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Thread: Smartphones

  1. #61
    Lesser Hivemind Node Cephas's Avatar
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    @JGMan I was going to recommend the Nexus 4 to you, but it seems to be out of stock now. Also wise choice on GiffGaff. I'm a very big fan.

    @michaeljos - objectively speaking it depends on personal preference. Larger screen size doesn't mean it's better. The build quality is pretty terrible. Whilst an improvement on the S3, the S4 still feel cheap. Hardware wise it's good but I find the OS bloated, slow and dated.

  2. #62
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Boris's Avatar
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    I am really happy with my Galaxy Nexus. The Nexus 4 my sister has is also quite awesome. They're pretty cheap phones as well, and you can't go wrong with them.

  3. #63
    Network Hub Herzog's Avatar
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    I am using a Samsung Galaxy S2 Plus since half a year. My first smartphone and I am very happy with it. Basically an updated version of the classic S2 with a slightly better display. Would definitely recommend it as an entry level smart phone!

  4. #64
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    I've had a Galaxy S3 for 18 months now - I said I'd never have another Samsung phone and I should have stuck to that, but the fact it had a changeable battery and memory card (when the competitors didn't) swayed me.

    When it's working it's great, but it has a list of downsides the length of your arm (and the S4 shares most of them).

    It's too big - like holding a brick upto your ear - which also makes it hard to use in one hand and easy to drop thanks to no 'bezel' (the camera is particularly tricky to use) - the touch buttons are FAR too easy to catch and 'go back' all the time - awful ergonomics, basically.

    The power button is cheap and nasty, it sticks and wobbles and the front "copied from Apple" button will power-on the phone in your pocket repeatedly

    When the battery is low, it repeatedly turns-on the screen to tell you this - no really it does!!

    It's packed with bloatware crap from Samsung - OK, you can root and ROM it but really, you shouldn't HAVE to

    It's crashy-as-hell - the browser crashes - the UI crashes - it has these long pregnant pauses when you ask it to do things

    The Samsung voice thing is laughably shit - as are ALL the other Samsung gimmicks other than 'swipe down' cog for options, which is a nice touch.

    The KIES software you need to update it etc. (I think they put OTA updates back recently but before that it was KIES or nothing) is HIDEOUS, crashy, slow, moody junkware.

    Basically just don't go there unless you have no other choice - and you have many other choices...

    p.s. mine's power socket is now moody - it's still insured so I think it's time it got kicked-into-touch..
    Last edited by trjp; 25-09-2013 at 09:33 PM.

  5. #65
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    I have the Samsung Galaxy4, I am satisfied with it for now..

  6. #66
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    I saw sth interesting yesterday called Phone Bloks

  7. #67
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Tritagonist's Avatar
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    That's pretty crafty, like an 1990s RPG inventory game. I approve of the idea, though: there's definitely a lot of electronics that goes to waste. It seems a lot of these things are built to last just long enough to pass the legally required 'Two Year Guarantee' (in the EU).
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  8. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ocigan View Post
    I have the Samsung Galaxy4, I am satisfied with it for now..
    If it's anything like my S3 it will take about 3 months for you to start noticing the more irritating things - the fact it's near impossible to flip-around in your hand (say you're using the camera and want landscape/portrait shots) without catching the back button, the way your battery drains cos the front button is triggering the screen in your pocket (set a lockscreen or you'll call people randomly!) - the power button will loosen (tho I've seen a few S4s and they seem a BIT better made in this respect) and so on.

    There's an official answer to the power thing which is to "use a case" but it's already MASSIVE, putting it in a case makes it ridiculously large - like housebrick large.

    It's lovely to have a big screen but it's nowhere near big enough to - say - read full-page website text or play games which are really intended for tablets and yet it's far too bloody big to just be a phone...

    I think the Notes may have something at this point - they are ALMOST big enough to be tablets of a sort and they're just clearly silly as a phone...

    If I were to change tomorrow I'm not sure what I'd get tho - I don't developer "just for Android" anymore so I'm not tied to the platform as I've been for 2+ years - at the same time I've zero desire for almost everything on-offer, which is kinda sad really.

    I do know it wouldn't be anything made by Samsung tho

  9. #69
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Zephro's Avatar
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    I've had an S3 since launch and haven't had any of the above problems. Still lasts 2 days on one battery charge, easily the best phone I've ever had.

  10. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by trjp View Post
    (say you're using the camera and want landscape/portrait shots)
    There should be a "portrait" mode on your camera which allows you to use the front camera for your selfies :) Can't help with the landscape mode..

    Quote Originally Posted by trjp View Post
    There's an official answer to the power thing which is to "use a case" but it's already MASSIVE, putting it in a case makes it ridiculously large - like housebrick large.
    I thought they make those really slim, almost paper-like cases that only cover the front display for that?
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  11. #71
    I've had a Lumia 800 for two years and it's been solid, lovely and good to me.
    Because of that I've got me a Lumia 1020. Oh my. It is outstanding.

    I've had Symbian, Android and an early Apple and they we're all ok in their way (not so keen on the Iphone but maybe it's less restrictive now?) but these Windows things are as elegant a device as I've ever used. Surprising really, to anyone who's made a living wrestling with pc Windows for a living, but there it is.

  12. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zephro View Post
    I've had an S3 since launch and haven't had any of the above problems. Still lasts 2 days on one battery charge, easily the best phone I've ever had.
    I can make mine last 2 days if I DON'T USE IT - I think that might explain your lack of issues with it :)

    Oh - I have to ignore it's PLEADING to be plugged-in when it easily has 6-hours of standby or 30 mins of use left.

    Whatever else you may think of the S3 (and S4) tho - the bloatware, the shit PC software and the overall poor quality are undeniable. Sit one next to a recent HTC phone and you're holding a Hyundai next to a Porsche.

    and don't start me on the bloatware again - I don't want the phone to 'see if I'm looking at it' (doesn't work) or any of the other stupid shit they weigh-it-down with (at least 4 different packages for media sharing - Samsung 'store' Apps etc. etc.)

    Samsung Smartphone = Packard Bell PC

    I really really should root and ROM it - I suspect it would be a revelation, but my last attempt at doing that to a phone worked for a short while and then started playing silly buggers until it eventually refused to boot at all, so I'm kinda nervous about that doing it again.
    Last edited by trjp; 04-10-2013 at 09:39 PM.

  13. #73
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    I quite like most of the functionality built in to Touchwiz. The multitasking split screen mode is very nice, for example, especially on a large screen like the Note. and the Note's spen functionality is fantastic. There's not much I'd really call bloatware, but then, I looked in to Touchwiz before I got the old Note, and was looking forward to most of the features...The other upside Samsungs have compared to HTC is they are far more supportive of removable batteries and SD cards. Not a dealbreaker for everyone, but it's always something to consider.

    KIES is indeed a bit crap, but thankfully it's not compulsory. I very much agree with the build quality complaint. I can see why Samsung do it, it's not only cheaper but apparently a lot of people want the phones to be more lightweight. I prefer a more premium feeling design like the HTC One, or even the Xperia Z1, which I think might be my next device. I was thinking about the Note 3 but the fake leather effect on the back feels like a cheap pleather sofa...Not good considering it costs about 600.

    Xperia Z1, LG G2, or wait for the Nexus 5, I just can't decide.

  14. #74
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    Note: KIES was mandatory for a great many S3s - OTA was disabled, you HAD to use KIES to get updates to firmware.

    It was operator dependant perhaps - Orange/EE were one offender tho and I think O2 were another.

    Oh - and the cable you get with your S3 is not quite a standard 'micro USB' - using a cable from another phone I could not get Kies to connect to the phone - there's something 'bespoke' about it, so DON'T LOSE IT

    Then there's the decision (admiteddly not just Samsung's) to abandon the old 'Mobile Storage' approach to getting files onto the phone in favour of a system (MTP) which almost nothing supports

    Oh - and then there's the total dick decision to make their silly smartwatch work ONLY with their own phones...
    Samsung suck

  15. #75
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    Question about uploading files onto smart phones:

    Do non-Apple phones use other programs to upload music and video files onto them. It seems to me that Apple is deliberately trying to make it less and less intuitive to do so onto their devices with every successive release of iTunes. Have you found the process much more fluid with Samsung or Droid phones?

  16. #76
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    Most phone manufacturers have some sort of proprietary software you can use to transfer files across to the phone, but I've always found it easier and quicker to just treat it like any other USB device, and open phone's storage in windows explorer thendrag and drop the files I want rather than faffing around with a dedicated piece of software for it.

  17. #77
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    Most older Android phones appear as 'memory sticks' if connected to a PC - so you just drag-and-drop stuff - however there's a trend of using MTP, which is an iTunes-like system which requires proprietary software to transfer stuff over - and that sucks.

    To avoid this I use a SAMBA-capable file manager (Ghost Commander or FolderSync are free and decent) to xfer stuff over from my PC/NAS or whatever.

    If speed is of the essence, a phone which uses SD Cards means you can put the SD Card into a reader on the PC and really fly through the copying - accept no substitutes to that.

    You could also use Dropbox or something of that ilk...

    p.s for music, Google really want you to use Google Music of course - but that's another bag-of-hammers entirely...
    Last edited by trjp; 05-10-2013 at 07:29 PM.

  18. #78
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Boris's Avatar
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    MTP support is built into Windows. My Galaxy Nexus uses it, and I just use windows explorer to copy and paste music on there.

    Maybe not on XP, but you shouldn't be using that anymore anyway.

  19. #79
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Zephro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by trjp View Post
    I can make mine last 2 days if I DON'T USE IT - I think that might explain your lack of issues with it :)

    Oh - I have to ignore it's PLEADING to be plugged-in when it easily has 6-hours of standby or 30 mins of use left.
    Eh I use it plenty, I don't have lots of apps running, wifi and bluetooth are almost always disabled.
    I never bothered using KIES but I just bought the handset as is, no operators involved.

    I also use generic micro-usb cables with it all the time. The official one is just used to charge it at night, the ones for my PCs are just random ones i've collected over the years.

    Also the S3 can take drag and drop in Windows. Doesn't work on linux annoyingly.

  20. #80
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    Galaxy s3 and like it so far. With the exception of home button ( feels bad when pressed ) i dont get the complaining about build quality. Between unibody metal design with no removable battery,scratch prone, no microSD card and plastic with microsd,removable battery and lighter i would gladly take the 2nd option every time .

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