No longer buying flagship phones...

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TwiceOver

Lifer
Dec 20, 2002
13,544
44
91
I've thought about going back to flip phone, but the convenience is just too great. What I need is better notification settings and then I need to actually use those settings and ignore emails.
 

ultimatebob

Lifer
Jul 1, 2001
25,135
2,445
126
If you don't mind singing a contract, the subsidized phone plan works out well for the consumer in some instances. I am on a sprint everything unlimited plan shared with 3 other people and it averages out to $55/person/month and we have 4 "upgrade" pricing phones every 2 years, so I got the first HTC One about 2 months after it came out and it was $100. Hard to beat that combination of plan price + subsidized phone. (I know you can sometimes find an unlimited plan here for $40/month, but you would have still had to pay $500 for the phone, which means you still come out ahead with the contract).

Yeah, I paid full price for my unlocked phone and got a Straight Talk SIM card for it. It's $46 a month tax included for unlimited talk, text, and 5 GB of data.

A similar plan from Verizon at the time would have cost me about $100 a month, so the phone pays for itself in a year.
 
May 13, 2009
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Samsung s4 active still working great exactly 2 years later. Had a 3gs Iphone for 3 years at one time. Guess I keep my phones awhile. I have changed the battery out once and it made a huge difference in keeping a charge. So I will only buy phones with that option. Of course the phone companies know they are hitting a wall with advances. One way of making you upgrade is your phone battery dying and it not being replaceable.
 

OverVolt

Lifer
Aug 31, 2002
14,278
89
91
I was just about to say I might get an S4/S5 and call of the day.

The most revolutionary thing about smart phones was combining access to the wireless network with already existing mobile computing tech. Thats it. They've tailored to bigger/better screen sizes, battery life, better hardware, and it has plateaued out, yes.

Before they came out with the iPhone I was wondering why they never combined computers with the wireless network. I knew Apple had a hit. But the way people see smart phones as this super amazing technology just make me laugh. It opened up new operating systems/platforms and hence the gold rush in app development. Every app biome or whatever you want to call it needed remakes of standard programs. Calculator, Tetris, solitaire, reading documents, social apps, etc.

I'm expecting demand for programmers to drop off heavily once the app markets become established for android/apple. There are only so many freemium calculators an appstore needs. You can only reinvent the tappy helicopter game so many times. Because thats the type of games that touch screens play best.
 
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Imp

Lifer
Feb 8, 2000
18,829
184
106
I've thought about going back to flip phone, but the convenience is just too great. What I need is better notification settings and then I need to actually use those settings and ignore emails.

My Blackberry-like dumb phone has been dropped about a dozen times by now, still hasn't broke.

However, I'd love a flip phone just to have the extra protection since I know I'll drop it at some point.
 

poofyhairguy

Lifer
Nov 20, 2005
14,612
318
126
Thank god for this thread. Most of my time spent on the ATOT forum is in the mobile section, and in that section I feel like a goddamn peasant because I use a 2014 HTC M8. Then I come to this thread only to find out a surprising number of those in this "nerd" community are fine with a flip phone. I bought my M8 a new case right now as my way of saying sorry for thinking of selling it to finance a new Nexus.

I couldn't imagine not having a smartphone in 2015. I would rather give up every other computer in my life first.
 

CountZero

Golden Member
Jul 10, 2001
1,796
36
86
And what effect on battery life does this justify.
I find it strange that Microsoft seems to be the only ones with the right hardware ideas. Microsoft acts like apple did in desktops 15 years ago. MS phones have less memory & CPU power because its not needed for their mobile OS, similar to apples old designs that were less powerful but performed very well because of the software.

Since the vast majority (all I believe) of octocore processors are of the big-little variety the eight cores helps battery life since four of those cores are power efficient and four are powerful. Which is going to be better than four powerful cores and possibly better than four middle of the road cores.

As for someone else's post about Apple needing to lower prices I think they are missing how strong the cult of Apple is. To get an idea about people buying iPhones just look at the cases. I don't know of a single case that isn't for the iPhone that has a cut out in the case to show the logo. So people are buying cases for their phones but they want to be damn sure you still know it is an iPhone. I don't see that changing much in the near future.
 

OverVolt

Lifer
Aug 31, 2002
14,278
89
91
Thank god for this thread. Most of my time spent on the ATOT forum is in the mobile section, and in that section I feel like a goddamn peasant because I use a 2014 HTC M8. Then I come to this thread only to find out a surprising number of those in this "nerd" community are fine with a flip phone. I bought my M8 a new case right now as my way of saying sorry for thinking of selling it to finance a new Nexus.

I couldn't imagine not having a smartphone in 2015. I would rather give up every other computer in my life first.

I use a dumb phone and a tablet.

I'm hip and with it in that I have access to apps chicachicachicachicachica.

I don't see the big deal.
 

Minerva

Platinum Member
Nov 18, 1999
2,115
11
81
LMAO you guys do realize that the $199 2yr contract phones you are still paying full price?

That's why they came out with jump/next/edge, etc. 0% financing on full price minus sales tax and you get a $25 discount on your monthly bill. Contracts were horrible if you liked to change phones frequently.

And now with Verizon, if you want to buy out your Edge agreement, there's no partial payment, full pay off and you keep the phone. Sell on Swappa, give to friend, etc.

Fi Network would gain popularity if they have it available on more devices. The Nexus 6 is way too big for most folks. Of course if you like where tmo and sprint service is bad it may not work for you.

TMO service where I live is pretty bad. Come to think of it if you're outside of any suburbs, it's horrible. Their 2G is horrible. And even if you use wifi calling inside sending SMS attachments takes very long, like 10s of minutes. TMOFAIL#

Apple upgrade program is interesting. $44.91/mo. including 2 years applecare+. When the iphone 7 comes out, preorder and walk into apple store and trade up, get new plan which is charged to card. Works great and device is unlocked so I can go to EU, pop in a prepaid SIM and everything's peachy.

Got a 128GB 6S Plus in Rose Gold! :awe:
 

OverVolt

Lifer
Aug 31, 2002
14,278
89
91
Since the vast majority (all I believe) of octocore processors are of the big-little variety the eight cores helps battery life since four of those cores are power efficient and four are powerful. Which is going to be better than four powerful cores and possibly better than four middle of the road cores.

As for someone else's post about Apple needing to lower prices I think they are missing how strong the cult of Apple is. To get an idea about people buying iPhones just look at the cases. I don't know of a single case that isn't for the iPhone that has a cut out in the case to show the logo. So people are buying cases for their phones but they want to be damn sure you still know it is an iPhone. I don't see that changing much in the near future.

The four fast cores are going to be getting hit 24/7 by people who keep intensive apps running and people are going to complain about poor battery life.
 

nakedfrog

No Lifer
Apr 3, 2001
57,811
11,934
136
I'm expecting demand for programmers to drop off heavily once the app markets become established for android/apple. There are only so many freemium calculators an appstore needs. You can only reinvent the tappy helicopter game so many times. Because thats the type of games that touch screens play best.
What about turn-based RPGs in the vein of old Dragon Warrior & Final Fantasy? Or puzzle games?
 
May 13, 2009
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I can't go to not having a smartphone. I drive for a living and having a map with satellite pictures of an area is a priceless tool for me. It's nice knowing the best entrance/exit before I even pull up with my 18 wheeler. Also getting lost isn't fun in one either. Ever had to back up a tractor trailer straight back down a road because you found out it was a dead end and you couldn't turn around? I have and it's not fun.
 

futurefields

Diamond Member
Jun 2, 2012
6,471
32
91
Can someone explain to me how this helps the consumer? It sounds like they are just getting more money from us. I got my current phone for like $100 with my contract and I pay about $100 a month for my plan.

Now, with the new system im still gonna be paying about $100 a month but instead of getting a phone for $100 Ill need to pay like $600 for an equivalent phone.
 

Shlong

Diamond Member
Mar 14, 2002
3,129
55
91
Most people do not need and 850 dollar computer in their pocket to watch you tube videos or to send text messages. I can do that on my 15 dollar flip phone.

And some people can watch TV on their 30 inch CRT TV's instead of the latest 4K or OLED TV's. The newest phones have the best screens and other upgrades, I would rather watch videos on a nice screen when I'm not home or play games on them when waiting for an appointment or such. However, the smartphone market is becoming commoditized now so the difference between a flagship phone and a mid-tier phone isn't that huge anymore.
 

Pulsar

Diamond Member
Mar 3, 2003
5,225
306
126
The only reason we upgrade is for the major improvements in camera and video. I got the S4 because of it's slow-motion ability, and that's paid major dividends a couple times.

While the phones newer than the S4 have slightly better cameras, nothing has really been ground breakingly better.... so I haven't upgraded. I'm also one of those guys who won't buy a phone without a battery that can be changed and an SD card slot.

While apple has a universally better camera, it's not like night and day compared to the S4. I don't want apple anyway.
 

Artdeco

Platinum Member
Mar 14, 2015
2,682
1
0
I like the non subsidized model, it's easier to figure out the costs. Have been off contract for some time, now that Verizon is hitting unlimited plans with $20 increases, I'll switch over to TMobile.
 

SlitheryDee

Lifer
Feb 2, 2005
17,252
18
81
Can someone explain to me how this helps the consumer? It sounds like they are just getting more money from us. I got my current phone for like $100 with my contract and I pay about $100 a month for my plan.

Now, with the new system im still gonna be paying about $100 a month but instead of getting a phone for $100 Ill need to pay like $600 for an equivalent phone.

In theory we should be paying less for our phone service when we buy our phones outright. I'm not sure how well that is working out in practice though. Seems like some phone companies are just making their customers buy the phones and continuing to charge similar rates for phone plans too. *shrug*
 

nakedfrog

No Lifer
Apr 3, 2001
57,811
11,934
136
Can someone explain to me how this helps the consumer? It sounds like they are just getting more money from us. I got my current phone for like $100 with my contract and I pay about $100 a month for my plan.

Now, with the new system im still gonna be paying about $100 a month but instead of getting a phone for $100 Ill need to pay like $600 for an equivalent phone.
It helps the wise consumer. Not sure why one would pay $100/month for their mobile plan.
 
May 13, 2009
12,333
612
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The only reason we upgrade is for the major improvements in camera and video. I got the S4 because of it's slow-motion ability, and that's paid major dividends a couple times.

While the phones newer than the S4 have slightly better cameras, nothing has really been ground breakingly better.... so I haven't upgraded. I'm also one of those guys who won't buy a phone without a battery that can be changed and an SD card slot.

While apple has a universally better camera, it's not like night and day compared to the S4. I don't want apple anyway.
Girlfriend has a lg g4 and the camera compared to my s4 is night and day. We've compared them in many places and lighting situations and it's not even close. Screen is a big difference too. Still not enough to justify$600 plus though.
 

SP33Demon

Lifer
Jun 22, 2001
27,929
142
106
I used to be on T-Mobile just prior to switching to Verizon.

The coverage was HORRIBLE in our area. Absolutely horrendous. My wife's phone spent so much time searching for signal that her phone is dead halfway through the day.

When I was with T-Mobile, I had that $100 deal for 2 lines. Now I'm paying even less, the only difference is a 6GB limit on data. My wife doesn't go anywhere near that.... like... not even past 2GB. That isn't a problem, and will never be a problem.

Basically, we pay $10 less for MUCH better coverage, less dropped calls, consistent speeds, and $200 in credits for porting over our numbers.
Have you looked at recent tests for your area? I know PC MAG tests for our area (DC Metro) ranked TMobile as #1 for data speed. But yeah I could see if your area hasn't been upgraded lately, that would suck. And I hear you on the disconnected calls, I do seem to get more call drops with TMobile than VZ but it's not that bad. Maybe 5 in the past 6 months.
 

BxgJ

Golden Member
Jul 27, 2015
1,054
123
106
Can someone explain to me how this helps the consumer? It sounds like they are just getting more money from us. I got my current phone for like $100 with my contract and I pay about $100 a month for my plan.

Now, with the new system im still gonna be paying about $100 a month but instead of getting a phone for $100 Ill need to pay like $600 for an equivalent phone.

Then you need to shop around for plans. The idea is that without the subsidy included in the plan price, its separate, so the plan should be cheaper and you can decide separately how much you want to pay for the phone. You can also keep the phone after it's paid off and have a cheaper bill. That wasn't an option generally for contracts, and many people I talked to thought they were saving themselves money by not getting a new phone when their contract was over, when they were really just wasting the subsidy portion of the bill.

The carriers don't have to reduce prices for every plan, so check other plans both with your carrier and compare with others.
 

Crono

Lifer
Aug 8, 2001
23,720
1,501
136
Nothing has really changed. Phone companies never subsidized phones to begin with, unless you count them being zero interest loans - which you still get if you opt to pay for a new device monthly. The only difference really is the language: you don't pay an ETF for ending a contract early, you instead pay off the balance of your phone if it isn't already paid off when you decide to end a plan.

The only new thing is now Apple, Samsung, and probably others are letting you finance your new phone through them, too.

What does make worth buying non-flagship phones a better option now is the current state of mobile hardware and OS' makes it more viable to get a decent quality/performance for half the price of a flagship phone (Apple doesn't have a current mid-range, but their previous gen phones and iPod Touch are the rough equivalent on price).
 
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OverVolt

Lifer
Aug 31, 2002
14,278
89
91
Girlfriend has a lg g4 and the camera compared to my s4 is night and day. We've compared them in many places and lighting situations and it's not even close. Screen is a big difference too. Still not enough to justify$600 plus though.

So does mine and her battery life is really bad. Dropped 6% in minutes just playing on the screen.

The screen is really nice but thats about it. Maybe its the screen more so than the camera.
 

artemicion

Golden Member
Jun 9, 2004
1,006
1
76
Can someone explain to me how this helps the consumer? It sounds like they are just getting more money from us. I got my current phone for like $100 with my contract and I pay about $100 a month for my plan.

Now, with the new system im still gonna be paying about $100 a month but instead of getting a phone for $100 Ill need to pay like $600 for an equivalent phone.

The monthly service payment should have gone down for you, it did for me on Verizon.

It's overall better for me, because the old subsidy model pretty much required you to upgrade every two years in order to get the best "value" from your plan.

Under the old plan, I paid $45 + $40 per line, and you'd get a ~$400 subsidy for new phones every two years.

Under the new plan, I pay $45 + $20 per line. That $20 per month savings amounts to $480 over two years in lieu of the subsidy, which is better than the subsidy, IMO. Plus, I have more flexibility as to where I buy my phones, I don't *have* to buy a new or refurbished phone through a retailer to use my subsidy money, I can buy from Craigslist or eBay. And if I choose not to upgrade, I can just pocket that $20 per month. Plus I'm not tied down by any contracts on my family plan. Overall, a win for me, IMO.
 

poofyhairguy

Lifer
Nov 20, 2005
14,612
318
126
I use a dumb phone and a tablet.

I'm hip and with it in that I have access to apps chicachicachicachicachica.

I don't see the big deal.

It's a HUGE deal. Huge. It isn't all just social media apps and freemium games.

Without a smartphone I can't:

-Quickly look up restaurants around me when I am visiting a new area and be able to narrow down only to ones highly review on yelp (aka avoid a bad meal)

-Look up the price of something that catches my eye in Best Buy to see if it is a crap product. If it isn't a crap product, I use my smartphone to force Best Buy to pricematch Amazon (aka save money)

-Let it tell me the fastest route to places, including changing the route while I am driving to take into account traffic that formed since I left (aka save time)

-Use Google Now to vocally create reminders so I don't forget all the stuff my wife asks me to do in the morning the second I come to a busy work day (aka save my marriage)

All of these things require not only a smartphone, but an internet connection. Unless you carry around a LTE tablet all the time you are literally cutting off functionality in your life.

Taking away my smartphone would be like taking a time machine into the past. I count on it daily, almost hourly, to make my life better. It is worth twice what I am paying for it IMHO and gets used more than my desktop, my game console, and my HTPC combined.

With that said there is a lot of value out there now compared to a few years ago.