Tracphone user ready to tech up

Discussion in 'Hardware Discussion' started by MrPink, Apr 14, 2012.

  1. MrPink

    MrPink Pink Poney

    Messages:
    727
    Likes Received:
    0
    So, I've been on a tracphone for a few years now, and I've decided that I'm sick of it and ready to adopt an expensive 2 year contract for the sake of internet everywhere I go.

    I think I've already worked out that I want an iPhone 4S, but if you can make a compelling argument for a different phone, go ahead. So I guess what I'm really wondering is, which carrier can provide the best service at the best price? I'm military, so I'll be out of the country for sure. Also I'll be stationed in Montana, and from all the coverage maps I've looked at, there's not a lot of great technology happening there, which is why I'm interested in a 4S even though it's an older phone.

    Also another thing I was really curious about is if it's currently viable to replace an internet ISP with cell phone tethering and a kick ass data plan. It looks like the max that at&t offers is 5 gigs a month, which is very low by PC standards. Verizon goes a bit higher to 12 gigs, but that is also on the low end. Are there all in one deals out there that combine cell phone with ISP?
  2. NGEmu.com Advertisement

  3. Lasnap

    Lasnap Elven-Dragon Mage

    Messages:
    2,011
    Likes Received:
    4
    Only world wide stanrd is GSM and there are only 2 major us carriers of that type tmobile and at&t unless LTE is neither CDMA or GSM then you should be fine there. but since you are going for a 3g phone that would mean you are hitting that limit.
  4. SCHUMI_4EVER

    SCHUMI_4EVER Hackin 'n Slashin Staff Member Award Winner!

    Messages:
    28,455
    Likes Received:
    10
    If you're going to be traveling internationally then you definitely need to forget CDMA and make sure you get a GSM phone.

    I'm just curious but what made you go Apple instead of Android?
  5. Silenus

    Silenus Pilgrim Junior Contributor

    Messages:
    7,617
    Likes Received:
    32
    If you are going to be in USA Sprint has unlimited data plans, I think.

    You could use that to tether to your laptop.

    Although the iPhone 4S is a "world phone" (CDMA + GSM) you would have to get it unlocked if you plan to use another carrier in another country while you stay there.
    Roaming charges are very very expensive.

    Android phones are easier to unlock.
  6. MrPink

    MrPink Pink Poney

    Messages:
    727
    Likes Received:
    0
    Well, I haven't done too much research. Honestly, I'd like to avoid the hassle of unlocking the phone to switch carriers and all that; isn't your contract tied to the sim card? Would getting another carrier mean multiple phone bills?

    What drove me towards the iPhone is the responsiveness (I've experienced personally the slowness of Droid compared to iPhones) of it compared to Droid phones, as well as having much longer battery life. The only real draw of a Droid for me is the potential to make significant modifications to the phone software much easier. But honestly I don't think I have the time for it, and I'd just end up wishing I'd gotten the better phone from the factory.
  7. SCHUMI_4EVER

    SCHUMI_4EVER Hackin 'n Slashin Staff Member Award Winner!

    Messages:
    28,455
    Likes Received:
    10
    Consider the DROID RAZR Maxx as well if those are your reasons.
  8. runawayprisoner

    runawayprisoner Level 9998

    Messages:
    9,384
    Likes Received:
    0
    In terms of responsiveness and battery life, I think the Galaxy Nexus is the only phone in the entire Android lineup that has any chance against an iPhone 4S, and that's mostly due to ICS.

    That said, you can get the iPhone 4S on AT&T, and they'll readily unlock it for military personel.

    That said, I don't believe you can replace internet ISP with smartphone tethering. Tethering at this stage is more or less an emergency thing in my opinions.

    But that said, if you want to gobble data up that much, go iPad 3 Verizon. Tethering is included by default with the Verizon iPad 3, so you can freely do it, plus it supports LTE so your mobile data bandwidth would probably exceed your home internet by far. It obviously has the most battery life of any mobile device with LTE, and it'll also act as an excellent internet browser and map viewer by itself.

    Plus it's unlocked, so when you go abroad, just pop in a sim and you're good.
  9. SCHUMI_4EVER

    SCHUMI_4EVER Hackin 'n Slashin Staff Member Award Winner!

    Messages:
    28,455
    Likes Received:
    10
    Sure it may not be as good. But it's one of the best Android has to offer and stands out among the crowd and it will crush the iPhone when it comes to structural integrity. Besides as flagship it's assured to get ICS as well.
  10. runawayprisoner

    runawayprisoner Level 9998

    Messages:
    9,384
    Likes Received:
    0
    No, the Galaxy Nexus is the flagship. It's only the flagship devices (Nexus phones) that are guaranteed to get ICS and other software updates beyond the original firmware.

    That's not to say the Droid RAZR Maxx won't get ICS, but... the Galaxy Nexus already comes with ICS. It's silly having to wait for the magical software fix when you can get it right now. And the kicker is that... the Galaxy Nexus is cheaper than the Droid RAZR Maxx!

    And no, it still won't crush the iPhone when it comes to structural integrity or anything else of the sort. The iPhone 4S has higher resolution (ironic for having a smaller screen), better screen pixel arrangement, better screen power consumption (SAMOLED is extremely bad at displaying white), better GPU, longer battery life, better camera, and last but not least, the iPhone 4S is also thinner than the Droid RAZR. That's not to mention software integration (OS, apps, etc...).

    I'd say it depends on what it is you are looking for, but specifically, if responsiveness and smoothness is what you are after, then there really is nothing on the market right now that I can see that even holds a candle up to the iPhone 4S. It's freakishly fast and smooth.
  11. rui-no-onna

    rui-no-onna New Member

    Messages:
    680
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yep. Verizon is LTE is really fast. I get minimum 15Mbps down (kinda congested area). When using the iPad 3 4G Verizon as a wifi hotspot, I'm able to use it for 8 hours straight and battery life would only drop by 20~25%. The iPhone only lasts around 3-4 hours as hotspot before it dies. The iPad 3 is by far the best 3G/LTE hotspot I've used so far.

    That said, you can't go wrong with an iPhone 4S.
  12. SCHUMI_4EVER

    SCHUMI_4EVER Hackin 'n Slashin Staff Member Award Winner!

    Messages:
    28,455
    Likes Received:
    10
    What are you talking about RAP? Regardless of how it compares to the iPhone and the Nexus the RAZR Maxx is very definitely a flagship since it's pretty much the best phone Motorola currently have an offer. Just like before the HTC One X arrives the Sensation XE is still a flagship and how currently despite easily being the weakest of the lot the SE Arc S is still a flagship until the new Sony phones arrive.

    Also I mention structural integrity which to me means build strength and you go listing all sorts of other specs...what I meant is that the phone is at least partly a tough phone and should thus be able to withstand more damage than the iPhone.

    And ok the iPhone may still be stronger, but that's not what I was saying or at least what I was trying to say, what I mean was that compared to 90%+ of the other Android phones out there the RAZR Maxx comes a lot closer to the iPhone or whatever the leader is. And since it's got either the best or close to the best battery life out of all the androids whilst possessing that much power that makes it a very viable choice.
  13. Silenus

    Silenus Pilgrim Junior Contributor

    Messages:
    7,617
    Likes Received:
    32
  14. runawayprisoner

    runawayprisoner Level 9998

    Messages:
    9,384
    Likes Received:
    0
    Schumi, I think the RAZR Maxx can be considered Motorola's flagship, yes, but that doesn't mean it's Android's flagship. There is a pretty good difference between those two. I think the more apt description is to call it the "best Motorola smartphone" rather than call it a "flagship Android device".

    By the way, the Arc S was dethroned. In case you didn't catch it, the new device is Xperia S (no Arc).

    And you are right in that the RAZR Maxx is better than 90% Android devices out there, but that's because 85% are crap budget phones, and 5% are actual good smartphones that are now one generation old. I don't think that's anything to be proud about. When you compare the RAZR Maxx to the top Android devices right now, I don't think it's anything to really write home about.

    The only thing that I think it does best other devices is in battery life, but... that doesn't take away the fact that it's about average for this generation.

    And the big thing the Galaxy Nexus has going for it is the software, of course. By the time ICS is on the RAZR Maxx bug-free, I'd think that we'd already be looking at the next generation of phones already... Jellybeans is just right around the corner there.


    And Silenus, I think the Galaxy Nexus is indeed the most responsive Android phone. It's not the specs. It's the software. Being a native ICS devices, I think it enjoys hardware acceleration support of ICS along with other optimizations to keep it running peppy smooth and responsive. Do take note that I'm actually saying that while comparing it to the iPhone 4, which is one of the smoothest devices on the market (the smoothest and most responsive being the iPhone 4S). It's not like I haven't tried the Galaxy Note. The Note is quite a good distance behind the iPhone 4 to be honest, at least on stock hardware. The Galaxy Nexus without any tweak can go pretty much head-to-head with the iPhone 4. With some tweaks and custom ROMs, it's right there with the iPhone 4 in all counts.

    You're right that the GS2 lineup could still give it a run with ICS, but hey, the Galaxy Nexus is about the only device that I can think of that is enjoying the full benefits of ICS, bug free! And I think ICS is the big thing here, not the hardware. If hardware was the big thing then the iPhone 4S would be ahead of either of these phones anyhow.

    Also the Galaxy SIII may be announced in May with native ICS. I think that's the more worthy opponent. ;)
  15. SCHUMI_4EVER

    SCHUMI_4EVER Hackin 'n Slashin Staff Member Award Winner!

    Messages:
    28,455
    Likes Received:
    10
    I didn't call it that. I merely called it a flagship which means it's either the top phone of one of the brands or held that position just a little while ago.

    I know about the Xperia S but I thought it hadn't launched yet, which to me means it doesn't count. Though that could be cuz I've only been following local news and it's nowhere near a local launch yet.

    More like 60% are budget phones (I wouldn't quite call them crap, especially compared to what came before them). And then the remaining 30% are former flagships and mid to high tier phones none of which are remotely crap, just weaker than the current flagships. You wouldn't call an E8400 crap for instance would you? Old yes, but never crap.

    It's not THAT far behind.

    This generation? There aren't enough dual-core phones to call it a generation yet, or enough to simply discard one as not worth looking at either. AND if you then consider this particular dual-core phone has better battery life than it's competitors and is only slightly weaker then it's very much something that should be looked at.
  16. runawayprisoner

    runawayprisoner Level 9998

    Messages:
    9,384
    Likes Received:
    0
    No, I'm quite certain the budget phones take up at least 80% of the pie. They're not 60%.

    Past flagships only account for around 10% or so, and current flagships are 10%. There are that many Android phones on the market, yeah. If you count both the GSM and CDMA sides, the number goes up even more.

    And actually, there are quite a number of dual-core phones on the market already. Maybe not where you are, but here in the States, almost every phone on display at AT&T and Verizon, save for the Windows Phone offers, is a dual-core phone.

    And "slightly weaker" is only in terms of hardware. Again, you need to look at the software side of things.

    So yes, I am really insinuating the fact that ICS is 100% better and faster than Gingerbread on most current phones right now. That's the factor that creates the huge gap between the flagships (Galaxy Nexus, One X) and the next ones (Galaxy SII, Droid RAZR Maxx) in my opinions.

    It's like you can't really group the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S in the same class or generation of device. That's how big a difference it is. Until phones like Galaxy SII and Droid RAZR Maxx officially gets ICS (bug-free), I don't think they are comparable to the ICS phones at all.
  17. SCHUMI_4EVER

    SCHUMI_4EVER Hackin 'n Slashin Staff Member Award Winner!

    Messages:
    28,455
    Likes Received:
    10
    So you group stuff like the Defy, my Neo, the Xperia mini, Desire S, along with stuff like the Vodafones, the old LG Optimus P500 and the Wildfire? Cuz that's the only way you get an 80% budget section. Unless you count every single personalized network exclusive tweak as a new and different phone (those things are a damn curse).

    And the only current dual-core phones I know of are the SGS2, Droid RAZR and Maxx, Atrix, Note, Sensation and XE, Nexus and that's basically it unless you include chinese exclusives like the Xiaomi or whatever it's called. And even then they're all still completely top-tier phones and haven't filtered through to the mid to high and mid sections yet so it's not as if someone who has a little less than top-dollar can go and get himself a dual-core phone yet. Once that happens then you can claim them as a generation. Granted there are lots more on the way but it's nowhere near the stage were you can simply dismiss a current flagship as an also-ran.
  18. Phil

    Phil 339.9 Award Winner!

    Messages:
    14,862
    Likes Received:
    13
    The Iphone breaks to easily.
  19. runawayprisoner

    runawayprisoner Level 9998

    Messages:
    9,384
    Likes Received:
    0
    While I do group some of the devices you mention into the budget section, I don't specifically do so for all devices. But do take note that there are lots more crap Android phones than there are good ones. And the ratio is actually around 80% whether you believe it or not. Just because it doesn't exist in your particular market doesn't mean it doesn't exist elsewhere.

    And regarding dual-core phones, I think you are grossly under-informed about that stuff. Try the LG Optimus 3D, or Optimus 4G, or... LG G2X. And what about the Motorola Droid Bionic? Motorola XT928? Droid 4? In fact, how about the Droid 3?

    There are actually TONs of dual-core phones on the market now, and yes, that's disregarding tweaks of the same phone on different networks like Galaxy S II Skyrocket on AT&T and so on.

    When you consider how long ago the Droid 3 was released, the Droid RAZR Maxx with essentially the same innards can definitely be considered an also-ran.

    It's trivial, though, as I don't think any of that actually contributes to why I think the Droid RAZR Maxx is not a good choice of a flagship device.

    This is relevant, however: the Droid RAZR Maxx has a locked bootloader, no way to unlock the bootloader yet, and ICS is an assumption but not confirmation at this point. In terms of hardware, you are gambling on the fact that someone, somehow (magically?) can unlock the bootloader on that thing and allow custom ROMs. Not to say that that's impossible, but just to say, it's not a good time to grab that phone right now due to lack of developer support/interest.

    Not to say it's not a nice phone, though. But just to say... Motorola hasn't exactly been in a stable-ish existence lately (last I heard, they might be sold to Huawei), and their devices have been receiving very lackluster developer support. :( I'll admit the phone hardware is nice, but the software inside... well, I can't really consider that okay anymore, and since we can't even flash a new ROM in, you're stuck with horrible software until Motorola allows you to change it. That's even more restrictive than what Apple is doing to their devices.

    Not anymore. :p
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=W8uaXI2RZ6U

    BRICK!

    Jokes aside, the innards of the iPhone 4 and 4S are surprisingly rigid. The steel band you see is actually a whole solid piece inside. The only parts that are brittle about the device are the glass front and back. I don't know why Apple went with the glass back, personally, considering they could have used an aluminum back instead. It'll cut down on weight (significantly) and thickness, and it'll make the device a lot less brittle.
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2012
  20. SCHUMI_4EVER

    SCHUMI_4EVER Hackin 'n Slashin Staff Member Award Winner!

    Messages:
    28,455
    Likes Received:
    10
    Ok with that you finally have a point where yeah I can see how picking the RAZR Maxx may not be the best idea. A pretty big one.

    Out of all those devices you mentioned though the only one I know is the Optimus 3D which I'd forgotten about. Pretty sure all the others are american (or other region) exclusives and quite possibly CDMA only devices.
  21. runawayprisoner

    runawayprisoner Level 9998

    Messages:
    9,384
    Likes Received:
    0
    The Droid RAZR Maxx is also a CDMA device. The only reason why it has a SIM slot is for LTE network, but it uses Verizon's bands, and not a lot of carriers worldwide support Verizon's bands.

Share This Page