smartphone (t-mobile GSM)

Discussion in 'PC Purchasing Help' started by Sxotty, Jan 10, 2014.

  1. Sxotty

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    A new smartphone advice thread yay (lol old one is 2008!)

    Anyway sorry I need a smart phone for T-mobile which I believe is GSM. I have an HTC shift with cyanogen mod on a different carrier. Frankly I actually like the Windows phone stuff now, but none are unlockable that I can see and I like that option so it is probably going to be android. I like the ability to tether, but rarely use it. Only a couple times a year probably, but it is super handy. That means I should probably get a phone easy to root.

    I was thinking a nexus 5 (but you miss out on T-mobile wifi calling if you do that). Anyway I think any GSM phone will probably work. Is there anything better from price performance ratio than the nexus?

    The things I hanker to improve from my current phone are the ability to skype on the phone and take decent pictures. Otherwise it does the job of calling, calendar, and email just fine. The pictures is another reason the nokia 1020 is tempting, but it isn't supported by t-mobile in the USA and is darn expensive. It is probably out of my price range, but that camera would be worth something to me. I know sony has some fancy camera phone coming out soon, but it is just as expensive and the camera is worse. I have a nice SLR anyway and was hoping the phone would make a point and shoot obsolete.

    edit: I should state I don't care about having a big screen and prefer something <5" but can live with that.
     
    #1 Sxotty, Jan 10, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 10, 2014
  2. Rurouni

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    Nope. Your best option is the N5. The cam resolution is poor compared to other flagship phone, but you do get OIS. I assume that you also don't really care about not having a storage expansion slot (micro SD).
    If you want a smaller phone and probably pricier compared to N5, I believe T-Mo will have the compact xperia Z1 (4.3"). It's 720p screen but with S800 SoC, so speed wise, it shouldn't be outdated as quickly as those full hd phones. And it's waterproof.
     
  3. Grall

    Grall Invisible Member
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    iPhone5S - which can't easily be rooted, admittedly, but what is it you actually need to do that requires rooting, really? Is it mostly just a matter of principle, what? Tethering - you just hook it up to your PC once, let windows update find the network driver for it, and then you're done.

    Camera - well, the iP5S pretty much has the best cell phone camera available right now, save for dedicated camera phones. Skype...yeah, it runs skype. Works great. If you're on wifi you can talk for hours without running down more than a small fraction of the battery. It's really fast, browser page rendering is pretty much as quick as on a PC with broadband if you're on 4G LTE or broadband wifi. Graphics updates and scrolling is super slick and silky smooth.

    Great phone overall, excellent build quality, app support second to none, of course.
     
  4. homerdog

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    I have a 5S and it's a great phone. Didn't realize how slow my old 4 was until I got this. The difference with web browsing and just general snappiness is incredible!

    That said, I have a truly unlimited data plan from AT&T with no data cap (grandfathered plan ftw), but it doesn't support tethering. Is there anyway I can "root" or otherwise modify this phone to support tethering without getting a different plan from AT&T? All the "unlimited" plans they have now have some kind of data cap where they throttle you if you go over some fairly low amount of data in a month.
     
  5. Sxotty

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    Yes if you root you can tether homer.

    Thanks for advice so far. Grall I am confused though. How can you tether w/o a plan allowing it or jailbreaking/rooting the Iphone? I wish someone would jailbreak win phone as I quite like it.
     
  6. Grall

    Grall Invisible Member
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    Around where I live nobody's trying to stop you from tethering your phone. Your data which you pay for is yours to use any way you see fit. No special tethering permissions or plans needed. In other words, you need to move to a better country! :razz:
     
  7. Rurouni

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    Where I live, the data that you pay also yours to use in any way you wanted. The cap is pretty low though, so I never use it for streaming or downloading large file.
    But Apple products is very expensive. I believe it cost almost $900 (certainly more than $800) for the iP5S (with the lowest storage) . You can get the latest android phone for around $100 less or go with LG which has been pricing its phone more aggressively that G2 is $200 less than iP5S.
     
  8. Mariner

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    Here in the UK, you can now buy the LG G2 (with 16GB) for the same price as the Nexus 5 (32GB) - around GBP 350. That's GBP 200 cheaper than the iPhone 5S!

    I'd perhaps be tempted tobuy the G2 myself if it wasn't for the fact that I need more than 16GB storage. Really gets on my nerves that the Nexus and LG G2 don't have expandable storage, especially when you can get 64GB microSD cards so cheaply these days! The lack of expandable storage on so many high-end devices is a real problem.

    I suppose OTG card readers such as this make it less of a problem, but it is still something extra you need to carry around:

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00DEOO078/ref=olp_product_details?ie=UTF8&me=&seller=

    A phone with an integral microSD slot would be much more elegant.
     
  9. Grall

    Grall Invisible Member
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    The issue is twofold, with one being rated substantially more important to the companies in question (guess which one! :D), and they are, A: a microSD slot is an opening in the casing, cluttering up the beautiful design of a high-end mobile device (as well as being a potential entrance point for foreign objects, fluids and so on), and B: having an SD slot would make it much more difficult to sell higher internal memory devices at high, overcharged prices.
     
  10. Sxotty

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    I actually like having an expansion slot for my phone, but I realize that will pobably have to forego that given the manufacturers poclivity to exclude them. my current phone is tiny though so it was totally necessary. 16GB would pobably be enough.

    i am using 9GB on sd card currently. i do wory that better cameras might mean more images and larger videos etc...
     
  11. Florin

    Florin Merrily dodgy
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    I have a 5S also but I feel browsing is cumbersome on this phone. Resolution is low, there's no real browser choice, and you're pretty much stuck with mobile sites. So I most always use my other phone, the Galaxy S4. Once you get used to HD resolution, 'request desktop site' and Chrome bookmark synchs, it's hard to deal with anything else. Right now I'd go with the Nexus 5.

    Otherwise the 5S is a solid performer with great camera, audio quality and app support.
     
  12. Grall

    Grall Invisible Member
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    I feel any major browsing is best done on a proper computer, no matter the size of your phone it's still going to be too friggin small to use easily displaying desktop content. Some mobile sites are also really well designed and you're not actually missing much, if anything by using them. Wikipedia is one example.
     
  13. Rurouni

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    Actually I like browsing daily stuff more on my phone. I mostly use PC for downloading media stuff and especially for watching series / movies.
    If one day I don't have to care about data caps and battery life on a phone, then I might not use PC anymore other than for office work.
     
  14. homerdog

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    Any tips on how to go about that? I am not a phone "power user", just email, web browsing, texting, and telephone calls. It would be very time saving in my line of work if I could tether my phone to my Asus T100. Not to mention the 4G on my iPhone is faster than most WiFi in my area :shock: (local ISP price gouging).
     
  15. Sxotty

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    If you tether your provider can tell if they want to. However it it is rare and not excessive (watching netflix) they usually don't care. Worst case is they cancel the plan though.

    With that out of the way, lots of the custom roms have tethering built in. You just go to wifi hot spot turn it on and you are good to go.

    Back on topic I can not get a fancy schamncy phone it turns out.

    So I am tempted by the sony Z1s, or the Z1 xperia phones. Unfortunately it doesn't loook like sony has enough market share that anyone has bothered to root and make decent roms for them.

    The lumia 1020 also seems to have issues doing legitimate hot spot duties which are allowed depending on the plan. This is b/c only AT&T has the phone in the USA. So annoying this device exclusivity.

    Anyway this is what I am thinking now
    Android – Nexus 5 ($349-399), LG G2 ($600), Samsung S4 ($629), Sony Xperia Z1S ($604) or Sony Xperia Z1
    Windows Phone – Lumia 920 ($504), Lumia 1020 ($610)

    Some are not officially supported on Tmobile, but some are their exclusive like the z1s.
     
  16. Rurouni

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    Actually you can root Z1 and there are roms for it... or at least CM rom. Z1s (the T-Mobile compact version?) is either not out yet or just been released, so you just have to wait. But from what I see, as long as you buy Sony/Samsung/LG/HTC flagship phone, there'll be someone making root and custom rom for it. What should be avoided if you want a lot of rom choices is mid to low end phones/tablet, even if it's a Samsung. I'll never again buy low end stuff. And the problem with low end stuff isn't just the availability of custom rom, but the firmware support from the company itself is mostly non existent.
     
  17. Blazkowicz

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    My first ever smartphone will be a Firefox one, foremost because of concern about security issues but also because I don't care about 3D games and whatever stuff. It has to be sorted out regarding firmware support as you say, it needs a "credible" model or two, increase in display res, maybe fast CPU. Heard the Nexus 4 can run Firefox OS but I don't know too much about that.

    I'm ordering a 20 euro dumbphone with quite superlative specs. Micro SD slot (I have an 8GB, but it takes 32GB!), torch light, 3.5mm jack, USB device, bluetooth (files and sound), music playing, video playing, and FM radio which works without a cable or headset plugged in. Even a 640x480 webcam. Videos would play on a 128x160 screen and it's all fixed software with nothing.
     
  18. mrcorbo

    mrcorbo Foo Fighter
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    The best thing about the Nexus 5 is that the same phone will work on AT&T, T-MOBILE or Sprint. It's the first, I believe, to support all three. This and the low price to buy it outright give you maximum flexibility to jump carriers to whoever offers the best price/service at any given time. I find this really appealing and will look at this type of option myself when my contract is up...in July 2015.
     
  19. Mize

    Mize 3dfx Fan
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    LG G2 with Cyanogenmod is what I'm running and enjoying now. Really prefer the power/volume buttons on the back as there's no accidental button pushing when handling or putting it into my windscreen holder for navigation (Waze of course). Battery life is absurdly good (2 days solid use) and the combination of light weight (no bloatware) and key features (quiet hours, light customizations, etc.) in Cyanmogenmod 10.x is just about ideal. Of course the N5 is the same hardware with a downgraded camera and buttons on the side and it's stock unlocked...
     
  20. Sxotty

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    Hey Rurouni can you link to some info? I checked Cyanogen and it isn't in the list of supported devices (unless I had a brain fart and looked under tablets or something). There is a sony Z, but no Z1, and maybe that means no Z1s. It seems a tad niche to me. XDA developer forum for it is less lively than my current phone which was dead. I am very tempted as the camera seems nice, though Mize does have a pretty glowing review of the G2. I just rode my bike home in the rain so the waterproof bit on the sony is a nice feature as well.
     
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