First-time cellphone-buyer

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hatten
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First-time cellphone-buyer

Postby hatten » Sun Jun 05, 2011 4:05 am UTC

Good morning forum, I'm turning 18 this summer and I'm finally getting a cellphone. Pretty much all my friends have had cellphones since several years back, but now I'm finally joining the herd due to working this summer. (and that they actually are quite useful). So I'm looking for some info on what to buy, I'll state what I want in the ideal phone, and if you know of anything similar it'd be cool if you said so.

Now what I want in a cellphone is:
Music capabilities, my ipod recently broke
Camera, no need for anything too fancy, would be cool to actually being able to have a memory of epic moments in my life.
Easy computer transferring, connecting to windows/linux with usb and being able to easily move music, photograps and other stuff around.
durability, I should be able to drop it onto concrete floors without having it break.

optional stuff:
Would also be cool if it could be recharged through the USB, meaning no need for a proprietary charger when you have a AC->usb converter.
physical keys > touchscreen, I don't have an opinion on flip-out keyboards yet though.
mini-/micro-usb on the phone for charging/computer transfer would be too awesome, I've heard the "does anybody have a nokia recharger?; which one?" conversation a few times.
smartphone/dumbphone, would actually prefer a dumbphone, but if anybody finds a sexy smartphone that isn't too expensive I can be convinced.
software customization, the earlier mentioned ipod was bought second-hand in order for me to be able to install rockbox on it. I'm a CLI junkie and I severely dislike over-fancy badly designed menus. The more I can change the better.
FOSS software, now I'm starting to run out of ideas, but having a FOSS phone would be really cool.
made of a company that cares about their customer, and if possible doesn't try to fill the world with millions of patents.
small, unknown companies are not a problem
shipping overseas is not a problem, unless it costs way too much. I live in sweden.
Prize, nothing iOVERPRIZED. don't wanna be too sad when it's lost/broken
Basic internet capabilities, nothing too fancy needed, but could be useful if I'd ever not have a computer nearby.

I doubt there is a perfect phone out there that fulfills all my wants and needs, but I suspect there are many that almost does. If you have an idea of a phone that would fit/you can recommend it'd be awesome.

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Endless Mike
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Re: First-time cellphone-buyer

Postby Endless Mike » Sun Jun 05, 2011 3:30 pm UTC

Other than cost and maybe durability, it sounds like an Android phone would be your best bet, but without knowing your budget, I couldn't really recommend anything specifically. My immediate thoughts would be either a Nexus 1 or Nexus S, whichever better fits your budget. The former should be cheaper, being a year older, and if you're okay with a dumbphone, I don't think a largely outdated (hardware-wise, being a Nexus phone, Google will keep the software as up to date as is possible) smartphone will be much of an issue. I think with dumbphones, you'll have a hard time finding anything that meets that part, since they almost all run proprietary firmwares.

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Solt
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Re: First-time cellphone-buyer

Postby Solt » Mon Jun 06, 2011 5:58 am UTC

If android is an option there are some ruggedized phones like the Defy, which is also on the cheaper end of new-ish androids, I believe.
"Welding was faster, cheaper and, in theory,
produced a more reliable product. But sailors do
not float on theory, and the welded tankers had a
most annoying habit of splitting in two."
-J.W. Morris

hatten
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Re: First-time cellphone-buyer

Postby hatten » Mon Jun 06, 2011 6:36 am UTC

The optional stuff are just that, optional. More important is that it's smallish and durable. I'd say that being without a phone for all my life I obviously don't have a need for a super-fancy phone that can do everything.

If defy is on the cheaper end of new androids I don't wanna know what the other end is like. Even though it's not me that's gonna pay for the phone, 350 euro is a little bit too much. Accidentally forgetting that on a bus is /crytime

hatten
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Re: First-time cellphone-buyer

Postby hatten » Mon Jun 06, 2011 6:01 pm UTC

I got my eyes on the Neo Freerunner, unfortunately it doesn't have a camera, but with the invisibleSHIELD it's rugged enough, and it's definitely customizable enough. Too bad it's so damn expensive :/

EvanED
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Re: First-time cellphone-buyer

Postby EvanED » Mon Jun 06, 2011 7:01 pm UTC

So it's very possible things have improved, but at the time it was first released one of my friends got the freerunner. His conclusion was that it was pretty cool, but not really usable as your normal phone.

If you want something that's even more open than Android but still usable, look at the Nokia N900. 'course, it's even more expensive.

hatten
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Re: First-time cellphone-buyer

Postby hatten » Mon Jun 06, 2011 7:28 pm UTC

Speaking more realistic, I'd say I want something similar to a Sony Walkman (but sony is, well, sony), I listen to quite a lot of music in school during lessons so there's quite some focus on that.

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Re: First-time cellphone-buyer

Postby EvanED » Mon Jun 06, 2011 10:00 pm UTC

One thing to consider: separate devices. You can get a cheap dumb phone and an MP3 player for less than most smart phones. (Note: this may be different if you're planning on getting a contract. I'm also not sure what the MP3 player/dumbphone field is like.)

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Endless Mike
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Re: First-time cellphone-buyer

Postby Endless Mike » Tue Jun 07, 2011 1:05 am UTC

Yeah, that's always a good consideration. You can probably find a media player that's more "open" than any dumbphone.

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Solt
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Re: First-time cellphone-buyer

Postby Solt » Tue Jun 07, 2011 2:17 am UTC

hatten wrote:If defy is on the cheaper end of new androids I don't wanna know what the other end is like. Even though it's not me that's gonna pay for the phone, 350 euro is a little bit too much.


Closer to 550. Don't forget this is really high technology stuff that 10 years ago barely fit into an entire desktop computer and consumed 100 Watts and cost over $2,000.
"Welding was faster, cheaper and, in theory,

produced a more reliable product. But sailors do

not float on theory, and the welded tankers had a

most annoying habit of splitting in two."

-J.W. Morris

EvanED
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Re: First-time cellphone-buyer

Postby EvanED » Tue Jun 07, 2011 2:25 am UTC

The other question, which is more tied to what kind of phone you get than maybe would be nice, is what service you plan on getting. Are you going to sign a contract? Are you going to get a data plan if you have a smart phone? If you do plan on getting a data plan, the cost of just the data plan over the length of a 2yr contract will dwarf the cost of the phone. How much will you use it? If you don't use it very much, maybe some pay-as-you-go prepaid plan will be best. Do you have a preference for AT&T vs T-mobile vs Verizon vs someone else? IFor example, the N900 I mentioned earlier will only work on AT&T and T-mobile, and will only get 3G service on T-mobile. If you sign a contract, you can get a phone and have somewhere between a lot and all of the cost subsidized. That sort of thing plays into your phone decision too.

hatten
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Re: First-time cellphone-buyer

Postby hatten » Tue Jun 07, 2011 5:47 am UTC

Considering price over time, I don't think I'll get a smartphone. I'll be moving out next year and of what I've heard I'm not gonna have huge amounts of cash by then =p

Yeah, getting a separate mp3 player is definitely an option, that way it's easier to get open stuff, as well as stuff that can be configured (rockbox etc). Though the question remains, which of all the hundreds of dumbphones on the market is for me?

As for contract, due to gf and most people in my vicinity having Comviq, I'll probably go with "Comviq Kompis": https://comviq.se/mobiltelefoni_prisplaner.aspx (swedish).

2.71828183
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Re: First-time cellphone-buyer

Postby 2.71828183 » Tue Jun 07, 2011 6:25 am UTC

hatten wrote:Though the question remains, which of all the hundreds of dumbphones on the market is for me?

YMMV, of course, but for me it was the one that came free with my plan. It's been going strong for years now, has exceptional battery life, and best of all, it's free (and I can get a new free one every two years or something). Maybe I just got lucky, or maybe I'm missing out on some hitherto unseen quality of better phones that would make my life vastly easier--but it's just a phone. I figure it's not possible to go too far wrong with a freebie.

I don't know what exact model I have--some Nokia one that comes with AT&T contracts--but it doesn't matter because I'm sure there's something significantly shinier out now. Possible disadvantage: Everybody and their brother has the same phone, so maybe not the way to go if you're prone to leaving your stuff laying around in public places. On the other hand, nobody would bother to steal it.

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Endless Mike
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Re: First-time cellphone-buyer

Postby Endless Mike » Tue Jun 07, 2011 12:42 pm UTC

EvanED wrote:Do you have a preference for AT&T vs T-mobile vs Verizon vs someone else?

Probably none of those as he lives in Sweden. (Well, maybe T-Mobile?)

GeorgeH
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Re: First-time cellphone-buyer

Postby GeorgeH » Tue Jun 07, 2011 5:48 pm UTC

If you're looking for a dumbphone, just get whatever looks shiny in the phone shop. There's really nothing much to max-min, and nothing that's "the best" - they all make and receive calls, so the only thing left is if you like the way it looks. There are objective differences, but they typically boil down to "this phone has a better camera, a keyboard, and MP3" - but the cameras are almost universally poor, MP3 playback tends to be barely adequate at best, and the value of a keyboard is incredibly subjective.

I can say that the best dumbphone I ever owned was an earlier Razr (a quick Google search tells me it was very similar to a Razr V3.) Why I liked it, in order of importance:
1) It was a flip-phone, so no accidental button pushing.
2) It was thin, so it slipped into my pocket easily.
3) It had metal-ish surfaces, so it felt nice.

If those items are valuable to you, a V3 might make a nice phone. If they aren't, there will be something equally serviceable sitting next to it on the store's shelf.

hatten
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Re: First-time cellphone-buyer

Postby hatten » Tue Jun 07, 2011 7:30 pm UTC

Figured it would boil down to that, I'll check the local store(s) for phones and check some reviews on the internet to make sure they're not too worthless. AFAIK there's no free phone by going comviq, and such contracts often force you to stay as a customer for several years.

I have several friends that use their (dumb) cellphones for music, but getting a hackable mp3 is an option if I'm not happy. The audio jack on my iPod 4G running rockbox just fucked up, so if I want stereo sound I have to sit very still.

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Endless Mike
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Re: First-time cellphone-buyer

Postby Endless Mike » Tue Jun 07, 2011 7:50 pm UTC

Yeah, avoid contracts. I don't know what the Swedish phone market is like, but in the US it's not terribly difficult to find a barely-used dumbphone for cheap, if that's all you want/need.

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Re: First-time cellphone-buyer

Postby EvanED » Tue Jun 07, 2011 10:27 pm UTC

hatten wrote:The audio jack on my iPod 4G running rockbox just fucked up, so if I want stereo sound I have to sit very still.

Assuming that you consider it shot anyway, you could always try to repair it. Probably one of the connections is bad from the circuit board to the jack. Might be able to resolder it. (I don't know how small the connections are or how easy it is to disassemble and reassemble an iPod.)

hatten
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Re: First-time cellphone-buyer

Postby hatten » Wed Jun 08, 2011 3:22 pm UTC

EvanED wrote:
hatten wrote:The audio jack on my iPod 4G running rockbox just fucked up, so if I want stereo sound I have to sit very still.

Assuming that you consider it shot anyway, you could always try to repair it. Probably one of the connections is bad from the circuit board to the jack. Might be able to resolder it. (I don't know how small the connections are or how easy it is to disassemble and reassemble an iPod.)

I dunno, it's still useful as a 40GB external harddrive, so I dunno if it's worth it to potentially ruin that.

hatten
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Re: First-time cellphone-buyer

Postby hatten » Mon Jun 13, 2011 8:41 pm UTC

I went to the store today and looked at the phones they had. My eyes quickly fell on the Samsung i5500 galaxy 5 it felt nice to navigate around in and when I tried to type an sms in landscape mode I got most of the words correct at the first attempt. Being a smartish phone for 100$ I definitely thought it was price-worthy.
There were also a sign for Samsung Galaxy Mini S5570, though the phone was removed for some reason. I've looked at some reviews on this one and it is a worthy alternative.

I've read several reviews and don't have a single clue which of them to choose, and I guess there are a bunch of similarly priced smartish android phones out there. Anybody having first-hand experience with these or similar phones or otherwise good tips on how to choose between them?

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evilspoons
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Re: First-time cellphone-buyer

Postby evilspoons » Thu Jun 16, 2011 9:39 pm UTC

I have a Galaxy S Captivate and I will definitely say that Android is the right way to go based on your original post. Don't like the built-in keyboard? Install a new one! Don't like the phone dialer? Install a new one! (And so on).

The only real disadvantage to the i5500 seems to be its low-res screen (320x240) but that is going to be a problem on pretty much any "economical" smartphone. According to GSM Arena there's a Froyo update available for the phone which modernizes the software quite nicely. Samsung's user interface improvements are a mixed bag but you can always root the phone and delete or turn off (or otherwise replace) the ones you hate.

At a glance the S5570 appears to be very similar but slightly newer (Feb 2011 vs June 2010). It has a larger screen but it's the same resolution so it's not really an improvement. The similarities between the two actually makes me slightly surprised they'd both be available from the same carrier.

Unless there are alternatives at the same price point, I'd say go for one of them.

kiwiservices
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Re: First-time cellphone-buyer

Postby kiwiservices » Fri Jun 17, 2011 7:51 pm UTC

What is the best phone in Nokia which play the songs in queue..Any idea.. I appreciation your suggestions.

Chris Dude70
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Re: First-time cellphone-buyer

Postby Chris Dude70 » Sun Jun 19, 2011 3:01 am UTC

Sony Ericsson's Xperia series are both decent and cheap phones.

I have an Xperia X10 and as long as you don't want to use any exeptionally high end applications it's pretty good.

The price is around $400 Australian.

It has included media software but I use the WinAmp App.
1GB built in data storage, expandable up to 32GB, comes with an 8GB SD.
8.1MP camera
MiniUSB to USB cable that can attach to both a computer or the included wall charger.
No physical keypad but I dont mind the included touch keys. You can always install a different keyboard or dialer App.
The Android OS is highly customisable, plenty of custom OS ROMS out there to try.

Only problem is it lacks true multi touch and won't be getting Android 2.3 until late this year.

The Xperia doesen't really meet my needs so I will be upgrading in the near future, most likely to the Samsung Galaxy S 2.
As far as I know it's the most powerful Android phone out. Price tag of around $800 Australian.

hatten
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Re: First-time cellphone-buyer

Postby hatten » Wed Jul 20, 2011 7:04 am UTC

I got a Samsung Galaxy Mini S5570. It might not fit the sturdy definition, but I've dropped it several times, sometimes pretty hard, to the floor and it's barely got a scratch. Really happy with the purchase. Thanks for the help even though it actually didn't help that much this time :)


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