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Author Topic: Gadgets, Devices, Things and Stuff  (Read 16532 times)
Nebu
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Reply #175 on: October 15, 2018, 09:39:41 AM

So what do you other Luddites suggest as a good first smartphone?  Any advice on plans? 

"Always do what is right. It will gratify half of mankind and astound the other."

-  Mark Twain
Cyrrex
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Reply #176 on: October 15, 2018, 09:48:23 AM

Budget?  Would used be an option?

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Reply #177 on: October 15, 2018, 10:42:21 AM

My feeling is generally 'if you're going to do it, do it right' with a hefty dose of 'don't cheap out and then hate the experience'.

I could probably use the new camera style on the samsung s9, but I'm holding strong with my s7 edge. It was a great upgrade from the s5, which felt underpowered. The s7 edge doesn't feel underpowered, does what I need it to do, so I'm enjoying the time not paying for a phone. I was also looking at a Pixel when my upgrade window opened.

I think you'll enjoy the upgrade to a smart phone, they really do a lot of useful things despite all the nonsense most people use them for :)

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Reply #178 on: October 15, 2018, 11:32:56 AM

Yeah, Iím going to agree with that sentiment.  My first smart phone was the latest iPhone at the time, and I never looked back.  Get something good to start with, so you can fully appreciate what they can do.  If you still hate it, you can buy cheap terrible ones for your next upgrade.

Everybody seems to be raving about the Pixel as an iPhone or Samsung alternative.

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NowhereMan
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Reply #179 on: October 15, 2018, 12:25:20 PM

I've got a Pixel 2 XL, I really like and Google's magic algorithms mean it has a really neat camera (your not caring about cameras notwithstanding). Battery life is solid on it.

One thing to bear in mind when looking at relative phone sizes: People are rarely happy going from bigger screens back to smaller screens provided you can fit the thing into your hand reasonably comfortably. Also relative to flip phones, smart phones are super thin and what sounds like a gigantic block actually turns out to be pretty small in your pockets. I've pretty much grown up with mobiles and got my first smart phone relatively early (the original Nexus I think) but don't use it as much as quite a few other people. If you travel much or have friends abroad it makes calling or messaging with them suddenly really, really easy. I keep in touch with friends all over the world in a way that I never did through facebook just because it's on my phone and pops up (I refused to install facebook messenger because they won't let me use their web interface to access my messages).

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Nebu
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Reply #180 on: October 15, 2018, 12:41:43 PM

Some solid advice.  Do it right the first time.  That's essentially what Schild also said on Discord. 

Android is probably my first choice.  With the new Pixel coming out, I may wait for the price on the Pixel 2 to drop a bit unless anyone could suggest a reasonable alternative.


"Always do what is right. It will gratify half of mankind and astound the other."

-  Mark Twain
Rendakor
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Reply #181 on: October 15, 2018, 03:09:47 PM

I've always liked Samsung's stuff; I'm currently using the Note 9 but the 8 is probably fine and cheap at this point. The Galaxy series is slightly smaller and less expensive, but the Note series comes with a stylus for easy note taking, drawing, etc.

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Reply #182 on: October 15, 2018, 04:10:42 PM

I've always liked Samsung's stuff; I'm currently using the Note 9 but the 8 is probably fine and cheap at this point. The Galaxy series is slightly smaller and less expensive, but the Note series comes with a stylus for easy note taking, drawing, etc.

Same. I went over to LG phones for a long time (G2 and G4) and loved some of their features (tap-tap wakes the screen) but returned to Samsung at the S7 and I'm so impressed that I'll probably stay. I previously had a Samsung S2 and S4 (4G version), which were both incredibly solid phones. Even when I had the LGs, I would use the S4 to hold a data SIM in WiFi hotspot mode, for travel and moving house. Still works and never skipped a beat, and the S7 has been even better (two years on).
Nebu
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Reply #183 on: October 15, 2018, 04:22:45 PM

Great stuff.  Thanks guys.

"Always do what is right. It will gratify half of mankind and astound the other."

-  Mark Twain
Brolan
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Reply #184 on: October 15, 2018, 08:30:34 PM

If you just want to dip your toe in the water you can buy an iPod touch and get the smart features without having to change your phone. Of course it only works on wifi.
Cyrrex
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Reply #185 on: October 16, 2018, 12:02:54 AM

I was thinking something like a refurbed iphone 6s or the Samsung equivalent like a refurbed 7.  Pretty cheap, and still pretty marvelous.

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Bungee
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Reply #186 on: October 16, 2018, 03:01:25 AM

Great stuff.  Thanks guys.

Do try some different sized Smartphones first. Like just ask colleagues/friends if you can quickly try it. Pull up a news site you regularly check to see how well you can read the screen and maybe pull up a Youtube video. Also try to type a message with it.

Speaking of typing:
I exclusively swipe on my phone (Google's Gboard has that built in) but find that nobody else seems to do that. It's by far the easiest and most forgiving way to type one-handed on a smartphone especially since Gboard has a one-handed operating mode (so stacking the keyboard more to one side). Anybody else using that?

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Cyrrex
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Reply #187 on: October 16, 2018, 03:52:33 AM

Great stuff.  Thanks guys.

Do try some different sized Smartphones first. Like just ask colleagues/friends if you can quickly try it. Pull up a news site you regularly check to see how well you can read the screen and maybe pull up a Youtube video. Also try to type a message with it.

Speaking of typing:
I exclusively swipe on my phone (Google's Gboard has that built in) but find that nobody else seems to do that. It's by far the easiest and most forgiving way to type one-handed on a smartphone especially since Gboard has a one-handed operating mode (so stacking the keyboard more to one side). Anybody else using that?

You do realize that you are explaining to a caveman who just discovered fire about the proper roasting technique of marshmellows and the correct temperature at which to remove a flank steak from the grill  awesome, for real 

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Reply #188 on: October 16, 2018, 05:21:23 AM

I swipe type and have since my first google phone that offered it. Tap typing is just weird.

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Nebu
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Reply #189 on: October 16, 2018, 08:28:35 AM

You do realize that you are explaining to a caveman who just discovered fire about the proper roasting technique of marshmellows and the correct temperature at which to remove a flank steak from the grill  awesome, for real  

I run a multi-million dollar cancer research facility where I repair and maintain state of the art equipment myself.  I think I can handle a phone, smartass.   My delay in getting a smartphone was largely born from not needing the utility.  The short battery life was also an annoyance as I didn't want to carry a backup power source every time I went on a deep hike. 

 Get off my lawn!
« Last Edit: October 16, 2018, 08:36:00 AM by Nebu »

"Always do what is right. It will gratify half of mankind and astound the other."

-  Mark Twain
Sky
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Reply #190 on: October 16, 2018, 09:19:06 AM

Hah! Git 'em, grandpa! My favorite flip phone moment was at a tech conference, maybe 2012. Topic was BYOD at the workplace, and the presenter was asking everyone to hold up their phones and say what model/OS... there was an audible gasp when I held up my Tracfone flipper  Oh ho ho ho. Reallllly?

Battery is something you kind of get used to. Lots of backpacks have USB cables so you can put a battery in them to charge devices. The s7 has a fairly decent battery, depending on how you use the device, of course. It's the main thing I like about s7 over the s5 I had.

I'm also a swiper. I hate typing on a phone, it's one of the things I'm willing to allow in my generation gap, so to speak.

Cyrrex
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Reply #191 on: October 16, 2018, 10:27:36 AM

You do realize that you are explaining to a caveman who just discovered fire about the proper roasting technique of marshmellows and the correct temperature at which to remove a flank steak from the grill  awesome, for real  

I run a multi-million dollar cancer research facility where I repair and maintain state of the art equipment myself.  I think I can handle a phone, smartass.   My delay in getting a smartphone was largely born from not needing the utility.  The short battery life was also an annoyance as I didn't want to carry a backup power source every time I went on a deep hike. 

 Get off my lawn!

I am well aware lol

Never, ever assume someone that short and fat has their shit together. - Schild
Nebu
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Reply #192 on: October 16, 2018, 10:28:58 AM

I am well aware lol

I was more poking fun.  Your comment did make me chuckle. 

"Always do what is right. It will gratify half of mankind and astound the other."

-  Mark Twain
Mandella
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Reply #193 on: October 16, 2018, 11:48:03 AM

Putting in my two cents on the subject of the camera: I felt the same way but it turned out to be one of the most useful features this little super computer in my pocket has.

Being able to take a quick snapshot of lists, notes, schedules, plans, etc etc is invaluable. I document every step of a project now, not just to post pictures here but to make sure I have a clear record of the positions of stuff like wiring and plumbing that will be covered up later. Also it is tremendously handy when you are at the store trying to remember the sizes and types of fittings you need to be able to whip out the phone and double check. You can even quickly show the guy trying to help you images of the project so he can actually help you.

Note: Get in the habit of tagging photos right off. Very helpful when you are looking for above mentioned wiring locations.
Nebu
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Reply #194 on: October 16, 2018, 01:13:53 PM

Any thoughts on a refurb Galaxy S7?  Too much of a risk buying a refurb?

"Always do what is right. It will gratify half of mankind and astound the other."

-  Mark Twain
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Reply #195 on: October 16, 2018, 01:21:55 PM

Buy a new phone.
Mosesandstick
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Reply #196 on: October 16, 2018, 01:22:54 PM

On battery life - smartphones can last for days if you leave them on airplane mode when you don't need to use them. Not being contactable is a plus too Oh ho ho ho. Reallllly?

I'd support going for a basic smartphone (I have a Moto G4), they do 90%+ of what a higher end smartphone can do!
Nebu
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Reply #197 on: October 16, 2018, 01:27:00 PM

Buy a new phone.

You've been right so far.  I'll listen this time.


"Always do what is right. It will gratify half of mankind and astound the other."

-  Mark Twain
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Reply #198 on: October 16, 2018, 03:34:09 PM

Buy a new phone.

You've been right so far.  I'll listen this time.



The cost difference on a refurb or used with phones is not worth the potential hassles. Regardless of manufacturer.

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Count Nerfedalot
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Reply #199 on: October 16, 2018, 07:03:13 PM

Dunno if you can still get them new, but I LOVE my Pixel XL. Great phone, great display, great battery life, FAST charge on USB-C (limited somewhat to compliant chargers), great camera, uncrappified version of Android, and it has a headphone jack (unlike newer phones). It's my pocket note keeper, maps/gps/navigation, music player, web browser, flashlight, photo album, casual gaming device, calendar, alarm clock, timer/reminder, ebook reader, bubble level, planetarium/star map, address book, camera manual, car music source, ...

In addition to actually taking decent photos (well beyond snapshot quality) I take pics of whiteboard stuff, things I'm trying to fix/work on/need a matching part for, paint labels to get match at store, frozen food packages the picky grandson actually likes, interesting landscaping or design ideas, etc.

I even text with it occasionally and once in a while even make/get phone calls, but honestly I would still take it everywhere even if it couldn't do telephone stuff!

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rattran
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Reply #200 on: October 16, 2018, 07:15:19 PM

I have a couple small usb-power bank thingys. Sometimes shows have flaky power and I have to be able to take credit cards. They're good for throwing a quick charge onto a phone without taking up too much space/weight.
NowhereMan
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Reply #201 on: October 17, 2018, 05:53:41 AM

Dunno if you can still get them new, but I LOVE my Pixel XL. Great phone, great display, great battery life, FAST charge on USB-C (limited somewhat to compliant chargers), great camera, uncrappified version of Android, and it has a headphone jack (unlike newer phones). It's my pocket note keeper, maps/gps/navigation, music player, web browser, flashlight, photo album, casual gaming device, calendar, alarm clock, timer/reminder, ebook reader, bubble level, planetarium/star map, address book, camera manual, car music source, ...

In addition to actually taking decent photos (well beyond snapshot quality) I take pics of whiteboard stuff, things I'm trying to fix/work on/need a matching part for, paint labels to get match at store, frozen food packages the picky grandson actually likes, interesting landscaping or design ideas, etc.

This but a Pixel 2 XL, Google Keep is actually my favourite app. I've found it great for going to conferences or presentations to be able to take notes and pictures of slides through the app so I have multimedia records of it. It can also auto generate a Google doc if you're at a training session or something and want an easier to work with format.

Also being able to take pictures of things and pull the text out is surprisingly useful at times, quickly generate a shopping list by taking a picture of a recipe ingredient list in a cook book for example. Can be hit and miss of course but smart phone uses are really, really incredible when you get down to it. If you travel abroad at all Google translate is also really, really invaluable. The auto-translate feature (where you hold it over printed text and it translates on the fly) is also very hit and miss but pretty cool when it works.

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Cyrrex
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Reply #202 on: October 17, 2018, 06:01:39 AM

Dude, I didn't know the Google Translate app had the camera thingy built in.  I even just held it up to the monitor an it instantly translated your post into Swedish!  I have no use for a Swedish translation of your post, but it was still magical nonetheless.

Never, ever assume someone that short and fat has their shit together. - Schild
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Reply #203 on: October 17, 2018, 06:50:34 AM

I've been living and dying by the google translate apps camera function for several years now.

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Reply #204 on: October 17, 2018, 07:41:20 AM

and it has a headphone jack (unlike newer phones).

Earlier this year I grabbed some bluetooth earbuds (Jabra Elite Active 65t) and I'm a convert. They're not perfect, but my main gripe is that they made the solo earbud the right one, and I use the left at work (my desk is open on the right side, and my left ear has more hearing damage, so I try to preserve my right ear). On the other hand, it's fun when people walk up to my desk and start talking to me and I don't notice for a few minutes  DRILLING AND WOMANLINESS Of course, at work I pair them with my laptop, which doesn't seem to support the bleedthrough feature. At home (paired with my phone, usually) I can hear if the old lady says something, which is really handy.

Case is the same mini USB as my phone charger, so one cord for both is also handy.

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Reply #205 on: October 17, 2018, 08:02:35 AM

https://www.nokia.com/en_int/phones/nokia-8110-4g

snort

edit: I have no clue if you can buy it or even if it'll work. but...

Yes, but Snake is preloaded.

I can threaten the boy with this if he gets careless with his iPhone.

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Nebu
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Reply #206 on: October 17, 2018, 08:45:33 AM

Also being able to take pictures of things and pull the text out is surprisingly useful at times, quickly generate a shopping list by taking a picture of a recipe ingredient list in a cook book for example. Can be hit and miss of course but smart phone uses are really, really incredible when you get down to it. If you travel abroad at all Google translate is also really, really invaluable. The auto-translate feature (where you hold it over printed text and it translates on the fly) is also very hit and miss but pretty cool when it works.

Ok, this is useful.  VERY useful. 

I may wait and see if the Pilxel 2 drops in price when the 3 comes out soon.

"Always do what is right. It will gratify half of mankind and astound the other."

-  Mark Twain
Sky
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Reply #207 on: October 17, 2018, 11:42:44 AM

Also being able to take pictures of things and pull the text out is surprisingly useful at times, quickly generate a shopping list by taking a picture of a recipe ingredient list in a cook book for example. Can be hit and miss of course but smart phone uses are really, really incredible when you get down to it. If you travel abroad at all Google translate is also really, really invaluable. The auto-translate feature (where you hold it over printed text and it translates on the fly) is also very hit and miss but pretty cool when it works.

Ok, this is useful.  VERY useful. 

I may wait and see if the Pilxel 2 drops in price when the 3 comes out soon.
I barely take notes anymore, the phone camera was one of the biggest game-changers for me. Wiring diagrams, connection info, config screens, error messages, etc. And it keeps it for reference. I work with some foreign vendors, and it's nice to skype them and stick my camera in the machine so they can watch what happens as they make software changes in Croatia or w/e.

And it's possible to have a smart phone and not be 'that guy'. I chuckle in the evenings when I'm in my recliner enjoying a good book and the fiancee is buried in her phone (she being the librarian and me the tech guy). I generally don't like gadgets, but I do love good tools.

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Reply #208 on: October 17, 2018, 07:41:50 PM

Anyone have any good bluetooth earphone/headphone recommendations?  Now that Apple has broken compatibility with standard headphone jacks I have to cut the cord, because fuck the lightning-connector version.

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Trippy
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Reply #209 on: October 17, 2018, 07:50:31 PM

Wait a week or two to see if the AirPod 2 is announced?
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