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658238 Posts in 9262 Topics by 3396 Members Latest Member: - vlozan86 Most online today: 38 - most online ever: 494 (Jul 01, 2007, 02:59:53 PM)
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Author Topic: Help GI buy a phone  (Read 1984 times)
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Good Intentions
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Posts: 13882


« on: Sep 20, 2009, 04:33:38 AM »

Hi guys

I need a new phone. Normally I'd use this opportunity to get the most basic, reliable phone available, but I also should get myself a camera and can do with a music player. So I've been thinking about getting one of those ludicrously overdesigned smartphones. I've even (brace yourself) seriously considered buying an iPhone. But I'm not really up to date with all this techwizzery, os, I ask you LPTJ: what phone should I get?

I would very, very much prefer to get one unlocked, because I'm going to move country at least twice in the next year, so a contract isn't going to do me any good. The main things I'm looking for are the availability of good apps - I know the iPhone has gazillions of great ones, and my interest is piqued by what's happening with Android, while I'm not enthusiastic about Windows Mobile at all - and sound quality for the music player (I listen to FLACs, mostly).
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clare
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Posts: 5192


« Reply #1 on: Sep 20, 2009, 08:28:18 AM »

GI!!! How's the new country? I'm no help, just wanted to say hello. Oh, and get an iPhone.
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You must have a very long, thin, tapered penis.
Good Intentions
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Posts: 13882


« Reply #2 on: Sep 20, 2009, 08:38:10 AM »

There's lots of bikes here. Lots and lots of bikes.
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clare
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Posts: 5192


« Reply #3 on: Sep 20, 2009, 08:39:11 AM »

Yes. you should get a bicycle powered phone.
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You must have a very long, thin, tapered penis.
elpollodiablo
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Posts: 32624


« Reply #4 on: Sep 20, 2009, 08:55:31 AM »

Just get an iPhone. If you can't buy one unlocked, you can jailbreak it and unlock it yourself. If not an iPhone, I'd look into one of the new generation of Android phones.
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think 'on the road.'
Good Intentions
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Posts: 13882


« Reply #5 on: Sep 20, 2009, 11:46:27 AM »

Re: the new Android phones: does someone have any recommendations?
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elpollodiablo
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Posts: 32624


« Reply #6 on: Sep 20, 2009, 02:36:45 PM »

I've heard good things about the HTC Hero, but I dunno. My experience with Android wasn't very positive.

*If you're hell-bent on Android, though, two things to keep in mind: 1) The Android virtual keyboard is fucking terrible, like almost unusably bad, and 2) Your selection of Android phones with physical keyboards is kind of limited. Don't buy the G1/HTC Dream; it's really underpowered and is aging poorly to boot. The HTC Hero looks promising and I've heard that HTC's reworking of the virtual keyboard is better than the stock one from Google but still doesn't even work as well as that of the iPhone/iPod touch--which is far from perfect. People are saying good things about the Motorola Cliq, but it also seems like a mixed bag. Basically there hasn't been an Android phone yet that rivals the iPhone in terms of performance, functionality, and ease of use. But I'm sure it's coming.
« Last Edit: Sep 20, 2009, 02:54:35 PM by elpollodiablo » Logged

think 'on the road.'
alistarr*
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Posts: 8129


« Reply #7 on: Sep 21, 2009, 05:56:49 AM »

The main things I'm looking for are the availability of good apps

apps to do what?

nokia's upmarket range of phone are pretty good and some of them have excellent cameras - i'm thinking of the N97, etc, though it's been a year since i was admiring that. the upmarket sony ericsson phones are good for music. with the nokias you can get office mobile for reading word docs, updating spreadsheets, that kind of thing, and there are GPS/map/direction-giving solutions for each if that's your thing, though there may be an additional charge with some of them.

the iphone is a wonder of technology when you see someone watching youtube on the train or whatever, but sound quality's not as good as half decent headphones paired up with a sony ericsson, for my money, so i guess you'll have to decide what you're comfortable with on that front. the camera's nothing special either. but what do i know, i think phone cameras are for taking pictures of your drunk friends in bars and nothing else, and that using a phone to play music is a retarded idea for idiots. though i can appreciate that some retarded idiots people like to only carry around one piece of electronic equipment. and you can get apps that use the accelerometer to make the thing look like a jar of water sloshing around or whatever if that's your bag.

some people are getting really excited about iphone games. other people hate the lack of buttons. some people (me) are probably just biased and would say they don't like it anyway. i think the iphone's a pretty good all-in-one thing, but i say it as someone who dislikes all the compromise that goes into all-in-one things.

here endeth my rambling thoughts on the matter. i will say, though, that if europe is anything like britain then you'll find it more hassle to get an iphone without a contract than basically any other phone, ever.
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Good Intentions
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Posts: 13882


« Reply #8 on: Sep 21, 2009, 09:10:02 AM »

The best portable music player I've had was my Nintendo DS, so I'm open to the possibility that a non-dedicated player could do a decent job of it.
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alistarr*
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Posts: 8129


« Reply #9 on: Sep 21, 2009, 09:45:45 AM »

yeah, i'm fully aware i have a bit of a problem. the browser for music seems pretty nice on yer iphone, which is half the battle.
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elpollodiablo
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Posts: 32624


« Reply #10 on: Sep 21, 2009, 10:12:08 AM »

Also: beware any phone without a standard headphone jack. This was one of the reasons I ultimately gave up on the G1, cuz I was sick of carrying around that stupid little proprietary adapter.
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think 'on the road.'
Good Intentions
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Posts: 13882


« Reply #11 on: Sep 21, 2009, 10:15:21 AM »

Yeah, I hear you.
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elpollodiablo
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« Reply #12 on: Sep 25, 2009, 02:38:11 PM »

Any progress?
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think 'on the road.'
Good Intentions
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Posts: 13882


« Reply #13 on: Sep 27, 2009, 02:41:38 PM »

I'll probably get an HTC Hero. iPhones are really goddamn expensive.
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elpollodiablo
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Posts: 32624


« Reply #14 on: Sep 27, 2009, 09:58:02 PM »

What's the Hero run there?
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think 'on the road.'
Good Intentions
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Posts: 13882


« Reply #15 on: Sep 28, 2009, 08:17:56 AM »

Android. It's got a 3.5mm heaphone jack, a decent camera, and costs about half of what an iPhone does here in Euroland.
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elpollodiablo
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Posts: 32624


« Reply #16 on: Sep 28, 2009, 10:07:33 AM »

Sweet. yeah, I knew it ran Android, just curious as to the cost. How does the carrier contract thing work over there? I understand you can buy any handset off-contract, but you still have the option to purchase a subsidized one under contract, right?
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think 'on the road.'
Good Intentions
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Posts: 13882


« Reply #17 on: Sep 28, 2009, 10:19:19 AM »

Depends from country to country: in Belgium subsidised contracts are illegal, for instance, and it's one of the best places in the world to buy unlocked iPhones (which is why they're never in stock there). Here in the Netherlands it's hard to buy phones without a contract (and basically impossible for iPhones). I got the HTC Hero over Amazon.co.uk for about 400 euros (about US$585), and I shopped around. You can't seem to get an iPhone loose for under US$1000 in Europe, and here in the Netherlands the Apple stores don't even sell them, you have to get them from the telco.
« Last Edit: Sep 28, 2009, 10:20:57 AM by Good Intentions » Logged
elpollodiablo
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Posts: 32624


« Reply #18 on: Sep 28, 2009, 10:29:45 AM »

Goddamn, dude. If you wanted a 3g iPhone, you coulda scored one unlocked on craigslist here for about 300 bones. Not sure how the unlocking process works w/r/t overseas carriers, though.
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think 'on the road.'
Good Intentions
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Posts: 13882


« Reply #19 on: Sep 28, 2009, 11:30:23 AM »

Well, this way has the advantages of (1) being entirely legal, normal and not frowned upon, meaning I get a warranty, etc, (2) not having to pay hundreds of dollars to some dude on Craigslist hoping he's on the lever, and (3) being in Europe, so I don't need to worry about shipping, customs etc.

(At least, that's ho my rationalisation goes)
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elpollodiablo
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Posts: 32624


« Reply #20 on: Sep 28, 2009, 07:13:05 PM »

Word. Interested to hear what you think of it.

Seriously keep the receipt until you spend some time with the soft keyboard, though.
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think 'on the road.'
alex
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Posts: 6287


« Reply #21 on: Sep 29, 2009, 01:07:40 PM »

Here in the Netherlands it's hard to buy phones without a contract (and basically impossible for iPhones).

This might be true for smartphones, by the way, and certainly is for the iPhone, but I don't think it's true for low-to-mid range phones -- in fact, certainly compared to Austria, A LOT of people here use prepaid phones, and while many of them undoubtedly get their phones straight from the phone company they use, too, you can easily get them simlock-free too. I certainly had no troubles buying a new entry-level, simlock- and contract-free Samsung the other day, in any case.
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Good Intentions
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Posts: 13882


« Reply #22 on: Oct 06, 2009, 04:15:36 PM »

So, I've had my Hero for a few days now, getting used to it. I think I can get used to it, you know: it's quite a good media player (if anything, better than my laptop - god, how I miss my sound card), and I'm enjoying all the smart phone trappings of reading my email, pdfs, documents, etc on the run. You'll be glad to know, pollo, that HTC did a bunch of suff to the software on the phone, including replacing the Android keyboard with one of their own. It works fine for me, except if I'm not holding the phone in my hand, for some reason. But, yeah, gadgetry ahoy!
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