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Old Apr 12th, 2012, 08:03 AM   #1
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Looking at getting a smartphone, looking for advice

Currently I have a Samsung Intensity cell phone (one with the keyboard) but would like to soon upgrade to a Android smartphone. It's all about the budget for me, I'm looking at staying with Koodo and going to Virgin most likely (something that is no contract, excluding the "tab").

I was thinking of ditching my Sirius XM radio (and thereby save $15/month towards a data plan) and listen to online radio instead. I guess the big think will be for me to see if I have access to wifi and work if I want to be able to listen to it all day. How much data would I need if I wanted to listen to the radio say 1hr/day while driving in my car?

Lastly for those who have experience with phones, and input into these current models would help. Want to stick with phones that are $200 or less.

Koodo
Samsung Galaxy Ace
LG Optimus One
LG Optimus Chat

Virgin
Samsung Galaxy Gio/551/550
LG Eclypse
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Old Apr 12th, 2012, 08:37 AM   #2
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LG Optimus One is apparently so-so and it's running an older version of Android, I don't know about the others.

A friend of mine just switched to Virgin prepaid and has the Gio - the screen is too small for me but it really isn't a bad phone, and for the price it's almost a no-brainer. The LG Eclypse screen is a bit bigger, if that's a factor for you.

I've been with Virgin for ages, started out on prepaid and (finally) switched to a no-contract (30-day) plan last year as I don't like being locked in to long-term stuff. My phone is a Galaxy S Vibrant (not offered anymore) - quite nice overall, and the AMOLED screen is fantastic.

Dunno about the radio thing - I'm sure someone else can chime in, or maybe you should talk to a Koodo or Virgin rep.
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Old Apr 12th, 2012, 08:44 AM   #3
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I would recommend the new windows 8 Nokia lumina 900 phone $99 - plus it is a true os vs the fragmented andriod OS, I have found some compatibility issues with andriod not to mention ease of use is lacking
Stick with windows at least it a is a full true OS that is tried and tested vs andriod which is modified per handset manufacturer, meaning not all droid OS are upgrade compatible, nor are all the apps safe to download.
Just my 2 cents.

Nokia Lumia 900 vs. HTC Titan II: Which Windows Phone to buy | Mobile - CNET News
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Old Apr 12th, 2012, 10:14 AM   #4
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My son has the Optimus chat. It's a very poorly made piece of tech; dodgy touch screen, poor battery, lousy radio (my iPhone will get 3 bars where his will get "no signal"), low RAM, and generally cheap-feeling. He like's the slide-out keyboard, but he'll be replacing it with something better made when it breaks (likely very soon).
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Old Apr 12th, 2012, 10:33 AM   #5
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Okay, so right off the bat I'm a dinosaur. I have a Blackberry that I use as a phone, not a mobile computer or an extended mp3 player. I use a phone as a phone. I could never understand why one would try to play games, see movies and such on a 3 inch screen. For me I would get the most durable phone I can find using the operating system I like the best and use the dollars saved to by a tab. There are many out there at very good prices which, at least to me, would more than meet the "extras" that you find one smart phones. I think if you are cost conscience this may be your cheapest and most satisfying option....just saying.
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Old Apr 12th, 2012, 01:22 PM   #6
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As far as usage goes for Internet radio I stream 1-2 hours/day of a 128kb stream and my usage generally works out to around 2gb per month. As a rough rule of thumb a 128kb streams approx. 1MB per min, obviously the quality of the stream you choose can have a big impact here... Myself I find the 64k streams to be the lower limit of what I find enjoyable to listen to for music but for talk radio 32k can be sufficient.
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Old Apr 13th, 2012, 08:02 AM   #7
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@Rps: the Blackberry is very tempting as there are tons of them used on kijiji at very low prices. I do like having a qwerty keyboard as well, however unlike you I use my phone for texting and not very much calling. I want the advanced features a Smartphone phone would give.

@BryanC- I have had great luck with my Samsung with the slide out keyboard, it's 2 or 3 years old and spends all day in my pocket (the paint and LCD are all scuffed, it looks used!) but maybe I have just been lucky as I have had friends with similar phones (ie LG) and they have not lasted long. It's so nice to have for texting, but I think in a Smartphone it might be a tradeoff for the screen and other things.

@TheDoug- There are so many phones to chose from it is making my head spin. I was with Virgin (and my wife still is) and their plans are very very similar to koodo. I think their reception might be a tiny bit better too. I am happy with Koodo though and think I will stick with them as long as they have a comparable phone. There is always mixed reviews with the Optimus phones online, perhaps the higher end ones are good but probably more than I want to spend. I was just looking at Best Buy.ca and they have a gift card deal with the Galaxy Ace, which looks like a similar phone to the Galaxy Gio. I will have to go to the store and put my hands on them, I just know that a smaller phone would probably be better for me since I put it in my pocket.

Paul82- thanks for the radio tips. I use my Sirius XM all day at work looks like streaming data off the phone would cost too much. We do have WIFI at work but it's password protected. If either I could find out what the password is or bring my Airport Express and plug it in maybe that would work as I am sure we probably have lots of bandwidth that they are not using (it's a used car dealership, not an office building). I'll have to bring my Macbook in on a Tuesday when the boss is not around. LOL

Might go to Best Buy after work and take a look at phones.
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Old Apr 13th, 2012, 08:30 AM   #8
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Dstanic:. When I was looking to buy my new phone I looked at all of the models but went back to my BlackBerry as my older one was reliable. It has been dropped 40 feet to a factory floor ( it was in it's case ), run over in a parking lot during winter bashed and dashed and it still worked. I also like the feel of the qwerty. The up shoot is I went back to BB due to my experience. If you really like your current phone maybe you should go to an updated version.
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Old Apr 13th, 2012, 12:12 PM   #9
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I bought my first phone last year on a Boxing Day sale - the Galaxy Ace on Koodo with a $100 Future Shop coupon. The phone was $150 "on the tab", but the accessory discounts with purchase of phone from FS, plus the coupon brought the cost down to about $30. I don't have much experience from which to evaluate the phone, but I'm happy with the Koodo service and I'm happy with the phone. On at least one occasion in rural Ontario I was able to get phone service where someone with a major carrier could not. One of the nice features of the phone was that I could use the bluetooth to link to my MBP, allowing the MBP to have internet access where I couldn't get wifi. The sliding scale data plan of Koodo is very reasonable; most months I pay only $5 for the service. I don't download music or videos on my phone.
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Old Apr 13th, 2012, 07:59 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Fox View Post
I bought my first phone last year on a Boxing Day sale - the Galaxy Ace on Koodo with a $100 Future Shop coupon. The phone was $150 "on the tab", but the accessory discounts with purchase of phone from FS, plus the coupon brought the cost down to about $30. I don't have much experience from which to evaluate the phone, but I'm happy with the Koodo service and I'm happy with the phone. On at least one occasion in rural Ontario I was able to get phone service where someone with a major carrier could not. One of the nice features of the phone was that I could use the bluetooth to link to my MBP, allowing the MBP to have internet access where I couldn't get wifi. The sliding scale data plan of Koodo is very reasonable; most months I pay only $5 for the service. I don't download music or videos on my phone.
Nice! There was a $50 gift card at Best Buy for this phone, unfortunately it is for NEW Koodo customers only. If there that was the same deal but with Virgin, then I could get it, but I would have to pay off the $100 I still owe on my current Koodo tab. Looks like I will wait for either a newer model to come out (Virgin has the new Galaxy W which is similar to the Ace, but nicer screen, better CPU etc) but i would want a nice gift card deal or something to make it worth while switching over.
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