Author Topic: New Smart Phone  (Read 3675 times)

EngiNerd

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New Smart Phone
« on: August 26, 2016, 06:17:10 AM »
I have a iPhone 4s that's approaching the end of its useful life.  I was thinking I'd wait until the 7 is released and see if I can get a 6 or SE at a discount.   But I figured I'd check with this community to see if maybe there is a better value option for what I need, or prefer.  I know I should research myself but with the number of options and my tendency to overanalyze I figured I'd see what the tech fans here say as a starting point.

I am an apple fan.  I use my phone mostly for calls, text, emails, maps, podcasts, pictures, and occasional checks of financials and Internet surfing.  I have a Verizon account (work discount $), family plan that my parents and brother are on ( they live in the boonies and have found Verizon hot spot internet is their best option, I have no idea) but it works out because I just pay my share for an extra line. 

Will there be a market of used iPhone 6s when the 7 is out and people want to upgrade?  Is there good value in buying used (where would I find these)? Is it safe and doable, like does the carrier of the original owner matter?
Any other brands and models I should consider?

brotatochip

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Re: New Smart Phone
« Reply #1 on: August 26, 2016, 06:25:35 AM »
Moto g4 and g4 plus are hands down the best bang for your buck with new smart phones...they are Android though.  I just purchased the g4 plus a month ago and have no complaints yet.

thd7t

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Re: New Smart Phone
« Reply #2 on: August 26, 2016, 07:08:27 AM »
Moto g4 and g4 plus are hands down the best bang for your buck with new smart phones...they are Android though.  I just purchased the g4 plus a month ago and have no complaints yet.
I am still using a Moto G gen 1 and love it, but my recent research suggests that the G4 and G4plus are not as great. I think stepping back one generation in Moto X or looking at Oneplus phones might be a better option.

ooeei

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Re: New Smart Phone
« Reply #3 on: August 26, 2016, 07:23:41 AM »
I have a iPhone 4s that's approaching the end of its useful life.  I was thinking I'd wait until the 7 is released and see if I can get a 6 or SE at a discount.   But I figured I'd check with this community to see if maybe there is a better value option for what I need, or prefer.  I know I should research myself but with the number of options and my tendency to overanalyze I figured I'd see what the tech fans here say as a starting point.

I am an apple fan.  I use my phone mostly for calls, text, emails, maps, podcasts, pictures, and occasional checks of financials and Internet surfing.  I have a Verizon account (work discount $), family plan that my parents and brother are on ( they live in the boonies and have found Verizon hot spot internet is their best option, I have no idea) but it works out because I just pay my share for an extra line. 

Will there be a market of used iPhone 6s when the 7 is out and people want to upgrade?  Is there good value in buying used (where would I find these)? Is it safe and doable, like does the carrier of the original owner matter?
Any other brands and models I should consider?

Once my gen1 moto X dies I'll probably be going to an iphone, with a plan similar to yours.  Battery life is just not up to par on my phone, and there's occasional little glitches that are pretty frustrating.  If I restart the phone while connected to a charger, it "optimizes apps" for a good 20-30 minutes and is useless.  It crashed one time when I was in the middle of a phone call, and I couldn't call the person (my boss) back for 30 minutes because of the optimizing.

I know there are android phones that work fine, but my experience with the Moto x and a Nexus 4 has shown me that there's something to be said for iphones as long as you can get them at a reasonable price.  I also like that you don't have to get a monstrosity to get good specs.  I chose my moto x precisely because it was less enormous than the competition, but with gen 2 they made it massive.

Daley

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Re: New Smart Phone
« Reply #4 on: August 26, 2016, 07:43:15 AM »
For Verizon? Lumia 735.

Seriously.

Great battery life for a smartphone, user replaceable battery, Microsoft is still supporting and updating, consistent UI, not a mobile data hog, responsive, plenty of useful apps, can sync with Apple's cloud services, surprisingly tight privacy controls for a smartphone, most all the parts that both Apple and Google got right with their respective platforms with very little of what they got wrong rolled into one... and cheap as dirt. You should be able to get one used with a clean ESN for well under $100.

thd7t

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Re: New Smart Phone
« Reply #5 on: August 26, 2016, 08:54:57 AM »
For Verizon? Lumia 735.

Seriously.

Great battery life for a smartphone, user replaceable battery, Microsoft is still supporting and updating, consistent UI, not a mobile data hog, responsive, plenty of useful apps, can sync with Apple's cloud services, surprisingly tight privacy controls for a smartphone, most all the parts that both Apple and Google got right with their respective platforms with very little of what they got wrong rolled into one... and cheap as dirt. You should be able to get one used with a clean ESN for well under $100.
Wait a minute. Does this mean that you have phone recommendations? Are they in your super-guide? I used your guide to optimize my phone and internet a couple of years ago (to the tune of a mind-boggling $167/month reduction), but haven't been back in a while. I guess it's time to revisit and see about saving more money!

Daley

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Re: New Smart Phone
« Reply #6 on: August 26, 2016, 10:39:05 AM »
Wait a minute. Does this mean that you have phone recommendations? Are they in your super-guide? I used your guide to optimize my phone and internet a couple of years ago (to the tune of a mind-boggling $167/month reduction), but haven't been back in a while. I guess it's time to revisit and see about saving more money!

I've always had phone recommendations, though I usually recommend people wear out the phones they already have, and the ones I do recoomend are getting a little dated in the guide itself (I've had a bit more pressing real world stuff this past year). After the major overhaul a couple years back with the son of the superguide, I'd shunted all the hardware recommendations off to the website so the thread wouldn't get too long.

QWERTY keyboard phones are getting rare, older Blackberry and Symbian platforms have fallen apart with the shift in SSL vulnerabilities, and frankly Android stinks about as much as iOS does these days and I have trouble recommending either. The past few months I've really shifted on my smartphone recommendations and have grown to actually quite like Windows Phone 8.1/10 (even run a Lumia 435 now), and there's really not much in the way of modern feature phones to speak of anymore outside of a handful of carrier unlocked senior phones with 3G GSM support that I really recommend. Gotta say, Microsoft has been flying under the radar for the most part, but their move to buyout Nokia and the phones they've put out the past couple years have been quite solid. Windows 10 and UWP (their universal platform application binaries) have proven to be a very usable shift for the better.

thd7t

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Re: New Smart Phone
« Reply #7 on: August 26, 2016, 10:51:56 AM »
Wait a minute. Does this mean that you have phone recommendations? Are they in your super-guide? I used your guide to optimize my phone and internet a couple of years ago (to the tune of a mind-boggling $167/month reduction), but haven't been back in a while. I guess it's time to revisit and see about saving more money!

I've always had phone recommendations, though I usually recommend people wear out the phones they already have, and the ones I do recoomend are getting a little dated in the guide itself (I've had a bit more pressing real world stuff this past year). After the major overhaul a couple years back with the son of the superguide, I'd shunted all the hardware recommendations off to the website so the thread wouldn't get too long.

QWERTY keyboard phones are getting rare, older Blackberry and Symbian platforms have fallen apart with the shift in SSL vulnerabilities, and frankly Android stinks about as much as iOS does these days and I have trouble recommending either. The past few months I've really shifted on my smartphone recommendations and have grown to actually quite like Windows Phone 8.1/10 (even run a Lumia 435 now), and there's really not much in the way of modern feature phones to speak of anymore outside of a handful of carrier unlocked senior phones with 3G GSM support that I really recommend. Gotta say, Microsoft has been flying under the radar for the most part, but their move to buyout Nokia and the phones they've put out the past couple years have been quite solid. Windows 10 and UWP (their universal platform application binaries) have proven to be a very usable shift for the better.
Great! I was transferring an existing phone when I used the guide. That's probably why I missed hardware recommendations. Still, when my current phone goes, I know where to go for information, now.

EngiNerd

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Re: New Smart Phone
« Reply #8 on: August 28, 2016, 03:17:50 PM »
Thanks for the replies! IP Daley, thanks for the recommendation, it is clear from your guide that you are very knowledgeable in this area.  Thanks for sharing with us.  The lumina 735 does look like it will fit my needs at a good price, I can find them on ebay for less than $80!  However I do have a couple hesitations.

Leaving Apple.  I live in an apple household.  Wife has an iphone, imac, and and ipad.  There are a few conveniences of being able to link our devices such as listening to a podcast from on device to other and knowing where I left off.   However, that doesn't seem like anything close to an actual reason to leave it behind.

Longevity.  My 4s has lasted me 4+ years and I could probably extend that but it is getting slower and I just busted the screen.  So rather than replace the screen on a phone I am ready to move on from I figure should go ahead and upgrade.  I am worried that an inexpensive windows phone will not give me the same long term satisfaction.   Also I noticed it does not have an ip rating, does the nokia quality make up for this lack of rating?  I work and often play in dirty, dusty, and wet environments.  My 4s has held up surprisingly well for using nothing more than a standard cheap shock protection case.   

mountains_o_mustaches

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Re: New Smart Phone
« Reply #9 on: August 28, 2016, 04:00:19 PM »
If you're fixed on getting an iPhone - look into cheaper ways to obtain one.  I recently bought a newer smartphone through swappa.com and saved myself about $200.  You can probably save even more if you're willing to accept phones with aesthetic damage (e.g., scuffs, scrapes, etc.) that don't affect functioning.  I liked this website because it runs the ESN numbers to make sure it's not stolen and the transaction isn't complete until you receive the phone and go through a checklist to make sure it's as described.  I like the added layer of protection compared to Craigslist and the deals seem just as good.

I don't know the specifics of your work discount / coverage at your home, but you should at least consider switching to a cheaper provider - Verizon is one of the most expensive carriers out there.  I too was getting a work discount through AT&T and it still was much more expensive than a pay-per-month service once I crunched the numbers (especially after they stopped subsidizing phone purchases when you re-upped your contract).  I switched to Cricket (same network) and am paying less than 1/2 what I was on AT&T.  I know this isn't always possible if you live rurally (my in-laws live in the sticks and Verizon is literally the only carrier they've come across that has any signal at their home), but something to consider.

sisto

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Re: New Smart Phone
« Reply #10 on: August 28, 2016, 04:08:31 PM »
Thanks for the replies! IP Daley, thanks for the recommendation, it is clear from your guide that you are very knowledgeable in this area.  Thanks for sharing with us.  The lumina 735 does look like it will fit my needs at a good price, I can find them on ebay for less than $80!  However I do have a couple hesitations.

Leaving Apple.  I live in an apple household.  Wife has an iphone, imac, and and ipad.  There are a few conveniences of being able to link our devices such as listening to a podcast from on device to other and knowing where I left off.   However, that doesn't seem like anything close to an actual reason to leave it behind.

Longevity.  My 4s has lasted me 4+ years and I could probably extend that but it is getting slower and I just busted the screen.  So rather than replace the screen on a phone I am ready to move on from I figure should go ahead and upgrade.  I am worried that an inexpensive windows phone will not give me the same long term satisfaction.   Also I noticed it does not have an ip rating, does the nokia quality make up for this lack of rating?  I work and often play in dirty, dusty, and wet environments.  My 4s has held up surprisingly well for using nothing more than a standard cheap shock protection case.
We still have an iPhone 4 and an iPhone 4S going strong on our family plan. I only updated to an iPhone 6S because of the AT&T Citi card offer that made the phone cost very little out of pocket. I really like the reliability of the iPhone and the fact that it works as it's supposed to with other devices etc. It's not quite as flexible as Android, but it also doesn't take up a bunch of my time making it work either.

EngiNerd

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Re: New Smart Phone
« Reply #11 on: August 30, 2016, 05:43:37 PM »
Thanks for your thoughts, and for the heads up about swappa.com.  The more I think about it, I think I would like to try something non-apple.  Ditching the stylish in-fashion product for a more economical version is something I always try to do.  For whatever reason, I am hesitant to do this with tech even though I am far from a techie, so I kind of just go with what my tech friends suggest.  But I am a little concerned about app compatibility  and internet explorer (even as a non tech guy I loath IE).  But I am leaning towards trying the lumia, I'll think on it awhile and in the mean time if anyone has tried stepping away from apple how did it go?  Anyone with experience with a windows phone or specifically the lumia that would be awesome!

neo von retorch

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Re: New Smart Phone
« Reply #12 on: August 30, 2016, 08:35:02 PM »
I owned a Nokia Lumia 920 with Windows Phone 8/8.1 on it for about 2 years. Prior to that, I had a Dell Venue Pro with Windows Phone 7. Both were "mid-to-high end" phones, so I can't comment much on your specific Lumia, though I do have some experience with a 520 and (if I remember correctly) a 635. The experience is not much different between high and low end phones except the touch technology, screen resolution and contrast ratios. (I do believe the hardware has more of an impact on performance with Windows 10 Mobile, though.)

Generally the "1st party" apps were pretty far behind or non-existent -- but you don't NEED them. There were excellent third party apps for things like Instagram and Foursquare. Windows 7 actually had really, really cool Facebook integration, but they did away with that in newer versions, so you get (basically) the same app experience as other mobile users.

The main software is really great (Windows 7/8) - things were smooth, fast and reliable. Data usage was reasonably light, and battery saving software worked well. Phone calls were reliable and clear. The calendar and email apps were very pleasant to use. The Word Flow keyboard (like Swype) was better than any Android keyboard I've found to date. The Nokia/HERE maps were pretty good, and the commute calculator was fun and useful. In general, your primary day-to-day usage of the phone was excellent...

... but you were always light years behind your Android and iOS users when it came to the latest apps. Words With Friends came out years later, and was poor performing. SnapChat has staged an eternal vendetta against Microsoft, and bars any kind of 3rd party apps from working. Banks are much less likely to have a compatible app, so I always looked a little jealously at friends that could use mobile deposit.

Of course, all of the above is "unnecessary luxury." I.P. Daley has excellent reasons for his recommendations, such as avoiding the data mining that Google relies on to pay their bills, and the aforementioned data/battery software. On the other hand, for my own uses, I find a reasonable budget Motorola Android device to give me more options and an overall better daily experience. (I actually spoil myself with a higher end model I got on ebay.) My recommendations are the ~$300 Moto X Pure, ~$200 Nexus 5 and Moto G 2015, with a sort of "maybe" for the Moto G4. It edges into pricier territory with a fingerprint sensor, and giving you minimal storage (16GB) at the entry level price - quickly ratcheting up in price if you want more storage. (Personally I use a Nexus 6 which is ~$200-225 on ebay, but I have large hands.)

If you can adapt to life without the apps, and just use your phone for calls, email, text, calendar, web browsing (IE mobile and Edge are reasonably good browsers - less of a delta than you'll find on a desktop) and the most popular apps (that are actually available for Windows 10 Mobile), you'll find you have a solid performing, reliable phone, and a great price. They are a solid buy, frugal, durable.

The Lumia 920 had a great camera for its time and was overall excellent hardware. I can't speak specifically to the Lumia devices that I.P. Daley recommends.

Daley

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Re: New Smart Phone
« Reply #13 on: August 30, 2016, 10:17:36 PM »
However I do have a couple hesitations.
[snip]
Leaving Apple.
[snip]
Longevity.

Leaving Apple for Microsoft? The stuff you cited is pretty trivial, however it's worth noting that you can sync the core iCloud account stuff (contacts, calendar) with Windows Mobile. The big thing to remember is if you leave iOS behind, be sure to deactivate iMessage first so you can still get SMS and MMS messages from your old iMessage cronies.

Longevity? The phones are pretty solidly engineered and decently rugged for smartphones, but stuffing them into a case and sticking a screen protector on it will help toughen it up further as always. As far as software longevity, it looks like Nadella is starting to try to move Windows Mobile away from the planned obsolescence phone hardware model under Windows 10, especially with the newer phones that support Continuum. Given some of his past statements about the platform and the direction they're moving with cross hardware/platform unification and rolling updates independent of the carriers, in addition to the consistent "hardware" experience they want as a distinguishing point between themselves and Android/iOS... you'll probably be fine.



(I do believe the hardware has more of an impact on performance with Windows 10 Mobile, though.)
[snip]
... but you were always light years behind your Android and iOS users when it came to the latest apps. Words With Friends came out years later, and was poor performing. SnapChat has staged an eternal vendetta against Microsoft, and bars any kind of 3rd party apps from working. Banks are much less likely to have a compatible app, so I always looked a little jealously at friends that could use mobile deposit.

Of course, all of the above is "unnecessary luxury." I.P. Daley has excellent reasons for his recommendations, such as avoiding the data mining that Google relies on to pay their bills, and the aforementioned data/battery software.
[snip]
If you can adapt to life without the apps, and just use your phone for calls, email, text, calendar, web browsing (IE mobile and Edge are reasonably good browsers - less of a delta than you'll find on a desktop) and the most popular apps (that are actually available for Windows 10 Mobile), you'll find you have a solid performing, reliable phone, and a great price. They are a solid buy, frugal, durable.

I've not seen any noticeable performance issues on lower end devices that actually support the Windows 10 update over 8.1, honestly. The Lumia 640 appears to run about identical between 8.1 and 10. Microsoft still probably has one of the lightest weight smartphone OSes on the market currently.

FWIW, the gap and quality issue with apps has really been closing under Windows 10 with UWP the past few months given developers can do one release for all platforms/architectures now, too. I believe all the "major" social and useful apps are finally available and supported under Windows 10 now, excuse Snapchat as you've mentioned. Banking's still hit and miss regarding direct deposit, but I'm still not sold on the idea of keeping sensitive financial access on a small mobile device... but I'm the type of guy who still deliberately deposits checks with live tellers and is barely comfortable keeping discount/reward card barcodes and coupons on my phone.

As for browsing, I've personally developed a soft spot for Surfy.

All that said, I will readily agree with you if one is a bleeding edge social games/fad chaser (such as with Pokemon Go) or is the type that uses their phone as a perpetual toy/boredom alleviation device, Windows Mobile is not the greatest platform to use. If one wants a workhorse that keeps you connected, however...

I'm definitely growing disenchanted with the Android platform from a security, fragmentation, rapidly increasing planned obsolescence cycles and consistent UI standpoint though, which is making it increasingly harder for me to recommend them - but not everyone is me. It can still be a useful tool, but that utility is starting to wear thin from my no nonsense, practical buzzkill standpoint. ;)

EngiNerd

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Re: New Smart Phone
« Reply #14 on: September 01, 2016, 06:35:18 PM »
Thanks again! that was the nudge I needed.

 

Leaving Apple for Microsoft? The stuff you cited is pretty trivial, however it's worth noting that you can sync the core iCloud account stuff (contacts, calendar) with Windows Mobile. The big thing to remember is if you leave iOS behind, be sure to deactivate iMessage first so you can still get SMS and MMS messages from your old iMessage cronies.

I agree, over that last few days I have realized how ridiculous it is for me to want a higher quality phone when it is rare that I use it to its capabilities.  Can I sell a 4s with a busted screen, and if so are there any safety concerns like making sure I wipe memory first?

Daley

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Re: New Smart Phone
« Reply #15 on: September 01, 2016, 10:15:40 PM »
Can I sell a 4s with a busted screen, and if so are there any safety concerns like making sure I wipe memory first?

Yeah, for parts. Probably won't get much for it, but you should definitely do a wipe first.