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General Discussions => Tech Talk => Topic started by: Desert Fox on August 28, 2019, 02:49:13 PM

Title: Cell Phone - 2019 Edition?
Post by: Desert Fox on August 28, 2019, 02:49:13 PM
I currently have a galaxy S5 that I have had since 2014
I am using Sprint as my network.

Since last year, I have had a problem with my phone getting somehow partially knocked off the network where I no longer receive calls.  I update my profile and PRL and back to normal service. Looking at newer phones, I notice the 4G Bands have changed somewhat and wondering what if that is causing it.

I also don't have much onboard space left. I have a micro SD that has plenty of space however. I think the problem is that programs have grown in size and what was once ample space no longer is.

Trying to look for good options. I would like to upgrade to a flavor of Galaxy S10 but loath to pay the $800 to $1200 price tag. Even if made in payments, still jack my bill up by about $50 a month. Looked at the Google Pixel 3a but no SD slot.   Looked at the Galaxy A50 maybe. While I like Galaxy phones, if somebody has an alternative, I am not against suggestions? Want an android phone better than mine with an SD expansion slot?

   
Title: Re: Cell Phone - 2019 Edition?
Post by: Calinthalus on August 28, 2019, 02:54:43 PM
I wanted to go with a Pixel this last upgrade, but they don't have an SD slot so that was a no-go for me.  Currently I'm on Verizon and carrying a Motorola Moto z3.  It's fine.  I use my phone as a glorified walkman that happens to have internet.  I don't really game or take many pictures, don't twitter or facebook.  So it's plenty for my needs at $480 retail.
Title: Re: Cell Phone - 2019 Edition?
Post by: DevoutCatalyst on August 28, 2019, 03:11:07 PM
In the manner of Calinthalus' glorified Walkman, I have the Moto x4 which was $249 from Google Fi. Has SD slot. I'm rural, don't use the Internet much with it, but it works fine. Fi uses various networks, the bill comes from Google.
Title: Re: Cell Phone - 2019 Edition?
Post by: The Latinist on August 28, 2019, 03:27:49 PM
My sister lover her Moto Z3.  The Z4 retails for $499 unlocked, and it looks to have good specs. I don't know if it meets all of your criteria, but it seems worth a look at least.

I myself use an iPhone, so I am no expert in Android phones.
Title: Re: Cell Phone - 2019 Edition?
Post by: brilligtove on August 28, 2019, 03:42:52 PM
Want an android phone better than mine with an SD expansion slot?

Why do you need this? Phones today have a lot of memory and easy access to cloud storage.

ETA: not saying you don't need it. Just want to understand the use case.
Title: Re: Cell Phone - 2019 Edition?
Post by: Desert Fox on August 28, 2019, 03:47:02 PM
40 to 60 gigs of music and a similar amount in podcasts usually.
My wireless internet is not good near home so best to store locally.
Title: Re: Cell Phone - 2019 Edition?
Post by: Desert Fox on August 28, 2019, 04:00:42 PM
Now of the Motorola models are listed on the Sprint website. There are the Apples, the Samsung, some different LG phones, and a few unknowns.

The A50 is only $350 total so I am thinking that I might forgo the insurance of $15 a month. While it would feel like ripping off an arm, at least I could afford to replace it.

edit: If I pay "cash" for a phone on Sprint, how hard is it to activate?
Title: Re: Cell Phone - 2019 Edition?
Post by: DevoutCatalyst on August 28, 2019, 04:13:00 PM
What do you pay per month for service?
Title: Re: Cell Phone - 2019 Edition?
Post by: Desert Fox on August 28, 2019, 04:20:08 PM
Chaging from Sprint is not really an option because we have three people in the household using Sprint and I also have a Hotspot through Sprint.
Title: Re: Cell Phone - 2019 Edition?
Post by: brilligtove on August 28, 2019, 06:57:37 PM
Here's where I'm coming from. I have a Pixel 2XL with 49/64GB in use. 24GB is apps, 8GB for the system, 7GB for audio, 7GB for photo/video, and then miscellaneous. I went with the smallest storage because I know my usage. If I shoot a lot of video I'll have to archive to cloud storage (happens about once a year). External storage would be a never-used feature for me - especially with a newer phone that might start with 128GB internal storage.

I'd say it's worth gauging your current storage reqs to see if an SD card is a better option than more internal memory.

Since you don't use the camera, a mid- to low- end phone is likely your best bet. I'm a bit out of the loop on current phones at the moment, so I don't have a recommendation.
Title: Re: Cell Phone - 2019 Edition?
Post by: Calinthalus on August 28, 2019, 07:06:00 PM
I have 64GB internal with 27GB in use.  I have a 64GB SD card with 47GB in use.  The majority of that 47GB in use is audio (podcasts and music).  My podcast app is setup to delete after a bit so that's a rotating storage.


When I buy music, I tend to buy downloads or directly from artists.  Quite a few albums I've purchased in vinyl have come with download cards for a digital copy.


As system storage has gone up, my storage usage has hit a ceiling, I think.  I could live with a 128GB phone without an SD card.  I'm just so used to only having like 32GB of internal.


For my tablet, I think I have to have the SD slot.  On flights to Hawaii, it's nice to have enough space to not need internet the entire trip.
Title: Re: Cell Phone - 2019 Edition?
Post by: brilligtove on August 28, 2019, 07:11:46 PM
Take a look at tablet storage now too - same rationale. I've filled my iPad Pro (128GB) with something like 40h of video on trips without maxing it out. SD may well be a necessary requirement for you, but if it isn't you might get a lot of machine for less money.
Title: Re: Cell Phone - 2019 Edition?
Post by: Desert Fox on August 28, 2019, 07:32:34 PM
If you have a cell phone, you use your camera :)
taken some pretty nice pictures

There is a temptation as well. Sprint has used cell phones as part of their program.
I could get a Galaxy S9+ used. About the same cost as a new A50
Main advantage is that it is water proof. I do take take my cell phone while kayaking. issue is that I do sometimes take it out to take pictures. S9+ is waterproof while the A50 is not. It is also still a flagship phone even if an older model.
Title: Re: Cell Phone - 2019 Edition?
Post by: The Latinist on August 28, 2019, 07:42:32 PM
Now of the Motorola models are listed on the Sprint website. There are the Apples, the Samsung, some different LG phones, and a few unknowns.

The A50 is only $350 total so I am thinking that I might forgo the insurance of $15 a month. While it would feel like ripping off an arm, at least I could afford to replace it.

edit: If I pay "cash" for a phone on Sprint, how hard is it to activate?

The Motorola phones are unlocked.  You can buy them anywhere you trust and stick your SIM in them.  Personally, I would never buy an unsubsidized phone from my carrier.
Title: Re: Cell Phone - 2019 Edition?
Post by: brilligtove on August 28, 2019, 08:23:57 PM
I avoided contracts like that up here (Canada) for a long time. Pretty much all our carriers have payment plans with negligible interest now. You just buy out the remainder of you contract if you want to move to another carrier. Ours are all equally shitty though.
Title: Re: Cell Phone - 2019 Edition?
Post by: Desert Fox on August 28, 2019, 11:15:48 PM
Well, I hope I did not screw up. Went with a used Galaxy S9+. The specs are really only a little less than the S10+ generally. Cost only a little more than the A50 and has many of the features that I was concerned with as far as the A50.
Title: Re: Cell Phone - 2019 Edition?
Post by: The Latinist on August 29, 2019, 12:01:19 AM
I avoided contracts like that up here (Canada) for a long time. Pretty much all our carriers have payment plans with negligible interest now. You just buy out the remainder of you contract if you want to move to another carrier. Ours are all equally shitty though.

I haven't had a fixed-term cellular contract since AT&T stopped subsidizing phone purchases.
Title: Re: Cell Phone - 2019 Edition?
Post by: moj on August 29, 2019, 08:42:18 AM
We are on Sprint as well and have the Samsung Galaxy s8. We are eligible for upgrades but don't see a reason yet to do it. Once more 5g phones come out might reconsider but don't have a need yet. I read that most Americans are now keeping phones longer. It makes sense, once they are good enough no need to keep upgrading every 2 years. We are past the point of noticing a few more pixels or gb's of storage.
Title: Re: Cell Phone - 2019 Edition?
Post by: brilligtove on August 29, 2019, 11:52:18 AM
For me the upgrade tipping point was the camera. Now that my camera is this good? I'm good with he phone for quite a while.
Title: Re: Cell Phone - 2019 Edition?
Post by: Desert Fox on August 29, 2019, 12:08:01 PM
We are on Sprint as well and have the Samsung Galaxy s8. We are eligible for upgrades but don't see a reason yet to do it. Once more 5g phones come out might reconsider but don't have a need yet. I read that most Americans are now keeping phones longer. It makes sense, once they are good enough no need to keep upgrading every 2 years. We are past the point of noticing a few more pixels or gb's of storage.

I like the S5 but when keep losing network connection and almost out of internal space (Has 16 Gb which something 15.2 Gb is used), getting to the point where moving to a new phone seems to be the best option.
Title: Re: Cell Phone - 2019 Edition?
Post by: brilligtove on August 29, 2019, 01:47:44 PM
It was really weird for me the first year I didn't feel technolust for the new crop of phones. Some of the newer phones have features that I think are neat, but nothing that would motivate me to upgrade. At this point I'd need a pretty radically new feature to make me want to move. I feel stirrings in my loins when imagining a full colour e-ink screen with a 60Hz refresh rate. I don't see that coming any time soon though. :)
Title: Re: Cell Phone - 2019 Edition?
Post by: The Latinist on August 29, 2019, 06:12:22 PM
The technology has matured.  Pretty much any iPhone since the iPhone 6 is still perfectly functional for what 99% of people need.  Sure, the newer ones are faster, and they've got some novel features.  But they work.  In that way they are becoming more like a laptop that one can use for 4-5 years before replacing without feeling as if your experience is crippled.
Title: Re: Cell Phone - 2019 Edition?
Post by: Calinthalus on August 29, 2019, 08:11:45 PM
With the expansion SD cards, the only reason I upgraded when I did was my phone started getting glitchy.  There was some short in the screen connection somewhere and it wouldn't always accept touches, sometimes blink on and off.  It probably could have been repaired, but the cost of repairs was near half the cost of a new phone so it was just easier to upgrade.
Title: Re: Cell Phone - 2019 Edition?
Post by: brilligtove on August 29, 2019, 08:29:14 PM
Nice new icon, TL. I agree with your assessment.

I've been in the same boat re:upgrades, Calinthalus. I'll admit there have been a few times when I kinda hoped my phone would just break so I could move on to the new hotness. :)
Title: Re: Cell Phone - 2019 Edition?
Post by: The Latinist on August 29, 2019, 10:29:13 PM
Nice new icon, TL.

Thanks.  Got my hands on a legit copy of Illustrator, which I’d always wanted to learn, so I’ve been playing.  I know Bézier curves from when I used to design fonts, so the learning curve has been shallower than it otherwise might have been.  I had to relearn some lessons that I’d learned long ago, though.

Unfortunately, these colors don’t work well on a light background. I’m going to need to come up with an alternative color palette. That is *not* my forte, though.
Title: Re: Cell Phone - 2019 Edition?
Post by: Eternally Learning on August 29, 2019, 11:49:25 PM
I'm a little late to the thread, but I've upgraded frequently before because my phones kept crapping out on me.  Going from my S7 Edge to my current Note 9 was the first major one I've chosen to actually upgrade just to upgrade in a long time.  I see no need to upgrade any time soon though.  The Note 10 does nothing for me and no other phones have enough of a draw for me to even tempt me to trade up.  I like my S-Pen, headphone jack, and SD card.  The only feature that's piqued my interest at all are the Oppo Reno and Huawei P30 with their massive optical zoom capabilities.  I think the P30 is like a 50x, built-in.  Absolutely nuts.
Title: Re: Cell Phone - 2019 Edition?
Post by: DevoutCatalyst on August 30, 2019, 06:57:46 AM
I like my S-Pen, headphone jack

My current over-the-ear noise cancelling headphones work so flawlessly over Bluetooth I can easily forgo a headphone jack. Of course the headphones cost more than the phone itself.
Title: Re: Cell Phone - 2019 Edition?
Post by: Eternally Learning on August 30, 2019, 07:18:01 AM
I like my S-Pen, headphone jack

My current over-the-ear noise cancelling headphones work so flawlessly over Bluetooth I can easily forgo a headphone jack. Of course the headphones cost more than the phone itself.

Yeah, I do use the jack pretty infrequently.  I just like having the option.
Title: Re: Cell Phone - 2019 Edition?
Post by: DevoutCatalyst on August 30, 2019, 07:20:22 AM
Yeah, I do use the jack pretty infrequently.  I just like having the option.
I do have a jack, so yeah, not bad to have the option.
Title: Re: Cell Phone - 2019 Edition?
Post by: Desert Fox on August 30, 2019, 08:24:08 AM
How long does it take to charge via wireless? The S5 does not have that ability but the S9 does. Is it worth getting a charging pad / stand?
Title: Re: Cell Phone - 2019 Edition?
Post by: Belgarath on August 30, 2019, 08:51:27 AM
How long does it take to charge via wireless? The S5 does not have that ability but the S9 does. Is it worth getting a charging pad / stand?

No.  The charging time via wireless is generally double the time for just plugging it in.
Title: Re: Cell Phone - 2019 Edition?
Post by: Eternally Learning on August 30, 2019, 09:15:16 AM
The new Samsung Duo wirelessly charges at about 12W.  My phone can go from 20% to 100% in about 2 hours which is not bad.
Title: Re: Cell Phone - 2019 Edition?
Post by: The Latinist on August 30, 2019, 10:10:19 AM
My experience with wireless charging of my iPhone is that it's faster than standard wired chargers, but slower than wired fast-chargers.  I really love the wireless charging on my night stand, though, for its convenience. I don't have to search for the cable on the floor under my bed every time.
Title: Re: Cell Phone - 2019 Edition?
Post by: Eternally Learning on August 30, 2019, 10:21:23 AM
Yeah, there's no doubt that wall chargers have the capacity to be much, much faster, but when I'm charging at night, if't convenience I'm more interested in.
Title: Re: Cell Phone - 2019 Edition?
Post by: stands2reason on August 30, 2019, 11:06:18 AM
I think I am going to buy a new phone soon. USB port on my phone is finally gone out. I pretty much just started searching phones by spec and found the Motorola phones (https://www.gsmarena.com/motorola_moto_g7-9357.php), initially E5 (least year's model), G7 is this year. They have all the radios I want (meaning TMO LTE bands, including 600MHz). Has FM radio, has microSD slot, IPS LCD screen, AOSP-like ROM. So it looks great on paper.

Doesn't appear to be any harder to install custom recovery or root. It doesn't have a premium camera with optical zoom or impressive low light capability.

Now I do like the OLED screen on my Samsung. I have a backup, but don't want to bother switching, as it is a custom ROM, not set up for normal use, and the radios are outdated enough that I might as well get a new handset.
Title: Re: Cell Phone - 2019 Edition?
Post by: Desert Fox on September 02, 2019, 07:11:40 PM
While I was reluctant to upgrade to a new phone, I do have to say that the performance is quite a bit greater with the S9+ compared to the S5. Performs much fasster and does not get bogged down like the S5 seems to have been getting.
Title: Re: Cell Phone - 2019 Edition?
Post by: stands2reason on September 04, 2019, 02:07:25 PM
I guess I am putting off buying the phone, since I might want to save the money. I switched the service to my backup S5. I updated the custom ROM on it, tried Pie for a day, before reverting to LineageOS Nougat (unofficial update with 2019/06 patch level). Pie breaks ACR (call recording). It also isn't supported by Xposed, except through some convoluted means.

Cyanogen/Lineage has had native call recording for a while, but it is enabled by country code policy. But, you can use the Xposed module to enable it and also have it run automatically when a call starts. I also now have AdBlocker Reborn, which removes ad frames from most apps.

The Samsung/Touchwiz ROM got slow after a while. After a few days, it would either get really slow, or use more power on extended standby.

The only downside is the ROM doesn't support IMS/VoLTE, so it switches from 4G to 3G/2G to have a call.
Title: Re: Cell Phone - 2019 Edition?
Post by: The Latinist on September 04, 2019, 03:50:18 PM
Cyanogen/Lineage has had native call recording for a while, but it is enabled by country code policy. But, you can use the Xposed module to enable it and also have it run automatically when a call starts.

You need to be very careful.  In many states there are civil or criminal penalties for recording conversations without the consent of all parties, and those laws may apply to you even if you live in a one-party consent state if you record calls originating in or to an all-party consent state. In my opinion, it is a *very* bad idea to record any call without explicit consent of all parties.
Title: Re: Cell Phone - 2019 Edition?
Post by: Desert Fox on September 04, 2019, 11:17:14 PM
Cyanogen/Lineage has had native call recording for a while, but it is enabled by country code policy. But, you can use the Xposed module to enable it and also have it run automatically when a call starts.

You need to be very careful.  In many states there are civil or criminal penalties for recording conversations without the consent of all parties, and those laws may apply to you even if you live in a one-party consent state if you record calls originating in or to an all-party consent state. In my opinion, it is a *very* bad idea to record any call without explicit consent of all parties.

Only actually twelve states have it illegal
https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2011/03/james-o-keefe-npr-video-why-do-12-states-still-make-it-illegal-to-tape-people-without-their-knowledge.html

Interestingly, Utah tried to switch after a high level Mormon was recorded admitted to raping a woman. Shows where their heart is.
Title: Re: Cell Phone - 2019 Edition?
Post by: arthwollipot on September 04, 2019, 11:42:22 PM
Cyanogen/Lineage has had native call recording for a while, but it is enabled by country code policy. But, you can use the Xposed module to enable it and also have it run automatically when a call starts.

You need to be very careful.  In many states there are civil or criminal penalties for recording conversations without the consent of all parties, and those laws may apply to you even if you live in a one-party consent state if you record calls originating in or to an all-party consent state. In my opinion, it is a *very* bad idea to record any call without explicit consent of all parties.

Only actually twelve states have it illegal
https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2011/03/james-o-keefe-npr-video-why-do-12-states-still-make-it-illegal-to-tape-people-without-their-knowledge.html

Interestingly, Utah tried to switch after a high level Mormon was recorded admitted to raping a woman. Shows where their heart is.

It was one of those random facts that I heard many years ago that I accepted without question at the time and forgot the source of, that it was legal to record a conversation when at least one participant was aware that the conversation was being recorded. I offhandedly mentioned this at a boardgame day with some friends, a couple of whom were actually lawyers, and they immediately and vehemently shot it down. It is illegal to record a conversation without the consent of all participants.

At least, in my jurisdiction.
Title: Re: Cell Phone - 2019 Edition?
Post by: The Latinist on September 04, 2019, 11:54:54 PM
Cyanogen/Lineage has had native call recording for a while, but it is enabled by country code policy. But, you can use the Xposed module to enable it and also have it run automatically when a call starts.

You need to be very careful.  In many states there are civil or criminal penalties for recording conversations without the consent of all parties, and those laws may apply to you even if you live in a one-party consent state if you record calls originating in or to an all-party consent state. In my opinion, it is a *very* bad idea to record any call without explicit consent of all parties.

Only actually twelve states have it illegal
https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2011/03/james-o-keefe-npr-video-why-do-12-states-still-make-it-illegal-to-tape-people-without-their-knowledge.html

Interestingly, Utah tried to switch after a high level Mormon was recorded admitted to raping a woman. Shows where their heart is.

I don't think anything you have said is incompatible with my comment. Nor, I would point out, was I talking only of criminal penalties. There are other states, including my own, in which it is a civil but not a criminal offense.
Title: Re: Cell Phone - 2019 Edition?
Post by: Desert Fox on September 06, 2019, 02:21:54 AM
Semi related - Does anybody have any recommendations for power packs?
Title: Re: Cell Phone - 2019 Edition?
Post by: stands2reason on September 06, 2019, 09:59:59 AM
No, but I'm still using the replacement Li-pol Anker battery I bought for my other S5 and used basically everyday for 2.5 years. Only seems to have lost about 10% and still holds a charge just fine overnight, but I try to always keep my phone above 40%.
Title: Re: Cell Phone - 2019 Edition?
Post by: brilligtove on September 06, 2019, 02:28:11 PM
I've purchased many Anker batteries over the years. They've been superb.
Title: Re: Cell Phone - 2019 Edition?
Post by: The Latinist on September 06, 2019, 02:54:11 PM
Yeah, if I were in the market for a USB power pack, I'd be looking at Anker's as well as Mophie's. I'd probably be looking for something with USB-C PD or at least 18W quick charging, too.