Switching back to Android from Windows. What phone?

Discussion in 'Smart Phones and Devices' started by Carouselambra, Aug 23, 2017.

  1. Carouselambra

    Carouselambra Gawd

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    Like the title says. I have a Lumia 950 that I love. However it's gotten to the point where the app store is my breaking point.

    I use my phone for Calling, Texting, Pictures, and Instagram. I don't use the internet much and I don't play games on it. However, recently I've run into things I can't do because of the app store. Most notably is Uber. Uber just came to my area and I'm unable to drive for them with my windows phone.

    There have been other apps in the past that I couldn't get but I just went without since they weren't all that important.

    I do love how my phone works with my PC (ie. Texting and onedrive syncing) and I like how everything is backed up so if I lose the phone I can just load everything on a new phone.

    My concern with Android is that I will be cut off from OS versions because of whatever reason. The last Android phone I had was the Droid X probably 8 years ago.

    My other concern is pre-loaded junk that I can't get rid of that may bog down the phone. I honestly don't know the state of Android these days.

    Any suggestions? I'm not trying to spend a ton either. I think the most I'd like to spend is $450.
     
  2. CHANG3D

    CHANG3D [H]ardness Supreme

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    If you're worries about OS updates and not getting pre-loaded junk, Google Pixel and Pixel XL are you only choices right now. I suspect that the new Essential Phone will be good at getting updates and especially at not having bloat, but I can't confirm whether it'll have updates aside from saying it's made by Andy Rubin. Essential Phone is also not $450, but it does start at 128 GB of storage at $699. As for the Pixel pricing, the price will come down when the Pixel 2 is released. It started at $524 with a Daydream VR headset just over a week ago. So if you are looking for zero bloat with OS updates, $450 is a bit low. If you're willing to spend $50 more, you'll be in the ballpark with getting a Google Pixel.
     
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  3. Domingo

    Domingo [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Right now the Pixel (and maybe the Essential Phone) are your options for new devices. For your price point, you could potentially also track down a Nexus and have someone replace the battery. They still operate like new with a new battery, and they're still getting OS updates as well. I have a buddy running Oreo on his.
    Nearly every other type of phone will be a crapshoot when it comes to OS updates, bloatware, or proprietary nonsense. Some are much better than others, but pretty much all of them have issues.
     
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  4. Carouselambra

    Carouselambra Gawd

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    That's a rough outlook :/

    Are my worries about OS updates and bloatware valid? Or is it not that bad in the android world at this point. I really don't want to spend a lot on a phone. The prices are getting out of hand and I can't justify paying that much for a phone just so that I don't get left out of update cycles.


    EDIT: From the 2 posts so far it seems like the Android ecosystem is just as fragmented as it was before. Why does the phone landscape have to suck so much?
     
  5. Bandalo

    Bandalo 2[H]4U

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    OnePlus 5 is probably another good choice...No bloatware, good with OS updates, and in your price range.
     
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  6. Supersnake

    Supersnake Gawd

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    Sounds like you should be checking out NOKIA 6 too, pretty close to pure android and expected timely updates, plus falls into a lower than your price point.
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2017
  7. tesherx

    tesherx n00bie

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    Once you have a few options, it may be worth your time to browse for some good used phones on Swappa. You might be able to find some deals that would put some phones into your price range that otherwise wouldn't be.
     
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  8. Tiberian

    Tiberian Finger Me

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    I would say get a used OnePlus 3T and run with it, literally. Best bang for the buck you're going to find, and right about the price point as defined. A ZTE Axon 7 is an excellent device as well, relatively clean of bloat so that's not a concern, arguably either the best or the second best front facing speakers and audio on any smartphone ever made even today (if that matters to you, personally I just my earbuds and headphones so that particular aspect means not much of anything to me anymore). OnePlus announced a few days ago that the OnePlus 3 and 3T would be receiving an Android 8 Oreo update so that's a good thing.

    A brand spankin' new device isn't a necessity in this situation as the OnePlus 3T is not even a year old yet (released Nov 2016) and still a fantastic device. The community support for it is loaded with custom ROMs if you decide to go that route as well. The beauty of the OnePlus models is they support being customized out of the box, the company has no problems with people using their devices in such ways, they don't penalize end users for unlocking the bootloader, and if it's still under the factory warranty if you pooch it with a bad flash of some custom ROM they'll even replace it for you without a big hassle which is damned cool.

    So in terms of worrying about future OS updates, while OnePlus might only guarantee one more major update (aka Oreo) that doesn't mean the 3T will get updated because of the community support for years to come.
     
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  9. almalino

    almalino [H]ard|Gawd

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    I switched from Lumia 950 to Moto Z. It has no bloatware and almost stock Android version close to Pixel. I like the phone though it is bigger then Lumia 950 and it is a little too big for me.

    Basically, I can recommend Moto phones like Moto Z or G5 Plus or similar. They work great and comes from a good company.

    BTW, I configured Metro Lumia 950 like UI on Moto Z using "Launcher 10" and it works almost identical to Lumia 950.

    OS updates are timely on Moto devices. I just received lates v7.1.1 and I saw in the internets that it will receive v8.0 by the end of the year even though Moto Z is a 2016 year model.
     
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  10. CHANG3D

    CHANG3D [H]ardness Supreme

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    Problem with the OnePlus is that they don't seem to update past one generation. While last year's models the OnePlus 3/3T will supposedly get the update, OnePlus 2 from two years ago will not. Also when will they get Oreo? So I would absolutely not recommend OnePlus if getting OS updates is a priority.

    As for older Nexus, the 5X and 6P got the updates. Nexus 6 did not. I'm going to say that going forward, the Pixel is the best bet to get updates.

    Nokia 6... Good luck. I have no idea due to the lack of history with HMD (the company behind the Nokia phones). Unfortunately, unlike Essential, HMD does not have the father of Android behind it.

    Moto was good before. But after the Lenovo acquisition, I cannot recommend Moto cause they're not getting updates.

    So in conclusion, if you want to buy new phones that will get updates for at least two years, Pixel and Essential are your best bet.

    But the alternative is there to use Swappa and buy and sell an used phone every year... Or get an iPhone.
     
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  11. T4rd

    T4rd [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Moto phones have actually been good with updates on their Z and G series. My wife's (unlocked on T-Mo) Z Play has received monthly security updates so far this year and is on 7.1.1 right now at least. Most people are just sour over the 2015 Moto X Pure never getting Nougat (it might now, not sure - I've read conflicting reports), but I think that was the last phone Moto made before the Lenovo acquisition, so it may have just been lost in the transition for whatever reason.

    So given that, I would recommend the Z Play or Z2 Play from Moto on top of the other recommendations here, esp. considering they're relatively cheap compared to other flagships but perform the same in most UI tasks and get considerably better battery life than most phones. The Z2 Force is garbage though with its ridiculously small battery, plastic screen that scratches way too easily, and no headphone jack. I was really annoyed by that because I was considering getting that phone because of how awesome my wife's Z Play has been.

    Otherwise I would look at Pixels, Oneplus, and Nokia phones if OP cares about software and software support above all else. The Oneplus has the caveat of not supporting their phones much past a year now, but they do update their phones relatively fast for the first year they're out.
     
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  12. Carouselambra

    Carouselambra Gawd

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    I really appreciate the input. I need to mull this over a bit. I was thinking about the 3t a while ago but if it's not supported long it seems like that's a waste of money. I'd like to get 2-3 years out of my phone. The only reason I'm getting rid of this Lumia after 2 years is because of the lack of apps.
     
  13. brettjrob

    brettjrob Limp Gawd

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    You're in the same predicament as me: I prefer using my PC for most tasks when I'm at home or work, and my DSLR for any meaningful photography, so I'm not enough of a power user to justify spending more than $400-500. Yet, bloatware and proprietary nonsense repulse me and are instant dealbreakers. That leaves us without any good options. As others have said, the Pixel line is the only way to avoid bloatware and update hell completely. If you're really concerned about update timeliness and longevity, nothing else will do.

    I bought the Moto X Pure in 2015 which at the time seemed like the magic unicorn I was after (a solid mid-range affordable phone running stock Android that would get timely updates), but the updates never came. I feel like OnePlus owners have often experienced the same let down: they're told updates will be a cinch because the software is stock-ish, but somehow those updates still take months or never materialize at all. The upshot of all this is that we're practically forced into buying a Pixel/XL that's overkill and overpriced for our purposes.
     
  14. Tiberian

    Tiberian Finger Me

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    You folks buying devices with unlockable bootloaders do realize that because of that those devices typically have rather popular communities of support behind them that create multiple custom ROMs that you can install with relative ease that extend the lifespan of such devices, right? Right?

    I have to wonder... the OnePlus devices, unlockable bootloaders (that are even covered under the factory warranty if you encounter a bad flashing process), the Moto X Pure just mentioned, unlockable bootloader (and since it's well outside the factory warranty period it's a non-issue now anyway), and so on, both devices have multiple ROMs available that are as current as you can get (Android 7.1.2) and soon enough they'll have Android 8.0-based ROMs available too I'd bet without a second thought.

    As for being "practically forced" into buying a brand new device, fuck that, there's never been a situation that I've ever seen where such a thing is a requirement. I mean really, show me one instance of a new version of Android that has some aspect you're absolutely forced into adopting 'cause I certainly have never experienced it myself, and even so, with devices like the ones I just mentioned and many many others the communities are almost always there with at least something like AOSP or Lineage for the given device(s) to work with, updated regularly, to the latest version of Android available at any given time.

    Now I'm not saying that EVERY device can be used in such manners, carrier branded hardware typically has bootloaders that can't be unlocked (save for T-Mobile devices, but they're starting to prevent that on some devices unfortunately) but if you went through the trouble to buy a non-carrier branded device (OnePlus, Moto X Pure, and a good variety of others) more than likely that unlocked bootloader capability will keep said devices running for years, well beyond the point where the manufacturer basically says "Hey, you want the latest version of Android, well fuck you, we're not providing it for the device you bought even though it's less than 2 years old, buy a new one."

    Motorola did that to Atrix and Photon owners years ago, fucked us out of updates to Android 4.4 KitKat even when they had the damned builds complete in their labs and wouldn't release them - instead when people complained they emailed back saying "Sorry, you're not getting KitKat, we know we broke our promise but whatever, so here, have a $100 off coupon on a newer device that has KitKat on it and shut the fuck up about it..." more or less.

    Fuck companies that do that to customers, each and every time it happens.
     
  15. whatevs

    whatevs [H]Lite

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    Get an older iPhone directly from Apple or used one from Swappa/eBay. Dont get Android. That's from someone who was always on Nexus since Galaxy Nexus. When my Nexus 5X stops getting security updates, its iPhone for me. I've dabbled in creating Android apps, follow the underlying OS/tech closely. Release after release, it is so disappointing w/regards to privacy/security. It just gets worse and worse.

    Not saying Apple is perfect. Just that your goals/needs from the phone somewhat align with Apple's business model, while they are in direct conflict with Google's. It's literally like watching Congress/Agencies/Depts. They pass/enact legislation/policies that literally no one wants except the two or three people in entire country who would make money off of it. It is totally bad for the country and tax payers end up paying for it. Google is those folks.

    I've waited several releases but it just gets worse with every major release. Most every decision Google makes for Android is extremely bad for your privacy because it would directly impact ad revenue/monetizing you.
     
  16. BiH115

    BiH115 [H]ardness Supreme

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    Have you decided on a size yet? That's probably the biggest question, after that, battery life, and after that, what you want to get out of it ultimately. All phones are pretty solid these days, and you've got solid offerings from Samsung (and their new Note 8 if you swing in that direction) as well as LG. Bloatware can be fixed, but it's really not that much of an issue these days. People bitch because they can, but there aren't really any shitty phone offerings out there currently.
     
  17. biggles

    biggles [H]ard|Gawd

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    Bloatware can be avoided by not getting a Samsung or a carrier phone from AT&T or Verizon. Some of the best unlocked devices with minimal bloat are from Motorola. Which carrier are you on? There are lots more Android choices on AT&T and T-Mobile or an MVNO associated with one of those two.
     
  18. whatevs

    whatevs [H]Lite

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    The new Nokia phones are getting good reviews. They keep getting the monthly security patches same/before Nexus/Pixel phones. Have guaranteed OS updates for 2 years per Nokia HMD. Supposed to be very vanilla Android like Nexus. Just double check radio bands versus your favored provider. If i absolutely had to get Android, it would be Nokia to buy me some time except im on Google Fi.

    Everyone else has bloat,... Even Lenovo seems hit and miss. It was supposed to take over and (ive never fully looked because Nexus for me) it never did. Reviews seem to match. Some say good, but just as many say bad things. I mean, theyre doing Pixel right after dumping Moto. Must have been a good reason to dump and than still do Pixel.
     
  19. CHANG3D

    CHANG3D [H]ardness Supreme

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    I think you have mixed up HTC with Lenovo. HTC is not owned in any way by Lenovo. But should Lenovo be smart, they should target HTC as their next acquisition to make a move into VR.
     
  20. Supersnake

    Supersnake Gawd

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    An glad you pointed to that Chang, I read what he typed two or three times and was wondering why I was confused while reading it. At first I thought he may have left out something. (n)
     
  21. whatevs

    whatevs [H]Lite

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    No no, i think i should have just put last sentence on separate line. Meant Moto/Lenovo was supposed to become big player and it all fizzled out. And the they was Google. Google dropped Moto, even though they planned to make their own Google branded phone. Must have been a lot of issues for them not to keep them.
     
  22. CHANG3D

    CHANG3D [H]ardness Supreme

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    Oh, by "they" you mean Google... But you've never mentioned Google by name anywhere! Haha!

    In that case, I think you were referring the Moto Nexus 6, which is followed by Huawei's Nexus 6P and LG Nexus 5X, then came the Pixel. So it wasn't "right after" either.
     
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  23. waderunner

    waderunner Gawd

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    I'm in the same boat as OP (on Lumia 650 currently). I need dual SIM. I'm looking at the Nokia 6. Tempting, but larger than I need. The Nokia 5 is the size I want, but the specs aren't as good as the Nokia 6, at least memory and storage.
     
  24. whatevs

    whatevs [H]Lite

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    I dont know, a year sounds about right in getting all ducks in row with getting new suppliers,... all in a row.
     
  25. slyxxmarbo

    slyxxmarbo n00bie

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    i was always partial to LG phones, been with them for the past few years. currently using the LG V20, and its been pretty solid for the past year now. minimal bloat. i think you can find an unlocked one on slickdeals for under your budget.
     
  26. UnknownSouljer

    UnknownSouljer [H]ardness Supreme

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    You can get an unlocked Pixel or Pixel XL on Swappa used for your price range. That's probably the option I would consider.