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[#] Thu Feb 02 2017 14:16:26 EST from IGnatius T Foobar

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But don't you want a Windows Phone?

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Ars Technica is declaring all non-Android-Apple mobile platforms to be officially dead. No surprise, really, but it's a good thing to see such an important part of the technology market where Microsoft can *barely* be called a distant third.

How's the Pixel, fleeb? Worth the upgrade from a Nexus?

[#] Thu Feb 02 2017 16:10:30 EST from zooer

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Pixel 2 and the Pixel 2B will be available..... "soon"

[#] Fri Feb 03 2017 09:38:00 EST from fleeb

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I've had no problems with my Pixel XL.

It takes gorgeous pictures, runs very well, and I even played around with the VR stuff it enables, and found that kinda fun, too (although not that many titles at the moment).

I have never been one to use a camera in the rain, so I will probably be okay with its lack of water-resistance.

Oh, it has some pretty useful features that people might overlook, though.
For example, I configured it to automatically join an open wifi that it finds acceptable (no screens that require you to log in) and establish a VPN so you don't have to worry about the openness of the wifi point. While there are not very many places that have a decent, properly open wifi, there is one restaurant that I enjoy going to that does have it. So I got to see it work, and it's very nice.

It does a better job of detecting the amount of light than previous google phones have, such that it can dim the screen properly.

I enabled this LED notification thingy that lets me know, inobtrusively, when I've received a notification by occasionally flashing an LED on the phone.
I had this feature with a previous phone and liked it.

You can configure the notifications that show on the locked screen in a way to make them hide information you don't want openly seen on that screen, which is nice. You can also hide the notification altogether if you prefer.

Basically, it has worked very well so far. No trouble at all.

[#] Wed Feb 08 2017 09:35:47 EST from IGnatius T Foobar

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My current phone (Nexus 5) is having some problems and I'm giving some consideration to replacing it. The experience with a "pure Google" phone has been delightful, so it would make sense to stay with HOLY FUCK $649US FOR A PHONE? Never mind.

[#] Wed Feb 08 2017 10:20:33 EST from zooer

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I read that the Pixel 2 is suppose to have a cheaper version, Pixel 2 and Pixel 2B, but I am not sure.

[#] Wed Feb 08 2017 10:27:49 EST from wizard of aahz

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<laughs> Oh gods.. I can see you doing exactly that.

[#] Wed Feb 08 2017 10:29:39 EST from the_mgt

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But but but... only Crapple devices are overpriced!!!!!

Anyway, you can still have a lot of fun with your Nexus 5:


[#] Wed Feb 08 2017 20:34:33 EST from IGnatius T Foobar

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iPhone 7 $649US
Pixel $649US

So yes it does appear that Google is finally copying Apple after all. :)

I'm not spending that kind of coin on a phone. To be honest, I'm perfectly happy with my Nexus 5, but the mic is busted again, and the non-replaceable battery doesn't have much of a runtime anymore. Both are fixable with some effort.

Or maybe I'll get a Huawei so the Chinese government has direct access into my home and work networks.

[#] Thu Feb 09 2017 04:36:19 EST from the_mgt

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Samsung and lots of other Android manufacturers have had and have phones in that price range.

And almost all chips in any phone and probably most other hardware are manufactured in China, they already have access to all the networks. There are close to non open source driver for chinese chips, and even if there are, you need some binary blob most of the time. Richard Martin Stallman tries to use open source hardware, if you do so, you probably lag at least 2 generations behind.

Call Trump and tell him to force all component manufacturers to build american plants. He gives a shit about environmental and health issues anyway. But expect phones to double in price, when you pay american style exploitation wages instead of china style slave wages. ;)

[#] Thu Feb 09 2017 09:58:23 EST from IGnatius T Foobar

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RMS would have an apoplectic tantrum if he heard you using his name and the phrase "open source" in the same sentence.

I'm not really concerned about proprietary chipsets/drivers, particularly in a phone.  I'll buy a CheapChinese(tm) phone if it is compatible with my carrier's network in the US.  I just don't want the crapware that some manufacturers and carriers load on top of the base OS and then mark as non-removable.

[#] Thu Feb 09 2017 13:10:45 EST from Ragnar Danneskjold

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Have you looked at the BLU phones? Not bad for the price.

[#] Thu Feb 09 2017 17:56:37 EST from the_mgt

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Wait at least until end of the month, when MWC is taking place here in ye olde europe. Jolla has something to unveil, maybe a stunning new phone with their actual GNU/Linux. Unlike that depraved bastard OS that was devised by Hitler at Google.

[#] Thu Feb 16 2017 13:41:53 EST from fleeb

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I think there's a trend towards the 'non-locked' phone, which costs more, but you can do whatever the fuck you want with the phone without having to worry about plans or some nonsense.

So, yeah, it costs more, but it's unlocked... at least to the degree you want to do anything unlocky with it. Like, say, switch to another cell phone service.

[#] Thu Feb 16 2017 17:15:32 EST from IGnatius T Foobar

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I don't know about other carriers, but I'm on T-Mobile and they have no problem with unlocked phones, as long as they're fully paid up. If you buy a phone outright it will be unlocked (at least my last one was), and if you pay in installments they'll give you the unlock code if you ask after making the last payment.

I don't know, maybe I'll buy a new battery and when I disassemble the phone to install it I'll try to fix the mic again. I don't actually have any desire for a newer phone.

[#] Thu Mar 30 2017 07:20:39 EDT from zooer

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My sister has long been complaining that her old (S3) mobile phone was performing poorly, chewing up battery and she was having problems with it.  She now has a new phone and I asked her for her old phone.  I performed a factory reset, and I am using it for one game, a poker clock and a dash cam.  Works great, the battery lasts forever with wireless off and in airplane mode.

[#] Wed Apr 05 2017 09:14:29 EDT from IGnatius T Foobar

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Last night I replaced the battery and repaired the mic on my Nexus 5. Seems to be working fine now. Like I said before, I really don't want a new phone right now because this one still runs everything fine. Remember when a three year old phone was unusable? Remember when a three year old computer was unusable?

[#] Wed Apr 05 2017 10:36:33 EDT from zooer

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No I don't.  I still have my S3 as a working phone, my current desktop came with XP (now with Linux).  Car and computers, use them under the wheels fall off.  YES there are wheels on a computer.

[#] Thu Apr 06 2017 13:54:59 EDT from IGnatius T Foobar

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That's the point, we've gotten to the stage where phones don't become obsolete as fast anymore. In 1999 you'd have some trouble running the latest desktop software on a three year old computer. In 2009 you'd have some trouble running the latest mobile software on a three year old phone. Today, that's no longer the case for either. The reason I was happy to be able to get my Nexus 5 working good-as-new is because it still feels and runs like a premium handset, even though it's more than three years old. If I wasn't happy with it I would have used the broken mic and dead battery as an excuse to replace it.

And that's likely to be the case for a lot of people now. When even a midrange phone, a couple of years old, is good enough to take and share pictures and videos, check your email, browse the web (and for banal people, to check fecesbook) ... why upgrade? We've hit the point where more computing power isn't really going to make someone want to upgrade. Now if they can make huge improvements in radio performance or battery life, that would probably appeal to a lot of people who were otherwise satisfied with their current handsets.

(Or the phone makers could all do what a certain cheap chinese phone manufacturer based in Cupertino does: fit every device with proprietary connectors and change them every couple of years.)

[#] Thu Apr 06 2017 16:33:04 EDT from Ragnar Danneskjold

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The real reason to upgrade phones at this point has more to do with camera technology than anything else. The cameras have gotten much better.

[#] Thu Apr 06 2017 22:33:50 EDT from kc5tja

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I've found they've gotten progressively worse. Ironically. More megapixels doesn't make a better picture, if the image produced is blotchy and looks like you took it through a nylon stocking behind security glass. I've found the best images I've ever taken (which wasn't my DSLR) were on my Galaxy S3 phone. Excellent low-light response (noise appeared as random variations on a pixel-by-pixel basis); my S5 and my wife's S7 both have severe smearing of image quality when taking a photo in the shade of a palm tree at high noon.
My friend's iPhone is a lot better, but still not as good as my S3. Sensors are getting cheaper, but not necessarily better.

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