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Total noob looking for phone buying advice (also, hi!)

Discussion in 'Android Lounge' started by ForSpareParts, Jun 7, 2011.

  1. ForSpareParts

    ForSpareParts Lurker
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    So, I just found out I'm currently upgrade-eligible. I'm using an iPhone 3GS at the moment, and while it's been fun, I'd really like to make the move to Android. I'm a huge geek and the idea of having a powerful, open phone is really appealing. My family's on AT&T, and it'd be cost-prohibitive to switch over to anything else, so I'm stuck with AT&T's Android lineup.

    I want some horsepower, and I'm willing to buy in the $200-300 range. I was looking at the Atrix 4G, and it sounded amazing (especially given the price -- $100 new and $50 for a refurb) until I learned about the locked bootloader. That makes me nervous -- customizability is one of the other things I'm looking for in a phone, and if the Atrix is a development dead-end, it might not be such a great deal after all. So, I'm putting the question to you, forums: I'm stuck with AT&T, and I want a smokin' hot Android phone -- Tegra 2 would be nice if I could get it -- and I want to be able to customize. What would you recommend? Are the psuedo-ROM options on the Atrix good enough? Are there some high-end phones rolling out on AT&T soon I haven't heard of? Any help you could give would be greatly appreciated.

    Also: Hi! Nice to meet you all! *shakes hands*
     

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  2. cds0699

    cds0699 Android Expert
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    Shenandoah Jct WV
    Hi there, welcome to the Android forums. One thing I would advise you to look into and consider is the Samsung Galaxy S2. The Galaxy S2 is supposed to be coming to AT&T in 2011, and if you could perhaps get by with your current phone till that releases, that might be something to consider (Saving the upgrade for that will get you a beast of a phone in probably that $300 and less mark).

    This is a comparison done specs wise with the Galaxy S2 and the HTC EVO 3D, but it gives you the specs of the phones basics.

    http://androidforums.com/android-lounge/337690-samsung-galaxy-s2-vs-htc-evo-3d-comparison.html
     
  3. lunatic59

    lunatic59 Moderati ergo sum
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    Welcome to Android Forums!

    I think you'll find that the older the phone, the more likely you'll find mods for it. Some of the newer devices don't have root yet, but I am sure the folks at xda are working on it ... they always are.

    Other than customizing (which you can do without rooting) what are you looking for in a phone? Big screen? Movies? Games?
     
  4. ForSpareParts

    ForSpareParts Lurker
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    @cds: The S2 sounds awesome. I wish I knew when it was coming stateside, though, and how much it's going to run me when it does...

    @lunatic: Do devices with locked bootloaders generally get broken eventually? I wouldn't mind waiting a little (I've had that experience with other devices, to be sure), but I don't want to end up hanging on to something the dev community decides isn't worth their time or trouble...

    As to what I want to do with the phone: to be honest, I'm not entirely certain yet. Games and videos are cool, I want to do some app development, and of course I have some basic productivity needs as well. One of the things I've really enjoyed about my iPhone is getting to discover new uses for the hardware -- like, oh, neat, there's an app/tweak that can do that, let's try that out. I'm figuring on the same thing happening with whatever Android phone I get, so I'm approaching it the same way I do getting a computer: buy on the nicer end and get the flexibility to do anything. That was the idea, anyway...
     
  5. lunatic59

    lunatic59 Moderati ergo sum
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    I would say most devices will be rootable, but that's different from unlocking the bootloader. If you want root access to the file system, you don't need to unlock the bootloader. However, if you want to flash a custom rom, you do. It's hard to predict the future in terms of what devices get focused on and which fall by the wayside, but if history is any indicator, most handsets form the major manufacturers ... HTC, Motorola, Samsung, LG, Huawei, etc. get modded eventually.
     
  6. cds0699

    cds0699 Android Expert
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    Shenandoah Jct WV
    I think the Galaxy S2 is coming this summer, or fall at the latest. Right now everything is just rumor, but I highly doubt the American carriers would miss having that phone for the fall/winter holidays, so I expect them to come out a month or 2 before the holidays at worst case.

    As far as pricing, it should be in the ~$300 range (give or take $50) on upgrade (if you save your upgrade eligibility). Thats about the range I see most newly released phones fall into.
     
  7. ForSpareParts

    ForSpareParts Lurker
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    That sounds good. Although the Atrix is still tempting. Do you guys know anything about the 2nd-init exploit? Apparently someone just got it working on the Atrix recently, and it enables custom ROM support, but NOT kernel switching. How much would that exploit benefit me, if I wanted to do weird mod stuff? How much do I lose not being able to change the kernel?
     
  8. cds0699

    cds0699 Android Expert
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    Shenandoah Jct WV
    Honestly I don't own an Atrix 4G, those questions would be better in this section: Atrix 4G - All Things Root - Android Forums

    You can also read through the Atrix 4G forum and talk to current owners of the phone and get more in depth stuff there.
     

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