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Thinking of upgrading from Symbian phone - Android Questions

Discussion in 'Android Lounge' started by Jezston, May 7, 2012.

  1. Jezston

    Jezston Member
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    I've had an HTC Desire in the past (now belongs to my mother) but bought a Nokia N8 18 months ago for the camera.

    I'll be honest, the N8 is a bloody awful phone. Well, it's nice physically and camera is very good, but operating it is so bloody clunky and slow and buggy and unintuitive and just crap. So now my contract has run out, I'm looking at upgrading - possibly to a HTC One S as the is supposed to be reasonably close to N8 quality.

    BUT there are actually a few features in Symbian that I like that the old Desire never had, so wondering if anyone knows if these are now available to Android phones:

    1. Low power clock / status standby display.
    The Desire gives you a blank screen when on standby, you have to press the power button to bring the screen up, then swipe. The N8 illuminates a few pixels on the screen to give you a little clock, date and text / alarm / missed call etc info when on standby, so I can see if anything is up at a glance - this is immensely useful.

    2. Say callers name when ringing.
    Its a bit of a silly feature in Symbian but actually quite useful - when I've got an incoming call and the phone is ringing, a little synthesised voice says the name of the person calling. This means I know who is calling me when my phone is in another room or whatever without having to go and look at the phone.

    3. Lots of battery saving features.
    My N8 has lots of options to turn off lots of things, and set it to turn things on and off at certain times - so for example I can set it to turn off 3G, bluetooth and Wifi and all data access at night when I'm asleep, then turn it back on again in the morning. It also has a low power mode which I've been able to stretch battery life up to FOUR DAYS with. I remember barely getting a day out of my HTC Desire - although weirdly when I got my N8 and had the Desire without a sim in it - it lasted almost a week without charge! Amazing how much connecting to stuff saps a phones battery life.

    Also, how does the batterly life on the One S compare to the old Desire? Does the greater power mean lower life?
     

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  2. Soundteq

    Soundteq Newbie
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    Not sure about number 1. I haven't heard of any feature like that.

    As for two, I've never heard of a voice saying the name while it's ringing. It has always been one or the other.. You could do something like set individual ringtones to know who's calling when in another room though if that feature is unavailable.

    There are a lot of battery saving apps that let you turn all kinds of stuff off. To tale advantage of some of the options you need to be rooted though, I believe.
     
  3. Hadron

    Hadron Smoke me a kipper...
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    Turning stuff off overnight is easy. Timeriffic can do a lot of that, and anything it can't do Tasker can.
     
  4. Stuntman

    Stuntman Android Expert
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    I believe the N8 uses an AMOLED display. These types of displays only use power for pixels that are illuminated. If you only illuminate a few pixels, it uses minimal power.

    Most HTC phones like the Desire uses an SLCD display. These types of displays use a back light shining through pixels that block light to create non-white colours. It uses the same amount of energy whether a few or all of the pixels are illuminated. Even if only one pixel is showing white while the rest of the screen is black, the backlight is on and the screen blocks out most of the light except for that one pixel.


    No such feature that I'm aware of. I used it when I had an N97. Then I stopped because I don't want everyone around me to know who is calling me.

    There are various apps that can do this. I believe Tasker is one I have heard of most often. Android phones generally have widgets that allow you to manually turn things on and off as you need it. These widgets generally come with HTC phones. You can also download various widgets. I generally use widgets to do things like turn off notification sounds when I am asleep.
     
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  5. chanchan05

    chanchan05 The Doctor
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    You can try this: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.kephren.topclockadds&feature=search_result

    However, as previously stated before, if you will be getting phone with an SLCD screen, such a feature or app would cause your battery to drain like crazy. Also, note that the reason why Android apps aren't usually made to do this is that it disables the phone's sleep mode state because it keeps the screen on, thus increasing battery drain by background apps. To do this that also keeps sleep mode, it has to be done at the ROM level (basically, you'd need a custom ROM to have a practical version of this).

    There are several apps you may try: https://play.google.com/store/search?q=say+caller+name&c=apps

    Several battery saving apps can be used to automate those as well, like Juice defender, Green Power, Tasker, etc. They also offer "night mode" settings for when you are asleep.

    Well, HTC used to have a reputation for bad battery life, even compared to other Android manufacturers. Not sure about now, but you can always get extended batteries.

    Also, battery life is severely monitored by how you use and set up your phone. My brother has been using my old phone ever since he broke his, and still hasn't bought a new one yet, but it lasts 2 days on him with a single charge. It used to last me just 12hrs or so with my setup.
     
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  6. Jezston

    Jezston Member
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    Thanks all - good to know there are ways to get points 2 and 3 happening.

    Shame about point 1 as it is a really useful feature. Having said that, do Android phones these days have at least something to alert you that something has happened on your phone in your absence? A blank screen doesn't tell you much, but do you get any flashing LEDs or suchlike to give you a warning that you may have a missed call or text or suchlike?
     
  7. Demache

    Demache Android Expert
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    Many (but not all) phones have a flashing LED to notify you of a missed call, text, email, or other notifications. And of course you can always see icons for what you missed in the lockscreen.
     
  8. chanchan05

    chanchan05 The Doctor
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    Some phones have a LED notification light. The new Galaxy SIII (announced May3 and to go on sale in London on May 29) has this nifty accelerometer based feature which makes the phone vibrate if you pick it up and it has missed events.
     
  9. Metroid Prime

    Metroid Prime Oil Can!!! Oil Can!!!
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    My Inspire has a LED notification light on it. It doesn't speak the name of the person calling, but there's apps for that chanchan said. For good battery life, don't leave WIFI, Data Network, bluetooth, GPS, charging at 15% 10%. Android, my phone, has a feature that turns some things off and dims the screen down a bit to conserve power.
     
  10. Stuntman

    Stuntman Android Expert
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    My HTC Desire Z has two ways to notify you of any alerts without the use of the screen. There is an LED that flashes once in a while if I receive an email message. My phone has an optical track pad (functions like a track ball on BlackBerrys) that lights up and pulsates whenever I get an SMS.

    I noticed that in the settings on various apps, there are options to change the colour of the notification LED. Some phones allow multiple colour LED notifications. It just depends on your phone. You can set the colour to be blue for one app and green for another app.
     

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