Need Phone help/advice

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Woody's Workshop

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It's time fo me to get a new phone. We are on the AT&T family plan.
I don't have any knowledge of these new do all phones.
I've had this same old flip phone for over 6 years.
I know many people here use these super phones for rocket stuffs.
I guess it's time for me to learn something about them.
There is so many out there, and have spent the most of the day reading reviews getting me no where but confussed further.
As I don't have a clue on what they are talking about with the Techno babble.
I kinda got it narrowed down to 2.
Samsung Galaxy S4, or
Motorola Moto G
I'll be getting the phone from AT&T,
So any advice, recommendations, anyone might have I'm open minded.
Keep in mind to give me why or why not a perticular phone is mentioned.
And please, in simple terms I can understand.
I don't need it to surf the web, upload pictures, or send emails or much of anything else.
Wife likes to text me all the time so I guess text will be used.
But am opened minded to learn in case it may be needed someday.
GPS for tracking rockets would be nice, but I have no clue what is involved there. More research is needed on my part for that.
Can PM or post here for any questions and I'll answer to the best of my ability as quick as I can.

We looked into getting a basic phone thing they advertise on TV.
But my wife says it's just as expensive as we would be loosing the free phone to phone calls, additional account, sign up, etc.
Basically I use it for phone calls. You get 10 preferred numbers, I use 3, life long buddies I stay in touch with. Family on the plan is free.

Thanks in advance for any help and/or advice any of you's can provide.
 
Okay, I'll try to keep it simple, like I explained to my mom.

First, your phone plan (which is separate from your phone) consists of 3 parts, which you pay a monthly fee for:

1) Voice - Exactly what you think...using a phone in a traditional manner. It can get complicated in terms of things like local and/or long distance (where you call to), home or roaming area (where you call from).
2) Text - Those little messages limited to 140 characters per single message...commonly known as 'texting'. Modern phones can automatically 'break up' a longer message to send several 140 character 'chunks' if needed.
3) Data - What you would consider 'web' surfing...similar capabilities to modern computers.

From what I understand, a lot of the bigger companies' plans include all 3 parts (voice, text, data) and they won't even sell you a phone without a plan that has all 3 parts included. The mixture of those parts can get complicated. In addition, if you go outside the proscribed limits on those plans (you use more data, or send more texts, or call outside your area), you can get hit with serious overage fees.

The S4 or Moto G are good phones, way more than powerful enough for your needs. Just realize you will probably be 'locked in' to AT&T for at least 2 more years on a contract. That may not be a bad thing if you are happy with your service. It also means, once your contract is up, you will need them to 'unlock' the phones if you want to go to a different carrier...and T-Mobile is the only other nationwide carrier that uses GSM, a type of cellular technology. Verizon and Sprint use something different, so if you want to go to them after your contract is up, your former AT&T phone won't work.

I'm sure other folks will have different opinions.

FC
 
The wife tells me we are on an unlimited share plan with no roaming fees nationwide, if that makes sense.
She suggests the new Samsung Galaxy S5 because has a bigger screen that I able to see easier.
And getting the latest phone means that I should be able to use it longer.

We've been with AT&T for over 6 years and are happy.
I had Nextel before this for work with 2-way, not needed anymore.
My brother had Verison and he was very dissatisfied with it and dropped when his contract was up.
I was with Sprint a short time when Nextel sold out to Sprint and was not happy with them.
So I don't see any problem staying where we are at for some time.
 
Okay. That makes it easier.

That sounds like a good phone plan...her description usually means that you can go anywhere in the United States and use your phone for voice, data, and texting (those 3 parts I mentioned earlier) without penalties.

Buying a new phone is like buying a new computer...you can pay more upfront but it will last longer, or you can spend less but it may not last as long. I have found in personal experience that the technology of the software will become obsolete long before the actual hardware starts to fail.

I would hesitate to buy an S5 only because it's like buying the newest model car...you might get all the newest bells and whistles verses last year's model, but it may not be worth the extra cost (ie you might pay 1/3 more but only get another year out of it).

Just a thought.

FC
 
Well whatever you go with stick with android if you want the gps tracking app capabilities as that is not available on the iPhones. For what you want pretty much any android phone will work. I just got the MotoX 2.0 on contract for verizon free and it works great for everything i use it for plus I can use it for my telemetrum and the Rocket track app for my egg finder stuff.
 
I have a GS4 and rather like it. The hand gesture things are neat and all, but the display is really great, as is the camera. It's also fairly durable. I've dropped it onto a concrete floor screen down from thigh height and the result was a minor, nearly invisible hairline crack from the bottom left corner to top right corner. It's also fallen down a flight of stairs onto stone, been dropped onto various surfaces from waist height, and, on one fun occasion, smacked out of someone's hand, before sliding down a hallway floor about 35 ft. And the one crack is all that's there. So I'd recommend it. It's also got admirable speed and a great (IMO) UI.
Nate
 
Wife says I will get any phone I want free because mine is over 6 years old.
I don't know what android is???
Is any of the 3 I listed in above 2 posts android?
Wife said to stay away from Iphones.
I never win an argument with her, but I always get the last words in, "Yes Dear".
 
Android is Google's operating system. There are three major operating systems on the market, Apple (iPhone), Android (Google), and Windows (some Lumina and HTC phones). I have an Android phone (Droid Turbo) and I really like it.
 
HTC is dropping M9 soon and Samsung S6 .

Since you do not have a preference. .you may want to buy a used android phone (nexus 5) and use to develop your preferences. Also your discounted upgrade is not used on initial purchase it becomes 'insurance'

Almost everyone who uses a smart phone uses it alot more than making phone calls.

I use mine at launches for running thrustcurve.org and now rocket locater with the eggfinder . Oh and the maps / navigation.

Kenny
 
Wife says I will get any phone I want free because mine is over 6 years old.
I don't know what android is???
Is any of the 3 I listed in above 2 posts android?
Wife said to stay away from Iphones.
I never win an argument with her, but I always get the last words in, "Yes Dear".

Woody, there is no "free" phone, unless you or your wife are an AT&T employee.

I understand you are on the "Family" plan.

The moto G is a bit smaller and easier to put in a pocket, the Galaxy S4 or S5 is a bit bigger.

>>>> You will be happy with either one. <<<<

The S5 has all the bells and whistles and retails for about $500. They may say you are getting it for free, but the cost of the phone is built into your contract.
 
The g3 is an amazing phone and is the cheapest of the current gen phones. I don't know about the s4 though but I doubt it is much more.
 
Woody,

I'll skip a lot of technobabble that you wouldn't be interested in and get right to the point:

Any of the phones mentioned will be fine. I have a Samsung S4 as my current phone, and I like it quite a lot. However, I also like Motorola phones in general and most frequently in the last 5 years have carried Motorola. My next phone could be either Samsung or Moto. So, I'm not really biased one way or another.

You would find the slightly smaller Moto G to feel a bit more sturdy (a bit heavier), most likely. The slightly larger S4 has better specs in terms of resolution and so forth. You probably don't care and wouldn't notice the internal tech detail differences. What your should do is go to a store and get your hands on them. See if the feel works for you. How does the screen look to your eyes? Since you're not a techie, see if with the default settings the dialer screen "works" for you (there are many dialer apps you can get, but if you want to stick with the stock one, try it before you buy).

I had a Moto X briefly last summer, but it was smaller than my prior phone, and my eyes didn't appreciate that. 5 years ago I would have loved the screen, but now I need something bigger so I can read the TRF app without glasses :grin: The S4 has a BEUTIFUL screen. The S5 is slightly larger but not by much.

Here's what you need to consider.

These phones aren't phones. They are computers that have phone functions as one app among many.


To use any Android phone (as mentioned previously, Android is Google's phone operating system), you pretty much should have a Gmail account. Even if you don't plan to use the phone for email, you'll want your phone number contacts stored somewhere, and keeping them in your Google account is the easy way to go.

If you only install one app from the Play Store (the Google app store), install the TRF App. I use it to read these forums on breaks at work or when I'm somewhere with time to kill.

Best wishes to you!

Marc
 
Woody,

I would agree with most of what was said here.

I would definitely recommend going to your AT&T store and physically hold and try their various models. Do not buy anything on that initial visit...it is very easy to get overwhelmed. Try them out, and see what you like and what makes sense. Then go home, do more research, mull it over, then go back in with your game plan.

Also, if you do anything with Openrocket, it has an Android app that you can put on your phone. In other words, if you design a rocket in Openrocket on your computer, you can save the file, put it on your phone, and open it up in the app. Now while you in the field, if the winds, weather, etc are different from what you designed the rocket with, you can put the actual parameters in the phone app and it will spit out what the rocket will do. Nice capability to have verses just eyeballing it.

Marc_G has it exactly right...these things are computers that just happen to be able to fit in your pocket and make phone calls. If you think of them that way, it makes them easier to understand and use.

FC
 
I've had a Samsung Galaxy S3 and now have a Samsung Galaxy Alpha - I chose the Alpha over the Galaxy S5 because it's smaller, lighter and easier to fit in a pocket with pretty much all the same features. It's also a little less expensive. The Alpha seems to have pretty good battery life (for a smart phone). It typically lasts 2 days between charges and that includes some gaming each day.
 
Woody, there is no "free" phone, unless you or your wife are an AT&T employee.

AT&T wants us to do another 2 year contract. Wife has negotiated to get any phone I want for free to stay with AT&T since I've had this one for over 6 years.
She said they didn't want to loose us as a valued customer. Wife is a great negotiater!

I don't use Open Rocket, I have RockSim. Don't know if that will work on a phone or not.

One thing I did think of, is which one is easiest to see in sunlight?
Wheather used to launch rockets or not, the flip phone I have now can't be seen in sunlight and that sucks.
 
See if they will give you a note edge of you can handle its massive size. Other than that a g3. Huge screen with a tiny bezel, 4k display and mine is fine in sunlight. Its not just me who thinks the LG g3 is the best of the current gen phones, pretty much every comparison test comes to the same conclusion.
 
I'm bringing this post back up.
I fixed my flip phone by cleaning the battery contacts.
So it's lasted another 6 months. It still works fine.
But it's no text phone, which everyone I talk to seams to want to do.
It has letters on the key pad like the old house phones, takes forever to type anything.
Just wondering if anything has changed with phones in the last 6 months.
I don't see so good anymore, so the bigger the screen the better. And should be visible in sunlight.
One with a good camera and good video for recording launches n such.
I'm use to getting the military duty phones because of my work, which isn't a requirement anymore.
Tracking rockets would be great, even if they do end up in trees, least I know which tree.
But I don't do duel deploy or send rockets over 1/2 mile high due to where I live.
Not into high power, no clubs within a reasonable distance. 3 hours is the closest.
I hope I can get away this week to look at phones so would like to know what to look for instead of going in blind and let a salesperson talk me into what THEY want to sell me.
 
I'm bringing this post back up.
I fixed my flip phone by cleaning the battery contacts.
So it's lasted another 6 months. It still works fine.
But it's no text phone, which everyone I talk to seams to want to do.
It has letters on the key pad like the old house phones, takes forever to type anything.
Just wondering if anything has changed with phones in the last 6 months.
I don't see so good anymore, so the bigger the screen the better. And should be visible in sunlight.
One with a good camera and good video for recording launches n such.
I'm use to getting the military duty phones because of my work, which isn't a requirement anymore.
Tracking rockets would be great, even if they do end up in trees, least I know which tree.
But I don't do duel deploy or send rockets over 1/2 mile high due to where I live.
Not into high power, no clubs within a reasonable distance. 3 hours is the closest.
I hope I can get away this week to look at phones so would like to know what to look for instead of going in blind and let a salesperson talk me into what THEY want to sell me.

The S4 has been replaced by the S5 and now the S5 has been replaced by the Samsung Galaxy S6, for what you are doing with it the advice from others really hasn't changed all that much. I personally us a Galaxy Note 5 (released at the same time as the S6) mostly because it has a stylus and a slightly larger screen, it runs all the rocket related apps I use. Most phone companies now are offering The + The Phone. Read as you buy a plan and pay a monthly payment for the phone, when the phone is paid off its yours. The plan at least mine through Verizon is a shared/family plan we picked the voice plan+the data plan that we wanted its costs X Dollars per month, as part of the same bill is the payment for the phones installment plan, we are locked into the phone for two years unless we pay it off early (which I can now do) and the plan is two years as well I believe. One of the best investments for me is an Otterbox Defender case for my phone, every phone I have had in that style case has survived, everyone I have either removed from the case or didn't have one for the phone has died an unpleasant death. The Otterbox Defender will basically protect the phone from just about any impact encountered in normal life, I work in construction, wood working and all kinds of stuff that can be hard on phones, yes the case costs $69.99 but its worth it.

The bigger screens also come with an accessability option on the Samsung Galaxy phones just like a home computer screen, icons can be made bigger and easier to see and same for the touch screen keyboards.
 
Hi Woody,

For your purposes, any recent model Android phone will do. Pick one with a large screen to aid your eyes.

My advice is to NOT purchase the latest greatest new phone from ATT. Go to www.swappa.com and shop around for either a Good or Mint condition phone there. The phone I use is an LG G3. I got a brand new one on Amazon for ~$300, but that was months ago and they are even cheaper now.

I do more technical things with phones than you are likely to, so for my own purposes I bought a T-Mobile variant of the G3 despite being an ATT customer (the T-Mo is less locked down with regard to phone modification techie stuff), but for you I recommend getting the ATT one, so you know it will work on your network and you won't have to fuss with anything.

Another thing I like about the LG G3 is it is relatively low on bloatware that can slow the phone down. I don't need any of that crud.

But, my main point is don't feel like you need to buy a brand new latest greatest phone. Save hundreds of dollars over time by buying either a new last-year's model or a used but very good condition phone from Swappa. Swappa runs checks to make sure the phones aren't reported as blackballed for contract non-payment and such.

Marc
 
So far, everyone here has waxed poetic about the Android based phones and they all have great points. I use a iPhone 6+ because it shares the same OS as my tablet (iPad). I personally like the feel of the iOS environment and find it works better when connecting to my corporate systems. As mentioned above several times, go to your phone store and try them out. play with the interface and see how it appears to you. Don't get lost in the more esoteric applications you probably won't use in the short term. If you will just be figuring out a smartphone for the first time, things like GPS will probably be down the road for you.

One phone to avoid at all costs - The Amazon Fire Phone. It is fantastic technology and Amazon crippled it trying to make shopping it's only function. I don't think you can even get it any more, however if offered, run like heck.
 
Once you start using your new smart phone you will wonder how you lived without one. It really is not a phone at all; it is so much more. Camera, video camera, maps, gps, navigator, games, traffic mapping, there's an app for that, music, movies, pay by phone (just used mine today at the parking kiosk), conversion apps, levels, banking (deposit by phone is great), faceTime (I'm iOS)...I have no input on the operating system.
 
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