Recommend Droid Phone [Archive] - Glock Talk

PDA

View Full Version : Recommend Droid Phone


Kith
08-04-2011, 17:00
Looking for recommendations for an android phone.

No contract - this part is set in stone. I already have a contract and i'm not paying for two, or to get out of the one i'm in. I like my dumb phone.

Otherwise, i'm looking for the best piece of hardware I can get my hands on.

Who knows what's good out there?

My intention is simply to use it to play with apps, maybe some minor web browsing out of wifi range, and testing apps on.

I'd really like it to slide out a keyboard like i've seen some of them do, it'd be nice to have a real keyboard so I could do email on the road without fighting with it too much.

Looking for opinions from people who have or have used phones, also looking for phones to stay away from.

I'll be rooting whatever I end up with, and since part of my goal is running apps I write on it, anything not android is no good.

So GT, what do you know?

grokdesigns
08-04-2011, 19:26
You didn't mention what carrier you're on, but I'd look here:
http://swappa.com/devices/keyboard

I've purchased 2 Android devices off contract (HTC Thunderbolt & Samsung Fascinate) through Swappa without any hassle.

As far as rooting, you'll generally get the best "aftermarket" support for HTC devices if you want to run custom ROMs and the like.

Pierre!
08-04-2011, 21:37
I went with an Samsung Intercept from Virgin Mobilie...

I guess it's up to $35 / mo for 300 minutes, but text, internet, and email is 'unlimited' - and I still haven't hit the end of unilmited, but I only use it when I need it.

Phone wasn't inexpensive, but it's down to $199 - The wife just bought hers last week.

I will do it again.

Here I Blogged my experience:
Reducing Business Overhead – My Cell Phone Change… (http://seeberconsultblog.com/reducing-business-overhead-my-cell-phone-change/)

Hope this helps you make a good decision!
Patrick

Kith
08-05-2011, 14:01
Thanks for the replies so far.

Virgin mobile seems to have the best plans, and if I end up getting a plan that might be who I go with.

I would really rather go without a plan, and just buy the cards the give you minutes. Thing is, phones for that kind of service are the low end of what's available on the market.

That link to swappa seems pretty decent, I was poking around there for a bit - very helpful.

Pierre - how do you like the service with Virgin mobile? Does it seem like they have decent coverage and such?

Kith
08-05-2011, 15:23
Okay, thought I was gonna have to run back out the door, but turns out I have some more time to kill.

Pierre - i've looked at the intercept, because the slide out keyboard is a very desirable feature.

I've read a whole lot of bad reviews on the phone, with the general consensus seeming to be that samsung made this a "5 o'clock on friday" phone, and it reboots itself randomly, is very sluggish on opening apps sometimes, and generally is a hassle to use.

These reviews are all from random people on the internet (granted, places like android forums and such but still). Given the way i've seen you respond to some of the technical (computer) threads here at GT, with me it gives your opinion a little weight, because I have a fair idea that you know what you're talking about.

I read through your blog, and you mentioned that you hadn't dug that deeply into the phone yet regarding it's capabilities - but on the surface you liked it.

I was wondering if you could download the "Pulse" news app, by alfonso labs - it's a free app in the android market.

Besides being an absolutely fantastic news app with a lot of feeds and an awesome interface for browsing them all, it's one of the apps we've been using at XDA to test how well a memory card is able to run android. I know you aren't running from a memory card, but if the phone can handle this app well, it'll tell me a lot. Play around with it and add a bunch of feeds and browse through it a bit, see how it does.

Up to you, you don't have to - and I do thank you for what you've given me so far.

If I had to make a buy right now, it'd be between the Samsung Intercept or the LG Optimus V. I don't want to get the Optimus because it doesn't have a sliding keyboard, but it seems to be one of the best pre-paid phones you can get.

grokdesigns, I agree that an HTC phone is almost synonymous with quality at this point int he phone market. You can recommend (as you did) just an HTC phone without a model designation and the person will probably be happy with it.

To further answer your question about provider, I kinda left it open to see what people had to say. (still interested in hearing from anyone who browses through here)

If I end up going with one of the major providers, i'll probably try to get something HTC - definitely looking for recommendations in this area.

I have a cell phone now, and i'll be adding this as a just a standalone phone line. I've been looking at places like at&t, sprint, verizon...and none of them can get me out the door with an android phone for less then too much a month.

Virgin mobile can give me unlimited data included in the $35 monthly plan, and right now is the most attractive answer if I put myself into a plan somewhere, but the provider question is still open.

(btw - virgin mobile's unlimited data gets you to 5.5 gigs, then they throttle you down to dial up speeds for the rest of that month. You still don't have to pay for access, but it's not great access. I think that's ok though, 5.5 gigs is a pretty decent amount for the price at rated speeds, I can live with slow after that.)

Looking forward to anything that can be added - thanks!

Pierre!
08-05-2011, 23:39
Hey Kith,

Hmmm... Pulse news apps by Alfonso Labs... I'll take a look!

And if I take notes, it might make a nice Blog post. You may have turned me on to a great idea... Android App Review.

Then I'll have to learn something new... again... Shucks N Darn! :supergrin:

I will give it a whirl... getting screen shots will be challenging! :rofl:

I'll let you know what I think, and how it performs.

Patrick

Pierre!
08-07-2011, 08:55
Hey Kith -

Here ya go! Feedback is required from you... this WAS YOUR IDEA... :supergrin:

And I think was a good Idea!

Adroid App – Pulse – Let’s check it out… (http://seeberconsultblog.com/adroid-app-pulse-lets-check-it-out/)

Thanks for the suggestion, and leave me a comment if you like!

Hope it helps you out...

Patrick

Kith
08-07-2011, 11:44
Pierre - great review.

I left a comment about it on your blog, absolutely fantastic level of detail that you went into, and I found some of what you discovered curious.

I'll definitely be checking your blog to see what else you get into.

I picked up a phone, so now that I have something in that screen size to play with my apps on I could probably make you some recommendations in a week or so once I get the time to go through them. I've gotten pretty heavy into testing apps on the Nook Color, and dumped a pretty significant chunk of change in the android marketplaces acquiring apps.

As to my thread here, I picked up a phone.

I really wanted to go pre-paid or pay as you go option, but after what i've learned here, elsewhere on line, and talking to different sales reps at every wireless carrier I could get to, I pulled the trigger on an HTC MyTouch4G Slide phone.

I didn't want to spend as much as I did, and I certainly didn't want to get into a contract...but I was seduced by the piece of hardware I now hold in my hand.

I'm in a 2 year contract for $50 a month + $7.99 for phone insurance. Gives me 500 minutes, unlimited text, and unlimited data.

(unlimited data in this plan is up to 2 gigs at full speed, then it gets throttled down to 2g (EDGE) for the rest of the billing cycle.)

Making calls over wifi uses my minutes, which i'm not too happy about, but I won't be making very many calls from the phone and they will be for short durations.

I will be using it for work purposes and keeping my regular verizon phone for personal use, I don't text and honestly don't even talk that much, but none of the people in my personal life will have the new phone number.

I do thank the contributions in this thread, though, certainly helpful!

grokdesigns
08-08-2011, 12:15
Glad to see you went with an HTC device! I think you would've been disappointed with any Android device from a pre-paid carrier, as they are all entry-level devices without much power.

As far as WiFi calling, I'd recommend signing up for a free Google Voice account and using the app GrooVe IP. It's a one time fee of $4.99, but you can make calls over WiFi, 4G, and 3G (quality obviously suffers the slower you get) without using your minutes.

The MT4G forums at XDA (http://forum.xda-developers.com/forumdisplay.php?f=1209) seem a little slow, but HTC has committed to unlocked bootloaders, so hopefully that'll change soon.

Kith
08-08-2011, 14:17
Thanks, I am happy with my HTC device.

After talking with my accountant, and since the motivation and use of the phone is for work purposes, I can write it off at tax time. Coupled with the fact that i'm still keeping my verizon line for personal use, it relieved my concern for going with pre-paid.

My desire for a pre-paid no contract phone was the ability to just drop the service at a moments notice, no harm no foul. Given that criterion, what Pierre suggested above really is the best of what's available on the market today. Needing the hardware keyboard, and wanting the best plan available, the Intercept with a $35 a month unlimited data plan is unbeatable.

After making sure that I could in fact apply my receipts from this purchase and plan payments towards lowering my tax liability, I set out to find the most advanced smart phone commercially available. This way I will be able to hold onto it for as long as possible before having to replace it.

My search ended with the HTC Doubleshot. (a.k.a the MyTouch 4G Slide)

I talked to all the major cell providers, and reviewed and played with a lot of phones. Read tons of reviews online, solicited information across a plethora of messageboards and generally did my homework. (thanks again, btw, for the replies in this thread!)

I knew before I got it that I had a 99% chance of getting an S-ON locked bootloader, so I fully expected this when I got it home. Sure enough, once I booted the phone to Hboot that's what I saw. Oh well.

The 'bloatware' on the phone isn't so bad, though, just a few apps i'd like to get rid of. I can live with them for the time being though.

Once HTC releases the unlock codes in another few weeks, more people will pick one of these up and start toying with it. Aftermarket development will take off then, this phone is too great a piece of hardware for people not to dig into it.

I am active over at XDA, more so then at other android forums because XDA really is the end-all be-all place to go for android info regarding phones and tablets. The community is huge and they have a very strict anti-piracy policy in place, which I respect immensely. (As one getting into android development, that means a lot.)

I'm sure that within a few weeks or a month it'll be close to turning S-ON to S-OFF to let us into the bootloader and save root past a reboot. Temp root has already been achieved on the device, so it's really only a matter of time.

HTC made that promise to start shipping all their phones with unlocked bootloaders, but that didn't cover phones already in production when they said that, and the Doubleshot was pretty far along at that time.

It's okay, though, the phone is an amazing piece of hardware, and i'm extremely happy with it. Even if I never get to root it, i'll still enjoy having and using it.

I have a professional google mail account, and have been eyeing up the wifi calling bit that gets advertised to me every time I log into it. I appreciate the info on that, it looks more and more attractive.

I don't really see talking too much on it, as mostly all of my communications with my employer is through email - rarely do I actually talk to someone.

I do need to work with my company website, download and review .pdf files and pictures. I also have to send pictures back to my company, and so this little device replaced me lugging around my laptop, digital camera, and also my gps unit.

I went ahead and paid T-mobile for my service up until the last bill issued this calendar year, so i've already put my receipts into my tax folder for this year. This'll keep me organized and let me do all my taxes early the way I like to. It would have been harder to accomplish this with the pre-paid option, which was another reason I locked myself into a plan after talking it over with my accountant.

All in all, great purchase, and hopefully this thread can help someone else too in the future.

The Intercept is the best of the pre-paid no contract phones, and the MyTouch 4G Slide is the best of the plan phones available right now. (given the need for a hardware keyboard)

pal2511
08-23-2011, 10:17
Pulse app on my tablet is great! Have not tried it on my phone.

Does Verizon have any prepaid android phones?

Pierre!
08-23-2011, 11:54
Pulse app on my tablet is great! Have not tried it on my phone.

Does Verizon have any prepaid android phones?

Hello Pal2511,

Regarding pre-paid Verizon phones - I have found that there seems to be either pre-paid or contract businesses in the cell market place.

I would suspect this is due to the billing methods. The more billing methods you support, the more issues you can encounter... and one or the other will suffer, so they just go one way.

There maybe someone out there who does both, but I know that Verizon doesn't like to do month to month either... my wife just recently converted to Virgin Mobile just to save $50/month.. and she is digging it! :supergrin:

Hope that helps ya out!

Patrick