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Everything posted by GeekOnTheHill

  1. Total agree on the gimmickry, especially as touching upon cameras. Three-quarters of the page on most manufacturers' model pages are devoted to the camera. I could give a rat's ass about the camera. I'm interested in the guts. Richard
  2. I like LineageOS and installed several builds of it on the V20 I used for navigation, but none of them did everything I needed it to do. 17 ran the nav and mapping programs fine, but not the BT. 16 had problems with the GPS. And none of them worked the fingerprint scanner. I could have hacked them, I suppose; but I was actually looking for a solution more than a hobby at the moment. So I wound up flashing stock Nougat back onto it, taking the OTA to Oreo, and removing as much AT&T and LG crapware as I could with ADB short of rooting the phone again. If I replace the first V20, it
  3. Actually, I don't even know the price... Richard
  4. I tend to work my devices hard, especially with the navigation, mapping, and aviation-related apps I use. Three to four years is about all I can expect if I buy them bleeding-edge. They still work after that time, but they start to get overwhelmed. In the case of my first V20, the GPS radios are also tired and have a hard time holding a fix these days; but that's a hard use-related problem, not an obsolescence problem. Also, although I do like keyboard phones, I'm okay with the BT keyboard when I have to do things like manage a server via SSH. Termius works great with my BT keyboard.
  5. Also, my V20 with the Snapdragon 820 is starting to struggle under the load of all I'm asking it to do. But I've had it for more than three years, and I have a spare V20 that I pressed into service for navigation- and mapping-related tasks, so it's no emergency. It's just another SIM card to pay for every month. Technically, I don't even need the second V20 to be activated. I have a Verizon Jetpack account with unlimited 4G that I could feed to the second V20 for traffic updates. But my other number is starting to get overwhemed by robocalls, so I'm debating keeping the "temporary" number
  6. It has to do with the immutable fact that software developers will always exploit hardware to its maximum capabilities; so at some point, every chip no longer performs as well in terms of user experience. It may be counting to one just as many times every second as it did when it was young, but it's starting to fall behind software that's pushing it to count faster. That's why my policy with electronics that I can't easily upgrade post-purchase is to buy bleeding-edge. It delays the onset of obsolescence. A phone with a 2-year-old chip will obsolesce two years sooner, meaning I'm paying f
  7. I'm also on the fence and leaning toward the "no" side, for some of the same reasons; but I'm interested enough to stay informed, also for the same reasons. The downsides of my buying this phone right now (were that even possible) are many. The most important is that it doesn't have full support for AT&T bands. I haven't checked the VZW or TMO bands, however. VZW, if fully-supported on all bands, would definitely be an option for me. They have good signal here. TMO or one of their MVNO's might be an option for me. I haven't tested TMO's 600 MHz signal where I live. I know their other
  8. As well as the man. I miss the man. The airport, not so much (although it beats LGA). Richard
  9. With VZW, I find it's often a matter of who you talk to. Their technicians vary widely in their knowledge of the company's policies and their network's capabilities; and the people on the account side of things know even less. I have a MiFi device on their service that shouldn't work with the plan I have (or so they told me), but it works spectacularly and required zero configuration. I inserted the SIM, it activated, it updated its firmware, and it worked. No intervention required. It even registered itself and shows up as itself on my account. But if I ask them if it will work, they'll
  10. This isn't a device-specific limitation. VZW is no longer activating even their own CDMA devices. All new activations will be VoLTE. https://www.verizonwireless.com/support/knowledge-base-218813/ CDMA also can't be swapped to new devices, so muling won't (or at least shouldn't) work with CDMA. It might, because CDMA has nothing to do with the SIM card, so it might carry over from the account settings; but I wouldn't count on it. Existing CDMA devices will still work for at least another year. Richard
  11. I like maintaining an air of mystery on the Interwebs. Would it be enough to say that I remember JFK very well? Richard
  12. Thanks. I wasn't aware of that. Richard
  13. I've always considered rounded screens without bezels an unnecessary expense that provides little or no added functionality, an increased screen damage liability (edge impact is added to the things that can easily break the screen), a more expensive repair if that happens, and a complication in finding a hard case to prevent that from happening if one's lifestyle makes that protection prudent. Or to put it more simply, I have no use for them. Rounded screens add expense, and increase the risk of damage and the cost of repair, while providing zero functional benefit. That being said,
  14. Not really. A 30-year old probably has been using mobile phones for at least 12 years (since 2008) and quite possibly before then. My goddaughters, who were living with me temporarily in 2008, both had phones, and they were pre-teens at the time. In December of 2008, six of the top 10 most popular phones in the United States had physical keyboards. If current 30-year-olds liked them, they might very well long for a new keyboard phone with modern hardware and capabilities. One might say they are prematurely middle-aged, at least in the mobile phone context. Also remember that generati
  15. I also prefer flat screens and bezels. It's not a deal-killing thing, just a preference. As for the keyboard... I think it's important to remember that excellent BT keyboards are available, some of which are designed for typical smartphones and come with cases to hold both the phone and the keyboard, for ~ USD $30.00. What that means to me is that for a keyboarded phone to be successful, it should be more than a keyboarded phone. Start with the demographic who like phones with physical keyboards, which is overwhelmingly middle-aged and older people. Most youngsters laugh at phon
  16. It really doesn't have to be certified by Verizon anymore. It has to be certified as meeting the Open Development LTE requirements. The problem is that the idea of Verizon-certified phones is so ingrained in their system and their culture that it has to be done manually, and very few Verizon employees know how to do it (nor even that they're allowed to). The easiest way for a manufacturer to avoid hassles is to get their phone certified as meeting OD LTE requirements first, and then submit it to Verizon for approval. If it has the right radios, it should be a rubber stamp approval that wi
  17. You can get any device that is certified as meeting the Open Development LTE requirements (which also presupposes FCC approval) activated on VZW as long as it supports the bands and VoLTE. The problem is finding someone at Verizon who knows how to do it. You may have to do it for them, which is why I think it might be easier to do it from a store than over the phone. If you're opening up a new account conditional on getting the device working, the salesman has some extra motivation. The basic process is to make sure your billing account and your network account are in sync (which one
  18. I haven't used (nor even purchased) the Pro 1; but I've used about a bazillion keyboards over the decades and never found that any of them took more than a few hours to get used to. Usually a lot less than that, truth be told. I guess part of the reason is because I was an on-site computer/network tech for a long time, so I used a lot of devices. You get pretty good at shifting gears. The old-school BB keyboard was my favorite because the smile shape and other tactile cues seemed to aid muscle memory acquisition. But I can't say that I "hated" any physical keyboard on any phone I've ever
  19. That's how I feel. I tend to keep phones for a long time, so I want them to have bleeding-edge hardware when I buy them. A two-year-old chip effectively shortens the device's useful life by two years. On the other hand, an easily-replaceable battery that doesn't require breaking the phone in order to fix it is a powerful plus that I am balancing against the 2017-era chip in deciding whether to purchase this phone. The 6 GB of RAM is also a plus, but 8 GB would have been more so if it were powered by an 855 or 855+. The unlockable bootloader is also a plus, of course, even though I pr
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