Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 13th Dec 2012 00:23 UTC
PDAs, Cellphones, Wireless "What are the chances that we'll see something with the finesse of the One X with stock software down the road? 'The Nexus devices are Google’s lineup,' explains Kodera, 'but in general, we're very proud of HTC Sense, and we'd like to continue shipping it on every device.' Not exactly encouraging." Big letdown. Not unexpected, but a letdown still. I will never again buy a non-Nexus device.
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Non-Nexus Devices
by bornagainenguin on Thu 13th Dec 2012 03:44 UTC
bornagainenguin
Member since:
2005-08-07

Thom Holwerda editorialized...

I will never again buy a non-Nexus device.


Not all carriers offer Nexus devices, and of the ones that do offer such, not all of those come with a card slot for user loadable storage via microSD Card.

Personally I have an HTC One V, from Virgin Mobile USA* which came with Sense which I have come to detest and loathe. Fortunately there are roms available--everything from CM10 to MIUI to hybrids like PACMAN. Unfortunately thanks to both HTC and the carrier using nonstandard proprietary configurations (Virgin Mobile with SMS\MMS; HTC with the camera) I'm about to give up and revert back to Sense again. I need my phone to work and right now despite the enormous performance boost I can get from community roms and the fantastic efforts they've made at fixing things...the phone still doesn't work 100% on community roms.

So what can I do but revert back to stock and endure the constant freezes? Well that and never buying an HTC phone again...

--bornagainpenguin

* My choices locally are AT&T and suffer through their edge network while paying premium monthly, Verizon which has the network in my area but wants to make me pay twice as much as AT&T or Sprint--which did not have any local stores despite being one of the best options locally. The fact their MVO Virgin Mobile USA allows me to get service for only $35 a month and unlimited web, texting, ect made it a no-brainer.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Non-Nexus Devices
by orsg on Thu 13th Dec 2012 08:40 UTC in reply to "Non-Nexus Devices"
orsg Member since:
2011-02-09

Not all carriers offer Nexus devices

The whole point is to not buy the phone from a carrier but from the producer.

Reply Score: 6

RE[2]: Non-Nexus Devices
by kurkosdr on Thu 13th Dec 2012 09:57 UTC in reply to "RE: Non-Nexus Devices"
kurkosdr Member since:
2011-04-11

The whole point is to not buy the phone from a carrier but from the producer.

Unfortunately, the bad habit that is carrier subsidizes is not going away. If a contract offers you a certain amount of data per month, in a price that is cheaper compared to not having the contract and paying list price (which is the norm), and you know are going to consume those data anyway, it makes sense to sign the contract and get the subsidized phone. With smartphones being real data hogs and needing data to do the most interesting stuff, subsidizing is not going away.

A good solution would be to have a law that says carriers are required to subsidize devices from all interested manufacturers. This is already happening in certain countries like the one I live in (even without such law), where there is a government-owned mobile carrier subsidizing everything. You name the phone, they subsidize it. Of course the downside is that the subsidizes are not as high as in the USA.

Edited 2012-12-13 10:00 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Non-Nexus Devices
by B. Janssen on Thu 13th Dec 2012 11:09 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Non-Nexus Devices"
B. Janssen Member since:
2006-10-11

Unfortunately, the bad habit that is carrier subsidizes is not going away. If a contract offers you a certain amount of data per month, in a price that is cheaper compared to not having the contract and paying list price (which is the norm), and you know are going to consume those data anyway, it makes sense to sign the contract and get the subsidized phone. With smartphones being real data hogs and needing data to do the most interesting stuff, subsidizing is not going away.

Then you have nobody to blame but yourself. You choose a lower price and you pay with inconvenience. I'm not saying that this is a bad trade-off per se, but it is important to realize that YOU, the customer, made a choice here.

A good solution would be to have a law that says carriers are required to subsidize devices from all interested manufacturers. This is already happening in certain countries like the one I live in (even without such law), where there is a government-owned mobile carrier subsidizing everything. You name the phone, they subsidize it. Of course the downside is that the subsidizes are not as high as in the USA.

I have a better idea. Disallow carriers to sell/rent phones. Without crosssubsidies covering costs becomes harder and phone manufacturers and carriers would actually have to compete on the individual merits and prices of their products. Perish the thought!

Oh wait, I have an even easier idea. Leave things like they are and start to price in YOUR preferences.

Edited 2012-12-13 11:10 UTC

Reply Score: 7

RE[3]: Non-Nexus Devices
by phoenix on Thu 13th Dec 2012 22:50 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Non-Nexus Devices"
phoenix Member since:
2005-07-11

"The whole point is to not buy the phone from a carrier but from the producer.

Unfortunately, the bad habit that is carrier subsidizes is not going away.
"

T-Mobile USA is doing just that ... getting rid of carrier subsidies for new phones:

http://arstechnica.com/business/2012/12/in-risky-move-t-mobile-to-e...

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Non-Nexus Devices
by kurkosdr on Fri 14th Dec 2012 16:20 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Non-Nexus Devices"
kurkosdr Member since:
2011-04-11

T-Mobile USA is doing just that ... getting rid of carrier subsidies for new phones:

http://arstechnica.com/business/2012/12/in-risky-move-t-mobile-to-e.....


Unfortunately, it doesn't make the REAL problem go away. Carriers charge absurdly high prices for data and calls if you are without a contract, so if you want to have some reasonable amount data or calls in your phone, you have to get into a contract. This practice is a relic from the days carriers had very limited-capacity networks, so if you wanted to use data and calls for more than a little, you had to essentially promise the carrier you will in fact use them, and for a certain time (12 months) so they could plan their network build-out. Now that they 've mostly built their networks, charging that way doesn't make sense. However, NO nerd ever whines about this (maybe because they don't get out a lot). Compared to this , the subsidizing thing is a minor thing. Phone subsidizing is basically a gift to butter you over from forcing you to sign up for the contract and pay a lot for something (calls and data) that should be offer for much cheaper and without having to get into a contract. Basically subsidizing only annoys nerds that can't get a certain phone from a certain carrier. They way carriers charge for data and calls annoys everyone, because, well, it really is annoying.

PS: And don't get me started about how VoIP doesn't really work in mobile, as they have some kind of priority system where "voice" always gets priority over "data"

Edited 2012-12-14 16:22 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Non-Nexus Devices
by JAlexoid on Fri 14th Dec 2012 12:17 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Non-Nexus Devices"
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

The upside is that you get the subsidy, not the device manufacturer.(Well, you get an interest free loan not a subsidy)

Reply Score: 2

RE: Non-Nexus Devices
by fretinator on Thu 13th Dec 2012 17:29 UTC in reply to "Non-Nexus Devices"
fretinator Member since:
2005-07-06

I also have the One V, and detest Sense. I've looked at the custom ROM solutions, but noted what you report - the flakiness. It is a shame. I believe this is the #1 problem with Android - the custom UI's that OEMs feel they must put on Android. I have even tried Go Launcher EX, a replacement Home app. It still uses too much ram. This is a great phone, but is somewhat crippled with the 512MB of RAM. However, I also love the $35 plan, so I live with it. I'm hoping "Santa" brings me the Galaxy SII for Virgin Mobile. Even though it has a custom UI added, it has enough RAM to handle it.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Non-Nexus Devices
by phoenix on Thu 13th Dec 2012 22:52 UTC in reply to "RE: Non-Nexus Devices"
phoenix Member since:
2005-07-11

Have a look at Zeam Launcher. No frills, and doesn't use a lot of RAM. Using it on my Xperia Pro, which also only has 512 MB of RAM (only 384 MB available for apps), with great success.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Non-Nexus Devices
by fretinator on Fri 14th Dec 2012 15:01 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Non-Nexus Devices"
fretinator Member since:
2005-07-06

Thanks, I'll give it a try!

Reply Score: 2

RE: Non-Nexus Devices
by WorknMan on Thu 13th Dec 2012 18:47 UTC in reply to "Non-Nexus Devices"
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

Not all carriers offer Nexus devices, and of the ones that do offer such, not all of those come with a card slot for user loadable storage via microSD Card.


That's the quandary that all Android users must face - either buy a phone with limited storage options and no LTE, or buy one with a locked bootloader and/or shitty bloatware all over it, that takes 6 months or longer to get new OS updates.

This is not a choice that end users should have to make. And before you blame the carriers, please tell me where are all the wifi-only, non-Nexus tablets running stock Android and with unlocked bootloaders

Reply Score: 2

RE: Non-Nexus Devices
by phoenix on Thu 13th Dec 2012 22:49 UTC in reply to "Non-Nexus Devices"
phoenix Member since:
2005-07-11

Thom Holwerda editorialized...
" I will never again buy a non-Nexus device.


Not all carriers offer Nexus devices, and of the ones that do offer such, not all of those come with a card slot for user loadable storage via microSD Card.
"

And there's only been 1 Nexus device with a hardware keyboard, making it extremely hard to buy Nexus devices.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Non-Nexus Devices
by zima on Sun 16th Dec 2012 16:53 UTC in reply to "RE: Non-Nexus Devices"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

there's only been 1 Nexus device with a hardware keyboard, making it extremely hard to buy Nexus devices.

Not really - judging by the trend of omitting hardware keyboards, most people don't mind.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Non-Nexus Devices
by phoenix on Sun 16th Dec 2012 17:18 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Non-Nexus Devices"
phoenix Member since:
2005-07-11

Most, is not all. ;)

After using my wife's LG Eve, my own SE Xperia Pro, and a Motorola Droid4, I honestly don't understand how people can use a portable computer without a hardware keyboard.

It might be mostly tolerable in portrait where losing 300-odd pixels of screen isn't the end of the world. But the same is not true in landscape.

I used my Xperia all the time for server maintenance via Connectbot. Now that I have an Optimus G with a 4.5" screen, Connectbot isn't even installed. It was just too painful to use. And the only reason I have this phone is that it was $25 compared to importing a Droid4 for $200. ;)

My next one will definitely have a keyboard again.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Non-Nexus Devices
by zima on Sun 16th Dec 2012 19:08 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Non-Nexus Devices"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

I used my Xperia all the time for server maintenance via Connectbot

See, that's also something the vast majority doesn't do ;)

Of course, I realise some might prefer hardware qwerty - point was, your "making it extremely hard to buy Nexus devices" seemed too all-encompassing ...it makes it hard for some. :p

Reply Score: 2

RE: Non-Nexus Devices
by JAlexoid on Fri 14th Dec 2012 12:15 UTC in reply to "Non-Nexus Devices"
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

Well maybe you should force a free market, not a free market of "chose you slave-driver"... You know, standards ant that kind of s**t.

The fact that you can't buy a device and then chose your carrier, is an issue in US. Irony is, the champions of free market are against reforming this oligopoly.

Reply Score: 3

Comment by gsyoungblood
by gsyoungblood on Thu 13th Dec 2012 05:33 UTC
gsyoungblood
Member since:
2007-01-09

The only things in HTC Sense that I like are the panel clock and some of the widgets that update on the screen. The rest just gets in the way. The best thing I did was move to a custom ROM, though I did miss that clock. ;)

I have a Galaxy Nexus now, and have no urge to go back to a non Google interface (unless it's MIUI). I've been tempted by the S III, but not enough to pull the trigger and go buy it yet. And if I did, it'd probably be after I know I can root it and replace the rom.

I was actually waiting for the iPhone 5, until they cheaped out by not actually making the screen any bigger (a little taller isn't enough IMO). Had Apple gone with a 4" retina display I'd probably be sporting an iPhone.

Oh well. At least this way I saved some money.

Oh, and a new item for the Apple Tax. It turns out Assurion plan with carriers charge $169 for replacement of an iPhone versus $99 for Android and $49 for feature phones. Add another $70 to the Apple Tax total.

Reply Score: 2

OEMs ruin everything they touch
by Nelson on Thu 13th Dec 2012 06:29 UTC
Nelson
Member since:
2005-11-29

"I love TouchWiz/Sense UI" - Said no one, ever.

At the very least, HTC is more sensible about Sense (yeah, yeah) than Samsung is about TouchWiz. That's a genuine piece of garbage.

Reply Score: 3

perspichaos Member since:
2012-10-25

Said me!

Without Sense I can't stand using Android. It's the only set of widgets that are sufficiently polished and usable enough to be worth putting on the home screen. Same with HTC hardware. They are the only company making Android phones today with decent build quality.

You're totally right about TouchWiz. Ugh. Terrible. Replacing my Incredible with a Galaxy stands as one of the worst decisions I've made in the last few years.

Reply Score: 2

Sense FTW
by amonrei on Thu 13th Dec 2012 06:55 UTC
amonrei
Member since:
2012-12-13

What? I love Sense. I love the social integration of the People & Gallery app. I love the Camera app. I love the Tasks & Notes app & widget. I love the gigantic Clock & Weather widget. Obviously it's not as lightning fast as vanilla but the lack of those things i mentioned above keeps bringing me back to Sense. MIUI would be my 2nd favourite. Vanilla 3rd. I have a One X btw. Also for S3, there's already a bunch of custom ROMs since it's as old as the One X, so if you hate the software you can already flash other ROMs from day 1.

Just remember that we flashaholics are just the minority. Normal people won't even bother to root & flash custom ROMs. Some don't even bother to update.

Edited 2012-12-13 06:56 UTC

Reply Score: 4

T-Mo
by Kancept on Thu 13th Dec 2012 11:37 UTC
Kancept
Member since:
2006-01-09

Next year T-Mobile is separating the phone from the contract. About time someone steps up and makes it what it should be. Pick a phone, pick a contract or pre-pay, or bring your own phone. No more subsidized phones.

Reply Score: 3

Re:
by kurkosdr on Thu 13th Dec 2012 13:12 UTC
kurkosdr
Member since:
2011-04-11

Then you have nobody to blame but yourself. You choose a lower price and you pay with inconvenience. I'm not saying that this is a bad trade-off per se, but it is important to realize that YOU, the customer, made a choice here.


WHAT inconvenience? The carrier I have a contract with (Cosmote) is subsidizing all the phones that are available in the retail market (yes, even Nexuses), and offers phones that are SIM-unlocked (yes, with a contract) and get their upgrades directly from the manufacturer. There is another carrier here (Wind) with similar pro-customer practices, so I am good. The problem of customers being forced to choose between a limited range of (locked) phones selected by the carrier is mainly an American and UK problem. The problem with phones being SIM-locked and also not receiving a upgrades directly from the manufacturer is mainly an American and UK problem, and for customers of Vodafone.

Also, I want to have a certain amount of "mobile" data for each month. I can either price list price (which is expensive here), or sign a 12 month contract and pay much less, and get a (SIM-unlocked) phone for less. What should I do? Hmm... let me think...

Subsidizes are not a bad habit if the phone that is subsidized is unlocked.

I have a better idea. Disallow carriers to sell/rent phones. Without crosssubsidies covering costs becomes harder and phone

So, we should stop carriers from offering deals some of us want, just to satisfy some nerdy ethics that say the phone shall be sold unsubsidized? I don't think so If you want to stop the American and UK problem of carriers offering a limited range of (locked) phones, how about a law that forces carriers to offer unlocked phones and subsidize everything on the market?

Since we are re-writing the US law system here, let's at least propose laws that most people will like.

Edited 2012-12-13 13:14 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE: Re:
by B. Janssen on Thu 13th Dec 2012 19:46 UTC in reply to "Re:"
B. Janssen Member since:
2006-10-11

Almost missed you down here, sorry.

WHAT inconvenience? [...] Subsidizes are not a bad habit if the phone that is subsidized is unlocked.


Good for you. But originally we were discussing the market conditions in the USA, which leave you the choice between a cheaper crappy experience or a more expensive good experience. I understand that in your country things are different, which is, again, awesome for you and your country. But going all Adam Savage on me and trying to substitute the premises of the thread you posted in with your own will not magically make your argument sustainable under the original premises.

However, it's good to hear that in some countries things are different, even if I wonder why and how the carriers are subsidizing any phone. Are your contracts so expensive or what?

So, we should stop carriers from offering deals some of us want, just to satisfy some nerdy ethics that say the phone shall be sold unsubsidized? I don't think so If you want to stop the American and UK problem of carriers offering a limited range of (locked) phones, how about a law that forces carriers to offer unlocked phones and subsidize everything on the market?

Yes, that's still a terrible idea. Everybody likes his things cheap, me too! So why don't we force restaurants to subsidize meals, car manufacturers to give away their cars for free and while we are at it, why don't we pay everybody an above average income?

OK, I'm snarky, sorry. What I'm trying to tell you here is that the money you spend must come from somewhere (even if the recent events in our financial markets suggest otherwise) and if you believe that carriers subsidize certain (or even any) handsets out of the goodness of their heart, I've got news for you.

Since we are re-writing the US law system here, let's at least propose laws that most people will like.

Haha, good one. How about "free hookers for everyone?"

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Re:
by zima on Sun 16th Dec 2012 17:00 UTC in reply to "RE: Re:"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

However, it's good to hear that in some countries things are different, even if I wonder why and how the carriers are subsidizing any phone. Are your contracts so expensive or what?

Is it hard to imagine that your carriers just don't give you a very good deal? (say, they might be even ~cooperating, colluding in a cartel way)

BTW, most of the 5+ billion mobile subscribers own their phones, and are on prepaid - no contract. That alone makes your market a bit atypical.

Also, two Opera reports:
http://www.opera.com/smw/2012/05/
http://www.opera.com/smw/2010/09/
...in both of them US turns out to be most expensive.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Re:
by JAlexoid on Fri 14th Dec 2012 12:24 UTC in reply to "Re:"
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

The problem of customers being forced to choose between a limited range of (locked) phones selected by the carrier is mainly an American and UK problem.

How good that Apple is there to fix that issue... oh wait! Apple is the one that is extending that practice outside of US to countries that have long stopped having locked devices(A contract with an ETF is good enough in reality)

Also, stop with the subsidies! You get a loan on your device. You get a higher priced contract for longer - you get a higher loan. Terminate your contract early - pay off the difference.

Hiding the price of a phone behind - $200 now and $90 for the next 24 months isn't a positive thing for a free market.

Edited 2012-12-14 12:29 UTC

Reply Score: 3

Re:
by kurkosdr on Thu 13th Dec 2012 13:31 UTC
kurkosdr
Member since:
2011-04-11

What nerds don't understand is that banning subsidizes will not make carriers stop having high list prices for data, in order to push users to 12-month contracts, they will just keep the existing system (high list prices - push users to 12-month contracts if they want to have cheap data), but will stop offering phones with the contract (bad).

Browser: Mozilla/5.0 (Linux; U; Android 2.3.4; el-gr; LG-P990 Build/GRJ23) AppleWebKit/533.1 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0 Mobile Safari/533.1 MMS/LG-Android-MMS-V1.0/1.2

Reply Score: 2

RE: Re:
by B. Janssen on Thu 13th Dec 2012 20:03 UTC in reply to "Re:"
B. Janssen Member since:
2006-10-11

What nerds don't understand is that banning subsidizes will not make carriers stop having high list prices for data, in order to push users to 12-month contracts, they will just keep the existing system (high list prices - push users to 12-month contracts if they want to have cheap data), but will stop offering phones with the contract (bad).

What you don't understand is that detangling products leads to simpler, more transparent and better comparable products, which is a consumer win already. It will also lead to competition between data plans and between phones, not between packages of both, which is another win.

Anyway, I'm not the one who is seriously suggesting banning subsidies. My suggestion is to become aware of what you need and want and add it into your cost calculation concerning which offer is the better deal. As it stands this is quite difficult but doable.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Re:
by _txf_ on Thu 13th Dec 2012 22:46 UTC in reply to "RE: Re:"
_txf_ Member since:
2008-03-17

Quit being so sensible. Some people like being taken for a ride, transparency clearly does not help anybody.

Personally I always buy my phones unsubsidised. It is too much effort decoupling the BS in all those deals, even if in europe it isn't as crappy as in the US. Usually when I don't take a new phone, the carrier gives me a discount in everything else.

This way I know what everything costs, so I don't get suckered into amazing "deals".

Edited 2012-12-13 22:47 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: Re:
by B. Janssen on Fri 14th Dec 2012 13:51 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Re:"
B. Janssen Member since:
2006-10-11

Oh, I'm sorry. For a moment I forgot I was on the internet ;)

Reply Score: 2

Here's an idea...
by Soulbender on Sat 15th Dec 2012 10:30 UTC
Soulbender
Member since:
2005-08-18

...maybe some people like Sense?

Reply Score: 3