Android phones

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Android phones

Postposted on Fri Mar 07, 2014 5:39 am

I've had a blackberry for years but i want to purchase either an iphone or android. Don't know too much about either phone...which one is better? I currently have tmobile so i would have to go to another phone plan if i got the iphone. thanks!
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Re: Android phones

Postposted on Fri Mar 07, 2014 6:24 am

What is your budget and what do you want to have in a phone? Nobody can tell you anything unless you know the answer to those questions.
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Re: Android phones

Postposted on Fri Mar 07, 2014 8:55 am

iOS has better apps, and Android is more like a traditional operating system.

T-Mobile has the Nexus phones, and I usually recommend people one up if they are interested in Android.
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Re: Android phones

Postposted on Fri Mar 07, 2014 9:12 am

If you want the best value while still delivering amazing performance, I recommend the Nexus 5 with an AT&T sim plan from Straight Talk. If you want the "Me too" phone, get an iphone.

The Nexus 5 is state of the art in basically every way - Snapdragon 800 processor (one of, if not the fastest), 2gm ram, nice 1080p screen, decent battery life and best of all IMO, stock android (phones from carriers like Verizon, or vendors like Samsung or HTC will add their own "skin" on top of stock android which just boggs things down in my experience. Stock is the way to go). All this greatness for $350 plus tax and shipping off of the Google Play Story. Its even setup for wireless charging if that's your thing. The phone is GSM unlocked, so you can run it on T-Mobile or AT&T's network (No Verizon or Sprint). This is a $600+ phone wrapped in a sub $400 price.

I've had my Nexus 5 (and a Galaxy Nexus before that) for 3 months and I love it. It is blazing fast and runs without any noticeable slow downs.

I also recommend Straight Talk since you can use either AT&T or T-Mobile with them and you get around 2.5gb of LTE (yes, LTE) data for $45 a month. Takes a few extra steps to get MMS working, but its a breeze with plenty of help available on the web.

So yeah, you save over $200 on the phone and then $20-$40 a month on comparable wireless plans. Great deal.
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Re: Android phones

Postposted on Fri Mar 07, 2014 9:47 am

I will also recommend the Nexus5 if you want an Android phone.

If you pick a Nexus you get a blank canvas which you can use or customise pretty much in any way imaginable.

If you pick an Android phone from any other vendor, it'll come preloaded with the vendor's custom interface, launcher and bloat. You can add to the bloat just like you can add to the stock Google UI on the Nexus, but removing the bloat is quite a lot more work, more often than not you'll need to root your phone (security risk for the inexperienced) and then flash the ROM to a hacked or completely different firmware. This may or may not invalidate your warranty depending on which phone you buy and whilst easy for someone who's done it before, it's not the most user-friendly of procedures to do for the first time.
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Re: Android phones

Postposted on Fri Mar 07, 2014 10:12 am

If you rely on Blackberry's security and reliability you're going to find iOS hardware and UI has equally good if not higher standards. Apple's latest devices are the gold standards in their categories and their iOS system sports the best-of-breed apps in almost every category, which is especially critical on the bigger iPads. But the premium experience is premium-priced and comes at the cost of much flexibility and customization at which Android excels. You also might not like the way Apple's iTunes middleware works. On PCs the Windows version of iTunes can be slow and sometimes flaky between updates. The upside is that Apple's culture is consumer-focused and responds quicker with fixes which concern end-users than rivals.

Some Android apps are almost as good as their iOS equivalents while a few Google ones are exclusive. The trick with Android is figuring out if the apps you want are available and good enough for your needs. You also must be willing to troubleshoot shell and task instabilities, be on guard against the huge numbers of malware infesting the ceosystem, and be ready to find substitutes for the quirky comms modules which non-Nexus droids come with. Sticking to Nexus models is highly advised if you at all care to avoid these issues, for these offer great value for they deliver, even if they're not the most evolved mobile computers available. Or at least try other brands' Google Play editions, which like Google's own Nexus range offer the timely updates which are critical to minimizing development flakiness. If you like exploring software/hardware integration you're likely to find Androids far more interesting to toy/develop with than Apple's locked-down packages.
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Re: Android phones

Postposted on Fri Mar 07, 2014 10:29 am

I personally choose the iPhone, it's honestly higher quality than pretty much every android option, but you pay for that. I also have play store versions of the Moto G and the S4 in the house, all of them are fine phones, but coming from a blackberry I feel like you'd fall into the iOS world more easily than the android side of things. Go to a store and play with them, see what you like. But presently, in my opinion, you have give or take 7 options...

On the Apple front, you have the 5s and the 5c, you're not going to see a ton of difference between them until end of life comes around for the 5/5c, until then they'll feel more or less comparable, aside from the better camera on the 5s. But, the extra hundred bucks will put you a generation ahead and extend it's useful life another year or so.

From google, the play store currently offers, the Nexus 5, plus the Moto G, Galaxy S4, HTC one, and the Z ultra. All good phones, The Moto G is probably the best value at 200 bucks, it's limited to 3G, but otherwise it's a perfectly capable phone, I certainly don't see the GS4 being 3 times as valuable.
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Re: Android phones

Postposted on Fri Mar 07, 2014 10:43 am

I'd like to advise being so "unicorns and rainbows" regarding iOS/iPhone.

I have an iPhone, and I'm selling it the minute the contract is over. Apple totally botched iOS 7, made my phone temporarily unusable and the OS is now full of bugs. Up until that point, I was actually pretty happy with it.

Why is this important, every phone has bugs, you say? Well, because with an iPhone, if it has a software problem, you can't do anything about it, period. You either pray that Apple cares enough about your bugs to fix them (hint: chances are they don't), and very often the only possible course of action on a serious problem is "buy another" (happened to an acquaintance of mine).

Bottom line, pros and cons:

- iOS/iPhone is really great if you don't happen to come across any software problems. If you do, you're screwed, as you'll have zero options. Also, customization is inexistant.
- Android's ecosystem isn't as curated as iOS - the apps as a whole are close in quality but not quite there yet, and there can be inconsistencies between their UIs. On the other hand, at least if you come across a problem, you usually have a way of solving it - and you can customize to your heart's content, as the OS is much less restrictive than Apple's.
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Re: Android phones

Postposted on Fri Mar 07, 2014 11:30 am

morphine wrote:...You either pray that Apple cares enough about your bugs to fix them (hint: chances are they don't), and very often the only possible course of action on a serious problem is "buy another" (happened to an acquaintance of mine)...


What issues have you encountered so far with IOS 7.x? My wife's iPhone 4S recently hung for the first time while running 7.06, necessitating a very rare reboot to clean up things. Her iPad Air and my iPad2 OTOH have been working great till the current 7.06 although the iPad2 slows a little on the latest games of course.

My biggest gripe is still the silo'd filesystem and quasi-multitasking. I know this is about the most rigorous software-assured scheme for minimizing malware exploitation of root and other exploitable privileges, but I wish Apple can invent an equally hardcased yet more flexible approach.
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Re: Android phones

Postposted on Fri Mar 07, 2014 11:34 am

Yeah this is pretty easy right now.

Android: Nexus 5 or Moto X
IPhone: iPhone
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Re: Android phones

Postposted on Fri Mar 07, 2014 11:46 am

trackerben wrote:What issues have you encountered so far with IOS 7.x? My wife's iPhone 4S recently hung for the first time while running 7.06, necessitating a very rare reboot to clean up things. Her iPad Air and my iPad2 OTOH have been working great till the current 7.06 although the iPad2 slows a little on the latest games of course.

I'll try to summarize this as quickly as possible, none of these things happened with iOS 6:

- Because Apple "owns" my phone, they made my 8GB iPhone 4 almost unusable by automatically downloading the 3.5GB iOS update and filling it up. No space available, calls and messages and little else, count myself lucky. No, there was nothing I could do about it. No, I couldn't delete the update or touch it in any way. I almost threw the phone at the wall when I came across this, no joke. I was FURIOUS.
- When plugging the phone to my home computer, "this accessory may not be compatible". Now it's been working, with zero changes. I'm sure that next week it won't.
- When plugging the phone to my work PC, every time, "do you trust this computer?". Always say that yes, I do. Only charges, can't access photos.
- Watching long video clips in Youtube (regardless of the app or browser used) makes the video stutter every few minutes. This problem goes away on its own.
- It's a lot slower, even after disabling the animations and funky effects, for no reason at all. Random slowdowns, too.

Apple has good stuff, and I can list what I liked most about the iOS ecosystem and the iPhone in general if need be. I just wanted to "neutralize" this discussion since I hate Reality Distortion Fields, regardless of manufacturer.
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Re: Android phones

Postposted on Fri Mar 07, 2014 11:47 am

DancinJack wrote:Yeah this is pretty easy right now.

Android: Nexus 5 or Moto X
IPhone: iPhone

Or Moto G, which is the "best" phone available by far right now, as its price/performance/features ratio is unbeatable. Of course, if one is looking for something a bit more upmarket...
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Re: Android phones

Postposted on Fri Mar 07, 2014 12:38 pm

trackerben wrote:You also must be willing to troubleshoot shell and task instabilities, be on guard against the huge numbers of malware infesting the ceosystem, and be ready to find substitutes for the quirky comms modules which non-Nexus droids come with..



Say what? Give me one example of textbook definition malware on the Play Store. Even if you consider those stupid apps like "pou" and "coin dozer" malware due to their constant pop-ups and notifications, they're pretty much harmless like the dreaded Yahoo Toolbar. Is should also be common sense to avoid apps like that.
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Re: Android phones

Postposted on Fri Mar 07, 2014 12:46 pm

Paraphrasing somewhat:
morphine wrote:I hate my iPhone, it has loads of problems


Apple don't care if you're not using their latest hardware. If there is a problem on your overpriced, new-last-month device, it's your fault for using obsolete hardware; UPGRADE NOW FOR ONLY $649.

(My take on) Apple vs Android:
  • Apple - Expensive but utopian walled garden that works perfectly within its carefully limited scope.
  • Android = Cheap freedom, complete with all the pros and cons of being allowed to access the real world.
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Re: Android phones

Postposted on Fri Mar 07, 2014 12:58 pm

Chrispy, despite you being correct, let's not lose perspective here. It's not like the Droid world doesn't have its flaws, and I can list them here as well, lack of updates after 2 years being #1 and fragmentation being #2 :)

That, and the fact that there are no recent small Android phones. No, 65mm wide is not "mini" or "compact", as much as the manufacturers would like us to believe.
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Re: Android phones

Postposted on Fri Mar 07, 2014 1:07 pm

morphine wrote:- Because Apple "owns" my phone, they made my 8GB iPhone 4 almost unusable by automatically downloading the 3.5GB iOS update and filling it up. No space available, calls and messages and little else, count myself lucky. No, there was nothing I could do about it. No, I couldn't delete the update or touch it in any way. I almost threw the phone at the wall when I came across this, no joke. I was FURIOUS...


That I don't recall. Dumb of Apple if they failed to indicate that iOS7 is only supported from the 4S on up.


- When plugging the phone to my home computer, "this accessory may not be compatible". Now it's been working, with zero changes. I'm sure that next week it won't.
- When plugging the phone to my work PC, every time, "do you trust this computer?". Always say that yes, I do. Only charges, can't access photos...


Oh yeah, that. I experienced this mostly with unbranded lightning cables, but it all reminds me that Apple should get off their high horse and allow unlicensed cables to reliably do at least one function, either datasync or charge.

- Watching long video clips in Youtube (regardless of the app or browser used) makes the video stutter every few minutes. This problem goes away on its own.
- It's a lot slower, even after disabling the animations and funky effects, for no reason at all. Random slowdowns, too

Apple has good stuff, and I can list what I liked most about the iOS ecosystem and the iPhone in general if need be. I just wanted to "neutralize" this discussion since I hate Reality Distortion Fields, regardless of manufacturer.


I'd suspect filtering by intermediate carriers is the main factor in Youtube service issues. But I experienced infrequent but irritatingly random stutters in shell effects on the 4S and iPad2 up to iOS 7.04 until turned off. It seems less obvious in iOS 7.06 and is completely absent in the speedy iPad Air so perhaps its a support specification as well as optimization issue.

Yea Apple makes the best stuff which performs and feels premium when its tuned and working, but they have their broken moments too.
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Re: Android phones

Postposted on Fri Mar 07, 2014 1:16 pm

For an Android phone, I highly recommend the HTC One (if you are looking for a premium phone). I love the design, feel, and general operations of the phone. It's pretty close to stock, although I've been using Aviate instead of the default home screen for so long I can't remember what the original was like. I do remember being impressed and very happy with it. The new version should be releasing soon (end of March).

If you are going for an iPhone, 5s is really the only way to go. Everything else will end up obsoleting too soon. Apple's philosophy seems to be 2 years of support for a device.. after that you are on your own.. granted that seems to be the typical life-cycle in the industry..
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Re: Android phones

Postposted on Fri Mar 07, 2014 1:19 pm

trackerben wrote:Oh yeah, that. I experienced this mostly with unbranded lightning cables, but it all reminds me that Apple should get off their high horse and allow unlicensed cables to reliably do at least one function, either datasync or charge.

Both are original Apple cables :)

trackerben wrote:I'd suspect filtering by intermediate carriers is the main factor in Youtube service issues.

No Youtube throttling here... yet. And I should have been more specific - when it happens, only the video freezes, audio continues on.

trackerben wrote:... best stuff which performs and feels premium when its tuned and working

So do the best Droids :), though I get what you're saying. Usually my description is "Apple stuff is like a train. Great when everything works okay and it stays on the tracks they made. Once there's a problem, though..."

To the OP, I'll double-recommend the 5S recommendation somewhat - if you go Apple, get get the 5S or 5C - anything below that is supported almost in name only.
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Re: Android phones

Postposted on Fri Mar 07, 2014 1:22 pm

I was a heavy bb user until a couple of years ago when I switched to the Samsung galaxy s3. Initially I really missed the keyboard and also some of the kB shortcuts (you could press u to jump to the next unread mail and could press alt-u to mark it read).

My wife is a log time iPhone user and I too had the choice. Honestly, I don't see much of a difference between iPhone and ios, and modern android phones and the android OS. Build quality is more or less similar, the OS is also mostly similar, apps are similar.

If at all, the bigger android screen really helps. I have so got used to a 5" screen that I find the iPhone a toy phone and needlessly small. My phone is also light and thin enough that it easily fits into my pocket. A larger screen allows you to truly use your phone as a smart device. You can read a book (especially awesome when you are traveling), browse somewhat meaningfully, type easily, etc.

I am honestly a neutral camper in all this. I will note that my wife's iPhone got wiped of all its data and contacts twice. Both times when the OS tried to upgrade, or so I think. I should also say that despite that, she is happy with the iPhone 5, also especially because all her friends have iphones and she does whatever iPhone users keep doing - iMessage, face time (which imho, is their killer app), etc. It is a solidly built piece of hardware too, although the galaxy s3 trades punches too - platicky but much better and bigger screen, better camera, thinner. But plasticky again.
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Re: Android phones

Postposted on Fri Mar 07, 2014 1:39 pm

Geo2160 wrote:Say what? Give me one example of textbook definition malware on the Play Store. Even if you consider those stupid apps like "pou" and "coin dozer" malware due to their constant pop-ups and notifications, they're pretty much harmless like the dreaded Yahoo Toolbar. Is should also be common sense to avoid apps like that.


That's why I pointed to the overall ecosystem and not just Google's appstore, with threats like Red October and others http://www.securelist.com/en/blog/785/T ... t_Agencies

It concerns the experts enough that they had to go public: http://news.cnet.com/8301-1009_3-576001 ... y-fbi-dhs/
http://www.slideshare.net/TechAndLaw/an ... d-dilemmas

Although Play has its mal and spyware breaches too. http://www.howtogeek.com/177711/ios-has ... -androids/
http://arstechnica.com/security/2014/03 ... ogle-play/
...That said, the instance of Google's official Play Store hosting malicious apps is a regular occurrence that should make people think twice about trusting specific apps, especially those that are relatively new haven't been downloaded many times...

Other online appstores approved by Google like Amazon are already on Play, but it's not much harder to sideload one of the many shady appstores or apptrckr-style clients featuring loads of russian and chinese malware. The point of a serious secured ecosystem is to filter malware through rigorous schemes, not validate appropriate behaviors on pass-fail experimentation. Not to mention iffy privacy issues http://www.theverge.com/2014/1/27/53507 ... obile-apps
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Re: Android phones

Postposted on Fri Mar 07, 2014 1:41 pm

I'm not trying to say Android is perfect, I said all the pros and cons. Many of the "cons" for Android have been listed or exaggerated already, but this is primarily a "which android thread"

As for small Androids, I think that is just how the market has responded to consumer demand. I find it funny how the S4 mini is the same size as my SGSII which was considered "huge" a few years ago at launch.
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Re: Android phones

Postposted on Fri Mar 07, 2014 1:48 pm

morphine wrote:Chrispy, despite you being correct, let's not lose perspective here. It's not like the Droid world doesn't have its flaws, and I can list them here as well, lack of updates after 2 years being #1 and fragmentation being #2 :)

That, and the fact that there are no recent small Android phones. No, 65mm wide is not "mini" or "compact", as much as the manufacturers would like us to believe.


How is fragementation is flaw? Anyways, the easy way around that is to get a Nexus phone. Fragmentation just seems like a headline grab, not a real issue.

Here's the thing, lack of updates may be an issue, but its an easier one to deal with compared to the same issue on an Apple phone. I don't know too much about jailbreaking, but it seems difficult and not as rewarding as rooting an Android phone. When apple stops updating your phone, that the end of the line. With android, you can always look to strong developers like the Cyanogen team that support a wide range of devices for years. Ideal? No, but the solution is there.

As for size, true, no android makers have a real "flagship" smaller sized phone. Oh well. I've got the Nexus 5 and I don't see it as overly huge. Still fits fine in my pocket, tho I stash it in my wife's purse if I can.
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Re: Android phones

Postposted on Fri Mar 07, 2014 1:50 pm

asliarun wrote:I am honestly a neutral camper in all this. I will note that my wife's iPhone got wiped of all its data and contacts twice. Both times when the OS tried to upgrade, or so I think. I should also say that despite that, she is happy with the iPhone 5, also especially because all her friends have iphones and she does whatever iPhone users keep doing - iMessage, face time (which imho, is their killer app), etc. It is a solidly built piece of hardware too, although the galaxy s3 trades punches too - platicky but much better and bigger screen, better camera, thinner. But plasticky again.


Yeah, lol, losing contacts is a common issue for for my wife on her older 4s and new 5s.

Facetime is killer, no doubt about that. Wish Hangouts or Tango had video quality that good.
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Re: Android phones

Postposted on Fri Mar 07, 2014 2:10 pm

morphine wrote:Both are original Apple cables :)


I've also seen "not supported on this device" once or twice on a cable bought from an Apple Store. Feh.

trackerben wrote:So do the best Droids :), though I get what you're saying. Usually my description is "Apple stuff is like a train. Great when everything works okay and it stays on the tracks they made. Once there's a problem, though..."


Yes, although I'd say the best iOS phones are more smartly designed and built, much more secure and supported than the top droids, although I've heard good things about Nexus support.

...To the OP, I'll double-recommend the 5S recommendation somewhat - if you go Apple, get get the 5S or 5C - anything below that is supported almost in name only.


Same, and also due to reliable global LTE
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Re: Android phones

Postposted on Fri Mar 07, 2014 2:28 pm

southrncomfortjm wrote:How is fragementation a flaw?


Among Android engineers it's so do-evil it's called the "F-word", something they think about lots, as Android director Dave Burke stated. Matias Duarte is on record as characterizing the F-thing as a very complex problem which Google is still attempting to fix. But you're right the best way around the problem is to de-Fragmentize on Google's unitary Nexus range.


Fragmentation just seems like a headline grab, not a real issue.


Google's team thought it issue enough to be publicly apologetic about. Entire wikis not to mention Google engineering teams are devoted to your unreal issue.
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Re: Android phones

Postposted on Fri Mar 07, 2014 2:42 pm

trackerben wrote:
southrncomfortjm wrote:How is fragementation a flaw?


Among Android engineers it's so do-evil it's called the "F-word", something they think about lots, as Android director Dave Burke stated. Matias Duarte is on record as characterizing the F-thing as a very complex problem which Google is still attempting to fix. But you're right the best way around the problem is to de-Fragmentize on Google's unitary Nexus range.


Fragmentation just seems like a headline grab, not a real issue.


Google's team thought it issue enough to be publicly apologetic about. Entire wikis not to mention Google engineering teams are devoted to your unreal issue.


To a *user*, whats the flaw in fragementation? Or even better, the typical user. Many do not know what the latest version of Android is, so they don't know that theirs is not up to date. Anyone who really cares about having the most up to date phone knows a few things: get a Nexus or, at the very least, stay away from Verizon (though maybe they've gotten better since their GNEX days).

There are definite advantages to living in the Nexus bubble. Avoiding the dreaded fragmentation is one of them... tho, in reality, Nexus owners are most likely to be in the smaller, most up to date fragement rather than the massive pacman sized 6month-1year old fragment.

Finally, I stand by my original question - how is it a flaw. I think you mean issue. Might be semantics, but fragmentation is not an flaw.
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Re: Android phones

Postposted on Fri Mar 07, 2014 4:38 pm

The flaw for the end users comes when they try five different types of phones and they all work differently, and the experience isn't consistent, and most importantly, almost always severely inferior to stock Android, like in the Nexus.

It also directly affects updates because instead of just updating the main bits of the OS, the manufacturers have to update the crap that they put on top.
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Re: Android phones

Postposted on Fri Mar 07, 2014 6:06 pm

I had a huge post that I accidentally wiped by hitting the back button on my mouse. Here's the quick version.

Neither is better in a broad sense. It's really more about what you prefer. You'll really want to spend some time with both to figure out what you'll like.

I have no loyalty to either, so if the iPhone 6 has the rumored 5ish inch screen, that's where I'm going with my next phone. I started with the original iPhone, then moved to Android for my next 4(starting with the original Moto Droid. Now using LG G2). I kinda just want a new IOS device and kinda want something with better battery life(I hate bulky 3rd party batteries) and slightly more refined apps.

I'll absolutely keep using my Nexus 7 tablet daily, because Android is awesome.

PS. If you go Android, go for a Nexus. Custom mods like Cyanogen offer some great options, but stock Android is nearly perfect in my book.
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Re: Android phones

Postposted on Fri Mar 07, 2014 7:54 pm

I'd recommend a Moto G. It costs less than $200 and is good enough for most users. The Nexus phones aren't bad, but they made some unfortunate design choices to keep the price low that can bite you later on. I've heard some good things about the Sony Xperia Z series, but never used one myself--I have my eyes on the Z1 Compact when it lands in retail stores. Either way, I suggest buying it unlocked/rooted direct from Google or Sony because FFFFRREEEEEEEEDDOOOOMMMMMMM!!1!11!1eleventy1
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Re: Android phones

Postposted on Fri Mar 07, 2014 9:02 pm

southrncomfortjm wrote:There are definite advantages to living in the Nexus bubble. Avoiding the dreaded fragmentation is one of them... tho, in reality, Nexus owners are most likely to be in the smaller, most up to date fragment rather than the massive pacman sized 6month-1year old fragment.

Finally, I stand by my original question - how is it a flaw. I think you mean issue. Might be semantics, but fragmentation is not an flaw.



Missing updates on a device probably baselined to support them is a flaw but only if those updates are good, and wanted. Polls of tech audiences at major sites consistently report a desire for droids updated with Google's latest fixes and features. We do have good reasons to recommend Nexus and some Play Edition models to those who care to avoid stuff with shortcomings in the face of the many severe threats in the wild. Android users may not realize their factional experiences are of a schematic flaw resulting from Android's fragmentation, but Apple users see social advantages in iOS's more unified UI and ecosystem.
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