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Overwhelmed, need help. New to Android OS

Discussion in 'Android Lounge' started by wugenius, Aug 11, 2011.

  1. wugenius

    wugenius Lurker
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    Hi everyone,
    I have never in my life, had a smartphone. I have been with Verizon for 10 years, but sadly, their pricing is just out of control when it comes to adding a plan to have a smart phone.

    So I am switching to possibly Tmobile or Virgin Mobile.

    My question is, what do I need to know about the Android OS to start? Maybe this will help:
    If I go with Tmobile: I am looking at the Sidekick 4g, Mytouch 4g, or the Galaxy S 4g. Which one of these are the best?

    If I go with Virgin Mobile: I am looking at the Optimus V

    I was wondering also, why 2.2 is a good version of Android. I also heard something about malicious downloads being possible with android? How do I avoid and look out for this?

    What are some good starter tips for the android os?

    Thank you guys for any and all help!
     

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  2. chanchan05

    chanchan05 The Doctor
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    1. Dependent on what your previous phone is, and if you will be using a data plan, the best way for transferring and storing contacts on your new phone would differ. If the phone is primarily to be used offline, then storing the contacts on the phone as basic phone contacts would be of no issue. However if the phone will be used often for internet and you would like to sync to your Google contacts, the contacts should be stored on the phone as Google contacts. To do this, you need the contacts from your old phone uploaded to Google Contacts, via Outlook or MSE, and your new phone will automatically download them.

    2. Many people do not know that Symbian is a smartphone OS, and I do not know if you were one of them. There was a time when people did not know that their N70s, N80s and others could surf the net. Sof if you are coming from a SYmbian, task switching and managing is very different on Android.

    3. My choice for an Android phone would be something from HTC or Samsung or SE, not LG or Motorola. But thats just me.

    4. Android 2.2 would let you use virtually all apps on the market with only limitation being hardware, plus a number of new features and better performance than previous versions.
     
  3. takeshi

    takeshi Android Expert
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    Make sure you select the carrier first based on real world coverage (don't rely on maps) where you need it most.

    I'd suggest reading up here, on other Android forum sites and whatever other resources you can find. Keep in mind that Android devices can have a UI from the manufacturer or the stock UI. You need to determine your UI preference.

    Best is always highly subjective. If you want recommendations you need to provide your needs/wants. You might want to look at the other "Which device should I get?" threads to see if there are any considerations that you've overlooked. You also need to determine your preferences for physical characteristics (size, weight, form factor, screen, keyboard, "build quality", etc) if you don't already have a good grasp of them.

    Selecting any smartphone isn't a one-size-fits-all thing. If one device was universally best then we'd all be using it. You need to find the device that suits you best. We know nothing about you. We only know what you share with us.

    Understand permissions (find a guide explaining what they mean), read reviews, corroborate.

    Again, "good" is a highly subjective word. 2.2 is good if it suits you. It's not if it doesn't.

    Don't overlook the usefulness of forums. Read up.

    I'd generalize that a bit further. Google isn't the only account that offers contact sync. If you want your contacts synced then ensure that they're in a suitable account for sync with your device. For example, my primary account is an Exchange account. My contacts are all Exchange contacts synced from the Exchange server.

    Again, that should be generalized a bit more. Android's different from more than just Symbian. If you're coming from any non-Android device it's going to be a bit of a change.
     
  4. wugenius

    wugenius Lurker
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    Thanks again everyone.

    My old phone is an LG Env 3. But I didn't have a data plan. My wife has a data plan on her ENV Touch, though it's only 75 mb at 1X. Terrible.

    I read the stickies on Android, and the permissions thing sounds scary. I didn't know apps can do things like check your contacts or send out calls. Scary stuff.

    I decided on Tmobile because my sister in law has it, and it seems to work fine in our area. I am worried though because I travel about 5 times a year for conferences for work, and I know the network won't be up to par with Verizon which I am used to.

    In regards to picking a phone, my biggest problem is getting caught up reading reviews after reviews. I keep hearing the same kinds of things, and makes me worry about all of the phones I am looking at,

    The Sidekick sounds like it is buggy and acts up. And that the touchscreen sometimes becomes unresponsive. The Mytouch has issues as well, as does the Samsung Galaxy S 4G (limited internal memory and tons of bloatware). The optimus has an sd card issue apparently in which it keeps saying it was removed.

    I don't know how Isolated these issues are, but I worry about them. I know there is no one phone fits all, I just hope the phone I get doesn't act up to much.

    Really all I need my phone for is for checking email, facebook, light browsing, and texting. My wife though, will be using it more for media stuff and heavier browsing.
     
  5. Stuntman

    Stuntman Android Expert
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    My experience when I was a first time smartphone user is that I found it difficult to really understand what I wanted in a smartphone until I actually owned one for some period of time. I did check some web sites, but felt I did not have the context to really understand how the various reviews, opinions and specs relate to what I plan to do. The other thing was I didn't know how I plan to use my smartphone. I had some ideas, but didn't realise I could do a whole lot more. I ended up getting one that did what I told the salesperson what I plan to do. Then after owning it for a while, I found I could do a lot more and the phone I got sucked at the other things I didn't know I wanted to do when I got my phone. Going from a feature phone to a smartphone is a huge transition. You may find you can do a lot more than you thought you could do with a phone.

    As for the permissions, they are needed for certain apps. For instance, social media apps need to be able to access your contacts to sync contact information. My phone displays the Facebook picture of some contacts when I get a call from them. The access to information allows some apps and functions of your phone to provide a fuller experience.
     
  6. wugenius

    wugenius Lurker
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    So what phone did you end up getting?

    Thanks for the feedback. I think I am overwhelmed because it is a new thing for me. I am excited, but worried that I might get the wrong phone, and that a bad phone could ruin my experience.
     
  7. Bnice

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    @wugenius
    I would suggest you take a trip or two to t-mobile and play with various devices. You might want to look at the HTC Sensation also. Ask the a rep or two if you can check out their phone as well just to see how the set up for each individual is different. Check out the feel and responsiveness of the phones. The built quality and how buttons and things of that nature are place on the device. In the the end,the choice is yours to make.
     
  8. reinbeau

    reinbeau Klaatu barada nikto
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  9. Stuntman

    Stuntman Android Expert
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    My first smartphone was the Nokia N97. I wanted a phone with a good GPS app for an upcoming vacation. It did that job really well.

    After I had it for a month, I discovered the potential of smartphones. The N97 did a lot of other things for me, but did it rather poorly. After my vacation, I contemplated getting a new phone. I eventually did and got an HTC Desire Z. By this time, I learned a lot more about smartphones and did my research knowing the context of what a smartphone can do. I am very happy the the Desire Z.

    Looking back, I don't know if another phone would have had as good a GPS app as the Nokia phone. Google Maps did not have driving navigation in Canada yet. The N97 had it built-in and free. I didn't know phones could browse the internet that well at the time either. I guess I could have tried it out, but it would have been difficult to actually try out the GPS before buying. I had a lengthy conversation with the salesperson and at the time, my GPS requirement (and physical keyboard) was the one that made me get the N97.

    By the way, I did talk to a friend who reluctantly suggested I get an iPhone. I did not because I wanted a phone with a physical keyboard. Based on what I told him at the time, it was probably the correct advise, but knowing now what I know then, I think I gave him incorrect information about what I wanted anyway.

    I hope I didn't scare you from getting a smartphone. The N97 was a lemon that did the one thing well that I needed. I don't think your needs are the same as mine. Also, at the time, only one person I knew had a smartphone. They are more prevalent these days. You can ask a friend or family member if you could play around with one. That was one luxury I did not have (except with the iPhone) at the time. Phone stores will also have some working models for you to try as well.

    There's no lemon out there like the N97 which I think is the worse smartphone ever made. There are also many web sites that compare phones head to head. You could do a Google search on "<phone A> vs. <phone B>" and may find some direct comparisons between two phones. That may help.

    Also, you may also be able to return the phone if you are unsatisfied with it. It depends on the carrier and/or store. I'm not familiar with the policies of stores in the US.
     
  10. wugenius

    wugenius Lurker
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    That's where I read. But I guess I just need to download trusted apps.

    Thanks again everyone. I've only got to try the sidekick 4 g and the optimus, both of which I liked. Especially the sidekick 4g. I like having a physical keyboard.
     
  11. Bnice

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    If you like keyboards, try the mytouch 4G and the G2.
     

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