4G Android phone megathread

Dernells Casket n Flagon

Member
SoSH Member
Mar 24, 2008
3,840
Pixel 3 announced today.

Pixel 3 64 GB: $799
Pixel 3 128 GB: $899
Pixel 3 XL 64 GB: $899
Pixel 3 XL 128 GB: $999

I'd really like to upgrade from my Pixel XL to the 3 for the better camera for pictures of my kids, but really struggle to justify the price when the Pixel is the first smart phone I've had that doesn't feel like it's on its absolute last legs after it approached 2 years. Google offers only $155 for my XL 128GB in trade. I think the best promo that Verizon offered ended up being their 50% off with trade in, which would knock it to $400-500 depending on the model.
 

Dernells Casket n Flagon

Member
SoSH Member
Mar 24, 2008
3,840
I'm looking to switch to T-Mobile so I'll wait to see if they offer something.

I also have an OG Pixel and it still runs amazingly.
Verizon has exclusivity, so they're the only carrier that can sell the Pixel and thus the only one that will be able to offer any deals.

I am curious why you'd look to switch to T-Mobile. Why not go to Project Fi which uses T Mobiles network plus Sprint's and US Cellulars? That's what I'd do if I were to consider jumping off Verizon.
 

Spelunker

Well-Known Member
Gold Supporter
SoSH Member
Jul 17, 2005
5,947
Verizon has exclusivity, so they're the only carrier that can sell the Pixel and thus the only one that will be able to offer any deals.

I am curious why you'd look to switch to T-Mobile. Why not go to Project Fi which uses T Mobiles network plus Sprint's and US Cellulars? That's what I'd do if I were to consider jumping off Verizon.
Yeah, I dropped T-Mobile for Fi because why not?
 

FL4WL3SS

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 31, 2006
10,971
Andy Brickley's potty mouth
Good point.

I have ATT and the coverage sucks in Seattle. I hate Verizon. Being in Seattle, T-Mobile made sense. I looked into switching to Fi last year and can't remember why I chose against it. I'll look again.
 

Spelunker

Well-Known Member
Gold Supporter
SoSH Member
Jul 17, 2005
5,947
Good point.

I have ATT and the coverage sucks in Seattle. I hate Verizon. Being in Seattle, T-Mobile made sense. I looked into switching to Fi last year and can't remember why I chose against it. I'll look again.
Fi coverage (via T-Mobile) is pretty good here. There are a few stretches of the 520/5 interchange where I seem to always drop out, but otherwise it's really strong. Not great in the mountains, but I suspect not much is.
 

SumnerH

Malt Liquor Picker
Dope
Jul 18, 2005
25,916
Alexandria, VA
Fi coverage (via T-Mobile) is pretty good here. There are a few stretches of the 520/5 interchange where I seem to always drop out, but otherwise it's really strong. Not great in the mountains, but I suspect not much is.
I actually get better Fi coverage in the mountains of western North Carolina than my brother does with Verizon. US Cellular (which Fi uses) seemingly specializes in rural outlier regions.
 

Spelunker

Well-Known Member
Gold Supporter
SoSH Member
Jul 17, 2005
5,947
I actually get better Fi coverage in the mountains of western North Carolina than my brother does with Verizon. US Cellular (which Fi uses) seemingly specializes in rural outlier regions.
Yeah, I should have specified: I specifically was referring to the Cascades and the Olympics.
 

milfordsoxfan

Member
SoSH Member
Jan 26, 2006
260
Connecticut
Fi user on original Pixel XL here. I'm in SW Connecticut. I have one of those apps that tells me what network I'm on and records it. Scrolling through the history I see no US Cellular in the past few months. I'm usually in suburban/urban areas, so this makes some sense. I'm almost always going to be on T-Mobile. That time frame does include a trip to Mt. Snow, though. I had little to no coverage in much of the area to the point I put the phone on airplane mode so the battery wouldn't get crushed.

US Cellular may well be useful in some rural parts of the country. This was not the case for me in Vermont (T-Mobile and Sprint also failed). The Verizon folks I was with had coverage.

As with all cell coverage, you kind of need to try it out to see how you will fare. I've been on Fi since a month or two after it rolled out. I'm generally pleased with it. Verizon was my previous provider, and their network is absolutely superior, but I hate them, will never do business with them again, and so here I am.
 

SumnerH

Malt Liquor Picker
Dope
Jul 18, 2005
25,916
Alexandria, VA
US Cellular is completely useless in cities (TMobile and Sprint have them covered). In rural regions they're hit or miss, but where they hit they're often the only provider. Parts of Maine I've had good luck with them.
 

jayhoz

Ronald Bartel
Silver Supporter
SoSH Member
Jul 19, 2005
15,169
It looks like Pixel 3's are starting to ship. Mine shipped today with an ETA of 10/19 - 10/22.
 

Couperin47

Well-Known Member
Silver Supporter
SoSH Member
US Cellular is completely useless in cities (TMobile and Sprint have them covered). In rural regions they're hit or miss, but where they hit they're often the only provider. Parts of Maine I've had good luck with them.
US Cellular is very strong in Maine, Verizon roams to them there, in NH Verizon owns the eastern half of the state, US Cell roams to them, the situation flips in western NH which US Cell dominates and Verizon roams to them.
 

4 6 3 DP

Well-Known Member
Gold Supporter
SoSH Member
Oct 24, 2001
1,919
I'm jealous of you guys with pixel XL that aren't having issues. Mine has issues with call dropping, with battery life, with the phone going mute and having to be reset to make calls... It's making me uncomfortable going with another pixel. Are reviews on the three good? Been very disappointed in the last six months with this pixel.
 

jercra

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 31, 2006
1,917
Arvada, Co
I'm jealous of you guys with pixel XL that aren't having issues. Mine has issues with call dropping, with battery life, with the phone going mute and having to be reset to make calls... It's making me uncomfortable going with another pixel. Are reviews on the three good? Been very disappointed in the last six months with this pixel.
Have you told Google? They extended the warranty to 2 years on all Pixel 2's and should replace yours for free. Usually they replace older models with newer so you'll probably get a free Pixel 3 XL.
 

Spelunker

Well-Known Member
Gold Supporter
SoSH Member
Jul 17, 2005
5,947
I'm jealous of you guys with pixel XL that aren't having issues. Mine has issues with call dropping, with battery life, with the phone going mute and having to be reset to make calls... It's making me uncomfortable going with another pixel. Are reviews on the three good? Been very disappointed in the last six months with this pixel.
XL or 2 XL?

My original XL is basically broken by Pie, battery wise. I'd hope that 2 would be handling it better.
 

The Napkin

wise ass al kaprielian
Dope
SoSH Member
Jul 13, 2002
20,964
right here
I'm hitting 2 years next month and my pixel battery is plain shit. I had my old phone for like 5 years. Pisses me off that it's basically planned obsolescence
 

FL4WL3SS

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 31, 2006
10,971
Andy Brickley's potty mouth
I'm hitting 2 years next month and my pixel battery is plain shit. I had my old phone for like 5 years. Pisses me off that it's basically planned obsolescence
Does it really matter that much anymore with the lightening chargers these days? I don't even notice if my battery is good/bad anymore because I just plug it in while I'm doing things for 20-30 mins and it's fully charged basically.
 

charlieoscar

Member
Sep 28, 2014
1,339
Does it really matter that much anymore with the lightening chargers these days? I don't even notice if my battery is good/bad anymore because I just plug it in while I'm doing things for 20-30 mins and it's fully charged basically.
That works if you have a place to plug in the recharger but as someone who spends a lot of time outdoors, it doesn't work for me. With a lot of phones going for $750 to $1000 nowadays, why would they want people to be able to replace the battery for $30-$40? Just get them to buy a new phone. And the phone companies that are offering buy one, get one free, aren't losing money do so.
 

Spelunker

Well-Known Member
Gold Supporter
SoSH Member
Jul 17, 2005
5,947
Does it really matter that much anymore with the lightening chargers these days? I don't even notice if my battery is good/bad anymore because I just plug it in while I'm doing things for 20-30 mins and it's fully charged basically.
It very much matters. I can leave work at 100%, and if I want to go to the gym and go out after I'm fighting the battery by the end of the night.

Right now is a good example: I left my place around 545 to meet a friend for dinner. Used it on the subway, and a podcast while walking, and she and I checked a few things while talking.

Stopped by myself on the way home to grab a drink and catch up on news, and I'm currently at 26%. I was planning on walking the 1.5 miles home, but now I'm not sure a podcast will last.

TL;DR: how fast it charges is meaningless if a full charge only gets you ~3 hours.
 

SumnerH

Malt Liquor Picker
Dope
Jul 18, 2005
25,916
Alexandria, VA
XL or 2 XL?

My original XL is basically broken by Pie, battery wise. I'd hope that 2 would be handling it better.
My Pixel XL is still killing it; I rarely get below 80% battery ever, and if I'm below 50% it's because I've made really odd choices.

It's not at the level of my Atrix, but pretty close.
 

Omar's Wacky Neighbor

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Amazon Warehouse is taking an extra 20% off many Android phones, started a few hours ago.

Galaxy S8: VG $248, Like New, $262;
S9: VG $346, Like New $374.

That beats those pretty good college/Unisys deals from samsung.com by $100+ per phone.

Also some S9+ in stock, but no S8+ which is what I was really hoping for.

After vacillating between spending $100+ more for a S9 vs S8, I finally ordered the S8, but with slow shipping, in case any S8+ show up.
 

The Napkin

wise ass al kaprielian
Dope
SoSH Member
Jul 13, 2002
20,964
right here
It very much matters. I can leave work at 100%, and if I want to go to the gym and go out after I'm fighting the battery by the end of the night.

Right now is a good example: I left my place around 545 to meet a friend for dinner. Used it on the subway, and a podcast while walking, and she and I checked a few things while talking.

Stopped by myself on the way home to grab a drink and catch up on news, and I'm currently at 26%. I was planning on walking the 1.5 miles home, but now I'm not sure a podcast will last.

TL;DR: how fast it charges is meaningless if a full charge only gets you ~3 hours.
consider this my answer as well

If I leave home and look at a T app to see when my bus is coming and then browse twitter/sosh for 20-30 minutes while waiting for bus/riding to work my battery shouldn't be at 70%
I shouldn't leave home with a full battery, use google maps for a 45 minute drive, and have to worry about how much I'm browsing sosh while the better half is looking at coats so I don't lose battery power for the trip home to check traffic for which way to go before I leave.
 

4 6 3 DP

Well-Known Member
Gold Supporter
SoSH Member
Oct 24, 2001
1,919
My phone is the first gen XL. Just about 2 years old now. Really disappointed once we went to Android 9. Having the exact same experiences you all share. Dropped calls muted microphone battery life is awful.

I think I'm moving away from buying the newest phones and buying the ones a year old like the deal listed above on Amazon. Just seems easier and less painful when they crap out.
 

Dernells Casket n Flagon

Member
SoSH Member
Mar 24, 2008
3,840
Pixel XL user here. Just purchased a Pixel 3 (regular not XL) tonight going in with a buddy on the BOGO 50% off. I'd say this is actually the first phone that I've had that after 2 years doesn't feel like an absolute necessity to need to upgrade. Battery isn't what it started as, but it's adequate. Probably the main reason I decided to upgrade was that I wanted the camera upgrade. With two young kids, I'm constantly taking photos and while the Pixel had been the best camera phone I've used my wife's Pixel 2 blows it away. I'm probably also going to be jumping from Verizon to Fi. Work had been paying for my cell phone previously, so I didn't care about the bill, but now that I'm footing it and been frustrated with Verizon service near my house. I see no reason not to try switching.

I'd really like the Google stand, but can no way justify it for $80. If it drops down to $40-50 in a few months, I may jump on it if the 3rd party Qi pads are still limited to just 5W.
 

Couperin47

Well-Known Member
Silver Supporter
SoSH Member
How to make virtually any recent current Android phone 'feel faster, snappier'...actually works too:

Drill down within the Developer Options and find 3 settings (in Nougat (7) and above they are easy to find, somewhat hidden earlier):
Window Animation scale
Transition Animation scale
Animation Duration scale

All 3 settings will probably be at the default x1.0, set all 3 to the one available 'faster/shorter' x0.5 setting.
That's it... all transitions and related stuff now run twice as fast and your phone just acts faster...
Enjoy
 

Fratboy

Mr. MENsa
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Nov 29, 2003
14,544
McCarver Park
So I just did a whole mess of stuff today (Verizon/Bell Atlantic customer since 1995):

* Canceled land line service as of 11/28 (needed for work, but not anymore). Saving a boatload of money per month now.
* Went to the cheapest GoUnlimited plan ($75 with autopay).
* Got the BestBuy deal for a Pixel 3 XL for $500 ($20.83 per month). None of this pay $929 up front and then we'll give you a credit garbage. I'll have it on 12/4.

How's everybody liking the Pixel 3/XL so far? @jayhoz ?
 

jayhoz

Ronald Bartel
Silver Supporter
SoSH Member
Jul 19, 2005
15,169
Love it, but I am a Pixel fanboy. Night site is incredible. The feature where it takes a bunch of shots and you can pick which one you like is great too. Unlimited image storage at original resolution is reason enough to go Pixel IMO.

I also have the Google case and the Pixel stand which are great too.
 

bohous

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 21, 2005
2,780
Framingham
So I just did a whole mess of stuff today (Verizon/Bell Atlantic customer since 1995):

* Canceled land line service as of 11/28 (needed for work, but not anymore). Saving a boatload of money per month now.
* Went to the cheapest GoUnlimited plan ($75 with autopay).
* Got the BestBuy deal for a Pixel 3 XL for $500 ($20.83 per month). None of this pay $929 up front and then we'll give you a credit garbage. I'll have it on 12/4.

How's everybody liking the Pixel 3/XL so far? @jayhoz ?
I wasn't planning to look at phones but just cracked the screen on my iPhone 7, which I just paid off with the "pay up front and then we'll give you a credit garbage". How is is this really any different? Are you able to pay off the $500 up front?
 

JerBear

Member
SoSH Member
Nov 11, 2006
1,339
Turner, ME
I wasn't planning to look at phones but just cracked the screen on my iPhone 7, which I just paid off with the "pay up front and then we'll give you a credit garbage". How is is this really any different? Are you able to pay off the $500 up front?
You can't pay the $500 immediately, but you can pay it off on the first bill. The discount from Best Buy is a down payment not a future bill credit.

I also jumped on the Pixel 3 XL deal as the screen in my Nexus 6p is literally held in with packing tape.
 

bohous

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 21, 2005
2,780
Framingham
OK, that makes sense and the ability to pay it off is certainly better than the bill credit system. Already kicking myself for not jumping on it but will probably tough it out for another year with my iPhone and enjoy saving a few bucks a month.
 

FarvinMoosey

Well-Known Member
Gold Supporter
SoSH Member
Jul 20, 2005
3,454
CT
Taking the leap over to Pixel and Project Fi. Just ordered a Pixel 3 this morning. I would normally wait at least another year for a phone (I don't upgrade often, I went from the Samsung S3 to an S7 as an example), but AT&T annoys me. If Fi works well for me I will move over my wife and kid as their phones come due and save around $70/month based on our average usage.
 

Reardons Beard

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 3, 2005
3,207
Boston, MA
Well gents, thanks to everyone who offered Pixel advice earlier this summer. I did indeed wait it out and just landed a Pixel 3 for $399 after the $200 price knockdown and the $200 fi credit. I decided to keep my beloved Nexus 5X as a backup as they weren't offering much as a trade in anyway, but just couldn't say no to this deal!

EDIT: next question then, what are you guys rocking for cases on the Pixels? I need to figure that out by Thursday/Friday if I can.
 
Last edited:

milfordsoxfan

Member
SoSH Member
Jan 26, 2006
260
Connecticut
Well gents, thanks to everyone who offered Pixel advice earlier this summer. I did indeed wait it out and just landed a Pixel 3 for $399 after the $200 price knockdown and the $200 fi credit. I decided to keep my beloved Nexus 5X as a backup as they weren't offering much as a trade in anyway, but just couldn't say no to this deal!

EDIT: next question then, what are you guys rocking for cases on the Pixels? I need to figure that out by Thursday/Friday if I can.
I have a first gen Pixel XL, but I have a $10-ish case from Amazon. I don't know if it really matters* (beyond aesthetics) so long as it keeps the screen from making contact with the surface you place the phone upon when it is face down. The brand appears to be "Caseology". I think the glass protector might be more important. I've cracked two of those things, but the screen itself is fine. The ones I bought came in two-packs. Knock wood, this phone has lasted longer than any phone I've had to date without cracking the screen. I'm sure having typed those words, I'll smash it within in a week.

*An Otterbox would probably be best if you really need that sort of protection, but I don't. I hate the added bulk of any case, and I hate that it is effectively a necessity. They make these phones with really nice exteriors, and we immediately put cases on them.
 

jayhoz

Ronald Bartel
Silver Supporter
SoSH Member
Jul 19, 2005
15,169
I've gone caseless for years, but I've learned the hard way that my kids are not as careful as I am. I went with the official Pixel 3 fabric case and love it.
 

Spelunker

Well-Known Member
Gold Supporter
SoSH Member
Jul 17, 2005
5,947
Well, fuck. Of course I somehow break (to the point of being unusable) my Pixel XL screen the day after Pixel 3 sales stop.
 

Spelunker

Well-Known Member
Gold Supporter
SoSH Member
Jul 17, 2005
5,947
Brother I just checked the Project Fi store and for me it still shows up - make sure you double check!!!
Hmm, I see $200 off there (as compared to the normal Google store). What I can't seem to find is if that doesn't apply to existing Fi customers (as I am).
 

Spelunker

Well-Known Member
Gold Supporter
SoSH Member
Jul 17, 2005
5,947
NVM I see that it does apply to existing Fi customers (for another 54 minutes). That's pretty sweet - thanks!
 

charlieoscar

Member
Sep 28, 2014
1,339
BTW, anyone with home owners or apartment insurance might check with them about coverage for their phone(s). Mine considers them computer equipment and the cost of coverage is only around $15 per year. You'd need to talk with them to find out exactly what they do and don't cover.
 

Reardons Beard

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 3, 2005
3,207
Boston, MA
Introducing Google Fi

After 3 years of growing with you, our Project Fi community, we're excited to announce some big news: Project Fi is now Google Fi. Your service and billång won't be impacted, but you'll notice a new name, logo, and look-and-feel in places like your Google Fi app and your
Google Fi account.

You can now also bring most Android phones and iPhones to Google Fi. While these phones get most of the Google Fi features you know and love, only phones designed for Fi, like the Nexus 5X you have, unlock all of Google Fi's unique features, including seamless switching between cellular networks and automatic connection to secure Wi-Fi hotspots. Since you're already on the best Google Fi experience, you don't need to take any action for your own account. Feel free to share the news with friends or family who might be interested in bringing a phone to Google Fi.

Finally, if you're looking for a new phone, we're celebrating our big day with one-day offers on all phones designed for Fi, from the Pixel 3 to the Moto G6. Everyone is eligible for these offers—whether you're looking for a phone for yourself or know someone you'd like to refer to Google Fi.

Today's update is just the start, and we can't wait to bring you more from Google Fi. As always, please reach out if you have any questions—we're here for you 24/7.