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Old September 10th, 2012, 06:19 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Question Should I get this phone?

At the moment, I've had my Optimus M for about a year now, and It has been a great phone, but i'd like to try something new. I'm just curious . They both have the same processor speeds(600 Mhz) and Devinebovine just found a root (great job btw), so I wanna switch. Plus, I heard Virgin Mobile has better speeds and has more coverage than MetroPCS, so why not? Should I switch now? I have to by the 21st b/c my bill. Thank you.

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Old September 10th, 2012, 08:25 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Don't thank me, thank giantpune...he did the heavy lifting.

To be honest, the Venture has a lot of severe shortcomings. I don't think most who have already used another smartphone will be happy with it.

I like it because I bought it (actually 3 of it) for $24/each on clearance and it's not too large, both of which finally made a smartphone accessible to me. I tend to be pretty rough, needing my phone in my jeans pocket with my keys while I work in the yard, so I don't want to risk a $100 phone with a big delicate screen (nor do I have room for something large). I've always filled this niche with flip phones (and more recently the LG Rumor2 slide phone). As such, despite its shortcomings, this is light-years ahead of anything I've had before, and when it gets crushed by my keys or something heavy I'm carrying, I'm only out $24.

Some (but probably not all) of the major shortcomings:
  • Storage space! There's just not enough, even if you do the hack to move everything to SD.
  • Battery life. It is downright awful if you don't manage it harshly, using an automatic process killer and disabling GPS. It's tolerable if you do those things, but you'll want to plug it in whenever you're near USB, AC, or DC for any length of time.
  • Keyboard/input. The physical qwerty is too small and not shaped or laid out well. The on-screen keyboard options aren't much better due to the small, low-res screen.
  • Small, low-res screen.
  • Ringer/speaker/telephone volume...fine in the office, not so great in my loud car.
  • WiFi reception is pretty weak.
  • Instability. Sometimes stuff stops working and you need to reboot it. Sometimes you don't know that something stopped working, like phone calls or email, and you don't find out until people scream at you in person.
  • Slow...though you may experience similar slowness if your phone has a similar CPU.
  • Headphone jack really sucks. The phone doesn't detect most cables when you plug them in. I need to spend some time (and possibly money) on figuring out which cables work and which don't. The one I have always used in my car does not so I haven't played music while driving yet.

Some reviews complain of app incompatibility but I've found that this is mostly limited to games. This is definitely not the right phone for gaming. I will note that some apps that Play says are incompatible are listed at the Amazon appstore as compatible.

Apart from the price and small form factor, I can give it some kudos for the following things:
  • Hard buttons for home/menu/back/search. These are real physical buttons at the top of the physical qwerty. They're quite pleasant, and also great for activating Google's voice search/command thingy without looking away from the road. I don't have to look at my phone much to send myself an email reminder of whatever's on my mind.
  • Picks up Sprint towers better than my previous Virgin and Sprint phones did.
  • "Mobile ID", a multi-app pack system which seems like annoying bloatware, actually manages to deliver apps using much less internal memory than the same apps direct from Play, and allows you to uninstall all of its components a-la-carte if you really want them gone.
  • Seems to have the full complement of hardware one might expect in a modern smartphone despite its low price and small size. Real GPS chip, camera, LED flash, accelerometer, bluetooth, etc.

As for Virgin Mobile vs. MetroPCS, I'm not familiar with MetroPCS but Virgin uses Sprint towers. No roaming, so only Sprint towers. Everyone I talk to says they could never get a signal with Sprint, but I switched to them years ago because I couldn't get a signal with Verizon...I guess Sprint is just everywhere I want to be. I switched to Virgin more recently because of the $25/mo 300 minute unlimited text/data/etc plan. You'll need these instructions to get the $25 plan.
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Old September 23rd, 2012, 11:48 PM   #3 (permalink)
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sure, go ahead and get it. If you hate yourself. I've had it the past two weeks and have been in Android Hell. Battery life? Nonexistant. Keyboard? Crap. Screen? Crap. Makes my eyes hurt and is too bright on lowest setting. And sometimes it'll change brightness on it's own. Processor and ram? Crap. Takes forever to load simple pages on my wifi. IF it even picks up wifi, another thing it sucks at doing. Can't play my music through my auxiliary port in my car. Netflix doesn't work.

This phone is garbage. Shouldn't even have made it to market. I'm ordering a Reverb or Evo V this week. Probably a Reverb. As soon as my credit card comes in. I don't even know if I want to bother sending this back for my $40. It would be fun to burn it.
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Old September 24th, 2012, 05:27 AM   #4 (permalink)
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FWIW some of the shortcomings can be ameliorated.

I've found my battery life is fine with GPS turned off.

To get it to play through the aux port you can make an adapter cable by soldering a resistor across the wires to create a slight ground loop (not sure on the terminology but I think that was how it was said in another thread), or you can invest $2 at the dollar store in a splitter and a pair of earbuds -- when the earbuds are plugged in the port is activated and sends a fine signal to the car stereo.

You do get used to the keyboard, but you could also try this on-screen keyboard:
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.locnet.flitkeyboard
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Old September 24th, 2012, 07:28 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Hi, I'm an app developer and bought this phone for only two reasons...
1) It was $39 at RadioShack
2) I wanted to see how well Virgin Mobile service does in my area... no one I know has VM or Sprint so I was curious and I was going to replace it later.

I'm pleasantly surprised by the capabilities of the phone... touch screen, gps, and the user interface speed is tolerable and comparable to an HTC Amaze 4G I have (it lags for graphics reasons, etc). The downsides are that the phone has barely any internal memory and you'll have to do something like go without lots of apps or get them to use the generous 2GB SD card included. I haven't tried any games but that would not be a good experience because the processor is slow and the screen is somewhat small due to the hardware keyboard.

Not sure I would enjoy it as my main phone, but it was surprising for the price. BTW, my main phone is an iPhone 4 and I'm hoping for VM to put out the 5. I just use android for making sure apps work.
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Old October 14th, 2012, 10:55 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I'm getting the mytouch 4G Slide soon. It's $30 on Virgin Mobiles website so I might just buy it as a backup, wifi phone or developer device. Such a cheap price! I had to get my Optimus M for $100 a year ago lol.
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Old October 24th, 2012, 05:42 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I just ordered the Venture mostly due to the low 29.99 cost. However, I am not sure yet what I will do with it.

JFYI, I had to call them to order it with free shipping because on the site the shipping changes to 7.99 once you get to the submit page. I noticed this happens regardless of payment method too.
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Old October 24th, 2012, 05:48 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mill3rkydd View Post
It's $30 on Virgin Mobiles website so I might just buy it as a backup, wifi phone or developer device. Such a cheap price! I had to get my Optimus M for $100 a year ago lol.
Yea, it is hard to pass on any new Android phone for such a cheap price. If I do not use it, I will sell it or give it away. I already have an Iphone 4 on page plus and multiple Android phones too. So for me it was mostly about the cheap price for an Android.
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