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Guys, a quick question about Google play phones..

Discussion in 'Android Help' started by zandersig, Jul 13, 2013.

  1. zandersig

    zandersig Android Enthusiast
    Thread Starter

    Hi dude's, can you go take a look here!


    Now I have two questions for you, can all the Google play phones/devices be rooted and have custom roms put on them? And which one (phone) will take a micro SD Card from what Google is offering right now? The only one that I think can use a micro sd card is the Samsung GS4, maybe that is the one I should get. What do u think?

    I was thinking about getting the HTC ONE or the Nexus 4 but neither one of those will accept a micro sd card (IMO I think Google really screwed the pooch on those 2 phones. Why would they want to get rid of the sd card? Makes no sense to me! I have a 32GB card in my connect and it's almost full....

    Anyway I think the SG4 is the best of the 3 that they are offering right now.
    If I bought that from Google I should be able to root it and do custom roms with no problems, right? I just wish it didn't cost so much! I'm done with the Connect, right now it's going on CL first for a few days then I'm moving it to ebay and I need a little help on what to get next?

    Thanks all!

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  2. hYpHyPuRpLe

    hYpHyPuRpLe Android Enthusiast

    Yes you can root just fine. Here's a plan for you. Get the regular S4 on T-Mobile and then root it and install the Google Play Rom on it and it'll be the same thing! (Woah that was a crazy run-on sentence) You'll be able to pay it in payments and not $600 in one payment. I think I also heard that the Google Play phones can't get LTE on T-Mobile but the regular ones can so it might be better to just buy the regular one and then convert it
  3. zandersig

    zandersig Android Enthusiast
    Thread Starter

    Yea, I thought about that but I have been reading that the one bought from the store is a slightly different FW and it can't be rooted.

    I read a review of the SG4 last night (the one from Google) and it said that LTE works on it with T-Mobile. I really like the HTC one but man, why did they decide to remove the Micro SD Card that is the craziest thing I ever heard of!! Why? I was going to get the Nexus 4 but it comes without an SD card slot, No 4G and the battery life sucks on it. I sent google a kinda nasty message asking them why in the world did they take out the SD card slots? What were they smoking when they decided to do that?

    So I am right that the SG4 comes with an SD card slot right? The HTC one does not, right?

    If I did that through T-Mobile that would be like a credit card payment thing and not a loan right? You know they passed a law that if you are using a phone from a carrier and are leasing the phone if you Root it it is a Felony! Crazy huh?!?

    Do you know anyone that has rooted the SG4 from T-Mobile? I would just like to be absolutely sure before I decide to do it.

    This is why I just want an unlocked (Google Play Store) version... http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=2252248&page=80

    What's your thoughts on the HTC one?
  4. jlede

    jlede Android Expert

    yes exactly i was thinking long and hard and figured why not buy the s4 from metro instead and root unlock and flash the grom and poof same exact phone
  5. jhawkkw

    jhawkkw Chinchillin'

    Ok, so here's some info on the Google play phones.

    The S4 is the only one that takes a microsd card. Google didn't have a say on the HTC One not having a slot, that was HTC. This isn't surprising because the normal Sense One doesn't have one either. However, the One comes with 32GB internal, while the S4 only has 16 and the Nexus 4 tops out at 16 as well. Google decided to go away from external memory when they introduced ICS 1.5 years ago because there were limitations of how useful it is, and to also help push the usage of their cloud services.

    The One cannot do T-Mobile HSPA on the 1700 MHz spectrum, but the S4 and Nexus 4 can. All three phones are compatible with T-Mobile LTE, though the Nexus 4 doesn't out of the box and will require doing some mild software modding to use it. The thing to remember about the Nexus 4 is that it's almost half the price of the other two, but it is still an amazing device with great specs. However the Nexus 4 is a fragile phone due to have a back glass panel.

    Unlocking and rooting on these devices is quite easy, about as easy as it gets for a device and the Nexus 4 has a quite a large developer community for custom roms.
    zandersig likes this.
  6. zandersig

    zandersig Android Enthusiast
    Thread Starter

    Wow! Thanks for all that info! Great stuff! How are the huge amplified speakers on the HTC One? It looks like I'm going to go with the SG4, I know it's expensive but from the review that I read it said that it's future proof and the battery life is great. Right now on my Connect I have a 32gb sd card and it's almost full. I just can't see myself buying a phone that doesn't use SD. Is Google doing this to try and make more money because the cloud services usually cost money right? I don't think they (non sd card phones) will sell good unless they put the card slots back in. I hope I am right. Then maybe the next Nexus will have a sd card slot.

    If you were me (broke, selling my connect, currently out of work, love having my music/movies with me on a card) which one would you suggest I buy or should I wait a few months and see if Google gets in more phones that have an SD card slot?
  7. jhawkkw

    jhawkkw Chinchillin'

    I wouldn't count on Google making a Nexus device with an SD card slot. They haven't offered one with a slot for almost 3 year, and I don't expect them to change any time soon. HTC has also seemed to go away from SD slots as well, though Motorola and Samsung still seem to support them. Motorola is also about to release the XFone fairly soon as well, which might be another option you could consider. But overall, I figure you can't go wrong with any of them. I have a Nexus 4 on the T-Mobile 30 dollar pre-paid plan and I'm using LTE with no difficulties. It's pretty sweet.

    As for the play services, they offer quite a few of them for free. Google Music allows you to upload up to 20,000 songs no matter their size and you can stream them via wifi or data, or pin select songs for storage in cache. That helps many people free up a lot of space. Google drive also gives you 5GB of cloud storage for free, but you can also buy more if you so desired.
    zandersig likes this.
  8. zandersig

    zandersig Android Enthusiast
    Thread Starter


    Let's say I bought the SG4 (which the price is killing me) what can I do with the micro sd card and what can I not do with it? I mean can I move apps to it, can I still use Titanium Backup, where would I store my Roms (like for CWM.(zip files)) for Jelly Bean and the future KLP? Like right now on my Connect I am using Password 360 to store all my log ins and passwords and it stores all that stuff on the SD card encrypted. How would that work with no SD card?

    Let's say I bought the Nexus 4 (or the future Nexus 5, which I would hope would come with like 64GB of Internal memory), would I have to fix it for 4G before going to T-Mobile to get it turned on? How hard is it to fix that thing? I am still kinda a noob, a 1.5 year old noob, LOL. I know how to do some stuff but other things are way over my head. I also read a bad review on the N4, short battery life, no 4G (without the hack), no SD card. I was just about ready to buy it until I read that it didn't have an SD card... and man that threw a wrench into what my next phone was going to be. I know I am not buying anymore branded phones, they have gotten so smart now at locking them down (no root) that it's not even worth the hassle anymore to buy one from a store (besides Google and I wonder when they will lock their phones?)...

    About the Cloud Service, If I bought a Google Phone with no SD card I would pretty much have to have an unlimited data plan to access all my stuff right, does it stream my files to me or would I just download them to the phone? How do you access the internal storage, PC or Mac? Can the internal storage be partitioned?

    I also read that the Nexus 4 doesn't play well with a Macintosh and that you have to have some special kind of program to get to the internal storage and I am guessing that it's probably an Intel Mac app and I am on an old PPC G5 so I probably couldn't even hook it up to my Mac. I do have a laptop with Windows 7 but all my stuff is on my mac, I have like 5 HDD in my mac full of stuff.....

    It just seems crazy not to have an SD card, let's say that I bought a Google phone with no SD card, after a year or two when I wanted to get a new phone and sell the old one I would have to hook the phone up to a PC and copy all the stuff that is on there and then copy it back to a new phone and that seems like a big waste of time. Right now all I have to do is pull my SD card and slap it in a new phone and I have all my stuff right there. :) Oh yea, if I have to do a factory reset on a non SD card phone wouldn't I loose all my stuff that I put on there?

    With the cloud thing what if I put something on the cloud that they thought was pirated (movie, music, whatever) would I then be banned from it and loose all my stuff? I'm new to the clouds...

    Ahhh man..... so many questions, sorry about that man! If Metro had not merged with T-Mobile and screwed up my Connect I could just keep using it for a while but here in GA ZVA, VV3, VV4 does not even work anymore. That stupid error just keeps popping up every 4 seconds and I have to turn off the data just so I can make a phone call or even use m phone for that matter.... man I wish vv5 was rooted. LOL!

    Anyway I am off too bed, man I really appreciate you helping me out and answering these questions for me. All my friends are on iPhones so they can't help me.... Bahhhh

    If I think of anymore is it okay if I keep asking on here?

    P.S. how is the sound on the SG4? How about the sound on the HTC One? What I really like about the HTC One is those huge speakers (that are amplified) but do they really make a difference? Every phone that I have ever owned I could just not get the sound up loud enough (missed calls, missed texts, having to tell people, what? I couldn't hear you!!!) and those huge speakers on the HTC looks like I would have no problems, but I don't know for sure...

    Do you know anything about the Nexus 5? Storage size, who is going to make it, etc? I think I read that it's coming out this October 2013?
  9. jhawkkw

    jhawkkw Chinchillin'

    Google removed apps2sd in ICS because it wasn't being utilized by developers and it was kind of buggy. However everything that you currently do you can do, though you might have to change some settings.

    Nexus devices have only ever come with a max of 32GB of storage, so a 64GB internal seems unlikely. In fact, 64GB internal android phones are kind of rarity in the US. Getting LTE to work on the Nexus 4 isn't that difficult, and we do have a stickied thread in the Nexus 4 forum with instructions on how to get it done. The general process is flash an older modem in cwm, change/add 3 lines in the build.prop using root explorer, use a dial code to enable it in the phone settings, and then change the apn settings to tell the phone how to pull the data from T-mobile. All in all, it should take no longer than 10 minutes. Battery life on the device is pretty decent in my opinion. It's not elite razr maxx hd like, but more that satisfactory. It tends to last all day with 3-5 hours of screen time depending on your data/wifi ratio. Google will never lock their phones because they whole foundation of android in their eyes is open source open device open network. It's too bad they're alone in this view.

    T-Mobile plans all have unlimited data, they only thing that changes is where the throttle point is. However they do have a truly unlimited with no throttling plan available if that's what you want. The phone is accessed through a pc through MTP protocol. It gives you direct access to the virtual sd card on the phone. As for streaming your files, it depends on what it is. Music can be either or, though just about anything will need to be downloaded. Technically the phone can be repartitioned, but it isn't recommended because it could really screw it up.

    I don't really know about using it on a mac because I almost exclusively use linux. The Nexus 4 behaves just like every other modern phone so it would either be all of them or none of them. Just from the lack of flooding questions, I would assume it would be just fine. MTP isn't the nicest way to access it, and can be kind of pain at times, but that's across the board, not just on a mac.

    Yeah, I thought getting a phone without an sd card was crazy when I got my first Nexus device more than 1.5 years ago. The cloud services they have released since then have made it a lot easier to deal with though. If you do get a new phone, you would indeed have to copy everything off and then to the new device. It's a hassle, but it is what it is. As for a factory reset, it depends on which recovery you have. Stock recovery will wipe out everything on the internal sd, as does flashing a factory image through the bootloader and unlocking the bootloader. This is why it's recommended that one of the very first things you get with the device is unlock the bootloader. However after that, if you put custom recovery like cwm or twrp on the device, when you factory reset from within those recoveries it leaves the internal sd alone. This is a major help if you plan to flash custom roms.

    Google really doesn't check for pirated material, though I obviously cannot condone pirating. I respectfully ask not to ask how to do so on here because it is against our site rules. But other than that, I've never seen any angry threads on here getting banned from Google services so I would assume you'd be safe.

    Of course, but I think I'm going to move this thread after this post because it's not really about this device. I'll send you a PM about the move as well as leave a redirect.

    The sound on the HTC One is amazing, they have retained the beats audio with it so that about the best there is on the phone. Samsung is notorious for making relatively quiet devices due to European code about volume loudness, so I would assume S4 is also quiet. My Nexus 4 seems have have great volume, though I imagine the One is better. One thing to be careful about the one is that there have been reports of people blowing out their speakers.

    Official details about the Nexus 5 remain quiet, though there are plenty of rumors. Given past behavior by Google, expect an announcement of the device near the end of October with a release in mid November. The rumors suggest that LG might be making it again, though that is far from a guarantee. The last two GSM Nexus phone topped out at 16GB of storage, so that would be likely to repeat. The CDMA Galaxy Nexus had 32GB of storage, though I consider this to be an anomaly.
    breadnatty08 and zandersig like this.
  10. jhawkkw

    jhawkkw Chinchillin'

    Alright, I've moved this to the Device Comparisons forum, I think it's a much better fit here. Thanks for your understanding. :)
    zandersig likes this.
  11. Hadron

    Hadron Smoke me a kipper...
    VIP Member

    The one note of caution about the Mac is that yours is still PPC. Google's Android File Transfer for OSX works just fine for me (faster than I could ever achieve with USB mass storage on my previous phone, or indeed with USB memory sticks), but given when it was introduced (last couple of years) I expect you are right when you say it's for Intel rather than PPC. It's certainly for OSX 10.5 or later - if you wanted to test it (just see whether it will even install) you can download from here.
    zandersig and jhawkkw like this.
  12. zandersig

    zandersig Android Enthusiast
    Thread Starter


    wow man, thanks did that great post! With the N4 does the phone need to be turned on at Tmobile before the 4G hack? I thought all these phones run on the GSM network?

    So even buying a Google play store phone the bootloader needs to be fixed first thing (even before taking it to Tmobile)?

    So how is the development with the HTC One?
    If You were me which of the 3 phones would you buy? I want one that has plenty of development, sounf and video is great and everything is fast. Also one that is future proof and will at least last me for 2 or more years. I thought I would have my LG Connect for a long time but because of the merger of mpcs and TM my phone is now fried and I am being forced to buy a new one!

    Who makes the HTC? Are they a good company and do you know how long they have been in the phone business?

    So should I get one of the 3 phones that are available now or wait and see what the N5 is going to have? If you were in my situation what would you do? Oh yea I want one that has excellent battery life too. If the SG4 is not going to be louder than what I have I will have to skip that one.

    When I do get one do you mind helping me out with it? I will be friend you right now so I can get to your pm quickly. If that's okay? B-)

    With buying more clouds is that a once a year payment or monthly? You can also make your own cloufs right? Like could I buy a huge HDD and hook it up to my network and access it from my phone? Or use some other cloud service it doesn't have to be through Google does it?

    One more thing what does MTP stand for and is that the only way to mount the internal hdd on the phones? Also how is the data speed with the hpsa+? compared to 4G? When will we be switched over to GSM?
    jhawkkw likes this.
  13. jhawkkw

    jhawkkw Chinchillin'

    Nope, you can make all these modifications before setting up your sim. Though you obviously won't see LTE until T-Mobile activates the phone, or you activate it yourself with your previous sim card/prepaid sim activation kit.

    It doesn't need to, but I recommend it. The sooner you unlock, which is really easy to do, the better.

    Development on the HTC One will probably be fine, but the largest support will be on the Nexus 4. Price has a significant factor on this since not many people are willing to pay 600+ for a phone. Nexus phones also have the benefit of getting the quicker updates, the GS4 and One will probably still get some, but their updating is dependent on the OEM because there's still some proprietary software in it. That means the OEM could hypothetically give up on updating them, especially if not many people buy it. The one downside of the Nexus 4 is that the screen is only 720p, though on a screen that small, I don't think it's that big of a deal. The one benefit of getting the Nexus 4 is that since you're willing to spend 600+ on the other ones, getting the N4 saves you 300 that if you want to you could use to buy the N5 when it comes out since it will also likely be around the 350 price mark.

    Either phone can likely last you 2 years, though this market progresses in such fashion that phones even one year from now could make you envious.

    HTC is actually the oldest android OEM, and actually made the very first android phone, the HTC G1 back in 2008. They are known for having great build quality, but because they're a smaller company than Samsung, they don't advertise as much.

    As I mentioned above, since you're willing to spend 600+, if I were in your shoes, I would buy the N4 and then use the extra money you would have spent on the other play phones to buy the N5 when it comes out. The GS4 has the potential to have the best battery life out of the 3 because it's the only one with a removable battery that can be replaced with a thicker/bigger capacity battery. However all 3 get great battery life imo.

    Friend Request Accepted :)

    Absolutely. Google gives you 15GB for free, and can buy more at monthly rates. For example, 100GB $5/month, 200 $10/month and so forth. There's also other sites like dropbox that offer cloud storage. They give 2GB for free, though you can buy more. I don't know their rates offhand though. You can also use your personal hard drive method and access it that way, though it would be a little trickier to get to it away from your home. There are ways, but you'll have to configure things in order to get it that way.

    MTP stands for Media Transfer Protocol. It's the only way to mount the phone for simple drop and drag transferring. There are 2 other drivers that are important for the device, ADB(Android Development Bridge) and Fastboot drivers. ADB is used to communicate with the phone through a command line terminal and can also be used to transfer files using the adb push command to move files to the phone, and adb pull to move files to your computer. Fastboot is a driver used to communicate with the bootloader. This is the driver you'll need to set up in order to unlock it with the command fastboot oem unlock. It's also what is used in case you ever need to flash a factory image to get back to complete stock.

    HSPA data speeds depend on which type you have. If you're in an area with HSPA+21, you'll typically see pings around 500, download between 4-10mbps, and upload between .5-3mbps. With HSPA+42, same ping and upload, but download would be between 15-30mbps. With LTE, I've seen very variable, but all great speeds. You'll see pings <100, download anywhere from 10-50mbps, and upload anywhere from 5-25 mbps.
    I'm not sure when the Metro CMDA network is being shut down, though for some reason the year 2015 comes to mind. However there are a couple of threads all about the merger and you could ask you questions there.


  14. zandersig

    zandersig Android Enthusiast
    Thread Starter

    Awesome man! Thanks for the great info. I just got 20GB cloud storage for free! I can give you a recommendation and you can get the same thing. I haven't tried it out yet but it gets great reviews! I can pm you if you want to try it out?

    Well my connect no longer picks up data away from my house (wifi) so I'm going to have to put the vv4 back on and unroot it and take it in to metro. I was wanting to sell this phone and get the N4 but it looks like that is not going to happen... This really sucks!

    But you have most definitely helped me out on which phone to get.

    Could I buy the N4 and put my connect sim card in it and get service or do I have to go to Tmobile?
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