Personal computing discussed

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Captain Ned
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New Phone Time

Thu Mar 10, 2016 4:02 pm

The old Droid 2 Global is long-outdated and stuck at Android 2.2; it's clearly time for a replacement. Problem is, I know squat about what's out there, so here's a simple requirements list

Network: VZW (still have grandfathered unlimited data)
OS: Android
Rootable/ROMable: Mandatory
CyanogenMod capable: Darn near mandatory
mSD slot: Yes
Replaceable battery: Like, but not deal-breaker.
Size: Something like daughter's Galaxy S5
Camera: Don't care, as anything will be an upgrade
Use Pattern: Phone/text/email/tether. Not a big picture taker. Won't be the music device.

Keep in mind I'm likely to keep this phone for the same almost-5 years as the current D2G. With that, I'm all ears. Oh, and thanks for doing my homework for me. 8)
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localhostrulez
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Re: New Phone Time

Thu Mar 10, 2016 4:31 pm

First off, I have a little question - so you mentioned you have unlimited data, but you're using a 5 year old phone with Android 2.2. How much are you actually using that data? Tethering is the only use case I see that makes that sound usable, and otherwise it might be worth considering other prepaid plans. Of course, I don't know how other carriers compare in your area.

Also, what's your budget?

Is your plan to rely on ROMs for updates, or do you want it for the sake of messing around? It's kinda funny (and I know it won't meet a bunch of your requirements), but it's worth mentioning that iPhones actually do quite well for this length of time. My dad's 4S is probably 4+ years old by now, and still kicking (on the latest iOS software, though not speedy anymore).

And honestly, a Moto G is actually pretty good for a basic, budget device. Only problem is Verizon seems to have the old, significantly worse version (but it's cheaper!), and I worry about a lower-end device over that long of a period. Then again, my Moto X (the much pricier one) seems to be having battery calibration issues (occasionally when unplugged, it thinks it's still plugged in, and that screws up the gauge if you don't plug it back in/unplug immediately to make it quit glitching), 1.5 years in, so... for now, I managed to calibrate the battery back again, so we'll see how well that goes. Pretty hard to replace the battery if I have to, and the play store is glitchy as usual on it with certain things (seems to be on all my Android devices these days), but otherwise I'll probably keep this for a good while longer. I'm on unlocked prepaid carriers anyway.
 
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Re: New Phone Time

Thu Mar 10, 2016 4:33 pm

A Nexus phone is the only thing that's going to get security updates long term.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nexus_5X
http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2015/10/ ... ecosystem/
http://www.androidcentral.com/yup-nexus ... ne-verizon

Should fit many of your other criteria as well. I guess the SD card part is a hitch.
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The Egg
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Re: New Phone Time

Thu Mar 10, 2016 4:39 pm

I'm not much of an Android fan, but if I were forced to choose one, it would be a Nexus model. I flatout wouldn't even consider anything else.
 
biffzinker
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Re: New Phone Time

Thu Mar 10, 2016 4:41 pm

One Plus X maybe an option? Not sure if if would work with Verizon.
I have nothing to complain about hardware or software for the One Plus One I'm still using. Going on two years without any physical appearance of wear and tear on the phone.

Edit: Was going to recommend the Nexus brand from Google except Captain Ned listed a micro sd card slot as a requirement. Last I knew Google wants you use their cloud service for storage in place of a sd slot.
Last edited by biffzinker on Thu Mar 10, 2016 4:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Captain Ned
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Re: New Phone Time

Thu Mar 10, 2016 4:42 pm

Tethering is used often on the job when I'm in places I can't find wireless. Also have a 18YO daughter who thinks nothing of watching Netflix all night and not flipping the phone to Wi-Fi.

Price: Don't care. Besides, VZW is full-price now anyways (and VZW coverage is much better in the areas I frequent). I intend to get several years out of this device, so it'll amortize.

Root/ROMS: Fun and removal of carrier bloat (c.f. VZW) and/or mfg bloat (c.f. Samsung TouchWiz). Also, tethering on VZW works much better when rooted.

Apple: It will be a very cold day in hell before I purchase ANY Apple product (don't ask, and 30+ year old firmly-settled opinion at this point).

Hey, at least I'm over the psychological hump of never again having a slide-out real keyboard.
What we have today is way too much pluribus and not enough unum.
 
localhostrulez
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Re: New Phone Time

Thu Mar 10, 2016 4:45 pm

OK, wait - the 5X is good and all, but it's not officially supported by Verizon. And I'm a bit confused, since LTE is GSM (and they hand out SIM cards for that), but they're traditionally a CDMA network. What happens in areas that don't have LTE? What about non-VoLTE calls? Sounds like the Oneplus doesn't work either unfortunately.

And yeah, I remember wanting a physical keyboard back when a friend had the Palm Prē - but hey, swiping to type and larger screens have made that mostly a non-issue. I have no idea how my dad manages with his 3.5" 4S (he's the same height/same size hands as me).

Edit: Looking through Verizon's offerings, there's the LG G4, Samsung S7, Moto Droid turbo 2 (not familiar with that one), and the iPhone (which you said you didn't want). Nothing else looked terribly interesting to me. Let's see... the LG has a 3Ah battery, an SD slot, and 3GB RAM (good for the long haul), though the screen might be a smidgen large (5.5", absurd resolution, which will probably counteract the huge battery a bit). Then the S7... also a 3Ah battery, 4GB RAM, and an SD slot. Nice 5.1" display. Droid turbo 2 - SD slot, 3GB RAM, even bigger battery (3760mAh), and slightly large 5.4" display.

Honestly, the S7 might be the best option - seems like it would get the best ROM support, if anything. And I recall RAM being a huge problem on my galaxy nexus (1GB, ~700MB usable), so more is always good.


Edit edit: Biffzinker - good to hear about the oneplus - maybe I'll check that out when I eventually replace the Moto (hard to believe it's already 1.5 years old - though I did buy it when the 2nd gen first came out). I absolutely despise the cloud over SD attitude - I only have 16GB, and I carry around a cheap Android phone with an SD slot for music as a result. It's a shame, because the Moto X is quite nice otherwise. If google voice is any indication, google seems to assume they always have a strong, stable data connection available to stream with, which often isn't so.
Last edited by localhostrulez on Thu Mar 10, 2016 4:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
ludi
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Re: New Phone Time

Thu Mar 10, 2016 4:52 pm

The Nexus 5X is on my watchlist if this S4 gives out, since the contract was paid off last month. I guess I could request an unlock and go Root, but the phone has overheated a handful of times in two years and locked up about the same number of times, and I don't know whether that's hardware or software.

LHR -- Verizon uses a SIM card these days, although Captain Ned will probably need to go to a Verizon store and get a nano SIM for his new phone regardless of what older type he's got now. The 5X is a full-band phone.

EDIT:
https://www.reddit.com/r/verizon/commen ... exus_5x6p/
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Ryu Connor
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Re: New Phone Time

Thu Mar 10, 2016 4:59 pm

Captain Ned wrote:
Apple: It will be a very cold day in hell before I purchase ANY Apple product (don't ask, and 30+ year old firmly-settled opinion at this point).


The problem is, from a security perspective, nobody else other than Apple is even in the ballpark.

Android is a hot mess.

Much like some of the others in this thread, if I go Android, it'd be a Nexus. I prioritize patching/security too much for anything else.

I hear you though. It's a done deal, no fruit.
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Captain Ned
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Re: New Phone Time

Thu Mar 10, 2016 5:04 pm

Guess I'll wander over to the VZW corporate store down the road tomorrow and ask about Nexus device activations. I've been a VZW customer for at least 10 years, so they should at least try to answer the question.

EDIT: I sorta figured I'd be ending up with a Nexus device, given the dire imprecations listed on the CyanogenMod website about trying with VZW versions of LG & Samsung phones.
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biffzinker
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Re: New Phone Time

Thu Mar 10, 2016 5:07 pm

Specs for the One Plus X if it is an option to consider. Surprised they still offer their mid-range priced at $249 for only 16 GB of on board flash.
Basic Parameters
Dimensions: 140 x 69 x 6.9 mm
Weight: Onyx: 138 g (4.86 oz) Ceramic: 160 g (5.64 oz)
Operating System: OxygenOS based on Android 5.1.1
CPU: Qualcomm® SnapdragonTM 801 processor with 2.3 GHz Quad-core CPUs
GPU: Qualcomm® AdrenoTM 330
RAM: 3GB LPDDR3
Storage: 16GB eMMC v5.0
(Expandable storage up to 128GB)

Sensors: Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Proximity, Ambient Light, HALL
Battery: Embedded rechargeable typical 2,525 mAh LiPo battery

Connectivity
North America: GSM: 850, 900, 1800, 1900MHz
WCDMA: Bands 1/2/4/5/8
FDD-LTE: Bands 1/2/4/5/7/8
CDMA EVDO: -


Wi-Fi: 2.4Ghz b/g/n WCN3680
Bluetooth: Bluetooth 4.0
Positioning: Supports GPS, GLONASS, and BDS
Audio
Speakers: Bottom-facing speaker
Microphones: Dual-microphone with noise cancellation
FM Radio: Yes

Display
Size: 5.0 inch Corning® Gorilla® Glass 3
Resolution: 1080p Full HD, 441 PPI
Type: Active Matrix OLED

Ports, Slots, Buttons & Indicators
SIM: 2 slots - fits either 2 Nano SIM cards (DSDS) or 1 Nano SIM and 1 MicroSD card
Ports: Data & charging: Micro-USB
Audio: 3.5mm jack
Buttons: Power Button, Volume Rockers, Alert Slider
Capacitive / On-screen buttons
Indicators: 1 LED notification light (multicolored)

Camera
Back Camera: 13 MP
Aperture: f/2.2

Front Camera: 8 MP
Aperture: f/2.4
Video: 1080p resolution video
Slow Motion: 720p video at 120fps
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lostpaquet
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Re: New Phone Time

Thu Mar 10, 2016 5:37 pm

If you do opt for the 5X, Google has a Project Fi promo for a 5X with a $150 discount. You need to activate the Fi SIM card, but you can cancel immediately after and the full Fi plan will be refunded.
 
End User
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Re: New Phone Time

Thu Mar 10, 2016 5:58 pm

Captain Ned wrote:
Apple: It will be a very cold day in hell before I purchase ANY Apple product (don't ask, and 30+ year old firmly-settled opinion at this point).

This coming from someone who is still using Froyo! Are you averse to using secure devices?
 
localhostrulez
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Re: New Phone Time

Thu Mar 10, 2016 6:11 pm

End User wrote:
This coming from someone who is still using Froyo! Are you averse to using secure devices?

Meh, or they're just cheap/don't like replacing stuff that works well enough.

I'd be a little concerned about AMOLED (my galaxy nexus got a decent amount of wear after 2.5 years), but it seems to be much better these days. My Moto X has a tiny bit of wear around the status icons on top (1.5 years in), but it's hardly noticeable, so it's probably fine at this point. Shoot, sealed in batteries (which seem to be everywhere now, unfortunately) seem to be more of a failure point than anything else on a current phone. Good luck replacing one of those, depending on what you get. The galaxy nexus's battery was terrible by the time I finally replaced it.

One little thing to think about - I don't know how big of an issue this is nowadays, but that particular Nexus lost software updates relatively early, and I think it's mainly because the TI Omap in it lost support (TI exited that business).

Edit: And Ned, remember, you're on a 3.7" phone right now. Onscreen keyboards get a LOT more usable on 5" devices, for example.
Last edited by localhostrulez on Thu Mar 10, 2016 6:14 pm, edited 2 times in total.
 
Captain Ned
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Re: New Phone Time

Thu Mar 10, 2016 6:12 pm

End User wrote:
This coming from someone who is still using Froyo! Are you averse to using secure devices?

No, it's because I harbored some hope that there might have been a Droid 5 with a slide-out keyboard that played in the LG G4/Samsung S5 class. That said, my phone knows nothing of my financial life. I never thought it could be secured to begin with.
localhostrulez wrote:
Edit: And Ned, remember, you're on a 3.7" phone right now. Onscreen keyboards get a LOT more usable on 5" devices, for example.

I've dabbled enough on daughter's S5 to overcome that particularity.
What we have today is way too much pluribus and not enough unum.
 
Chrispy_
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Re: New Phone Time

Thu Mar 10, 2016 6:19 pm

Nexus 5X or Moto X Pure/Play

I'm on the Droid 2 Turbo (the international version, actually - without the Verizon garbage, and with a sensible name) and I'm pretty happy having come from the purity of a Nexus 5. It's significanly bigger than the two phones mentioned above though.
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End User
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Re: New Phone Time

Thu Mar 10, 2016 6:54 pm

Captain Ned wrote:
End User wrote:
This coming from someone who is still using Froyo! Are you averse to using secure devices?

No, it's because I harbored some hope that there might have been a Droid 5 with a slide-out keyboard that played in the LG G4/Samsung S5 class. That said, my phone knows nothing of my financial life. I never thought it could be secured to begin with.

I don't use my phone for financial stuff but that is because I prefer to do that on a desktop (keyboard/mouse/large display).

Security goes way beyond banking. One of the main reasons I don't use Android is because of its poor history on the security front. That and the piss poor OS upgrade support.
 
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Re: New Phone Time

Thu Mar 10, 2016 6:56 pm

localhostrulez wrote:
OK, wait - the 5X is good and all, but it's not officially supported by Verizon.


It does work, though. Work got me one and we're a Verizon shop, just needed a new nano-SIM and a little time talking to a rep to get it activated.
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biffzinker
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Re: New Phone Time

Thu Mar 10, 2016 7:03 pm

End User wrote:
That and the piss poor OS upgrade support.

I second this from my past two LG phones. My Nexus 7 2013 tablet however is fine currently running Android 6, and got a performance bump from moving to Android 6. The One is currently at Android 5.1.1 suppose to move 6 when Cyanogen is ready.
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DancinJack
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Re: New Phone Time

Thu Mar 10, 2016 7:59 pm

I don't think this is really even a discussion. The only phone that has everything you want is the LG G5. Galaxy S7 comes in a close second (no removable battery).

I do think the 5X is a good suggestion (no removable battery or mSD). The 6P is a much nicer phone if you want to go the Nexus route though. (I have owned both and the 6P is miles ahead of the 5X). I can echo the activation of Nexus devices on VZW. Just pop in your nano sim and you're good to go. No reason to even talk to a VZW rep.
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End User
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Re: New Phone Time

Thu Mar 10, 2016 8:55 pm

DancinJack wrote:
I do think the 5X is a good suggestion (no removable battery or mSD). The 6P is a much nicer phone if you want to go the Nexus route though. (I have owned both and the 6P is miles ahead of the 5X). I can echo the activation of Nexus devices on VZW. Just pop in your nano sim and you're good to go. No reason to even talk to a VZW rep.

Android N is looking very interesting. If I were to by an Android based phone it would be a Nexus.
 
localhostrulez
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Re: New Phone Time

Thu Mar 10, 2016 9:37 pm

End User wrote:
I don't use my phone for financial stuff but that is because I prefer to do that on a desktop (keyboard/mouse/large display).

Good lord, it seems like every company rep these days is required to tell you about their app. Yes, I know about that, and I'd rather use the website (on my desktop, in most cases). Keeping my phone nice and light.

End User wrote:
Android N is looking very interesting. If I were to by an Android based phone it would be a Nexus.

The Moto line is a good second though - close to stock, but they added a few features that are legitimately nice (wave your hand, and it shows the time, emails, and texts on AMOLED - that's more convenient than you'd think). Shoot, now I forget why I bought the Moto X over a Nexus. *shrugs* Well, the camera's good anyway, and the updates are decent. Heck, now I wonder if the Moto X will work on Verizon with the SIM.
 
Deanjo
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Re: New Phone Time

Thu Mar 10, 2016 9:38 pm

Is there any android device that has been able to run the current releases for 5 years like Apple devices have been able to?
 
Captain Ned
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Re: New Phone Time

Thu Mar 10, 2016 9:58 pm

DancinJack wrote:
The only phone that has everything you want is the LG G5. Galaxy S7 comes in a close second (no removable battery).

And the chances of rooting/ROMing the VZW versions of those phones is??? G4/S5/S6 have no really stable VZW root and I don't see that getting better with newer versions.
What we have today is way too much pluribus and not enough unum.
 
biffzinker
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Re: New Phone Time

Thu Mar 10, 2016 10:09 pm

Rooting/unlocking the bootloader on a One Plus phones is easy to do. I did try out Oxygen OS one time but switched back to default Cyanogen OS default install. I recently thought about trying Cyanogen Mod 13 on my phone to see how that was since switching Android ROMS is easy. Of course the Nexus Goggle brand is easy to root/unlock done it on the Nexus 7.

Edit: Good luck on rooting/unlocking the bootloader on LG phone at one point it was suppose to be made easier so LG said doubt the carriers wanted that however.
It would take you 2,363 continuous hours or 98 days,11 hours, and 35 minutes of gameplay to complete your Steam library.
In this time you could travel to Venus one time.
 
Captain Ned
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Re: New Phone Time

Thu Mar 10, 2016 10:16 pm

biffzinker wrote:
Rooting/unlocking the bootloader on a One Plus phones is easy to do.

They look like nice phones, but they're a no-go on VZW.

Like I said earlier, I had a feeling this would sugar out to a Nexus. The thought of sending $$ to Google annoys me just slightly less than doing same for Apple, but it appears to be the only path.

I was really hoping someone had a hack for G4/G5 or S6/S7. Seems it's not to be.
What we have today is way too much pluribus and not enough unum.
 
biffzinker
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Re: New Phone Time

Thu Mar 10, 2016 10:28 pm

The place I've always went to was xdadevelopers for rooting/unlocking.
It would take you 2,363 continuous hours or 98 days,11 hours, and 35 minutes of gameplay to complete your Steam library.
In this time you could travel to Venus one time.
 
Captain Ned
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Re: New Phone Time

Thu Mar 10, 2016 11:03 pm

biffzinker wrote:
The place I've always went to was xdadevelopers for rooting/unlocking.

It is the go-to in Android phone "play".
What we have today is way too much pluribus and not enough unum.
 
DancinJack
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Re: New Phone Time

Thu Mar 10, 2016 11:15 pm

Captain Ned wrote:
DancinJack wrote:
The only phone that has everything you want is the LG G5. Galaxy S7 comes in a close second (no removable battery).

And the chances of rooting/ROMing the VZW versions of those phones is??? G4/S5/S6 have no really stable VZW root and I don't see that getting better with newer versions.


Sorry, I honestly kind of overlooked that in favor of the physical features. You're right, and it's a shame. The old Samsung phones were unlocked/rooted so easily. I ran a GS3 on Verizon with so many custom roms and kernels it'd make your head spin. I think you know the answer to this though. Nexus ftw.
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Redocbew
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Re: New Phone Time

Fri Mar 11, 2016 2:08 am

Captain Ned wrote:
Guess I'll wander over to the VZW corporate store down the road tomorrow and ask about Nexus device activations. I've been a VZW customer for at least 10 years, so they should at least try to answer the question.

EDIT: I sorta figured I'd be ending up with a Nexus device, given the dire imprecations listed on the CyanogenMod website about trying with VZW versions of LG & Samsung phones.


I have a Nexus 6 on Verizon. It took a while for them to figure out how to activate it since it wasn't officially a part of their network at the time, but it's been fine ever since. A former coworker of mine also had a Nexus 6 with CM running on it, so I'd say the chances of getting it running on a 5X or 6p is pretty good.
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