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  • Smartphones

    Thats correct, another one of these threads! Recently spent some time reading reviews, and getting some hands on with some new phones, and i am increadibly impressed by them all. Reason being i want to make an informed choice when i get my new contract.

    iPhone is first, and the easiest. It has all been said before....

    Now we are getting somewhere....

    HTC Google G1

    Anyone got one yet? Looks great, and is made by HTC, so has some pedigree. I realise its an ugly bugger, but i am very very impressed by the android OS. Also, as its based on linux and is open source, the apps could be great. That is something that annoyed me about blackberrys, and iPhone, controlled apps. Hopefully a flash player and some video capture and playback software will come soon. Thoughts, horror stories, stick 'em up....

    HTC Diamond series.

    These look great, and run windows mobile. Anyone any experience with these? Is it just microsoft bashing like always when people say windows mobile is slow, or is it really that bad? HTC interface and software? Big fan of mini opera which these use as browsers, but not a lover of needing a stylus.

    Be great to get opinions and thoughts, watched a lot of youtube vids on all these, but impartial hands on stuff would be great!!

  • #2
    Re: Smartphones

    Nope, they look good, but Im not going to get one any time soon.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Smartphones

      Which ones can do wifi along with regular cellular, so they can piggyback on a network for cheaper service when one is available?
      Dude, seriously, WHAT handkerchief?

      snooggums' density principal: "The more dense a population, the more dense a population."

      Iliana: "You're a great friend but if we're ever chased by zombies I'm tripping you."

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Smartphones

        I've been looking at a crack-berry myself the Pearl Series. I just can't justify a $90 cell phone bill when I only use about 300 to 400 minuets a month MAX. Yeah unlimited data sounds cool and all, but $90 a month?

        The good news is that they (Alltel) are working to upgrade their towers so that it will be a 1 meg down and a 512mb up versus the 128mb up that they currently have. (Or at least that is what the sales guy told me.) If it is true then I would be able to run BF2142 over my a Smart Phone data connection and it would be worth the money because I wouldn't need DSL.

        Oh well as it is I'm still looking.

        As for the HTC, I don't think that it was the exact model in question but a co-worker had an HTC for about a week, then returned it because the reception was CRAP.

        ~ Draken

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Smartphones

          Graphics intensive post. Sorry about the picture quality, im freaking tired and these were taken on my kitchen counter with a crap camera. Tried to clean them up with PS a bit, but im too tired to really do much, maybe I'll update the pictures later on. Probably not. Deal with it :D

          I have a G1. It rocks. Plain and simple.

          Let me start out with a few common sense things that all gamer will understand:
          You cannot compare this phone with the iphone reasonably. It would be like comparing Battlefield 2 and Project Reality. Sure, they share some of the same qualities, but one is a well established, polished and has been out for a long time, and the other is a beta project that is constantly being worked on.


          So lets outline this:
          The G1 came out in late september for media previews. General T-Mobile customers started getting theirs on the 20th of october through pre-order.
          -The phone is equipped with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, 3G networking and GPS.
          -It uses the android market for applications, has onboard google maps (including street view that moves with the phone when "compass mode" is turned on using the onboard accelerometer).
          -It has a full touch screen that responds not to direct touch by any object like the iphone, but through the electrical signals in your skin (you cannot use the touchscreen with anything but your finger).
          -The screen slides sideways to reveal a full qwerty keyboard.
          -It also has a trackball below the screen that can be used to navigate any of the phone's menus and features (same as the blackberry curve/pearl).
          -It has a 3MP camera with autofocus (no flash, but auto-light adjust...dont take pictures in the dark kids), but currently no video recording capability (promised update later).
          -It can support up to a 16GB micro SD card.
          -The battery is removable. iPhone users who wish they could have a spare battery know all about this one.

          So thats the basic features. Now I'll get a little more in-depth.

          Touch Screen:
          I have found the screen to be super-responsive and very accurate. You can "long press" on the main screen to move icons around, as well as long-pressing to drag icons from the menu to the main screen. The main screen is broken down into three sections that you can access by sliding your finger right or left across the screen. You can also add widgets (currently there are only 3 with the promise of more later) to the main screen. The notifications bar at the top shows the battery, time, signal strength and network type (3G, EDGE, or GPRS) by default. Any other features turned on (such as GPS, Wi-Fi) are also shown. Anytime an email or message is received, an icon appears in the bar, which can be expanded by dragging it down with your finger. Once expanded, the notifications are displayed, along with a brief "excerpt" of what was received. To open any of the notifications, one tap is all thats required to bring up whatever you got.

          Phone:

          The phone syncs itself with your GMail account and automatically downloads your contacts (can be turned off if you want). The dialer can be used through the touch screen or by using the numbers on the qwerty keyboard. The downside is that answering or ending a call (or dialing one) requires you to push the send/end buttons located near the trackball. The earpiece, microphone and speaker all have excellent clarity. Bluetooth is mono at the moment, but HTC and google have promised stereo capability in a firmware upgrade down the pipe. There is no speed dial, but a program called AnyCut allows visual speed dial (explained later).


          Interface:

          The software is easy to use. Everything is laid out in a very easy-to-use manner. The menus are all draggable, and all icons on them are arranged alphabetically. The menu button provides quick on-screen access to extra options that programs or functions might have.


          Android:

          Wow. This is without a doubt my favorite thing about the phone. The android marketplace (where you download apps) premiered during the media opening as a beta (even though to date it still says "beta" on the marketplace screen). Originally, there were about 13 pre-developed programs and 4-5 games. The android market opened on october 25th to all programmers for uploading applications. To date (less than a week later) there are over 100 programs and 20 games. Most of the programs at this point are relatively basic while programmers learn to create bigger and better things. However, there are several AWESOME applications, such as shop-savvy, which allows you to use the camera on the phone to scan ANY barcode and the program automatically searches the internet and local stores to find you the cheapest price on the scanned item. Thats just one. I currently have the following applications installed:
          Bank Of America Account Management - This one needs no explanation.
          Shop Savvy-Explained
          AnyCut - Allows you to create custom shortcuts to ANYTHING on the phone, including visual speed-dial icons.
          GPS Tracker - Self-explanatory. Has web support and a facebook extension so your buddies can see where you are. Can also be activated by text message if someone steals your phone or you lose it.
          Ringdroid - Allows you to cut audio files for ringtones directly from your phone. Best interface ive seen yet.
          Shazam - Audio scanner that "reads" music playing around you and automatically links you to youtube and/or media download sites.
          The Weather Channel - Self explanatory.
          Translate - uses google translate (languages people, languages.)
          Tunes Remote - turns the G1 into a remote control for itunes on my computers.


          So I dont have much. But my phone is more for practical use. My brother has a bunch of the silly apps on his phone, like the strobe light app and the "pet your phone app (you stroke the screen which has been transformed to look like a tribble [if you dont know what a tribble is, go watch old school star trek] and the phone vibrates).

          Built in applications:

          The phone comes pre-equipped with lots of things. The mentionables are AmazonMP3 (same thing as itunes, except everything is DRM free by default), onboard gmail support (its a google phone...duh), pop3 email support, onboard browser (very fast, scalable, zoomable, works with touch screen, trackball AND keyboard), IM application that works with google talk, AIM, yahooIM and others (no skype, but there is an app in the AM for skype), and, of course, youtube.


          Some extra stuff:

          Google is on the ball with this baby. Within a week of release, google already released 2 over-the-air updates for the phone to fix bugs and improve functionality. You can either wait for these to download automatically (done while the phone is idle) or you can sideload them on to the phone with the data cable after you donwload them from google. They have a laundry list of stuff left to fix and tweak, but seriously, the phone is 2 weeks old. Wait until its as old as the iphone and we'll be looking at a very very refined android OS.

          The battery life is a bit lacking, but thats probably because the phone is a freaking workhorse. It's about equivalent to an iphone 3g. With everything turned on (3g, wifi, bluetooth, gps, constantly using apps, playing with google maps, making calls, etc) i get about a 4 hour battery life. For common use (GPS on passive wakeup every 150 seconds for a ping to the tracker, wifi/bluetooth off, making normal calls, limited web browsing...basically in "cell phone" mode) i get around 10 hours. When its on the charger, it doesnt matter (nothing can drain it faster than it can charge and this thing charges from 0 to 100% in about 30 mins). It's compatable with any micro-usb charger (blackberry chargers work!).

          Some people think it's clunky, i disagree. Its the same size as the iphone in height and width, but it's much thicker in depth. Thats the only real difference. But it has a slide out screen and full keyboard, which is mucho worth it.

          So bottom line: this phone is a 10...waiting to happen. Right now, I'd give it a 9.5. Once we start getting some of the promised functionality fixes from the folks at google, it will be a full 10.

          Pricing: (all prices in USD)
          Phone - $179 with 2 year contract, $279 with 1 year extension to current contract, $399 full price.
          Plans: any T-Mobile voice plan will work with the phone. you HAVE to get a data plan though (they wont sell you one without it, and quite frankly, youd have to be an idiot not to get one anyway...thats like buying a multiplayer only game and saying "i dont need the internet!"). The data plans are as follows:
          $25/mo for unlimited data and 400 messages (text, MMS, IM, email other than GMail) or $35/mo for unlimited data and messages. Basically, with the myfaves 300 plan (pretty much the cheapest plan you can get), i pay 75 bucks a month for 300 minutes, unlimited nights and weekends, 5 people i can call for free, and all the data usage i want.

          If anyone has any other questions, let me know.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Smartphones

            stop making me want one of these!

            Other than document creation, it seems that a nice smartphone could be more useful than a netbook.

            I would expect more out of the battery life, 10 hours seems pretty low, could it be poor optimization or is that the way things are?
            Reapator, overlord of ponies

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Smartphones

              Posting from my crackberry curve. I love mine.

              42nd Recon

              ***FORMER*** 9th Mobile Infantry Detachment - Spearheads -- BY ANY MEANS --

              Without Darkness, How Could We Measure The Light?

              Damnit, I am not a hobbit!

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              • #8
                Re: Smartphones

                Thanks Ferris, great post!!! +1 for you my friend!!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Smartphones

                  Originally posted by Ferris Bueller View Post
                  i pay 75 bucks a month for 300 minutes, unlimited nights and weekends, 5 people i can call for free, and all the data usage i want.

                  If anyone has any other questions, let me know.
                  Sorry, I haven't paid for a cell phone in years... When you say "unlimited data" does it use minutes? Or could I literally surf the web 24/7 without incurring extra charges if I wanted?
                  Become a supporting member!
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                  Take the world's smallest political quiz! "I was touched by His Noodly Appendage."
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                  • #10
                    Re: Smartphones

                    You can literally surf the web 24/7 without incurring charges. Minutes are used solely for phone calls.

                    Originally posted by Reaperassault View Post
                    Other than document creation, it seems that a nice smartphone could be more useful than a netbook.

                    I would expect more out of the battery life, 10 hours seems pretty low, could it be poor optimization or is that the way things are?
                    Two things on this end:
                    The G1 doesnt currently support document creation, but is being upgraded supposedly next month with the ability to fully interface with google docs, which ill provide for that functionality.
                    The battery life is so low because the phone does so much. It's basically a small computer with lots of extra bells and whistles. If you have it on a charger, which is the smart thing to do whenever you're stationary or in the car, you'll never run out of life. My phone hasnt been turned off since i did the battery tests the day i got it.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Smartphones

                      Originally posted by Ferris Bueller View Post
                      You can literally surf the web 24/7 without incurring charges. Minutes are used solely for phone calls.
                      And I could somehow use this data connection to provide internet to a laptop, as Draken indicated?

                      Man, I didn't know exactly what I was missing!
                      Become a supporting member!
                      Buy a Tactical Duck!
                      Take the world's smallest political quiz! "I was touched by His Noodly Appendage."
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                      • #12
                        Re: Smartphones

                        Internet through a cell phone isn't exactly fast.

                        Originally posted by Reaperassault
                        Other than document creation, it seems that a nice smartphone could be more useful than a netbook.
                        I would disagree. Unless you can edit webpages, type Word 2007 documents, and play Starcraft on there, I'd stick with a netbook and keep my oldie tri-band cell. Besides, I can Skype using my netbook and also have a webcam and multimedia flash card reader.
                        |TG-18th| Acreo Aeneas
                        TG World of Tanks Clan Executive Officer
                        Former 9th & 13th

                        Pronounciation: Eh-Cree-Oh Ah-Nay-Ess
                        Still can't say it? Call me Acorn then. -.-





                        SSDs I Own: Kingston HyperX 3K (240 GB), Samsung 840 Pro (256 GB), Samsung 840 EVO (250 GB), Samsung 840 x 2 (120 GB), Plextor M5S (120 GB), OCZ Vertex (30 GB)

                        TG Primer and Rules

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                        • #13
                          Re: Smartphones

                          well I don't do/use any of those features so for me a smartphone would be more useful. as for document creation something like word was what I was trying to allude to but it doesn't have to be that sophisticated just something to take some notes for class on.

                          something like viewing a powerpoint would be something that would hold me back from a smartphone, unless you can?

                          I'd much rather have a device that could:
                          1) be used to make a phone call
                          2) take pictures
                          3) listen to music and video
                          4) be in my pocket for everyday use
                          5) use the internet
                          6) write text documents

                          it seems that technology is getting close to meeting what I want. maybe something like Nvidia's Tigra will be able to do what I want or Intel's atom SoC (morestown may be?)
                          Reapator, overlord of ponies

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Smartphones

                            Windows mobiles can be used for powerpoint, word etc out of the box, as can blackberrys with certain apps added on, and the iphone to i believe. These things rock so much, its crazy!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Smartphones

                              Yes they can, but the screen is tiny. So unless you plan on squinting at the screen for many hours while you're doing homework or following along in class, get a netbook. You can make phone calls through Skype (provided you have some money in your account).
                              |TG-18th| Acreo Aeneas
                              TG World of Tanks Clan Executive Officer
                              Former 9th & 13th

                              Pronounciation: Eh-Cree-Oh Ah-Nay-Ess
                              Still can't say it? Call me Acorn then. -.-





                              SSDs I Own: Kingston HyperX 3K (240 GB), Samsung 840 Pro (256 GB), Samsung 840 EVO (250 GB), Samsung 840 x 2 (120 GB), Plextor M5S (120 GB), OCZ Vertex (30 GB)

                              TG Primer and Rules

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