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child of 2

thinking about a smartphone

20 posts in this topic

I have a flip phone right now, under a family plan with my parents, and I don't pay for it. Right now, all my phone does is call, text, and take blurry pictures. But I'm contemplating on upgrading to a smartphone. The primary reason I would do it would be to get a small nifty GPS that would let me look up places and go. Also, it would be nice to be able to have something durable and reliable such that if I accidentally drop it, it's not going to be a big deal. I don't care for anything else at the moment; facebook, angry birds, and all of that good stuff don't really interest me. I have no idea where to begin, between iphone, android, samsung or blackberry. 

 

Help me get started. thanks

 

 

PS. I'm really wanting this so I can bike around in a big city and not get horribly lost. my crappy garmin is super slow, and doesn't have updating capability. So in other words, small, durable, inexpensive plan, with GPS

Edited by child of 2

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I can recommend any of the Google phones (Galaxy Nexus, Nexus 4 etc). They always come with the latest stock Android and you can also install any other operating system/Android mod on the them.

Additionally, they are pretty cheap. The Galaxy Nexus is around 300 bucks and should be enough for your purposes.

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I am not an Apple fangirl. My iPhone is the only Apple product I own, but I really like it. I'm generally good with computers, but always found the Android interface to be overwhelming and confusing. I don't feel the need to have the latest and greatest, so just waited until the iPhone 4 was released and bought the 3GS model for $50. Apple usually keeps three models available - the newest for $200-$300, the next newest model for $50, and the third new/old one for free (all prices with phone contract).

 

I'd recommend going to the phone store and playing around with a few models. There are legitimate reasons to love both iOS and Android, and I've found people tend to love one and dislike the other.

 

I'm also on my parents plan - most phone companies offer shared data bundles for family plans. We found that my parents together (without me) used more data than the smallest bundle, while the three of us can comfortably share the next size up, so the only expense in having me on the plan is the cost of the exra line. This is definitely worth looking into if your parents already have smartphones or are interested in them.

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I have experience only with the iPhone (got it when it first came out years ago). Before that I had a flip phone.

 

On a recent trip to Chicago, I found my iPhone incredibly useful--the maps app for figuring out where I was, Yelp for figuring out where to eat, and the camera for taking good quality pictures (which I could upload immediately to FB). The maps app works like a GPS now, so on my drive to Chicago, I used it for directions, and I never got lost. I bought an INCIPIO rubbery case for my phone, and the case has worked great--I've dropped it numerous times on the floor or ground, and no damage was done.

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I'm a big fan of Samsung's Galaxy line, particularly my Galaxy Nexus. It's a Google phone and has been fantastic over the past year. My boyfriend has an iPhone and he loves it, so you can't go wrong with either one.

 

One recommendation - since you'll be biking around and you want a durable phone, you may want to get a heavy duty case like an Otter Box. I got one for the boyfriend because he's into extreme sports and the outdoors and that thing is unbeatable.

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It's a simple question, in my opinion.

 

If you want a smartphone that has a plethora of (mostly) well-vetted, well-designed apps that integrate smoothly into the phone's OS and simply work as they're supposed to, a phone that is extremely well designed inside and out, whether software and hardware complement each other--go for the iPhone.

 

If you want a smartphone that has a plethora of apps, a much more customisable (and consequently less-stable, less-consistent) OS, a variety of hardware options with questionable hardware/software integration--go for an Android-based phone. 

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Smartphones will change your life, true story.

 

I have a Virgin Mobile HTC EVO. I pay about 50 a month (that is plus insurance) for unlimited texts and data with 1200 minutes (i believe, but nobody calls me except my family...and I hate making phone calls)

 

It is fine. I use it to read reviews of makeup when I am at Ulta, Sephora, or CVS lol and look up restaurant reviews. Also, I track my eating and body measurements, do online banking, check my various emails, stalk FB, and take food pictures, read ebooks, and play word games. All apps I use are free :)

 

My brother has used my GPS many times on the phone and it has been helpful getting to places.

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here's why I don't care for facebook, flash games and all those fancy apps

 

100628_evolution.jpg

 

I'm at phase 4 now, and i'd rather keep at that before I become one of those smartphone cyber witches.

 

Actually I think I might forgo the thought of getting a smartphone. the GPS kills the battery, and my old GPS is good enough to allow me to save locations and not get lost. My family pays $16 bucks/month for our plan...  also, I can afford to drop my phone, and not give a shit. Thanks for the help though

Edited by child of 2

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Smartphone cyber witches.

 

Well, that doesn't sound flattering at all.

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There's actually a good point about smartphones. I had used a smartphone before but I find it really distracts me. It's too temping to use your smartphone whenever you have to stay still and wait for something (standing in a queue, going in a bus, trying to fall asleep, etc). However, I prefer to stay clear-minded and not mix all aspects of my life together. Everything has its own time, including the things you over-do due to your smartphone. Better spend that "boring idle" time to reflect on the recent past or to plan your nearest future. And even nodding off or reading a book will keep you in a more "sober" state.

 

But that's of course IMHO and, despite sounding that way, I'm not saying anyone should agree with me. Just explaining one of the many opinions that have their right to exist.

Edited by froup

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I am a proud smart phone cyber witch! I used to only have a flip phone until last September and I am pretty happy to have a smartphone now. I am paying the same monthly rate in the US for my smartphone with data, unlimited talk & text as I did for my "dumbphone" in Canada with only 100 minutes and unlimited text.

 

It's true though, that if you only wanted to use your smartphone as a GPS nav. device, then there's no need for a smartphone! Even if you bought a brand new GPS nav device ($100 ish?), it would not only work better than the phone's GPS nav function, but also be cheaper in the long run! With nav on, the battery drains my phone in about 2-3 hours, so I usually use an external nav device anyways (or plug my phone into the car).

 

However, I do love the convenience of smart phones. There's lots of traveling in grad school, so it's super helpful at the airport to look stuff up. Last month, I was at the dentist and I was supposed to have emailed my x-rays from my old dentist to the new one but I accidentally sent it to the wrong email address. Fortunately, with my phone, I could just resend that email with the corrected email -- no need to bike home in the heat, yay! The power of technology can be used for good too, not just evil anti-social witchy behaviour (although I do like my ability to do "evil" -- e.g. play with my phone when waiting in public so that random people don't try to talk to me).

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Honestly, I'd say just go to the store and play around with them. I've found that iOS is the best fit for me, so I've stuck with iphones for the last 3 years. That being said, I still play with my friends' phones and other phones at the ATT store from time to time to see if anything interests me from any of the other lines. So far, nothing has drawn me away from the iPhone though.

 

That being said, the only one I'd say to just skip altogether is Blackberry. I know, I know, some people still love them, but they really just aren't where they need to be in my opinion. But everything else has viable options I'd say. You just have to find out what feels right to you.

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I'm afraid to pull out my phone when I'm with friends now. When I do that, they're like "omg that thing is ancient. let me see it!!" It's like I'm from the 60s or something.

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I use my iPhone for some of the purposes you mentioned. While I'm sure you can get similar features on androids or whatever else is out there (admittedly I am an avid iPhone user since the first gen. so can't speak to anything else), I have been using google maps to help me with the bus schedules in my new area. Not only does it give me the schedule, but the buses here only stop at request and even then, the stops are marked with a small sign with the number, so I use the GPS function in google maps to help me figure out when I need to request a stop. It's been very helpful in learning the layout of my new city.

 

As far as usage when biking, I have a bike mount that I use which is pretty cool. You can attach it to the handlebars so you can use it as a real GPS rather than stopping when lost.

I am also a big fan of the iPhone because of iMessage and FaceTime. I used them a lot before, but now that I am abroad, these are a huge asset when communicating with friends back home.

The biggest downside, however, is the battery life. I had an iPhone back in the States and it didn't seem to be a problem, but since I got a Canadian iPhone 5 the battery only lasts about 3/4 of a day. This may be due to my increase dependence on it, but if you plan accordingly it shouldnt be a problem (e.g., make sure your phone is charged when going out for awhile and anticipate using the GPS function...my phone died on one of the first days alone in my new city and I ended up getting pretty lost)

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Hey child of 2,

 

As someone still using a flip phone, I understand where you are coming from! I have been shopping around myself for a new phone with the same principles in mind.

 

The cheapest smart phone plan I have come across is with Republic Wireless. It offers unlimited talk, text, and 3G data for $20 per month. I haven't found a similar deal with a major carrier. The catch is that the plan is compatible only with the Motorola DEFY smart phone, which costs $200 new. It's got all of your smart phone gadgets. 

 

Here is a link: http://www.republicwireless.com/what-it-costs

 

Hope this helps!

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I own a Galaxy S line phone and I love it. I upgraded from a Galaxy S 4G. They are a bit bigger than the iPhones, which allows you to read PDFs and Kindle books easily.

If you are really used to the Windows interface, you could also go for a Windows phone. I would second what someone else said about going in and playing with the phones.

And don't listen to the person who said that Androids are unstable or have questionable hardware. My phone works perfectly.

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