terms of service? If I get an unlocked iphone can I then use it with a Sprint or TMobile plan?
     
  17. TheBiles

    TheBiles Well-Known Member

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    You can only use Sprint-branded phones on Sprint. Not to mention that the iPhone is GSM, and AT&T (and T-Mobile) has crap service.
     
  18. timmyjoe42

    timmyjoe42 Well-Known Member

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    Moto Droid is the best hardware out there for the price.
    Verizon has the best coverage out there.

    If Verizon was able to text to Sweden (only 1 carrier now) we'd be there. T-Mobile has been our home for the past 2 years after dealing with AT+T's crap coverage. T-Mobile is definitely terrible (if I can even get a signal) when I get out into the woods, but the service in town is better.
     
  19. Bunn

    Bunn New Member

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    Ditto..........

    i get out $69mo unl data/text/any mobile anytime unl

    getta iphone your looking at double that in price and a shotty network with even more shotty Cust Serv
     
  20. IOWA

    IOWA Mr. Logic Pants Moderator

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    Ok one... battery swapping on the fly is invaluable. In fact, us cellular is using a relatively successful as campiegn about just that.

    And what's short sided is your arguement about flash. I love how you non devs spout crap about hings you just don't understand. It shows your not very tech savvy... to say the least.
    Your floppy disk/cd comparison is way off. Flash and html5 have two completely different intentions and uses, despite some overlapping functionality, and cds were a direct competitor to floppy.

    There has been much ado about HTML 5 replacing Flash. Typically the people who talk about this have no experience with Flash, and thus no idea of what its truly capable of. I suspect that if they truly did, they likely would not be making such statements Even where there is technological overlap between the two solutions, the Flash based solution is usually far more polished Let
     
  21. IOWA

    IOWA Mr. Logic Pants Moderator

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    Sorry for the double post, but I felt the need to separate this one from my previous.

    About your video reviews.... keep this in mind. 99% of the video reviewers are biased toward one or another, mainly iphone. See, android owners don't need to validate their devices the way apple product owners do.(based on observation) some of the videos are even rigged. Like like a review from one of the main tech outlets, comparing browser speed of the droid vs n1 vs 3gs. They show the 3gs as a dominate winner, by nearly 45 seconds, over wifi. In disbelief, I did my own tests. Got a friends 3gs, my moment, my friends n1, and my brothers droid. Well, all on the same wifi connection, the n1, droid,and moment all beat the 3gs loading the same website, and other websites I tried. My theory is since they used wifi, they may have used different wifi speed connections, therefore rigging the test. I was appalled. Now about my observation stated above, I see many fanbois coming here to put down android. They make up crap excuses, (I.e. who needs multitasking or who cares if apple won't let me customize or the most famous we have mt) and despite pure fact they are unpersuadable. They like their overpriced mediocre hardware/software and wouldn't have it any other way. Oh well. Its their money, let them waste it. But I will not stand idly bye and let the lemmings and fanbois spew rhetoric and lies. Truth be told every platform has its advantages and disadvantages. If say someone needed a phone that doesn't do much, but is easy to use, then iphone is cool.... and it will make you fit in with the tweens again woohoo! There are many "dumb phones" that do what the iphone does, but at a better price.
     
  22. crasshpad

    crasshpad New Member

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    As an airline captain, I fly everywhere and talk with everyone about the Iphone vs Droid.
    I've had my Droid since December. The overwhelming reply from Iphone (ATT customers) is regret. Bad coverage and fees. Majoity of apps on Droid are free. Have yet to lose coverage...even when hiking in the mountains.
    The cost was $167 after rebates, plus they also gave me a Droid Eris for free.
    Haven't talked much with the wife since she got the Eris...she's devoured by the millions of funtions. I use the Droid more for work and play a lot more than I actually talk on the phone. It's more of a personal assistant than a telephone.
     
  23. IOWA

    IOWA Mr. Logic Pants Moderator

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    I wanted to be a pilot when I was young. (5 years old) then I got a computer. Lol. I may still get a pilot lic through private school.
     
  24. crasshpad

    crasshpad New Member

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    Awesome...you're never to old to learn to fly. Expect to solo in 6-10 lessons...that'll make your day, month and year. Been doing it for 34 years.
    Back to the topic....
     
  25. IOWA

    IOWA Mr. Logic Pants Moderator

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    You've been flyinh nearly a decade longer than I've been alive =p. Ok now back on topic
     

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