Switiching Phones - Need Some Advice

Discussion in 'Motorola Droid 4' started by elephant, Apr 14, 2012.

  1. elephant

    elephant New Member

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    Hello Forum Folks,

    I had a Droid 1 and traded it for an HTC Trophy. I am not happy with my Trophy and I am considering a Droid 4. So for the following please think of me switching from Droid 1 to Droid 4

    Here is how I use my phone:

    1. Calls - sometimes a few hours per day without a charge
    2. Texts - fewer than 250 per month
    3. Check and send email - probably 20-30 times per day, but long responses wait until I get to a computer. Quick or urgent stuff on the phone.
    4. Look up dumb stuff on the Internet - when it pops into my head or I am watching a game (in person) and I want to know a stat or something.
    5. GPS Nav in my car - always plugged in but I use it often because I travel frequently and use a car
    6. Listening to music in my car - always plugged in, I do not do this often. Sometimes Pandora but more often mp3s on the phone.
    7. I play old Apple ][e games on Candy Apple when I ride the bus (keyboard is key for this but I am willing to consider another phone without a keyboard). Sometimes I play Angry Birds on the bus; this game is good enough to give up my Apple][e games.


    I tend to turn off WiFi unless I am at home or work where I know I can get a solid connection. I am likely to turn off 4G (is that an option to only use 3G) unless I need to quickly upload or download something big. I also tend to set my screen to low brightness except when I am outside and need to set it higher. Then when I am done I switch it back to low brightness. I have been doing all of this with the settings widget from my home screen. So it takes two seconds to be battery conscious; a phone with no battery is useless. I carry a second charged battery most of the time but have only used it on really long flights or when I forget to charge.

    I am getting this phone without a contract so I could switch to another phone pretty easily either by selling it or renewing my contract. But that also means I my choice of phones.

    QUESTIONS:

    1. In comparison to the Droid 1 it seems like a pretty big upgrade. Is it? Will I notice a big performance difference?

    2. I have read many battery complaints. How bad is the battery?

    3. Will the screen look as good as the my Droid 1? I have heard the screen looks fuzzy or poor in general compared to other new phones.

    4. Is the 4G worth going with the 4 over the 3? I have unlimited data but I am probably not the kind to tether without buying the tethering plan from Verizon. (This is a major complaint of mine but for another thread. I own the device and pay for the data, why do I have to pay for using the data however I want to use it?)

    5. How much garbage has Verizon installed on this phone? My Droid 1 was stock (no root or custom ROM) and it seemed fine. I would use the App Killer to free up space when needed. How hard is it to remove the Verizon garbage?

    6. How is the GPS on the Droid 4?

    7. How is the Skype video call performance?

    8. It is supposed to have 16 GB of space. Is that built in or from the SD card? That is, can I put a 16 GB card in and get 32 GB of space?

    9. Assuming I do not need a physical keyboard, is there another phone I should consider?

    That is all for now. Thanks everyone.

    Extra Question - why is there a commonly used tag for "droid 4 crackle/rattle"?
     
    #1 elephant, Apr 14, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2012
  2. Benton

    Benton Member

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    I'll throw in my two cents, copied your questions below and answers next to the questions:

    1. In comparison to the Droid 1 it seems like a pretty big upgrade. Is it? Will I notice a big performance difference? Performance upgrade in many areas, OS change may be the first thing you will notice followed by speed of the processor/ram and the 4G net

    2. I have read many battery complaints. How bad is the battery? If you manually force this phone to 3G you will not notice any degradation on the battery compared to the D1 and in fact it may surprise you to find it is very robust. Going to 4G, especially in marginal 4G coverage will eat up the battery fairly quick. Settings for various environments are available with the D4 (referred to as Smart Actions), these will help you manage the battery life even better.

    3. Will the screen look as good as the my Droid 1? I have heard the screen looks fuzzy or poor in general compared to other new phones. I give the D4 screen a thumbs up although some readers will roll their eyes on this. Check it out at a Verizon store for yourself, this is a subjective area that each of us must choose our own.

    4. Is the 4G worth going with the 4 over the 3? I have unlimited data but I am probably not the kind to tether without buying the tethering plan from Verizon. (This is a major complaint of mine but for another thread. I own the device and pay for the data, why do I have to pay for using the data however I want to use it?) It depends on your use. If you are doing data intensive stuff like streaming video, downloading large files, uploading large files then yes 4G makes a huge difference.

    5. How much garbage has Verizon installed on this phone? My Droid 1 was stock (no root or custom ROM) and it seemed fine. I would use the App Killer to free up space when needed. How hard is it to remove the Verizon garbage? It's there but I find it easy to ignore. I don't use an App Killer and unlike the D1 the newer D4 has plenty of RAM to handle Verizon's "presents", this is not to say it can't be made much better but I will leave that to the experts to discuss.

    6. How is the GPS on the Droid 4? I use it all the time for driving instruction and do not have a problem with it. I notice the calculation of route is much-much faster than a D1 or D2 but this could be from 4G, processor and RAM differences.

    7. How is the Skype video call performance? I do not use Skype but have used the 4G on another video calling service and it works very well with picture in picture (you can see the caller and yourself) with very little stutter or noise. I would not compare this to an on-line video link on my PC but it's wireless afterall so I'm willing to compromise.

    8. It is supposed to have 16 GB of space. Is that built in or from the SD card? That is, can I put a 16 GB card in and get 32 GB of space? Your understanding is correct, I have a 16GB card in mine also and store music, pics, movies and other data there. The D4 can use just the internal on-board memory but you really don't have 16GB available as a bunch of it (roughly 1/2) is used for the operating system and a host of apps.

    9. Assuming I do not need a physical keyboard, is there another phone I should consider? Great question, I looked around quite a bit and shopped different phones but came back to Moto again. A keyboard works for me but for others it is just a piece of hardware they don't need or want and they would select another device. It is really a matter of preference and I don't think there are really any wrong answers.

    That is all for now. Thanks everyone.

    Extra Question - why is there a commonly used tag for "droid 4 crackle/rattle"? No idea other than some comments about the speaker phone, mine does not have this "crackle" so I can't comment to it.
     
  3. elephant

    elephant New Member

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    Thanks for the thoughts.

    I hope more people here will give some answers.
     
  4. Mike.757

    Mike.757 Silver Member

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    Your usage is very similar to mine. My question to you is: do you like the physical keyboard? If you do then a D4 makes sense. I did not like the slide out keyboard an bought a Bionic. There were initial data issues that gave been resolved.

    If you want a physical keyboard and the decision is whether to upgrade then get a D4. You will get a good phone. If not then look at other phones that might be more suited to your use.

    Rezound: Good for music, 720p hd screen.

    Gnex: ICS.

    Razr Maxx: great battery life.

    All are 4g and have their strengths and weaknesses.

    There are others but what I wanted to point out is that there are many great phones that you can choose from.



    Sent from my DROID BIONIC using DroidForums
     
  5. TDevilsG

    TDevilsG Member

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    My take is fairly straight forward, as I went from a DROID 3 to 4 personally. What you will find with the DROID 4 is that the speed and performance of the phone is fantastic, and that goes for both hardware and 4g coverage if available. Its a powerful phone. The screen I have no qualms with; there are apps that you can use to manipulate the colors if you really have issue. The selling point for any DROID should be the keyboard. If you insist upon it, there is no other comparable smart phone with this quality physical keyboard. Motorola caters to a niche market in this respect. I owned a DROID 1, thunderbolt, DROID 3 and DROID 4, and I've come back to the DROID again and again because of the keyboards. The con to the performance is the battery. Believe what you've heard, its quite bad. Its the 4g that kills it. I'm going to play around with the smart actions app to create limitations, and I'm considering rooting for the battery alone (the phone stock is perfect outside of the battery). Beyond that, the phone is quite good. The extra ram helps a lot versus the DROID 3, the 4g speed is a huge upgrade, and the keyboard is fantastic. The battery blows. Good luck on your decision.

    Sent from my DROID4 using Tapatalk 2
     
  6. droidbound

    droidbound Member

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    I agree with most responses here. The D4 is superior to the OG in most respects. The only drawback is the battery life. I use 4G only when I need it or when the Droid is plugged in as in the car. Navigation is way faster than on the D1! I rarely have a problem getting through a day on one charge unless I play a lot of games or forget to turn the 4G off. And believe me, you'll love the keyboard! Typing this on the streetcar which would be impossible with a software keyboard - at least for me.

    Sent from my DROID4 using DroidForums
     
  7. nmos

    nmos Member

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    FWIW I had planned to go from my OG Droid to a d4 but after comparing in store I went with the Rezound instead. The D4 battery is about the same size as the extended for the D1 so I'd be surprised if it didn't do as well or better as your D1 with 4g off. To me, the screen looked better than my D1.

    Sent from my ADR6425LVW using Tapatalk 2
     
  8. bdsullivan76

    bdsullivan76 Member

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    I am always surprised to hear about how bad the D4's battery is. On pure stock with 4g on at work which is a non 4g area and moderate usage I easily get 15hrs on a charge with 30% left by the time I can make it to a charger. On gummy 1.0 I have been getting around 20hrs or more before I plug up with battery life to spare and only 4-5hrs of that is sleep. Today I was at 21hrs before charging and I forgot to turn of my wifi when I left for work so it was searching for a wifi signal all day to boot. The battery life is good enough that although I have a charger at work I rarely use it.

    Sent from my DROID4 using Tapatalk