Choosing a smartphone

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George the original one
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Choosing a smartphone

Post by George the original one »

One of my hobbies, autocross, is finally giving me solid reasons to own a smartphone, particularly as I begin competing on a national level. Scores are instantly available via WiFi (local clubs) or Internet (national competition). Event communications are now broadcast via Facebook or texts rather on-site whiteboards. Plus the ability to check traffic while traveling to events is useful.

Wasn't going to get one until after Christmas unless there are good sales... now the new iPhone is out and Verizon has good deals on the old models. As in the iPhone 7 is free with new service and iPhone 7 Plus is $10/mo. I've pretty much decided it will be one or the other.

So the questions are:
1) iPhone 7 will run the latest OS, but probably not the next one. What are the drawbacks of being frozen out of future OS upgrades?
2) iPhone 7+ has pretty good battery life, but is the battery size worth the extra physical size? I tried out an iPhone 8 vs iPhone 8 Plus and the Plus was useable, but awkward for my hands.
3) How important is extra storage for a smartphone?

Seppia
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Re: Choosing a smartphone

Post by Seppia »

1) My parents are still using an iPhone 5, so I would say that a 7 will work, assuming you’re not a tech obsessed.
2) depends how much you use it. My wife has a 7 and the battery lasts her 2 days. It would not last me a full day when I travel for work. Active GPS (ie: google maps) drains the battery super fast, so remember to get a car charger.
3) if you don’t plan on taking millions of pictures and storing them all on your phone, completely irrelevant.

Nomad
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Re: Choosing a smartphone

Post by Nomad »

Personally, I avoid IPhones. I had one years ago but dropped it once on a hard wood floor - amazingly, the screen shattered into a million tiny pieces.
Since then I have gone exclusively for Android based phones. Cheaper and more reliable. Currently using Moto 6 Plus with 64GB and a 128GB memory card.

sky
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Re: Choosing a smartphone

Post by sky »

You can get an Android smartphone for $20, with a $40 per month unlimited data, phone, text plan from Visible, which is a Verizon company. They allow tethering and hotspot usage, so it can serve as one's internet service.

vexed87
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Re: Choosing a smartphone

Post by vexed87 »

My MIL has an iPhone 5C which just fell out of the update cycle and as a result can no longer use her online banking apps, other apps which are security dependent will also soon be rendered unusable too. It wont be long until the 7 follows suit which is why carriers are 'giving them away', hoping to catch out the non tech savvy types like my MIL who assumed her iphone 5c would suit her needs for a longer time.

128gb is over kill for a modest user, 64gb would be fine especially if you are prepared to back up and wipe off old photos, videos and unused apps.

Check out Fairphone. Their whole mantra is social and environmental responsibility so you shouldnt have huge issues with intended obscelesence... caveat I have no idea if they meet your needs as I dont own one, but modular design and repairability is a boon for the EREer and indicates they take long term support seriously.

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Sclass
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Re: Choosing a smartphone

Post by Sclass »

I recently upgraded to iPhone 6s and SE phones. They are the oldest phones that will take iOS 13. They will be dropped by Apple at some point. Depending on how you use the phone this can be an issue or not. I have iPhone 4s models that still work. They just won’t run the most current updates of certain apps. Sometimes this is an issue, like on banking apps that refuse to work on the old app or on my airline booking app. Other apps like
Uber still work.

I keep a $25 android phone with no service as a decoy phone. I go to a social venue that requires members to drop their phone in a basket at the front desk before entering. I hate the rule and I drop this junk phone in and sneak in my iPhone. It’s useful because sometimes I accidentally leave without claiming the phone. I don’t like the build quality but I have ever tried a high end android like a Samsung or lg. Those look nice. My brother has an older Samsung and it takes lousy pictures.

My 6s was $120 and my SE was $85 two months ago. I bet the price is way down now that iOS 13 is out. I use rubber cases and tempered glass shields to protect the phones. Amazing how much easier they are to put on nowadays by yourself without bubbles. I run $15/mo Mint Mobile service which is a T Mobile MVNO. I think this’ll be cheaper than going with regular T mobile and getting a free iPhone 7 with their package after a few months. Also I don’t worry about losing my phone or it getting broken. They’re cheap enough to replace.

I notice I buy four year old iPhones and keep them four years. It’s at the price point where I’ll spring for the device I guess. $100 a phone, four years of use.

George the original one
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Re: Choosing a smartphone

Post by George the original one »

vexed87 wrote:
Fri Sep 20, 2019 6:11 am
It wont be long until the 7 follows suit which is why carriers are 'giving them away', hoping to catch out the non tech savvy types like my MIL who assumed her iphone 5c would suit her needs for a longer time.
But there will be another free phone when it's necessary to switch. Just like some people use introductory credit card offers, phone users can do the same.

George the original one
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Re: Choosing a smartphone

Post by George the original one »

sky wrote:
Thu Sep 19, 2019 9:56 pm
You can get an Android smartphone for $20, with a $40 per month unlimited data, phone, text plan from Visible, which is a Verizon company. They allow tethering and hotspot usage, so it can serve as one's internet service.
Visible's offering is not bad. They throttle bandwidth for hotspots. I can see switching to their plan when the time comes. Sadly it's aimed at phone users, so my cellular modem that doubles as the house phone isn't on their list of compatible devices.

George the original one
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Re: Choosing a smartphone

Post by George the original one »

vexed87 wrote:
Fri Sep 20, 2019 6:11 am
Check out Fairphone.
Not really viable in my neck of the woods (USA). Nearest store is down in the Carribean.

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fiby41
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Re: Choosing a smartphone

Post by fiby41 »

First phone Nokia E71 in February 2009 costed INR20000.
Current phone bought in October 2015 costed INR10000.
Next upgrade scheduled for 2021 budged at INR5000.

George the original one
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Re: Choosing a smartphone

Post by George the original one »

The smaller size was desireable enough I ended up with the free iPhone 7 via Verizon. Didn't bother with extra memory. Standby battery-life is actually decently long (several days with occasional text/phonecall usage), so this is going to work very well for me.

Coolest iPhone feature that nobody mentioned: "Do Not Disturb". This prevents the phone ringing for people who aren't in your Contacts (or Favorites if you want a more refined list). Since business contacts (doctor, insurance agent, Home Depot delivery, etc.) are only given our house phone number, there's virtually no reason for me not to know a phone number in advance, so I can effectively block robocalls to the iPhone by leaving Do Not Disturb activated 24/7. And looking at the notification log, it appears I'm averaging 2 robocalls per day.

I do have to look at the phone a couple times a day, though, just to make sure I get any texts. Apparently I can't hear the text notification from downstairs (have to leave the phone upstairs to get 1-bar reception in my fringe location).

mferson
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Re: Choosing a smartphone

Post by mferson »

I prefer an Android. I still have my Samsung S8 and it is still working great.

thai_tong
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Re: Choosing a smartphone

Post by thai_tong »

Currently I'm using a phone made by Caterpillar. Its made for construction sites so its shock resistant and water resistant
I can't say I bought the phone out of frugality, I'm known for dropping my phone so I wanted one which was robust. The S31 model costs $330, I'm hoping it'll last 5 years.

George the original one
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Re: Choosing a smartphone

Post by George the original one »

Public service note: Verizon is shutting off access for CDMA devices on January 1. This includes devices that you may think are 4G LTE, like the Novatel 4G LTE router with voice that I own, because while the data side is 4G LTE, the voice side is CDMA (arrgh!). CDMA has already been turned off in some rural locations (like mine).

If you're hanging onto an old flip phone or iPhone 5 on a cheap third party plan, they're not going to connect in the Verizon network. AT&T will shut down their CDMA network in 2022.
***
Public service note, Part 2: Verizon charges you significantly more to upgrade your phone (where you keep the same phone number) than it does if you cancel the service and get a new line.

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fiby41
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Re: Choosing a smartphone

Post by fiby41 »

George the original one wrote:
Mon Nov 25, 2019 2:36 pm
his includes devices that you may think are 4G LTE, like the Novatel 4G LTE router with voice that I own, because while the data side is 4G LTE, the voice side is CDMA
Could you use a 4G only network? We've an operator that offers VoLTE voice over LTE for free calling but one needs to make the call through their dialer app.
: Verizon charges you significantly more to upgrade your phone (where you keep the same phone number) than it does if you cancel the service and get a new line.
Mobile number portability is when one can switch to a competitor keeping the same mobile number.

JamesR
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Re: Choosing a smartphone

Post by JamesR »

iPhone 7 will most likely still be compatible with the next iOS update (iOS 14).

I have the iPhone SE and I actually bought it off craigslist in the spring before iOS 13 came out, and I was quite confident that the 6th generation (6/SE) would get iOS 13.

There's almost no doubt in my mind that 7th generation will be supported in iOS 14. Which means iPhone 7 should be fine for the next 3-4 years.

TopHatFox
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Re: Choosing a smartphone

Post by TopHatFox »

I've had the iPhone SE on MintMobile for two years now, and like it. T-Mobile service has performed poorly compared to my old AT&T MNVO though.

I'm thinking of upgrading to an iPhone 8 instead. You're right that the 8+ is awkwardly big, almost like it requires two hands to use. I read that the 7 has a worse battery life than the 8.

If you don't want to spend the $200-300 for a refurbed 8, you can always get a 6s for around $100

---------

https://www.amazon.com/Complete-Privacy ... 2551&psc=1

This cybersecurity book suggests that iPhones are at least more cognizant about privacy and digital security than Google or Microsoft phones, which is why I prefer iPhones at the moment. That, and they're easy to sell and pretty to use.

George the original one
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Re: Choosing a smartphone

Post by George the original one »

fiby41 wrote:
Mon Nov 25, 2019 10:25 pm
Could you use a 4G only network? We've an operator that offers VoLTE voice over LTE for free calling but one needs to make the call through their dialer app.
In theory, but I prefer not to make complications since I'm already in an area with fringe reception. Not to mention that VoLTE is not exactly free here.
Mobile number portability is when one can switch to a competitor keeping the same mobile number.
I'm too remote for there to be any competitors with coverage. It's Verizon or nothing!

Used to be that you had to travel 5 miles either direction to get coverage from the competitors, but when I checked their maps yesterday, they're claiming their coverage is within a mile now... maybe some day they'll hit my 4.5 acres :shock:

George the original one
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Re: Choosing a smartphone

Post by George the original one »

TopHatFox wrote:
Tue Nov 26, 2019 1:32 am
I read that the 7 has a worse battery life than the 8.
Not enough to matter for a low usage person like myself. My iPhone 7 sits turned on 24/7 now and I only have to charge it every 5 days, so the battery life is working quite well for me.

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