4G Android phone megathread

Fratboy

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Rembrat, what network? I'm curious, since I'm thinking about ditching Big Red in January for either AT&T, T-Mobile, or going all Blacken on the world. (I do need voice, though.)
 

JakeRae

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Jul 21, 2005
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rembrat said:
I just ordered the Nexus 5.
 
I'm pretty excited because I'll be jumping from 2.3 to 4.4 android. That's like going from jacking into a sock to banging Kate Upton.
 
Me too. I'm also planning on switching from Sprint to T-Mobile when it arrives. My current phone lasts about 2 hours off-charge as of the last 5 days, so I'm really anxious for mine to actually ship. I wasn't quite quick enough to get a first wave order in, but I've got a guaranteed by November 8th ship date. I'm also waiting on a T-Mobile prepaid sim card. The last big decision is whether to go with the $30 dollar plan or pay the extra money for a plan that lets me use traditional minutes.
 
On a related note, is anyone experienced with porting numbers to Google Voice? My current Sprint number is integrated with Google Voice and I'm wondering if that is why I don't have a port option currently available. Will that option automatically show up if I cancel integration? Google's porting "how to" doesn't cover this situation and it's not exactly something where I can experiment to find the right answer.
 

Traut

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I ported my Google voice number from Sprint to ATT with no problem. I didn't have to do a thing.
 

Foulkey Reese

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rembrat said:
 
Samsung Galaxy S here. Gingerbeard was the last update this phone got and I never bothered to root the thing.
Oh my bad, I thought you were on a Galaxy Nexus.

So yea, huge upgrade for you. You're gonna love it.
 

Blacken

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Jul 24, 2007
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Fratboy said:
Rembrat, what network? I'm curious, since I'm thinking about ditching Big Red in January for either AT&T, T-Mobile, or going all Blacken on the world. (I do need voice, though.)
Straight Talk. 500 voice minutes, unlimited everything else (and you can tether, just don't do anything stupid like stream HD video), $45/month. Done and done.
 

ss s h h hh

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Apr 24, 2008
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I purchased the Nexus 5 as well. Should be here Wednesday. I'm ditching Verizon for either straight talk prepaid or the Tmobile prepaid. I love the Nexus experience was willing to shed my unlimited data (probably a mistake) to get it. 
 
I'm planning on selling my wife and I's unlimited data plans on eBay using an AOL. Has anyone had success with this? I know how to do it and everything, and the lines seem to be going for 300-400 dollars. Just wondering if any of you had a seamless experience.
 

teddykgb

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I hope all of you have a better T-Mobile experience than I had.  I desperately wanted it to work.  I like everything they're doing as a company, but the service was just so bad.  I caved and went back to Verizon and it took me weeks to untrain out of the "do i have service right now" panic glance at my phone.
 
They were awesome to work with and even sent me a microcell for my home because the service was so bad, but in the end it just wasn't useful to have such spotty coverage everywhere I went.
 

teddykgb

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I live in Chelmsford and work in Framingham/Cambridge.  Travel semi frequently for work to NJ as well.  When I was within Boston it generally worked great, although T-Mo is horrible indoors.  I'd have absolutely no service inside the Burlington mall, as an example.  I'd have service to some extent in most places, but it'd fade in and out.
 
One of the things that's crazy about t-mobile is that my house had literally no service to one bar of service even though it was about 2 miles away from one of their new LTE towers.  So if I went into the center of Chelmsford, I'd have full LTE coverage, but just going the 2 miles to my home could drop it to no service.  Where it worked it was phenomenal, but it wasn't solid enough for me at this time.  I probably would have lived with it if I didn't use my personal phone for business use so much, but dropping off conference calls and meetings because of cell reception just wasn't OK.
 

rembrat

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May 26, 2006
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Dudes that ordered the Nexus 5, how are you receving them so quickly? Google Play is telling me I have to wait 2-3 weeks for the device to leave the warehouse.
 

JakeRae

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Jul 21, 2005
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rembrat said:
Dudes that ordered the Nexus 5, how are you receving them so quickly? Google Play is telling me I have to wait 2-3 weeks for the device to leave the warehouse.
 
We ordered them right after release. The longer you wait to order, the longer you wait.
 

Soxy

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I was all psyched about getting my Nexus 5.  Opened it up, swapped in my SIM card, started playing around with..... and then I realize that it's not making any sound.  "That's weird," I think.  So I go to play a Youtube video.  Nothing.  I play a song.  Nothing.  The speaker on mine doesn't work.  Headphones work fine, earpiece works fine, but the speaker at the bottom does not.  Which is funny since one of the reasons I bought this is because my current phone (HTC One S) has a speaker that hasn't worked since I dropped the phone a couple months ago.  Apparently I can't escape that problem.
 
Hopefully Google is quick to resolve it.
 

Soxy

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I also ordered this case.  Which.... well, read the reviews.  It doesn't fit properly around the power button so it constantly depresses it accidentally, leading to random reboots (but now I know that the phone boots pretty damn quickly.... so there's that).  Gotta return that as well.  I sure know how to pick 'em.
 
Faulty speaker notwithstanding, the phone is really snappy.  Feels very light for its size (and I'm coming from the One S, which is pretty damn light), sharp screen, buttery smooth and responsive.  It's not much of a looker (just a boring black slab of plastic), but it seems to have it where it counts.  I haven't seen anything else online about bad speakers so it looks like I just got a dud.
 
Google is already proceeding with the warranty replacement process.  So that's nice.  Hopefully they put a few units on reserve for cases like this, otherwise I'll be waiting another 2-3 weeks.
 

saintnick912

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Coming from a One S, how solid does the N5 feel to you. I'm shocked at how cheap some of the Samsung models feel next to the One X, curious where this stacks up.
 

Soxy

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It doesn't feel as solid as the One S.  I went caseless on that phone and dropped it quite a few times without really doing any damage to it (until this last time).  The Nexus 5 feels like it would not survive a hard fall, and I'm definitely going to be putting it in a case.  I wouldn't say it feels cheap, but it doesn't feel rock solid either.  It's obvious they decided to spend their money on what's inside the phone rather than on the design (which makes a lot of sense to me; most people will be putting it in a case anyways).
 

saintnick912

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Thanks, I use a One X caseless and it has survived quite a few falls. I see broken screens on friends' Galaxy S3 all the time and I think the case flexibility would make it break in my pocket. Hopefully this is somewhere in between. Need to figure out a carrier situation before I buy one, plus every month that goes by my ETF drops.
 

PaulinMyrBch

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I've decided the GN2 is just two big to use the way I do the most, which is one handed.  So I'm going to list it on Swappa and hope to get the going price, which seems to be above $300.  So I'll then flip that money over and buy a N5.  If anyone sees a hole in my plan, please chime in.  The difference in size seems like the N5 will be a better fit.
 

Soxy

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So this morning the speaker on my N5 suddenly sprang to life.  I was charging the phone and heard a chime when it was fully charged.  "Wait.... it works now?!"  I immediately tried playing video, songs, testing ringtones... the speaker worked fine.  Huh.  That's weird. I figured I should wait and see if this sudden change would hold up.  Well, a couple hours later, it was back to radio silence.  Haven't got it to work again since.
 
Well, I just stumbled across this.  Seems like the faulty speaker issue isn't something isolated to my phone, and perhaps it is a software issue and not a hardware issue.  Which would be nice, as my replacement phone isn't scheduled to ship until 12/3 (though some of the posters in the linked thread say that their replacement has shipped sooner than scheduled).  I'd obviously rather get this one working the way it should than wait almost a month for a replacement that may have the same issue (if it is actually a software problem).
 

Marceline

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PaulinMyrBch said:
I've decided the GN2 is just two big to use the way I do the most, which is one handed.  So I'm going to list it on Swappa and hope to get the going price, which seems to be above $300.  So I'll then flip that money over and buy a N5.  If anyone sees a hole in my plan, please chime in.  The difference in size seems like the N5 will be a better fit.
 
I also have a GN2 and while overall I really like the phone and have been happy with it, I do think it's just a little bit too large. I haven't seen the Nexus 5 yet but I feel like the Galaxy S4 is the sweet spot with phone size. 
 

RhaegarTharen

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Any opinions on the Droid Ultra vs the Droid Maxx?   My work phone is eligible for upgrade, and while I like my Razr Maxx - it's starting to get a bit clunky (Cant prove anything, but I think the way my company restricts OS upgrades gives the phones a shorter lifespan than retail ones). 
 
Anyways - I'm limited in my options - iPhone 5S or HTC 8X are free; BlackBerry Q10 (people still buy these?) and Droid Ultra are $30; and the Droid Maxx is $130.   In abstract - it's a great deal compared to retail pricing; but I'm not sure if its really worth $100 more than the Ultra.   Other than the super-battery life (which I'm totally in favor of) - does anyone have any experience with the phone?  
 
One of my hangups is that as a company phone I'm restricted as to how much I can customize it.  I love the Razr Maxx, but feel like a lot of the phone's potential was untapped because I can't screw around with too many settings.   If the only advantage the Maxx offers me will be battery life I might just get the Ultra (which still has a pretty kickass battery compared to a "normal" iPhone battery, yes?) 
 
 
Then again - if I can get the Cadillac phone for cheap - why the hell not, right?
 

pantsparty

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sleepyjose03 said:
Cant prove anything, but I think the way my company restricts OS upgrades gives the phones a shorter lifespan than retail ones
This is unfortunately just a characteristic of Android phones. Even the Galaxy Nexus - Google's own phone from 2 years ago - won't be getting 4.4 because it's only guaranteed to receive 18 months of updates.
 

Blacken

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...And because it's a phone that's getting to the point where the user experience will be compromised by updates. Eighteen months for the RAM- and compute-limited Galaxy Nexus is probably better than pushing updates that suck. The N4 should get a longer update cycle than the GNex; it's better, more future-proof hardware.
 

pantsparty

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Blacken said:
...And because it's a phone that's getting to the point where the user experience will be compromised by updates. Eighteen months for the RAM- and compute-limited Galaxy Nexus is probably better than pushing updates that suck. The N4 should get a longer update cycle than the GNex; it's better, more future-proof hardware.
from http://developer.android.com/about/versions/kitkat.html:

Android 4.4 is designed to run fast, smooth, and responsively on a much broader range of devices than ever before — including on millions of entry-level devices around the world that have as little as 512MB RAM.
The GNex's 1GB RAM and 1.2 GHz dualcore CPU aren't great, but the idea that the hardware can't handle 4.4 seems very unlikely.
 

JJ17

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teddykgb said:
I hope all of you have a better T-Mobile experience than I had.  I desperately wanted it to work.  I like everything they're doing as a company, but the service was just so bad.  I caved and went back to Verizon and it took me weeks to untrain out of the "do i have service right now" panic glance at my phone.
 
They were awesome to work with and even sent me a microcell for my home because the service was so bad, but in the end it just wasn't useful to have such spotty coverage everywhere I went.
 
I was with t-mobile off-contract and I just don't like their service at all. I've never had a positive interaction with their customer service. I haven't been too affected by network issues ... it works where I need it to for the most part (except my parents' house in Newton and in the barren wastelands between civilizations in Utah). I switched to Solavei about a year ago - no limit to data and rides on the TMobile network. It's got a really weird pyramid-marketing type of pricing that made me nervous on their legitimacy, but no problems thus far. Pricing is awesome - $50ish a month for unlimited talk/text/data and no contract.
 

JJ17

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Soxy Brown said:
So this morning the speaker on my N5 suddenly sprang to life.  I was charging the phone and heard a chime when it was fully charged.  "Wait.... it works now?!"  I immediately tried playing video, songs, testing ringtones... the speaker worked fine.  Huh.  That's weird. I figured I should wait and see if this sudden change would hold up.  Well, a couple hours later, it was back to radio silence.  Haven't got it to work again since.
 
Well, I just stumbled across this.  Seems like the faulty speaker issue isn't something isolated to my phone, and perhaps it is a software issue and not a hardware issue.  Which would be nice, as my replacement phone isn't scheduled to ship until 12/3 (though some of the posters in the linked thread say that their replacement has shipped sooner than scheduled).  I'd obviously rather get this one working the way it should than wait almost a month for a replacement that may have the same issue (if it is actually a software problem).
Not sure if this helps at all, but I needed a Nexus 4 replacement last winter for a faulty device. While waiting times on Google Play were something like 3-5 weeks (and I was petrified of waiting), I actually got my replacement within 3 or so days. I was really impressed.
 

Blacken

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pantsparty said:
from http://developer.android.com/about/versions/kitkat.html:


The GNex's 1GB RAM and 1.2 GHz dualcore CPU aren't great, but the idea that the hardware can't handle 4.4 seems very unlikely.
Yeah I'm definitely not an Android developer or something and I've totally never ever seen that before. Honest. No, really.

It can probably run 4.4. It's going to be bad at it relative to every other Nexus phone that'll get it. Rather than expending more effort to make 4.4 run on old-midmarket hardware that basically nobody uses, they're concentrating on making it better on new-downmarket hardware (which, while often RAM-constrained because of cheapass manufacturers, is increasingly less compute-constrained than the Galaxy Nexus because it's getting harder and harder to source processors that slow). Throwing more money after the gimpy Galaxy Nexus is to the benefit of only a few people who don't buy phones anyway.
 

Blacken

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:smith:

I've spent the last few hours analyzing KitKat's internals for a work project, my capacity for humoring people is diminished right now.
 

Blacken

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I tried it, and I do like it, but I didn't stick with it because I'll be using the 4.4 launcher as soon as it's accessible (the OK Google integration sells it for me).
 

Soxy

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Janeyjane17 said:
Not sure if this helps at all, but I needed a Nexus 4 replacement last winter for a faulty device. While waiting times on Google Play were something like 3-5 weeks (and I was petrified of waiting), I actually got my replacement within 3 or so days. I was really impressed.
 
Yup.  Didn't realize this was the case, but apparently that's the norm for warranty replacements.  Mine shipped today.  
 
I had a few more e-mail exchanges with Google and they finally came right out and said that it's a software issue on their end and they're working on a fix.  Then my speaker suddenly began working again today, though I didn't see any system updates download or anything.  Not really sure what to do if the speaker continues working through Wednesday, when the replacement is scheduled to arrive.  This is only the second time the speaker has worked since I got the phone last Wednesday.  I keep testing it over and over again, expecting it to go back to dead at anytime.
 

teddykgb

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If they're shipping you a replacement device, why is this even a question? If the new device also has this issue, then it's definitely a software issue and you can wait for it or get another replacement.  Given how easy it is to restore an android device, why wouldn't you just take the option of hoping it's fixed with the new device? I'm just not understanding your dilemma here.
 

PaulinMyrBch

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So my plan of the Nexus 5 is nixed because I'm on Verizon.  What's my next best option?  I'd like something slightly smaller than the GN2.
 
Anything other than the S3 or S4 I need to look at?
 

SumnerH

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PaulinMyrBch said:
So my plan of the Nexus 5 is nixed because I'm on Verizon.  What's my next best option?  I'd like something slightly smaller than the GN2.
 
Anything other than the S3 or S4 I need to look at?
 
I like the LG G2 better than the Galaxy S4.  The Moto X is probably the other one to look at, but I think it's the lesser of the 3.  Check out the Active variant of the S4 as well as the normal one.
 

Soxy

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teddykgb said:
If they're shipping you a replacement device, why is this even a question? If the new device also has this issue, then it's definitely a software issue and you can wait for it or get another replacement.  Given how easy it is to restore an android device, why wouldn't you just take the option of hoping it's fixed with the new device? I'm just not understanding your dilemma here.
 
Ended up being moot, as the speaker died again this afternoon.  Conveniently, the replacement arrived today and seems to work fine.
 

Blacken

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There are 4.4 releases without ART? AFAIK applications have to opt-in to use it, none may be active on release builds.
 

PortlandSoxFan

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I uninstalled the Nexus 5 port I had put on when the factory 4.4 image was available for the Nexus 4...and the 5 port is WAY better.  I put it back on immediately.  I also found a niftly little hack that enables the LTE radio in the Nexus 4.  Not a whole lot of LTE around me (Hartford, which I drive through to go to work), but I was in Boston this weekend and had LTE the whole time and the speed tests were way faster than when on T-Mobile 'H' (whatever the hell that stands for; for me there is usually 'H' for high speed and 'E' which most definitely is not)
 

SumnerH

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PortlandSoxFan said:
I uninstalled the Nexus 5 port I had put on when the factory 4.4 image was available for the Nexus 4...and the 5 port is WAY better.  I put it back on immediately.  I also found a niftly little hack that enables the LTE radio in the Nexus 4.  Not a whole lot of LTE around me (Hartford, which I drive through to go to work), but I was in Boston this weekend and had LTE the whole time and the speed tests were way faster than when on T-Mobile 'H' (whatever the hell that stands for; for me there is usually 'H' for high speed and 'E' which most definitely is not)
 
H is HSPA+ (evolved High Speed Packet Access), which is somewhere between 3G and LTE speeds.  The advantage is that it's just a tweak to old 3G towers, so you don't need to replace the physical radios and such to get HSPA+ up and running.  Hence it's available in areas that haven't been physically upgraded yet.
 
E is Edge (Enhanced Data Rates for GSM Evolution), which was a pre-3G protocol that's very widely deployed and slow by modern standards.  It works even on very old equipment, so it's often what you get out in the boonies.
 

Corsi

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Just got Verizon to move my upgrade date up and grabbed the Moto X for free on Amazon.  Fifteen minutes later I see a tweet from Motorola that KitKat 4.4 is rolling out today on Verizon for the Moto X.  Not bad.
 
Can't wait for this phone.  My Razr Maxx has slowed to a crawl.
 

rembrat

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May 26, 2006
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Nexus 5 is here and it's sweet.
 
I thought I could be able to pop in my old sim card into the N5 but it seems like the sim card it needs is half the size of my old phone's. Suppose I just have to go to Tmobile and buy a new sim card?