HELP! How do I decide on a VZW phone?

AmousmosesMW

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Ok. So I really need some help here ....

I currently have a VZW LG ENV Touch. I am eligible to upgrade my phone and I am ready to become part of the Smartphone family. When I have upgraded in the past, I pretty much just went into the VZW store, told them what I was looking for and let them recommend a phone for me. But now I have gotten myself in a mess... :confused:

I made the mistake of 'liking' the VZW facebook page, which then caused me to get hooked on watching the CES announcement, which then got me hooked on Android phones, which then got me hooked on tracking the new phones coming out (i.e. Thunderbolt). And now with seeing the MWC announcement of Androids, I just don't know what to do...

I live in SE Wisconsin so currently we do not have 4G LTE network service. Although, I have been told we could see it come mid-year 2011.

My priorities for a new phone are (and forgive me as some of these are probably standards on an android phone):

- MUST be available on the VZW network
- MUST have excellent sound quality (I use my speakerphone alot because I can't hear too well on my ENV)
- MUST have high-resolution camera with a flash
- MUST have some video capabilities
- MUST have WiFi access (so I can access non-VZW wifi networks to help save on my data plan usage, esp with the talk of VZW getting rid of the unlimited data plan option)
- MUST support bluetooth technology (compatible with my Jabra)
- MUST have Good to Great battery life (although I do understand that I will probably be charging my phone daily)
- PREFER it has a MicroSD slot (depending on internal storage size and ease of transferring from phone to PC)
- PREFER Talk & Text / Talk & Surf capabilities (if these capabilities exist. I know on my ENV Touch, I have been successful in being able to talk and text)
- PREFER Hotspot capabilities
- On my Env Touch, I do use my physical keyboard alot more than the virtual keyboard (I make way too many typos on the virtual board). I have pretty much come to terms with the fact that I am going to have to transition to a virtual keyboard, so would like a phone that will help me make that transition smoothly. :)
- I am an Android newbie so a nice, easy to use and understand UI would be great!

- I never pay full price for a phone, so whatever I decide on I will keep thru my contract terms.
- I have pretty much decided that if I go with a 3G phone, I will go with a 1 year contract. And if I wait and go with a 4G LTE phone, I will go with a 2 year contract.
- I was able to handle a dummy TB phone last week. Beautiful phone, but I will admit, it was much much larger than I was expecting (I know, I should have known it would be big because of it's 4.3" screen size). I was hoping for something small and thin, but I haven't seen anything, 4G LTE anyways, that is coming down the pike and fits into the small and thin category.

I know there is always going to be something better just around the corner. And that makes this all even harder... I don't want to buy a phone with 'most' of my wants/preferences and a month later regret it because a phone with everything I want/prefer comes out.

From reading the numerous posts on here, I know there are alot of you out there that seem to have some great advice and also have some sense of what's coming out down the road.

So, can anyone recommend what I should do? I have been eyeing both the Incredible and the Thunderbolt, but it looks like there may be an Incredible 2 and others coming also? I guess how does one know what makes the most sense? And part of it is because now that I am eligible for my upgrade, I am antsy to get a new phone in my hands. But I will try to restrain myself if the consensus is to wait a month, a quarter, etc.... My drop dead date would be Aug 16th because that is when I will lose my NE2 discount.... I just really don't want to wait that long!

Thanks!
 

takeshi

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I guess how does one know what makes the most sense?
As with any other device selection thread, whatever suits you best. I don't recall seeing anything in your list that would make one device stand out from the rest. Most of what you have listed are fairly standard capabilities. Spend some time in person with devices to assess your preferences for physical characteristics (not just size but weight, keyboard, "build quality", etc) as well.

Don't assume that you'll simple get great battery life by selecting the right device. On any Android device, you need to analyze your usage and address your particular battery hogs. Don't count on the device, a battery app or any other quick fix.
 

greydarrah

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Any of the android phones will do everything you listed. If your impatient, the Droid X is available today, is still at the top of the performance heap (today), and mine can go 2 days between charges, though I charge it every night. It's an awesome phone!

If you want to wait a little while, the Thunderbolt will take over that top spot when it hits the market. My only concern with this phone is the battery. HTC has had battery issues with a number of past phones. Hopefully they improved the situation this time.
 

AmousmosesMW

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Thanks.

What are your opinions between the Droid X and the Incredible? I like the small thin size of the Incredible. But I don't want to just go by looks.... what to make sure whatever I end up with is a solid performer.
 

mamawM

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you might want to wait just a couple of months and see when verizion releases it's new phones. you seem to have been pleased with your ev and the lg revolution should be coming in the 2nd quarter this year and it looks to be a really sweet little phone too. i'm gonna give it a look/see.
 

greydarrah

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Thanks.

What are your opinions between the Droid X and the Incredible? I like the small thin size of the Incredible. But I don't want to just go by looks.... what to make sure whatever I end up with is a solid performer.

Incredible is a great phone with an awful battery. I don't know anyone that can get through half a day without having to recharge. I couldn't live like that. I like the big screen on the X, but if that size device is too big for you, don't get it. The current trend seems to be 4.3" screens. They are great for using/browsing, as well as typing. I know the Fascinate is a smaller device, but I don't know anything about it.

If I were you, I'd get the Thunderbolt when it's released (possibly tomorrow, if not, probably inside of 3 weeks). Use it for 2 weeks and if you don't love it, take it back and get an X or a Fascinate.

Keep in mind that whatever you get, you'll need to give it a few days of fully charging, then using it, to get the battery to "settle in" and give its best usage. You should be able to go a full day on a charge, but it wont be like your ENV that might give you a few days between charging. On the plus side...you can do so much more with the android.

Whatever you get, go to youtube and watch videos on Android (any phone). They'll get you up and running on all the things you can do with your phone and show you how to set stuff up. For me, I always find it easy if I can watch somebody do something.
 
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MikeBinOK

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If you haven't used a small device with a touch screen before, you might want to see if you can get access to a working device with a small touch screen and try it out. Even an iPod Touch would do. The reason I mention this is because for many people (me included) small-sized touch screens lead to errors in not hitting the right link when web browsing, or just pushing the wrong button in other cases. I had a lot of trouble with this when I went from my old Treo (which used a stylus and which I could use very precisely) to a touchscreen phone with a smallish screen. I found my error rate went up and was frustrating. Then I went to an EVO (which won't be available on Verizon) and found that the 4.3 inch screen was MUCH easier for me to use. I had this highlighted for me recently when I had to use an iPod Touch with a 3.5 inch screen for awhile, and found it very frustrating.

My point is that if you try this out, you may find a device with a larger screen easier to use if you are thick fingered and/or clumsy such as me! A 4 inch or 4.3 inch screen will help a lot of that is the case. Only way to know for sure is to get working devices with different size screens and try them out.
 

AmousmosesMW

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Good Point Claw.

I barely use my virtual keypad now because I make so many typo errors on it compared to using the physical keypad (which is really no larger than the virtual keypad, but I guess being able to feel the keys is what makes the difference). Testing it out was one of the reasons why I have been holding out for the Thunderbolt - so that I could play on it and it's keypad to see how I do. :0)

Thanks.
 

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