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  1. Thread Author  Thread Author    #1  

    Default New to smartphones - is Android the way to go?

    Hi!

    I'm kind of new to the whole smartphone thing, as I've been using Nokia symbian phones for the past decade and a half. Maybe you can help sort out the confusion.

    I'm also an Apple Mac user for a number of years. So I was naturally looking at the Apple iPhone as a possible phone, since I already know the system and would feel right at home.
    However, I also use a lot of Google products (Gmail, Maps, Google Docs, etc.) and I have a very good appreciation for that company. And I was offered a Google Nexus 7 tablet this Christmas and I just love it! It's fast and responsive, has a good battery, and I don't need an iPad mini that costs double the price of this tablet. So I wondered if I could also get more for less with an Android phone?

    These will probably be stupid questions, but anyway:

    1. I looked at a few Android phones yesterday at a mall, but they looked different from the Nexus 7 tablet I have. The sales guy told me that most manufacturers install their own software on top of Android, so they are all kind of different looking. Is this true? Is it possible (and easy) to unistall that software and just keep the Android system like I have on the Nexus 7?

    2. I know Google has a phone, the Nexus 4, which I also consider. But they are difficult to come by in my country (Portugal), so I need to consider other brands in order to have quick service in my country, should the phone gets damaged. Brand is not important, as long as the phone is good. Most brands and models are available here (apart from the Nexus 4, which I can't seem to find anywhere in the usual shops here).

    3. As I use a lot of Google services and will be buying a phone for the next four years or so, I want to have a newer/later model that can go through several updates, instead of yesterday's stuff. I don't want to get stuck after three or four updates only.

    4. Don't want something with a very big screen size. Anything over the 4.3/4.7" range is out. I need something I can comfortably carry in my pocket and use with just one hand. I was shown a Samsung Note and I hated it. It looked more like a tablet than a phone to me and was not comfortable at all. This is one of the reasons the Apple iPhone looked good to me. I tried it yesterday and I could do mostly everything with just my thumb. Also, I don't care what type of screen it is. LED, Amoled, LCD, whatever... I'll assume the differences between them are minimal for someone that is not going to use the phone to watch movies or family pictures (I have the Nexus 7 for that).

    5. I have the simpler Nexus 7 (32GB, no 3G antenna). Is it possible for the Nexus 7 to share the internet connection with the phone when I go outside?

    6. A good camera would be a big plus. I don't carry a camera with me anymore, so a decent camera in my phone is always welcomed.

    7. Good battery life. I understand these phones have demanding software, but I don't want to have to charge the phone twice every day. Also, if the phone lets me replace the battery myself that would be great. The sales guy told me that you can't change the battery in your iPhone, you have to send it in. What if I want to carry a spare battery with me?

    8. I would also like to use this phone as a music player to listen to music when I go on my road trips. Can I play all the stuff that I bough on iTunes? (it's a music store from Apple) Can the Android phones play those AAC files that iTunes sell? The headphones quality is not important at all, I'm not going to use them. I will just plug the phone output to the car stereo.

    9. Probably another stupid question, but here it goes. Will the applications I buy on the Nexus 7 work on any Android phone? I know it's basically all Android deep down, but if it's true that manufacturers put their own software on top of Android, is that going to create problems or any incompatibilities or something?

    10. If the phone gets lost or stolen, can it be tracked remotely like the Apple iPhone? Does Android do that as well?

    11. I don't see much "charger inputs" on these phones, so I'll assume they all charge via USB nowadays, like the Nexus 7. Does that mean any USB charger (like the one on Nexus 7) will work with one of these newer smartphones? The Apple iPhone seems to have their own flat connector instead of USB, and I don't really like that. What if I break the cable in the middle of the night for some reason? How will I charge the phone? I'd rather have a standard USB connection instead of some proprietary connector.

    12. Finally, price is not important. I will be buying a smartphone for the next few years. I'd rather buy something good now, instead of settling for something cheaper and regretting if for four years...

    Thanks!
    Sorry for the long post, but I don't know much about Android, and this seemed like a good place to ask.


    Best regards.

    Toscano
  2. #2  
    sledge007's Avatar

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    Default Re: New to smartphones - is Android the way to go?

    Quote Originally Posted by Toscano View Post
    Hi!

    I'm kind of new to the whole smartphone thing, as I've been using Nokia symbian phones for the past decade and a half. Maybe you can help sort out the confusion.

    I'm also an Apple Mac user for a number of years. So I was naturally looking at the Apple iPhone as a possible phone, since I already know the system and would feel right at home.
    However, I also use a lot of Google products (Gmail, Maps, Google Docs, etc.) and I have a very good appreciation for that company. And I was offered a Google Nexus 7 tablet this Christmas and I just love it! It's fast and responsive, has a good battery, and I don't need an iPad mini that costs double the price of this tablet. So I wondered if I could also get more for less with an Android phone?

    These will probably be stupid questions, but anyway:

    1. I looked at a few Android phones yesterday at a mall, but they looked different from the Nexus 7 tablet I have. The sales guy told me that most manufacturers install their own software on top of Android, so they are all kind of different looking. Is this true? Is it possible (and easy) to unistall that software and just keep the Android system like I have on the Nexus 7?

    2. I know Google has a phone, the Nexus 4, which I also consider. But they are difficult to come by in my country (Portugal), so I need to consider other brands in order to have quick service in my country, should the phone gets damaged. Brand is not important, as long as the phone is good. Most brands and models are available here (apart from the Nexus 4, which I can't seem to find anywhere in the usual shops here).

    3. As I use a lot of Google services and will be buying a phone for the next four years or so, I want to have a newer/later model that can go through several updates, instead of yesterday's stuff. I don't want to get stuck after three or four updates only.

    4. Don't want something with a very big screen size. Anything over the 4.3/4.7" range is out. I need something I can comfortably carry in my pocket and use with just one hand. I was shown a Samsung Note and I hated it. It looked more like a tablet than a phone to me and was not comfortable at all. This is one of the reasons the Apple iPhone looked good to me. I tried it yesterday and I could do mostly everything with just my thumb. Also, I don't care what type of screen it is. LED, Amoled, LCD, whatever... I'll assume the differences between them are minimal for someone that is not going to use the phone to watch movies or family pictures (I have the Nexus 7 for that).

    5. I have the simpler Nexus 7 (32GB, no 3G antenna). Is it possible for the Nexus 7 to share the internet connection with the phone when I go outside?

    6. A good camera would be a big plus. I don't carry a camera with me anymore, so a decent camera in my phone is always welcomed.

    7. Good battery life. I understand these phones have demanding software, but I don't want to have to charge the phone twice every day. Also, if the phone lets me replace the battery myself that would be great. The sales guy told me that you can't change the battery in your iPhone, you have to send it in. What if I want to carry a spare battery with me?

    8. I would also like to use this phone as a music player to listen to music when I go on my road trips. Can I play all the stuff that I bough on iTunes? (it's a music store from Apple) Can the Android phones play those AAC files that iTunes sell? The headphones quality is not important at all, I'm not going to use them. I will just plug the phone output to the car stereo.

    9. Probably another stupid question, but here it goes. Will the applications I buy on the Nexus 7 work on any Android phone? I know it's basically all Android deep down, but if it's true that manufacturers put their own software on top of Android, is that going to create problems or any incompatibilities or something?

    10. If the phone gets lost or stolen, can it be tracked remotely like the Apple iPhone? Does Android do that as well?

    11. I don't see much "charger inputs" on these phones, so I'll assume they all charge via USB nowadays, like the Nexus 7. Does that mean any USB charger (like the one on Nexus 7) will work with one of these newer smartphones? The Apple iPhone seems to have their own flat connector instead of USB, and I don't really like that. What if I break the cable in the middle of the night for some reason? How will I charge the phone? I'd rather have a standard USB connection instead of some proprietary connector.

    12. Finally, price is not important. I will be buying a smartphone for the next few years. I'd rather buy something good now, instead of settling for something cheaper and regretting if for four years...

    Thanks!
    Sorry for the long post, but I don't know much about Android, and this seemed like a good place to ask.


    Best regards.

    Toscano
    Brief answers as I'm getting ready for work, but here you go:
    1. Yes.
    3. If you root, you can update as often as ROMs get updated. Don't expect any current flagship phone to get more than one update.
    5. Yes.
    7. Most phones have removable batteries. There are also portable chargers that you can carry around that aren't much bigger than a battery.
    8. Yes.
    9. For the most part, yes, unless it is incompatible with your device.
    10. There are third party apps for this. They usually have a cost involved.
    11. Yes. MicroUSB inputs are standard for charging.

    That's it in a nutshell. Back to getting ready for work
  3. #3  

    Default Odp: New to smartphones - is Android the way to go?

    On 3 android is bad on that. If you want frash updates get Nexus is proven to get updates first and support for long, but avoid carrier mutants (in general avoid them if you care about updates, those get updates last if any ). Samsung also seems to support longer but you will need to wait around half year for update. I hear sony is really bad on update they drop phones quuckly.
  4. #4  

    Default Re: New to smartphones - is Android the way to go?

    The Samsung GS3 is my first, and only smartphone. I love it.
    The 4.8 inch screen is great. Not too big to fit in a shirt pocket. It's thin and light.
    The note 2 is bigger, so it might cause problems in a pocket.

    --Tapatalk on Samsung GS3.
    Samsung Galaxy S3 4gLTE
  5. #5  
    gtbarry's Avatar

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    Default Re: New to smartphones - is Android the way to go?

    Quote Originally Posted by Toscano View Post
    So I wondered if I could also get more for less with an Android phone?
    You don't get "more for less." You don't pay too much for less like apple forces you to.

    Quote Originally Posted by Toscano View Post
    1. I looked at a few Android phones yesterday at a mall, but they looked different from the Nexus 7 tablet I have. The sales guy told me that most manufacturers install their own software on top of Android, so they are all kind of different looking. Is this true? Is it possible (and easy) to unistall that software and just keep the Android system like I have on the Nexus 7?
    3. As I use a lot of Google services and will be buying a phone for the next four years or so, I want to have a newer/later model that can go through several updates, instead of yesterday's stuff. I don't want to get stuck after three or four updates only.
    Unless you are technical and want to tinker, your only choice for a pure Android experience on a phone is to buy direct from Google on the Play store. This is also the only phone that Google will update for you to the new versions of Android in a fast manner compared to carriers. Note: it will be an unlocked GSM phone - which I doubt is an issue for you there in Portugal.

    Quote Originally Posted by Toscano View Post
    2. I know Google has a phone, the Nexus 4, which I also consider. But they are difficult to come by in my country (Portugal), so I need to consider other brands in order to have quick service in my country, should the phone gets damaged. Brand is not important, as long as the phone is good. Most brands and models are available here (apart from the Nexus 4, which I can't seem to find anywhere in the usual shops here).
    ebay? Have a friend purchase elsewhere for you and send it to you?

    Quote Originally Posted by Toscano View Post
    6. A good camera would be a big plus. I don't carry a camera with me anymore, so a decent camera in my phone is always welcomed.
    The MP AND the sensor will determine the quality of the picture. I find the best way to decide if one is better than another regardless of the MP number is to hold both phones side-by-side in a store and take the same picture and decide by yourself (of course the screen resolutions are different).

    Quote Originally Posted by Toscano View Post
    7. Good battery life. I understand these phones have demanding software, but I don't want to have to charge the phone twice every day. Also, if the phone lets me replace the battery myself that would be great. The sales guy told me that you can't change the battery in your iPhone, you have to send it in. What if I want to carry a spare battery with me?
    Some Android phones are not using replaceable batteries. Most are. make sure you know before you buy.

    Quote Originally Posted by Toscano View Post
    8. I would also like to use this phone as a music player to listen to music when I go on my road trips. Can I play all the stuff that I bough on iTunes? (it's a music store from Apple) Can the Android phones play those AAC files that iTunes sell? The headphones quality is not important at all, I'm not going to use them. I will just plug the phone output to the car stereo.
    Depends on the copy protection apple uses and if it is in an .m4a file. DoubleTwist will copy your music and playlists from itunes and sync with your Android phone.
    Enjoy your Music, Video, Radio & iTunes on Android - doubleTwist

    Quote Originally Posted by Toscano View Post
    9. Probably another stupid question, but here it goes. Will the applications I buy on the Nexus 7 work on any Android phone? I know it's basically all Android deep down, but if it's true that manufacturers put their own software on top of Android, is that going to create problems or any incompatibilities or something?
    Log into your Android account and apps will be available on both (except for those that are specific to a phone or a tablet - like a keyboard)

    Quote Originally Posted by Toscano View Post
    10. If the phone gets lost or stolen, can it be tracked remotely like the Apple iPhone? Does Android do that as well?
    Dozens of choices in the Play Store.

    Quote Originally Posted by Toscano View Post
    11. I don't see much "charger inputs" on these phones, so I'll assume they all charge via USB nowadays, like the Nexus 7. Does that mean any USB charger (like the one on Nexus 7) will work with one of these newer smartphones? The Apple iPhone seems to have their own flat connector instead of USB, and I don't really like that. What if I break the cable in the middle of the night for some reason? How will I charge the phone? I'd rather have a standard USB connection instead of some proprietary connector.
    MicroUSB on most all - like the one on the Nexus 7

    Also.....Make no decision until after Mobile World Congress over in Spain in February. There will be announcements about devices and release dates then that may interest you.
  6. #6  
    normanhunter45's Avatar

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    Default Re: New to smartphones - is Android the way to go?

    I am using the HTC Sensation XE for the past one year..and i have no complaints with the phone..I recently rooted my phone..and I am loving it..!! feels like a non-virgin again..lol!!

    Cheers!!
  7. #7  

    Default Re: New to smartphones - is Android the way to go?

    HTC One X Plus, Samsung S3... Can't go wrong with these for a new iPhone to Android user who likes Nexus 7. Yes to a lot of your questions. Choose the right Android device and you'll have a great smartphone experience.

    Sent from my HTC One X using Android Central Forums

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