Tell me about your smartphone!
Currently I have the Moto G5 Plus that I purchased a little over two years ago for $200. For the most part, it has been a good phone as the gestures to turn the flash light on, turn the camera on, and use the finger print sensor as a swipeable button, has had me pretty satisfied. This was a lower middle range phone when I purchased it so it has lately started chugging even doing basic tasks like internet browsing. Couple that with the battery dying pretty quickly, and battery saver making the phone even slower, and now I am in the market to buy a new phone. Right now I am looking at the OnePlus 7t but the price looks pretty hefty to me at $599. I could make payments but in general I don't like going into debt for small purchases. I'm curious if anyone went from low-tier phone to mid-tier or higher and if you felt the purchase was worth it?
Some other general questions:
- What is your phone?
- Did you finance it?
- Are you looking to upgrade?
- What features are the most important to you?
I actually never had a smart phone, only a dumb nokia phone, but I guess I'll get one when it dies. The only feature I really would like is maps when travelling and being able to buy tickets. But I don't like the idea of having a computer on me all the time.
Your best bet is something with KaiOS, maybe something like the TCL devices. They do have a web browser, but it's with a T9 pad and no touch screen, so you can't get lost.
I have an iPhone SE, bought refurbished with a 2 year guarantee.
Got it only last month after I dropped my hand-me-down iPhone 5 on the pavement after having it for 2 or 3 years. The 'new' one cost me € 189,-
Not looking to upgrade, as the most important feature is I don't like te buy virgin (new) electronics. I also like its small size and the design of Apple's hardware.
Because electronics contain many materials that are mined in very earth-unfriendly ways and often under appaling social conditions. That, in combination with the fact that there's so many perfectly functional and relatively up-to-date phones, tablets, and laptops sitting around in people's drawers because they've upgraded means I'd rather use one of those idle leftovers untill they give out. Plus it's cheaper. Although I'd probably even go for second-hand if that weren't the case.
Another iPhone SE user. Super cheap. Excellent form factor. I also trust Apple a little more with my data than Google, so I try to avoid Android. Does everything I need it to when it comes to communication and web browsing.
I'm in the same boat! I love the SE. I've thought about going down @vivaria's path (I've got a modded iPod video for music) -- but the SE is the perfect balance between having a functional phone that does everything, but also in a tight form factor. I also use iMessage on my laptop, almost exclusively.
the headphone jack is also nice :)
oh god --- I forgot about the lack of headphone jack on some phones. I don't want my life defined by the dongles in my pocket. :)
Can you talk about what mods you’ve done for your iPod video? I have an old one I would like to make more usable.
I started with an iPod Video Enhanced / 5.5 80gb (the fat back) --- while the 80gb does technically have more RAM, rockbox doesn't put it to use at this time.
With the iFlash Quad and this specific battery, it fits perfectly into the iPod 30gb case (slim.) Any other battery outside of the stock one will require the 80gb case (thick) with bumpers to hold everything in place.
When the iPod is open, there are two ribbon cables, one that connects to the top panel and one for the HDD -- both are the little flip ones. The HDD one is the hardest of the two, but once you do it once, you'll be a pro. When you open it, don't lift it directly up, but open it a little, disconnect the smaller ribbon cable, then continue.
The battery connector is on the top left and is a white connector over three fine pins. When you remove this connector, be extremely gentle and make sure you don't wiggle it. If the pins break off, you can solder it, but its fine work.
Right now my iPod has 1x 200gb microSD and runs Rockbox. It runs like a dream and works well for both music and audiobooks. Rockbox has
timestretch, which will normalize the pitch when you increase the speed of a track. Within Rockbox I've made some small changes to the navigation to separate music from audiobooks. Some folks load their iPods up with 1tb+ -- which is both crazy and awesome. I've only got about 100gb on the thing right now.
The battery itself lasts... a long time. I've never had to charge it. With regular use I'd expect to charge it once per week or so -- but don't quote me on that. The Rockbox firmware can only be set up to 1400mAh, so I have no idea how low I've actually had the thing.
You can boot the iPod into the stock firmware by turning it on and immediately locking it. Use the original firmware for transferring files. There's some weird bug that leads to larger files corrupting if you transfer while booted into Rockbox.
Check your iPod's version with the iFlash site to see if your version is compatible. Same with Rockbox.
I was somewhat stressed about opening the iPod, but as long as you go slow and are really gentle, you'll be set. After its open and you do your first mod, you'll see how trivial the process is... and you'll probably want to do everybody's iPods.
Lastly, when you format the main disk for the iPod firmware / rockbox, make sure you do it on a Windows box so it will be FAT32.
Even if you decide to only do the iFlash mod, but keep the original battery, you'll still get exceptional life out of the thing. The device itself will be super light and feels super high tech for some reason.
I picked up a Belkin Crystal case, which is near-impossible to find. Its a two-piece clear plastic case that is still fairly thin, all things considered.
The scene for this has somewhat died down since I did my mod, but you can still find some decent parts on ebay. You can finally have that white and gold with red clickwheel you never wanted.
The last thing to mention, if you're using Rockbox, is to learn how a parametric EQ works. Since the iPod is limited with processing power, you really need to work around these limitations when messing with the EQ and other settings. A few things like Haas Surround, some sort of bass enhancement (not levels), etc can really slow the device. For me, I just adjust a few key bands in the EQ (high and low shelf, 100, 500, 2000) and then adjust the overall gain if I've decided to move any of these values above zero (e.g. if I do
+5on 500, I should lower my overall output to
-5to avoid distortion.)
Other than that, the iPod with these mods is perfect. Excellent battery life, fantastic screen, some decent themes (I use podBlue.)
Feel free to hit it me up if you have any questions.
edit: clear front panel!! / image
Thanks for compiling all the links! That looks slick with the clear front panel and rock box.
Sounds like it’s not much of a hassle worded like this. I’m going to start putting these pieces together. Will be so nice to have a huge percentage of my library in one place again.
It looks like one of the links is missing regarding the opening guide, was it missing?
EDIT: I see now that you meant to check out iFlash's installation guide.
It's pretty great. Just make sure the version of your iPod is supported and all that.
Look up some teardown videos for your specific version. When you open it, you want to gently pry open the parts where the tabs are. The nice thing with these iPods is that every piece can be replaced.
Let me know when you've got it done! Everybody should do this mod. It's so nice to have a media player that lasts a long, long time, no network connection, etc etc. The iPod DACs are great, too.
Google Pixel, original model, was pre-owned when I got it. Runs the latest Android like a champ and I can update the software aftermarket if it comes down to me wanting something more from it. I'm still probably going to keep it for a while, either go with a low end Nokia or a feature phone if it decides to give up the ghost.
I had an original pixel before my current phone. I bought it on release and used it for almost 3 years. When I got my current phone, I gifted it to my mother. That thing ran like a champ, until my mom threw it into the toilet and left it in the rain. That phone is spectacular. It is one of the best all around phone I have owned. My personal best was the original moto x (2013).
I've got the same, XL version. I don't see anything on the new Pixel models that I can't do on my current phone. What do they actually have? A better camera? The camera and resulting photos on my Pixel XL are outstanding.
"The original Pixel is missing water resistance and wireless charging, the XL model has a tiny 5.5-inch display, it has an outdated design"
Tiny? I watch movies on it and it's in a case so you don't see its outdated design.
My current smartphone is the OnePlus3T, and was purchased not long after the initial release, but at this point one might as well call it the Phone of Thesius. The only original part is the top motherboard, which I suppose is the most important part.
Even after all of the work I've done on it, it has costed less than some of the high end smartphones today, and still runs like new after coming up on three years, aside from the vibration motor.
I'm currently running an entirely Google-less setup, or as Google-less as you can get on LineageOS. I've considered installing microG or GAPPS but honestly the benefits don't outweigh stepping back into the Google ecosystem for me. Especially when the only app I really need notifications on is email, for which I use Tutanota, which doesn't use GCM / FCM.
I've considered purchasing the OnePlus 7T or 7T Pro, but I cannot justify the cost. The only real advantage I'd gain is a more capable USB I/O, with external monitors & more becoming an option. I would also lose the option to expand the internal storage or use AUX headphones.
I would also lose the option to expand the internal storage or use AUX headphones. Yeah this is a major downside to the OnePlus 7t. It apparently can emulate Gamecube games pretty well but without expandable memory, it doesn't fare as well for gaming/large storage needs.
I'm curious about your Google-less setup. Do you see any downsides to it?
The main issues I've had going Google-less are the few apps that refuse to work without Google services installed, such as Authy, but there are always alternatives. A secondary issue is that any apps relying upon GCM / FCM ( Google Cloud Messaging / Firebase Cloud Messaging ) for notifications will no longer have notifications. Some of these issues can be fixed using microG but I don't feel it's worth it. You can still install any app you want, be it FOSS from FDroid, or from the Play Store itself using Aurora or alternatives.
I also have the Moto G5 Plus, and I'm looking to upgrade. I'll probably go for the Moto G7. I want something cheap, not stuffed full of weird vendor modifications, with a reasonable size. The only thing making me hesitate is the confusion caused by the range - G7 Play, G7 Power, G7, and G7 Plus makes it difficult for me to compare devices.
Yeah, Moto's naming conventions are a bit weird to me as well. I think the biggest hesitation I have for Moto was how quickly it seemed like the company quit pushing software updates to the phone. I think for the past few years after it received Android 8, I have only received security patches.
The Nokia 7.1 had my eye for awhile with the HDR10 display, headphone jack, and good cameras.
I have the Nokia 7.1, big fan. Good specs, good price, gets the job done, no bloat.
I'm not sure where you're located, but g7 plus isn't available in the us, and it's apparently more of a moto x than a moto g. I bought a moto g7 play and returned it for a moto g7. The difference in quality is worth $100 to me. The screen is night and day, it has 4gb of ram instead of 2, and the notch is much much less intrusive. The play is made of plastic while the g7 is made of glass, but I use a case so I don't really notice. I'm not really sure where the power fits in, but I hope my experiences help.
Sony Xperia XA2 running Sailfish OS. It was a mid-range phone when it was launched, so not expensive when I bought it relatively recently.
I won't be upgrading any time soon, as it does everything I need a phone to do: run Sailfish OS, dual SIM, decent build quality.
Oh hey, me too! Well, I have the X, not the XA2.
As for the rest of OP's questions:
I paid up front, €250 or so, can't recall the exact price - plus €50 for a Sailfish license.
Nah, I'm very happy with it. I do have a backup Android phone though, a Honor 6 which is starting to show its age. I'm considering getting a Fairphone 3 as a replacement backup phone when it becomes available. It's not good value for money (unless you're planning to keep repairing it when it breaks down), but I can afford to pay extra for a good cause.
There are trade-offs with using an obscure OS. It lacks many of the features Android and iOS have, but it does have some neat features of its own. I like the gesture navigation, the start screen app cards, and the atmospheres.
Before this phone, I got an Xperia Z3v as my first ever smartphone in college. Back when remote play from PS4 was a big selling point. It was an awesome phone and the camera is still awesome. Unfortunately, they concealed the charging port with a cover and that cover eventually wore out/fell off.
Personally I am happier that I'm using a less than popular mobile OS, because the I feel like Android and iOS are the primary vehicles of being a slave to social media and poor on-line health habits.
I'll preface this by saying that I see myself as being far less enthusiastic about anything tech related than the average tildes user, and I purchased my phone in China, so I'm not sure if the phone or some of my favorite features that it offers are available in other parts of the world.
The phone I'm using is the OPPO A73 and it is by far the best phone I've ever had. It's not like I've shied away from smartphones or went super cheap, either. With the exeption of a few short stretches where I relied on burners to save up for a new phone after one was lost or broken, and an awful three months with a Galaxy Alpha (worst $250 I've ever spent), my previous phones were a Galaxy S7, and a few different generations of the iPhone going back to 2010 - all of which I bought when they were the newest version on the market.
I bought this phone 18 months ago for I think about $350-400 and it still runs great. This despite the fact that I like to live on the edge without any case and I've dropped it dozens of times. In the past, most of my phones would start to crap out a little after the one year mark, and couldn't take the punishment that this phone has. But I suppose that this has more to do with tech and hardware improvements over the past few years than anything else. My phone has 32GB of memory, a fantastic camera, 4GB of ram, and runs off of Android OS. The battery isn't quite what it used to be, but I still only have to charge it once per day even though I'm on it all the time.
My favorite thing though is that it comes with O-Roaming, which allows me to purchase data separate from my mobile plan when I leave the country for an absurdly cheap price. For example, one GB of data for a week in the US is $8, and that's one of the most expensive plans! When I go to Korea I can get 6 GB for about $15. Also, unlike the roaming offers that Chinese phone/data providers offer, O-Roaming doesn't keep me behind the firewall. It's made traveling internationally so easy. As soon as I touch down I can fire up my phone without any WiFi, order a package, and be connected to the internet - all in less than 5 minutes. It's the cherry on top for a phone that functionally has performed as well as any iPhone or Samsung that I've ever owned while still being about half the price and not having any obligation to a wireless contact.
The one complaint I have is the keyboard. Since the phone is made primarily (almost exclusively?) for Chinese/East Asian consumers, the English keyboard doesn't have an autocorrect feature. There is a predictive text feature that is pretty solid, but you'd be surprised, despite my improvement, at how often my fat fucking thumbs still mash the wrong keys after a year and a half of practice.
Don't you have the Google Play store on your phone? I'm pretty sure you should be able to download Gboard and have autocorrect work that way.
Oooooooh. Google isn't super popular or really allowed out here, but I did finally remember to get the play store on my latest trip abroad. Next time I have the VPN working, I'll try to remember to download it.
I too have a Moto G5+ and I'm planning on keeping it for the foreseeable future. My battery life is still ~2 days, and the only slowdowns I really get are in Firefox (chrome ran way better, but... Google). I don't ever see myself getting anything above the Moto G type 'cheap but solid' tier, but then I don't really care about the camera or any fancy features.
I have a Mi A1, bought it couple of years ago very much satisfied with the build and the software. Even though there were regular secuirty patches and some what regular software upgrades, I recently switched to lineages os with microg for privacy reasons. I don't see myself upgrading in the near future.
I have an Essential PH-1. I am not sure what I will go to next because their next phone will be stupidly long. It's a good phone, but I still have some mixed feelings.
And the cons:
Oh this'll be a fun one for me haha.
It's a Samsung Galaxy S Epic 4G (try saying that three times fast). It's got 512MB of RAM, 512MB of storage space, a 256GB microSD, a 4 inch screen, and all sorts of goodies like a slide out keyboard, a notification LED, a headphone jack, and four physical buttons instead of three.
Nope, didn't have to. One of the reasons I bought it was because even as a broke af student who only has about $60 in spending money per month, I could still afford to buy it without incurring any debt or having to withdraw from savings.
I would... if there was another modern phone with similar features. At 4.3 inches, the Photon Q would probably be a nice upgrade, but they're rare and often go for hundreds of dollars, way out of my budget. The F(x)tec Pro is sort of like a modern version, but it's far more expensive than even the Photon. As surprising as it sounds, at least for my use cases, the Epic is still a very servicable phone - it runs an email client, a reddit client, a functionally modern browser, WhatsApp and Discord, a terminal emulator, takes passable photos, and makes for a great MP3 player with that Wolfson DAC and its ability to take massive microSD cards. This all might go away in a couple of years, but for now, it's still an excellent little brick.
The physical keyboard is one of my favorite features, but it's super difficult to find and I mostly use it either in terminal mode or for long messages, so I'm fairly flexible on it. But stuff like the headphone jack and the notification LED are dealbreakers for me if a phone doesn't have them - especially the headphone jack, since there's no way I can afford to replace my noise cancelling headphones, and as someone who struggles with sensory overload I depend on them to make certain aspects of my life bearable.
I used to have this phone! Unfortunately I would slide the keyboard in and out and eventually the cable connecting the two halves died. At the time I think they quoted like half the price of a new device on contract to fix it so I went for something new. Glad to hear you've got one that's working well for you!
Galaxy J3 (2016). 8 gigs of space, 1.5 gigs of ram and a 32 gig SD card which has been a huge help in making my phone even remotely useable (finally I have the room to have anything above 50 MB in my phone, like discord or twitter.)
No. My mother bought it around when it released and gave it to me after upgrading to an J5 with 32 gigs of space.
I would be if I had a job that could finance it but I'm some 14-yo teenager so all I can do is figure out what & where will I work in to finance it (and anything for that matter) and what will I need to study to reach that job. If I could and had the money for it I would probably buy a HTC phone since they don't seem to be controversial or huge past making VR and notebooks (Google expanding into hardware is a big no from me, they are not good with privacy and Owning Android is enough already, one of Apple's data centers are in China and they complied with them more than once, Huawei, Xiaomi, Oppo, Honor and OnePlus are all Chinese and that's a no from anyone who bothers with privacy and LG for the same reasons as Google and also Samsung, excessive conglomeration.)
Memory, RAM, and battery life, followed by price and who made the phone.
I just got an s10e this spring. So far, I love it. I have always avoided Samsung in the past because of bloat issues, but they seemed to have fixed it. I also have the galaxy watch LTE; both are financed and serviced through Verizon. Those and the galaxy buds pair quite nicely.
I am not looking to upgrade.
The most important features to me are the battery life being incredible, even with lots of "battery hog" features turned on. I really liked the waterproofing, but I broke the back glass a few months ago. I am still looking to replace it and get waterproofing back. The only local Samsung repair place that can certify waterproofing is ubreakifix, and they only have the back glass in pink (my phone is blue).
In the past, I have never used my phone camera for more than taking pictures of things to avoid writing it down. I had a dslr and always looked down on phone cameras. Now, I am coming around to think that "The best camera is the one that is available". I am trying to get back into artistic photography with my phone. With this phone's wide angle lens and normal lens with variable aperture, it still gives me a lot of the controls I liked about my dslr, along with raw photos.
iPhone 5c. Sister gave it as a gift when she was upgrading to SE, a few years ago. A bit battle-worn and slow, but a reliable and versatile tool to go around with.
Rarely used as a comm device: few people to contact in the immediate reach (i.e. not on the Internet and might requiring immediate connection). It's mostly a music player and a portable camera, with a hint of navigation and in-a-pinch Internet browsing. Had to mess with apps to make it reasonable as a music player, and updating the library is a process so tedious it gives me anxiety – but the alternative is using iTunes on a Windows laptop, so... yeah, third-party it is.
Upgrading isn't important at the moment, but if I suddenly come across more money than I know what to do with, getting a new SE will be near the bottom of the list of "expensive things to get". Will also get a good photo and music app, plus a handful of neat tool-apps that I'm currently lacking.
My significant other has an iPhone 5s and won't upgrade due to similar reasons you listed. She is holding out hope for a new SE phone from Apple before upgrading.
What music app do you use?
MusiCloud. It lets me upload the music onto the device's memory directly, avoiding the native Music app entirely.
The free version uses ads it loads just-in-time off the Internet... which is fine because I never use the app if I have to connect to the Web. There's a paid version that removes ads.
I have a Samsung Note9. It's a great phone. I am an iPhone refugee and the only thing I miss from iOS is the keyboard. I find I am really inaccurate for some reason on any Android keyboard. I am using Fleksy as my keyboard as it is the closest thing to the iOS keyboard that I can find.
I use a ZTE Max XL. It's... well, it's a budget camera. (I would say a budget phone, but I find that smartphones are camera first, phone a distant second.) It has a 6 inch screen (I hate tiny screens), a 4000 mA battery, and 16 whole GB of storage (I am never owning a phone with less than 32 GB again.) More likely than not, my next phone will be a pre-owned Galaxy S7 or S8.
My phone is an LGV20 and I honestly believe it is the only really good phone that has been released semi-recently.
I run it on lineage os 16 + gamma kernel + magisk, so I guess I can't speak for a stock configuration, but I enjoy not having any Google (or lg) stuff on my phone.
The second screen. My phone is the original notch phone, but on the stock rom it is not too bad, as the notch part of the screen is used as a second screen, which has a few toolbars and quick launchers and things. On lineage os 16, it extends the screen and it acts like a normal notch. I guess it's a bit ugly, but at least I get more screen.
It has a headphone jack, it even has a fancy one that can drive high powered headphones
It has an sd card slot
It has a removable battery. I never have to plug my phone in, I just swap batteries, it's amazing.
IR blaster. I never need the TV remote + I can turn off advertising TV's in shopping centres.
Pretty alright camera
USB c? I guess that's pretty standard nowdays.
There just isn't another modern phone that has all of these features.
I guess I'll be the contrarian. I have a galaxy s9, bought it for $500 on sale unlocked. I did not finance it.
I am looking to upgrade it because, well, I have enough disposable income, I enjoy new toys to play with, and you spend quite a bit of time on your phone these days.
I am fine with paying 700-1000 dollars for a new flagship.
Phones are kind of boring nowadays because everyone has everything and most everything is just a benchmark numbers game. Basically the only thing that differentiates phones today is what is missing from the package, weather it's NFC (When will you grow up and realize that tap to pay is the future, America?!), the headphone jack, or wireless charging.
Of course, that's not really true; the latest thing is flexible displays but it is so gimmicky and unnecessary (not to mention unreliable) that it's just not exciting to me. I suppose you could consider the strangely-shaped screens in today's phones are differentiating as well, but once again it's just an unnecessary gimmick that doesn't actually make the phone more useful.
There's only one phone I have been remotely excited about is the Huawei P30 because of it's innovative camera, but of course it's not available in the US. I guess it doesn't matter much because it's far more money than I'm willing to spend on a phone.
i have an old s5. haven't had data or service in years. i use it mostly for music and news. it doesn't stay powered on when it gets too cold, or the screen gets really glitchy. i didn't pay it off completely and it's one of the bills i have a debt collection agencies. i flashed twrp and lineage onto it, i use fdroid, no google services. i'd upgrade if i had the money to do anything, but i'm pretty stuck, so oh well i guess
Currently have a Galaxy S7, used to be my brother's phone so no need for financing or anything related (he's since upgraded to a s8 or 9, not sure).
It's carrier unlocked, has a nice screen, SD slot, decent battery life, pretty good camera, and it's running the latest android swimmingly right now (via lineageOS, a custom build I found on XDA). Not much more I need in a phone.
Not looking to upgrade anytime soon, hopefully I'll be hanging on to this phone until it dies, pretty happy with it so far :)
I am using MiNote3 (Not Redmi)
Costs about $299.
Mostly lightweight use. I dont think I need a new phone soon.
The most important thing for me is: 1. can be rooted 2. Better camera.
I have had an LG G7 ThinQ for just over a year now. I didn't really want to get a new phone, but I was on my 4^th warranty replacement for my old V-10. So. Many. Bootloops.
Anyway, the G7 isn't a bad phone at all, but it took all of a few weeks for me to crack the glass back... Kind of a terrible design choice, and I'll be certain to never get another phone with a glass back.
To be honest, if I wasn't forced by school to use Duo for 2FA, I would have already ditched a smartphone for a flip phone. Maybe that'll be a graduation present to myself.
iPhone 6s+. It's jailbroken on 12.4. I don't think I could use Android long-term; Apple's pulled me (willingly) deep into their ecosystem.
I feel like the 6s lineup (+ SE) is a perfect place in Apple history. It fixed the bend issues with the previous design, it keeps the headphone jack unlike the 7, it's got the 2nd gen Touch ID that the 6 missed out on, the haptic engine is great (sorry SE), no fragile glass back, it's still supported by iOS updates...
I'll probably grab the 2020 iPhone if it has the hard bezels that are rumored plus USB-C. But maybe I'll stay with this one. Jailbreaking added nearly everything I was missing: YouTube in the background, fixed volume HUD, downgrade apps, etc. FaceID seems cool and a better camera would be nice, but it's not enough to force me away.
I currently have the Sony Xperia XA2 which is the single most suicidal phone, I’ve ever had due to its sleek design.
The specs are OK, and I picked it up as it is one of the few Sony “Open Devices”, which means that you can simply unlock the bootloader and flash it with a custom system. I wanted to flash SailfishOS onto it, but as it took so long to gain official support, I ended up using LineageOS.
With LineageOS I’m pretty happy though. I still miss the glory MeeGo days of old…
What: Nokia 7.1
Why: Android One - Monthly security updates, on time OS updates, 4/5 the specs of flagships, 1/5 the price
Finance: Nope, it's $250 or less all day straight from various sellers including Amazon.
Features I wish it had: Stereo speakers. I had these on my previous phone, Moto X Pure, but couldn't find a phone in a price and spec range I wanted that had them this go around, so I'm surviving without.