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PostPosted: Sat Nov 25, 2017 5:46 am 
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My wife's 10 year old dumb phone finally died, so time to get a modern phone. She's been happily on UltraMobile (works with TMobile network) and would like to stay with them, so need a truly unlocked phone. I know almost nothing about cell phones, so need some help finding a suitable choice. One absolute requirement is being able to use a SIM card of one kind or another.

Seeing these at Newegg, but some of the reviews for various phones talk about poor battery life, or not being able to connect to a carrier, even though the phone is supposed to be unlocked--so don't know quite what to make of those reviews.

Here are all the unlocked ones

https://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductL ... isNodeId=1

Here's one that, except for several negatives, gets excellent reviews.

https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product. ... gOkJja4%3D

And then not much idea about all the others, which don't seem to have that many reviews. Can go higher in price than the Moto, if it would really be worthwhile (but probably not ready to go near $6 or $700.) Don't want to skimp now and regret later. And doesn't have to be Newegg, that's just a starting point. More at Amazon

https://www.amazon.com/Best-Sellers-Cel ... 2407749011


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 25, 2017 1:50 pm 
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Already linked to above, on further searching this Motorola appears to get the best reviews everywhere:

https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product. ... gOkJja4%3D

But how big a drawback is non removable battery?


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 26, 2017 2:19 am 
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Most phones have non-removable batteries, for all the crowing about iPhone having non-removable batteries they quietly moved to the same exact thing for the exact same reasons.

I like that my current phone has a battery mode designed to extend battery life at the expense of runtime. However a single charge will last for days so pfft.

Only issues I've noticed so far are:
1) No WiFi calling on TMobile. Only works with handsets TMobile sells direct or same-model phones sold by others. May change in the future, but TMobile would have to add this particular handset to their WFC system, so its unlikely.
2) UI doesn't allow moving applications from internal memory to SD

I got it for $180 a couple weeks ago, but apparently they had a black friday sale which is why they're all sold out now:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0753NDNBV/


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 26, 2017 11:01 am 
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Thanks MB. Did a lot of looking around, and while that ASUS gets excellent reviews, can't be 100% certain about its compatibility with Ultra Mobile. The Motorola Moto G5 Plus, 32 GB model--also with good reviews--$200 at Newegg, from what I can tell seems more certain to be compatible, so will probably have to go with that one. Newegg doesn't offer refunds on these, just replacement with same model, so can't take any big chances. As I said, I know zilch about smart phones, but both seem roughly comparable, from what I can tell.

Will probably order by the end of the day, I'll keep checking here if you happen to come up with any information about the ASUS with Ultra Mobile.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 26, 2017 2:24 pm 
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Nope, no good for 4G LTE on Ultra Mobile or TMobile, ordered the Motorola from Newegg.

https://apn.gishan.net/settings/1903_49 ... x_plus.php

Attachment:
Screen Shot 2017-11-26 at 5.22.04 PM.png
Screen Shot 2017-11-26 at 5.22.04 PM.png [ 37 KiB | Viewed 93 times ]


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 27, 2017 11:36 am 
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https://www.asus.com/us/Phone/ZenFone-4 ... ech-Specs/

No LTE band 12 but everything else. The boilerplate text talking about not all LTE bands being available in all regions means if you have a cell tower in your area it may not broadcast on all those LTE channels, you can only pick up what they're broadcasting.

And based on the last post in this thread it sounds like band 12 isn't a big deal since TMobile is de-prioritizing its use on all new handsets due to having to pay AT&T to use the frequency:
https://support.t-mobile.com/thread/130590

The phone works fine with Metro, which is TMobile, at least for normal phone & data. I wish WiFi calling worked because nothing penetrates my workplace. That really pisses off students. Some of them think we're doing it on purpose. :roll:

Still, good luck on your purchase. There's a whole lot of misinformation and nonsense out there about cell phones and what bands they support. Almost like the phone companies want to confuse you into buying their (never upgraded) phones.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 27, 2017 12:18 pm 
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Quote:
The phone works fine with Metro, which is TMobile, at least for normal phone & data. I wish WiFi calling worked because nothing penetrates my workplace. That really pisses off students. Some of them think we're doing it on purpose. :roll:

Her plan with Ultra Mobile, 4GB limit, is supposed to use 2GB 4G, and 2GB 3G, not sure in what sequence, or if overlapping. So if 4G weren't available with the ASUS on Ultra Mobile, not sure what would happen, If it would just automatically go to the 3G until 4GB is used up, which sounds reasonable, or if it would just close off with 2GB of 3G. The Motorola is supposed to be good for 4G, with some bands excepted depending on location, which I don't really understand.

Should be arriving tomorrow. May have to ask some more questions then (in particular re. moving over and installing the FirefoxPortableESR_52.5.0.exe, which I've already downloaded to the Mac from SourceForge.) At the 4GB limit, her plan doesn't keep going with some kind of overcharge, it just shuts data off completely. So have to watch the bandwidth.

And since Android was noted as being particularly vulnerable to KRACK, won't enable WiFi, unless it can be established that this Moto has some kind of patch available, or already installed--Wi-Fi not really needed anyway here.

Oh and another thing, since it won't be behind a router, like the Macs, and a browser would seem to be completely exposed, how does one prevent getting malware on one of these things--you see how little I know.

Thanks for the wishes for good luck.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 27, 2017 4:02 pm 
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There's antivirus/antimalware packages for Android. Malwarebytes is like $12/year.

With my old phone I had a free version of something that came preinstalled and I just went with it because, well, there's no getting back preinstalled app space and internal space was at a premium. For lost/stolen handsets you just need the phone logged into a google account and then you can use Google's "Find Device" app that calls down to the OS to perform pinging, tracking, locking, and general annoyance of the current possessor.

Every manufacturer on Android has their own UI and the last time I used a Motorola phone was back in the Razor days... without rooting the phone I don't know how to run unsigned apps, which is probably what the app you grabbed is. So I don't know how much help I'll be aside from general advice and "it works like this on my device" kind of stuff. Weirdly the ASUS UI is almost a clone of the Samsung UI, though annoyingly they pared down the feature set. One of the things I'll be doing around Christmas (taking some time off) is trying to figure out how to restore the features. I think you can install a second UI framework... both the Samsung and ASUS UIs seem to imply you can choose a UI to use...


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 29, 2017 2:55 pm 
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Well, not completely finished tweaking the UI, but it's basically up and running. Only dicey part was APN settings for Ultra M, but got that done finally. Initial setup absolutely required WiFi connection, but disabled that as soon as possible. Wonder what someone does without WiFi access. On Lenovo forums someone from staff, dated 11/2, says KRACK patch is in the works. Would be nice if it ever happens.

With zero prior smart phone experience, can't offer any kind of review, except to say it has gazillions of features and settings, most of which I suppose will never be used. Not sure yet about voice quality, but hope it will be at least as clear as the old Samsung phone.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 7:58 pm 
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Put Malwarebytes on it. Not certain how much of a threat ransomware for android is--apparently it's out there--but wondering whether to enable Device Administrator, which allows Malwarebytes to deal with that in some fashion, perhaps by preventing or "mitigating."

However, since enabling that feature is like allowing root access, supposedly greatly widening the attack surface, not sure about doing that, how risky those elevated privileges are with android..


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2017 7:02 am 
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Discussion exactly about this:

https://www.reddit.com/r/CopperheadOS/c ... nistrator/


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2017 12:37 pm 
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You want your antivirus to have root access though, so it can prevent itself from being uninstalled as well as conducting scans at a deeper level than a normal application. Without DA antivirus/antimalware has limited use.

Its like trying to clean off an infection on OS X without admin privileges. Sure it can scan your user but it can't scan the system, which is the most likely location an infection will place itself.

I don't mean to trivialize this decision, if you feel you need AV/AM support its important to let it have DA privileges, but then that's it, the only AV/AM program with DA privileges. If you want to install a different AV/AM program remove Malwarebytes and give the new program AV/AM DA privileges. The fewer things with DA privileges the better, but AV/AM offers little more than a false sense of security without root access.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2017 1:12 pm 
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Good, thanks. Just what I needed to know. Will allow DA.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 10, 2017 9:23 am 
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I have a plain Honor 7 from 2015. Still going strong right now but it won't be updated past Android 6.

It is a great phone for the price I paid but Honor really fiddles with naming so you can't trust the numbering schemes to be the latest releases. There have been other Honor 7's since mine and and another announced last week (the Honor 7X).

My next one will also be an Honor (or Huawei, the parent company of Honor). Both will be pushing harder into the US next year.

I have no experience with Moto but the model you have seems well liked.

Huawei/Honor add their own UI layer (EMUI) to Android and I like it a lot although it all boils down to preferences at the end of the day. I would never go back to iOS for a phone.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 10, 2017 3:39 pm 
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As with Android before this Moto, I have zero experience with iPhones. But do know iOS from iPads--hardly the same thing though. Interesting that you say you'd never go back to iOS. Wonder why Apple sells so many? Interface is more intuitive, easier to set up and use? They like the prestige name and like to be seen with it? People always assume that bigger price means better product? They see so many out there? Big con job?


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2017 2:25 pm 
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If all your friends have iPhones you'll want an iPhone so you can send Animojis and god knows what other vendor lock-in features Apple has. Messages can't send Animojis over SMS. Samsung as something similar now, live texting or something, and that similarly requires both sides to have Samsung Note 8s or whatever.

Not a big fan of lock-in at either the carrier or vendor level...


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