Friday, March 08


Phone Home?

My cheapie featurephone (a Huawei G6600D) that I've been using for years has developed a teensy problem: It turns itself off if it gets jolted, say, for example, if you pick it up to answer a call.  I'm thinking it's finally time to get myself an Android phone.

I've never actually used an Android phone - or any smart phone - but I use my Nexus 7 tablet constantly, so I'm familiar with Android and mostly like it.  I'm open to suggestions, particularly from anyone who's used any of the phones on my shortlist.
  1. Nexus 4?  Goes nicely with my Nexus 7 and the Nexus 10 I ordered yesterday, 720p, 3G, only 16GB and no SD card, but on the other hand, half the price of any of the others on the list.

  2. Galaxy Note 2?  Big screen, easy on my ageing eyes, stylus.

  3. Grey-market HTC Butterfly a.ka. Droid DNA?  Looks like a very nice phone, 1080p, but not officially sold in Australia and probably won't do 4G on our networks.

  4. Sony Xperia Z?  Announced here in Oz, 1080p, but not shipping here yet.

  5. Wait for Galaxy S4?  Due to launch in about a week, expected to be 1080p, but no telling how long it will take for it to ship.

  6. Other?

Update: Decided to go with the Nexus 4.  It's almost half the price of the other phones, while still giving me everything I want except for expandable storage.  And it's currently in stock, where the Xperia Z isn't shipping yet and the S4 isn't even announced yet.  Plus, I know I won't be waiting 6-12 months for an update when Android 5.0 is released.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 11:34 AM | Comments (8) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
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I've got the Droid DNA. The big thing about it that bothers me is that if it loses coverage, it never gets it back spontaneously. The only way to get back online is to reboot the phone, which I have to do 10-20 times a week.

For that reason, I cannot recommend it. In all other ways I'm very happy with it. The display is gorgeous, it sounds fine when I'm using it, it has plenty of memory (for me, anyway) and the battery life is perfectly satisfactory. I am in the habit of charging it on Sunday and Wednesday, but on that schedule it never goes below %60.

But its inability to stay in coverage combined with its total failure to reconnect is a deal breaker.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at Friday, March 08 2013 10:49 AM (+rSRq)

2 It's odd that you have to reboot.  My phone sometimes loses network connectivity, and usually toggling airplane mode fixes it.

Posted by: RickC at Friday, March 08 2013 10:56 AM (WQ6Vb)


You shouldn't have to do anything at all; it's supposed to keep searching and reconnect automatically. (It's a Qualcomm chipset inside and I used to work on that firmware.)

I think I tried toggling airplane mode one time and it didn't work, but I'll try it again.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at Friday, March 08 2013 11:43 AM (+rSRq)

4 I've used the S2 and S3, both are very nice phones. If cash isn't an issue, I'd wait for the S4. If it's good, then great. If it isn't, it'll at least make the S3 and S2 cheaper, making them a bargain.

The screen of the Note 2 I feel is a little too big. The S3 hits my sweetspot. This of course is a matter of opinion, but if you already have a tablet the Note could be redundant.

Posted by: JuanG at Friday, March 08 2013 10:56 PM (1riL7)

5 Steven, I agree that it SHOULD automatically reconnect, but in my experience (which is basically with AT&T,) if the phone loses signal, it can't generally reconnect.  (My current phone is an HTC Inspire 4G, which has a Qualcomm CPU.  I don't know if the radio is by them as well.  If I remember correctly, your Droid DNA is an HTC as well, FWIW; perhaps HTC's doing something wrong.)
Toggling airplane mode, for me, usually works, and it's a bit faster than a reboot, so that's what I do.  I have a lot of experience with this, because the position of my desk in my office building has really poor signal. (-111 dBm/1 asu right now!  I moved it two feet and it went to -97 dBm and 8 asu.)

Posted by: RickC at Saturday, March 09 2013 09:00 AM (A9FNw)

6 I've been trying that, and toggling airplane mode does indeed reconnect. But it takes a long time. I think the reason I gave up on it before was that I wasn't patient.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at Sunday, March 10 2013 01:13 AM (+rSRq)

7 Hmmm.  I wonder if the phone could be defective.

Posted by: RickC at Sunday, March 10 2013 06:04 AM (WQ6Vb)

8 Based on my knowledge of how the hardware works, I don't see how this could be a hardware problem. There isn't any difference at all between a search carried out when the phone is first turned on, and one carried out after losing a carrier.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at Sunday, March 10 2013 01:33 PM (+rSRq)

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