Which Droid should I buy? Verizon flagships compared.

Discussion in 'Android General Discussions' started by ambrown, Jan 29, 2013.

  1. ambrown

    ambrown Member

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    Okay everyone it's go time for an upgrade and I gotta say I'm having a much harder time deciding than I thought I would.

    Here's the phones in the running currently:

    -Samsung Galaxy Note II

    -Motorola Droid Razr HD Maxx

    -HTC Droid DNA

    Things that aren't deal breakers for me and I consider them evenly matched in their own ways:

    -Price
    -Android version (since they're all the same currently)
    -RAM
    -Processor

    Things that are deal breakers and/or hold varying degrees of importance (though I can give and take on some issues):

    -Battery life
    -Camera quality
    -Storage
    -UI
    -Screen size/quality
    -Overall design quality

    So at first I was going to go right for the DNA since it has an awesome screen and yet is quite petite for it's massive screen size. And I like HTC and have owned an HTC phone in the past. But as time wore on I realized that the limited storage (16 GB internal only, minus of course the amount needed for the ROM) is kind of offputting. I think I could do just fine since most of my storage would get by and I don't store a lot of media directly on my phone anyway, but still there are other options with storage galore. I still love the camera though and when I demoed it it was so fast it was pretty great. Sense UI isn't very appealing to me any more though, I got ruined when I tried stock Jelly Bean on my wife's Nexus 7 and now Sense just feels in the way and kind of ugly (especially the lock screen, I'm a huge fan of the stock lock screen).

    Next I considered the Razr HD Maxx as the battery life is it's claim to fame and not having to recharge all the time would be great! And I like the general design, it feels solid, and the Kevlar feels premium. The power and volume buttons feel great as well and I like the tactile knobs on the volume keys and the ridged power button. Flat keys just plain suck. It's just beautiful to look at. But the thing that's held me back is the complaints I've heard about camera quality. Nearly every review I've read says the camera is cruddy for everything but direct sunlight. Now I tried the camera in store and it seemed okay, though it is noticeably rougher than the offerings from Samsung and HTC. It's hard to tell until I get it in real action and not taking dumb pictures of the store displays. I do like the UI better though. I used to hate MotoBlur but since Motorola has toned it down it feels much closer to stock, an thus closer to what I want.

    Lastly I, at first, didn't even consider the Note II because it seemed so huge! But after demoing it a bit it doesn't seem as unwieldy, though the thought of actually making calls on it makes me self conscious, and I haven't even tried it yet! That screen is so nice to look at though, so much space for movies, reading, web surfing...seriously after going back to the Razr HD it felt so tiny. I think the Note II may just have ruined me for anything sub 5". An the S-Pen is a fun thing to play with too. I was quite impressed that it recognized my handwriting, not gestures, my actual handwriting; plus cursive too! I can see myself having hours of fun with the S-Pen doodling and making notes, drawing diagrams that I usually have to hunt for a pen to get down, and photo editing for some random fun. I also read that you can take a note while in a phone call, so gone are the days when I have to say, "um, wait while I hunt for a pen...oh that one doesn't work let me find another...". I can see myself heartily enjoying gaming on it as well. The things that make me hesitate are the sheer size of course, since it just seems like everything from putting it in my pocket (especially in my jeans that are a bit tighter) to whipping it out in public for calls as I mentioned above. I'm not so much concerned with one-handed use since the Note II seems to work just fine one-handed, and shifts everything to the side for easier use. The camera is also stellar and rivals the vaunted iPhone in every way, perhaps exceeding it in several areas. I'm not a fan of TouchWiz though. It didn't seem as awful as it looks from afar while using it, but it still uses gawdy colors and icons for things. Really other than the S-Pen features I don't like Samsung's extra apps (excepting the split screen feature), and some of their extras make the UIX kind of unintuitive (e.g. menu keys that dim and leave you unsure of what to push, the hardware home key, and not knowing just what will get you to Google Now in a simple fashion). But there are a few extras I found nice, like the RAM clearer that is accessed from the multitasking screen, and I found I missed it when looking at other phones.

    So that's my current take and I am still trying to finalize and make up my mind. I found myself repeatedly wishing I could have the S-Pen and camera from the Note II, paired with the Droid Razr's looks and build, in the DNA's 5 inch form factor, with stock Android. If only I could go a la carte on the smartphone features I'd be in heaven.

    But what do you guys think? Note II, Droid Razr, and DNA owners care to share cool things, or things you hate? Are you also looking to buy a Verizon flagship and are having as difficult time as me?

    Either way I'll likely be sporting a new device before the week is out since there are some sales that end at the end of January so I have to jump now for certain devices. I've leaned every way this month but today I've been leaning Note II or Razr HD, and less DNA...but we'll see what I really get, there is a sale on Wirefly and Amazon for the Razr HD (non-Maxx) for free for existing customers (plus free 2-day shipping) right now and that might just seal the deal unless I just can't shake the longing for playing with the Note II and its ridiculous screen.
     
  2. dezymond

    dezymond Tech Support Mod
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    Seems like you enjoyed the Note II the most. You can change launchers which would get rid of the manufacturer UI as well, launchers such as Apex or Nova are great. And yes the choice is tough with the top tier phones because they all have such great things about them, but of course it's the negatives we pick at:D.

    I'm not looking to upgrade yet as I still love my Nexus and neither of the new phones feel like a significant upgrade. I'm kinda waiting for that jump like I experienced from my Inc to the Nexus, so I'm waiting for the next generation of phones myself.
     
  3. summit21

    summit21 Member

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    I am in the same boat, though I am considering the SIII instead of the note 2. I also really like the DNA for its beautiful screen and great camera. The Razr is draw due to it's battery life and more ideal 4.7 inch screen, though I don't find it to be as clear or nice as the HTC DNA or SIII. I currently own the Incredible 2, and may hold out for the new HTC M7 to be released in March? It seems to have the whole package i.e...perfect screen size quality 4.7in, great camera and storage 32GB? I am due for my upgrade in 2 days, is it owrth holding out for the HTC M7? Right now I would probably lean to the DNA as storage is not an issue for me, just not a fan of the larger screens, 5in+.
     
  4. ambrown

    ambrown Member

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    Well I would wait but I have an old Droid 2 that has been an interim phone and it's so buggy and slow I'm constantly throwing it up against the wall. I was looking at the HTC M7 rumors but honestly I'm not holding my breath since Verizon seems to have a knack for not picking up HTC handsets and instead keeps going for the midrange devices and/or severey limits the hardware. I found out it is actually Verizon, not HTC, we have to thank for the 16 GB internal only on the DNA. Verizon requested certain specs and aparently that was one of them. So the M7 seems like the One X all over again as far as Verizon is concerned.

    Plus there are some deals ending in two days that I want to take advantage of since it'd save me a lot. Unless I get the Note II, then I'll be paying $200 on most online retailers. That's still a great deal for a Note II though.

    I've almost eliminated the DNA actually, other than that screen is so sharp! I played the Oblivion Trailer in YouTube HD on all three handsets and while the Note was the most pleasurable to watch due to the sheer size I found the sharpness and detail on the DNA is unsurpassed by the others.

    I did look at the S3 too but if I'm going to have to use TouchWiz then I might as well suffer it in 5.5 inches of screen. :biggrin: I might consider the S3 more readily if it also had the S-Pen but the plasticky exterior turns me off it for the most part. It's still got great specs I know, but the Note II is a bigger draw for me. The Razr HD is still great too but it does feel small after using the Note. Though with the Razr HD free via Wirefly till the 31st I could pocket the $200 I would spend on the Note II and use it for something else. Still the Note is tempting.

    Argh! I wish I had more time to consider my options but the combination of deals ending soon, a current crappy handset that keeps wigging out on me, and the sheer gadget lust is too much to keep me away. And I'm in the rare position of actually having a chance to get a current flagship phone right now which is exciting.
     
  5. americandad

    americandad New Member

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    Just went through the same thing trying to decide between the Note II and the RAZR maxx HD for the same basic reasons.

    In the end I picked the RAZR maxx HD and am happy with the choice. The note II was just too big and the overall quality and feel of the maxx is just so perfect. Its very comfortable to hold and love the kevlar back, going to keep this phone naked. The battery is awesome I'm getting 2 - 3 days with moderate to heavy use. The camera is not as bad as the reviews say, in fact its quite good just not at the same level as some others.

    One other thing the salesman half talked me out of the note as he claimed the Motorola's got better reception and some of the places I go are in the fringe.
     
  6. summit21

    summit21 Member

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    I would be shocked if their weren't more deals on the current line-up of top tier smartphones (SIII, DNA, RAZR, etc..) in the coming months. All will be replaced in the coming year and will only get cheaper, though the RAZR HD free for current customers is very tempting right now.
     
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  7. Detonation

    Detonation Member

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    If you can handle the size, go with the Note II.
     
  8. bkdodger

    bkdodger Super Moderator
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    Good luck with your decision..

    I'm a little bit biased :D.. [​IMG]

    《Take Note2 BK's here..》
     
  9. ambrown

    ambrown Member

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    Well I finally upgraded this past week. I pulled the trigger on the Droid Razr HD. While I was this close to going with the Note II the Razr was going for free and the thought of keeping $200 in my pocket won me over. And even though I made my choice I still think the Note would have been a really fun toy.

    But regrets? Actually the only regret I have is that I didn't dump Verizon and get a Nexus 4, and then go with a prepaid plan. My wife wouldn't hear of it though so on Verizon I stay for another 2 years...which is the most depressing part. But on the upside I think the Razr HD will suit all my needs. When I compared all three handsets on paper the Razr won out more often in more categories than the others. Heck if the Razr came with the camera on the DNA or the Note II then it wouldn't have been a very hard choice at all. But despite all the reviewers that hated on the camera I felt it was still a worthy upgrade and that the camera was better than what is on my current handset. The long battery life will be nice on the Razr though and the thought of never having to recharge at some point in the day is already making me excited! dancedroid

    I'm also thinking of using some of that saved cash to go and get a Moga Controller so I can enjoy some sweet gaming! On screen controls just don't cut it. I did actually buy Nova 3 while it was on sale on Google Play in December too and finally I'll get to enjoy it with real controls. On screen made the experience very frustrating to say the least. And I only played it on my wife's tablet since my cruddy phone would heat up and explode if I tried to do any serious gaming on it. And the battery on the Razr HD will make gaming that much sweeter. The Note II would have been awesome coupled with the Moga as well, but since I bought the Razr HD I'll actually have the money to buy one now instead of saving up for later!

    Now I just have to wait till Monday for FedEx to come to my doorstep and deliver my new phone! Darn I've never wanted a weekend to go by so fast before!
     
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