Arman's stuff
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New phone: Droid 4

(Fri Mar 2 12:46:59 2012)

This phone rocks. No, seriously.

After spending some time with my new phone, I can ssay I am impressed with the speed upgrade. Not that it was unexpected... I like it, though. A lot. I rooted it, and it took about 5 minutes, including downloading the files to do so. Piece of cake. I got a few apps loaded up, and away I went! It's fast (dual-core 1.2GHz), has lots of memory (a gig of RAM, and 16GB onboard, plus my old 16GB flash), and has a nice UI, to boot.

However, there are some downsides. First of all, the battery is not replaceable. This has multiple downsides - obviously, I can't just replace it if it goes dead, but actually more frequently used is the fact that I can't yank the battery in a oh-no situation (like if it gets wet).

Second, while the Droid 3 was a Global phone, this one isn't. Well, technically isn't. Well, technically isn't in software. It's complicated. Basically, it is, but they couldnt get it to work right, so they left it out of the woftware side. All the phone parts work, but I can't just swap out the SIM card and expect it to work right.

Third, it comes with a lot of bloatware. A *lot* of bloatware. Seriously. There are half a dozen streaming video and radio station apps on this, all of which cost $10/mo. There are also a dozen Verizon apps, most of which are less than useless. Bleh. If nothing else, this is why I rooted the phone. I don't want to have to scroll through over 20 apps that I either can't use, don't want to use, or are nothing but a commercial anyway. Complete waste of space and time (ha! I should remember that one).

Fourth... well, ok, so fourth was my own fault. In transferring everything from my old phone to my new one, I just yanked my old flash card from my old phone and popped it right on in to the new one. Only... I didn't stop to think that it might try to erase things. Which it did. I was displeased when I found out. It should at least pop up a message and say, "Hey, there are a bunch of files and things here, can I erase them?" It didn't, but thankfully, all it erased was the application data, and I have backups of that. Maybe not very recent ones, but enough that it should work out ok. Lindsay suffered from the same sort of problem - she uninstalled a few programs accidentally, which put a damper on transferring the data across. Ah well, it all worked out in the end - just a transfer hiccough, not a long term issue. I hope.

Fifth, and most disappointing of all, is the screen. I'd read about how the screen was... less than optimal. However, I wasn't expecting it to be this bad. My old phone has a much smaller screen, but it's a lot less... grainy. I had to squint to see the individual pixels, for instance. This phone? I can see the "grain" at arms length. Which doesn't make a lot of sense for such a high-end phone. But, it is what it is, and it's not enough for me to get upset with it... but, it's something I can't fix. Software, I can fix. Hardware, I cannot. Sigh...

Sixth, and last, is the lack of a camera button. I used that button a lot, but oh well. I'll gladly give it up in exchange for the HDMI port and the bigger screen.

Right now, the thing that most impresses me about the phone is how well it works. My old phone worked really well, right up until I updated the apps, at which point it crawled like a molasses-coated sloth in January. It would shake its fist at passing icebergs and yell at them to slow down. It considered snails to be "pushy" and "always in a hurry." Anything faster than an elderly, retired turtle was almost too fast to be seen. Browsing the Internet was like waiting for Godot - you kept getting indications that something was happening, but it never actually did.

This phone? Greased lightning. The initial startup is a bit poky, but then, it's not actually supposed to restart. Programs run amazingly well; I'm going to test out a few high-end games and low-end games and see if they both work right. My website renders almost immediately, where it took a couple minutes on my old phone (yeah, yeah, I know, I should run some sort of timer and make sure old devices can render it...). Rooting it was liturally as simple as clicking a link, unzipping a file, and double-clicking an icon. It's a little heavier, and a bit longer/wider than my old phone, but it doesn't feel huge. The rough backing is actually kinda nice - I know I can grip it. The forward facing camera is a nice touch, though I don't know if I'll use it much. Oddly enough, you can actually see the vibration motor inside, so I could hypothetically make the vibration function different, if I wanted, just by tweaking the little device. The sound quality is better than my old phone. It's got 4G, which is actually a lot more awesome than I thought it would be, since I'll be getting 4G here in the next two or three weeks - good job to Verizon on that!

All in all, I'm very happy with it. It's fast, does exactly what I want, and it didn't cost a bajillion dollars. Oh, and thinking of that - I'm considering getting the docking station for it. The docking station basically turns it into a laptop - well, a webtop anyway - with a big screen, keyboard, and everything. Motorola has it for about $250, or $350 for the one with ethernet and a bigger screen. Frankly, I'm wondering if it would be possible to make my own with a wireless keyboard/mouse and an HDMI screen that runs on batteries...

I'll let you know if I find anything else interesting, but for now, I'm going to play with my phone :-D



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This blag is tagged: 3g, 4g, Fast, Phone, Smartphone, Verizon, Website, All