Oct. 12th, 2013

pktechgirlbackup: (pktechgirl)
I am leaving my families cell phone plan, and need both a new phone and a new carrier. Carrier wise, month-to-month plans are both cheaper and yet the only place you can get unlimited data. I'm concerned, but it's probably fine. But I don't know how to pick one, so let's look for phones first.

First, I look for phones with physical keyboards, but those no longer exist. Fine, can we at least get one that fits in one hand? Using http://smartphones.findthebest.com/ , I enter the following constraints: android 4.2, <4 inches, 4g. There is one phone. It comes with " Samsung's own TouchWiz interface and apps suite on top" even if you buy it unlocked. This discourages me, until I stumble on a post explaining to me that if I want stock android with timely updates, it's a nexus or nothing. Beyond that, it's just a matter of how much bloatware. A friend informs me that samsung and HTC are the worst offenders, although you can get stock HTC one through the google play store, for a mere $650 dollars.

Okay, let's relax and allow android 4.1. That brings up several more samsungs (bloatware), a ZTE imperial that will only run on US Cellular (never heard of it, I check, it's not a good carrier), and LG Adapt (Verizon only). Still no good.

I hadn't realized bloatware could come from manufacturers, I thought it was just carriers. Become outraged. I accept that my relationship with carriers, like airlines, is about them delivering me the worst experience they possibly can while I pay them as little as possible. But if I am buying an unsubsidized, unlocked phone, it is *my* phone and it will behave accordingly. Further realize internet uses bloatware to describe custom skins, which do annoy me but at least it's not ruining my porn TED talk viewing experience to auto-update an app I don't want it to install. Decide to stick to principles and buy stock phone, if only because it narrows down my choices.

Check http://smartphones.findthebest.com/ again. The only nexus with a screen < 4.5 inches is 29 months old.

Look up size of too-big current phone (4") and just-right previous phone (3.7). Sigh.

Go to google's website, only place guaranteed to have stock phones. Hate device store with violent burning passion. Take *many* seconds to find and check prices on all phones. HTC one and Samsung galaxy S4 are $600 and $650 respectively. Nexus 4 is much more reasonable $200-$250, if only it were still for sale (kudos to google for designing the page such that the thing it does not have in stock is the only phone it appears to be selling).

Check Boost and Straight Talk. Neither offers a nexus, unclear what a nexus would need to be compatible with them. Remind self that phones are returnable and one month of a prepaid carrier is not that expensive. Check virgin mobile and discover it has a 3.5 inch phone with qwerty keyboard. And it provides unlimited data for $35/month.

Look at unlocked nexuses on amazon for a while.

Call virgin mobile, discover they don't work with outside phones. Call Boost, same deal. So my choices are now a nexus on straight talk, or the keyboard phone on virgin.

An amazon question says the nexus 4 will work on virgin, but I don't believe them. I could probably take an existing sim card and put it in my own phone, but they won't sell me a sim card without a phone. Find an article listing the best carrier-intermediaries for your nexus 4.

Decide I really like the idea of not being locked into a single provider and am still angry about the bloatware thing. Consider waiting until upcoming nexus 5 announcement before buying phone. Decide I can always return phone or hope credit card has price matching. Order phone and straight talk sim card.

Marvel at lack of analysis paralysis, and how I don't feel exhausted even though research took forever.

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pktechgirlbackup

May 2014

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