Need some cell phone advice

Laptops, PDAs, Cell Phones, and all other tech that you carry with you.

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Re: Need some cell phone advice

Postposted on Fri Nov 12, 2010 7:28 am

Went with the Captivate, the three week wait time for an iPhone 4 combined with Swype sold me.

This phone is sexier than sex in use.
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Re: Need some cell phone advice

Postposted on Fri Nov 12, 2010 8:20 am

I think it comes with Android 2.2 . . . . . .SO:

1. Install Speed Test and see just how fast your connections are.

2. Install RockPlayer and watch everything in life.

3. Barcode Scanner is your friend.

4. Dolphin HD browser + any add-ons you think you like = glory.

5. Angry Birds (the full one . . . . its free) is king of addictions.

Here's a list of the stuff I put on my HTC Desire (especially after the 2.2 update) - its not much:

Mini Info
RockPlayer
Speed Test
Current Commodities from Bloomberg
Barcode Scanner
Bubble (the level bubble)
Bookmarks to SD for Dolphin
CamScanner
FileMan
Free Advanced Task Killer
Google Sky Map
Roman Numerals
Angry Birds
Homerun Battle3D
ConvertPad

I use the standard stuff for everything else.
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Re: Need some cell phone advice

Postposted on Fri Nov 12, 2010 8:31 am

Flying Fox wrote:
Voldenuit wrote:PROS:
Battery life measured in days, as opposed to hours
Powerful GPU

CONS:
680 MHz ARM11 CPU
Does this really affect the speed of things like transitions, apps loading and such? I am not a fan of people keep zoning in on the CPU. Symbian does not really need that high clocked CPU in order to function smoothly. If you want to play games you would be doing it on a different phone with better game selections anyways?


No, you're right that it doesn't really affect anything on the N8. Transitions/Animations are pretty basic, and the touchscreen input was a little laggy anyway, which I think is due to the way they take input - unlike Apple, they seem to wait until the input is completed before it registers.

And you're right there aren't many games, certainly not any heavy duty GPU pushers like Rage.
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Re: Need some cell phone advice

Postposted on Sun Nov 21, 2010 10:34 pm

More N8 news, nokia VP talks about recent power on failures with N8.

Not a lot of info. Several retail stores I've been to had told me about this issue last week, and that they were no longer stocking N8s until the problem was fixed. For the uninitiated, some users have complained about their phones refusing to power on after a while. No idea what the stats are on the frequency of dead phones though.

Had a bit more play time with a lone N8 I found at the Nokia store. The camera quality is great (it's as good as a high end compact if you search on flickr), but alas, the interface is as antiquated as the OS. There is no touch to focus (wtf? This is a touch screen phone fer chrissake). The only thing tapping the screen will get you is accidentally activating the (digital) zoom controls. Boo. It is however good (IMO) that nokia is very lighthanded on NR - they're targeting the camera at enthusiasts who would prefer to do their on PP and erring on the side of retained detail at the expense of (slightly) more noise. Might outdo the Ricoh GRD-III as a street photography tool, though - fixed 28/2.8 lens (35mm equivalent FOV), very good exposure (tested it in harsh and backlight) and you are more likely to be carrying it on you when a photo op crops up than a compact or DSLR.

Video recording unfortunately uses a fixed focus point (somewhere short of hyperfocal). May be a deal killer for some but probably a good compromise for most.

Sadly, using Ovi Maps requires accepting an EULA, and I didn't want to mess with the display phone's virgin state, so I didn't get to play with that.

Will be sitting this out a bit longer. I think Nokia is marketing the phone wrong. It's not a 'smartphone', it's a 'camera phone' that can run some apps (GPS, graphing calcs, geotagging etc). So rather than comparing it to Android and iOS, something like Panasonic's upcoming 'Lumix phones' might be a better comparison.
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Re: Need some cell phone advice

Postposted on Wed Nov 24, 2010 2:29 am

Voldenuit wrote:The camera quality is great (it's as good as a high end compact if you search on flickr), but alas, the interface is as antiquated as the OS.
Depends on what "high end compact" you have in mind. I think it still has ways to go to match the S90/S95/LX3/LX5 level.

Voldenuit wrote:Will be sitting this out a bit longer. I think Nokia is marketing the phone wrong. It's not a 'smartphone', it's a 'camera phone' that can run some apps (GPS, graphing calcs, geotagging etc). So rather than comparing it to Android and iOS, something like Panasonic's upcoming 'Lumix phones' might be a better comparison.
Actually I think this is as much fault with Nokia as the unwashed (internets) media. Due to a lack of a true flagship, the N8 unfortunately got pushed to the wrong comparison bracket, but the pricing and positioning of the device is clearly mid-high end and multimedia-focused, not the "superphone" type smartphone. When you read comments saying "this flagship sucks", or "it should use MeeGo", you can clearly tell that the blogosphere does not really get it.

There are 2 problems with Nokia making the true flagship (that follows the same line as the N95): 1) at the time Symbian^4 was going to be the real future since ^3 was meant as a catch-up/clean-up release; and Maemo was busy merging with Moblin so some time lost there for MeeGo 2) baking really good hardware for a really smart phone takes time. The 2 sub-problems of (1) is sorting itself out now, but (2) we will have to see if there will be further slippage. Nokia is in unfamiliar territory where product cycles are getting shortened. Not that it is any excuse but at least I can see that they are struggling in trying to adapt. 2011 may be the make or break year for them.
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Re: Need some cell phone advice

Postposted on Wed Nov 24, 2010 3:58 am

Flying Fox wrote:
Voldenuit wrote:The camera quality is great (it's as good as a high end compact if you search on flickr), but alas, the interface is as antiquated as the OS.
Depends on what "high end compact" you have in mind. I think it still has ways to go to match the S90/S95/LX3/LX5 level.


I'd say its quality is easily as good as an S90, especially in the dark. The 1/1.83" sensor isn't much smaller than the S90's 1/1.7" sensor, though the S90 gets by with larger photosites courtesy of its 10 MP resolution, and of course the S90 has a slightly faster lens (f/2 vs f/2.8). Of course, the S90 is more versatile - it has a 3.8x optical zoom covering 28-105mm (eq.) vs the N8's 28mm (eq) prime, but as I'm a prime shooter myself (20/1.7 and 45/2.8 on my GF1), the N8 suits me fine. When dealing with compact cameras, exposure and metering are more important than pixel peeping because of the narrow dynamic range (even in RAW, which the N8 doesn't support), and I'm glad to say the N8 passed my (impromptu) exposure tests with aplomb. Of course, the camera you have with you is always better than the camera that gets left at home, and the N8 excels in this department.

There's a very good FAQ and interview with one of their camera designers on the web. He does a good job of explaining the decisions and compromises the camera team made when designing and fine-tuning the camera. It's very frank without marketing-speak or blame casting, you can tell these guys really care about their product and put a lot of thought into it.
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Re: Need some cell phone advice

Postposted on Wed Nov 24, 2010 2:06 pm

As an iPhone user, I was underwhelmed by the Torch. The interface seemed cluttered, confused, and not entirely integrated with the existing BlackBerry paradigm, while at the same time lacking a lot of polish of iOS.

My wife, on the other hand, who is a BB user, thought it was great.

So, really it comes down to what works best, and it hasn't really changed with the Torch.

The iPhone (and by extension Android to a certain extent) is all about user experience. If you use your phone for browsing and apps (and phone calls of course), plus maybe some occasional NetFlix or Hulu, the iPhone wins hands down. It's a far superior user experience. It is cleaner, simpler, smoother, more polished, and has a vast amount of market momentum behind it.

The BlackBerry, as always, is about business. If you need to do a lot of email, essentially if you need to be typing on the thing a lot, a BlackBerry is going to work better. Their email integration is slightly superior (although the iPhone has improved immensely since it was introduced, there's still the keyboard factor). And it's a solid phone.

My advice would be to go to an AT&T store and play with both of them, exercising all the features you use most. Spend a good solid hour, at least, trying each. And even though I like the iPhone better, the Samsung Galaxy S based Android phones are pretty damn good as well -- try one of those.
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Re: Need some cell phone advice

Postposted on Wed Nov 24, 2010 2:10 pm

pikaporeon wrote:I do three things primarily with my phone: read my email, fool around on twitter, and surf the net in situations not condusive to busting out a laptop.

Read email how much? And how much do you end up responding to?

From that list, it sounds like an iPhone or an Android would work just fine for you.
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Re: Need some cell phone advice

Postposted on Sat Dec 04, 2010 9:41 pm

pikaporeon wrote:Went with the Captivate, the three week wait time for an iPhone 4 combined with Swype sold me.

This phone is sexier than sex in use.


Have you had any problems with the phone turning off randomly? This was the phone I was considering to replace a Blackberry Bold, but the phone just randomly turning off is a real dealbreaker. There are lots of posts in the AT&T and Samsung forums about this bug. It sounds like no one really knows what's going on, and Samsung and AT&T are playing dumb about it.
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Re: Need some cell phone advice

Postposted on Sat Dec 04, 2010 10:21 pm

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Re: Need some cell phone advice

Postposted on Sat Dec 04, 2010 10:27 pm

The Swamp wrote:
pikaporeon wrote: It sounds like no one really knows what's going on, and Samsung and AT&T are playing dumb about it.


On the grounds of the power down issues, shoddy build quality and flaky GPS, I advised my GF not to get a Samsung Galaxy derivative - Captivate, Focus, Fascinate, etc. (she wasn't going to anyway since she'd already been through 3 dead Blackjacks and had an extremely poor opinion of the brand).

So she went and got... a Motorola Bravo :-? .

AT&T's Android selection really sucks donkey balls :x .
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Re: Need some cell phone advice

Postposted on Sat Dec 04, 2010 10:50 pm

Damnit, will Samsung ruin the Nexus S then? :-?
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Re: Need some cell phone advice

Postposted on Sat Dec 04, 2010 10:51 pm

pikaporeon wrote:Went with the Captivate, the three week wait time for an iPhone 4 combined with Swype sold me.

This phone is sexier than sex in use.


I am glad you like it. About a week before, I went with the iPhone 4 myself. It is best to go with what works for you. I almost went with the Captivate myself because of Swype.
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Re: Need some cell phone advice

Postposted on Sat Dec 04, 2010 10:54 pm

Voldenuit wrote:
The Swamp wrote:
pikaporeon wrote: It sounds like no one really knows what's going on, and Samsung and AT&T are playing dumb about it.


On the grounds of the power down issues, shoddy build quality and flaky GPS, I advised my GF not to get a Samsung Galaxy derivative - Captivate, Focus, Fascinate, etc. (she wasn't going to anyway since she'd already been through 3 dead Blackjacks and had an extremely poor opinion of the brand).

So she went and got... a Motorola Bravo :-? .

AT&T's Android selection really sucks donkey balls :x .


Yes it does suck balls. I remember when their Android selection was the HTC Aria :roll: and the execrable Motorola Backflip :evil: .Then again, when you have iPhone 4 and now Windows Phone 7, Android seems, well, meh. Verizon is still the best for Android phone selection, and that is only because they rejected Apple in 2006.
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Re: Need some cell phone advice

Postposted on Sun Dec 05, 2010 6:56 am

It's a shame because the Captivate is supposed to be a really nice phone. There is one forum thread that is 74 pages long, and it appears they've tried everything. There are multiple theories as to what might be causing the problems. There was no single software combination that anyone could pin down as the culprit, so they began to focus on hardware possibilities. AT&T has been replacing the phones under warranty. Some get a new phone and it works fine. Others are on their 4th and 5th phones, suffering the same issue. Some phones are rooted, others are not, some have custom apps, some are straight out of the box. There seems to be no rhyme or reason to explain what could be causing this. I suspect it's probably a hardware issue. Personally, it sounds like Samsung sent out an entire production run of defective phones. When you get a new one, you run the risk of getting one from that bad run, and any replacements could also come from that bad run as well. Samsung refuses to talk about it.

I really wanted to try one, but I need a phone that just plain works. The phone is no good to me if it shuts down and I cannot get calls.
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Re: Need some cell phone advice

Postposted on Sun Dec 05, 2010 7:26 am

The Swamp wrote:I really wanted to try one, but I need a phone that just plain works. The phone is no good to me if it shuts down and I cannot get calls.


Yeah, it's a shame. Nokia had a similar power down problem with the N8, but they were pretty forthright about admitting it on their company blogsite and keeping users updated about the fix (which was out by that time). It's got an 85% customer approval rating on phonearena, so I'm guessing the impact was as minimal as they claimed.

That's probably going to be my next phone, unless something hideously bad comes up in Anand's review of it (but they were pretty generous with the E72, so I have a feeling they know what Symbian users want - a working phone, and are not concerned if it's not as polished and flashy as iOS). Since my GF's entire family is on AT&T, I'm pretty much stuck with them, so I'm getting an unlocked phone anyway, as their smartphone selection (outside of the iPhone) is pretty dismal. A family plan just works out a lot cheaper than getting two smartphone plans from separate carriers.
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Re: Need some cell phone advice

Postposted on Sun Dec 05, 2010 3:23 pm

You're right, AT&T's Android offerings are pretty slim. I think it'd be interesting to try the Windows Phone 7 route since the hardware is pretty nice, but it's a brand new OS and that means lots of bugs. It looks pretty slick, so I don't know. Anyone else have experience with Win Phone 7? I'm not really impressed with the Blackberry Torch. It uses the same CPU as my Bold, and my Bold is two years old. Yawn.

If push comes to shove, I may just get an iPhone and be done with it. At least they work without too many issues and Apple stands by their products.
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Re: Need some cell phone advice

Postposted on Mon Dec 06, 2010 12:58 pm

My wife just got a WP7 phone in the form of the Samsung Focus. It's got a really nice display, is very light weight and runs very smooth. Getting her contacts on the phone was nice and easy. Downloading apps is a breeze and is 'fun'. I like the OS more then I like the iOS. She's upgrading from the iPhone 3GS (I'm still 'stuck' with mine till Feb). So far all the essential apps are there except for Hulu Plus and the Kindle app that we use. I'll more then likely be switching to a WP7 in Feb, although the geek in me is hoping they have a dual core CPU phone around that time. The touch screen is really responsive, I find it better then Android, i have a Android 2.2 phone that I use for testing VoIP apps. The Samsung Focus is just fun to use, we haven't found to many limitations at this point, or any bugs. The marketplace is easy to use and easy to find the apps you want, much better then Android Marketplace/App Brain. I like the whole metro UI compared to Android and iOS4.

Downsides are the web browser, so far the stock browser just looks crappy, not sure if the ones you can get off the app store are better, although it's usable, it's not very polished. No Hulu Plus app or Kindle app, although we have Kindles now so it's not an issue. No VoIP apps at this point as their is no API to make them and I read the socket isn't open for them to even be used at this point. So far the iPhone (Acrobits, 3cxphone, Bria, iSIP) and Android (Bria, 3cxphone, CSIPsimple) have WP7 beat when it comes to VoIP apps.

Some of the apps she's has are:

Netflix
Slacker Radio
IMdb
Twitter
AP Mobile
Weather Bug
Shazam
Yelp
YouTube
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Re: Need some cell phone advice

Postposted on Mon Dec 06, 2010 10:59 pm

The downside of the Focus is that it has all of the Galaxy S drawbacks (flimsy build, reliability issues, not sure if they've fixed the GPS issues) without the key selling point of the Galaxy S (the 1 GHz Hummingbird CPU and PowerVR 540 GPU).

I'd wait for microsoft to relax the hardware requirements of their WP7 phones. Right now, they have specified a 'minimum' CPU spec in the form of the 1 GHz Qualcomm, but they haven't allowed manufacturers to use newer or more powerful CPUs to differentiate their phones... yet. The WP7 phones rank at the very bottom of the smartphone pack in Rightware Browsermark and Sunspider Javascript tests, and while some of that may be due to the in-built browser, a newer CPU would let them fight back in that regard.

Microsoft is being even more restrictive than Apple (!) in exposing their functionality to app developers (no VoIP, no 3rd party multitasking, etc), and with the drawbacks of the WP7 platform (no copy & paste, no mountable storage, compatibility problems with 3rd party microSD cards - and let's not forget that they 'brick' every microSD card inserted in them, compatible or not, no multitasking, poor landscape support), they're definitely not my first pick for a smartphone right now. MS really needs to open up WP7 to developers and handset makers if there is to be any real progress in their platform, and their first gen phones are painfully first gen products. It's possible that future software patches will improve the performance and usability of the WP7 phones like Google did with the Nexus One, but that's yet to be seen.
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Re: Need some cell phone advice

Postposted on Tue Dec 07, 2010 2:46 pm

Voldenuit wrote:The downside of the Focus is that it has all of the Galaxy S drawbacks (flimsy build, reliability issues, not sure if they've fixed the GPS issues) without the key selling point of the Galaxy S (the 1 GHz Hummingbird CPU and PowerVR 540 GPU).

I'd wait for microsoft to relax the hardware requirements of their WP7 phones. Right now, they have specified a 'minimum' CPU spec in the form of the 1 GHz Qualcomm, but they haven't allowed manufacturers to use newer or more powerful CPUs to differentiate their phones... yet. The WP7 phones rank at the very bottom of the smartphone pack in Rightware Browsermark and Sunspider Javascript tests, and while some of that may be due to the in-built browser, a newer CPU would let them fight back in that regard.


I don't understand what exactly you are saying here, while they have stated a minimum CPU spec, there are no upper limits in terms of hardware that can be used.

Voldenuit wrote:Microsoft is being even more restrictive than Apple (!) in exposing their functionality to app developers (no VoIP, no 3rd party multitasking, etc), and with the drawbacks of the WP7 platform (no copy & paste, no mountable storage, compatibility problems with 3rd party microSD cards - and let's not forget that they 'brick' every microSD card inserted in them, compatible or not, no multitasking, poor landscape support), they're definitely not my first pick for a smartphone right now. MS really needs to open up WP7 to developers and handset makers if there is to be any real progress in their platform, and their first gen phones are painfully first gen products. It's possible that future software patches will improve the performance and usability of the WP7 phones like Google did with the Nexus One, but that's yet to be seen.


While some people are having issues with 3rd party microSD cards, it's certainly not everyone that is experiencing issues. Here a list of http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=834144 SD cards that are compatible. As for bugs, I'm sure there are, there's also bugs in iOS 4 and Android 2.2, my wife hasn't run across any bugs that are catastrophic, or even annoying. The only problem she has seen is sometimes an app won't download, so she'll have to try and 'install' the app again. I also don't see the phone as being flimsy as it's built solid, while it is light, I definitely don't see it as being flimsy compared to an iPhone 4 or Nexus One. She hasn't experienced any random reboots or any reliability issues. While I'm sure some people have such issues, these types of issues plague all smartphones, as you can pick any smartphone and find issues with them.
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Re: Need some cell phone advice

Postposted on Tue Dec 07, 2010 3:06 pm

Hellsbellboy wrote:As for bugs, I'm sure there are, there's also bugs in iOS 4 and Android 2.2, my wife hasn't run across any bugs that are catastrophic, or even annoying. The only problem she has seen is sometimes an app won't download, so she'll have to try and 'install' the app again. I also don't see the phone as being flimsy as it's built solid, while it is light, I definitely don't see it as being flimsy compared to an iPhone 4 or Nexus One. She hasn't experienced any random reboots or any reliability issues. While I'm sure some people have such issues, these types of issues plague all smartphones, as you can pick any smartphone and find issues with them.

I don't think that's entirely representative of the problem. Yes, all platforms have bugs, however it's not an on/off switch. The number of bugs and degree of their severity is much more important than "are there bugs?"

I certainly hope Microsoft has learned their lesson, but history has not been kind to them. WinMo has been a buggy mess for some time. Yes, WinMo 7 is a rewrite, but unless they've upped the bar, there's no reason to believe the quality will be better. WinMo 6 and 6.5 had glaring operability bugs (like the backlight setting not being remembered, and constantly reverting to 30 seconds no matter what you had chosen). And more serious subtle bugs like forgetting to give text message notifications if it had been running without a reboot for too long.

The bugs were real, they were in recent versions of Windows Mobile, and Microsoft was responsible for them. Microsoft is responsible for Windows Mobile 7 as well. Let's hope they've decided to do better, but I have to look at the whole thing through the eyes of the skeptic. The browser issues don't give me warm fuzzies, especially since the iPhone browser is so brilliantly good.
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Re: Need some cell phone advice

Postposted on Tue Dec 07, 2010 8:19 pm

Hellsbellboy wrote:I don't understand what exactly you are saying here, while they have stated a minimum CPU spec, there are no upper limits in terms of hardware that can be used.


Microsoft is not allowing handset makers to deviate from the base spec at present. That is why the Focus (a Galaxy S variant) ends up using a slower CPU than its parent phone.

While some people are having issues with 3rd party microSD cards, it's certainly not everyone that is experiencing issues. Here a list of http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=834144 SD cards that are compatible. As for bugs, I'm sure there are, there's also bugs in iOS 4 and Android 2.2, my wife hasn't run across any bugs that are catastrophic, or even annoying. The only problem she has seen is sometimes an app won't download, so she'll have to try and 'install' the app again. I also don't see the phone as being flimsy as it's built solid, while it is light, I definitely don't see it as being flimsy compared to an iPhone 4 or Nexus One. She hasn't experienced any random reboots or any reliability issues. While I'm sure some people have such issues, these types of issues plague all smartphones, as you can pick any smartphone and find issues with them.


The limitation of WP7 with microSD cards is actually more severe. Basically, a phone that bricks any microSD card you put in it and renders it unusable with other devices is unacceptable. If they really wanted to give users flash storage for apps and data, they should have sprung for the cost of more onboard NAND. Especially since there is no way to control what goes into the phone flash and what spills over into the much slower SD card. In addition to not making cards mountable/hot-swappable, this is a big bonehead manoeuvre on Microsoft's part, and reason enough for me to drop the platform.
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Re: Need some cell phone advice

Postposted on Tue Dec 07, 2010 10:42 pm

Voldenuit wrote:
While some people are having issues with 3rd party microSD cards, it's certainly not everyone that is experiencing issues. Here a list of http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=834144 SD cards that are compatible. As for bugs, I'm sure there are, there's also bugs in iOS 4 and Android 2.2, my wife hasn't run across any bugs that are catastrophic, or even annoying. The only problem she has seen is sometimes an app won't download, so she'll have to try and 'install' the app again. I also don't see the phone as being flimsy as it's built solid, while it is light, I definitely don't see it as being flimsy compared to an iPhone 4 or Nexus One. She hasn't experienced any random reboots or any reliability issues. While I'm sure some people have such issues, these types of issues plague all smartphones, as you can pick any smartphone and find issues with them.


The limitation of WP7 with microSD cards is actually more severe. Basically, a phone that bricks any microSD card you put in it and renders it unusable with other devices is unacceptable. If they really wanted to give users flash storage for apps and data, they should have sprung for the cost of more onboard NAND. Especially since there is no way to control what goes into the phone flash and what spills over into the much slower SD card. In addition to not making cards mountable/hot-swappable, this is a big bonehead manoeuvre on Microsoft's part, and reason enough for me to drop the platform.
I read somewhere about they did not intend the cards to be user-accessible. The fact that they can put cards of different sizes may have been a (still boneheaded) idea of letting the carriers differentiate with other phones.

I am somewhat ok with the Focus' build quality, but utterly disappointed with picture quality from its camera.
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Re: Need some cell phone advice

Postposted on Tue Dec 07, 2010 11:54 pm

Flying Fox wrote:I read somewhere about they did not intend the cards to be user-accessible. The fact that they can put cards of different sizes may have been a (still boneheaded) idea of letting the carriers differentiate with other phones.


Yeah, if you boot a WP7 phone and there happens to be a bad contact with the microSD card at the time (dirt, loose connection, etc), you risk corrupting your file system, losing all your data and having to restart from a clean install. Basically, the phone is a ticking time bomb, and anybody who uses it to carry around critical data and/or apps is asking for trouble. Is the risk great? We can't know yet. Is it real? You bet.
Wind, Sand and Stars.
Voldenuit
Minister of Gerbil Affairs
 
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Joined: Sat Sep 03, 2005 10:10 pm

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