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Complete NEWBIE - need help buying new phone

Discussion in 'Android Lounge' started by WangYueZhou, Dec 26, 2011.

  1. WangYueZhou

    WangYueZhou Lurker
    Thread Starter

    Hey complete newbie here,

    So due to recent work changes I need to get a new phone... I'm a complete newbie when it comes to phones and have some really basic questions I was hoping the experts can help me answer.

    But before that, let me just give a brief summary how I plan to use the phone:

    - The main reason I need a new phone is that I need to put a lot of medical information applications on there so I can have access to them at the hospital (medscape, epocrates, medcalc etc etc). I'm a medical student and work in the hospital often.
    - I don't really make a lot of calls at all, but I do text occasionally.
    - And finally, I need something that can access the internet with a browser using in-house wireless wifi for internet access

    So my questions are, for my purposes listed above

    1. What phone do you recommend and why? I'm looking around the net and currently am there are so many phones out there I have no idea what do get. Currently I'm thinking looking at Samsung galaxy sII, HTC Evo 4G, iphone4 and some Motorola phones, by no means I'm limited to these, I'm actually hoping for some suggestions from experienced users... I just listed these as an example because they apparently are showing up a lot when I search.

    2. Which operating systems is better? I realize this is an android forum, but I have no clue what operating systems are out there except for google android and apple iOS.

    3. I'm really looking to get a phone without any contracts and pay as I go.... because I can't afford a ridiculous $100 dollar monthly bill just for a few calls and texts, I was wondering if I can use pre-paid phone cards if I go no contract? What kind of cards can I use?

    4. Internet access - I plan to use wireless wifi, and don't want to pay $25-30/month just for something ridiculously limited like 200mb. Can all smart phones access wireless internet if it's available?

    5. Can CDMA technology phones be used globally?

    Thank you in advance for any replies, I tried to research as much as I can given the time I have before posting. I do apologize in advance if I asked for information easily searched. ;)

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  2. Optimus 2X

    Optimus 2X Lurker

    Ok,there's A LOT about phones right now,so much that it could never be covered in a forum :))
    But,what I want to sort out for you first are the operating systems.

    iOS - Apple
    Android - Samsung,LG,Motorola...
    Windows Phone - Samsung,LG,Nokia,..
    Symbian - Nokia
    Blackberry OS - Blackberry
    Bada - Samsung
    Out-dated OS: webOS
    Near future: Windows 8

    In my opinion,here are the rankings with the most important OS's:

    3.Windows Phone

    2.Windows Phone

    iOS is simple and stable.Gets minus points for not being open-ended,that is,it doesn't really welcome everyone to tweak it.
    Android is in my opinion the most powerful OS of today.It's main thing is that it is open-source,so basically there's nothing to dislike about it - because someone,somewhere,has a custom version of it that will fit you.
    Windows Phone gets bonus points for a very beautiful and simple user interface.I think it would be great for someone that has never used a smartphone because it looks soo simple! It simply makes your life better by being so simple.. in my opinion it is better in this particular way than the iOS.

    Next thing are specs:
    -no. of cores: dual-core quickly becoming the standard,although high-clocked single cores are still common,quad core on the way!
    -operating frequency: 1Ghz+ quickly becoming the standard
    Storage memory: this varies a lot,the iPhone is traditionally known to overpower it's competitors in the field of mass storage: you can get a ridiculous 64GBs on the iPhone 4!
    RAM: 512MB,1GB quickly becoming the standard..
    Camera: 8MP quickly becoming the standard,5MP still common,you can find a 12MP camera on the Nokia N8 which takes absolutely beautiful shots!
    Video recording: 1080p quickly becoming the standard for high-end phones,720p and lower are common,one thing to look out for is the FPS - this determines the smoothness of the video and also whether you can use a slow motion effect or not. 30fps is good.
    Display: capacitive touchscreens and large displays are already common.nice displays include Samsung's SuperAMOLED,LG's NOVA and UltraAMOLED,and iPhone's Retina.
    big screens are great in general and for movies especially,but not good for portability,but the trend seems to be to go bigger.
    Connectivity: Full frequency range (Quad-Band GSM + CDMA) are the standard. 3G and Wi-Fi are also standard. 4G is becoming the standard in the USA.
    Bluetooth has been around for a long time.Wi-Fi tethering,A2DP,Near Field Communication and other new technologies are what you should look for
    Video performance: dedicated video chips are becoming the standard.

    There's like SOOO much more about phones,as I said it could never be covered in a forum post..
    I don't think I should've said all of this stuff,I think it must be confusing for a newbie,but
    I hope it helps!
    And btw Merry Christmas! :)
  3. dan330

    dan330 Extreme Android User

    first things first...

    you got to find out what carrier you going with...

    then see what phones can be used on that carrier...
  4. Optimus 2X

    Optimus 2X Lurker

    I know that in the US for some reason I can't understand everyone seems to get a phone from the carrier and pay a monthly bill.
    Which is sh*t for many reasons:
    1.You're getting ripped off.If you would simply buy a phone directly without a 2 yr contract you'd save a lot of $$$.
    2.Prepaid cards are a lot better because you change them whenver you like.If you get tired of a carrier,you simply buy another prepaid card.These are also cheaper most of the time.
    3.It's easier to control your costs when you have a prepaid card,because when you'll run out of credit,you'll simply be unable to use your phone anymore,as opposed to a contract,where you'll simply be charged more and more.
    4.After your 2 yr contract or whatever will be finished,your phone will be locked in your carrier's network,making it harder for you if you would try to sell it.

    Having that sorted out,consider that any true smartphone will have the full frequency range,Quadband GSM AND CDMA/UMTS,so it really doesn't have anything to do with your carrier.3G is also standard in Europe and most of the rest of the civilised world,while you can find 4G only in the US.
  5. chanchan05

    chanchan05 The Doctor

    Its better to get from a carrier sometimes, because of the services. Not to mention that in the US, phones companies have different hardware antenna bands, so sometimes, phones bought unsubsidized wont work. For example, a phone bought in Europe will only work on T-Mobile, but not for AT&T, AFAIK.

    Also, with carrier plans, we get to have data plans.
  6. sohguanh

    sohguanh Android Enthusiast

    In my country, carrier subsidize the smart-phone handsets heavily. Can you imagine paying $0 or $48 or $98 or $138 etc for an Android smart-phone of acceptable performance?

    The only catch is 2 year contract tied to carrier but for the hardware alone I don't mind being tied up. My Moto Milestone carrier contract is expiring soon and guess what I am looking for a new Android smart-phone again.

    Wonder should I go with Samsung,HTC,Moto etc. Hope to get some under $100 :p
  7. dan330

    dan330 Extreme Android User

    in usa.. even if you purchased your own phone.. using the big 4 carriers.. you really dont get a good deal.. over contracted service price.

    so you might as well get the discounted phone .. yes I agree.. it sucks for us.
    they kind of have us locked in this bad cycle.

    i would love to pay full retail on phone.. and get great service for $30/month with any carrier... but not in usa!! :(
  8. Crashdamage

    Crashdamage Android Expert

    I save significant $$ on T-Mobile by buying phones outright instead of so-called 'discounted' or 'subsidized'.
  9. p1r4te

    p1r4te Newbie

    my advice to you:
    dont buy an iphone.

    i had an iphone 4, i wasnt too exicited when i got it given to me by the company that i work for, simply because of the software that apple forces you to install on your pc/mac to even make the phone usable.
    so anyways, i was given an iphone4 through work.

    before i could even use it, i had to put a sim card in. the problem is that you have to get a special sim card (micro sim) before the thing even worked.
    i thought great, that makes it easy doesnt it!?! :S (sarcasm intended)
    so i had to wait for a day untill i could go and get a new sim from the carrier.
    then the number on my old sim needed to be transfeered to the micro sim. i couldnt do it the same day, because some calls may be lost (the carrier told me this), so i had to wait again untill the evening once i had finished work.

    ok, i got the micro sim in, by this time i was already annoyed at how dum and backword this iph4 was, then i still couldnt use it because the ph needed to be activated through itunes (yes you are forced to use itunes to activate the iph).
    well let me tell you this, i wasnt going to install gaytunes on my pc, so i used my wifes mac since it was already installed.
    so i plugged the iph in, and the ph or itunes told me that i couldnt activate it because the version of itunes needed to be updated. so that got updated. then it was asking me to update something else, so that got done too. finally, i was asked to update the actual os so that a newer version of itunes could be installed again to activate the ph.

    at this point i thought that something was a bit off. i was forced once again to do things so that i could be allowed to use this ph.
    after a a few days of frustration and defeat, i ended up going to a friend that had itunes on a pc already installed.
    i plugged it in, and it worked!!!! finally i thought that it was going to be over. but no.
    he had to update itunes first, then his contact details and credit card details were somehow transferred to my iph.

    because i was new to the iphone everything i did on it was slow, difficult and inefficent, i eventually removed my friends contact details and credit card off my ph.
    there was an app my company was trialing at that time, so i needed to get my own account to the app store.
    after giving it a go a couple of times, i finally got to the end part, but i couldnt find a way of signing up without giving them my credit card.... yeah right i though!!
    after an hour on the net i found a way to sign up without the credit card.

    after all of that, i was finally allowed to use the iphone4 that the company gave me, for work.

    the saga continues.....
    i tried to get tethering working on the iph4 so that i could use my tab to send e-mails for work because the iph4 screen is far too small to do anything intelligent, and once again i was denied the right.

    dropped ph calls.
    no ph calls would come through if im texting at random.
    no ph calls would come through if im e-mailing or useing data at random.
    only 200 e-mail message history (i need to have at least 1000, since i can send up to 30 e-mails a day).
    bluetooth problems: many headsets and car kits fail with iph4 but other ph were ok b4... my motorola car kit and my friends bt head deck wernt working, and some of my work mates were experiencing random problems.
    reception was better with my 3 year old samsung ph than with the iph4. and the fix for this "we will give you this case to fix that problem".

    the list goes on, but im runing out of hate/time for iph4.

    there is a light at the end of the tunel, i was given a new galaxy sII 1.5 months ago, and everything seems to have gotten a lot smoother. im spending a lot less time e-mailing and looking through records because its much easyer on an android, and im more productive and less stressed.

    all of this is what i had to go through for a whole year using the iph4, so if you are going to rant about how iph are better ad this and that, im not interested, and so are a whole heap of people in my company and a lot of people i know of.

    honestly, after what apple has put me through, i will actively refuse all apple products, apple media, apple sales pitches, apple lies, apple cults, and apple sanitary pads, itouch for kids, and ipatches.

    i leave you with this advice, dont buy any apple product.
    chanchan05 and Crashdamage like this.
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