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Save this phone? or dump it? And if latter, to what?

Discussion in 'Android Devices' started by codezer0, Jul 4, 2017.

  1. codezer0

    codezer0 Android Expert
    Thread Starter

    My frustrations with this phone just don't seem to end, ever. And most recently after buckling down and buying an air vent holder and some fresh charging cables after it managed to ruin three more USB cables in one day, I then try with some fresh cables and find something I was hoping wouldn't have happened... or at least, wouldn't happen until well after I replaced it as my primary.

    The micro-USB port is basically done... in the sense that it won't hold on to a cable anymore. Couple this with the crap battery, and the prospects of being able to get another year out of this phone are basically looking grim to no chance at all. Of course, searching on Amazon and ebay, it's been impossible for me to find a first party replacement battery for this phone, much less a way to do it while still being able to seal it properly, as the ifixit guide will tell you how to tear it open but won't tell you how to reassemble it so that the glue is either reusable, or replaceable. And now it would preclude that I would also need to try to solder-replace the microUSB port of the phone as well. So, I'm trying to re-evaluate my options here.

    First option is to try and repair this phone myself, since Motorola wouldn't even warranty me while it was still new and it killed its factory charger in two months. First problems right away are:
    • Trying to find a stock or higher capacity battery that would fit this phone, because the battery has been king for ALL of the problems I've had with it
    • I've never de/re-soldered a USB port on anything before. So there's a learning curve, and for something I basically need to have working, I'm not sure I want to go that far yet, unless I really have no alternative.
    Second option would be to try to find another phone... but presently, the market is saturated with phones that I want nothing to do with. Way back in the era when gingerbread was the hot new thing, I went with Android in equal parts because I couldn't afford $1000 for an iPhone, but also because you could do more with an Android than an iPhone, including (but not limited to):
    • Replace the battery with a higher capacity model
    • Custom ROMs and easy recovery options
    • Expand-ability with the microSD slot, making the second point even more flexible
    Nowadays when I look for phones, they're all aping the iPhone for all the wrong reasons, in the same way that consoles are trying to ape the worst aspects of PC gaming, for all the wrong reasons. While I am reasonably happy with T-Mobile service here, I definitely don't want to be stuck with a phone that is basically useless if I have to switch carriers again.

    It just figures this has to happen when I'm strapped for funds and can't afford to buy any phone outright. :saddroid:

    Brian Newton likes this.

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  2. mikedt

    mikedt 你好

    If you and/or the phone keeps on wrecking USB cables at that rate. Suggest you at least get a phone that has wireless charging, so you never have to plug anything in the USB. As for switching carriers and that, I have no definite ideas, but usually can just swap the SIM, provided it isn't SIM-locked.
    #2 mikedt, Jul 4, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2017
  3. codezer0

    codezer0 Android Expert
    Thread Starter

    Wireless charging won't work in my situation, since most of the time I'm having to recharge this MXPE in one pocket, with the USB cable going to another pocket where the external battery is. Not to mention, even the best so-called wireless chargers always are much slower charging, and that's even if I'm not doing anything with the phone. so with me, it'd probably be sitting on there for three days at a time before it would be fully charged, only to run out its battery within an hour or three.

    I'd much rather just have a larger battery to begin with, like the extended batteries I had way back with my old Galaxy S 3, and eventually the Note 3.
  4. mikedt

    mikedt 你好

    The Moto X PE I don't know at all, so can't really comment about it.

    I did have a phone that had wireless charging, which would charge in about 3 hours on the pad and would last all day. Also charging my phones from power-banks in pockets is not something I've ever done, and I don't even have a power-bank. I'm travelling a lot at the moment, and do see people using them, but they're often gaming on their phones as well, to pass the time on the buses and trains. I know playing games can be a real power drain.
  5. codezer0

    codezer0 Android Expert
    Thread Starter

    With SGDQ going on this week, I'm charging this phone from dead twice a day. And being summer, means it's 110+ outside every day. Then this phone wants to just get uncomfortably hot, run out the external battery and not charge at all either. But now, it won't even hold in the usb cable at all on its end.
  6. acejavelin

    acejavelin Android Expert

    Honestly... Although it isn't a good answer, it just sounds like the MXPE isn't the phone for you.
  7. codezer0

    codezer0 Android Expert
    Thread Starter

    All the more exacerbated by the fact that nobody wants to make a suitable phone at any price point. :maddroid:
  8. acejavelin

    acejavelin Android Expert

    Depends what your looking for... there is no phone that is 100% of everything I have wanted in a perfect phone, compromises have to made somewhere.

    Currently my top picks are the Axon 7 (which is probably up for a new model soon) or the OnePlus 5 which have most of the features I want, and both are under $500
  9. Hadron

    Hadron Smoke me a kipper...
    VIP Member

    The big problem is that codezer0 really wants a removable battery, which is essentially only a feature of low or mid-range phones these days (the LG V20 is probably the last flagship device that will have one in the foreseeable future, and there are other reasons he's not happy with that). I imagine it's harder to find significant extended-capacity batteries for many of those as a less popular model will get fewer accessories. I don't know whether one of those "juice pack" cases would be an acceptable substitute, though I'm sure they are more expensive.

    SD expansion is pretty easy to find: just avoid Pixels and (ironically) OnePlus devices, and a couple of other Chinese models. Most handsets offer that though.

    Development is easier with popular handsets, which tend to be higher-end, which these days means fixed batteries. Not being able to buy handsets outright doesn't help, because US carrier-subsidised phones are locked-down hard (that's a carrier thing rather than a manufacturer thing: most phones are not difficult to unlock and root in most of the world).

    It's the combination of low upfront cost, unlockable + good development community, expandable storage and user-replaceable battery that's tricky. Add in compatibility with all US networks (complicated by the mix of technologies they use), and while you can think of phones that meet a few of these requirements, it's hard to think of something that meets them all.

    I don't know whether something like a second-hand Note 4 would be acceptable? That's similar SoC specs to the MXPE, removeable battery, don't know about development but it was a very popular model. But it is old now.
    tube517 and acejavelin like this.
  10. codezer0

    codezer0 Android Expert
    Thread Starter

    I thought I explained it enough already...but it breaks down like this.

    I want a reasonably fast phone (for the love of all that is good, I'm sick of people calling them devices), that affords me the ability to switch providers if need be, and that affords me the battery life that i need, so I don't have to depend on wasting pocket space and risking wrecked USB cables to charge the stupid thing.

    I'm of the opinion that once said phone exceeds $200 USD, I expect to be able to get two full years (minimum) of life. And with the need to constantly quick charge this MXPE, I'm surprised I even got one year out of it. I'd only really tolerate a sealed battery on a phone that was intentionally cheap to begin with. On a high end phone? Let me slap in a bigger battery, dang it.

    Why do I want a universal radio on there? Because I'd been burned time and again by carriers left, right, and center. It always got to a point where a carrier just became awful where I lived and worked, and I got really damn tired of having to wait even longer for a contract to run out, or till I could save up to buy another phone, because of course the phone I did get won't work on any other carrier. I could maybe deal with one that didn't work on Sprint, because it was their behavior that got me so fed up with locked phones, and it was their behavior that compelled me to start looking specifically for unlocked phones to begin with, so I wouldn't have to put up with the shenanigans of any carrier, anymore. And being in the US, CDMA is still a thing that should be accounted for.

    What did this MXPE get right? The universal radio that works on all the US carriers. The SD slot for easy imaging/backup/restore without needing to use a separate PC. the high resolution screen. The stereo speakers.
    What did this MXPE get wrong? the *expletive* BATTERY!

    The reason I'm suspicious about LG is because even back when I was shopping and what eventually made me settle, on this MXPE, was because I was about to pull the trigger on an LG G4, and was told flat out by LG support, that regardless of where I bought the phone, it would have no warranty if it was an unlocked model. Irony being that they would even sell same model direct on their site. I asked the same and got the same answer from them regarding the V10 and V20. Granted, I wouldn't even consider buying a phone I couldn't root, because I already get angry fits when getting unskippable/unblockable ads on a smartphone. But if the hardware has a problem, like the apparent boot-looping issues that plagued the G4 and V10 started happening, then yes, I'd want some damned help - root or non-rooted.

    Far as I'm aware, Samsung has not made a Note 4 that would work on more than one carrier's worth of signals, in the same way that the unlocked G4/V10/V20 at least had support for 3 of the 4 major carriers, despite LG's propensity to only try to sell the ultra-locked versions of the same phone that definitely won't work even if SIM unlocked on any other network.
    Hadron likes this.
  11. mikedt

    mikedt 你好

    There's plenty of phones with universal all mode, all band radios in them, but unfortunately with being in the US, you're at the mercy of restrictive carriers and their strict BYOD policies, e.g. Verizon Wireless(Big Red). AFAIK no other country in the world has carriers that operate BYOD policies.

    It is very much accounted for. For a manufacturer to include CDMA in a phone costs them real money, namely the actual hardware required and Qualcomm's stiff CDMA licensing and patent fees. Qualcomm has the monopoly on CDMA intellectual property, they invented it.
  12. acejavelin

    acejavelin Android Expert

    I didn't know you could still get phones with removeable batter,
    Actually, I think some more needs to be considered in this... CDMA is a dying technology in the US... I'm not even kidding... Verizon has it scheduled to shutdown their 1xRTT CDMA voice and EVDO data network at the end of 2019, it's happening whether people believe it or not, Verizon has been preparing for it for years. Currently 99% of their coverage area has LTE, 95% of all traffic (including voice) is already using LTE, and they are pushing people into devices with VoLTE, and they are opening up their VoLTE to BYOD devices as well. MVNO's will be moving that way in the near future as well, they will have to.

    This is nothing new in the US, 2G and 3G networks are being shutdown, scaled back, and planned for decomissioning in the near future. T-Mobile has their entire 2G and 3G networks planned to sunset mid-2020.

    AT&T Wireless has already shutdown their 2G Edge networks, happened last year in the end of December. Although AT&T has shown no interest in shutting down it's 3G HSPA network at this time.

    By 2020, 96+% of all mobile voice and data communications will be on LTE or newer technologies, and all but the most robust 3G networks will be completely decommissioned.

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