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Buying a New Android Phone (Solved!)

The Crowing OneThe Crowing One Registered User regular
edited August 2011 in Help / Advice Forum
I've been a happy Android user for about two years now, and it's that time again when my carrier, Verizon, offers a small upgrade discount for a new phone. I bought the OG Droid back then, and have been amazingly happy with the little thing. While it aged out of the spec race quite some time ago, due to the diligence and drive of the community, I've managed to keep it going strong with custom ROMs and an overclock to 1.2Ghz. Suffice to say, for basic phone/email/web/gps work it runs smooth as any other phone out there and I could continue using the phone for awhile if necessary. Aside from the minuscule amount of RAM (256MB) and the lack of a second PCU core, it's in no position to really be retired yet. I'll admit that it has become more temperamental the further I stretch it, but it's far from finished.

But there's the discount, and in addition my father is finally ready to upgrade from his 3-4 year old blackberry. Basically, we've been exchanging a bunch of emails and talking about what we both require and desire in a phone. The short list is that we'd both need: a physical keyboard (that's a hard limit), dual-core PCU, more than 256MB RAM and a large-ish screen. My father is concerned with battery life, as he travels a lot for his business and can't always be in a position to easily give an afternoon charge.

Que Verizon to be offering a BOGO on the Droid 3 right now, and we're 95% certain we're going to jump on it tomorrow and upgrade both of our devices.

I'm just wondering if I've missed anything, as I know that the D3 has a few specs to be desired. The lack of 4G is somewhat troubling (mostly for my father) but I hardly use anything data-stream heavy and the 3G connection or Wireless has been more than acceptable for me. Add to that the horror stories of battery life and the inability of many phones to switch between 3G/4G and I don't feel like I'm missing anything too huge. I'm also concerned that the RAM is on the lower side at 512MB, and that I'll hit the same sort of ceiling with apps, etc., that I did on my OG Droid.

The need for a physical keyboard is the most limiting factor. Did I miss anything? Are there any phones on the horizon for Verizon that may be worth the wait (Bionic looks great, but no keyboard)?

The Crowing One on
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Posts

  • illigillig Registered User regular
    As a Thunderbolt owner, 4G is awesome, as long as you're constantly plugged into the wall, or near a charger at all times. At least for the current generation of phones.

    Otherwise 3G is just fine.

    I would pick a phone with a large and responsive screen, and a good CPU. IMHO, the major differences between them are the particular manufacturers enhancements on Android (HTC's Sense, Samsung's Touch Wiz, etc.), a keyboard, and screen size, etc. Otherwise the phones are fairly similar.

    And waiting for the next best thing tends to be a fools game since there will always be something better coming out in a few months :)

  • DarkewolfeDarkewolfe Registered User regular
    October is when the next set of new hotness comes out. Like illig said, though, you can always be waiting for the new hotness. If you absolutely need a keyboard, the Droid 3 is probably your best bet. It doesn't have 4G/LTE, but from everyone I hear that 4G is too much of a battery drain, and you're not always in an LTE zone anyway. The biggest thing I'd do if I were you is examine your current data usage and make sure you won't be paying more per month because of the newly implemented tiered data-usage plans. I'm actually switching from Verizon to Sprint specifically because of the tiered plan. (Plus I like Sprint's phones and the $125 credit for switching).

    "Well, look at this. Appears we got here just in the nick of time. What's that make us?"
    "Big Damn Heroes, Sir."
    "Ain't we just."
  • The Crowing OneThe Crowing One Registered User regular
    Sounds like I have my bases covered. Physical keyboard is a necessity for me, and I'm not convinced this crop of phones is the right time to upgrade to 4G. I'm grandfathered into the unlimited data, so there's no need to worry with that and my usage, monthly, generally lands in the MBs.

    I mostly want to make sure I'm not missing any phones or features, which it doesn't sound is the case. I'm stoked for the Droid 3, and I do think it's the best, but I'm second guessing myself because I'm also pretty much researching for my father as well as myself.

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  • DarkewolfeDarkewolfe Registered User regular
    Yeah. Don't research TOO much. I've been doing it too, and it's making me nitpicky about stuff I'd never notice on my own. Any upgrade at this point is going to be an orgasmic level of upgrade from my old tech, probably the same for you. The buy one get one deal especially makes the Droid 3 seem pretty dang excellent.

    "Well, look at this. Appears we got here just in the nick of time. What's that make us?"
    "Big Damn Heroes, Sir."
    "Ain't we just."
  • rockmonkeyrockmonkey Registered User regular
    edited August 2011
    Darkewolfe wrote:
    October is when the next set of new hotness comes out. Like illig said, though, you can always be waiting for the new hotness. If you absolutely need a keyboard, the Droid 3 is probably your best bet. It doesn't have 4G/LTE, but from everyone I hear that 4G is too much of a battery drain, and you're not always in an LTE zone anyway. The biggest thing I'd do if I were you is examine your current data usage and make sure you won't be paying more per month because of the newly implemented tiered data-usage plans. I'm actually switching from Verizon to Sprint specifically because of the tiered plan. (Plus I like Sprint's phones and the $125 credit for switching).

    Correct me if I'm wrong but if were a current Verizon customer with an unlimited data plan then didn't you grandfather in and keep your unlimited dataplan for the same price?

    I've even swapped phones on tons of lines and I still kept my unlimited data plan. Granted we're a business account, but I'm pretty sure I read that everyone who already had the unlimited data got to keep it. So unless they are forcing you out of the plan when you upgrade your phone, which isn't my experience and I've used several upgrades since the first part of July, then I don't see why you'd switch.

    Sprint IS the last one offering an unlimited data plan, but in my area (NE Texas & Most of AR) Sprint service has been pretty bad the last few years.

    edit: But if you like their phone selection and want that credit for switching then go for it.

    rockmonkey on
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  • DarkewolfeDarkewolfe Registered User regular
    Hmm, I'd been of the impression that I'd lose my unlimited data plan when I upgraded my device and went to a new contract. I may have been wrong.

    "Well, look at this. Appears we got here just in the nick of time. What's that make us?"
    "Big Damn Heroes, Sir."
    "Ain't we just."
  • ceresceres Your photo framed Raw within my mindSuper Moderator, Moderator mod
    Do not get a Motorola Backflip. Just don't.

    And I am done with my graceless heart,
    So tonight I'm gonna cut it out and then restart.

    The avalanche has already started; it is too late for the pebbles to vote.
  • skeldareskeldare Time for adventure! Gresham, ORRegistered User regular
    edited August 2011
    Darkewolfe wrote:
    Hmm, I'd been of the impression that I'd lose my unlimited data plan when I upgraded my device and went to a new contract. I may have been wrong.

    From what I've heard you should be able to keep your unlimited data plan as long as you're grandfathered in. This of course is if you don't choose to change or cancel your service.

    Edit: You might also want to avoid 3rd party retailers, since I've heard some stories about plans being changed when purchased through them.

    skeldare on
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    Wii U: Skeldare - 3DS: 1848-1663-9345
    PM Me if you add me!
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  • The Crowing OneThe Crowing One Registered User regular
    edited August 2011
    Good stuff, and I'll steer far clear of the Backflip, Ceres :P

    Edit: I got my own answer from Verizon directly (You can get the BOGO on the D3, but it takes two upgrades, which we certainly have). Thanks for the tips and help! I'm confident I've looked at this from all angles and haven't missed anything. Now the question becomes if I'll be able to deal with the bloatware on the D3 or just use my OG Droid until root comes along, which is a far more fun question.

    And for the record, as long as you're grandfathered and don't mess about with your data plan, you can, for the time being, renew into the old unlimited plan.]

    Ceres, you can go ahead and lock!

    The Crowing One on
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This discussion has been closed.