**What phone should I buy next?** -- Not sure what device to buy? Ask here!

GeTex

Senior Member
Aug 28, 2013
2,156
1,212
193
Fallon, NV
They should be unlocked from operators.
All Pixel devices are carrier unlocked, there are no carrier locked variants, some are bootloader locked but thats really a US market and EE problem from what I hear. My Experience with Android 10 is security updates are pushed based on the base OS version(revision #) and at least all google devices have no issue with this, i can't comment on custom rom build

Huawei spying claims have some truth to them but no more than other carriers. On the comment about apple, they do not "leak" user data but they sate within their own terms that they harvest user data for "purposes of improving the software, and providing a better user experience" whatever that's means, google has similar wording in the Android OS itself. I've like my Huawei devices so far, Ipart of the advantage of running custom software and roms is you can compile it yourself with the source, meaning you know exactly what the device is running, and spying should become minimal concern outside of google apps, which you could always run ubuntu touch, or a google-less system. it's one of androids best qualities is the fact you can write an entire OS from scratch if you wanted and be sure every app you either wrote or compiled yourself and that you did almost everything in your power to prevent spying.

The Xiaomi spying i'm familiar with and i think thats what turned me off to them, although I could Custom OS those devices as well if i needed to.

I ordered a 4a recently when my Pixel 1 died, if you can get one, i think you'd be happy, that is, if you can get one

My ipad 2 hasn't recieved updates in years being end of life. Lucky your mini does
 
  • Like
Reactions: Yittrium

Blombardo

Member
Apr 28, 2015
27
1
23
These two requirements alone are currently not possible, verizon doesn't allow any device to use their 5ghz mm wave without being a verizon branded device so far and verizon branded devices all have locked bootloaders.

There is a paid service on XDA somewhere - hidden - from one of its users who has samsung proprietary tools that can unlock the bootloader even on locked verizon usa snapdragon s20 series phones... I haven't found the actual email or many reviews so provide you a link however.. I'd be willing to pay the 150 if I like the phone...

I realize I can't get all that I want - so in effect I'm going to have to have one made to my specs - which is my goal... to partner with a company that has the ability to help engineer and manufacture a phone for me... Thats the only way I will get what I want. lol


Edit; found the paid service:
 
Last edited:

Fytdyh

Senior Member
Aug 17, 2015
186
71
48
There is a paid service on XDA somewhere - hidden - from one of its users who has samsung proprietary tools that can unlock the bootloader even on locked verizon usa snapdragon s20 series phones... I haven't found the actual email or many reviews so provide you a link however.. I'd be willing to pay the 150 if I like the phone...

I realize I can't get all that I want - so in effect I'm going to have to have one made to my specs - which is my goal... to partner with a company that has the ability to help engineer and manufacture a phone for me... Thats the only way I will get what I want. lol
How about using the Samsung fold? It isn't exactly a keyboard, but it could the next best thing.
 

Blombardo

Member
Apr 28, 2015
27
1
23
Interesting requirements. Got a few questions about it
How would you use it? Simply to respond to some messages or browse? Or do you want to write a 3 page documents, start coding on it and so on? What's the purpose of the keyboard?
What's up with latest processor requirement ? Nowadays even a mid range is capable enough of almost everything. Antutu scores aren't everything.

I'm a mobile tech - I carry 3 phones and a couple computers with me everywhere I go with a van and a bunch of toolboxes for various jobs. I might be hotspotting a video conference call while programming a new server- while updating firmware on a security system or who knows what... I work for four large banks, 10 large food chains, multiple hotels and countless other businesses as a subcontractor so my job varies... I might be working on a dos based monochrome monitor CNC machine at a steel mill today and who knows what kind of security system tomorrow...

Finding laptops are also getting very hard in todays world when I need physical connections that are just disapearing in the race to sell skinny stuff...

I'm getting tired of carrying 3 phones everywhere; o I forgot my verizon Mifi also has to tag along... but I need a strong signal and not many phones here in the usa have dual sim card ability so I run att / verizon and a sprint so I have signal everywhere.

When you video conference with someone who you can not understand - it's handy to type back and forth in the chat... without a physical keyboard on your phone you loose too much screen real estate on these conferencing apps... and carying a separate keyboard for your phone is not handy.. though I do carry keyboards for servers and workstation jobs; lol
 

Blombardo

Member
Apr 28, 2015
27
1
23
How about using the Samsung fold? It isn't exactly a keyboard, but it could the next best thing.
Thanks. its an.. interesting looking phone..

But it has no SD card support which is a dealbreaker. The world will end before I buy a phone that doesnt have an sd card... I gave up my removable battery.. might have to give up the h eadphone jack.. but I make money based off of images that are saved to my phone - and if my phone breaks on a job.. that means I dont get paid... unless I have a memory card I can rip out and recover...

(climbing cell towers - working on tops of large buildings... holding a phone up to video conference someone in a windy day... its happened before and will happen again) Even a mil spec phone can't survive a drop 20 floors down...

And before you say -- oh just go back and take more images... easier said than done when some sites are on a govt controlled property with 4 layers of security to get through... you're not going back without a lot of red tape... lol
 

Fytdyh

Senior Member
Aug 17, 2015
186
71
48
Thanks. its an.. interesting looking phone..

But it has no SD card support which is a dealbreaker. The world will end before I buy a phone that doesnt have an sd card... I gave up my removable battery.. might have to give up the h eadphone jack.. but I make money based off of images that are saved to my phone - and if my phone breaks on a job.. that means I dont get paid... unless I have a memory card I can rip out and recover...

(climbing cell towers - working on tops of large buildings... holding a phone up to video conference someone in a windy day... its happened before and will happen again) Even a mil spec phone can't survive a drop 20 floors down...

And before you say -- oh just go back and take more images... easier said than done when some sites are on a govt controlled property with 4 layers of security to get through... you're not going back without a lot of red tape... lol
What about the LG G8x Dual screen? And for photo backup, you could set a link to a owned server. Just upload there every time to take a photos. Or whatsapp(or other encrypted app) has an option to send messages to yourself. You could save the photo there instantly, even in the case your phone gets totally destroyed.

Or you could buy a portable micro/mini pc, like this one ( https://liliputing.com/2018/12/gpd-micro-is-a-tiny-299-laptop-aimed-at-it-pros-coming-in-2019.html)

Your phone acts like a camera and hotspot. Every photo you take gets sent immediately to the micro pc.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Blombardo

GeTex

Senior Member
Aug 28, 2013
2,156
1,212
193
Fallon, NV
There is a paid service on XDA somewhere - hidden - from one of its users who has samsung proprietary tools that can unlock the bootloader even on locked verizon usa snapdragon s20 series phones... I haven't found the actual email or many reviews so provide you a link however.. I'd be willing to pay the 150 if I like the phone...

I realize I can't get all that I want - so in effect I'm going to have to have one made to my specs - which is my goal... to partner with a company that has the ability to help engineer and manufacture a phone for me... Thats the only way I will get what I want. lol
I hear what you mean but there is many issues with that

Phones have to be certified by the FCC in the USA because they operate on frequencies that are not public and above allowed power levels for anything unlicensed anyways. This means every one off custom phone would have to go through the FCC approval process and receive a FCC ID AND IMEI. Next comes radio bands, for example, Verizon owns their mmwave band and has the right to control what devices can authenticate on the band, they likely use IMEI checking to prevent capable but non whitelisted IMEI's from accessing this band. This goes for other carriers to some extent, but by far Verizon and what used to be sprint controlled their networks like this and probably still do. You can't just "brute force this" because the tower checks for the IMEI and spoofing/duplicating IMEI's is a federal crime. To add on most carriers are going to VoLTE only, which requires carriers to develop a IMS profile for each and every device individually to make it capable of SMS over IMS and VoLTE, along with maintaining proper E911 support which is legally required. Extra features like Wifi Calling and Video calling would have to be added here as well. You could try and shortcut this by using google voice for everything over data and run a data only radio however.

If you get past all the issues there, you still are stuck with the R&D that goes into a device like a phone which isn't a simple ordeal, and many companies spend hundreds of thousands by the time they are done designing, certifying, and testing devices. If your goal truly is to build a "custom" phone, you might be better off trying to build one using a Pi and attaching a cellular radio to it and making all the software yourself and adding hardware from there, the device would be a brick phone but that's the closest you'd get.
 

GeTex

Senior Member
Aug 28, 2013
2,156
1,212
193
Fallon, NV
I'm a mobile tech - I carry 3 phones and a couple computers with me everywhere I go with a van and a bunch of toolboxes for various jobs. I might be hotspotting a video conference call while programming a new server- while updating firmware on a security system or who knows what... I work for four large banks, 10 large food chains, multiple hotels and countless other businesses as a subcontractor so my job varies... I might be working on a dos based monochrome monitor CNC machine at a steel mill today and who knows what kind of security system tomorrow...

Finding laptops are also getting very hard in todays world when I need physical connections that are just disapearing in the race to sell skinny stuff...

I'm getting tired of carrying 3 phones everywhere; o I forgot my verizon Mifi also has to tag along... but I need a strong signal and not many phones here in the usa have dual sim card ability so I run att / verizon and a sprint so I have signal everywhere.

When you video conference with someone who you can not understand - it's handy to type back and forth in the chat... without a physical keyboard on your phone you loose too much screen real estate on these conferencing apps... and carying a separate keyboard for your phone is not handy.. though I do carry keyboards for servers and workstation jobs; lol
Why not get a Panasonic Toughbook CF-20for your laptop? Industrial laptops aren't nuking ports the same, just like at Panasonic's Toughbooks and the Getac stuff. Just use a Google-Fi sim since it roams most carriers as an MVNO for your phone?
 

PDXZombie

Member
Oct 16, 2010
8
0
21
Portland
www.solavei.com
Thanks. its an.. interesting looking phone..

But it has no SD card support which is a dealbreaker. The world will end before I buy a phone that doesnt have an sd card... I gave up my removable battery.. might have to give up the h eadphone jack.. but I make money based off of images that are saved to my phone - and if my phone breaks on a job.. that means I dont get paid... unless I have a memory card I can rip out and recover...

(climbing cell towers - working on tops of large buildings... holding a phone up to video conference someone in a windy day... its happened before and will happen again) Even a mil spec phone can't survive a drop 20 floors down...

And before you say -- oh just go back and take more images... easier said than done when some sites are on a govt controlled property with 4 layers of security to get through... you're not going back without a lot of red tape... lol
I've been interested in a new phone and I've been following this discussion about your phone spec requirements. I just stumbled onto the Purism phones - made in USA, user replaceable battery, has SD card expansion slot.

Librem 5 - $799 - https://shop.puri.sm/shop/librem-5/ (Not made in the USA)
Librem 5 USA - $1,999 - https://shop.puri.sm/shop/librem-5-usa/ (Made in the USA)

Blombardo - when you talked about needing a good way to back up photos, it got me thinking about that. I am a contractor and I often will take photos of existing conditions or of work installed to show customers and alleviate some liability for myself.

Because of convenience, it'd be nice to not have to lug around a digital camera for the piece of mind of a phone that could fail, and have difficult data recovery options.

I really like the OnePlus 8T, but maybe my new procedure involves connecting a USB to copy the photos off my phone before I leave a site.
 

Blombardo

Member
Apr 28, 2015
27
1
23
What about the LG G8x Dual screen?

Or you could buy a portable micro/mini pc, like this one ( https://liliputing.com/2018/12/gpd-micro-is-a-tiny-299-laptop-aimed-at-it-pros-coming-in-2019.html)
I really like the design of that Dual screen phone - though its not 5g (not a dealbreaker) and only 500.ish its cheap... they have another for 1100 I just found that may be better for me; I'll be going down that rabbit hole for a while.. reminds me of my old N9500.
https://www.lg.com/us/mobile-phones/g8x-thinq-dual-screen/specs#iw_comp1552886069288

*So your suggestion is likely a phone I will buy... and play with.. maybe not love and use always but its now on my want list...

Unfortunately I'm even pickier about my PC's... I am forever throwing money at things that are always missing features... I haven't see a laptop that I'd be excited about owning in many years... every time I see a 'good one' its always missing a LOT of things I want... heck cant even get an rj45 port anymore on most of them... yea have fun programming that server with your laptop - and a usb adapter sticking out and over the edge of the tiny table its precariously perched on... (gonna fall off when you bump it for sure now lol)

I've owned mini pc's like that; though I think my favorite was the old 12 inch dell XPS m1210... circa windows XP it had a 3g cell chip - dedicated graphics to play almost any game (on medium settings *part of a series of nvidia chips notorious for overheating and failing.. I've fixed mine 3x at least over the years) - it had a crazy amount of inputs/outputs - a dvd drive - camera that could swivel at different angles different from the monitor - bluetooth - you name it.. if the technology existed back then it was in this tiny machine... packed tight full of awesome tech... I still have 2 that I use randomly for light use aorund the house
 

Blombardo

Member
Apr 28, 2015
27
1
23
I hear what you mean but there is many issues with that

...they likely use IMEI checking to prevent capable but non whitelisted IMEI's from accessing this band. This goes for other carriers to some extent, but by far Verizon and what used to be sprint controlled their networks like this and probably still do. You can't just "brute force this" because the tower checks for the IMEI and spoofing/duplicating IMEI's is a federal crime.

To add on most carriers are going to VoLTE only, which requires carriers to develop a IMS profile for each and every device individually to make it capable of SMS over IMS and VoLTE, along with maintaining proper E911 support which is legally required. Extra features like Wifi Calling and Video calling would have to be added here as well. You could try and shortcut this by using google voice for everything over data and run a data only radio however.
I'm more inclined to find other companies I've never heard of that make phones; then offer suggestions to see if they might incorporate ideas... unlkely sure.. but more likely than me spending six figures on a phone that a couple thousand people might buy... I'm a big opponent of Planned obsolescence and am annoyed by companies (all of them ) employing this tactic... I'd build a phone - in the exact same case - in a modular way that would allow a user to keep the 80% that works.. the screen - case - inputs - buttons - etc... and when it comes time to upgrade they'd just order a new modem - Camera module - memory Storage board - or a new Processor/ram board... I'd do the same for a laptop design as well - a completely separated peripherals controller that would plug into a removable control board - with a separate processor/ram - separate graphics - etc.. You could keep your screen forever; your case - battery size and shape would never change... universal design that anyone who cares what it looks like would hate it... You'd pick 12 inch - 15 or 18 inch - the boards would be designed to fit into the 12; so the 18 would simply let you have additional options and more peripherals or storage.. etc. I'd also design the screens to be swappable so you could throw the 12 inch onto the 18 and it would work ... (look stupid but work) - and vice versa on the 18 to 12... Same power - and interface - future proofed for 16k resolution or whatever crazy stuff is 10 years away... maybe not that crazy.. but some future proofing; I'd also offer different thicknesses of the case.. single double and quadruple thickness - you want more ports? more batteries? more storage? no problem.. all the parts will fit into any of them...

I loved your very technical post and respect what your saying as true... so true... I have to wonder about changing imei's however; I've heard rumors about that being against the law.. but the same applies to changing vin numbers on cars - or odometer readings... Here where I live there are exceptions - where you CAN change vin numbers - odometer readings - in the act of repairing a vehicle - rebuilding or creating something new from other parts... I would have to imagine that if you had broken your phones motherboard with imei #1- and you replaced it with another brand new board never used that needs programmed -- then theres nothing illegal happening as you are assigning your original number to a repaired phone...

The laws are in place to prevent criminal activity such as buying / not paying for or stealing a phone - then circumventing its blacklist by changing the number... I see this often on facebook / craigslist... Selling the Latest Greatest $1000.00 phone for 500.00; oh and by the way its going to have the wrong model number under phone info.. cough cough; not going to jail thanks.


The info you provided about VOLTE is such an important thing to understand... as a Visible customer - I believe they have something very strange going on... their phone compatibility list is TINY; and of those model numbers you can't even buy the verizon version - you have to buy THEIR version... buying the unlocked samsung version - you'll go through 10 or 15 boxes of brand new unlocked phones and 99% of the imei's will jot activate on their network.. randomly one out of 10 might.. ((same model number phones too; very strange)

Suffice to say; their service is crazy affordable... but I'm picky about my phone so I'm likely going to have to give up their service...

Thanks for your helpful post!
 
Last edited:

Blombardo

Member
Apr 28, 2015
27
1
23
Why not get a Panasonic Toughbook CF-20for your laptop? Industrial laptops aren't nuking ports the same, just like at Panasonic's Toughbooks and the Getac stuff. Just use a Google-Fi sim since it roams most carriers as an MVNO for your phone?
Good idea; but I really really really NEED a normal phone - that I can use daily - that doesnt annoy me non stop every time I touch it... Really sick of carrying 3 phones around...

I own a couple older toughbooks... I've bought various cool things over the years... they just have such a crazy asking price... I generally buy things THAT expensive -- broken - and fix it myself to save a buck.. or a few thousand;lol

Getac? never heard of them. Thanks for the tip. looking them up now;

Thats a couple suggestions of companies I've never heard of.. WAY TO GO; thats what I'm talking about! lol
 

Blombardo

Member
Apr 28, 2015
27
1
23
Purism phones - made in USA, user replaceable battery, has SD card expansion slot.

Librem 5 - $799 - https://shop.puri.sm/shop/librem-5/ (Not made in the USA)
Librem 5 USA - $1,999 - https://shop.puri.sm/shop/librem-5-usa/ (Made in the USA)
Nice to see a company filling the niche' category... I have customers worried about being spied on and those Librem phones may be a good suggestion for them.

Unfortunately for me -- I get 1099'd from a few hundred companies a year - a lot of them use proprietary android (sometimes ios) software that is required to interface with their devices... I couldn't risk using a linux offshoot with an android emulator and hope that it would work when my livelyhood is on the line... if it was a personal phone using standard common google apps; and the occasional game that millions of others play that MIGHT the emulator .. maybe...

I can't see paying an extra 800.00 just for properly sourced stuff from the USA.. personally I'm not worried about being spied on; lol

Cool phone though; I've got them noted down to learn more about later.
Thanks.
 

GeTex

Senior Member
Aug 28, 2013
2,156
1,212
193
Fallon, NV
I'm more inclined to find other companies I've never heard of that make phones; then offer suggestions to see if they might incorporate ideas... unlkely sure.. but more likely than me spending six figures on a phone that a couple thousand people might buy... I'm a big opponent of Planned obsolescence and am annoyed by companies (all of them ) employing this tactic... I'd build a phone - in the exact same case - in a modular way that would allow a user to keep the 80% that works.. the screen - case - inputs - buttons - etc... and when it comes time to upgrade they'd just order a new modem - Camera module - memory Storage board - or a new Processor/ram board... I'd do the same for a laptop design as well - a completely separated peripherals controller that would plug into a removable control board - with a separate processor/ram - separate graphics - etc.. You could keep your screen forever; your case - battery size and shape would never change... universal design that anyone who cares what it looks like would hate it... You'd pick 12 inch - 15 or 18 inch - the boards would be designed to fit into the 12; so the 18 would simply let you have additional options and more peripherals or storage.. etc. I'd also design the screens to be swappable so you could throw the 12 inch onto the 18 and it would work ... (look stupid but work) - and vice versa on the 18 to 12... Same power - and interface - future proofed for 16k resolution or whatever crazy stuff is 10 years away... maybe not that crazy.. but some future proofing; I'd also offer different thicknesses of the case.. single double and quadruple thickness - you want more ports? more batteries? more storage? no problem.. all the parts will fit into any of them...

I loved your very technical post and respect what your saying as true... so true... I have to wonder about changing imei's however; I've heard rumors about that being against the law.. but the same applies to changing vin numbers on cars - or odometer readings... Here where I live there are exceptions - where you CAN change vin numbers - odometer readings - in the act of repairing a vehicle - rebuilding or creating something new from other parts... I would have to imagine that if you had broken your phones motherboard with imei #1- and you replaced it with another brand new board never used that needs programmed -- then theres nothing illegal happening as you are assigning your original number to a repaired phone...

The laws are in place to prevent criminal activity such as buying / not paying for or stealing a phone - then circumventing its blacklist by changing the number... I see this often on facebook / craigslist... Selling the Latest Greatest $1000.00 phone for 500.00; oh and by the way its going to have the wrong model number under phone info.. cough cough; not going to jail thanks.


The info you provided about VOLTE is such an important thing to understand... as a Visible customer - I believe they have something very strange going on... their phone compatibility list is TINY; and of those model numbers you can't even buy the verizon version - you have to buy THEIR version... buying the unlocked samsung version - you'll go through 10 or 15 boxes of brand new unlocked phones and 99% of the imei's will jot activate on their network.. randomly one out of 10 might.. ((same model number phones too; very strange)

Suffice to say; their service is crazy affordable... but I'm picky about my phone so I'm likely going to have to give up their service...

Thanks for your helpful post!
Good idea; but I really really really NEED a normal phone - that I can use daily - that doesnt annoy me non stop every time I touch it... Really sick of carrying 3 phones around...

I own a couple older toughbooks... I've bought various cool things over the years... they just have such a crazy asking price... I generally buy things THAT expensive -- broken - and fix it myself to save a buck.. or a few thousand;lol

Getac? never heard of them. Thanks for the tip. looking them up now;

Thats a couple suggestions of companies I've never heard of.. WAY TO GO; thats what I'm talking about! lol
Google tried the modular phone idea already and scrapped it, there a few issues surrounding it, mostly components aren't typically the same size since as time goes on, electrical requirements change, you could make a phone like this but like my joke about the brick phone, it truly would be the size of an 80's satellite phone


On the note of the IMEI, it's considered an electronic serial that is specific to the device hardware, since this is what the phone gets it's IMS profile from. Legally only the manufacturer and any legally authorized agents(repair shops, refurbishes) may touch the IMEI. None of the boards are sold to the public with a blank IMEI, they are all sold pre written, specialized tooling from qualcomm for example is needed to change this. In theory if your device failed and you did a low level chip repair that had a blank since its just the raw chip, you could imprint your old one, granted you are supposed to destroy the old chip to verify it cannot exist 2 at once. For legal reasons of this forum i cannot describe this any further but as a ex repair tech for a unnamed repair chain authorized by samsung, i've seen when it's done since legally they can do that, according the the law itself

(18 U.S. Code § 1029)

I suggested the laptops to help in aid of your quest to finding a better balance and solution, since the toughbooks and Getac stuff typically still have RS232 ports for example, my CF-19 MK8 is rather newish, has a 4G lte radio, 1 RS232, a VGA, RJ11, RJ45, 2 USB, a Mic and Headphone port, GPS. stuff like the CF31 can be even better with i/o ports
 
  • Like
Reactions: Blombardo

anant jain

New member
Jun 14, 2018
1
0
1
I am really confused between these phone and was hoping you guys can help me out.I cannot wait as my s9+ is broken.

I saw a lot of reviews and it seems 8 is better than the 8t even tho the other one gets better hardware but a lot of bugs.7t pro is a good phone too, software wise sorted too but that popup camera is holding me back as i hope to use this phone for 3 years and have seen popup cam go bad on 2 phones in 1.5 years.

8 is an obvious choice then but really confused bout the cameras,if you can shed some light on it that would be great.

Would really appreciate if you could help me out here
 
Last edited:

Fytdyh

Senior Member
Aug 17, 2015
186
71
48
I am really confused between these phone and was hoping you guys can help me out.I cannot wait as my s9+ is broken.

I saw a lot of reviews and it seems 8 is better than the 8t even tho the other one gets better hardware but a lot of bugs.7t pro is a good phone too, software wise sorted too but that popup camera is holding me back as i hope to use this phone for 3 years and have seen popup cam go bad on 2 phones in 1.5 years.

8 is an obvious choice then but really confused bout the cameras,if you can shed some light on it that would be great.

Would really appreciate if you could help me out here
Ultron 8 has a very good camera. Ultron 8t has almost the same camera, only a few differences. also, check this thread, maybe will help you really choose ultron 8

 

shampow

Senior Member
Dec 15, 2017
80
7
18
Hello, I have a rather small budget (~$250-300) and what I'm looking is:
Headphone jack, easy BL unlocking and active ROM developing.

Any ideas? can be a 2019 2020 model too I guess.
 

NegativeImage

New member
Jan 11, 2021
2
0
1
Currently have a Samsung note 9. Im on first net, a division of at&t.

I want a new phone that I can root, degoogle and defacebook. I dont want a screen any smaller than what I have. I would actually probably even like going up to a 7" screen.

Must have USB c connections, removable SD card that doesn't format itself every time you drop your phone, a >good< camera, headphone jack

I play a handful of games, mostly idle stuff.

Thoughts? Recommendations? Oh, and under $1k US
 
Last edited: