Phone for trying Android out?

Discussion in 'Alternatives to iOS and iOS Devices' started by ravenvii, Nov 16, 2012.

  1. ravenvii macrumors 604

    ravenvii

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    #1
    After the hype (and disappointment) of the Nexus 4's launch, I'm thinking I should try Android out to see if it's a OS I really want to use.

    I'm thinking about taking advantage of the carriers' 14-day return policies to buy a phone, try it out and return it. That'll give me 2 weeks to decide whether I like it or not, and I'll be 2 weeks closer to the Nexus 4 being restocked if I decide I do want to switch.

    Any recommendations? The Samsung GS3?
     
  2. Zwhaler macrumors 603

    Zwhaler

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    #2
    Galaxy S3, Galaxy Note 2, Nexus 4 all good choices.
     
  3. onthecouchagain macrumors 604

    onthecouchagain

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    #3
    Personally, I wouldn't consider anything but stock Android. You know where to look for that.
     
  4. BoxerGT2.5 macrumors 68000

    BoxerGT2.5

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    #4
    Note 2 if you wanted jelly bean without rooting
     
  5. ravenvii thread starter macrumors 604

    ravenvii

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    #5
    Can I root a phone then restore it before returning?
     
  6. ChazUK macrumors 603

    ChazUK

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    #6
    The Nexus handsets are very easy to restore to stock. Unlockable/relockable bootloaders make things easier and you're only a factory image flash away from a completely stock phone again.

    https://developers.google.com/android/nexus/images

    Edit: Samsung on my S3 did have a mechanism where it would report a void warranty with an exclamation point on boot would show and it would count up each time an unofficial ROM was flashed on the phone.

    Apps like Triangle away makes it easy to reset those protections though but aren't completely risk free: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=eu.chainfire.triangleaway&hl=en

     
  7. ravenvii thread starter macrumors 604

    ravenvii

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    #7
    In other words, my best option would be the Galaxy Nexus? I definitely don't want to get a GS3, have the rooting process mess up, then being stuck with it.
     
  8. ChazUK macrumors 603

    ChazUK

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    #8
    Nexus 4 or Galaxy Nexus should hit the spot!

    Edit: I flashed and returned my s3 and s2 to stock without issue but there are more riskier elements with those devices.
     
  9. ravenvii thread starter macrumors 604

    ravenvii

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    #9
    The Nexus 4 is obviously the phone I want, the reason I'm doing this is because I failed to get one on Tuesday, and I'm basically second-guessing myself - I don't want to get any more invested into this fiasco if it turns out Android isn't really to my tastes. So I'm getting a random phone, trying Android out, and returning it nonetheless. If I love it, I wait for the Nexus 4 and get it, if not... I forget about it and stick with my iPhone 4S.
     
  10. ChazUK macrumors 603

    ChazUK

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    #10
    Oops!

    The only way to get a grips with what the Nexus 4 will offer is to go for the GN in that instance IMO.
     
  11. Zwhaler macrumors 603

    Zwhaler

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    #11
    I know it's a matter of preference but I personally really like TouchWiz on the Note 2 AT&T. With a Live Wallpaper and widgets just how I want them, it feels like a much improved interface reminiscent of how I wish iOS would behave. But it really comes down to the hardware, if the device isn't fast enough to render at 60fps then it downgrades the experience a lot.
     
  12. Switchback666 macrumors 68000

    Switchback666

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    #12
    Honestly if you want to try android PLUS windows phone with very easy to do guides get yourself a HTC HD2 :cool: you can get it for 100 bucks on ebay.
     
  13. ravenvii thread starter macrumors 604

    ravenvii

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    #13
    Galaxy Nexus w/ Sprint it is, then. Thanks guys!
     
  14. Stuntman06 macrumors 6502a

    Stuntman06

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    #14
    If you want to try out a phone that is as close the the N4 as possible, then I would recommend the Galaxy Nexus. If you use any other phone, you will find that it is quite different because the manufacturer puts their own skin on it. The Galaxy Nexus with the latest updates should perform pretty well. When you switch to the N4, it would be very similar.
     
  15. siiip5 macrumors 6502

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    #15
    Please don't blame the phone when you have a crappy experience with dropped calls, poor internet connection and poor battery performance. I can't for the life of me figure out why anyone is still using Sprint, unless you are using a dumbphone on 2g/edge.
     
  16. cynics macrumors G3

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  17. LIVEFRMNYC macrumors 603

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    #17
    It's very hard to brick the GS3. Even if you mess things up to the point of it not booting up. You can always go into Clockwork recovery and restore a backup(no PC needed). Also you can always reset to complete factory default with Kies on your PC which also restores the orginal recovery and removes Clockwork.

    When returning, they probably don't even check flash count. And the triangle is a thing of the past, but you can use triangle away and other methods to reset flash count if your worried about returning.
     
  18. ravenvii thread starter macrumors 604

    ravenvii

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    #18
    I'll keep that in mind :D Like I said, this won't be my main/ultimate phone, it'll just be for 2 weeks so I can get a feel for the Android OS (that can't be gotten merely by playing with it in-store). The Nexus 4, on AT&T replacing my iPhone 4S (I'm still under contract!), is my ultimate phone.
     
  19. ravenvii thread starter macrumors 604

    ravenvii

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    #19
    So I went to the Sprint store to grab a Galaxy Nexus. $150 for a year-old phone? $80 a month plan? Yeahhh, no thanks! Good thing this is just a test phone.

    Anyway, just wanted to post my impressions. Don't think it's worth a new thread, so here it is.

    First thing I noticed: no wonder Apple is all over Samsung in the courtroom. The charger cable is LITERALLY Apple's charger cable, just black. Literally. It's amazing.

    Anyway, so I turned it on. And was immediately blew away by the screen. Such black! Such color! This screen makes my iPhone 4S's screen look cheap. And they say the Nexus 4's screen is even better than this!

    And the Android OS? Eh. There's some lag, animations skip, the UI is somewhat unresponsive. "This doesn't look right. Wait, this *IS* a year-old phone I just paid $150 for, what's the version of Android on this thing?"

    Onwards to Settings. Aha! It's ICS. The same Android I wasn't impressed with last year. Update Time! (after connecting to WiFi, of course).

    *updates to 4.1.1*

    Wait, no 4.2? *Googles* ... ****, I'm glad this is just a test phone. Definitely.

    But close enough. 4.1.1 is Jelly Bean, after all. And Project Butter, indeed. Everything is smooth. iPhone smooth. Scrolling is perfect. Transitions are smooth and subtle. The OS looks... damned good.

    Android? Look good? Something I would laugh and say "fandroids, stop trolling" last year.

    I'm now trying out various apps. Some are better than others, of course, but that applies to iOS as well. But two apps stand out:

    The Play Store. Wow. I now 100% agree with people who say that the Play Store makes iOS's App Store look like amateur hour at the local community college. Seriously.

    Chrome. Wow, does this app blow. I loved Chrome on iOS, and I was psyched to try it in its native environment. I was utterly disappointed. The AOSP browser blows it out of the water, and it's not even that great, either. Scrolling is inconsistent, the options are limited, the tabs (of all things!) are buggy. All in all, it is crap.

    Google better work on it a helluva lot before replacing the AOSP browser with it.

    Good thing this is Android and I can simply download a different browser. Like how one can simply walk into Mordor... or something. :D

    I still have a lot of stuff to play around with and check out. But I'll say Google has done a FANTASTIC job with Android since Gingerbread.

    I'll go ahead and say the test is a success -- I definitely want that Nexus 4. GOOGLE, RESTOCK NAO.
     
  20. Dr McKay macrumors 68040

    Dr McKay

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    #20
    What don't you like about Chrome? I love it, I haven't noticed any differences between this and the iPhone version.
     
  21. blackhand1001, Nov 17, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2012

    blackhand1001 macrumors 68030

    blackhand1001

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    #21
    I am an android user and I hate chrome on android. Its a laggy piece of crap. the stock browser is faster and smoother. Google made a huge mistake shipping the nexus 7, 4, and 10 with it instead of the aosp browser. Luckily you can install the aosp browser with root or by flashing. Alternatively you can install dolphin or various other great browsers.

    Keep in mind if the battery life is low on the sprint gnex thats not the case with other versions of that phone or all android phones. The cdma s3, gsm galaxy nexus, gsm s3, and many other phones get great battery. The sprint gnex is fine as long as your on wifi and on 3g/4g as long as you don't use it all day in a weak signal area. More a sprint problem than anything. You can get good battery with the lte version of this phone as long as your in a decent service area or if your not you are atleast on wifi. That goes for pretty much any smart phone though.

    Another good tip is to go into developer options and enable force 2d rendering. Makes some third party apps work much smoother. Google really should enable this by default.
     
  22. Dr McKay macrumors 68040

    Dr McKay

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    #22
    I can't find the stock browser as for me its Chrome. I've only used Jellybean. I don't see any of those scrolling or lag for me. But then again my only Android devices are a Nexus 7 and a Nexus 4.
     
  23. blackhand1001 macrumors 68030

    blackhand1001

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    #23
    Try boat browser, its pretty similar and its so smooth and fast.
     
  24. F123D macrumors 68040

    F123D

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    #24
    Just a quick note. The Galaxy Nexus has Samsungs SAMOLED display, which is different than LG's IPS LCD display in the Nexus 4.
     
  25. ravenvii thread starter macrumors 604

    ravenvii

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    #25
    I am aware. Reviews nonetheless say time and again that the Nexus 4's display is superior to the Galaxy Nexus's.
     

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