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  1. Thread Author  Thread Author    #1  

    Question Hi. Not a user yet, but hoping to be soon. Looking for advice on my first purchase.

    Hi.

    I'm considering my first smartphone purchase and hoping to find a little advice.

    I'd like a device I can use mainly to browse the web while I'm out (and out of wifi range) and do a few other things. What I think I'm looking for is:
    • A nice screen, both for viewing and typing; but not too big that it's awkward to carry around on my person. I'm thinking the five to six inch range would be good?
    • A good data plan; if not necessarily the fastest. I'd just rather it doesn't cut off or charge overages
    • Good battery life, for at least a few hours worth.

    I don't really care about: Talk or Text, which I hardly use. OS; I'm thinking android would be best, but I'm not tied to one yet. Camera; one might be nice to have, but I don't care how many megapixels it has. Tethering; would be nice to have, but would only rarely be used anyway. I don't care if it would be throttled, and not a deal-breaker regardless. GPS; similar, a nice feature, but not a deal-breaker. Other specs; CPU, storage, etc are all nice, but I probably don't need anything top-of-the-line.

    I live close to a major US city, and all the providers I checked coverage maps for showed some 3g/4g coverage in my area. The community-drive maps were less confident, but showed service on the major roads nearby at least. I've seen other people using cellphones, but I suppose there's no way to 'check' what the service is like for what providers without actually having a device of my own.

    Based on all this, the best option for me that I've seen seems to be the T-Mobile basic unlimited data plan for $30/month

    Now I need a device to go with it. In the shop I visited, the vast majority of the devices were 'branded' to a certain provider; and the only T-Mobile devices they had were the Prism II and Lumia 521; which, while economical, I'm not quite sure they're quite what I'm looking for. I think I understand that once I'm settled on what provider I want, I can either buy a device directly from them (/their website) or buy an 'unlocked' device (from somewhere?) and then a 'starter kit' to hook it up the provider I want? This is about how far my own research has gotten me; There's just so many options when it comes to devices I'm not even sure where to start comparing.

    Does my reasoning seem sound? Is there anything obvious I'm overlooking? And most importantly, what devices would you recommend I consider (or where should I look for a comparison of devices).

    I appreciate any advice you can share with me. Thanks.
  2. #2  

    Default Re: Hi. Not a user yet, but hoping to be soon. Looking for advice on my first purchase.

    Hi and welcome to Android Central. There are quite a bit of Android smartphones on the market fitting your phone needs/wants....continue your research and I'm sure you will find one that fits. I'm currently using the Samsung Galaxy Note3 (5.7 inch screen), that might be what you looking for from what you described, it's a GREAT device....IMHO
  3. Thread Author  Thread Author    #3  

    Default Re: Hi. Not a user yet, but hoping to be soon. Looking for advice on my first purchase.

    Thanks spencerdl.

    You're quite right, or rather, that's the problem: There's too many, and I don't know how to compare them.

    The Note 3 does look nice. Bluetooth is one of those 'nice to have but not necessary' that slipped my mind. And the "S Pen" (you couldn't just call it a stylus?) seems like a throwback to older devices that I might actually like using. Do you use it often?

    That said, it does seem a little newer (and thus more expensive) than I perhaps need or was hoping for, but it looks like it would do the job.
  4. #4  

    Default Re: Hi. Not a user yet, but hoping to be soon. Looking for advice on my first purchase.

    I use the "stylus pen" (LOL) all the time, and I always have a pen and paper with me (smile). The Note3 does so much, I'm sure you won't be disappointed. There are a LOT of Androids to choose from and it really come down to user preference.
  5. #5  

    Default Re: Hi. Not a user yet, but hoping to be soon. Looking for advice on my first purchase.

    Welcome to Android Central! If you want to go with T-Mobile, you should check out the LG G2 and the Sony Xperia Z1. Both have nice big screens, but not quite as big as phablets like the Note series. The G2 is known for its battery life, and both the G2 and Z1 have good cameras (from what I've read). There also might be some good deals for them pretty soon, since people are expecting LG to come out with the G3 some time this year, and the Xperia Z2 is supposed to become available soon, although there have been some delays.
  6. #6  
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    Default Re: Hi. Not a user yet, but hoping to be soon. Looking for advice on my first purchase.

    Quote Originally Posted by KaralynSo View Post
    Hi.

    I'm considering my first smartphone purchase and hoping to find a little advice.

    I'd like a device I can use mainly to browse the web while I'm out (and out of wifi range) and do a few other things. What I think I'm looking for is:
    • A nice screen, both for viewing and typing; but not too big that it's awkward to carry around on my person. I'm thinking the five to six inch range would be good?
    • A good data plan; if not necessarily the fastest. I'd just rather it doesn't cut off or charge overages
    • Good battery life, for at least a few hours worth.

    I don't really care about: Talk or Text, which I hardly use. OS; I'm thinking android would be best, but I'm not tied to one yet. Camera; one might be nice to have, but I don't care how many megapixels it has. Tethering; would be nice to have, but would only rarely be used anyway. I don't care if it would be throttled, and not a deal-breaker regardless. GPS; similar, a nice feature, but not a deal-breaker. Other specs; CPU, storage, etc are all nice, but I probably don't need anything top-of-the-line.

    I live close to a major US city, and all the providers I checked coverage maps for showed some 3g/4g coverage in my area. The community-drive maps were less confident, but showed service on the major roads nearby at least. I've seen other people using cellphones, but I suppose there's no way to 'check' what the service is like for what providers without actually having a device of my own.

    Based on all this, the best option for me that I've seen seems to be the T-Mobile basic unlimited data plan for $30/month

    Now I need a device to go with it. In the shop I visited, the vast majority of the devices were 'branded' to a certain provider; and the only T-Mobile devices they had were the Prism II and Lumia 521; which, while economical, I'm not quite sure they're quite what I'm looking for. I think I understand that once I'm settled on what provider I want, I can either buy a device directly from them (/their website) or buy an 'unlocked' device (from somewhere?) and then a 'starter kit' to hook it up the provider I want? This is about how far my own research has gotten me; There's just so many options when it comes to devices I'm not even sure where to start comparing.

    Does my reasoning seem sound? Is there anything obvious I'm overlooking? And most importantly, what devices would you recommend I consider (or where should I look for a comparison of devices).

    I appreciate any advice you can share with me. Thanks.
    Welcome to the forums.
    I thin the best thing to do is narrow down to which carrier you think meets your needs, then go to a corporate store where they have live devices and play with them.

    If the Note 3 is about the size you want, but expense is an issue, look at the Note 2, or the G2.

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  7. Thread Author  Thread Author    #7  

    Default Re: Hi. Not a user yet, but hoping to be soon. Looking for advice on my first purchase.

    Quote Originally Posted by Golfdriver97 View Post
    I thin the best thing to do is narrow down to which carrier you think meets your needs, then go to a corporate store where they have live devices and play with them.
    Thanks; I actually hadn't even considered looking for provider-branded stores in my area. (I have been hands-on with a couple live devices at a Best Buy though.)

    I think my needs from a carrier are relatively light, so T-Mobile seems like the best option for the price, that I've seen; Unless I get some advice to the contrary I think I'm going to focus on them for the moment.

    Expense might be an issue, but I'm not entirely sure what a realistic price to expect is; Prices seem to be all over the place, even for unlocked phones online. I'd be perfectly happy with something slightly smaller (like a Nexus) if it was a fraction of the price.
  8. #8  
    Golfdriver97's Avatar

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    Default Re: Hi. Not a user yet, but hoping to be soon. Looking for advice on my first purchase.

    Quote Originally Posted by KaralynSo View Post
    Thanks; I actually hadn't even considered looking for provider-branded stores in my area. (I have been hands-on with a couple live devices at a Best Buy though.)

    I think my needs from a carrier are relatively light, so T-Mobile seems like the best option for the price, that I've seen; Unless I get some advice to the contrary I think I'm going to focus on them for the moment.

    Expense might be an issue, but I'm not entirely sure what a realistic price to expect is; Prices seem to be all over the place, even for unlocked phones online. I'd be perfectly happy with something slightly smaller (like a Nexus) if it was a fraction of the price.
    I actually would say go for a Nexus. I like the display, they are hard to brick, cheap (Play has them for $400) Overall, an awesome device.

    Sent from my HTC One_M8 using AC Forums mobile app

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  9. #9  
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    Default Re: Hi. Not a user yet, but hoping to be soon. Looking for advice on my first purchase.

    Hello and welcome to the forums!
    I agree with my forum mates on all their advice.

    I would also recommend looking at the Galaxy S3 and S4 phones since the GS5 is out the price on the older ones should be cheaper.

    But the Nexus 5 is also a great device with a small price tag.

    Sent From Inside The TARDIS in a Galaxy S4 Away!
    If I'm very clever, and I'm more than clever, I'm brilliant! I might just save the World, or rip it apart!
  10. #10  

    Default Re: Hi. Not a user yet, but hoping to be soon. Looking for advice on my first purchase.

    I've had the S3 and Note 2 in the past but I really love the Note 3 that I currently have. I use the S-Pen a lot to take notes and use the dual screen function. I love the battery life and the speed at which it charges. I find the S-Pen is hugely improved in the Note 3 over the Note 2.
  11. Thread Author  Thread Author    #11  

    Default Re: Hi. Not a user yet, but hoping to be soon. Looking for advice on my first purchase.

    So, I walked into a few stores today, and ended up handling all of the devices mentioned in this thread thus far.

    Maybe it's just because I'm new at this, but I don't really notice any difference between them. Apart from the Note 3, which was slightly bigger (also white) they all seemed very much the same. That the display model happened to be a different color stands out more in memory than the slightly different shapes.

    So, I thank you all for your advice, but it may have been wasted on me; I don't see how any of them can compete with the quantifiable difference that is obvious to me - price.
  12. #12  
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    Default Re: Hi. Not a user yet, but hoping to be soon. Looking for advice on my first purchase.

    The nexus 5 or a Galaxy S3 would be fairly cheap, especially if you look for them at eBay.

    Sent From Inside The TARDIS in a Galaxy S4 Away!
    If I'm very clever, and I'm more than clever, I'm brilliant! I might just save the World, or rip it apart!

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