Thinking about a non-Samsung Android Phone

FrgMstr

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I have pretty much exclusively used Samsung phones since phones became "smart." I was looking around for alternative Android phones and I am pretty much lost.

What you guys say I need to have my eyes on?

Edit: I am on T-Mobile.
 
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MMitch

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How about a nice blackberry ? ^^

What are your use ? (What would you wish you were able to do with it too ?) Basically what key features do you need...
 

CanonicalAbstract

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I have been looking between the OnePlus 3T and the Huawei Mate 9 here. Deffo leaning on the Mate 9, the phone just is slick.
 

FrgMstr

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I use my phone for making phone calls, texts, mail, surfing the web, moderating the HardForum, Waze navigation while driving, Bluetooth streaming of music on my patio.
 

almalino

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I am switching from Lumia to Android and Moto Z looks like a good choice for me.
 

CanonicalAbstract

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I just noticed the edit for the T-Mobile part...
T-Mobile pretty much whores out their Samsung devices, and quite frankly, the only devices I can advise on is their higher-end and midrange Samsung devices.
Though, I believe you can still get an unlocked device and swap the SIM into it.
 

FrgMstr

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I just noticed the edit for the T-Mobile part...
T-Mobile pretty much whores out their Samsung devices, and quite frankly, the only devices I can advise on is their higher-end and midrange Samsung devices.
Though, I believe you can still get an unlocked device and swap the SIM into it.
Yes, hence my statement about moving away from Samsung. Just want to at least look at something different or at least be aware of my choices. I have been using Samsung phones for many years and am up to speed there.
 

gimp

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I really like my Pixel XL, and I'm glad I finally moved away from Samsung.
If you end up not liking it, it will definitely be easy to resell for the same you paid for it.
 

FrgMstr

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I really like my Pixel XL, and I'm glad I finally moved away from Samsung.
If you end up not liking it, it will definitely be easy to resell for the same you paid for it.
Not sure why the guy was giving it up that cheap. He had good record on swappa. We will see how it all pans out. I am looking forward to it. My old S6 is getting a bit long in the tooth, and I got kids wanting new phones.....The general hand-me-downs start with my wife, move to me, then the kids. :)
 

FrgMstr

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I made the switch from my Note 4 to the Pixel XL, and haven't looked back since. It took a little adjustment at first, but now I like it a lot. The battery life for me is far better than any of my Notes.
Not a fan of the phablet sized phones. This Pixel XL is not much bigger than my current S6. Good to know on battery life. I could not find much "bad" about this phone in reviews. And the guy is even shipping a case with it as well from Spigen. Been using cases from these guys for a while now and like those.
 

Mad Maxx

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Long time (and continued) iPhone disciple, chiming in to cast another vote for the OnePlus 3T. Fastest phone on any platform I've ever used. I'm on T-Mo, too. AMOLED screen. Comparable battery life to my 7 Plus. Dual SIM capability. If you like to root and ROM, the 3T is perfect. Even on Nougat 7.1.1 + Oxygen 4.1.3, the 3T is damn near pure Android. The OnePlus 5 is due in June, so you might want to wait. If you want to buy now, the 3T is a great choice.

$440 for 64GB
$480 for 128GB

No microSD option is my only complaint.
 

2k3eblade

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No recommendations for the HTC 10? I got mine of swappa a year ago and it's been a solid device. My only complaint is the weak vibration and polarizer placement on the the screen. The 10 has a strong dev community and good warranty (Uh oh protection). They're going for around $400 on swappa at the moment.
 

entropism

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I actually just sold my 10 for $400, one of the best phones I ever had. Sadly, HTC shit the bed with distribution, they would have had a winner on their hands.
 
D

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You folks did catch the post where Kyle said he bought the Pixel XL off Swappa, right? :D
 

ChronoReverse

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No recommendations for the HTC 10? I got mine of swappa a year ago and it's been a solid device. My only complaint is the weak vibration and polarizer placement on the the screen. The 10 has a strong dev community and good warranty (Uh oh protection). They're going for around $400 on swappa at the moment.
Can't do much about the weak vibration but I found that my tempered glass protector fixed the polarization on my HTC 10 (which is great btw).
 

Vengance_01

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One plus 3T 128gb model. Only thing lacking is the camera. It's good but not top tier
 

biggles

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Another vote for the OnePlus 3t. Advantages are speed, clean OS, build quality, good display, good but not great camera. No sd card support though. Too bad they don't make this phone for Verizon users like me.
 

Eradan

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Kyle, can you please comment on Bluetooth performance with your Pixel? I'm moving from iPhone and am considering the Pixel and the S8 but am concerned about reports regarding BT issues. I use this everyday while in the car for work and would hate to be without it. My iPhone 6+ has issues with my Kia as it is.

Thank you!
 

Zorachus

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As of April 2017 I'd still say the Pixel XL is the best Android phone to get. Good choice Kyle
 

FrgMstr

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Well, looks like my Pixel XL opted to head for Bourbon Country instead of North Texas.....Hmmm.

upload_2017-4-24_7-52-45.png
 

WorldExclusive

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After the Note 7 situation. I would only buy a Google Pixel. Most of those Samsung features I never used anyway.
 

FrgMstr

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If you decide to pickup a screen protector for your XL woud suggest going with this one https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01N340JQA/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I bought several different protectors to find that most dont even cover the whole screen for some odd reason and obvviously this looks pretty horrible. I'd also recommend this https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01M8GUGQ7/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o02_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 case as it looks quite nice with the above protector and protects pretty well.
I bought a Zagg screen protector and the guy is shipping a Spigen case with it. Will see how those work. But thanks for the heads up, will give this one a try if the other one sucks.

This is the one I picked up.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01N63XLQ6/
 

Solhokuten

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That looks pretty similar to the one I use so it will probably fit pretty nicely.
 

FrgMstr

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I have been checking out reviews, and the biggest knock seems to be how it looks. I guess I am not part of that crowd that uses smart phones as a status symbol.
 

FrgMstr

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Basically what they are saying in that article is that you cannot combine multiple LTE bands together to create a "super" band. This is largely going to impact how big of a speed test you see on your phone, but for browsing probably isn't going to be a major concern. It all depends upon what kind of bandwidth they have in your area. The Pixel has a 4x4 modem in it, and I believe other phones won't do carrier aggregation (CA) with 4x4 (MIMO) activated anyway.

So let's say you can get LTE on channels 1, 4, 11 (Those are made up and wrong) on Verizon with a pixel. You can make it so that 1 + 4 + 11 = 1 big channel. But if each of those are 5mhz wide, you'll end up with 15 mhz of total bandwidth. I'm not sure if those are only single stream, but I'd have to guess they probably are at this point. That would allow you to get far more bandwidth than if you only had access to one of the bands, and might help in edge cases and saturated deployments because you can pull from different channels. On the flip side, let's say you only have Band 12 (B12) on T-mobile, and it's only 5 mhz wide. At first it would seem like you're going to be at a huge disadvantage. It's only 1/3 of the bandwidth. But here's where it starts to get complicated. T-mobile might be able to offer you a full 4 streams because they have enough antennas on their end to allow that. So what you really end up with is 4 x 5mhz streams using the same frequency. So using that terrible additive math like they use for CPUs, you would have an effective amount of 20mhz worth of bandwidth on t-mobile vs only 15 mhz on Verizon, even though on Verizon you are using 3x the amount of real spectrum. The best analogy of this is comparing 8 core cpus @ 2ghz versus 4 cores @ 4ghz. In the end you'll end up with the same amount of processing power, just delivered in a different way.

TL;DR It depends. In some cases you can actually have faster speeds on T-mobile than VZW even without CA, and in other cases it will be the other way around.
Thanks for the breakdown. Admittedly I am not exactly a phone guru. :)
 

ChronoReverse

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The other thing to note is that you're almost always limited in other ways in terms of the speeds your getting. It's like having a GTX Titan while piddling along on a Core 2 Duo.


You'll usually be limited by the carrier's data link to the tower or by the number of users sharing the airwaves bandwidth.
 

FrgMstr

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The other thing to note is that you're almost always limited in other ways in terms of the speeds your getting. It's like having a GTX Titan while piddling along on a Core 2 Duo.


You'll usually be limited by the carrier's data link to the tower or by the number of users sharing the airwaves bandwidth.
I could not find any real-world usages that noted anything about limited bandwidth. I will do some tests and see what I get.
 

bman212121

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What Chrono is referring to is a tower having only a 100mbps backhaul, or worse yet, T1 lines. I've seen LTE which had a max rate of 1.5mbps download, because it was well outside of town. That has nothing to do with the connection of the phone to the tower, and everything to do with the network that's after that. The technology that's behind phones isn't much different than the technology used by wifi, so knowing how one works translates well into how the other one does. 802.11ac already uses a type of "carrier aggregation" and can combine (bond) multiple channels to make up one fat one. (20mhz, 40mhz, 80mhz, 160mhz, and AC brought the ability for these to be non contiguous) It also uses MIMO making it so that in a crowded area like the 2.4ghz band where there are really only 3 channels to use, you can get more bandwidth by using multiple streams of data at the same time.

It would be exactly the same as having an AC access point, and plugging that into a 10mbit half duplex port, or having a DSL connection to the internet. In either case, AC isn't causing you a bottleneck, it's something upstream. Same goes for that cellular connection.
 

ChronoReverse

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Tempered glass fixed the green wave looking issue !? WAH?
Well, the polarization orientation issue is if you're wearing polarized sunglasses, portrait (or was it landscape?) would be dark. After I put on the tempered glass protection, it's visible in either orientation (and has been for so long that I've forgotten which way was the problem).
 
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