Suggestions on An Android Phone
Hey y'all, how are ya? I'm writing because I'm doing some research into my next phone, now that my contract with AT&T is up and I've decided not to stick with the iPhone. I've decided I definitely want an Android-based phone, and have been doing a lot of research into the phones on all of the various carriers, and so far have found two that interest me:
HTC Incredible on Verizon
HTC Evo on Sprint
I'd like a powerful phone that allows me to handle whatever task I throw at it, be it GPS navigation, playing music, games, web surfing or email. I also want a reliable network that won't drop my calls every 20-40 minutes like AT&T. I've had Verizon before, but never Sprint.
So that being said, which Android phone could you recommend? Either one of these two above, or maybe something else?
I look forward to your opinions, and thank you for your time. :)
Droid 2 baby. Droid 2.
But I say that as a person who finds the idea of not having a physical keyboard inconceivable.
Oh, I've yet to try a Droid 2, as they weren't around when I went into the Verizon store last. I'll have to look at the specs. And I'm fine with not having a physical keyboard, since I've been an iPhone user.
I've also heard good things about the Samsung Galaxy S series, but apparently they have severe GPS issues. :(
The Incredible is a really nice phone. I have no complaints. It is fast, stable, and it has run every app I've downloaded so far. Froyo (OS ver 2.2) is rolling out to us in batches and there is a manual way to update if you don't want to wait. Did I mention it was fast? :) I don't miss a physical keyboard at all but I don't do a lot of texting. My wife has the Droid X and loves it but it is way too large for my tastes.
Verizon's network is rock solid here in Denver. I never lack for a signal anywhere I go unless it is up into the mountains. I'm sure LA is as good, if not better.
I am writing this post from my Droid 1 which I adore and have had since Christmas. My brother has the Droid X because he is on the other end of the spectrum and hates physical keyboards. With the devices now running Froyo they are absolute joys to use. GPS in particular is easy to use and accurate. If I didn't have a Garmin already, this could replace it.
Good to know guys, thanks Ninya and Belisarius. :)
If you're considering the Evo, the Sprint Epic 4G has gotten really good reviews. Engadgets figures it to be one of the best phones they've ever reviewed:
Gizmodo also loved it:
Yeah, I've been reading about the Epic as well, but I've read the Galaxy S series has GPS issues.
Edit: Well, I can't trike out that line on the first paragraph (the line that says it's affected is supposed to be redacted).
Originally Posted by Engadget
Last edited by Michael Fortson; 09-01-2010 at 12:36 PM.
I can attest to the Evo being awesome.
Love my EVO. Wouldn't hesitate to recommend it.
The droid X. Its a power house. Its the same phone as the evo though.
Sent from my DROIDX using Tapatalk
I honestly tried the Droid X in the store for a while, which was right next to the Incredible, and I honestly liked the Incredible a lot more. Honestly, it just felt a lot more intuitive and easy to use. Honestly.
I have the Droid 2 and adore it. I am impressed by the Droid X's real estate, but I need my physical keyboard. The recent update seems to have addressed the fluctuating signal meter issue that I and others experienced at the 2's launch, too.
I have the EVO and love it. If you're in a 4G area, that should settle it right there. 3G feels like a dial-up modem to me now.
I can't say much about other phones, but chalk me up as another satisfied EVO owner. It doesn't even matter to me that I'm not in a 4g area, it's still an amazing phone.
I thought the kickstand would never get use, but now I use it nightly. I use a combo of Lightning Bug and Relax And Sleep as my clock/alarm + soothing waves and rain sounds and it puts me right out.
I was tempted by the Evo before getting an iPhone 4, but the phone is HUGE. The Epic 4G doesn't appear to be much better in this regard.
The flip side to this is that now my old iPhone 3g that I have since rehabilitated to be used as an iPod Touch feels down right minuscule. I really like the extra real estate when browsing the web.
Originally Posted by Vesper
The HTC Desire is great, and I gather it's just filtering out onto American soil at the moment.
Originally Posted by rei
Try to get your hands on a Nexus One! Either grab one on eBay or cough up the money for a developer account and buy one through Google.
If you ever need to record your calls, be aware that android currently lacks any way to reliably record a phone conversation.
The couple of apps in the marketplace that claim to record calls actually use a workaround which involves turning on the speaker phone and recording the other side via your phone microphone. The workaround is only effective in quiet environments and can cause significant echo on the line.
No good option for call recording is the main reason I haven't yet switched to android.
That said I've played with both the HTC Desire and the Wildfire, they're both great phones but I found it pretty easy to hit the wrong key on the on screen keyboards. Make sure you try them out if you plan to get a phone without a physical keyboard
Originally Posted by drbob
Google Voice's solution isn't good enough?
Ah, I forgot about google voice as I'm in the UK and it's not available here yet. There also the privacy and reliability concerns of routing calls via google.
Originally Posted by SleepFighter
Other thoughts, rather off topic:
Even if they launch Google voice in Europe, google voice will be much less useful here due to the way calls to mobiles are billed. In many places outside of North America (including all of Europe) the customer doesn't pay to receive mobile calls, instead the telcos charge high per minute fees for call termination to mobiles. That means Google would either have to charge the google voice user for routing calls to a mobile, or charge the caller more than the cost of a call to a standard land line. Either option makes the service much less appealing here.
Now that you've mentioned google voice has call recording, I wonder if the omission of a way to record calls on the phone itself is a deliberate strategy to push users onto Google voice if they want such functionality? It's the 12th most requested feature on the Android bug tracker, but has only elicited a response that they won't work on adding recording due to unexplained "security concerns".
Hey kids, I decided on the EVO from Sprint, and I really love it so far. It's confusing, trying to set everything up, but I'm getting there. And wow is it pretty!
How has everything turned out with your new EVO? Hopefully everything is getting a little less confusing?
Grats on your EVO. I switched over about 2 months ago from an iPhone 3G and I'm loving my EVO so far.
One thing to keep track of is how many background services you let load up. I recently was noticing degraded performance and realized that I had installed both Qik and Fring to compare their video call capabilities and had not noticed they both run a service automatically - disabling them brought my performance right back to perfect.
I'm looking forward to the T-Mobile G2. I like my G1, but it's getting a little long in the tooth.
Belisarius, I'm still learning it, but so far I'm loving it. It's sooo customizable it's silly. I've changed the dialer and SMS program (yay Handcent!) and am still tweaking it. The battery life isn't great but I've heard it gets better the more you use and charge it. So far that and the sucky Facebook app are the only downsides to Android so far.
Reldan, thanks! I got Advanced Task Killer and use it fairly often. Considering the paid version. If you have any suggestions on keeping background services more behaved I'd love to hear 'em.
jerri, I know a good number of folks who also like their G1 a lot, but would be fine upgrading. The G2 looks pretty cool. :)
You'll hear this from a lot of hardened Android grognards, so I will strive really hard to say it in a way that doesn't come off as asshole-ish.
Generally speaking (as a rule), Task Killers are a Bad Idea in the Android world. The OS has a built in memory manager that allocates memory primarily for your currently used application and, in some cases, background applications that specifically request an ongoing service (for instance, Pandora using MediaServer to play music for you). If you start a new app/task that requires more memory than is freely available, the system starts automatically shutting down unused/unnecessary processes.
Furthermore, the vast majority of background processes use little-to-no CPU or network power, being vague memory footprints of their proper apps, enabling said apps to spring to the foreground quickly with a "memory" of what they were last up to (or, in some cases, occasionally load up a legitimate background process to, say, check for updates to your Twitter stream via your data connection ever N minutes).
A well-coded Android app (and most highly rated, popular ones are) puts itself into a no-CPU, low-memory sleep status when it is backgrounded or backed out of or swapped with another task. Killing it will obviously degrade that app's performance (an easy example is the Reddit Is Fun app for the news aggregator reddit.com--its background processes just remember where you where in a comment thread. Killing it lands you back at the top of the page when you reload the app) and will, more often than not, result in the app/your phone trying to reload the service/process repeatedly to get itself back running when there's spare memory.
As such, your automated task killing starts a nigh-endless cycle of service-killing/service-restarting which can actually drain your resources more than just leaving things be.
Now, it is worth saying that poorly coded apps can disobey these basic tenets of Android programming (and even good ones can mess up--sometimes Seesmic doesn't realize you've finished compiling a new tweet and keeps trying to track your location via battery-sucking GPS for minutes after you close it), causing their background processes to put a hard lock on RAM and consume CPU cycles they have no use for. Have a task killer to target and knock these apps out when they're messing with your performance is certainly handy and a lot faster than navigating the menus to force close the app.
That said, if you have an app that consistently misbehaves and makes you kill it--might it not be better to seek out a better alternative?
A good way to increase your battery life: look into JuiceDefender it and configure it to suit your needs. It slowed my phone down (it was vying with SetCPU to under/overclock my processor and things got messy between the two), so I ended up tossing it, but it's a lifesaver for thousands of people. It manages data, brightness, connectivity, wifi, bluetooth, gps, and the auto-refresher service on the fly to conserve battery power (say, turning off 3G/4G access when your screen is off and an app isn't using it, or slowing the phone down to 2G-only radio if the current data usage is minimal).
If your screen is off a lot of the time, this will help you immensely. The more actively you use your phone, the less it helps, though--the screen is an enormous battery draw, and there's very little in this world that Juice Defender can do against that.
If you get into the whole modding/rooting/etc. scene at some point, consider an undervolted kernel. Most processors are fed far more voltage than they need to perform optimally to account for chip defects and fringe cases, so many users are able to use a custom-made kernel to undervolt their CPU significantly, lowering its power draw and increasing battery life. Not all processors are equal, but some Droid users are able to overclock their phones by 2.5x while still using an ultra-low voltage kernel (for comparison, my Droid performs admirably at 2x OC with a low-voltage kernel--lower power or higher clockspeed tends to make my particular processor go wonky).
It's handy, and using the app SetCPU to manage under/overclocking (in addition to the voltage adjustments made by the kernel) is extraordinarily powerful.