Android - what's in your pocket?

I figure that an all inclusive Android Phone thread for 2016 might be in order.

After playing with my wife’s Zenfone 2 Laser (they need to do better with names) I am really interested in the Asus Zenfone Zoom and 3x zoom but lack of bump. Also, it has Intel inside. Sadly, it will probable be a few more years before I can rationalize a new phone, but I like the idea of a good zoom on a phone without the extra bulk. Maybe it will spawn a bit more innovation in the field. Phones are all good enough spec wise. I want features.

Now, if only Asus will get that update out the door and give us Marshmallow already.

Thanks to the JUMP system from T-Mobile, I’m up for a no-change-in-monthly-cost-and-otherwise-“free” upgrade in about a week’s time. Of course, the alternative is that I keep the existing phone, which I mostly like a lot (Galaxy Note 4), and finish paying it down and reduce my monthly bills a bit.

I definitely won’t upgrade right away. I’m not aware of anything on TMO right now that has better hardware specs (faster processor/GPU, more RAM), a larger, higher-res, and more vibrant screen, better camera, plus replaceable battery and SD card slot.

However, the current rumor mill for the upcoming Galaxy S7 + Edge variant has them regaining SD card slots and places the Edge in particular @ the 5.7" screen size block and a 3300 mAh battery, both of which I think I could be content with (I’d assume processor, screen quality, and camera quality would at least be on-par with the 2-years-older Note 4), so I guess I may have a viable option in the springtime.

Got a Nexus 6P a couple of weeks ago. It’s really way too big. I would have gotten the 5x but it was going to take 2 weeks+ to ship and I needed a replacement phone.

On the upside, I got an invite to Google Fi so that $20 + 10/GB may save me money.

I had some gmail sync issues late December till now, but appears to be gone finally (no push gmail, it sucked!)

I’m still rocking my two year old Nexus 5, but rooted with a 3rd party OS. Really still loving it, don’t see a reason to upgrade until it dies or I run out of space.

I’m running the Nexus 6P, on google fi, and it’s the best phone I’ve ever used without question. It just works perfectly all the time, and its camera is quite nice.

Its mic and speakers are extremely good, too, and that’s enabled a new usage of the phone compared to prior ones.

You can set up google now to work and unlock your phone when locked, and it does so by recognizing your specific voice… so if you say “Ok Google” it’ll unlock your phone and do whatever you want… but if someone else does, it ignores it. Although apparently my voice sounds like Jake Gyllenhaal, and I was watching “Enemy” last week and at one point in the movie he says some like that Google thought was me saying “Ok Google” which was weird.

Anyway, due to the mic and speakers being so good, I can use google now to do stuff without taking my phone out of my pocket at all. I can just say, “OK Google” and then ask it whatever… turn on my lights, check the weather, whatever. And it operates perfectly well from within my pocket, and the speakers are loud and clear enough that I can hear its response clearly.

I have no idea if anyone other than me would ever use it like this, but I like it.

Oh, also, the fingerprint reader is good, and I really didn’t expect to care about it at all, but having it automatically unlock my phone when I pick it up is slick.

And god damn if it isn’t nice to have a nexus phone… vanilla android is just so clean and nice.

Yeah, this is why I’d likely shell out for a new Nexus direct from Google rather than get a new phone from Sprint themselves.

One time, I had an HP laptop with a fingerprint reader. I’d never seen that feature and I thought it was the neatest thing ever.

Then a coworker walks up to it and uses her fingers to unlock it. Never trusted fingerprints again.

I’m on an unlocked S6,but I’m due for an upgrade in March. Depending on what gets announced at WMC, I may switch to a Nexus 6P.

Bought a Nexus 6P directly from Google in November. Took a couple days to get used to, but my 2014 Moto X and other below-5.5-inch phones now seem restrictive.

Absolutely loving my S6 I got last summer (Gear VR, wireless charging, etc) gives it a lot of features, and I have had amazing experiences with Samsung customer service with devices in the past.

I am still using my Oneplus One. As a relatively light user of smart phone tech, this phone is completely adequate. It still lasts 2 days on one charge (even with daily GPS usage from a dog walking app), and its memory is still not even half full. I’m going to try holding out until next year before getting a new phone.

Side question: can people with Intel Android phones use the same apps (apk) as the Qualcomm or Mediatek cpus?

Still got my Nexus 5 and see no reason to upgrade. I wonder if smartphones have plateaued in the same way that computers have. My iPhone 3GS became obsolete (and early android phones too, I’m sure) so damned quickly but I could see myself using this phone for at least another couple of years as long as the battery holds up. Which is both great and a little sad because I love getting new stuff.

Side question: can people with Intel Android phones use the same apps (apk) as the Qualcomm or Mediatek cpus?

Yeah, apk’s are essentially bytecode, and run on any Android device, just like a java jar will run on any java VM. Since it basically is java.

For instance, my tablet is an Intel device, but doesn’t use special versions of the apps (barring ones that specifically deal with low level junk, like some specific video player things, etc.).

I am using the 64 gb Axon Pro, and dang is it faster and better than my LG G2. It pretty much has everything I want in a flagship except the finger print reader, but for 350 dollars unlocked, I more than happy with it all.

One thing I have noticed is that it has a great sound system that is pretty loud.

Nexus 6P. Best phone I’ve ever owned. Only problem, Google started catering to the carriers, so it won’t allow me to use it as a wifi hotspot. I’m on the old, grandfathered ATT unlimited data plan, and they don’t allow tethering/hotspot at all on that plan. I could probably root, but I so rarely have a need for a hotspot,I’m inclined to live without it.

OnePlus One here. The only problem I’ve run into is that lately, if I use Firefox to visit Qt3, it crashes the phone pretty hard if the screen is allowed to switch off. When I go back the phone is completely locked up and I have to hard reboot it.

As long as I don’t use Firefox though, the phone has been really pretty awesome. I could see it easily lasting me at least one more year, maybe more I hope.

HTC One M8 here. Aside from the headphone jack that I’m going to replace and the crazy battery drain from some games, it’s been great.

S6 Edge. Will probably use the tmobile jump to go to the regular S7 for the SD card slot, unless the next htc comes out in a similar time frame with a significant camera upgrade.

OG Nexus 6, running on Google Fi. Phone is pretty great, vanilla Android is amazing, Fi is fantastic. So much happier (with cell service) than I was a year ago!

Regarding google Fi, I’m really eager to see what my actual bill is going to be. Somehow, I’ve used virtually ZERO cell data for the past month. Apparently, the phone is basically able to get on various wifi networks… always? Despite me actually traveling around PA during the holidays. The thing where it just automatically finds wifi networks that google knows about and connects to them, and then secures the connection through its own VPN, is pretty slick.

Seriously, my cellular data usage is at… 0.09GB, with 7 days left in my cycle. Wifi data usage is around 8GB.

It’s kind of weird, really. But awesome, since it means my bill is basically gonna be $20 a month.