Do I really need a Smartphone?

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Re: Do I really need a Smartphone?

Postby Fallible » Fri Jun 07, 2013 12:33 pm

Great posts here but I'm still putting off on a Smartphone (landline and use a prepaid cell on trips) and finally decided on a mini-ipad with its just-big-enough keyboard rather than an ipad because it's lighter and fits more easily into a packpack while biking or walking to coffee shops, libraries, etc., where I do a lot of writing. I got the mini just in time for this weekend's bike trip :), where everyone will tell me I should've gotten a smartphone or an ipad or a small laptop like theirs. And on the debate goes...
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Re: Do I really need a Smartphone?

Postby protagonist » Fri Jun 07, 2013 12:41 pm

frugaltype wrote:
protagonist wrote:Map apps are actually much easier to read than looking at print maps, because you can zoom.


I find a print map of Boston invaluable. It's the only way to get oriented when you wander off onto the wrong cow path. Unless your screen is the size of a plasma tv, a map app isn't going to do it.


Speaking as a Bostonian, just the opposite. Maps have small print and I am helpless without my reading glasses. A map app on my old iTouch (much smaller screen and poorer functionality than newer smartphones) zooms in to any degree of detail or size that you want- anywhere in the world. I can read it without glasses. It is backlit which is convenient at night (try using a print map walking around Boston after dark). It is easily navigable....type in (or, on newer models, say) a street name or address and it will immediately focus on it. And it will tell me, for instance, where the nearest gas station is, or where the nearest Italian restaurant is, or what is interesting to do or see in my immediate vicinity, or who or what is playing at the club or theatre down the street and at what time, as well as provide me with reviews, phone numbers, etc. and will navigate me to it from my current position. It fits easily in my pocket without getting crumpled or torn and I can permanently plug in places of interest (for example your friend's house or hotel) and it will navigate you to it and give you distances...if you turn the wrong way it will let you know. No comparison. I gave away my map collection, which filled a file cabinet, three years ago. No regret.
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Re: Do I really need a Smartphone?

Postby Epsilon Delta » Fri Jun 07, 2013 1:28 pm

Victoria:

Do you carry a camera? This is one more function that can be mapped to a variety of devices and may favor carrying a smart phone. A camera is not only useful for taking souvenir photos but can help with note taking, when the information you need is presented visually (for example a street sign, menu, brochure or business card)
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Re: Do I really need a Smartphone?

Postby VictoriaF » Fri Jun 07, 2013 1:33 pm

Epsilon Delta wrote:Victoria:

Do you carry a camera? This is one more function that can be mapped to a variety of devices and may favor carrying a smart phone. A camera is not only useful for taking souvenir photos but can help with note taking, when the information you need is presented visually (for example a street sign, menu, brochure or business card)


I have an old digital camera, but I normally don't carry it. However, I will probably want to take some pictures along El Camino.

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Re: Do I really need a Smartphone?

Postby VictoriaF » Fri Jun 07, 2013 1:49 pm

I am trying to compare different smartphones using Amazon.com. I started with Google Nexus 4 Phone 8GB - Unlocked and then looked at other best-selling smartphones. Samsung Galaxy S III Mini I8190 8GB Unlocked GSM Phone supports quad GSM bands, has a standard SIM card slot, and an external slot for a micro SD card. What would be some reasons to still prefer Nexus 4 over this Samsung?

I always do my own research, but there is so much information that I need some key pointers. Also, as I have not had a smartphone I don't know what to watch out for.

Thank you,
Victoria
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Re: Do I really need a Smartphone?

Postby Browser » Fri Jun 07, 2013 1:55 pm

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Re: Do I really need a Smartphone?

Postby VictoriaF » Fri Jun 07, 2013 2:18 pm

Browser wrote:Victoria - try this thread.

http://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=113212


Thank you, Browser,

Now I am interested in Samsung Galaxy S4 I9505 or Samsung Galaxy S4 i9505 Factory Unlocked, International Version or something like that. These phones sell for $670 but seem to have superior connectivity options and features. And the screen is 5".

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Re: Do I really need a Smartphone?

Postby The Wizard » Fri Jun 07, 2013 2:27 pm

frugaltype wrote:
protagonist wrote:Map apps are actually much easier to read than looking at print maps, because you can zoom.


I find a print map of Boston invaluable. It's the only way to get oriented when you wander off onto the wrong cow path. Unless your screen is the size of a plasma tv, a map app isn't going to do it.

I like paper maps for certain things, to get an overview of an area, say.
But increasingly, I use my GPS enabled Droid to navigate me from where I am to where I want to be.
And that includes when I chose to go a "scenic route" not initially recommended.
It even found a new way to get me home from my dentist's office in Cambridge last week...
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Re: Do I really need a Smartphone?

Postby The Wizard » Fri Jun 07, 2013 2:30 pm

VictoriaF wrote:
Browser wrote:Victoria - try this thread.

http://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=113212


Thank you, Browser,

Now I am interested in Samsung Galaxy S4 I9505 or Samsung Galaxy S4 i9505 Factory Unlocked, International Version or something like that. These phones sell for $670 but seem to have superior connectivity options and features. And the screen is 5".

Victoria

You'll probably want to learn up on how to use certain phones in Europe for (cheap?) internet data access.
I get cranky when I go to the Caribbean and can't get data access except at the hotel's Wifi...
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Re: Do I really need a Smartphone?

Postby VictoriaF » Fri Jun 07, 2013 2:39 pm

The Wizard wrote:
VictoriaF wrote:
Browser wrote:Victoria - try this thread.

http://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=113212


Thank you, Browser,

Now I am interested in Samsung Galaxy S4 I9505 or Samsung Galaxy S4 i9505 Factory Unlocked, International Version or something like that. These phones sell for $670 but seem to have superior connectivity options and features. And the screen is 5".

Victoria

You'll probably want to learn up on how to use certain phones in Europe for (cheap?) internet data access.
I get cranky when I go to the Caribbean and can't get data access except at the hotel's Wifi...


I have to learn up on everything {smile}. I thought that using smartphones in Europe requires buying a SIM card. Considering that I am not used to using phones abroad, even WiFi will be a big improvement.

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Re: Do I really need a Smartphone?

Postby protagonist » Fri Jun 07, 2013 2:47 pm

The Wizard wrote:You'll probably want to learn up on how to use certain phones in Europe for (cheap?) internet data access.


I want to learn up on that. Especially in France. Will you teach me, Wizard??
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Re: Do I really need a Smartphone?

Postby The Wizard » Fri Jun 07, 2013 2:52 pm

protagonist wrote:
The Wizard wrote:You'll probably want to learn up on how to use certain phones in Europe for (cheap?) internet data access.


I want to learn up on that. Especially in France. Will you teach me, Wizard??

I'll need to learn first, for my Netherlands/Belgium trip in September...
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Re: Do I really need a Smartphone?

Postby protagonist » Fri Jun 07, 2013 2:56 pm

VictoriaF wrote:I am trying to compare different smartphones using Amazon.com. I started with Google Nexus 4 Phone 8GB - Unlocked and then looked at other best-selling smartphones. Samsung Galaxy S III Mini I8190 8GB Unlocked GSM Phone supports quad GSM bands, has a standard SIM card slot, and an external slot for a micro SD card. What would be some reasons to still prefer Nexus 4 over this Samsung?

I always do my own research, but there is so much information that I need some key pointers. Also, as I have not had a smartphone I don't know what to watch out for.

Thank you,
Victoria


Not sure how old a model that phone is, but cell phone mfgrs. have a nasty habit of curtailing support for a model 2-3 years after it is released. That may mean not being able to load new apps, no further software upgrades, etc. They want you to replace your phone with a new model as often as possible. It is a big part of why older models are so much cheaper. I'm not saying it is or is not a better phone...I don't know enough about them (others here probably do). But it might be a consideration for you.
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Re: Do I really need a Smartphone?

Postby protagonist » Fri Jun 07, 2013 2:57 pm

The Wizard wrote:
protagonist wrote:
The Wizard wrote:You'll probably want to learn up on how to use certain phones in Europe for (cheap?) internet data access.


I want to learn up on that. Especially in France. Will you teach me, Wizard??

I'll need to learn first, for my Netherlands/Belgium trip in September...


If I find anything out in France in July I will pass it on to you.
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Re: Do I really need a Smartphone?

Postby VictoriaF » Fri Jun 07, 2013 3:03 pm

protagonist wrote:
VictoriaF wrote:I am trying to compare different smartphones using Amazon.com. I started with Google Nexus 4 Phone 8GB - Unlocked and then looked at other best-selling smartphones. Samsung Galaxy S III Mini I8190 8GB Unlocked GSM Phone supports quad GSM bands, has a standard SIM card slot, and an external slot for a micro SD card. What would be some reasons to still prefer Nexus 4 over this Samsung?

I always do my own research, but there is so much information that I need some key pointers. Also, as I have not had a smartphone I don't know what to watch out for.

Thank you,
Victoria


Not sure how old a model that phone is, but cell phone mfgrs. have a nasty habit of curtailing support for a model 2-3 years after it is released. That may mean not being able to load new apps, no further software upgrades, etc. They want you to replace your phone with a new model as often as possible. It is a big part of why older models are so much cheaper. I'm not saying it is or is not a better phone...I don't know enough about them (others here probably do). But it might be a consideration for you.


Galaxy S4 has replaced Galaxy S III, and thus you are right that Galaxy S III is now an "old model." I read the Bogleheads thread referenced above and became interested in Galaxy S4. On the second thought, I don't need the latest features. If the device survives the trip, I will consider that it has served me well.

Victoria
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Re: Do I really need a Smartphone?

Postby jebmke » Fri Jun 07, 2013 3:06 pm

I have found some useful info/links on this site. Has info on national operators as well as some of the virtual players.

http://www.prepaidgsm.net/index.php
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Re: Do I really need a Smartphone?

Postby The Wizard » Fri Jun 07, 2013 3:13 pm

jebmke wrote:I have found some useful info/links on this site. Has info on national operators as well as some of the virtual players.

http://www.prepaidgsm.net/index.php


Similarly, this Forbes article which explains SIM cards in Europe:
http://www.forbes.com/sites/marcweberto ... d-to-know/
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Re: Do I really need a Smartphone?

Postby Browser » Fri Jun 07, 2013 3:44 pm

VictoriaF wrote:
Browser wrote:Victoria - try this thread.

http://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=113212


Thank you, Browser,

Now I am interested in Samsung Galaxy S4 I9505 or Samsung Galaxy S4 i9505 Factory Unlocked, International Version or something like that. These phones sell for $670 but seem to have superior connectivity options and features. And the screen is 5".

Victoria

I got a couple smartphones from Amazon to try out. I only bought ones that are sold by Amazon so I could return them. You have 30 days to fiddle with it before returning. I did return one (kept the other) and it worked great. They don't even charge you UPS postage to return. I recommend that procedure unless you are pretty sure about what you want. I also wanted to get a phone that has the manufacturer's warranty. I'm not sure if the "international versions" have a warranty. These things come from everywhere. Unlocked GSM phones are commonly sold in markets outside the U.S. where that is the standard, rather than contract phones as in the U.S. With a GSM SIM you'll be on either AT&T or TMobile in the U.S., since Verizon and Sprint are CDMA. BTW, if you're interested in iPhones you can buy unlocked new iPhones from Apple.
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Re: Do I really need a Smartphone?

Postby VictoriaF » Fri Jun 07, 2013 6:26 pm

Browser wrote:I got a couple smartphones from Amazon to try out. I only bought ones that are sold by Amazon so I could return them. You have 30 days to fiddle with it before returning.


I have checked; none of the phone I am considering are offered by Amazon. Tomorrow, I will spend some quality time at Best Buy and then will just bite the bullet.

Thank you for the suggestions,
Victoria
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Re: Do I really need a Smartphone?

Postby Browser » Fri Jun 07, 2013 6:47 pm

VictoriaF wrote:
Browser wrote:I got a couple smartphones from Amazon to try out. I only bought ones that are sold by Amazon so I could return them. You have 30 days to fiddle with it before returning.


I have checked; none of the phone I am considering are offered by Amazon. Tomorrow, I will spend some quality time at Best Buy and then will just bite the bullet.

Thank you for the suggestions,
Victoria

I found that Walmart also sells unlocked phones on their website. I think they had the Samsungs. They might have the ones you're looking for. They also would have a 30-day return policy (it might even be longer than that).
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Re: Do I really need a Smartphone?

Postby protagonist » Fri Jun 07, 2013 7:11 pm

VictoriaF wrote:
protagonist wrote:
VictoriaF wrote:I am trying to compare different smartphones using Amazon.com. I started with Google Nexus 4 Phone 8GB - Unlocked and then looked at other best-selling smartphones. Samsung Galaxy S III Mini I8190 8GB Unlocked GSM Phone supports quad GSM bands, has a standard SIM card slot, and an external slot for a micro SD card. What would be some reasons to still prefer Nexus 4 over this Samsung?

I always do my own research, but there is so much information that I need some key pointers. Also, as I have not had a smartphone I don't know what to watch out for.

Thank you,
Victoria


Not sure how old a model that phone is, but cell phone mfgrs. have a nasty habit of curtailing support for a model 2-3 years after it is released. That may mean not being able to load new apps, no further software upgrades, etc. They want you to replace your phone with a new model as often as possible. It is a big part of why older models are so much cheaper. I'm not saying it is or is not a better phone...I don't know enough about them (others here probably do). But it might be a consideration for you.


Galaxy S4 has replaced Galaxy S III, and thus you are right that Galaxy S III is now an "old model." I read the Bogleheads thread referenced above and became interested in Galaxy S4. On the second thought, I don't need the latest features. If the device survives the trip, I will consider that it has served me well.



That's a good part of the reason that the S3 costs $300 and the S4 costs $670. You see the same kind of spread between the iPhone 5 and the iPhone 4, and I think that is the main reason, because the phones don't improve THAT much. Is it worth over twice the price? I would be hesitant to pay $670 for an S4 if a new Nexus 4 or S 3 costs about $300, but that's me. A $670 phone will test your level of genetic anti-fragility, and you might like that....extremes and all. If you lose or break a $670 phone you will probably be upset. I don't like being upset. That's probably more a motivating factor for me than the actual cost.
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Re: Do I really need a Smartphone?

Postby VictoriaF » Fri Jun 07, 2013 7:12 pm

Browser wrote:I found that Walmart also sells unlocked phones on their website. I think they had the Samsungs. They might have the ones you're looking for. They also would have a 30-day return policy (it might even be longer than that).


I checked the Walmart web site. They have a Samsung phone similar to the one I like, but it's $439 at Walmart vs. $291 on Amazon.

Thanks,
Victoria
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Re: Do I really need a Smartphone?

Postby matjen » Fri Jun 07, 2013 7:14 pm

Buy the Galaxy S III or the Nexus 4 unlocked straight from Google. Search my prior posts for info on the Nexus 4 and T-Mobile. Don't mess around on older worse phones than that.
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Re: Do I really need a Smartphone?

Postby VictoriaF » Fri Jun 07, 2013 7:18 pm

protagonist wrote:
VictoriaF wrote:Galaxy S4 has replaced Galaxy S III, and thus you are right that Galaxy S III is now an "old model." I read the Bogleheads thread referenced above and became interested in Galaxy S4. On the second thought, I don't need the latest features. If the device survives the trip, I will consider that it has served me well.



That's a good part of the reason that the S3 costs $300 and the S4 costs $670. You see the same kind of spread between the iPhone 5 and the iPhone 4, and I think that is the main reason, because the phones don't improve THAT much. Is it worth over twice the price? I would be hesitant to pay $670 for an S4 if a new Nexus 4 or S 3 costs about $300, but that's me. A $670 phone will test your level of genetic anti-fragility, and you might like that....extremes and all. If you lose or break a $670 phone you will probably be upset. I don't like being upset. That's probably more a motivating factor for me than the actual cost.


My natural inclination is to buy something close to the top and keep it for a long time. I develop working habits with my electronics and get more upset when I have to change these habits than when I overpay. On the other hand, the main purpose for this phone it to use it in relatively rough conditions, where mishaps are more likely. Thus, my "second thought" is to go with a cheaper older model.

Victoria
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Re: Do I really need a Smartphone?

Postby Toons » Fri Jun 07, 2013 7:18 pm

Been a Straight Talk user since Wal-Mart introduced the plan,just upgraded to to the LG Optimus Showtime.Extremely pleased,I see they just reduced the price to 199.00 from 249.00 ,loaded with nice features.No buyers remorse :happy :happy



http://www.shopstraighttalk.com/bpdirec ... d=21533470
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Re: Do I really need a Smartphone?

Postby protagonist » Fri Jun 07, 2013 7:19 pm

The Wizard wrote:
jebmke wrote:I have found some useful info/links on this site. Has info on national operators as well as some of the virtual players.

http://www.prepaidgsm.net/index.php


Similarly, this Forbes article which explains SIM cards in Europe:
http://www.forbes.com/sites/marcweberto ... d-to-know/


Very useful threads, guys. Thanks.
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Re: Do I really need a Smartphone?

Postby The Wizard » Fri Jun 07, 2013 7:22 pm

matjen wrote:Buy the Galaxy S III or the Nexus 4 unlocked straight from Google. Search my prior posts for info on the Nexus 4 and T-Mobile. Don't mess around on older worse phones than that.

Appears t-mobile has thin coverage in much of the US.
Wouldn‘t AT&T be a better SIM card choice?
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Re: Do I really need a Smartphone?

Postby protagonist » Fri Jun 07, 2013 7:27 pm

VictoriaF wrote:
protagonist wrote:
VictoriaF wrote:Galaxy S4 has replaced Galaxy S III, and thus you are right that Galaxy S III is now an "old model." I read the Bogleheads thread referenced above and became interested in Galaxy S4. On the second thought, I don't need the latest features. If the device survives the trip, I will consider that it has served me well.



That's a good part of the reason that the S3 costs $300 and the S4 costs $670. You see the same kind of spread between the iPhone 5 and the iPhone 4, and I think that is the main reason, because the phones don't improve THAT much. Is it worth over twice the price? I would be hesitant to pay $670 for an S4 if a new Nexus 4 or S 3 costs about $300, but that's me. A $670 phone will test your level of genetic anti-fragility, and you might like that....extremes and all. If you lose or break a $670 phone you will probably be upset. I don't like being upset. That's probably more a motivating factor for me than the actual cost.


My natural inclination is to buy something close to the top and keep it for a long time. I develop working habits with my electronics and get more upset when I have to change these habits than when I overpay. On the other hand, the main purpose for this phone it to use it in relatively rough conditions, where mishaps are more likely. Thus, my "second thought" is to go with a cheaper older model.

Victoria



Once you get the phone, Victoria, you could also sign up for a month of unlimited talk/data/text service for $45 to test it out and see if it is worth it to you. Since there is no commitment, you can do it any month you want. However, none of the US talk/text/data services will work abroad...you would have to sign up for that service from overseas. You can get StraightTalk via Walmart- you don't have to buy one of their phones, as long as it is unlocked GSM. Verizon has the best overall coverage (most towers) in the US- ATT is second. But Verizon, last I checked, was using CDMA phones (no SIM card), so you can't use them in Europe. If using your phone both in the US and abroad is important to you, a phone working on the AT+T network is probably best (assuming they offer good coverage in your area). Straight Talk was using AT+T towers, but I think that changed. YOu need to speak with them. They all offer lousy customer service...especially the prepaid card networks....but hopefully the person at Walmart can help you with simple questions.
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Re: Do I really need a Smartphone?

Postby matjen » Fri Jun 07, 2013 7:28 pm

The Wizard wrote:
matjen wrote:Buy the Galaxy S III or the Nexus 4 unlocked straight from Google. Search my prior posts for info on the Nexus 4 and T-Mobile. Don't mess around on older worse phones than that.

Appears t-mobile has thin coverage in much of the US.
Wouldn‘t AT&T be a better SIM card choice?


Sorry, I just wanted to chime in quickly on the phone issue. Don't buy cheap phones. Don't need the latest Galaxy but going to Wal-Mart and getting some 2 generation old thing is not the way to go. Galaxy SII/S IV, Nexus 4, HTC One are all great Android choices.

Carrier just depends on where you live. I live in a major city and T-Mobile is fine. T-Mobile generally offers the best monthly deals of the major carriers.

IMHO the combination of T-Mobile and Nexus S4 right from Google is the sweet spot for performance and value. It is the Efficient Frontier. ;-) IT is what I have. The HTC One and Galaxy S IV are probably a bit better phones but they aren't $300.
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Re: Do I really need a Smartphone?

Postby Toons » Fri Jun 07, 2013 7:33 pm

Considered a Nexus 4 ,using a Sim Card from Wal-Mart but Sim is T-Mobile,after much research found coverage lacking.
Verizon coverage is the way to go :happy
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Re: Do I really need a Smartphone?

Postby Browser » Fri Jun 07, 2013 7:34 pm

The Wizard wrote:
matjen wrote:Buy the Galaxy S III or the Nexus 4 unlocked straight from Google. Search my prior posts for info on the Nexus 4 and T-Mobile. Don't mess around on older worse phones than that.

Appears t-mobile has thin coverage in much of the US.
Wouldn‘t AT&T be a better SIM card choice?

Yes. T-mobile coverage is not as good as AT&T. I investigated StraightTalk by purchasing a StraightTalk SIM at Walmart and giving it a whirl. It turned out that it uses T-Mobile now. I had thought it used both AT&T and T-Mobile, but no. I need coverage when I travel to Iowa and no coverage where I go. T-Mobile tends not to have coverage in more rural areas, I believe. Probably not as good when you are travelling. I think the large urban areas and corridors are OK. However, I'm in Phoenix and was only getting 2G EDGE speed with T-Mobile there. I know that matjen said he gets HSPA+ (juiced 3G) just fine in Chicago area and corridors. However, I didn't get it where I am in Phoenix. When I got the AirVoice SIM, which uses AT&T, I started pulling HSPA+. I did notice the difference when I was doing web stuff for sure and was not happy with the 2G EDGE lag on my phone. I've been happy with the performance on AT&T with AirVoice.
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Re: Do I really need a Smartphone?

Postby protagonist » Fri Jun 07, 2013 7:36 pm

I also recall reading there is a way around that and using AT+T phones with Straight Talk. You can buy an older Straight Talk AT+T SIM card in places like Ebay...you will pay a little premium...but it will get you on the AT+T network with ST, I use Straight Talk, have an AT+T ST SIM that I bought when they were offering AT+T service and still use it on ST, and it still works fine. I travel a lot and don't notice much difference in call quality or dropped calls than when I was with Verizon....maybe slightly more often out of range, but not enough to make a significant difference. YOu need to research what works best for you where you live. You also need to research online if my facts about ATT SIMS with ST are correct, since it is something I read on a web forum somewhere .

For those not using their phone abroad and looking for a good prepaid no-contract service plan, PagePlus uses Verizon phones and towers and gets good marks on the web.
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Re: Do I really need a Smartphone?

Postby VictoriaF » Fri Jun 07, 2013 7:58 pm

protagonist wrote:Once you get the phone, Victoria, you could also sign up for a month of unlimited talk/data/text service for $45 to test it out and see if it is worth it to you. Since there is no commitment, you can do it any month you want. However, none of the US talk/text/data services will work abroad...you would have to sign up for that service from overseas. You can get StraightTalk via Walmart- you don't have to buy one of their phones, as long as it is unlocked GSM. Verizon has the best overall coverage (most towers) in the US- ATT is second. But Verizon, last I checked, was using CDMA phones (no SIM card), so you can't use them in Europe. If you are going to travel, a phone working on the AT+T network is probably best (assuming they offer good coverage in your area). Straight Talk was using AT+T towers, but I think that changed. YOu need to speak with them. They all offer lousy customer service...especially the prepaid card networks....but hopefully the person at Walmart can help you with simple questions.


Where I live, we have a horrible Sprint coverage and a good AT&T coverage. I suspect that Verizon would work well, and T-Mobile would be similar to Sprint. Thus, my only option is a GSM service over the AT&T network.

After reading here about StraightTalk, I found a Wikipedia article with the List of United States Mobile Virtual Network Operators including a table of the network carriers serving various MVNOs. StraightTalk does not sell new SIMs for AT&T networks but AirVoice does. AirVoice sells SIM cards for $4.99 and has voice/text/data packages starting with $35/month. AirVoice seems the best choice.

Victoria
Last edited by VictoriaF on Sat Jun 08, 2013 5:42 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Do I really need a Smartphone?

Postby Toons » Fri Jun 07, 2013 8:03 pm

Keep it Simple :happy
"One does not accumulate but eliminate. It is not daily increase but daily decrease. The height of cultivation always runs to simplicity" –Bruce Lee
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Re: Do I really need a Smartphone?

Postby corner559 » Fri Jun 07, 2013 9:00 pm

I live overseas and would have a much harder time managing were it not my for my smartphone.

For example, I recently sold my condo and all of the documents that had to be signed and sent over to the States were scanned using a scanning app on my phone saving me multiple trips to the post office or having to find a place that could fax pages and pages of documents. The app was only 3 bucks. It also acts as my digital file cabinet, and I've been able to throw away reams of paper. I can back up everything onto my harddrive.
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Re: Do I really need a Smartphone?

Postby Browser » Fri Jun 07, 2013 9:55 pm

Victoria - if you go the AirVoice route, be sure to order the correct size SIM. If you merely order off their website you have no choice and you'll get a mini-SIM. Most newer phones use a micro-SIM. I got a mini and assumed I had to cut it down to fit a micro slot and that didn't work at all after taking a bunch of time to do it. You actually need to call them to request the micro-SIM. Might save you the hassle I went through. Once they sent a micro-SIM everything worked fine.
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Re: Do I really need a Smartphone?

Postby VictoriaF » Fri Jun 07, 2013 10:15 pm

Browser wrote:Victoria - if you go the AirVoice route, be sure to order the correct size SIM. If you merely order off their website you have no choice and you'll get a mini-SIM. Most newer phones use a micro-SIM. I got a mini and assumed I had to cut it down to fit a micro slot and that didn't work at all after taking a bunch of time to do it. You actually need to call them to request the micro-SIM. Might save you the hassle I went through. Once they sent a micro-SIM everything worked fine.


Browser,

Thank you for a tip. I was just reading about SIMs. Google Nexus 4 uses a micro-SIM, and Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini uses a regular SIM. In the U.S. a micro-SIM is not a problem, because there are many ways to cut a SIM. But if I take a micro-SIM based device to Europe it may be difficult to find local micro-SIMs. And so I was inclined to choose Samsung and avoid SIM issues all together.

But Nexus is more appealing, because it has a larger screen, runs the latest OS version, and is available at 16GB. One solution is to get a Nexus and additionally buy a micro-SIM cutter.

When you were trying to cut the SIM to the micro-size, did you use a specialized cutter?

Thank you,
Victoria
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Re: Do I really need a Smartphone?

Postby jlawrence01 » Fri Jun 07, 2013 11:15 pm

My cell phone history has been very limited. I bought one of the Virgin Mobile phones in 2002 and signed up for 25 minutes a month (and rarely used it). At the time, I was having a variety of medical issues and wanted to make sure I could call 911. I dumped it in 2004 as I was not using the phone and could never keep it charges.

In 2009, my work provided me with a Blackberry for work - translate that as "so I can get ahold of you during all waking hours." I really did not ever NEED the phone but it was useful. I could keep up with every out-of-town relative, surf the internet occasionally, use the GPS feature, and read e-mails from overseas until 2 am every night.

I retired last month. I ended up going with Republic Wireless - unlimited talk, text, and data for $29/ month. The phone is an older android technology, uses a hybrid of wi-fi and cellular to make calls, and has pretty much DIY customer service. It works for me. It is also not much pricier than a regular cell plan.

http://www.republicwireless.com/
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Re: Do I really need a Smartphone?

Postby beanstock » Sat Jun 08, 2013 6:08 am

Samsung Galaxy s3 mini is essentially a repackaged s2. Check the specs between the s3 and s2 and you'll find they are quite similar. Also, the s3 mini was only sold in certain non-US markets some users mention it doesn't work in the US. Check what bands it supports.
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Re: Do I really need a Smartphone?

Postby VictoriaF » Sat Jun 08, 2013 6:58 am

beanstock wrote:Samsung Galaxy s3 mini is essentially a repackaged s2. Check the specs between the s3 and s2 and you'll find they are quite similar. Also, the s3 mini was only sold in certain non-US markets some users mention it doesn't work in the US. Check what bands it supports.


You are right. I have read Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini reviews, and people write that in the U.S., instead of the 3G mode it uses the Enhanced Data rates for GSM Evolution (EDGE) technology. That, by itself, would not be a big issue for me. I am interested in a smartphone primarily for international travel, and even there I will use it mostly at hotspots.

But you are also helping me to decide in favor of Nexus 4. I am curious if Browser or anyone else had experience with a micro-SIM cutter. As I will be traveling in different countries, I will be buying local SIMs. I am guessing that at some places, micro-SIMs will not be available and I will need to cut regular SIMs. If the cutters work as described, I will buy Nexus 4.

Victoria
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Re: Do I really need a Smartphone?

Postby beanstock » Sat Jun 08, 2013 7:17 am

VictoriaF wrote:
beanstock wrote:Samsung Galaxy s3 mini is essentially a repackaged s2. Check the specs between the s3 and s2 and you'll find they are quite similar. Also, the s3 mini was only sold in certain non-US markets some users mention it doesn't work in the US. Check what bands it supports.


You are right. I have read Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini reviews, and people write that in the U.S., instead of the 3G mode it uses the Enhanced Data rates for GSM Evolution (EDGE) technology. That, by itself, would not be a big issue for me. I am interested in a smartphone primarily for international travel, and even there I will use it mostly at hotspots.

But you are also helping me to decide in favor of Nexus 4. I am curious if Browser or anyone else had experience with a micro-SIM cutter. As I will be traveling in different countries, I will be buying local SIMs. I am guessing that at some places, micro-SIMs will not be available and I will need to cut regular SIMs. If the cutters work as described, I will buy Nexus 4.

Victoria

I have a Nexus 4, and it's nearly the perfect phone except it's a tad big for my liking. But the price was right. I had an extra micro sim card lying around that I cut to nano-size with a micro to nano sim cutter because I planned to buy an iphone (but changed my mind). I placed it in one of those sim card adapters and slid it into my phone and the phone worked. The adapter I used was a bit clumsy and took a minute or two to fit properly, but it works. I imagine using a mini to micro sim cutter would work with no problem. Also, you may want to check out Sony Ericson Xperia series. Some models have dual sim card readers, which could make it convenient while traveling and using multiple sim cards from different networks.

I see little reason to get any other unlocked Android-based phone. I like how the Nexus 4 comes with a stock version of Android without all those cool (but buggy and laggy) 3d add-ons and uninstallable bloatware that other phones have. Also, I think Nexus 4 gets Android updates first, and you can expect to receive updates for quite a while. I was concerned about battery life, but days of heavy use (that is around 40 mins of internet usage and 15 mins worth of phone calls), I still have ~75% life remaining by the end of the day. If I rarely use the phone, maybe 1 min of internet, half dozen text messages sent or received, a couple short calls, I still have ~90% by the end of the day. One downside is the battery is not removable, which could pose a problem in a couple years when the battery won't be able to hold as much of a charge.
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Re: Do I really need a Smartphone?

Postby VictoriaF » Sat Jun 08, 2013 7:29 am

beanstock wrote:Also, you may want to check out Sony Ericson Xperia series. Some models have dual sim card readers, which could make it convenient while traveling and using multiple sim cards from different networks.


A quick visit to Amazon.com has produced some Sony Xperia devices running Android 2.3. In contrast, Nexus 4 (purchased at Google) comes with Android 4.2. Thank you for the suggestion, but I think Nexus 4 is the best choice for me. Especially now, that you have confirmed that SIM cutters work.

Victoria
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Re: Do I really need a Smartphone?

Postby JMacDonald » Sat Jun 08, 2013 7:32 am

Hi Victoria,
If you haven't checked out Rick Steve's website for traveling in Europe, it is worth a look. He is the expert: http://www.ricksteves.com/plan/tips/cel ... europe.htm
Best Wishes, | Joe
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Re: Do I really need a Smartphone?

Postby beanstock » Sat Jun 08, 2013 7:36 am

VictoriaF wrote:
beanstock wrote:Also, you may want to check out Sony Ericson Xperia series. Some models have dual sim card readers, which could make it convenient while traveling and using multiple sim cards from different networks.


A quick visit to Amazon.com has produced some Sony Xperia devices running Android 2.3. In contrast, Nexus 4 (purchased at Google) comes with Android 4.2. Thank you for the suggestion, but I think Nexus 4 is the best choice for me. Especially now, that you have confirmed that SIM cutters work.

Victoria

Good choice. I doubt you won't be disappointed (but you never know about future with Black Swan events or possibly getting fooled by randomness)! Keep us posted on your experiences with the Nexus 4. I swear, I feel a sort of kinship with other Nexus 4 owners. I've only seen one person locally who has one. I pulled out my Nexus 4 in an elevator, and the guy next to me yelled excitedly, "Is that a Nexus 4?!?! I have one too!" and he showed me it gushing over its wonderfulness. Most Android users here own Samsungs or HTCs. As for the Nexus 4s level of antifragility, I'd say it ranks highest among Androids.
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Re: Do I really need a Smartphone?

Postby VictoriaF » Sat Jun 08, 2013 7:44 am

JMacDonald wrote:Hi Victoria,
If you haven't checked out Rick Steve's website for traveling in Europe, it is worth a look. He is the expert: http://www.ricksteves.com/plan/tips/cel ... europe.htm


Hi Joe,

Thank you for the reference. I was particularly interested in Rick Steves's descriptions of the use of unlocked phones. The following statement is very helpful:

Rick Steves wrote:Note that some mobile-phone shops sell SIM cards for only one provider, while others offer a wide range. Unless you're certain you want a particular company, look for a place that gives you several options, then ask the clerk which one is best for the types of calls you're going to make.


It means that in a specialized shop I can choose a provider that offers micro-SIMs, or that a shop is likely to have SIM cutters.

Victoria
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Re: Do I really need a Smartphone?

Postby VictoriaF » Sat Jun 08, 2013 7:54 am

beanstock wrote:
VictoriaF wrote:
beanstock wrote:Also, you may want to check out Sony Ericson Xperia series. Some models have dual sim card readers, which could make it convenient while traveling and using multiple sim cards from different networks.


A quick visit to Amazon.com has produced some Sony Xperia devices running Android 2.3. In contrast, Nexus 4 (purchased at Google) comes with Android 4.2. Thank you for the suggestion, but I think Nexus 4 is the best choice for me. Especially now, that you have confirmed that SIM cutters work.

Victoria

Good choice. I doubt you won't be disappointed (but you never know about future with Black Swan events or possibly getting fooled by randomness)! Keep us posted on your experiences with the Nexus 4. I swear, I feel a sort of kinship with other Nexus 4 owners. I've only seen one person locally who has one. I pulled out my Nexus 4 in an elevator, and the guy next to me yelled excitedly, "Is that a Nexus 4?!?! I have one too!" and he showed me it gushing over its wonderfulness. Most Android users here own Samsungs or HTCs. As for the Nexus 4s level of antifragility, I'd say it ranks highest among Androids.


I am going to buy a Nexus 4 right now. In general, compulsive purchases are deemed irrational, but I have a tendency to over-analyze and need a way to stop the analysis and just do it. An Android will make me more Antifragile and possibly protect me from Black Swans. But most importantly, it sounds like fun.

Thanks,
Victoria
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Re: Do I really need a Smartphone?

Postby beanstock » Sat Jun 08, 2013 8:05 am

Paralysis by analysis can induce more stress and anxiety than necessary. I didn't buy a smartphone until March of this year. I've been using Nokia candy bar phones since 2003. I've researched and researched and delayed and researched off and on for a few years until I pulled the trigger. I almost returned the phone to get an iphone. But I stuck with it because I felt it was a better value than an iphone and am glad I did. I also think the many months of research was time and energy wasted. Live and learn. The jump from a Nokia bar phone to a Android phone was a major leap. The functionality of the Nexus 4 incredible. I don't pay much more for data, but I get so much more out of my Nexus 4 than a candy bar phone, and I am still amazed at what it's capable of. Enjoy the Nexus 4!
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Re: Do I really need a Smartphone?

Postby matjen » Sat Jun 08, 2013 8:27 am

Welcome to the Nexus 4 club! Pure Google Android goodness unsullied by the carriers. Best bang for the buck. :sharebeer

Do not get their add on magnetic charger thingie. The phone tends to slip off it. Very annoying.

To keep its slim profile get the Poetic slim case. $5 on Amazon. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00ANG ... UTF8&psc=1
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Re: Do I really need a Smartphone?

Postby VictoriaF » Sat Jun 08, 2013 8:35 am

beanstock wrote:Paralysis by analysis can induce more stress and anxiety than necessary.


This is also known as The Paradox of Choice. I read Barry Schwartz's book but for a quick exposure to his ideas, I recommend his TED video. When choices create a paralysis, I refer to it as the tyranny of choice.

After looking into various aspects of smartphones for the past 20 hours, I am escalating it from the tyranny of choice to the hara-kiri by choice. And so to cut to the chase, I have placed an order with Google. My assets are now $430 lighter, but my heart is in the right place. I think.

Cheers,
Victoria
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Re: Do I really need a Smartphone?

Postby VictoriaF » Sat Jun 08, 2013 8:40 am

matjen wrote:Welcome to the Nexus 4 club! Pure Google Android goodness unsullied by the carriers. Best bang for the buck. :sharebeer

Do not get their add on magnetic charger thingie. The phone tends to slip off it. Very annoying.

To keep its slim profile get the Poetic slim case. $5 on Amazon. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00ANG ... UTF8&psc=1


Alea iacta est (the die has been cast). I have placed the order before I saw your message. I successfully avoided the wireless charger trap, because none of the Amazon.com reviewers liked it. As for the case, Google is temporarily offering a free bumper.

Thank you for welcoming me to the club. You realize that I will have even more questions once I get the Nexus {warning smile},

Victoria
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