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Ready for my new phone. Suggestions please

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Ready for my new phone. Suggestions please

Postby pjbogart » Mon Sep 16, 2013 10:32 pm

My two years is up and I'm finally, finally ready to let go of my flip phone. I don't have anything against my flip phone, nor am I chomping at the bit to start walking around with a monstrous device that looks more like a laptop than a phone (is that the internet in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?) But frankly, I really don't know what I'm going to want in the next year or two, so perhaps taking the plunge isn't such a bad idea, rather than sticking myself with another dinosaur.

I currently use US Cellular and will stick with them unless another option is pretty compelling. I understand that iPhones are coming soon so perhaps I should hold off for a bit. The Moto X looks pretty enticing, all the wonders of a smart phone and made in America, which I think is a real selling point. The Galaxy series seems pretty popular.

Since I don't currently have a smart phone, I'm probably going to ask a few dumb questions, so bear with me. One thing I'd like in my phone is simply ease of access. I'm kind of assuming that they're all pretty easy to navigate but maybe some are better than others. Another thing I'd like is something I can plug into my car radio and listen to a football game that I can't find on any of the regular broadcasts. I assume I'd need an app for that, but I'm wondering if that consumes a ton of data and I'll need one of the higher data plans to pull it off. My car is 2012 and has iPod controls on the radio and steering wheel, but I'm not certain that phones can simply be put through my auxillary input. Do I need to research that or is that a pretty common feature? Or is that simply a bluetooth thang? Because even my flip phone does that for phone calls.

I have an iPod and an iPod dock in my car between the front seats. It charges the iPod and even allows me to navigate music directly from the radio or steering wheel. Will an iPhone also plug into that dock? Would getting an iPhone save me a lot of hassle because I can simply toss my iPod? Are there similar programs other than iTunes that will give me all of the same features on different phones? Maybe the Moto X would allow me to simply store my music in the cloud so I don't even need to sync it on my desktop.

Sorry, that's a lot, but if there are gadget wizards out there to assist me, I'd like to get the best bang for my buck. I think I'm willing to drop $300 or so (with a contract). If it's more than that I might be seduced by that free flip phone.
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Re: Ready for my new phone. Suggestions please

Postby Stebben84 » Tue Sep 17, 2013 8:35 am

pjbogart wrote:Another thing I'd like is something I can plug into my car radio and listen to a football game that I can't find on any of the regular broadcasts. I assume I'd need an app for that, but I'm wondering if that consumes a ton of data and I'll need one of the higher data plans to pull it off.


If you do this often, then yes. Anything streaming eats up a lot of data. Also, I've found most apps for this come from ESPN, NFL, or other major broadcasters. You'll most likely have to pay(monthly) or get their coverage through a cable provider. There might be an app out there for free, but I haven't found one.

pjbogart wrote: My car is 2012 and has iPod controls on the radio and steering wheel, but I'm not certain that phones can simply be put through my auxillary input. Do I need to research that or is that a pretty common feature? Or is that simply a bluetooth thang? Because even my flip phone does that for phone calls.


I really depends on the car. I don't think the ipod controls will control your phone. You should be able to answer your calls and such via bluetooth but not much else. You may still want to research this. Just note, that if you have ipod controls, it won't control other brands of mp3 players or phones. I believe they're proprietary.

That said, I have a Galaxy 3 and I love it. I got it through US Cellular for about $150, but I think you can now get the Galaxy 4 for the same price. It's easy to navigate and has all the bells and whistles. It is a bit on the bigger side when you compare it to the iphone, but I got used to that. I use my phone quite a bit for work and news surfing and such, so I wanted a bigger screen. I do know that the iphone has a much better battery life, but I never have a problem charging up when I need to. I may have gone with the iphone if US Cellular carried it at the time I purchased, but to this day I have no regrets. I think once you switch from a flip phone to a new phone, you'll never look back.
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Re: Ready for my new phone. Suggestions please

Postby fisticuffs » Tue Sep 17, 2013 8:38 am

The iPhone would be seen just as the iPod is but... the new iPhone uses a new connector so an adapter might be necessary. I'm tied into Apple and their services and my laptop and my AppleTV so there's not much of an advantage to go with a droid or Windows phone but I am at least curios. Seems like they are getting better all the time. As far as easy and stable though I doubt you can beat the iPhone.
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Re: Ready for my new phone. Suggestions please

Postby Stebben84 » Tue Sep 17, 2013 8:55 am

fisticuffs wrote:The iPhone would be seen just as the iPod is but... the new iPhone uses a new connector so an adapter might be necessary.


Out of curiosity, what can you control through your steering wheel controls on the iphone. Is it just itunes or can you control other apps.
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Re: Ready for my new phone. Suggestions please

Postby fisticuffs » Tue Sep 17, 2013 8:59 am

Depends on the stereo. A basic "iPod Control" would just be the itunes app. There are units that have deeper integration. I have the USB and iPod control and I keep my old 80GB in the center counsel plugged in. I can sort through artists, albums songs etc. with the deck controls but generally I plug my iPhone into the Aux and use Spotify.
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Re: Ready for my new phone. Suggestions please

Postby pjbogart » Tue Sep 17, 2013 9:20 am

The wheel controls pretty much just change volume and tracks. They also automatically pause the iPod and allow you to answer the phone. The deck can do just about anything with your iPod, but if you've got a lot of music on there you might as well go straight to the iPod and find what you want because it's a lot faster. And you have to unplug it to do so because the iPod screen freezes while the car is in motion.

I think I'm talking myself into an iPhone, even though I was leaning towards the Moto X. I'm certainly going to have my car for at least another two years, so maybe having a phone that integrates with my car stereo is enough of a perk to go with iPhone. But US Cellular doesn't carry iPhones.
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Re: Ready for my new phone. Suggestions please

Postby Kenneth Burns » Tue Sep 17, 2013 10:41 am

If I had money to burn I would consider the Nokia Lumia 1020, the Windows Phone handset with the 41-megapixel camera.
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Re: Ready for my new phone. Suggestions please

Postby fisticuffs » Tue Sep 17, 2013 10:45 am

Kenneth Burns wrote:If I had money to burn I would consider the Nokia Lumia 1020, the Windows Phone handset with the 41-megapixel camera.


I was seriously considering it as well but it's AT&T only and it wouldn't work in my house. As much as I like the Windows phone interface it just doesn't work as well with my other stuff and there aren't enough apps. At least with a Droid there is an Airplay workaround.
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Re: Ready for my new phone. Suggestions please

Postby Stebben84 » Tue Sep 17, 2013 10:47 am

Kenneth Burns wrote:If I had money to burn I would consider the Nokia Lumia 1020, the Windows Phone handset with the 41-megapixel camera.


As cool as it sounds, why the hell would anyone need a 41 megapixel camera that's not an SLR? Plus Windows is still crap for apps.
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Re: Ready for my new phone. Suggestions please

Postby fisticuffs » Tue Sep 17, 2013 10:57 am

Stebben84 wrote:
Kenneth Burns wrote:If I had money to burn I would consider the Nokia Lumia 1020, the Windows Phone handset with the 41-megapixel camera.


As cool as it sounds, why the hell would anyone need a 41 megapixel camera that's not an SLR? Plus Windows is still crap for apps.


Megapixels aside the physical zoom lens would make it an even better point and shoot replacement.
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Re: Ready for my new phone. Suggestions please

Postby fisticuffs » Tue Sep 17, 2013 11:12 am

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Re: Ready for my new phone. Suggestions please

Postby Kenneth Burns » Tue Sep 17, 2013 11:41 am

Stebben84 wrote:As cool as it sounds, why the hell would anyone need a 41 megapixel camera that's not an SLR? Plus Windows is still crap for apps.

I have a decent point and shoot that I hardly ever use anymore, because these days I mostly take crappy photos with my crappy Android smartphone. If I'm mainly going to be taking pictures with a phone anyway, why not use a phone that takes good pictures and seems like a fun toy? Is my thinking. Not that I'm getting a new phone anytime soon.
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Re: Ready for my new phone. Suggestions please

Postby Stebben84 » Tue Sep 17, 2013 12:32 pm

Kenneth Burns wrote: If I'm mainly going to be taking pictures with a phone anyway, why not use a phone that takes good pictures and seems like a fun toy?


That's true since most people are using their phones nowadays instead of point and shoot. My Galaxy takes 8 megapixel photos and they're pretty damn good. I pretty much look at these or share these exclusively on the interwebs so it serves my purpose just fine. My biggest objection in that phone is running windows. I just haven't heard positive feedback from it's users and that would be the deal breaker no matter how good the camera.

PJ, I don't know how much of a picture taker you are, but the camera is something to consider. Most new smart phones have decent cameras, but it's definitely something to look at.
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Re: Ready for my new phone. Suggestions please

Postby Francis Di Domizio » Tue Sep 17, 2013 1:04 pm



Excellent read, but I think it puts too much emphasis on a few OS specific aps. Most of the apps the writer names are ones that add functionality, that is "really cool" but not really needed, or apps that are easily replaced with more OS agnostic apps (google actually is intelligent about this, in creating IOS versions of most of their tools).


PJ, does your car connect via a 30 pin apple connector, because that may limit your ability to get a newer iPhone. If your car has bluetooth capability (and given the on steering wheel controls as well as the year, I wouldn't be shocked) you are probably able to use it with an Android as well.

If I was up for a new phone right now, (also with US Cellular) I'd be looking at a Moto X. It's probably the best install of Android available right now outside of the google Nexus line, which aren't compatible with US Cellular and you have to buy outright from goolge anyway. Not that the galaxy is a bad line, I'm just a not a fan of how they modify Android.

If you do decide on an iPhone product you might want to wait a little bit (if you like US Cellular).
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Re: Ready for my new phone. Suggestions please

Postby Kenneth Burns » Tue Sep 17, 2013 1:46 pm

I'm curious about the Windows Phone OS, and the app count doesn't really bother me. I don't use many apps. I actually have recently considered buying the Nokia Lumia 520, the entry level Lumia that costs $99 unlocked, just to fool around with, maybe to use as a media player, like an iPod touch. Might not even activate the phone service. (Tech journalist Paul Thurrott has been advocating this.) App availability aside, I hear good things about Windows Phone. That it's innovative, etc.
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