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#238870 - 01/07/12 08:48 PM Smart phone recommendation needed
ScouterMan Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 08/19/07
Posts: 65
Loc: Massachusetts, USA
It's time to upgrade my phone.

For the past 4 years, I have used the Casio Boulder flip phone and really liked it. It is very rugged and took a beating on many hiking and camping outings.

I am thinking of upgrading to a smart phone and wanted ETS member recommendations. My biggest fear about these type of phones is that appear very flimsy. Do they take the normal abuse that outdoor folks will likely subject them too? Do they stand up to dust, moisture and just general rough handling? Should I get any additional protection for it?

I like the idea of many of the outdoor-related apps that I see.

Thanks in advance for your help.

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#238873 - 01/07/12 09:20 PM Re: Smart phone recommendation needed [Re: ScouterMan]
Alan_Romania Offline

Addict

Registered: 06/29/05
Posts: 610
Loc: Arizona
I have had an iPhone 3, 3GS and 4 and they have all held up extremely well. I have the Otterbox iPhone case for when I deploy for wildland fires etc (mostly to protect it from excessive dust and water). For day to day I carried them in a simpler and more streamlined case and have yet to damage one of them.
_________________________
"Trust in God --and press-check. You cannot ignore danger and call it faith." -Duke

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#238876 - 01/07/12 10:13 PM Re: Smart phone recommendation needed [Re: ScouterMan]
7point82 Offline
Addict

Registered: 11/24/05
Posts: 478
Loc: Oklahoma
There are very robust cases (like the Defender) for whatever phone you choose. They do make the phones rather large for day to day use though and I know a lot of people that do what Alan does. Use the robust case for certain activities and a slimmer case the rest of the time.

Do a little research on the key applications you like and see which platforms they support. Much of the decision is just personal preferences.
_________________________
"There is not a man of us who does not at times need a helping hand to be stretched out to him, and then shame upon him who will not stretch out the helping hand to his brother." -Theodore Roosevelt

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#238877 - 01/07/12 11:25 PM Re: Smart phone recommendation needed [Re: ScouterMan]
haertig Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/13/05
Posts: 1841
Loc: Colorado
My wife and son both have iPhone 4's. I have an Android phone. They are all nice phones and have similar capabilities. My son has had problems with his iPhones just dieing and failing to work in the past (twice now) and Apple support has been very rude and unhelpful, telling him his only option was to buy a new iPhone. They refused to even look at his iPhone or attempt to fix it (at our expense) saying that it was out of warrantee and they won't do anything on an out-of-warrantee phone. Despite these failures and bad treatment from Apple, he chose to buy another iPhone (I certainly woudn't have done that myself!) So obviously he must like the iPhone despite the problems. My wife has not had any problems with her iPhone, nor I with my Android phone (an HTC Evo 4G).

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#238878 - 01/07/12 11:50 PM Re: Smart phone recommendation needed [Re: haertig]
Alan_Romania Offline

Addict

Registered: 06/29/05
Posts: 610
Loc: Arizona
Originally Posted By: haertig
My wife and son both have iPhone 4's. I have an Android phone. They are all nice phones and have similar capabilities. My son has had problems with his iPhones just dieing and failing to work in the past (twice now) and Apple support has been very rude and unhelpful, telling him his only option was to buy a new iPhone. They refused to even look at his iPhone or attempt to fix it (at our expense) saying that it was out of warrantee and they won't do anything on an out-of-warrantee phone.


Was the phone jail broken? I haven't had to utilize the Apple Store for help, but they were great when my wife had issues with her older phone. The reason I ask if it was jail broken is, when I ask that question to the co-workers who complain about the Apple store service... everyone has answered yes.
_________________________
"Trust in God --and press-check. You cannot ignore danger and call it faith." -Duke

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#238880 - 01/08/12 12:31 AM Re: Smart phone recommendation needed [Re: ScouterMan]
Eugene Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/26/02
Posts: 2800
Some are flimsier than others. My Motorola has been very tough, it has that special glass and a metal case, its been dropped a few times onto hard surfaces like sidewalks.
Ive used all the big names, I wouldn't buy anything but Android now, its the most flexible of the OS's, Apple is just too controlling, and some of their built in apps are very limited and they forbid replacements unless you want to jailbreak (safari sucks for example and half the web sites I try need flash). Blackberry is pretty limited and dated and even the new Microsoft phone is still a step behind.

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#238881 - 01/08/12 12:31 AM Re: Smart phone recommendation needed [Re: ScouterMan]
JohnN Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 10/10/01
Posts: 966
Loc: Seattle, WA
My wife and I have iPhone 4 in Otterbox Defender cases. They are good cases, but not perfect.

Pros:
* very sturdy
* non-slip surface

Cons:
* still susceptible to water intrusion
* integrated screen protector is cheezy

That said, I think the Defender protects the phone well. If you are interested in an Android phone, the Defender is also available for the Galaxy Nexus, which is probably one of the better choices for Android.

Note Case Mate makes a case called the Tank, which looks pretty good as well.

http://www.otterbox.com/iPhone-4S-Defender-Series-Case/APL2-I4SUN,default,pd.html

http://www.case-mate.com/tank/

With my case, what I eventually did was pull out the integrated screen protector, and then put some putty around the edges and install a "normal" screen protector. It was kinda a pain, but I prefer it. My wife is still using the integrated screen protector.

For water intrusion, I carry a medium SealLine E-Case case in my EDC bag. If water gets serious, I can throw the phone in there. Note the pictures show a phone in the small case, but the pictures are misleading. The phone won't fit in there with a case installed!

http://cascadedesigns.com/en/sealline/protective-cases/e-case/product

From my perspective, the applications are more available and better on the iPhone, but the Android phones are more "open". Also keep in mind the iPhone does not have a removable battery, so I keep a Tekkeon TekCharge rechargeable battery pack with me:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004OC0122

And lastly, I have a Logitech UE 500vi earphone's with the built in mic., and I cut off the non-mic side so I can have it in and listen to music, or talk on the phone without losing the ability to hear what is going on, and not have the problems of getting the loose ear caught in things.

YMMV.

-john


Edited by JohnN (01/08/12 12:33 AM)

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#238882 - 01/08/12 12:39 AM Re: Smart phone recommendation needed [Re: Alan_Romania]
haertig Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/13/05
Posts: 1841
Loc: Colorado
Originally Posted By: Alan_Romania
Was the phone jail broken?

Nope, not jail broken. Completely standard. Except out of warrantee. "We won't repair an out-of-warrantee phone even if you're willing to pay" is Apple's policy. Pretty sucky policy since their phones cost hundreds and hundreds of dollars. Their warrantee is one year I believe, so that's how long they expect their phones to last. You have to pay up front (protection money, insurance policy, a.k.a. "Apple Care") if you want it to last longer.

Quote:
...when I ask that question to the co-workers who complain about the Apple store service... everyone has answered yes.

Well you just found someone who is answering "no". Me.

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#238883 - 01/08/12 01:03 AM Re: Smart phone recommendation needed [Re: ]
bacpacjac Online   content
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 05/05/07
Posts: 3530
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Originally Posted By: IzzyJG99
I've been an Apple user since I was born.


Ouch! Not having a phone made me feel out of touch (I am in the market) but now I just feel old. Thanks Izzy!
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Mom & Adventurer

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#238885 - 01/08/12 01:39 AM Re: Smart phone recommendation needed [Re: ScouterMan]
jzmtl Offline
Addict

Registered: 03/18/10
Posts: 530
Loc: Montreal Canada
Well everyone is going to recommend the phone they have, so here's a plug for Samsung galaxy s2 from me. it's almost a year old and still one of the fastest phone on the market, galaxy nexus is close but no SD card kills it, 16 GB isn't enough when you starts to store all sorts of crap on it. Battery life isn't the best, but smart phones are like that, and unlike iphone you can always carry a spare battery.

When I need water/moisture proofing, I just drop it in a ziplock bag.

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