Best android today (or on the horizon)?

Discussion in 'Smart Phones and Devices' started by Zarathustra[H], Jun 4, 2012.

  1. Zarathustra[H]

    Zarathustra[H] Official Forum Curmudgeon

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    Hey all,

    I've been waiting for my AT&T Contract to expire so I can switchto an Android phone on Verizon. My magic date is 6/30.

    Originally I was really liking the Galaxy Nexus, due to its vanilla ICS, and likely update support from Google.

    Are there any other models I should be considering? The Galaxy SIII looks nice, but I am concerned about being stuck with TouchWiz. How annoying is touchwiz anyway?

    I want something with as few carrier/handset manufacturer modifications to the OS as possible, yet still a fast device, with flexibility for rooting and a large screen.

    I appreciate any recommendations!
     
  2. W.Feather

    W.Feather Hard DC'er for Aug 2012/ Feb 2019

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    If you want something with only a few mods: Galaxy nexus ....

    As for other choices, there are none with little/no intrusion from the carrier or manuf. Touchwiz isnt bad per say, it takes a bit to get used to, and getting rid of it will be based on its adoption by the mod. community. If its anything like the Galaxy S2, then chances are low, up until recently there were not good CM7 ports for the T-Mo and ATT variants, Granted you can always hide touchwiz with a 3rd party launcher...
     
  3. footman

    footman [H]Lite

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    I just upgraded my Droid X to the Galaxy Nexus. I am on the Verizon network. I am disappointed tbh. No gorilla glass so it does scratch easily and battery life is not good, I have the extended battery. The screen is very colorful but difficult to see in the daylight. I expect that the Galaxy S lll will be similar as they are both made by Samsung.

    If I was going to chose again I would buy the Motorola Razr Maxx, gorilla glass, great battery life and ICS....

    As far as movies are concerned, the extra resolution makes no difference unless you want to watch HD like BluRay, standard DVD's do not take advantage of 1280x720... Music sounds good with decent headphones.

    Perhaps you need to wait for the HTC one range.... I am sorry that I didn't wait now, I just needed to make sure that I would not lose my unlimited data plan.
     
  4. -Strelok-

    -Strelok- [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Screen protector maybe? Who doesn't use one these days....
     
  5. DJ Big T

    DJ Big T [H]ard|Gawd

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    On Verizon? Meh. Verizon has terrible selection of phones IMO. AT&T has more phones.

    Anyways, I guess if it was RIGHT NOW it would be the Galaxy Nexsus, IMO. If you're waiting for 6/30 the HTC EVO 4G just came out for sprint. Not sure if/when it's coming out for Verizon.
     
  6. Zarathustra[H]

    Zarathustra[H] Official Forum Curmudgeon

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    Yeah, the selection is smaller, but I am so tired of dropped calls and poor data speeds with my current AT&T, and T Mobile, Sprint and Nextel are even worse.

    I'm afraid Verizon is the only carrier in the US with a useable network, and thus the only one I'll consider.

    Doesn't matter how good your phone is if it's on a terrible network. :(
     
  7. DJ Big T

    DJ Big T [H]ard|Gawd

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    I have no problems with Sprint. T Mobile maybe you have a point, but, they are not quite as bad as AT&T. I guess it depends where you live. I had not nearly as many problems with AT&T in the last year in the Los Angeles and Bay Area locations in California, but that is because the coverage is good in those locations. I hear you, however on the Verizon thing. Verizon is too expensive IMO unless you're on a family plan.

    Anyway, I'll keep you updated on what phone to get.
     
  8. Zarathustra[H]

    Zarathustra[H] Official Forum Curmudgeon

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    Yeah, Each network has good spots, but Verizon us by far the most consistent.

    I'm not sure they are that expensive though. Last time I priced them out, compared to my plan on AT&T (450min, 1500 text, unlimited data) they were $10 cheaper per month, and that's even with my corporate discount work lets me use.

    Thank you, much obliged.

    I wish I could get the international Galaxy SIII (with the quad core) for Verizon with Nexus styled Vanilla ICS.
     
  9. onedestinazn2

    onedestinazn2 [H]ard|Gawd

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    Except for the fact that the S3 uses gorilla glass 2, the battery is alot larger than the G-nex, the screen has even smaller gaps between pixels of the G-nex, and the newer architecture S4 cpu should be better on battery than the one in the G-nex.

    Not saying its a gigantic leap forward, but you shouldn't assume they are the same just because they have the same manufacturer.
     
  10. 123Lanoix

    123Lanoix 2[H]4U

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    i would highly recommend either the HTC one X or the EVO 4g LTE at this point

    those phones blow away the nexus or you can wait for the SG3 that will probably be on verizon first
     
  11. nobody_here

    nobody_here [H]ardForum Junkie

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    I think the Galaxy SIII is the clear choice beginning 7am EST on 06-06-12 :)

    That's what I am upgrading to. Can't decide between white or pebble blue. The surface finish issues reported with the EU launch of the Pebble Blue model kinda scare me. It looks classy in White too. I work an office job in cleanrooms and the laboratory when not at my desk so cleanliness is no concern.

    You should read some of the indepth reviews of all the new features of the GSIII. It's fairly bad ass out of the box. I can tell you after two years of carrying Samsung phones that the ease of which they can be rooted and flashed makes for very good development followings also. I fully expect to see some serious development for the Samsung GSIII. To make it even less intimidating for new users Samsung phones are almost unbrickable. Extremely easy to recover from a bad decision.

    The HTC One X is a nice piece of hardware but I would say it's no GSIII.
     
  12. DJ Big T

    DJ Big T [H]ard|Gawd

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    I bet if you bought a case that would not be an issue. The GS3 does look like a winner. I am perfectly happy with my S G2 Epic 4G Touch.
     
  13. nobody_here

    nobody_here [H]ardForum Junkie

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    I don't do cases, at most I usually put a quality clear thin skin on the back cover just because even in a clean environment the back will get tiny micro scratches. My phones stays in my pocket or in the desktop dock/cradle 99% of the time.
     
  14. DJ Big T

    DJ Big T [H]ard|Gawd

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    There are full phone invisi-shield skins. I bought one for around $30-35. Does what you're talking about.
     
  15. derek533

    derek533 [H]ardness Supreme

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    Maybe I'm in the minority, but on Verizon, I still think the Rezound is currently the best phone. Development is fairly active since it has an unlocked bootloader.
     
  16. nobody_here

    nobody_here [H]ardForum Junkie

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    I know, but these phones are worthless with screen protectors. I don't understand spending $200 on a top end device with Gorilla Glass 2 that doesn't even scratch and then dumbing it down with a cheap ass screen protector. I only need minor scratch resistance for the back anyways. The Zagg skins are pretty nice but I only ever use the back part. Last time I went with Stealth Guards because they offer just the back/sides instead of a full body protector.


    you are certainly in the minority. GSIII hasn't even launched here and they already have development well established....the Rezound is no offense, like yesterdays cold coffee at this point
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2012
  17. NoxTek

    NoxTek The Geek Redneck

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    Touchwiz isn't bad at all, it's probably the least obtrusive of the 'modified UI's' out there. Clean and simple additions to Android without any of the bloat (Sense anyone?... *shudder*). It's really so close to the stock Android experience that you wouldn't be annoyed with it at all.

    I'd get the Galaxy SIII if I could afford it. Since I do everything off contract it's going to be a little out of my price range, lol.
     
  18. morningreis

    morningreis [H]ard|Gawd

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    HTC One X. It works damn well, smooth as butter and fast.
     
  19. T4rd

    T4rd [H]ard as it Gets

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    Lol, indeed. My wife has the Rezound and it's noticeably slower than my Gnex. It's certainly not a bad phone (this display is actually amazing - still the highest PPI of any phone right now), but the Gnex and the Razr Maxx have much more going for them. Esp. considering the S3 SoC in the Rezound is pretty old architecture (Cortex A8-based) compared even to the Gnex and Razr phones (Cortex A9-based). Hopefully the ICS update helps it out a bit in the performance area, because the phone is pretty laggy everywhere besides the launcher compared to my Gnex. Browsing the web on them is a night and day difference.

    This. Of all the OEM custom UIs, the new Touchwiz UI is the least intrusive and most innovative, IMO. The Smart Stay and PiP features are pretty awesome, as well as the rapid-shutter feature in the camera app that they ripped off of Sense 4. The only thing that sucks about it IMO, is that it will invariably delay the next major Android update, which Samsung has been one of the worst offenders in. The international GS II has had ICS for a few months now and it still hasn't reached any of the US variants besides the T-Mobile one (which I think is just coming in the next week or two). HTC is prolly the best OEM in this regard, though they still lag waaaay behind the Nexus phones, which is understandable, I guess considering how much work and testing is involved in porting your UI to the next iteration of Android. I don't think any OEM should take more than 6 month to update their phones though. A lot of the delay is with the carriers too though, so the blame is dispersed evenly across them all :p.

    To answer OP though; right now, the best phone is the One X. But as always there's always something better coming right around the corner. In this case it's the Galaxy S III and it's only a few weeks away for most carriers. I know that's my OPINION, but I say that mainly because the One X does not have a removable/expandable SD card or battery, all while having the same internal hardware, plus another GB of RAM (2GBs total). The only thing the One X might have on the GS III is its display, which even if it is slightly better, definitely doesn't make up for those other disadvantages over the GS III. You may say the One X is "prettier" too, but aesthetics is far from my list of priorities and it's not like the GS III is an ugly phone. I think it looks good and as long as it feels good/ergonomic in my hand, that's what matters to me. I only wish phones would give up their capacitive/physical buttons for the on-screen nav bar like the Galaxy Nexus That will be what I miss most when I move to the S III. They're awesome simply because you can customize and arrange them any way you want (with custom ROMs at least) and they don't interfere with media either since they disappear while watching vids or looking at pics.
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2012
  20. Pylon

    Pylon [H]ard|Gawd

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    The Incredible 4G LTE is on the horizon.
     
  21. nobody_here

    nobody_here [H]ardForum Junkie

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    ewww.....:eek:

    not really in the same category bro, not in my book
     
  22. nobody_here

    nobody_here [H]ardForum Junkie

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  23. W.Feather

    W.Feather Hard DC'er for Aug 2012/ Feb 2019

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    Where do you get the info that a G.Nexus scratches easily? http://www.gottabemobile.com/2011/1...snt-have-gorilla-glass-but-its-not-a-problem/

    It may not have gorilla glass, but it does have fortified glass, i've had my G.Nexus for over 2 months in my pocket + drops and not even a single micro-scratch on the screen ....

    As for bat life, i guess it is an issue with the Verizon one, my GSM one makes it from morning to mid night with no issue, ~3.5 hrs + screen on time, nothing special AOKP build 35..."4G" on with lots of stuff querying data thru the day

     
  24. Ingenieur7

    Ingenieur7 [H]Lite

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    Samsung Galaxy S3 is the best on the market now. Nearly all pre-orders US versions of the Samsung Galaxy S3 start this week (5th June for Sprint, 6th June for Verizon, TMobile available at stores on 21st June). Not sure about AT&T but I think they said "soon".

    In terms of the features they have to offer, the Samsung Galaxy S3 is much much better than the HTC One X. The Samsung Galaxy S3 has new notification LEDs (green, blue, red, white which serve different purposes), excellent camera, expandable storage, much better battery life and the new TouchWiz 4.0 doesn't feel like TouchWiz anymore... it feels much sexier and is in 3D so it really looks more like Android 4.0 with a more "modern" feel to it.
     
  25. MrCrispy

    MrCrispy 2[H]4U

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    OneX and Evo 4G LTE still suffer from broken multitasking. The GS III doesn't, and esp not with the 2GB Ram US is getting. It really is the best phone to get in the next month or so. Anyone deciding bewen these phones should go into a store and try them out, its really the only way to be sure.
     
  26. Ingenieur7

    Ingenieur7 [H]Lite

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    Agreed. The Samsung Galaxy S3 4G LTE having 2GB RAM will absolutely dominate in large demanding tasks such as browsing multiple websites, multitasking and other tasks requiring high RAM.
     
  27. HeavensCloud

    HeavensCloud Oswego, not shitty as Buffalo

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    Wow the S3 looks very nice, first time I have looked into it. For those of us on Verizon's unlimited plan would we lose it by using contract upgrade at this point (S3's release date)?
     
  28. T4rd

    T4rd [H]ard as it Gets

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    No, you can still keep unlimited data right now when you re-up a contract. That will change when they move to shared data plans at some point this summer. No date has been given from Verizon at the moment, only "summer". It will probably be sometime in July, I'd say. As the date gets close though, I'm sure Verizon will let us know at least a few days out like they did with the tiered data plans last year.
     
  29. HeavensCloud

    HeavensCloud Oswego, not shitty as Buffalo

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    Thanks, I think I'll bite on this then before it's too late. Probably keep my trusty X2 as a backup.
     
  30. nobody_here

    nobody_here [H]ardForum Junkie

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    There is a grey area that concerns me though, which is the period between when you request the pre-ordered device and when it actually comes in and ships. According to the droid-life article "they" spoke to an unnamed Verizon "PR rep" who said if you pre-order you get to keep your unlimited data.

    To put that statement in context, the question was raised as it was referring to the mouse type on the preorder page at VZW that says you can get it for $199 "on a two year contract renewal and that that price requires a data pak with 2Gb of data"

    According to the VZW customer service rep I spoke to yesterday, he said when you call to pre-order there is no contractual obligation on either end. You simply get your name in the queue for one. When it actually comes in and ships is when you get billed, or you choose to not accept the terms as they are on the day they attempt to bill it. VZW's entire system works around transaction dates. You can walk in a store and they can tell you anything but what is on the receipt you sign is what you agree to. What they said be damned. Same goes for phone/internet transactions.

    So the grey area is between 6-6-12 and the assumed ship date of 6-21-12. According to the rep I spoke to, although highly unlikely, if you pre-order and say on 6-18-12 they launch shared data and do impose the "no grandfathered data on subsidized devices" policy, then that will be the contract terms you will have to accept on 6-21-12 if you still want the device for $199 on a two year renewal.

    I find his explanation much more accurate from personal experience. The unnamed PR rep in the droid-life article was probably speaking out of pocket (they are PR after all) and they were also referring to a somewhat different scenario.
     
  31. NoxTek

    NoxTek The Geek Redneck

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  32. Vermillion

    Vermillion [H]ardness Supreme

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    This is why I'm thinking about calling Verizon right now and making them upgrade my Thunderbolt early. A 16GB SGS3 (i have a 32GB microSD already) would be mighty nice upgrade and re-upping for 2 years to guarantee unlimited data would be nice. As much as I'd love to vote with my wallet the signal coverage with Verizon is just far superior to any other carrier so I'm finding it hard to go over to T-Mobile or something. I even had full 4G LTE up in Bethany Beach, DE (including while at the beach itself) this past weekend which wasn't there last year. I have 4G all the way up the coast from Northern VA to Bethany now.

    My upgrade isn't until November so they may scoff at 5 months. However, they can either upgrade me early or as soon as they change the policy my wife and I walk with no ETF. It's completely up to them. ;)

    Now I just have to get the wife to agree to the plan. :eek:
     
  33. Zarathustra[H]

    Zarathustra[H] Official Forum Curmudgeon

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    Obviously not an issue for me, sine I don't currently have a Verizon account, but Verizon is planning to stop grandfathering unlimited data during renewals?
     
  34. nobody_here

    nobody_here [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Good luck with that. The upgrade eligibility date that shows up on your account for a given line is actually an "early upgrade" date. It's usually 22 months into a 24 month contract. They won't pull that already early date in any further. At best I have convinced them to give me an extra 30-50 bucks off of the "full upgrade price" in that situation. It may be in your best interest to "add a line", use the device subsidy to get the GSIII, then transfer that device to your line, and then drop the add on line to a dumbphone which with taxes typically adds around 14 bucks a month to your bill.

    There are creative ways around things and I have even had a VZW rep help find that loophole. Good luck.
     
  35. Vermillion

    Vermillion [H]ardness Supreme

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    They upgraded my wife 3 months early recently. It's all about who you talk to. ;) If I only had 3 months to go I'd probably be OK. 5 months out though is the question. Guess they'll have to look at what costs them more money. Losing the wife and me as customers or giving me the early upgrade. ;)


    Correct. Grandfathering of unlimited plans is going away this summer. This goes for everybody. You upgrade a device and get the subsidized price you lose unlimited data. You can however stay month to month and buy the phones off contract and keep unlimited. Not everybody can do that though. SGS3 16GB is $600 off contract...$400 savings is nothing to sneer at.
     
  36. nobody_here

    nobody_here [H]ardForum Junkie

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    you aren't worth as much as you think, I wouldn't be so assuming, but best of luck either way

    right now you can bring grandfathered data across to a renewal, I did it a wek ago with my wife's line and will be doing it again tomorrow morning when I preorder the GSIII
     
  37. PheonixChameleon

    PheonixChameleon Gawd

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    I vote for the Droid 4.. I prefer having a physical keyboard; And I actually prefer the smaller screen to something like the GSIII and those in it's ilk that are in a never ending war to push the envelope as to how large they can make a damn phone before it gets too big for consumers to desire it. For me they blew past that mark after 4.5 inches.
     
  38. kirbyrj

    kirbyrj [H]ard as it Gets

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    I got a GN for the full boat price since I had just renewed earlier, so it sucks, but it's doable. You're paying $400 to keep your data plan. I think it's worth it because you never know what the future holds in terms of the way you use your phone. Plus, if they ever screw with you, you can jump ship without an ETF.
     
  39. ilkhan

    ilkhan No Title for You!

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    $400 pays for a lot of data overages.
     
  40. nobody_here

    nobody_here [H]ardForum Junkie

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    This is not in effect yet.... just to clarify, you can still get a subsidized phone and keep unlimited data.