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Fri Aug 10, 2018, 09:40 AM

Smart phones

This post is just to share some things that I am learning. Maybe this will help some people out. If not, at least it will document for my own purposes what I am learning about phones when I forget everything, which will probably be by tomorrow.

I did not get a smart phone until 2015. I had a flip phone before that. As a result, I am kind of a dinosaur when it comes to things like this, but I try to keep up with technology the best I can.

It is probably coming up to the time where I need to upgrade this phone. For my first smart phone bought 3 years ago, I purchased a Motorola Moto E. I like this phone, even though they are considered a "budget" phone. The screen size is not too big, and not too small. It has a tremendous battery life, and it charges up fairly quickly. The camera sucks. It does not even have a flash. However, I can usually get a good enough picture from it. The call quality is good. I only paid around $100 for the phone.

I am on a pre-paid plan with Verizon. $40/mo for unlimited text and calling, as well as 3 GB of data. You can carry over your unused data month to month. I will always used pre-paid...I will never have a contract again. Back in the 1990's, I had a contract with Cellular One for one of those "bag phones". Those phones weighed about 250 pounds, and they were most notable for instantly making you look like a douchebag when you slung them over your shoulder. I used to walk around with that phone like I was Dick Tracy or something. I forget why exactly, but I somehow had a valid contractual reason to cancel the contract with Cellular One, so I decided to do so. For some reason, they gave me a bunch of grief for doing so, and it took me several days to get it sorted out. I told myself then that I would never have another cell phone contract.

My current Moto E is running out of "storage" (which unlike on computers, they also refer to as memory). I would constantly get warning notifications that none of my updates could be completed because I was so low on storage. The storage on this, as well as many phones, is 16 GB. The Android operating system takes up about half of that. Then, "bloatware apps" take up a whole bunch more of the remaining memory. These are apps that are pre-installed on the phone when you buy it. Then more memory is used if you download your own apps like Uber, your banking app, your local news app, etc. Before you know it, you have next to no storage left. Your phone slows down, and updates cannot be executed.

To try to remedy this, I did the following. First, I have no music saved on my phone, so I didn't have to worry about that. Then, I saved all of my device pictures to my Google cloud and removed them from the device itself. Then, I purchased a $15 SD memory card and installed it on the phone. The memory card is 32 GB. While I was able to transfer some of my personally downloaded apps to reside on the memory card instead of the phone's internal storage, virtually none of the pre-installed bloatware apps are "movable". The "move to SD card" option is grayed out. So, they stay on your phone, eating up storage.

From what I can tell by researching it, there are several ways to be able to move these "non-movable" apps to an SD card. Some of these ways involve "rooting" your phone, whatever the hell that means. Other ways involve downloading an app that will allow you to move these items. However, that seems to be very hit and miss, depending on the version of Android that your phone is running. In any case, I decided that trying to move "unmovable" apps is too much bullshit for me to deal with.

Now, on these non-movable apps, there is an option to disable them. I have read that this will free up storage, even though it does not actually uninstall the app. I am going to try that after I type this post. Before disabling any apps, I have about 1.5 GB of storage left, which by all accounts is not too bad, but I have a ton of apps that I want to download, and I fear that storage will not be enough.

All of this leads me to a most interesting point concerning Verizon's pricing structure. I erroneously believed that I would be able to purchase virtually any phone, out of the many available, to use on the pre-paid plan. According to two Verizon reps, that is not the case. You have to use only the phones that Verizon says you can use as pre-paid, and their selection is somewhat limited. When I soon upgrade my phone, I will be looking for something that has 32 GB (at least) of internal memory. When you look at Verizon's pre-paid Android phones (I want to stick with Android), they start off really cheap, and then go up to around $200 or so. All of the phones in this low price range have only 16 GB of storage, and they probably come with the same bloatware that I have on my current phone. If you want 32 GB of internal memory, you have to jump all of the way up to the Moto Z2 (I think) play phone, which is $408. This is the only mid-range type of phone that they offer under the pre-paid plan. There does not seem to be anything offered under pre-paid in the $200 to $400 range. I would be agreeable to maybe a $250 phone if it had what I needed, but they don't offer one. Then, after the $408 phone, they jump all the way up to the flagship phones which are $700-$900. The only way I would spend this much for a phone is if it cooks my dinner and massages my feet.

That's it. Hopefully this info will make someone more knowledgeable when shopping for phones, as it has me.

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Reply Smart phones (Original post)
LuckyCharms Aug 10 OP
NBachers Aug 10 #1

Response to LuckyCharms (Original post)

Fri Aug 10, 2018, 10:07 AM

1. Ting has a good selection of phones. buy the ones they feature, or often, you can bring your own.

I've been happy as I can be with Ting- they have great pricing and real customer service.

https://ting.com/shop

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