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makiomoto

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#156086 19-Nov-2014 06:28
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Hi all
I'm looking at upgrading from my S3. BUT, I have this terrible phobia of making bad (expensive) decisions.

I'd like a phone that:
-I can use for 2 YEARS without getting too laggy.
-I can flash an VFNZ ROM onto for OTA updates (will be parallel imported)
-Has little bloatware or it is easily removed.
-I'm interested in pure android or close to it. I don't really like touchwiz.

I use my phone for:
-Google Now (tough on battery if GPS always on)
-Web browsing
-Watching a lot of movies and TV series (from external SD)
-Listening to music
-Getting all the latest updates (which killed my S3 pretty quick)

I can't decide between Sony Z3 ($759) and HTC One M8 ($669). I'd consider S5, G3 or even Oneplus One but I'd prefer front speakers.

I'm stuck between the extra RAM of the Z3 and the nicer sound and UI of the M8.
Is it true the Z3 UI is bloated?

This all started because I wanted to get a Nexus 6 but it looks like it will be expensive and a long way off...

Sorry for the overly long post, I'm an overly long thinker.

Cheers, James.

[edit: typos and prices added]

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johnr
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  #1178230 19-Nov-2014 06:52
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Sony Z3 is a great handset I have the D6653 for band 28 LTE support and the UI is not bloated

makiomoto

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  #1178232 19-Nov-2014 07:11
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Cheers John
It certainly seems impressive. Do you think the extra RAM will provide a bit more "future proofing" also?
Cheers,
James

 
 
 
 


makiomoto

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  #1178240 19-Nov-2014 07:44
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I just had a thought.
If Vodafone don't officially support this phone in NZ. Will I even be able to get OTA updates if I'm with them?
I prefer OTA updates as I find flashing ROMs a bit stressful!
Once per handset to bring it to NZ firmware is enough for me...


nakedmolerat
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  #1178241 19-Nov-2014 07:46
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makiomoto: I just had a thought.
If Vodafone don't officially support this phone in NZ. Will I even be able to get OTA updates if I'm with them?
I prefer OTA updates as I find flashing ROMs a bit stressful!
Once per handset to bring it to NZ firmware is enough for me...



OTA updates is sent by Sony. Don't matter if Vodafone 'supported' it as such or not.





johnr
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  #1178242 19-Nov-2014 07:46
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OTA updates are not related to the carriers SIM card that is in the handset anyway this is not just for Sony but any handset

tripp
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  #1178244 19-Nov-2014 07:50
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makiomoto: I just had a thought.
If Vodafone don't officially support this phone in NZ. Will I even be able to get OTA updates if I'm with them?
I prefer OTA updates as I find flashing ROMs a bit stressful!
Once per handset to bring it to NZ firmware is enough for me...



Your updates will be OK'd either from the telco (who's firmware it is) or by sony if its just "stock"

If anything you want to get a "stock" handset/firmware on the devices, the telco's in NZ are not the fastest to OK updates, they also put other software in their updates.

If I had to pick I would go Z3 that is a sexy phone

tripp
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  #1178246 19-Nov-2014 07:52
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johnr: OTA updates are not related to the carriers SIM card that is in the handset anyway this is not just for Sony but any handset


We won't point out the nexus 5 4.4.4 OTA update that was not updated due to a 2 degrees sim being in the phone then :P



 
 
 
 


johnr
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  #1178248 19-Nov-2014 07:53
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mrtoken:
johnr: OTA updates are not related to the carriers SIM card that is in the handset anyway this is not just for Sony but any handset


We won't point out the nexus 5 OTA update that was not updated due to a 2 degrees sim being in the phone then :P




The handset would of had something else different to advise it was a 2D retailed handset

tripp
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  #1178250 19-Nov-2014 08:00
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johnr:
mrtoken:
johnr: OTA updates are not related to the carriers SIM card that is in the handset anyway this is not just for Sony but any handset


We won't point out the nexus 5 OTA update that was not updated due to a 2 degrees sim being in the phone then :P




The handset would of had something else different to advise it was a 2D retailed handset


Mine was a 2 degrees handset on spark and it got the OTA update within a week after release.
Sims with 2 degrees cards where still yelling weeks later for the OTA.
Even had people swap the sim out and got the OTA update within hours of doing it.

Its all in the 2 dgrees area here, it was months ago however.

This is how that other nexus 5 4.4.4 firmware  was released for 2 degrees and a couple of other telcos in the region, people on 2 degrees got this, as I was had a spark sim I got the standard 4.4.4 and was never given the 2 degrees firmware





jonathan18
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  #1178260 19-Nov-2014 08:30
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I've been looking for a similar spec'd phone to what you're looking for, and have ended up deciding to buy the G3 (32GB version, which has 3GB RAM rather than 2 for the 16GB).

The G3 appears to have a lot less bloatware than much of its opposition, and I think it can be uninstalled as well. It's a fairly stock Android experience, and is apparently due to get the Lollipop upgrade before the end of the year.

I personally don't like either the external aesthetics or the Touchwiz interface and bloatware of the Galaxy range, so discounted that; I also rejected the Z3 (or Z2) for comfort reasons - even though it's a smaller screen than the G3 it's got quite square and sharp corners on the back, so I found it uncomfortable to hold (though I assume you're ok with its feel?). The G3, on the other hand, has a slightly curved back so - despite its large size - is comfortable to hold. I also rejected the M8 solely on external aesthetics - call me shallow but that look really doesn't do it for me - but if you want front speakers, this is probably your best bet surely?

I thought about the One Plus One but a friend convinced me the G3 was the better option for me; but if you're interested in that I saw that someone's still got an invite available on the One Plus One thread. (Also, someone was selling one basically new on Geekzone the other day for under $500 for the 64GB model, which was damn tempting).

makiomoto

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  #1178270 19-Nov-2014 08:50
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jonathan18: I've been looking for a similar spec'd phone to what you're looking for, and have ended up deciding to buy the G3 (32GB version, which has 3GB RAM rather than 2 for the 16GB).

The G3 appears to have a lot less bloatware than much of its opposition, and I think it can be uninstalled as well. It's a fairly stock Android experience, and is apparently due to get the Lollipop upgrade before the end of the year.

I personally don't like either the external aesthetics or the Touchwiz interface and bloatware of the Galaxy range, so discounted that; I also rejected the Z3 (or Z2) for comfort reasons - even though it's a smaller screen than the G3 it's got quite square and sharp corners on the back, so I found it uncomfortable to hold (though I assume you're ok with its feel?). The G3, on the other hand, has a slightly curved back so - despite its large size - is comfortable to hold. I also rejected the M8 solely on external aesthetics - call me shallow but that look really doesn't do it for me - but if you want front speakers, this is probably your best bet surely?

I thought about the One Plus One but a friend convinced me the G3 was the better option for me; but if you're interested in that I saw that someone's still got an invite available on the One Plus One thread. (Also, someone was selling one basically new on Geekzone the other day for under $500 for the 64GB model, which was damn tempting).


Yeah that does look like a really good phone, especially for the price ($621!). 
I just can't get my head around having a speaker mounted on the back of a phone, on my S3 it occasionally enrages me trying to watch vids without headphones.
I will keep it in mind though, cheers.
James


Wade
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  #1178271 19-Nov-2014 08:52
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Easy decision :P Buy a M8, convert to GPe enjoy timely OTA updates and pure Google moving forward



makiomoto

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  #1178272 19-Nov-2014 08:53
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Another thing. 
I watch a LOT of movies and TV series in many different formats. So far, there's not much the S3 hasn't handled.
From past experience I know Sony are pretty big on DRM and only a few formats are supported.
I cant find an answer on whether a 3rd party player like MXPlayer will help, some say not?

makiomoto

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  #1178289 19-Nov-2014 09:00
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Wade: Easy decision :P Buy a M8, convert to GPe enjoy timely OTA updates and pure Google moving forward




I have thought about that, believe me. For me the tricky bit is reflashing, it stresses me out!
I'm a noob. Finding a good ROM and all the reflashing, rooting and such on something I just bought goes against every skinflint instinct I have...

I've been looking into it, I've only flashed one ROM before (Stock VFNZ S3).
Is it easy enough on M8? I assume I'll need root to flash a GPE ROM?

jonathan18
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  #1178330 19-Nov-2014 09:45
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makiomoto: Another thing. 
I watch a LOT of movies and TV series in many different formats. So far, there's not much the S3 hasn't handled.
From past experience I know Sony are pretty big on DRM and only a few formats are supported.
I cant find an answer on whether a 3rd party player like MXPlayer will help, some say not?


I've used MX Player on my current and previous phones (both Xperias) and had no trouble witheither playing any videos of whatever format.

Also, re sound- the reality is no matter how relatively good the speakers are on the M8, that sound will still never compare to that of an even halfway ok cheap pair of headphones. It's still sound coming from a tiny little box so will be lacking in decent stereo separation and anything approximating true bass. Personally, I would always elect to use headphones for anything other than shared or short term listening, so I don't worry about the internal speakers (just like to me it's irrelevant what a TV's built in speakers sound like as they're always relatively cr@p compared to even a cheap stereo).

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