| || |
What to Buy?
While everyone bitches about VZW and late release of devices right now they have ALL (except Sony) of the newest devices - HTC One, Galaxy S4, the 3 droids (Mini, Ultra, Maxx), LG G2, and Moto X.
Background - I picked up a cheap, new Palm Pixi (only cost $55 brand new) 2.5 years ago to lock in unlimited data - really loved the tiny form factor and the keyboard was quite usable - Palm OS still has some great features - would have been great on modern hardware. Finally, XMas 2011 they were having a massive sale and settled on the HTC Droid Incredible 2 (free on contract) in red but only 8 GB memory card. Really liked the phone (no LTE in my area a small town just north of Vegas. Felt great in the hand and pocket, nice soft touch back, 1.5-2.0 Mbits on Verizon 3g, screen was nice for a 800x480 SuperLCD2. I am one of those lucky people whose spouse doesn't want a smartphone (I am able to get wholesale feature phones for around $50 for her when she needs them). So, I was able to get my last subsidized upgrade keeping unlimited data to pick up a Pebble GS3 32 GB model. I had no problems or issues with the pentile screen (couldn't even see the pentile matrix even when I stared at it). As for Touchwiz didn't think much of the launcher so immediately loaded Apex and the "extras" from Touchwiz were more of a nuisance than a real problem. I really didn't mind the button arrangement and actually liked the hardware home button and just added a recent apps shortcut (part of Apex features) on my home screen (plus you can hold down the home button and it will give you recent apps). Other than that it was an excellent phone. It did seem like the radios were a little weak for cellular and data - not a show stopper. Battery life was fair at 10-12 hours of moderate use (I don't carry extra batteries - just an external charger - Anker Slim with 3200 Mah with built in Micro USB - highly recommended). The 32 GB Verzion was only $50 more expensive so I thought that would be enough and I could avoid the external Micro SD card (so far that has worked out great as I use between 18-20 GB of the phone's memory. My only complaint is the GS3 was slightly too big for my hands so I was "planning/Hoping" to move to a "slightly smaller" phone.
I wasn't actually planning on upgrading right now but the combination of the Verizon 30 discount (nobody knows when this expires) pushed me to upgrade sooner rather than later. I really thought my next phone was going to be the Moto X EXCEPT I was going to have to wait for the 32 GB model based on my content usage on the GS3. The Moto X would have been my next even if it was only white or black (no Motomaker) still a little iffy because of the camera even with the update. Since there is still no date for the higher storage version to come to Verizon (changing carriers is NOT an option because in my small town Verizon is the only game in town for good coverage (also noticed when I traveled (even though it is to major cities) that Verizon is the premier carrier for coverage). I am lucky enough to have a grandfathered plan for Nationwide 700, 2 phone (1 smart, 1 dumb), unlimited data for the smartphone with LTE in our town and get by @ $85/month (all in - taxes,fees, etc). So what's left. The GS4 was quickly eliminated because I didn't want a slightly faster S3 and it was only a 16 GB model - didn't want the downsides of a micro SD card. So, we're down to the HTC One and LG G2. The one was actually eliminated very quickly also because the power button is on the top left of the phone and with my smaller hands it was impossible to hold the phone comfortably and turn the phone on. I was also VERY concerned with battery life on the HTC One (sounds like it was average at best.
I was one of those who thought who needs 1080P on the phone (I always thought 720P looked great on my GS3). Boy, was I wrong, the screen on the G2 looks amazing. I never had problems with responsiveness on the GS3 and thought it was very quick and fluid. The G2 is still noticeably faster than the S3. There are a number of surprises with the G2. The voice, data reception (12-15 Mbits down for the S3 and 21 Mbits down for the G2) and Bluetooth (it used to drop words with a BT headset) are better than the S3. Still getting used to the back buttons and knock on/off is 50/50 so far. The feel in hand is better than the S3 - slight curve due to the stacked battery gives a much better feel than the skinny S3/S4. Finally, Battery life, this thing rocks - it sips battery. The S3 was good for light to moderate use (mostly on WiFi) while the G2 easily goes 16 hours and could go 24 hours. One advantage of the back is the clean edges except for the SIM card slot. It does have the Samsung plastic (and I had more than my share of drops with that phone) so I am going to put an Incipio Feather case on it. I just couldn't pass up the price with the Verizon 30 discount having no definitive expiration date ($139.99) - can't beat that for a state of the art brand new smartphone. I went on to pick up a Tylt Vu (best price I could find was $69.99 - overpriced for sure but only one like it) inductive charging stand (works great with my Nexus 7 (2013) AND the G2) . The Nexus 7 only charges in the landscape position and have only tested the G2 in the portrait mode. I also bought the Nokia 900 charger from ATT for only $24.50 and that works great also. The convenience of inductive charging is kind of like power windows vs manual crank - you could live without it but why go through the pain. One point of note - the LG charger does support fast charging through USB and it charges at better than 1%/minute. I did find the USB port a little tight when plugging in a cable. The camera (haven't used it much so far) is amazing with 13 MP and OIS - I think this is just behind the Lumia 1020 among camera phones and a nice step up from the GS3 8 MP - which gave me some very nice shots over the last 1.5 years. Hope this helps someone with their decision as I am very happy with mine. I don't think you could go wrong with any of them. Fee Free to ask about anything else I haven't touched on.