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Old 04-10-2012, 01:27 PM   #1
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Smart Phone Help

Okay, so I am contemplating getting my first smartphone and I have a couple of questions about usage and 3G v. 4G.

Essentially, Verizon is offering a Droid X2 for $80. It's apparently a very nice 3G phone. To go to a 4G phone is $200.

They are also offering a data plan of "2 times 2 gigs" for $30. The next plan up is 5 gigs for $50.

My questions are - what does 4 gigs get me? Can I watch 2 or 3 movies/TV shows? It would be nice to stream netflix on the phone.

If I am in my house, will the phone work off my wifi or will it charge me data time?

Understanding that I don't need the goo-gaas of the latest technology and the "Wow, it's so cool" factor is far outwieghed by the "My kids need new shoes" factor - is a 3G phone the equivalent of buying a rotary phone in terms of being outmoded technology?

Thanks folks.
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Old 04-10-2012, 01:37 PM   #2
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Re: Smart Phone Help

I'm not an expert on the subject, but I have the Iphone 4 on Verizon's 3g network, and I am satisfied with it. I wouldn't recommend doing battery-intensive things like watching Netflix on it, but to each their own. I also don't know much about data plans either, I just pay 100 bucks a month and I get unlimited data, which I am satisfied with.

With all that said, the main bonus of having a smartphone for me is the apps. Before I had a smartphone, I never used apps or anything, but I tell you, I've got a bunch of different apps on my phone now, and they make everything super easy.
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Old 04-10-2012, 01:47 PM   #3
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Re: Smart Phone Help

The biggest question is how well is 4G represented in your area? If it's widespread, then go 4G. If it's not widespread yet, then stick with 3G. I bought an iPhone 4S in December, and the speed is fine for me, and decided to not wait for a 4G iPhone offering, which I'll upgrade to at the end of next year.

The $30 data plan is probably all you'll ever need. You can certainly use Wi-Fi with your phone and will NOT charge against data time. Someone else will have to talk about streaming Netflix on 3G/4G as I've only done a few youtube videos here and there.

Considering that 4G isn't available to most of the country yet, you could get away with buying a 3G phone now and upgrade to 4G in 2 years when it's more prevalent. However, if you have the cash, and you have good 4G coverage, wouldn't hurt to jump on the bandwagon so to speak.

The only downside to Android phones I've heard is pretty poor battery life. A co-worker of mine has a Sprint EVO 4G and he's charging it twice a day.
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Old 04-10-2012, 01:51 PM   #4
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Re: Smart Phone Help

I have a 4G phone and I do notice a difference between that and when the phone is getting 3G. I guess the question would be how you are going to use the phone. When I am in my office or at home, the majority of the time my phone is connected via wifi. If this is the case, then I would say 3G should be fine.

In regards to 4G it is nice and faster, but it also eats up more of your battery than being on 3G.
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Old 04-10-2012, 01:54 PM   #5
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Re: Smart Phone Help

I have a Droid Bionic and love it.
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Old 04-10-2012, 02:14 PM   #6
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Re: Smart Phone Help

Since they started putting caps on downloads, I'd definitely say you might run up against the cap if you're using your phone as a hotspot and trying to stream movies. Not only that, I find my phone doesn't provide a very good connection (3G) to my other devices. It's great to have internet anywhere I am, but it's strictly for email and internet. Anything streaming really suffers unless I do it directly on the phone.
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Old 04-10-2012, 02:56 PM   #7
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Re: Smart Phone Help

I thought Verizon's data plans were unlimited. Mine is when I signed up the moment the Iphones were available.
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Old 04-10-2012, 02:59 PM   #8
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Re: Smart Phone Help

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I thought Verizon's data plans were unlimited. Mine is when I signed up the moment the Iphones were available.
You can only be grandfathered into the unlimited.
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Old 04-10-2012, 03:00 PM   #9
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Re: Smart Phone Help

I think that might have changed. People who have unlimited are grandfathered in... If it hasn't changed yet, I read that it WILL change.
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Old 04-10-2012, 03:07 PM   #10
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Re: Smart Phone Help

I have an x2 and like it. I stream Netflix on it all the time but almost always via wifi. It seems to work just fine via 3g too...not sure what the data uasge is like though since I don't do it often enough. My area lacks great 4g saturation so the 3g is the best we can do anyways. BD was right...if your area lacks sufficient 4g coverage then 4g shouldn't be a decision point as it is useless. My wife runs the iPhone4 and likes it well enough. It works great but the smaller screen kills me and they are super...delicate (fragile may be a better word).
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Old 04-10-2012, 03:20 PM   #11
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Re: Smart Phone Help

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I think that might have changed. People who have unlimited are grandfathered in... If it hasn't changed yet, I read that it WILL change.
I have the iPhone 4 with Verizon, on the 2GB plan. I don't stream a lot when I'm not connected to my wifi, and I've only even gone over 1GB twice in 6 months.
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Old 04-10-2012, 03:27 PM   #12
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I had an iPhone for about 3 years and I just switched to android. Apple rapes u with the apps and u can only do so much to ur phone that u want not to mention music is free on android.. I love it and I wouldn't go back to iPhone
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Old 04-10-2012, 03:45 PM   #13
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Re: Smart Phone Help

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I had an iPhone for about 3 years and I just switched to android. Apple rapes u with the apps and u can only do so much to ur phone that u want not to mention music is free on android.. I love it and I wouldn't go back to iPhone
Tried to tell my wife but she would not listen.

she said put the look of iPhone is so much nicer. So I download a few apps to make my Bionic look like a 4s, she was like "smartass".
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Old 04-10-2012, 03:51 PM   #14
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Tried to tell my wife but she would not listen.

she said put the look of iPhone is so much nicer. So I download a few apps to make my Bionic look like a 4s, she was like "smartass".
Yeah man I just finally got tired of apple telling me what my phone will look like.
I jailbroke mine but doing that can screw up ur phone
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Old 04-10-2012, 04:02 PM   #15
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Re: Smart Phone Help

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Originally Posted by skinsfaninok View Post
I had an iPhone for about 3 years and I just switched to android. Apple rapes u with the apps and u can only do so much to ur phone that u want not to mention music is free on android.. I love it and I wouldn't go back to iPhone
I'm with you, I had an iPhone, switched to Android and never looked back. Apple products have their place. If you want something that just works and requires (but also doesn't support) much in the way of tweaking/modification, the iPhone is great. Good battery, nice display (although fragile), no bloatware by default, if you already use iTunes -- a good choice.

To me, the biggest thing is Google Maps vs. iPhones maps (a big reason the Woz uses an Android!). I gave my Garmin away because I just use my phone when I need to get somewhere. Has great turn by turn, always up to date, lots of options. Better than my Garmin. I love the flexibility after rooting my phone, but it also adds elements of instability. I do spend a lot of time tweaking, so it's a tradeoff I make.

JR -- in your case. You probably won't hit a datacap. As you said, the phone will connect to wifi when you're in range and spare your plan. I have a 4G phone. it absolutely flies. However, I keep 4G off a majority of the time. 4G is great and fast, but kills the battery at a much quicker rate. Batteries are getting a bit more robust, but still need some work. I'd guess 4 gigs is plenty, depending on how much streaming (music/video) you plan on doing. Rarely I hotspot my phone, which works well, but mostly unnecessary.

One of my big issues with android phones is that they're packaged with the bloatware from Verizon/ATT/etc. I would suggest rooting the phone and installing a 3rd party ROM such as CyanogenMod or BAMF, but I understand if that's a daunting task if you're not looking to be cutting edge.
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