4G Android phone megathread

jayhoz

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Lots to like here. Good camera, large removable battery, micro SD slot, etc.
 
 
 

Fratboy

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Okay, so I'm thinking about joining my brother-in-law's Spring Framily, which will get us to $35 per month. I'm weighing between the Nexus 5 and the HTC One M8.
 
1) Are there any devices that use USB Mass Storage instead of MTP as a means of transferring files between phone and PC? I hated MTP on the Galaxy Nexus, which is why I returned it, and it doesn't seem like you can easily do USB mass storage, even on phones with Micro SD card.
 
2) Nexus 5 seems to be usable on AT&T, T-Mobile, their various piggybacking MVNOs, as well as Sprint. Could a developer edition/unlocked edition of the HTC One M8 be used on both Sprint and GSM networks?
 

Couperin47

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Fratboy said:
Okay, so I'm thinking about joining my brother-in-law's Spring Framily, which will get us to $35 per month. I'm weighing between the Nexus 5 and the HTC One M8.
 
1) Are there any devices that use USB Mass Storage instead of MTP as a means of transferring files between phone and PC? I hated MTP on the Galaxy Nexus, which is why I returned it, and it doesn't seem like you can easily do USB mass storage, even on phones with Micro SD card.
 
2) Nexus 5 seems to be usable on AT&T, T-Mobile, their various piggybacking MVNOs, as well as Sprint. Could a developer edition/unlocked edition of the HTC One M8 be used on both Sprint and GSM networks?
 
Micro SD cards have become almost useless: it has nothing to do with whoever makes the phone. Google, in response to what it claims are 'security concerns', has been completely crippling the ability to use such external storage in Android, either to move/run apps from such storage or easily transfer files in there. AFAIK no hacks have been able to restore complete functionality.
 

SumnerH

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Couperin47 said:
 
Micro SD cards have become almost useless: it has nothing to do with whoever makes the phone. Google, in response to what it claims are 'security concerns', has been completely crippling the ability to use such external storage in Android, either to move/run apps from such storage or easily transfer files in there. AFAIK no hacks have been able to restore complete functionality.
 
You can still play video and music from them, which is just about the only reason that built-in storage is insufficient on modern phones (albeit a reason that built-in storage is woefully inadequate).
 

glennhoffmania

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I'm having an issue with my Sprint service (I know, they suck). Usually it's fine but I've had major disruptions for about a week in NYC. They said they were doing some upgrades but it should be ok now even though it's not. The tech looked at my usage and sees that I'm not connecting often so she escalated it. It's not my phone as that's already been tested and eliminated as an issue. Anyone else having problems?
 

EddieYost

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glennhoffmania said:
Shut up. If you can't offer anything useful then go post somewhere else.
 
Then I would never post?!?!?
 
Wait, neither would you.
 

Fratboy

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Yeah. I think I'm over this Sprint thing. My parents just got iPhones to be in the Framily, and despite living in an LTE coverage area on the Sprint map, they get 2 bars of 3G service. No thanks. That, and, as a friend pointed out, I'd be in a financial relationship with my sister, and that if I left the Framily, I'd get all sorts of "YOUR RAISING MY BILL BY $15" crap.
 
So, for the time being, I'm thinking of just plunking $219 for a Moto G LTE phone and using that for like a year and a half until the iPhone 6S or some other Android super hero device is out.
 

Monbo Jumbo

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I'm a Sprint fanboy for some years. Service is great here in Atlanta. But I was shocked at how bad it was my last trip to NYC. I'd definitely bail if I lived there.
 

Orange Julia

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I have a 2 year old Samsung SG3 and I am pretty happy with it. I wish I had better call reception on it, though. Would I get better reception if i upgraded to the SG5? Or is it all just TMobile's fault? I should add that while I love Tmobile, generally I am finding that i have less and less coverage in places where I really should have SOME coverage. I'm used to the data dropping out, but there's a 5-8 mile stretch along the Prince William Parkway where i don't even have phone coverage, which frankly is criminal considering how well populated it is here in NoVA. I would rather not change providers--will the sprint thing help me in the long run?
 

jayhoz

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If you haven't tried it yet, you should really give Aviate a whirl.  I am afraid that yahoo is going to ruin it, but right now it is the best home screen going.
 
http://aviate.yahoo.com/
 

Valek123

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Ok, I'm horrifically torn on a new VZW device.  I've been debating the S5, M8 and now the G3, I live in the sticks in NH so battery life has been my major draw(hence still rocking a Motorola razr maxx).  But it's starting to slow down a bit, battery life is slowly diminishing and it's time for something new.  I've also got unlimited data and have talked with Verizon on how to keep it(buddy upgrade) but just need to pick a new device asap.
 
What say you techies?  I'm looking at the G3 pretty heavily as I love the removable Battery and from what I've read an incredible charging speed.  And don't push the AT&T stuff, I'd LOVE to be able to use AT&T but their network is horrific in my area in comparison to Verizon - like Redsox offense level suck.
 

glennhoffmania

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T-Mobile is accused of charging customers for bogus stuff, for what it's worth.
 
 
The Federal Trade Commission filed a lawsuit Tuesday alleging that T-Mobile (TMUS) earned a windfall in recent years from third-party merchants offering bogus text message subscriptions for things like flirting tips, horoscopes and celebrity gossip. Those charges frequently weren't authorized by customers. The charges were allegedly concealed on customers' monthly bills.
 
 
As for phones, I love the M8 so far. 
 

saintnick912

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Valek123 said:
Ok, I'm horrifically torn on a new VZW device.  I've been debating the S5, M8 and now the G3, I live in the sticks in NH so battery life has been my major draw(hence still rocking a Motorola razr maxx).  But it's starting to slow down a bit, battery life is slowly diminishing and it's time for something new.  I've also got unlimited data and have talked with Verizon on how to keep it(buddy upgrade) but just need to pick a new device asap.
 
What say you techies?  I'm looking at the G3 pretty heavily as I love the removable Battery and from what I've read an incredible charging speed.  And don't push the AT&T stuff, I'd LOVE to be able to use AT&T but their network is horrific in my area in comparison to Verizon - like Redsox offense level suck.
 
The G3 looks pretty rad, I'm just concerned that the high-res on the screen will counteract the big battery like with the early 1080p phones.  I have an Xperia Z2 (imported) that I'm running on AT&T, I think Verizon is getting it in the US this summer.  It's all-around really good, the camera and battery have not let me down yet.  May be worth considering if you can wait a bit.
 

jayhoz

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I am waiting to put my hands on one, but am pretty sure I am going to go G3 when I am eligible at the end of the month.
 

Harry Hooper

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Not looking for the latest & greatest smartphone. I really just need one that can handle a few remote monitoring apps for me and around 300 minutes of talk time (minimal texts) each month. My search for a phone on a pretty robust network with a monthly usage cost of around $50 has led me to Cricket (the "Old Navy" division of AT&T) and the Samsung Galaxy Express. Current offer is purchase of the phone for $199.99 after $50 rebate. Then, for $50/month TOTAL with no contract their Smart plan provides 2.5GB of hi-speed data with unlimited talk & text. You can add another 1Gb of data for $10/month as needed, and if you sign up for auto-billing, they'll shave $5 off the monthly charges.
 
Comments, suggestions, warnings, and so forth are welcome before I pull the trigger on this.
 

saintnick912

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In that price range you should probably consider a Moto G on Straight Talk (MVNO on the AT&T network).  Blacken can comment more on the latter.  But that combo would be the lowest outlay for good hardware that could be moved across networks and a network that would let you buy a better phone down the line.  I think the 4G model of the Moto G is out at $219 right now, or if you can live with 3G it's less than $199.
 

teddykgb

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Maybe one of you guys can help me with this because I'm being driven absolutely insane.  I'm suddenly getting hangouts spam on my Moto X.  Two-three times daily i'm getting collect calls from 'Unknown' on my PC and my phone.  I can find ways to block particular callers on hangouts, but not 'Unknown'.  I can't uninstall hangouts and I can't seem to find a way to prevent hangouts from calling my phone when someone calls me.  Has anyone dealt with this?
 

OrlandoMerced

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teddykgb said:
Maybe one of you guys can help me with this because I'm being driven absolutely insane.  I'm suddenly getting hangouts spam on my Moto X.  Two-three times daily i'm getting collect calls from 'Unknown' on my PC and my phone.  I can find ways to block particular callers on hangouts, but not 'Unknown'.  I can't uninstall hangouts and I can't seem to find a way to prevent hangouts from calling my phone when someone calls me.  Has anyone dealt with this?
 
Go to voice.google.com, click on the gear icon in the upper right. Choose settings.  Click on the "Groups and Circles" tab.  There is a group for anonymous callers that only shows up here, but not in your regular google contacts.  You can then set it to either go right to VM or probably not ring any phones at all...
 

teddykgb

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OrlandoMerced said:
 
Go to voice.google.com, click on the gear icon in the upper right. Choose settings.  Click on the "Groups and Circles" tab.  There is a group for anonymous callers that only shows up here, but not in your regular google contacts.  You can then set it to either go right to VM or probably not ring any phones at all...
 
Oh my god.  You are my hero.  I hope you are granted immediate access into whichever version of paradise you prefer.
 

Harry Hooper

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saintnick912 said:
In that price range you should probably consider a Moto G on Straight Talk (MVNO on the AT&T network).  Blacken can comment more on the latter.  But that combo would be the lowest outlay for good hardware that could be moved across networks and a network that would let you buy a better phone down the line.  I think the 4G model of the Moto G is out at $219 right now, or if you can live with 3G it's less than $199.
 
 
Thank for the reply. The advantage of Straight Talk is a bit more of a full-speed data allowance for $45/month? At the Straight Talk site, the Moto G is not shown as an option when I put in my Mass. zip code. Would it be a different selection if I went in to a Walmart or whatever? 
 
Cricket does have the Moto G for $99 after $50 rebate, and the descriptions says 4G capable, running KitKat OS with 8GB internal storage (no microSD slot). Maybe start with Cricket and move over to Sraight Talk in 3 months after my rebate check arrives?
 
What is the secret code for whose wireless network will be used (verizon vs. AT&T vs T-Mobile etc.) with a particular phone if you are a Straight Talk customer? Left T-Mobile for verizon years ago when my phone never rang for incoming calls.
 
 
Edit: I should add that I don't care about cameras at all.
 

Marceline

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Harry Hooper said:
 
 
Thank for the reply. The advantage of Straight Talk is a bit more of a full-speed data allowance for $45/month? At the Straight Talk site, the Moto G is not shown as an option when I put in my Mass. zip code. Would it be a different selection if I went in to a Walmart or whatever? 
 
Cricket does have the Moto G for $99 after $50 rebate, and the descriptions says 4G capable, running KitKat OS with 8GB internal storage (no microSD slot). Maybe start with Cricket and move over to Sraight Talk in 3 months after my rebate check arrives?
 
What is the secret code for whose wireless network will be used (verizon vs. AT&T vs T-Mobile etc.) with a particular phone if you are a Straight Talk customer? Left T-Mobile for verizon years ago when my phone never rang for incoming calls.
 
Any AT&T compatible phone can be used with straight talk, even if they don't list it on their Web site. What you do is just go to Amazon, or wherever, and get an AT&T Moto G, then go to straight talk, sign up and say you are bringing an AT&T phone, and they have an option for an AT&T SIM card for about $7 that you order with the service.
 

saintnick912

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If you go the Moto G route, I'd just buy a non-contract one directly.  Here's the Motorola site: http://www.motorola.com/us/moto-g-pdp-1/Moto-G/moto-g-pdp.html
 
The advantage being that you can then take it to any other AT&T/T-Mobile based (GSM) service.
 
Blacken uses Straight Talk I believe and is happy with the coverage.  The concern I'd have if you go with Cricket would be if it's on the Sprint network and/or a Sprint compatible phone you'll be limited to their network, and you may not be able to bring the device with you.  Your mileage may vary, you may want to contact them and see if you can use an "unlocked" Moto G.  I'd value the portability over a few bucks up front, you always end up paying one way or another.
 

Harry Hooper

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saintnick912 said:
  I'd value the portability over a few bucks up front, you always end up paying one way or another.
 
 
Yes, indeed.
 
Oddly, Cricket claims its Moto G phone has no microSD slot yet is 4G capable. I checked with Motorola directly, and no such version of the Moto G exists. The 4G versions all have microSD slots. FWIW, Motorola thinks Cricket is offering the latest 4G LTE version of the phone, but hasn't dropped the "no microSD slot" from its description. The Cricket rep could provide no insight on this question. There are also some scattered comments around the web that the Cricket version of the Moto G is not easily unlocked. An extra $120 to buy an unlocked Moto G directly from Motorola seems to be the best course.
 

EddieYost

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Could be with Cricket. They probably customize the firmware to disable 4G.
 

smastroyin

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saintnick912 said:
If you go the Moto G route, I'd just buy a non-contract one directly.  Here's the Motorola site: http://www.motorola.com/us/moto-g-pdp-1/Moto-G/moto-g-pdp.html
 
The advantage being that you can then take it to any other AT&T/T-Mobile based (GSM) service.
 
Blacken uses Straight Talk I believe and is happy with the coverage.  The concern I'd have if you go with Cricket would be if it's on the Sprint network and/or a Sprint compatible phone you'll be limited to their network, and you may not be able to bring the device with you.  Your mileage may vary, you may want to contact them and see if you can use an "unlocked" Moto G.  I'd value the portability over a few bucks up front, you always end up paying one way or another.
 
Cricket uses AT&T's network only.
 
The Straight Talk buys bandwidth from everyone, and assigns based on the phone you buy.  Moto G looks like it is on T-mobile's network so even the Straight Talk one is going to be GSM.
 

smastroyin

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On a separate note, I am kind of married to Verizon but not super happy with their new plans.  (nor ATT).  I am thinking about paying full price for a phone to keep my unlimited data, but I kind of get the feeling that either they are restricting my bandwidth and/or my phone's antenna is just dying, it is clearly worse than it was a year ago in terms of 4G coverage and speeds.  And yet, every single review in the world says that Verizon's network is best.  I commute from RI up to Braintree so the "we've got urban centers covered perfectly" networks don't really do it for me.  
 
Anyway, I assume there is talk about this somewhere in this thread, but has anyone ever bought a VZW phone on ebay or similar?  I have found some deals that look too good to be true (avoiding) some that are no different from buying full price at VZW, but some that could save me $100-$200.  Any experience out there?  Thinking about the HTC One and rooting it to get better camera or just going with the galaxy s5.  Or I may suck it up until fall and see what the Galaxy F or the G3 actually look like (though I feel the G3 is too big).
 

Couperin47

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Fun fact I just found out after careful research:
 
Been perfectly happy with my Motorola Electrify M (the US Cellular only version of the Razr M) and approaching 2 yrs old I had no interest in replacing the phone, so after serious research I identified the battery used, found a YouTube vid of someone showing exactly how difficult it is to open the phone and replace that battery, and bought said battery and the $3 kit of tools to do that easily. Then after research I found out why I shouldn't have bothered.
 
The latest Lithium polymer batteries basically , unless literally kept frozen, lose capacity as a direct relation to their age irrespective of the charge/discharge pattern or use at all. Every damn phone or series gets a new size/type battery, they tend to do a production run when a phone is introduced. You can't get any dealer to look or tell you the age of any replacement battery you can buy, in my case the phone is 22 months old, the 'new' battery I received was made in.... September 2012.  Replacing the battery will be an exercise in futility.
 
The good news; I'll be eligible for a One Cent upgrade next month, and I'll get something similar enough not to be annoying (Moto X).
 

glennhoffmania

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Really?  So all of these options on my phone for improving or extending battery life are total bullshit?
 

jayhoz

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glennhoffmania said:
Really?  So all of these options on my phone for improving or extending battery life are total bullshit?
 
He is talking about the lifespan of the battery (years), not how long you can keep your phone going before you need to charge.
 

glennhoffmania

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Yeah I'm talking about that too.  My phone has an option that says it's supposed to extend the lifespan of the battery.
 
At least that's what I assumed it meant when it said it extends battery life.  My laptop has the same thing, like it makes it so the battery doesn't charge to 100% because that supposedly makes it die sooner.
 

jayhoz

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glennhoffmania said:
Yeah I'm talking about that too.  My phone has an option that says it's supposed to extend the lifespan of the battery.
 
Oh, then yes....it's likely 95% bullshit..
 

SumnerH

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Couperin47 said:
Fun fact I just found out after careful research:
 
Been perfectly happy with my Motorola Electrify M (the US Cellular only version of the Razr M) and approaching 2 yrs old I had no interest in replacing the phone, so after serious research I identified the battery used, found a YouTube vid of someone showing exactly how difficult it is to open the phone and replace that battery, and bought said battery and the $3 kit of tools to do that easily. Then after research I found out why I shouldn't have bothered.
 
The latest Lithium polymer batteries basically , unless literally kept frozen, lose capacity as a direct relation to their age irrespective of the charge/discharge pattern or use at all. Every damn phone or series gets a new size/type battery, they tend to do a production run when a phone is introduced. You can't get any dealer to look or tell you the age of any replacement battery you can buy, in my case the phone is 22 months old, the 'new' battery I received was made in.... September 2012.  Replacing the battery will be an exercise in futility.
 
The batteries in your phone are (as far as the battery performance is concerned) regular lithium-ion, not lithium-polymer, even if they're labelled as the latter.  True lithium-polymer batteries use plasticized electrolytes and haven't been manufactured at large scale yet.  Manufacturers have put lithium-ion batteries into flexible polymer exterior cases and have labelled those as "lithium-polymer", but they're actually just lithium-ion batteries in a light/flexible casing; they still behave electrically like lithium-ions.
 
Cycle profile definitely _does_ matter to lithium-ion capacity loss, you can't say that aging is irrespective to it--more cycles will cause the battery to lose capacity more quickly. There is also a loss over time (which obeys an Arrhenius curve, so as you note storing at lower temperature will lessen the aging effect), but that's also correlated with the depth of charge--a battery that is stored fully charged will suffer pretty significant loss over time, but if you store discharged batteries that effect is lessened considerably.  It's usually even a stronger effect than storing them in the freezer.  Unless your battery manufacturer charged them full (or nearly so) at production time then a 2-year old battery should be pretty fresh.
 

Couperin47

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SumnerH said:
 
The batteries in your phone are (as far as the battery performance is concerned) regular lithium-ion, not lithium-polymer, even if they're labelled as the latter.  True lithium-polymer batteries use plasticized electrolytes and haven't been manufactured at large scale yet.  Manufacturers have put lithium-ion batteries into flexible polymer exterior cases and have labelled those as "lithium-polymer", but they're actually just lithium-ion batteries in a light/flexible casing; they still behave electrically like lithium-ions.
 
Cycle profile definitely _does_ matter to lithium-ion capacity loss, you can't say that aging is irrespective to it--more cycles will cause the battery to lose capacity more quickly. There is also a loss over time (which obeys an Arrhenius curve, so as you note storing at lower temperature will lessen the aging effect), but that's also correlated with the depth of charge--a battery that is stored fully charged will suffer pretty significant loss over time, but if you store discharged batteries that effect is lessened considerably.  It's usually even a stronger effect than storing them in the freezer.  Unless your battery manufacturer charged them full (or nearly so) at production time then a 2-year old battery should be pretty fresh.
 
I realized after my post that it sounded like I said capacity is not affected by charge/discharge cycles and, of course, you can do that in a manner that severely damages the lifespan. What I meant is that, irrespective of how you use it, the battery is subject to aging effects irrespective of how it's used. With no idea how they have been stored, it now seems in the case of this series of Motos, all the batteries you can find today (except perhaps some fakes) were made in the last quarter of 2012.  The battery should be uncharged and perhaps the losses are not too great. We will see, a friend is buying it and we're going to replace the battery before he activates it.
 
The good news is that if you have a recent iPhone or any of Samsungs top sellers, there are far better odds that there have been subsequent runs of battery production...even better you can find a few of those batteries in stores and actual see the date of manufacture.
 

glennhoffmania

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Couperin47 said:
 
They are teetering on the brink of bankruptcy btw.
 
Really?  That would suck.  My favorite phones have all been from HTC.
 
SumnerH said:
 
The batteries in your phone are (as far as the battery performance is concerned) regular lithium-ion, not lithium-polymer, even if they're labelled as the latter.  True lithium-polymer batteries use plasticized electrolytes and haven't been manufactured at large scale yet.  Manufacturers have put lithium-ion batteries into flexible polymer exterior cases and have labelled those as "lithium-polymer", but they're actually just lithium-ion batteries in a light/flexible casing; they still behave electrically like lithium-ions.
 
Cycle profile definitely _does_ matter to lithium-ion capacity loss, you can't say that aging is irrespective to it--more cycles will cause the battery to lose capacity more quickly. There is also a loss over time (which obeys an Arrhenius curve, so as you note storing at lower temperature will lessen the aging effect), but that's also correlated with the depth of charge--a battery that is stored fully charged will suffer pretty significant loss over time, but if you store discharged batteries that effect is lessened considerably.  It's usually even a stronger effect than storing them in the freezer.  Unless your battery manufacturer charged them full (or nearly so) at production time then a 2-year old battery should be pretty fresh.
 
Just shut up already.  I'm tired of you posting stuff that is way too complicated for me to understand.
 

SumnerH

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glennhoffmania said:
 
Really?  That would suck.  My favorite phones have all been from HTC.
 
 
Just shut up already.  I'm tired of you posting stuff that is way too complicated for me to understand.
 
Little rectangle thingy make phone go.  Little cylinder thingy make bunny go.
 

Couperin47

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glennhoffmania said:
 
Really?  That would suck.  My favorite phones have all been from HTC.
 
 
Just shut up already.  I'm tired of you posting stuff that is way too complicated for me to understand.
 
http://www.theverge.com/2014/7/3/5867435/htc-q2-2014-earnings
 
Like most companies in that part of the world, they are leveraged far more than the average American enterprise. Until this quarter's results the rumors were the banks that basically own
HTC were close to pulling the plug. They have bought themselves probably several more quarters now, but there has to be some evidence they can actually grow their market share somehow.
Basically they are getting whipsawed by the fact that their volumes are simply not big enough to get the same pricing that all their bigger rivals can demand from suppliers. Little guys getting squeezed out, even in low end niches: Pantech who makes the cheapest Android phones everyone carried is going to be in bankruptcy within the next 30 days.
 

jayhoz

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LG G3 to launch on Verizon on 7/17.  Pleasantly surprised it will be priced at $99.
 

Scoots McBoots

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I needed to replace my Droid RAZR (I know, I know) and had a choice between getting the Galaxy S4, HTC One (M7) or LG G2 for free.  I went with the S4, although it seemed like there wasn't a huge gap between the three.  Thoughts?
 

Valek123

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Sinistas said:
I needed to replace my Droid RAZR (I know, I know) and had a choice between getting the Galaxy S4, HTC One (M7) or LG G2 for free.  I went with the S4, although it seemed like there wasn't a huge gap between the three.  Thoughts?
 
I did almost the same thing with a Droid Razr Maxx yesterday becoming a S5 as Verizon had a major sale that is running through the 27th I believe.  Same three phones(essentially) and I chose the S5, it came down to the G3 and S5 for me and I've seen enough people who have early hand's on the G3 having battery/overheating issues so I went Samsung for this cycle.  I don't think either of us will regret this, samsung seems to be the biggest fish at the moment.
 
I also ended up with two Iphone 5s's in the order for the family that I can't convince to switch so I still feel dirty over the whole thing - But I was able to pull off the buddy upgrade to keep my unlimited data plan for one more cycle so I'm psyched about that.
 
Anyone have any good tips on setting up the S5 with foxfi or hotspot program?  My bet is that day is coming to a close very quickly...