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Old June 29th, 2013, 08:59 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default future of VM QWERTY phones, e.g. Photon Q?

I've had an LG Optimus Slider for about 18 months, and am still generally happy for the usability and value of this phone. I have a grandfathered $25/month 300 minute plan, and would have to pay $10/month more to move to a newer device. My only major complaint about the Slider is the very limited internal memory. I can live with the relatively slow Internet, and actually prefer Gingerbread overall to ICS, although I like Jelly Bean a bit more. I definitely prefer the four buttons on the Slider over the current reduced-button approaches.

I picked up a Kyocera Rise about six months ago on one of the $30 sales, planning to migrate to it. I used it as a GPS and calendar on an overseas trip, where I didn't have access to phone service or data from VM. It was OK, but I found it less stable than my Slider, and really disliked the ICS button usage. Also the Rise is rootable, but the bootloader is locked. So I continue to use my Slider rather than pay $10 more per month for a device (the Rise) that I don't particularly like.

So now the question is, will there be a future better-quality QWERTY (preferably slider) phone on VM? Or any other prepaid carrier where I could get somewhere close to my $25/300 minute plan?

The obvious candidate is the Motorola Photon Q LTE, which would be a big step up.

Any thoughts? Will I be able to find such a device and plan in the foreseeable future?

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Old June 29th, 2013, 10:54 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by jae_63 View Post
I've had an LG Optimus Slider for about 18 months, and am still generally happy for the usability and value of this phone. I have a grandfathered $25/month 300 minute plan, and would have to pay $10/month more to move to a newer device. My only major complaint about the Slider is the very limited internal memory. I can live with the relatively slow Internet, and actually prefer Gingerbread overall to ICS, although I like Jelly Bean a bit more. I definitely prefer the four buttons on the Slider over the current reduced-button approaches.

I picked up a Kyocera Rise about six months ago on one of the $30 sales, planning to migrate to it. I used it as a GPS and calendar on an overseas trip, where I didn't have access to phone service or data from VM. It was OK, but I found it less stable than my Slider, and really disliked the ICS button usage. Also the Rise is rootable, but the bootloader is locked. So I continue to use my Slider rather than pay $10 more per month for a device (the Rise) that I don't particularly like.

So now the question is, will there be a future better-quality QWERTY (preferably slider) phone on VM? Or any other prepaid carrier where I could get somewhere close to my $25/300 minute plan?

The obvious candidate is the Motorola Photon Q LTE, which would be a big step up.

Any thoughts? Will I be able to find such a device and plan in the foreseeable future?
It looks like your best hope, from what I can find, is that Virgin Mobile gets either the Photon Q or the LG Mach from Sprint. It really looks like, other than Blackberry, that phones with physical keyboards are disappearing.

I think much of this has to do with the improvement of the touch keyboards, particularly with Swype (or similar), as well as the increased screen sizes. My suggestion would be maybe, when you are ready to upgrade, try a phone without a keyboard and try it out. Use it for the length of the return period, two weeks to a month, and try Swype or Swiftkey. I think there is a good chance you'll start to see why physical keyboards are dying. But, if you still prefer the physical keyboard, then return the phone and go with what works best.

As for alternatives, you could move to Ting and take the Sprint phone of your choice. Most other cheap options are through T-Mobile (or an MVNO using T-Mobile's network), but I'm not seeing any current phones (other than the Blackberries) on T-Mobile.
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Old June 30th, 2013, 06:25 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks, I have spent a lot of time with Swype-like keyboards, and use the latest Google keyboard in this fashion on my tablet, but at the end of the day it is not a competitive solution for me compared with a hardware qwerty keyboard. I have also spent/wasted an inordinate amount of time trying to figure out how to use my phone's keyboard to type remotely on my tablet, for example when I want to write a few paragraphs summarizing an article.

Ting looks like a very competitive solution, and at my current usage would cost around $42/month. I could buy a photon q for around $200 on eBay.

I am not going to rush into this, but it is good to realize that I have this option.

Thanks again ...
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