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SweetMercifulCrap!
Jan 28, 2012


regulargonzalez posted:

Thanks for the info. I ended up spreadsheet'ing it out. There's a million ways to do it which makes it a pain. ATT would give me $800 for my OnePlus 7Pro trade in (about $325 more than I paid for it?) but even with my ATT employer discount it ended up being more expensive over the 30 month term than buying it for $999 from Best Buy and sticking with h2o wireless. Plus I can sell my phone on swappa (or keep it for biking / skiing days), plus I live in Shithole USA and won't get 5g for a year or two, so no point upgrading from h2o's LTE service.

So I ended up doing that. My last two phones were OnePlus so it's nice having an actual decent camera, and the zoom is pretty slick.

Yep. Recently I was very tempted to finally get a contract plan by those "we'll give you $700+ for your phone!" promotions, but ultimately even with those, it was still cheaper in the long run to buy the phone outright. Contract plans are just that much more expensive.

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Biowarfare
Nov 8, 2010

I JUST WISH THIS WAS A PONY SO I COULD JERK IT WHILE I PLAY WOW

I really hate the "It's totally not at all a contract, it's just a 24 month loan that we give you a slight discount on once a month, PS if you try to pay off your device early you lose the discount and also pay a penalty"

LastInLine
Mar 15, 2006

Why stay in the Cape when you can be in the WAVE?




Biowarfare posted:

I really hate the "It's totally not at all a contract, it's just a 24 month loan that we give you a slight discount on once a month, PS if you try to pay off your device early you lose the discount and also pay a penalty"

That's the point of the discount, to keep you a customer. If you could pay off the phone immediately and leave then why should they give you the discount?

Or is this one of those "I want it unfair in my favor" things?

Red Bones
Aug 9, 2012

"I think he's a bad enough person to stay ghost through his sheer love of child-killing."



I'm looking for a new small-ish cheap-ish phone. I've pretty much narrowed it down to the Pixel 4a or the Galaxy A41.

I'm aware that the Pixel is the better phone, but I'm going to be spending long periods of time in several foreign countries over the next few years and I've never had to deal with e-sims before and I'm aware they're not supported in all countries. If I have an esim for one country and I cross over to a country where none of the networks support esims, does the esim just lose functionality? Is travelling regularly with an esim-only phone a pain in the rear end if you travel internationally regularly?

Also, does anyone have experience with the A41? It just looks fine, like a regular small-ish phone. Does it have any glaring flaws? Is it leagues below the Pixel? My current phone is four or five years old so at this point anything is really a step up.

Biowarfare
Nov 8, 2010

I JUST WISH THIS WAS A PONY SO I COULD JERK IT WHILE I PLAY WOW

LastInLine posted:

That's the point of the discount, to keep you a customer. If you could pay off the phone immediately and leave then why should they give you the discount?

Or is this one of those "I want it unfair in my favor" things?

I meant it just rubs me off wrong to advertise how everyone keeps screaming "we're contract free!!!" while effectively it's a much worse installment loan.

sourdough
Apr 30, 2012



Biowarfare posted:

I meant it just rubs me off wrong to advertise how everyone keeps screaming "we're contract free!!!" while effectively it's a much worse installment loan.

You can pay full price for it without an installment plan if you want, there's no contract with an ETF keeping you paying for the service

Duckman2008
Jan 6, 2010

TFW you see Flyers goaltending.

Grimey Drawer

Red Bones posted:

I'm looking for a new small-ish cheap-ish phone. I've pretty much narrowed it down to the Pixel 4a or the Galaxy A41.

I'm aware that the Pixel is the better phone, but I'm going to be spending long periods of time in several foreign countries over the next few years and I've never had to deal with e-sims before and I'm aware they're not supported in all countries. If I have an esim for one country and I cross over to a country where none of the networks support esims, does the esim just lose functionality? Is travelling regularly with an esim-only phone a pain in the rear end if you travel internationally regularly?

Also, does anyone have experience with the A41? It just looks fine, like a regular small-ish phone. Does it have any glaring flaws? Is it leagues below the Pixel? My current phone is four or five years old so at this point anything is really a step up.

I don’t know the A41 at all, but the Pixel 4a def takes a regular SIM card and has the option for an eSIM. I will say the 4a is a very solid phone in its budget , so it’s hard to beat.


Biowarfare posted:

I meant it just rubs me off wrong to advertise how everyone keeps screaming "we're contract free!!!" while effectively it's a much worse installment loan.

Yeah, certainly the verbiage could be better, but at least early cancellation fees are gone and two year contracts (in the old form) are gone.

Red Bones
Aug 9, 2012

"I think he's a bad enough person to stay ghost through his sheer love of child-killing."



Duckman2008 posted:

I don’t know the A41 at all, but the Pixel 4a def takes a regular SIM card and has the option for an eSIM. I will say the 4a is a very solid phone in its budget , so it’s hard to beat.

The eSIM issue is more that I'm not too familiar with how they work, and in situations where I want to switch sims or use multiple sims regularly (eg using a different SIM within the EU so I don't get nailed by roaming charges) I don't know if it'll cause issues to have a UK eSIM and a physical European SIM, and then travel to a country where eSIMs aren't supported by any network. I can see on some websites it says that they're not supported by all countries, but I don't know what that actually means in practice.

SweetMercifulCrap!
Jan 28, 2012


So, phone insurance. I don't use contract plans and refuse to use them. AppleCare+ With Theft & Loss is pretty great because you know if you lose your phone they have full documentation of the phone you had and are going to give you either a new or basically new replacement. As far as I know, Apple is the only manufacturer that offers theft & loss replacements. Samsung and Google offer care plans, but they don't include theft & loss, for example. So my question is, are there other ways to get theft and loss coverage without a contract plan that would also be as low hassle as AppleCare?

Biowarfare
Nov 8, 2010

I JUST WISH THIS WAS A PONY SO I COULD JERK IT WHILE I PLAY WOW

a decently high tier credit card probably covers theft/loss included for free if you buy the device full price non-contract with that card

Space Gopher
Jul 31, 2006
BLITHERING IDIOT

Biowarfare posted:

a decently high tier credit card probably covers theft/loss included for free if you buy the device full price non-contract with that card

That typically runs out quickly. Amex Plat purchase protection is good for 90 days. High end Chase Visa cards go to 120. If you have a loss within that window, it's definitely worth filing - it's usually $0 deductible and reimburses the full price you paid - but it runs out very quickly compared to the AppleCare up-to-five-years window.

Biowarfare
Nov 8, 2010

I JUST WISH THIS WAS A PONY SO I COULD JERK IT WHILE I PLAY WOW

Space Gopher posted:

That typically runs out quickly. Amex Plat purchase protection is good for 90 days. High end Chase Visa cards go to 120. If you have a loss within that window, it's definitely worth filing - it's usually $0 deductible and reimburses the full price you paid - but it runs out very quickly compared to the AppleCare up-to-five-years window.

I think it's separate from purchase protection, there are a number of cards (Chase Ink?) that continually cover it as long as you pay the monthly bill with that card.

Oxphocker
Aug 17, 2005

PLEASE DO NOT BACKSEAT MODERATE


Ugh just got a txt telling me 3G is going down for ATT in Feb 2022 and my phone is no longer going to work on the network so I'm being forced to upgrade... Haven't been following the cell world for a few years so hoping someone can point me in the right direction as everything seems to be named so drat similar it's hard to tell them all apart.

Area: Minnesota
Carrier: ATT (prepaid)
Currently Phone: Nokia Lumia 950 XL (Windows)

I like everything about my current phone and it's been working great the past 5 years. Granted, I wish there was a better app store, but for what I use it for I really can't complain in the slightest. Tried to look at what's out there now and nothing is really grabbing my attention as all that revolutionary vs what I already have (except for 4/5G tech). I'm not a heavy data user because I already have a desktop, laptop, and tablet...so really my phone is a phone/text/camera for the most part except for rare occasions where I'm traveling or out somewhere and need a quick data hit to look up something. Don't want anything to do with iOS, so limited to Android offerings (wish they would bring back windows mobile). I don't like that google calendar and outlook calendar don't play nice with each other. I'm not in a rush to switch..so I'm wondering if someone more in the know right now, is there some new hotness coming out in the next six-eight months that I should be keeping my eye on?

Features I wouldn't mind:
long battery life
a matching/compatible wearable
decent/good camera
headphone jack (preferably)
compatible with outlook/onedrive (for personal) and google suite (for work)
foldable would be cool, but I'm used to a big rear end phone...so a larger screen rather than a tiny rear end screen.
as future proof as possible as I tend to hold to on to phones for a long time so must be 5G (only had 3 phones total since 2006 and that's only because I accidentally washed one of them, otherwise it would probably have been two phones)

Uthor
Jul 9, 2006

Gummy Bear Heaven ... It's where I go when the world is too mean.

Oxphocker posted:

compatible with outlook/onedrive (for personal) and google suite (for work)

I would use Outlook for work and Gmail for personal with zero issues. Hell, I used Outlook for work and OneDrive for personal without issues. Android handles multiple accounts and you can log into the apps with whatever you need.

SweetMercifulCrap!
Jan 28, 2012


SweetMercifulCrap! posted:

So, phone insurance. I don't use contract plans and refuse to use them. AppleCare+ With Theft & Loss is pretty great because you know if you lose your phone they have full documentation of the phone you had and are going to give you either a new or basically new replacement. As far as I know, Apple is the only manufacturer that offers theft & loss replacements. Samsung and Google offer care plans, but they don't include theft & loss, for example. So my question is, are there other ways to get theft and loss coverage without a contract plan that would also be as low hassle as AppleCare?

Quoting myself here to add a follow up. Basically I'm looking to switch from Apple to Samsung, and want peace of mind knowing that if I lose my $1,000+ phone, I can get a replacement without breaking the bank. Samsung has Samsung Care+ but it does not include loss & theft coverage. Asurion, it turns out, is offered through my AT&T Prepaid service. They seem to be a relatively common option. Does anyone have experience or feedback with them?

Best Buy also offers loss & theft coverage through their Geek Squad Complete Protection program if you buy through them, but my gut tells me to steer clear away from anything Geek Squad.

SweetMercifulCrap! fucked around with this message at 21:34 on Mar 17, 2021

butt dickus
Jul 7, 2007

top ten juiced up coaches
and the top ten juiced up players

is there a reason you want samsung specifically? i think you're going to be disappointed after coming from an apple device. if you get a phone from fi, you can add device protection that covers loss/theft.
https://support.google.com/fi/answer/6309809?hl=en#zippy=%2Closs-or-theft

SweetMercifulCrap!
Jan 28, 2012


butt dickus posted:

is there a reason you want samsung specifically? i think you're going to be disappointed after coming from an apple device. if you get a phone from fi, you can add device protection that covers loss/theft.
https://support.google.com/fi/answer/6309809?hl=en#zippy=%2Closs-or-theft

Why do you say that? I'm interested in the S21 Ultra because of its camera capabilities (10x optical zoom, for example), and 120hz refresh rate. I've used iPhone for 8 years now and am just kind of bored with it.

butt dickus
Jul 7, 2007

top ten juiced up coaches
and the top ten juiced up players

SweetMercifulCrap! posted:

Why do you say that? I'm interested in the S21 Ultra because of its camera capabilities (10x optical zoom, for example), and 120hz refresh rate. I've used iPhone for 8 years now and am just kind of bored with it.
they sell you on specs, but their software situation is pretty poor. they come with secondary versions of a lot of applications, and there are ads even in the built-in system software. the samsung defenders will come in here and say "but it's easy to remove with adb" or "you can just ignore it" or "it's not as bad as it used to be" but do you really want a phone that comes pre-crapped up out of the box? additionally, android phones have much shorter support periods than iphones, and with samsung devices, you have to wait longer for os updates the older your phone is. here's the thread where we argue about it in case you want more opinions

SweetMercifulCrap!
Jan 28, 2012


butt dickus posted:

they sell you on specs, but their software situation is pretty poor. they come with secondary versions of a lot of applications, and there are ads even in the built-in system software. the samsung defenders will come in here and say "but it's easy to remove with adb" or "you can just ignore it" or "it's not as bad as it used to be" but do you really want a phone that comes pre-crapped up out of the box? additionally, android phones have much shorter support periods than iphones, and with samsung devices, you have to wait longer for os updates the older your phone is. here's the thread where we argue about it in case you want more opinions

Hmm. Good points. After 8 years on iPhone I'm definitely bored with it, but it's hard to deny that it still has many pros that I care about. I briefly tried a Pixel 4a and was very impressed with how clean and streamlined the OS is, but I suppose that is not a good representation of all Android. Also, the Pixels have extremely cheap build quality for their price.

butt dickus
Jul 7, 2007

top ten juiced up coaches
and the top ten juiced up players

the pixel "a" series is the budget line with plastic housings, fewer cameras and less cpu grunt. the main line has the same glass/metal construction as the iphone. the pixel line is the closest you will get to an iphone experience in android world, as the os and hardware are designed by the same company. i use the pixel 5 and would highly recommend it, but i'm also a miserable person who takes effectively 0 pictures unless it's to know how to put something back together

SweetMercifulCrap!
Jan 28, 2012


butt dickus posted:

the pixel "a" series is the budget line with plastic housings, fewer cameras and less cpu grunt. the main line has the same glass/metal construction as the iphone. the pixel line is the closest you will get to an iphone experience in android world, as the os and hardware are designed by the same company. i use the pixel 5 and would highly recommend it, but i'm also a miserable person who takes effectively 0 pictures unless it's to know how to put something back together

The main thing that tipped me off to the 4a's poor build quality was that after only a few days of using it, the casing would creak if you applied light pressure. Have you noticed anything like that with the 5? What I might do instead of hold out and see what Google's next phone is like. For instance, I really do like having three camera lenses, and maybe they will add a third for the Pixel 6.

Duckman2008
Jan 6, 2010

TFW you see Flyers goaltending.

Grimey Drawer

SweetMercifulCrap! posted:

The main thing that tipped me off to the 4a's poor build quality was that after only a few days of using it, the casing would creak if you applied light pressure. Have you noticed anything like that with the 5? What I might do instead of hold out and see what Google's next phone is like. For instance, I really do like having three camera lenses, and maybe they will add a third for the Pixel 6.

Def hold out if you want a Pixel. While a good buy option for android, the 5 has been out a bit now, and the 5 has a middling processor. Google keeps changing their strategy , so who knows what they are gonna do next.

If you’ve been happy with iPhone and it’s just “boredom,” I would just say boredom is better than inconsistency , which you def get more of with android.

butt dickus
Jul 7, 2007

top ten juiced up coaches
and the top ten juiced up players

Duckman2008 posted:

Def hold out if you want a Pixel. While a good buy option for android, the 5 has been out a bit now, and the 5 has a middling processor.
yes, the pixel 5 is not good for mining bitcoins, but it has a 90hz screen and doesn't stutter. i'm not sure why the processor matters now that they're all fast enough, other than benchmark dickwaving

SweetMercifulCrap! posted:

The main thing that tipped me off to the 4a's poor build quality was that after only a few days of using it, the casing would creak if you applied light pressure. Have you noticed anything like that with the 5?
no, it's completely solid

regulargonzalez
Aug 18, 2006
UNGH LET ME LICK THOSE BOOTS DADDY HULU YES YES GIVE ME ALL THE CORPORATE CUMMIES ADBLOCK USERS DESERVE THE DEATH PENALTY, DON'T THEY DADDY?
WHEN THE RICH GET RICHER I GET HORNIER


butt dickus posted:

they sell you on specs, but their software situation is pretty poor. they come with secondary versions of a lot of applications, and there are ads even in the built-in system software. the samsung defenders will come in here and say "but it's easy to remove with adb" or "you can just ignore it" or "it's not as bad as it used to be" but do you really want a phone that comes pre-crapped up out of the box? additionally, android phones have much shorter support periods than iphones, and with samsung devices, you have to wait longer for os updates the older your phone is. here's the thread where we argue about it in case you want more opinions

Fwiw my S21 Ultra is my first Samsung and I set it up pretty ordinarily -- disabling Bixby where I can, setting it up the as similarly as I can to my previous phone -- and I haven't seen one single ad that I can recall. And a lot of the Samsung "extras" I like.

butt dickus
Jul 7, 2007

top ten juiced up coaches
and the top ten juiced up players

i've not personally seen it (because i do not buy samsung phones), but i have seen articles like this
https://www.androidpolice.com/2020/07/04/ads-are-taking-over-samsungs-galaxy-smartphones-and-im-fed-up/

regulargonzalez
Aug 18, 2006
UNGH LET ME LICK THOSE BOOTS DADDY HULU YES YES GIVE ME ALL THE CORPORATE CUMMIES ADBLOCK USERS DESERVE THE DEATH PENALTY, DON'T THEY DADDY?
WHEN THE RICH GET RICHER I GET HORNIER


Ah ok, per that article it shows up in the Samsung apps. I guess I don't use them, except the dialer and the sms app and I honestly haven't seen ads in either.

LastInLine
Mar 15, 2006

Why stay in the Cape when you can be in the WAVE?




If the argument for a Samsung device is "It's pretty great except for all of the Samsung apps, the constant advertising in them that you can't disable, and the Samsung extras they force on you like Bixby which preclude the use of better, actually useful things, and of course the high price" then what you're pretty much saying that Android is pretty good except for anything that Samsung has added to it and that you pay extra for when buying a Samsung.

Corte
Jun 28, 2005


Top of the touch screen on my Samsung Galaxy S9+ is no longer responding. Thankfully the device has one-handed mode so I'm able to shrink the display to below where the touch screen no longer works. I live in Ontario, Canada and am currently with Telus. My understanding is providers are no longer able to lock phones to their network.

I am on a company plan which will likely be negotiated/renewed in the next few months and will receive a new phone at that time. I could make do with my phone but may decide to get a cheap Android to see me through and have as a backup. I think I would want to keep costs under $200-250 with a case. Two that seem popular are the Motorola Moto G8 Power and Samsung Galaxy A10S. I don't use my phone for anything fancy, just calls, messaging and basic browsing. If anything I'd be happy if the device isn't powerful enough to run games that could be distracting.

Bremen
Jul 20, 2006

Our God..... is an awesome God

Crossposting since I seem to have put this in the wrong thread:

You may not believe that someone in this day and age that doesn't live in an agrarian commune can be as ignorant about phones as I am, but it's true.

Anyways, after resisting many years I finally ended up getting a phone, a cheap pre-paid tracfone I got at Walmart. I'm like, 90% sure it's Android, just a really old version that looks nothing like other android phones I've seen (actually I just checked and it says Android 6.0.1). However, these days the battery lasts maybe 30 hours, its screen is all cracked because I'm a clumsy oaf, and it's giving me warnings about low storage space despite the fact I never put anything on it. Combined with a stimulus check, I was thinking now might be the time to get a phone that isn't a piece of poo poo.

I would definitely like to keep the same number, since updating that would be a pain. Ideally I'd like to keep Tracfone as well, since it's cheap and having limited minutes doesn't matter much when I pretty much only use it so people can call me to schedule real life stuff. I have a vague idea that I can do this by transferring the sim card? But I also recall helping my mother when her phone broke (she doesn't seem to accept that being able to fix PCs doesn't mean I'm good with phones) and I recall the people at the AT&T place had a little gadget they used to cut the sim card into a different shape, so I don't know how involved that is?

So goons, please help this luddite learn what I need to do to switch to a new phone, and maybe also recommend what model I should be looking at for a decent combination of performance and price (also sturdy. Sturdy would be good).

Uthor
Jul 9, 2006

Gummy Bear Heaven ... It's where I go when the world is too mean.

I posted a reply in the other thread:
https://forums.somethingawful.com/showthread.php?threadid=3689060&pagenumber=1907&perpage=40&userid=0#post513351239

But should have said that the SIM card should just pop into a new phone. There was a size change a long time ago, but phones have been at the smaller size for a while. If it's too big, you can get a cutter for cheap or have Tracfone send you a new one.

eighty-four merc
Dec 22, 2010


In 2020, we're going to make the end of Fight Club real.


Hoping to get some advice re: "rugged" phones

I recently moved to Charlotte, NC and started a new business, and I'd like to get a business phone with the local area code. Due to the nature of the work (electrician mechanic / light construction), I've been looking at "rugged" phones

Currently my personal cell is a Verizon iPhone 8. It's paid off and I plan to switch to Mint to save a few bucks. Don't really care what carrier I use for my business phone so long as I get good service and the price is good

Seems the rugged phones on the market are all Android, which makes sense I guess. I'm not married to iOS but I haven't used Android in several years, and the posts above about ads in Samsungs are a bit concerning

Consumer electronics aren't my thing, so I appreciate anything you guys can do to narrow my focus on this

Seems like outside the Samsung Xcover line and the CAT phones, these "rugged" phones are made by a bunch of crackerjack brands I've never heard of. Doogee, UniHertz, Kyocera, Sonim, Ulefone, etc.

I've mostly looked at the Ulefone line. Not for any particular reason except their website seemed easier to use. The "Armor 9E" can utilize an endoscope which could be useful for the work I do. The "Armor 11 5G" is, well, 5G and has some gimmick poo poo like night vision and seems to have better specs

Any of you familiar with "rugged" phones? Appreciate any advice, thanks!

Duckman2008
Jan 6, 2010

TFW you see Flyers goaltending.

Grimey Drawer

eighty-four merc posted:

Hoping to get some advice re: "rugged" phones

I recently moved to Charlotte, NC and started a new business, and I'd like to get a business phone with the local area code. Due to the nature of the work (electrician mechanic / light construction), I've been looking at "rugged" phones

Currently my personal cell is a Verizon iPhone 8. It's paid off and I plan to switch to Mint to save a few bucks. Don't really care what carrier I use for my business phone so long as I get good service and the price is good

Seems the rugged phones on the market are all Android, which makes sense I guess. I'm not married to iOS but I haven't used Android in several years, and the posts above about ads in Samsungs are a bit concerning

Consumer electronics aren't my thing, so I appreciate anything you guys can do to narrow my focus on this

Seems like outside the Samsung Xcover line and the CAT phones, these "rugged" phones are made by a bunch of crackerjack brands I've never heard of. Doogee, UniHertz, Kyocera, Sonim, Ulefone, etc.

I've mostly looked at the Ulefone line. Not for any particular reason except their website seemed easier to use. The "Armor 9E" can utilize an endoscope which could be useful for the work I do. The "Armor 11 5G" is, well, 5G and has some gimmick poo poo like night vision and seems to have better specs

Any of you familiar with "rugged" phones? Appreciate any advice, thanks!

So here’s the big question:

Do you want an all in one rugged smart phone, or do you want a personal phone and rugged phone ?


If you want keep your iPhone 8, and you just need a rugged 2nd phone (which is what a lot of people in rough fields do), so you even need a smartphone ? They make great rugged flip phones, which do survive even better than the rugged android phones.

The X Cover would be fine, it’s just very expensive. While I tend to recommend iPhones around here, android is certainly fine as a secondary work phone.

I have worked with Kyocera (they’ve actually been around 10+ years) and a bit with Sonim. Kyocera has made rugged phones for years. They used to be bad. Now, they’re def rugged, and they’re less bad. As a secondary phone, it should be fine, just don’t expect a lot of software updates. Kyocera flip phones like the Dura XT def do the trick if you don’t need a smart phone.

Random nerd mention: Kyocera bought Sanyo 9ish years ago. Rip Sanyo, they made great flip phones (and horrible smartphones).

Sonim tends to make even more rugged phones than Kyocera , and they’re usually priced higher as a result. Same as Kyocera, don’t expect a lot of software updates, but again, for what you need you probably don’t need to do that.

Never heard of the other brands, but that doesn’t mean they’re bad.


Random other idea: I have a lot of businesses that just get an iPad and put the thing in an otter box or lifeproof case. You could get a Google voice number, have it ring both the iPhone and iPad, and honestly it could work fine. Have an otter box case for when you need the smaller iPhone for taking a picture or whatever. You could also get AppleCare on an iPad, which for you I would recommend.

BonHair
Apr 28, 2007

Welcome to the machine

I have an xcover as my work phone, and it's big, heavy and clumsy and still has a huge gently caress off screen that will probably crack if I drop it. It has a fair bit of bloat and keeps bugging me to update the Siri thing. It runs various apps including light games (haven't tried much) fine. But honestly, I use it for phonecalls, reading emails and possibly sending one line text/email replies. I would honestly prefer a flip phone, because that has the features I need and much less risk of damage, plus better battery life.

What I'm saying is, if you just want an actual phone, don't get a pocket computer.

eighty-four merc
Dec 22, 2010


In 2020, we're going to make the end of Fight Club real.


Duckman2008 posted:

So here’s the big question:

Do you want an all in one rugged smart phone, or do you want a personal phone and rugged phone ?

quote:

you even need a smartphone ?

Good questions!

I'd like to have separate personal and work phones, for sanity and productivity reasons. While I've used my personal phone at previous employers for work, I mostly use my personal phone for loving around (e.g., browsing these forums) and while I didn't mind the inefficiency when it was on someone else's dime, I'm easily distracted and would like to better compartmentalize personal and business life. I like to say I have terrible "tactical" self-control and great "strategic" self-control. There are stupid apps I run on my personal phone I use to keep in touch with certain friends, and I don't want to phase them out completely, but in the month or so I've been in "getting business ready" mode, they've been big time sucks for me. I'd like to have a phone I use strictly for business and to leave the personal phone in my backpack while I'm working / need to be productive

Far as needing a smartphone goes, honestly now that you mention it I'm not so sure. If I go a tablet route (more on that below), I could probably get away with a dumb phone. One thing is, a lot of my customers like to text me photos / videos of machines / components, and I haven't had a dumb phone since the Razr. So I don't know what that looks like, exactly, if I'm wanting to email myself those photos / videos etc. I also often take photos / videos to send to my vendors and suppliers, but a tablet would facilitate that

quote:

I have worked with Kyocera (they’ve actually been around 10+ years) and a bit with Sonim. Kyocera has made rugged phones for years. They used to be bad. Now, they’re def rugged, and they’re less bad. As a secondary phone, it should be fine, just don’t expect a lot of software updates. Kyocera flip phones like the Dura XT def do the trick if you don’t need a smart phone.

Sweet, thanks for the insight. In what little research I've done (and again, consumer electronics is not my wheelhouse at all) it seems like a lot of these off-brand rugged phones run bone-stock(-ish?) Android. What kind of issues could arise from lack of software updates? Do I need to be worried about, e.g., some new version of Office 365 not running on my Android phone?

quote:

Random other idea: I have a lot of businesses that just get an iPad and put the thing in an otter box or lifeproof case. You could get a Google voice number, have it ring both the iPhone and iPad, and honestly it could work fine. Have an otter box case for when you need the smaller iPhone for taking a picture or whatever. You could also get AppleCare on an iPad, which for you I would recommend.

Hadn't considered the Google voice idea, I'll definitely look into that

Far as a tablet goes, I've actually been considering that as well. Same as the personal phone time suck concern, my personal laptop is for loving around. Right now, it's my only computer, but I'm also trying to sort out what I want to do about that. For budgetary and simplicity reasons, I'm treating the "What combination of phone, tablet, computer(s), etc. do I want for my business?" conundrum as a "systems" problem, and each item I eventually select will be part of the same solution, if that makes sense

I work on automated equipment primarily, and need to be able to access technical documentation in the field, as well as pull data from components like PLCs, VFDs, HMIs, etc. It's also very helpful to allow engineers to remote into machines through my laptop and flip bits or change ladders in the controls

I have a home office, and soon will be renting office/shop space inside of an existing business' work shop, due to being allowed access to their equipment as well as the ability to receive freight there, and for how loving cheap they quoted it to me. Right now I'm leaning toward "rugged phone + rugged laptop/tablet + desktop docking stations at home/shop"

I have currently been looking at Windows 10 laptops and tablets ("rugged" ones like Panasonic Toughbook and Dell Latitude currently). I'm familiar with Windows and the Office Suite from school / previous employers, so that's what I've been looking at. I've already got Office 365 for my business too, to whatever extent that matters

But yeah, basically I'm trying to solve as many things as I can with as few pieces of electronics as possible, without getting real Gucci with the solutions and breaking the bank. Obviously still in "research" phase, but depending on dumb phone capabilities it sounds like I might be able to get away with a dumb phone and a Windows tablet

BonHair
Apr 28, 2007

Welcome to the machine

eighty-four merc posted:


I have a home office, and soon will be renting office/shop space inside of an existing business' work shop, due to being allowed access to their equipment as well as the ability to receive freight there, and for how loving cheap they quoted it to me. Right now I'm leaning toward "rugged phone + rugged laptop/tablet + desktop docking stations at home/shop"


But yeah, basically I'm trying to solve as many things as I can with as few pieces of electronics as possible, without getting real Gucci with the solutions and breaking the bank. Obviously still in "research" phase, but depending on dumb phone capabilities it sounds like I might be able to get away with a dumb phone and a Windows tablet

This seems like the right solution. Looking at technical stuff in the field on a phone sucks rear end, so you want the tablet for that. Remember to get one with 4G or even 5G capability.

I work in the Danish railway department (as an IT/office drone, no actual track work), so I know the guys that actually gently caress around on the tracks use iPads for all sorts of stuff, including some cool VR stuff for underground cables. And then they have various phones, including Windows phones that are incredibly out of date, so I assume they only use them for calls. It's a different setup than you though, because all the business crap is handled by us office drones, and they barely need a keyboard in many cases.

eighty-four merc
Dec 22, 2010


In 2020, we're going to make the end of Fight Club real.


BonHair posted:

What I'm saying is, if you just want an actual phone, don't get a pocket computer.

BonHair posted:

This seems like the right solution. Looking at technical stuff in the field on a phone sucks rear end, so you want the tablet for that.

Thanks for the advice. I hadn't even considered the flip phone option, but the more I think about it the more it makes sense for my situation

I also find using a smart phone very disorienting in general. Like I'm jumping back and forth from reality and the phone. I much refer phone calls and face-to-face stuff to texting, and yeah it sucks poo poo trying to look at drawings or technical stuff on a cramped touchscreen. One of my old-man-shouting-at-clouds qualities, I guess, as I enter my mid-30s

quote:

Remember to get one with 4G or even 5G capability.

Yeah, I'm definitely looking into that. Does anyone have any recs for carriers for data on a tablet/laptop in the US? I know coverage is ultimately location dependent, but in terms of pricing?

quote:

It's a different setup than you though, because all the business crap is handled by us office drones, and they barely need a keyboard in many cases.

Yeah, for sure. I don't plan to be doing "business" style stuff in the field (aside from sales presentations for equipment, service agreements, etc.) so I don't know that I'll immediately want one. But it is something I'm considering since I generally prefer a keyboard to a touch screen (see above re: "disorienting")

Definitely going to go the tablet + flip phone route now, though. One perk of being a one-man band is I don't have some employer requiring I run a half dozen iOS apps on my phone. I really don't need a smart phone for what I do

Duckman2008
Jan 6, 2010

TFW you see Flyers goaltending.

Grimey Drawer

eighty-four merc posted:

Thanks for the advice. I hadn't even considered the flip phone option, but the more I think about it the more it makes sense for my situation

I also find using a smart phone very disorienting in general. Like I'm jumping back and forth from reality and the phone. I much refer phone calls and face-to-face stuff to texting, and yeah it sucks poo poo trying to look at drawings or technical stuff on a cramped touchscreen. One of my old-man-shouting-at-clouds qualities, I guess, as I enter my mid-30s


Yeah, I'm definitely looking into that. Does anyone have any recs for carriers for data on a tablet/laptop in the US? I know coverage is ultimately location dependent, but in terms of pricing?


Yeah, for sure. I don't plan to be doing "business" style stuff in the field (aside from sales presentations for equipment, service agreements, etc.) so I don't know that I'll immediately want one. But it is something I'm considering since I generally prefer a keyboard to a touch screen (see above re: "disorienting")

Definitely going to go the tablet + flip phone route now, though. One perk of being a one-man band is I don't have some employer requiring I run a half dozen iOS apps on my phone. I really don't need a smart phone for what I do

Totally makes sense. Just bear in mind the flip phone will suck for looking at video especially , but as long as the setup includes a 4G/5G tablet you should be fine there.

this probably goes back to having sold Nextel yearrrrs ago, but I have always, always wanted a super rugged basic phone to throw around. Of course , it just never made sense for me. But get like, that badass Sonim basic candy bar phone, get a badass belt clip, and go 90s style with it.

My favorite selling feature for a rugged phone is they usually make the candy bar phones with a flat bottom, because if you are doing say, HVAC maintenance, being able to put your phone down flat instead of facedown is actually really useful.


That said, I still here the Nextel chirps in my nightmares and do not miss the loving walkie talkie.

eighty-four merc
Dec 22, 2010


In 2020, we're going to make the end of Fight Club real.


OK, I'm sold on the dumb phone

I've been looking at the Sonim candy bar phones, and is there any reason I shouldn't just buy a dirt cheap XP5560 or something? To what extent does "latest and greatest" matter for a dumb phone? Aside from, like, needing new batteries if I'm buying a lot of 10 used phones from some contractor on eBay for $150

It's pretty sick these things have FM tuners. Is it just iPhones that don't have that?

BonHair
Apr 28, 2007

Welcome to the machine

I'm going to recommend reposting this somewhere people in your situation will see it, just to consider various experience others might have had and learn from it. I don't know where that is, but if all else fails, the stupid/small questions thread in A/T. The phone is really a minor part, the important bit is gonna be the tablet.

Also FM and headphone jack seem pretty mandatory.

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Duckman2008
Jan 6, 2010

TFW you see Flyers goaltending.

Grimey Drawer

eighty-four merc posted:

OK, I'm sold on the dumb phone

I've been looking at the Sonim candy bar phones, and is there any reason I shouldn't just buy a dirt cheap XP5560 or something? To what extent does "latest and greatest" matter for a dumb phone? Aside from, like, needing new batteries if I'm buying a lot of 10 used phones from some contractor on eBay for $150

It's pretty sick these things have FM tuners. Is it just iPhones that don't have that?

With basic phones you need to make sure they’re compatible depending on your carrier. I did a quick (not in depth) search on the XP5560 and it looks like it’s ATT only. So it wouldn’t work on Verizon or total wireless. The main Verizon Sonim is the XP5, which is $300 new, looks like it ranges $50-100 on eBay.

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