Author Topic: New phone  (Read 1822 times)

Offline Bill

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New phone
« on: Nov 28, 2016, 11:03 AM »
Sometime early in Dec. I'm going to upgrade my device, presently an htc one (8).  I'm looking at the htc 10 and the Google Pixel.  Similar specs. for both with the htc with a marginally better battery and camera.  The Pixel is one version of android ahead of the htc.

I like Google stuff but one of my concerns is that, IMO, Google tends to integrate itself with any other google related item whether I want to or not.  And it's difficult to unsync. things.  I'm not a power user, email, texts and calls and infrequently a data  look up on the net. I have visions of Google linking to my Gmail account to the exclusion of my primary email with my ISP and so on.

Any thoughts or recommendations?
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Re: New phone
« Reply #1 on: Nov 28, 2016, 12:24 PM »
My preference is for a smartphone that is as close to stock Android as possible. Obviously the Pixel and Nexus smartphones will be pure Android. Motorola is nearly stock, with only a few useful tweaks. The other consideration is the frequency of software and security updates, as the Pixel and Nexus phones will be first in line.

I don't have much advice on your concerns of Google integrating everything, but I certainly understand where you're coming from. I somewhat run with the defaults, but have managed to disable some items I don't care for. How your ISP mail will be affected is beyond me.

My daughter Megan needed to replace her old Moto X, and I steered her toward a Nexus phone purchased directly from Google Project Fi. She paid $249 for a 32GB LG Nexus 5X (normally $399), plus the first month of Project Fi service ($30). There is no contract, so she will cancel the service next week and switch back to T-Mobile. While Project Fi has worked very well for Megan, it's cheaper for her to ride on my T-Mobile plan at $10 a month with unlimited data.

My youngest sister and her husband have been on Project Fi since last March and they swear by it (he's a techno geek and Boeing software engineer). My sister also has the LG Nexus 5X. Her husband has the older Motorola Nexus 6. As far as the Nexus 5X is concerned, both her and Megan are very pleased with their smartphones. Unfortunately Google is not discounting Pixel phones through Project Fi, but you can get a heavily discounted Huawei Nexus 6P ($349). The Nexus 6P is still considered by many among the best Android phones available.

In a nutshell, Project Fi works like this:

  • You must have a Pixel, Pixel XL, Nexus 5X, Nexus 6 or Nexus 6P
  • The plan is $20 monthly per phone
  • The data is $10 monthly per 1GB
  • Data overage is charged at 10 cents per megabyte on the next bill
  • Unused data is refunded at 10 cents per megabyte on the next bill
  • The service automatically switches to the strongest signal between T-Mobile, Sprint and US Cellular
  • To get the Nexus discount, you must purchase the first month of Project Fi service at $30
  • No contracts... cancel whenever

It can't hurt to consider Project Fi. If I was pressed to buy a phone today, I'd likely take this route with a Huawei Nexus 6P. I average 1/2 GB of cellular data per month, so I'd be looking at $25-ish per month for a single line. Consider this: If Project Fi works well in your area and you're a light data user, you'll save a boatload of cash. If it doesn't, very little is lost. Simply cancel Project Fi and take your new smartphone to whatever provider works best for you. Regardless, a new 32GB Huawei Nexus 6p for $349 is nothing to sneeze at.

Check out this incredible Pixel smartphone short video: Google Pixel 4K Cinematic Video Footage

Offline Bill

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Re: New phone
« Reply #2 on: Nov 28, 2016, 03:44 PM »
Thanks a lot. I will have to sort through that with a clear head.
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Offline Bill

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Re: New phone
« Reply #3 on: Nov 30, 2016, 02:31 PM »
I took a look at coverage areas down here and the majority is 3G, not 4.  Switching to Google Fi I would lose my VZ extender which in works well the house. I am not certain I can bring a phone to VZ, I have always been under the impression that only phones sold by VZ work on the VZ network, although I could easily be wrong. The only time I really pay attention to this stuff is when I am upgrading.

I think this could easily get complicated and switching might be like starting from scratch.
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Re: New phone
« Reply #4 on: Dec 01, 2016, 12:32 AM »
You gotta do what works best for you. It worked out for my daughter, but her situation was different. I know you can bring an unlocked Pixel or Nexus phone directly to Verizon, but Verizon has to "certify" the phones for use on their network. Forget that they are fully compatible on Verizon.  ::)

Offline Bill

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Re: New phone
« Reply #5 on: Dec 01, 2016, 03:12 PM »
This afternoon I looked at and listened to the htc10, the Galaxy S7 and the Pixel.  Of the three the Pixel's speakerphone sounded the best .
I use the speaker because of my hearing loss.  The htc 10 has downgraded it's speakers from stereo to a single speaker and it sounded very cheap and tinny, the same with S7.  The tonal quality of Pixel was head and shoulders above the other two.
I am rethinking my 'fear' of Google integration, how bad could it really be? Maybe annoying but not too bad.
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Re: New phone
« Reply #6 on: Dec 01, 2016, 03:24 PM »
Annoying at times is a good description. I generally don't pay it too much attention, but as with everything else your mileage may vary.

The Pixel is highly regarded, for good reason I suppose. Since I will not buy a contracted or financed phone, paying full price for an unlocked phone is my only option. That puts the Pixel slightly out of my comfort zone, as I'd have to buy 2 of them. The Nexus 6P through the Project Fi will probably work best for our needs. As described above, I'll cancel the service in the first month and walk away with massive savings.

Offline Bill

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Re: New phone
« Reply #7 on: Dec 01, 2016, 03:39 PM »
The Pixel is a very good phone from what I read.  Problem solved, I think.  Overall I am happy with VZ service, it's just a little pricey.
But it's the best service and coverage in town.
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Re: New phone
« Reply #8 on: Dec 01, 2016, 03:55 PM »
Yeah, you gotta do what works for you.

I'm fortunate that T-Mo works well for me and my family, especially considering my job. I pay $138 monthly (tax included) for 4 lines with 10GB of data per line. To sweeten the deal, T-Mo bumped up our lines to free unlimited data through Feb 2019. They also provide a free line for my tablet along with free 200MB of data for it.

I also get to tether off of the cell phones as needed.

Offline Bill

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Re: New phone
« Reply #9 on: Dec 02, 2016, 07:04 AM »
That's quite an impressive package.  Thanks for your help.
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Offline Bill

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Re: New phone
« Reply #10 on: Dec 03, 2016, 11:00 AM »
Thanks John, but I wouldn't even touch an iPhone, or anything else Apple.  My daughter uses one and loves it, but it's been years since she tried anything else.
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Offline Bill

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Re: New phone
« Reply #11 on: Dec 04, 2016, 09:37 AM »
In my continuing research saga, as recently as a couple of weeks ago,  Pixel users have been reporting difficulty in linking the Pixel version of Blue Tooth to their cars, and do far Google hasn't acknowledged that such a problem exists. That is a very helpful feature for me.  Back to basics htc 10 vs. Galaxy S7.
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Re: New phone
« Reply #12 on: Dec 04, 2016, 11:45 AM »
I do recall reading of similar complaints. Is Motorola on the radar?

Offline Bill

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Re: New phone
« Reply #13 on: Dec 05, 2016, 07:19 AM »
The motorola offerings in the current line up are too big for me.  I have 2 friends with moto phones and I have used them. So no, not under consideration although the moto phones get rave reviews locally.  Both friends carry their Motos in a belt carrier that's larger than my holster!
« Last Edit: Dec 05, 2016, 08:16 AM by Bill »
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Re: New phone
« Reply #14 on: Dec 05, 2016, 11:32 AM »
Yeah, they have grown a bit. The original Moto X has a 4.7" screen. I continue to use mine as my alarm clock, and as an emergency backup phone.

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Re: New phone
« Reply #15 on: Dec 09, 2016, 07:41 PM »
I don't know where you are in the process of getting a new phone, but if you like the Pixel I would be willing to bet that Google is not sitting on its laurels. They are likely working on a fix for the Bluetooth problems, and there may be published workarounds.

Offline Bill

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Re: New phone
« Reply #16 on: Dec 10, 2016, 08:42 AM »
I am still pondering about this purchase.  I hope your right about Google.  There really is no rush. My htc m8 is running OK, just a little slow.  From what I read this morning, the Nexus 6p running Nougat 7 or 7.1 also has the BT problem on some devices, so it seems to be software related.  It also seems that not all Pixels have this issue, and not with all cars, but GM (me) is mentioned frequently.
Might be worth the investment in Pixel and trust Google to fix it. 

I'm going to give this a couple of days.........
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Offline Bill

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Re: New phone
« Reply #17 on: Dec 10, 2016, 10:19 AM »
I went though the VZ return program the last time around.  As I recall there was a very expensive "restocking fee", like 30%.  VZ doesn't encourage returns although you can do it.  On my initial shopping trip I did like the Pixel's look, feel, and sound.  It wasn't until I started reading user reviews that the BT issue came up.
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Re: New phone
« Reply #18 on: Dec 10, 2016, 11:49 AM »
Since this is Google's first venture into the premium smartphone market under the Pixel brand, and as a direct competitor to Apple's iPhone, it stands to reason that Google has to get this right. If the Bluetooth problem is widespread, they must fix this problem and fix it soon. To ignore it, pass the buck, or simply make excuses for it, will not work in their favor. As I see it, they have no choice other than to resolve the issue.

Scuzzy; of course, I can't guarantee anything.

Offline Bill

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Re: New phone
« Reply #19 on: Dec 10, 2016, 03:04 PM »
I agree, and for that reason I'm inclined to go with the Pixel. Maybe I'll get lucky......
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Offline Bill

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Re: New phone
« Reply #20 on: Dec 14, 2016, 03:29 PM »
Yesterday  Google rolled out Nougat 7.1.1 and it had no effect on BT connectivity, as reported in the Pixel Support Community.

I may pass on the whole deal and sit tight.
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Re: New phone
« Reply #21 on: Dec 15, 2016, 10:54 AM »
It's probably just as well, Bill. I meant to poast a link about top end phones vs. cheaper alternatives, but I forgot and lost the link. The bottom line was that many mid-range phones rival the specs on the status symbol phones, sometimes at half the cost.

Found it: Aren't flagship hones just status symbols?

My old Moto X phones (2+ years old) thankfully continue to get the job done. But I would not have a problem going with a month of Google's Fi Project just to get my dirty little paws on some new Nexus phones, and then simply drop my T-Mobile SIM cards into them.

Offline Bill

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Re: New phone
« Reply #22 on: Dec 16, 2016, 09:48 AM »
Thanks for that, interesting article, and probably true.  Trick is to pick the mid priced one that works.  Always a problem for me.  I have more confidence buying the flagship.  And with the VZ contract, the top three are all the same, $199.99.
Still in a holding pattern, checking on the Pixel BT issue.
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Re: New phone
« Reply #23 on: Dec 16, 2016, 09:54 AM »
I forgot about the contract part. I pay retail for whatever phone I want and then bring it over to T-Mo. That saves me boatloads of cash over time, especially when I get the phones on sale. It's also what gives me pause in getting a Pixel phone.  :P

Offline Bill

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Re: New phone
« Reply #24 on: Dec 16, 2016, 12:18 PM »
Yes indeed,they are very expensive.  And if I had to pay retail, I wouldn't.
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Offline Bill

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Re: New phone
« Reply #25 on: Jan 02, 2017, 03:27 PM »
Over the holiday weekend major portions of my htc 8 quit.  Wouldn't download sms attachments, wouldn't connect to my ISP for email, and a few other things, all pointing to a dying device. 
Yesterday I reviewed more phone reviews and concluded that the HTC 10 seemed to be the best compromise for me.  Not wild about the S7 touch gui and the Pixel B/T issue still hasn't been addressed.  When I got to the VZ store, my dislike for S7 and the store personnel wouldn't admit the B/T issue existed.  However I was really underwhelmed with the HTC 10, it is the same size as my current phone but the screen is a little larger and very bright.  The phone audio didn't sound particularly solid but it was better than it's competition. 
So I brought the HTC 10 home.  I'm hoping it will grow on me, but it certainly didn't get me excited.



« Last Edit: Feb 26, 2017, 10:01 AM by Bill »
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Re: New phone
« Reply #26 on: Jan 03, 2017, 01:12 AM »
Well, I guess that's it then. I certainly don't blame you on shying away from Samsung. I generally cannot stand their phones and I don't see what the big deal is. My work cell is a Galaxy S5 and I cannot wait for the day that I return it. I loathe the interface, especially coming from mostly stock android.

I hope the new phone exceeds your expectations and first impressions.

Offline Bill

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Re: New phone
« Reply #27 on: Jan 03, 2017, 09:53 AM »
Thanks, me too.  JA, the battery is not removable.  As it is, the htc 8  could still can make phone calls before it was deactivated, so it can serve as a backup if needed.  I hope I don't need it for that, ever.
I will live with it.
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