Smartphone questions


Technology


I will probably be getting a smartphone later on today. Are there any pitfalls, tips, tricks, or other things that I need to know? Any specific smartphones that I should be looking at? Also, what do you like / dislike about your smartphone? Thanks in advance.


bump.


I don't know what I'd do without the map function on my Blackberry; I can find locations, get directions, see where traffic is heavy, etc., etc. So that's something to look for if you think it will be helpful.

I have two Blackberries: an old one that is my personal phone (and has a great map program), and a not-quite-as-old phone that my work requires from me. I don't know that I recommend a Blackberry, though.

I desperately want a half-tablet (like the Samsung Galaxy) for the better web-browsing and content consumption abilities, but with phone capabilities. Those don't seen to exist (I'm anticipating a lecture about "spheres of use" or "not intended to replace an existing device" in response to this request, since that's all I ever seem to get. Sigh.).

Grand Lodge

I've loved my Droid X. If you're not locked to a carrier I'd look at the Nexus S on T-Mobile or the new Evo on Sprint ... Moto Atrix on AT&T ... and Thunderbolt or Droid X2 on Verizon.


I have the EVO on Sprint. It has proven itself to be so useful and transformative that I frankly cannot imagine going back to not having one.

You can pretty much guarantee that from this point in history forward, humanity will never return to a time where it did not have a widespread, persistent, personal, mobile digital link of some kind.


If you're in a 4g area and can afford the data plans go with an Atrix or Thunderbolt. 4g speed is often times faster than wifi and a 4.3 inch screen is awesome also.


Speed doesnt make much difference if your carrier throttles (like most do).

Go iPhone.
My GF had a Droid pro, and her friends had various droid models. MOST of them had issues with random shutdowns, mixed up mails from wrong listed contacts, etc. Personally, I think the Droid OS still needs maturing. I got the place to take her's back (3 days after the two week return policy) and shes now on an iPhone 4 (3G) like myself. Trouble free.

I also think the iPhone has better picture quality when you watch digital copies of movies on it.
One really big draw to the iphone is easy sync'ing with your iTunes. Makes moving music, movies, pdfs etc a breeze.

Mines basically an mini entertainment center now rather than a phone. All my Pathfinder PDFs (Goodreader is fantastic) are on here, music, movies, internet, games, etc.

just my opinions :)

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber
Sunderstone wrote:

Go iPhone.

My GF had a Droid pro, and her friends had various droid models. MOST of them had issues with random shutdowns, mixed up mails from wrong listed contacts, etc. Personally, I think the Droid OS still needs maturing. I got the place to take her's back (3 days after the two week return policy) and shes now on an iPhone 4 (3G) like myself. Trouble free.

I'll take the counter on this one. I've owned three Android phones (G1, MyTouch, and Nexus One), my extended family uses Android, and most of my friends use Android. Nobody has had problems with random shutdowns, I've never seen a wrong contact mailed without pushing the wrong button, and in fact I've had probably two or three move from the iPhone to Android while neither have gone the other way.

Not to say that the iPhone isn't a reasonable phone, but there are different users for each OS. I, and most of my friends prefer Android.

Quote:
I also think the iPhone has better picture quality when you watch digital copies of movies on it.

This has absolutely nothing to do with the iPhone picture quality being better than Android, it has everything to do with screen technology. A phone like the Nexus or Evo have absolutely fantastic active and vibrant screens that are hands down on-par or better (depending on your position on holding a huge pad in your pocket) with the iPhone. A phone like the old MyTouch or G1 is going to have a worse screen, but then again we're talking older technology. Each phone will be different, and since there's such a large selection of Android phones to chose from, some will be worse than the iPhone, and some will be better.

I've picked up a Samsung Android (an older one) and wanted to throw it out the window. On the other hand, I'm so glad I bought a Nexus One I'm having a hard time giving it up, even though there are better phones out there. Can't give it up though since it lets me tether my laptop or tablet to the internet without needing to buy another 3G device.

Quote:
One really big draw to the iphone is easy sync'ing with your iTunes. Makes moving music, movies, pdfs etc a breeze.

To me, this is one of the biggest drawbacks to the iPhone, not benefit. I hate iTunes, and I hate that you have to sync with it, I hate that Apple takes a 30% cut on everything and wants to take money from other companies rather than let them sell products through their applications. I hate that Apple controls the market and won't let useful applications be available. In other words, I hate the draconian controls Apple puts in place to police their marketplace. On the other hand, Google has some control (stopping rogue programs for example), but generally let their market evolve normally. You can download the Kindle app and not worry about not being able to buy new books, you can download tethering apps (or sideload them at the very least) withot worry of Google watching over your shoulder. You're not locked down to only buying through a single store (Amazon now has a store, and there are other alternatives too on Android). As an interesting aside, Android devices sync with the Google Cloud. This means that apps are ready to go once you register a new device simply because you own it. I just got a new tablet, turned it on and said "wow, all my apps have been installed, that's cool" without even needing to lift a finger. Most importantly though, I don't have to be connected to iTunes to buy/load music/movies, and apps. Simply being connected to Wifi or 3G lets you do it.

I'm serious, I consider this a HUGE drawback to the the iPhone and is probably the #2 reason I refused to buy one in the first place.

Quote:
Mines basically an mini entertainment center now rather than a phone. All my Pathfinder PDFs (Goodreader is fantastic) are on here, music, movies, internet, games, etc.

Yes and no. But this is more of a smartphone complaint than a specific device complaint. Yes I can read PDFs on my phone, no I hate doing it. The screen's easy enough to read, but my old eyes have trouble sometimes without zooming in, and then needing to scroll around in the small space. Movies look good, but I'm not keen on draining my battery (oh did I mention it's replaceable though?) just to watch a movie on a little 4 inch screen. It's great in a pinch when you're bored at the doctor's office, or you want to quick check weather or look something up on a website, but the screen's just so small, I'd rather not use it long-term.

On the other hand...now that I've seen them in action, this the tablets fix all my personal problems with mobile devices and their small screens.

Quote:
just my opinions :)

As are mine.

Believe it or not I am an ex-Mac zealot. I used to own Macs for years, and I was an adamant defender of their technology. In fact, it's not that I don't like their technology, I think the iOS is intuitive and easy to use, and their devices are well made and powerful. I also think that they're overpriced, focus far too much on aesthetics over use, and Apple is draconian in their policies.

To each their own though. Apple and Google offer very different user experiences. I prefer the latter, you may find you prefer the former.


MisterSlanky wrote:
Sunderstone wrote:

Go iPhone.

My GF had a Droid pro, and her friends had various droid models. MOST of them had issues with random shutdowns, mixed up mails from wrong listed contacts, etc. Personally, I think the Droid OS still needs maturing. I got the place to take her's back (3 days after the two week return policy) and shes now on an iPhone 4 (3G) like myself. Trouble free.

I'll take the counter on this one. I've owned three Android phones (G1, MyTouch, and Nexus One), my extended family uses Android, and most of my friends use Android. Nobody has had problems with random shutdowns, I've never seen a wrong contact mailed without pushing the wrong button, and in fact I've had probably two or three move from the iPhone to Android while neither have gone the other way.

Not to say that the iPhone isn't a reasonable phone, but there are different users for each OS. I, and most of my friends prefer Android.

Quote:
I also think the iPhone has better picture quality when you watch digital copies of movies on it.

This has absolutely nothing to do with the iPhone picture quality being better than Android, it has everything to do with screen technology. A phone like the Nexus or Evo have absolutely fantastic active and vibrant screens that are hands down on-par or better (depending on your position on holding a huge pad in your pocket) with the iPhone. A phone like the old MyTouch or G1 is going to have a worse screen, but then again we're talking older technology. Each phone will be different, and since there's such a large selection of Android phones to chose from, some will be worse than the iPhone, and some will be better.

I've picked up a Samsung Android (an older one) and wanted to throw it out the window. On the other hand, I'm so glad I bought a Nexus One I'm having a hard time giving it up, even though there are better phones out there. Can't give it up though since it lets me tether my laptop or tablet to the internet without needing to buy another 3G device....

+1000

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Sharoth, I'm not sure if you have purchased your phone yet or not, but here is my opinion fwiw.

I just bought an HTC desire 4g phone (Android operating system) about a month ago. It was my first smartphone ever, although I did use a palm pda years ago.

After a month, I love it. It has a bigger screen than the iphone (yet still fits in my pocket), almost every app has both an iphone and android version, and it was MUCH cheaper up front ($99).

Good luck with your purchase.


Fwiw, I'm anti-apple sort of as well. I have zero interest in an iPad or Mac computer. I buy no music or movies from apple's overpriced store unless someone gives me an iTunes gift card. Having seen the Droid OS errors myself on the Droid Pro and having a RL friend working at Verizon Wireless here in NYC telling me it's normal for the Droid I would never buy one. My Verizon pal picked a new windows phone instead of the iPhone though, just an FYI.
All that said, I would however buy a new iPhone again. This is my first smartphone too. I drive for a living with hours of free time midday so I'm enjoying the smartphone thing so far.

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