Looking for two specific features on a cell phone


#1

The corporate office is starting to retire the old Blackberrys and they’ve given me a list of smartphones to choose from. Since this is a work phone, I don’t really care what bells and whistles it will have on it because I’m not going to be able to put apps on it that aren’t work-related and I don’t want to fuss with the BYOD option. I don’t actually have a need for a personal cell phone right now.

I’m leaning towards the ones with the slide-out physical keyboard because I’m a pretty fast two-thumb typist on the other data entry device we have to use. Most importantly, they don’t have a stupid Windows button to accidentally press that will kick the e-mail I’m typing into the Drafts folder, where it takes me 30 seconds to get back into and resume typing. And they don’t have whatever that sensor is that you slide your thumb over to move the cursor, but if you happen to accidentally press it, it acts like a carriage return.

What I am actually looking for is two features that were on one of the first Blackberrys our company had:

  1. When I am on the phone and a new call comes in, if I say I want to ignore the second call, the phone SHUTS UP and does not chirp at me every five seconds to let me know there’s another call.

  2. If I am about done with a call and a new one comes in, I want the feature that lets me switch to the new call and it hangs up on the first call. All I’ve got on the Blackberry right now is something called “Flash”, which switches to the second call and leaves the first active, so you never really know if that call ended. Well, actually, it may beep at you a bit later if that call does end and drown out what the other person is saying for about three seconds.

As you can tell, these are two things that have annoyed me for over three years now, but couldn’t do anything about because the only time the Blackberry ever died, I was given the same model to replace it.

Now I can do something about it. Does anyone have any of the following phones, and if so, do they have these two features?

from Verizon:
Motorola Droid Razr M
Motorola Droid 4
Samsung Galaxy 4 Mini (I think this is an S4 Mini)
iPhone 4S 8GB

from Sprint:
Samsung Galaxy Victory
HTC EVO 4G LET
Motorola Photon Q
iPhone 4S 8GB


#2

The first is a pretty standard Android feature from my experience - my last 2 have beeped once to let me know about the incoming call and then no more reminders. The beep is also in the background so it doesn’t drown out the speaker while still being obvious. You can also reject that call without leaving the current call.

The second, I’m not sure about since I’ve never needed to do so. A quick check of the manual for my phone suggests it isn’t a native feature. I suspect you’d have to switch and then hang up the other call.


#3

You really ought to give the Moto X a look too. If I wasn’t locked into another year with my current phone, I’d be all over it. Looking forward to its successor.


#4

I would have to check to see if the Moto X available under the BYOD option through Sprint, but as I said, I don’t need a personal cell phone so I’m content to let the company pay for the whole thing. The others are from the “here’s what you can choose from” list they sent me.

Regarding the beeps, I almost always use a Bluetooth headset and the “you’ve still got another call” or the “the other person hung up” buzzing noises are loud enough to drown out what people are saying. Actually, now that I think about it, I think what the other person is saying is muted while the phone is making those beeps/noises. So, it’s 1 to 3 seconds each time the phone feels the need to make noise where I can’t hear what they were saying.

I could handle one beep after the ignore request, though.


#5

I’ve never had any of the notification sounds in Android drown out the other person - whether over Bluetooth or not. It sounds like a Blackberry fail to me, though my old Nokia phones were somewhat intrusive. If anything I find the Android notifications a little too muted, I have on occasion not noticed the beeps.

If you go Android, I would recommend you go as close to stock as you can. I’ve used HTC (their skin is actually quite nice and the recent versions don’t get in the way) and stock (Nexus) as my main devices for some time now. I’ve used Samsung’s TouchWiz and found it frustrating.

My wife has the Motorola Razr i (pretty much the Intel version of the M) and it’s a solid phone. Nothing fancy and the few tweaks to the UI don’t interfere with it. It also has a slightly larger battery than the Droid 4. I can check later to see what the call waiting beeps are like if you want. Also, the Razr M is due to get Kit Kat, which I’d recommend.


#6

Razr M is due to get Kit Kat? I’ve got the HD, nearly identical innards, and haven’t heard this. It would be wonderful if true.


#7

I found it on XDA’s forums. Following the link there shows that Motorola intend to upgrade the HD to 4.4 too. Typically the Razr i is still TBC, so there go my plans to easily get the wife’s phone onto KitKat.

Still, better than most manufacturers…


#8

I’m getting ready to upgrade my Galaxy Nexus (like ordering it today or tomorrow) from Verizon and I’m getting the Droid MAXX. It’s the new version of the RAZR MAXX. A good battery life is what I need most and this is supposed to be one of the best. It’s running 4.4 and has NFC and Bluetooth 4. I’ve become rather attached to my NFC and BT setups that automate everything. I hear it’s not too hard to root it either. I don’t plan on a custom ROM at the moment, but I like to have my options open.

Gratch has the Droid 4, one of the few phones with a physical keyboard. She loves it and has no problems with it but she doesn’t really do any tinkering like I do.


#9

Would love to have a phone with a physical QWERTY… the virtual keyboard’s OK, but does not provide feedback to your fingers which leads to you fumbling around a lot, especially when you don’t look at where your fingers are…

I had the LG KS360 (physical qwerty) but what put me off was the complexity of buttons on the front cover…

In the meantime I have learnt to shaddap and use my current Samsung Galaxy i9000 - is planning to upgrade to either the S3 mini (as I don’t need a biggenphone) or something else.

Three months to go before upgrade time, more than enough time to look at all the candidates out there.

Since I’m hard of hearing, the phone’s ringtone must be loud enough to hear, as the current Samsung’s ringtone sometimes “reset” itself and I can’t hear it ringing. Meh for that.

Previous phone was a Nokia 5230, excellent phone, even though the screen’s a bit small, still have it as a backup.


#10

I used to agree with you on physical keyboards. However having adapted to Swype I wouldn’t go back. I may be able to type faster (80 wpm+) on a full sized keyboard than I can Swype, but I can Swype a lot faster than I can use a tiny keyboard.

Google’s implementation is close, but not close enough IMO.


#11

You think Swype on a modern 'droid is much better than on an older device?


#12

If you’ve never liked the way it works, you won’t like it now. If you liked it before but found it underperforming, I suspect you’d be happy with it. Or, if you generally like the Google keyboard but wished it was a little smarter.

Certainly while I muttered about it being sluggish on my last phone, I’ve had no issues on my Nexus 5.


#13

Anybody have the Samsung Galaxy series? And any comparison to the Droid Maxx? We need to upgrade at some point, and those are the two we’ve narrowed it down to. The comparisons online are pretty much the same spec-wise for what we do so it’s going to come down to other people’s experiences. We have Droid X2s right now. I use Bluetooth fairly regularly, music and camera, web, and Facebook, of course. My cousin said he has had some trouble with the Galaxy S4 - the latest update turned it into a paperweight.


#14

I have the S4. Got a deal on it on Black Friday for $39. I haven’t had any problems with mine at all, and it is up to date. I’m not a huge fan of the camera, I feel like it doesn’t zoom as well as my LG Revolution did. I use my bluetooth for phone calls and listening to music.


#15

I personally prefer Swiftkey to Swype.

I find the built in swype functionality it has is more than adequate and its predictive algorithm is incredibly spot on for next word matching. The coolest thing about it, I think, is the learning capability it exercises, especially when tied to my SMS, Facebook, Twitter, GMail, etc. The way it tailors the experience to my personal style makes it fast and intuitive. I’ve been happy with it on both the Original Moto Droid and my current Moto Bionic, and with its Cloud tie in, I will just log it in to the next device and keep on going.

That being said, I am past my upgrade point and have been debating which way to go next as well. My current shot listed entries are the Moto X, a Nexus 5 or possibly holding out for a Samsung Galaxy S5.

Decisions, decisions.


#16

I picked up an S4 on Black Friday weekend, too - free at Best Buy! :smile: I haven’t had any problems at all. As I recall, the last update was over a month ago.

Battery life is terrific - not quite as good as my BlackBerry (work phone, so I carry 2), but the S4 generally still has some life left at the end of the work day, unlike my previous phone, the LG Viper 4G LTE.

While the Viper had a smaller screen (not a complaint), it seemed like the “buttons” on the keyboard were bigger than on the S4. On the S4, I find that I switch to Symbols more often, because it takes too long to determine which letter I have to press & hold to get the symbol I want. Also, the symbols on the symbol keyboard aren’t all in the same place as they are on the alpha keyboard - very odd. But it does have a dedicated row for numbers! Swype does work a little better than it did on the Viper, and I really liked it on the Viper. But I can still type faster on my BBerry’s physical keyboard, as long as my nails aren’t overdue for a trim. :wink:

I really liked the Viper, but when cell signal was weak (like in one of the offices I work at on the 23rd floor of a building near downtown) the battery life was awful, especially with LTE turned on. The newer LTE chipset in the S4 seems consume less power while doing a better job of locking onto a signal.

I’m sooo not a Samsung fanboi. (One of my buddies worships Apple. Apple everything!! Except TVs, for that, bow down to Samsung. Ugh.) When I first saw how the screen on my girlfriend’s S3 was cluttered with Samsung’s huge widgets, it didn’t improve my opinion of them. And way too much storage space is gobbled up with Samsung craaplications. I’ve only found two that are of interest to me and that aren’t redundant duplications of functions built into the OS. (Or bundled with the OS, since Google is spinning off integrated apps so they’re individually updatable - Gmail, Google Play {Music, Movies, etc.}, Messaging/Hangouts (ugh, Hangouts :shit:), etc. - not that that is their only reason.)

Overall, I’m really digging the S4. It would have been nice to have waited for the S5, but the price was right and it was time to retire the Viper. [Rant- The last update to the Viper introduced a bug that caused random reboots which kept getting more frequent, to the point that it was becoming unreliable. I still consider phone calls to be the primary function of my cell PHONE, so when it reboots in the middle of a conversation, it’s gotta go.]


#17

I have a s2 with slide out keyboard. I love it. But then I hardly use my phone for anything but calls and texts.


#18

My plans were all put on hold. If I renew my contract I lose my grandfathered ‘unlimited data’ so if I want a new phone it will have to be off contract. That puts the price a little out of reach at the moment as a Droid MAXX is something like $700 new. I was thinking of buying one through the month-to-month at $450 and just cancelling and swinging the phone over. But either way, it’s a bit too pricey at the moment so I’ll stay with what I got for now.


#19

@Darktan That’s exactly why we haven’t gotten new phones. BUT…They are 3 years old and acting like it. Batteries aren’t holding a charge as well as they used to, starting to run pretty slow but I have no idea how to clean them up to run faster… Just little things. It’ll probably be another 6 months or so before we get new phones, actually. DD12 wants a phone, and if we add her we lose the grandfathered status too. I’m hoping that soon the wireless companies will raise data limits again, since so many things are run through phones now… Pipe dream, I know, but I’m hoping.


#20

This is why I love my Sprint unlimited data plan.