8.31.2014

Three of the newest(ish) cellphones you've not tried.

If I heard someone say, "Anyone that's a phone junkie or tech junkie, please raise your hand." My hand would shoot straight up. My affliction (no, not the t-shirt brand) has become less and less severe as the years have gone on and my interest in this kind of tech has dwindled, but it's not gone.

Recently, I wanted to rid myself of the Apple iPhone 5S I'd been using and get back to Android. I'm not a fan of how the Apple and Android companies fight with each other by making the use of their competing apps a pain in the bum, at times. I already use much of the Google suite of products (Gmail/Contacts, Calendar, Keep, Blogger, etc.) and like that the Android interface can be more personalized by each user.

I traded in my iPhone into T-Mobile (ugh!) and have been ripping through cellphones the last month trying to get something I liked enough to stick with. Well, nothing has stuck just yet. I've tried three of 'em too...

LG G3:

Cursory Review: 
Way way way too friggin big. This almost-"phablet" basically requires the use of two hands or one very tired hand. Though it proved to be very, very fast, plus has some interesting features, it is just to big for myself (or most people?). Though the battery life was acceptable, I wound up taking the phone out of my back pocket for driving and other duties. It's just to big to be comfortable for too long. 

Back to T-Mobile I went... and they had no small to medium-sized Androids on offer, so I went to the interwebs to find something I might like, without breaking the bank.

Sony Xperia Z1 Compact:

Cursory Review:
Very acceptable phone, but a horrible customer experience with Sony USA. The phone's delivery was cursed from the get-go and the experiences with Sony went downhill from there. I did like most of the phone's features, fine battery life, but it was missing some key attributes that had me scratching my head, like group messaging. Group messages would not stay in the original group text message "bubble", but each message would reply back as an individual message. If I wanted to follow the string, I would have had to go in and out of individual user messages and try to piece the replies together. No thanks. With that and their shockingly poor, disparate customer service, I sent it back within two weeks. I'm not going to pay non-contract phone prices for something that isn't up to par and backed by competent service.

Blu Vivo IV:
Cursory Review:
Have you heard of this brand? I hadn't until I saw some of their basic phones popping up on Amazon. This seemed to be their top-of-the-line phone, so I thought I would give it a try... even though it had only lukewarm Amazon ratings. I should have listened.

Though it's main claim to fame seems to be it's incredibly thin case (see below) and a package that comes with a bunch of tailored accessories, all the reviews were right about poor battery life and a rinky-dink user interface. For whatever reason, this brand or this phone just doesn't have the graphic and interface polish that we've all (ok, some of us) come to expect from our cellphones. Again, print that return label and get her outta here.


And now, I'm getting by with a Motorola XT886 until the new Samsung Galaxy Alpha becomes available. This made-in-2012 Motorola is working alright. It's not going to turn any heads, but it's Android, small in stature, and has at least an 8 mega-pixel camera with flash (no joke, some new phones still don't have a flash, ahem, Nokia 635-Cortana).

The new Alpha is purported to be a full whiz factor Samsung Android phone, but in a small package. I hope it will be exactly what I have been waiting for.
It will be mine, oh yes, it will be mine (I think).

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