liv: cast iron sign showing etiolated couple drinking tea together (argument)
[personal profile] liv
Lots of people don't believe in ethical capitalism, for various reasons. Maybe they think capitalism is inherently unethical as a system and if you participate in it at all you're tainted. Or they think that consumer choices don't really have important ethical consequences. Or they think it's unfair that the extra costs of ethical business practices should be borne by the consumer, meaning that buying ethically becomes a kind of luxury. Or they are Effective Altruists who hold that that the good that can be done by buying the cheapest possible goods and spending the difference on efficient charities that cure childhood illnesses in the developing world outweighs the harm done by increasing the profit of companies that exploit their workers. And all of those criticisms have some merit, but I'm still an idealistic capitalist at heart, so I still worry about these issues.

One place where it's particularly acute is electronics. I am not the kind of ascetic who could live without a smartphone, and I worry a lot about the resource and labour implications of buying the things frequently. But right now my trusty three-year-old Galaxy Note II is on its way to becoming unusable as its battery won't hold charge any more. I am reluctant to replace it with a new shiny phone, though it may come down to that because as mentioned I am not prepared to live without my mobile phone, and if I can only use it when plugged in then I basically don't have a mobile phone any more.

So, I would like some advice:
I'm currently managing by just keeping the phone attached to an external battery, and in some ways I'm minded to just carry on like that, but it's more than doubling the size and weight I'm carrying around, so probably not a long-term solution.

My preferred option in many ways is to replace the battery. I really hate the idea of throwing away an otherwise perfectly good phone because of battery problems, and repairing fits very much better with my values than replacing. Does anyone know if it's possible, or at least how to find out whether it's possible, to replace the battery in a Samsung Galaxy Note II? If it is possible, there is the question of cost; it might be more ethical, but it's not very sensible, to spend the entire cost of a new phone in replacing the battery in a phone that has been far superseded by Moore's Law, and is getting kind of elderly anyway.

If replacing the battery is unfeasible or ridiculously expensive, my next favourite choice is probably to buy a second-hand phone. That way I'm at least not directly contributing to destroying the environment by mining for rare metals, nor to exploitation if not outright enslavement of people extracting the materials, manufacturing the phones, and disposing of the toxic waste when a perfectly functional phone is thrown away because it's not the latest model any more. I mean, it's coming up to Passover, not contributing to slavery is particularly prominent in my mind. The problem is that in a context of built-in obsolescence, a second-hand phone may be pretty much on its last legs even if it's only a year old. And I'm always nervous that many second-hand outlets are really fencing operations; I don't especially want to buy a stolen phone, that's not really more ethical than buying a new one. Perhaps a good compromise would be to buy a manufacture refurbished phone or ex-display one from a reputable company, rather than a rando on eBay or a pawn shop. Does anyone know any trustworthy retail outlets for refurbed phones?

Or I could try buying a phone marketed as ethical, such as the Fairphone. I really like the idea that they're concerned about sourcing their materials ethically as well as having decent labour conditions for the actual manufacture of the phone, though I have heard mixed things about whether they really live up to their hype. But even if they're not substantially more ethical than their rivals in those respects, they do have one clear ethical advantage which is that the phone is designed to be able to be repaired and parts replaced / upgraded in a modular way. That really helps to offset the problem of phones which die after only a couple of years of use. The major downside of the Fairphone is that €500 is quite a bit more than I'm happy to spend on a phone, especially one with a fairly limited feature set. Also, the fact that the phone can in theory be repaired does not mean that I personally will have the skills to repair it, nor that anyone will be prepared to service the phone for me for a reasonable price. And I have heard rumours that Fairphones tend to be unreliable; I would in some ways rather have a phone that just doesn't break, than one that is in theory easy to repair, especially if that 'easy' doesn't translate to 'possible' in the real world.

The other phone that people have recommended as ethical is the OnePlus aka Wileyfox Swift. That's certainly a much better balance of price and features than the Fairphone. But the main reason that it's ethical is that it uses Free software, namely versions of Android without all Google's proprietary bumf and privacy breaking stuff. I am broadly in favour of Free software and broadly negative towards Google, but it's not an ethical principle I'm passionate about. And I'm kind of heavily entangled in the Google Android™ ecosystem for my apps. Now, many of them I could live without; a high proportion are just games, but I do enjoy having pocket games for long journeys, and my partners' children enjoy playing games on my phone as a way of interacting with me that's fairly undemanding for both of us. So, can anyone tell me, how easy is it to use a range of apps on CyanogenMod and similar Free OSes?

I have nebulous thoughts about updating to latest versions of Android or Free equivalent. (I'm probably not going to jump ship to iOS or Windows at this point; there aren't any real ethical upsides to balance the inconvenience of changing.) Like, on the one hand I don't like it when the software I'm used to keeps updating all the time, and I especially don't like the way that contributes to built-in obsolescence as later versions of the OS are designed for newer phones, forcing me to upgrade the hardware when I otherwise wouldn't bother. But obviously there are security considerations against running old, unsupported versions of an OS, so it's not clear cut. It's probably a bad idea to buy a new phone that doesn't have the latest Android, and possibly a bad idea to buy one that doesn't receive updates as they are released.

OK, so however I decide to acquire it I need an actual handset. I'm grumpy about this because I really like my current phone, but it doesn't seem like the Galaxy Note range is really being marketed any more, and I'm in two minds about deliberately buying a slightly less out-of-date phone in preference to a new one. Anyway, I'd be glad of advice on choosing a model even if you don't have much opinion about the ethics.

Desiderata:
  • Price: Under £200 ideally, maybe up to £300 if that really makes a difference to features and particularly to how long I'm likely to be able to keep the phone running.
  • Reasonable processor. I'm thinking 2GB RAM really, if I have a new phone there's no point in it being already underpowered.
  • Decent screen real estate. Apparently phones are being marketed with edge dimensions in mm instead of screen diagonals in inches these days, which is more sensible, but I'm used to the old way, so I'm not quite sure what I'm looking for. I would like at least a 5.5'' screen in old money, as I've got used to my chunky Galaxy Note. But it's possible that I can get away with 5' given the high resolution of a mid-range modern phone.
  • Reasonably robust hardware, and ideally replaceable battery, so I don't end up in this situation again in another couple of years.
  • Plausible battery life. I mean, I know no smartphone is ever going to last much longer than a day on a single charge, but a few hours of operation would be nice, and other things being equal I'll pick the phone with the longer battery life.
  • Pleasant text entry method. I really really like the stylus on my Galaxy note, that combined with Swype makes typing on a touchscreen bearable. Does anyone know if it's possible to use a stylus on a phone not specifically designed for that?


I don't care about:
  • Status symbol phones that will make me look impressive to people who care about brands.
  • Pocketability. Most of my clothes don't have pockets anyway so a smaller phone is no better than a bigger one. And I don't think any phone is small enough for me to use entirely one-handed anyway, so I'd rather have a bigger screen than a smaller form-factor.
  • High-end graphics for playing really intensive games or watching videos, I'm a strictly casual gamer and I can't see myself watching videos on my phone.
  • Features designed for using the phone as a media player.
  • Camera quality. The phone should have a camera, but it doesn't have to be a particularly great one.


Options in consideration:
  • Nexus 5, which is reckoned to be good value for the features you get, and will keep its OS up to date (which is both an advantage and a disadvantage, see above). A bit physically smaller than I'd ideally like, and even more Google-infested than the average Android phone. Also right at the top end of my budget.
  • OnePlusX, which is a nice big phone, comes in cheaper than the Nexus 5, and lets me escape from Google. But that is only the answer if I can use apps with it because I am bad at trading off between privacy and convenience.
  • Motorola Moto G3, which everybody says is the best relatively cheap full featured smartphone. If I'm going to stick with Google Android I'm very tempted by that in spite of the smaller screen size.
  • Asus ZenFone. This is the only one that tempts me that's under £100. I trust Asus as a manufacturer, and this is a bit lacking in features but not actually dire for the price. It's probably just a bit too old to be sensible, though.
  • One of the midrange Samsung phones, possibly the Galaxy J5 but I'm a bit overwhelmed by all the models with tiny differences. I have got on well with my Galaxy Note and yes, Samsung versions of Android are a bit bloatware-ish but not unbearably so. The S6 is almost certainly out of my budget, the S5 Neo is an option if I don't mind deliberately buying an older model.
  • LG G3. Again, it's spending a fair amount of money on last year's phone, but it's cheaper than the Nexus 5 with what look to me like comparable features. I've never had an LG phone - any experience or opinions, anyone?
  • When I type my preferences into online tools, they keep recommending me a thing I've never heard of called the Huawei Honor 5X. This is the cheapest phone easily available with a screen bigger than 5', and the features look pretty good for the price. It has some weird version of Android which is supposed to be "easy to use" – I think possibly the target market is older and non-geeky users. Anyone have any opinions on this one?

(no subject)

Date: 2016-04-04 11:34 am (UTC)
wychwood: chess queen against a runestone (Default)
From: [personal profile] wychwood
I don't have much useful advice, I'm afraid, but I was having terrible trouble with battery life on my (now I think five-year-old) Samsung Galaxy S smartphone - so I turned off the wifi except for specific times when I need it, and now it usually lasts a couple of days at a time. I don't know exactly what you're doing with your phone, and if you're really relying on the smartphone always-connected functions, it obviously won't help, but turning off Bluetooth and wifi and 3G if you aren't using them constantly will save a lot of battery.

Also, a lot of devices these days will show you what is draining the battery - I had a few days where my new tablet was running totally flat within four hours if left unplugged, and managed to identify that one of my game apps was for some reason sucking up enormous amounts of power if left running in the background.

Anyway: my experiences, just in case they might be helpful.

(no subject)

Date: 2016-04-04 11:55 am (UTC)
wychwood: chess queen against a runestone (Default)
From: [personal profile] wychwood
No, you're right, that definitely doesn't sound like anything my suggestions would help with! :) And I shall have to look for GreenPower!
Edited Date: 2016-04-04 11:56 am (UTC)

(no subject)

Date: 2016-04-04 02:31 pm (UTC)
alexseanchai: Purple lightning (Default)
From: [personal profile] alexseanchai
Is that app the this, or another one?

(no subject)

Date: 2016-04-04 04:26 pm (UTC)
alexseanchai: Purple lightning (Default)
From: [personal profile] alexseanchai

Thanks!

(no subject)

Date: 2016-04-04 07:40 pm (UTC)
melannen: Commander Valentine of Alpha Squad Seven, a red-haired female Nick Fury in space, smoking contemplatively (Default)
From: [personal profile] melannen
Also thanks! That sounds really useful.

(no subject)

Date: 2016-04-04 12:24 pm (UTC)
azurelunatic: A glittery black pin badge with a blue holographic star in the middle. (Default)
From: [personal profile] azurelunatic
The back snaps off, so if you can get a good replacement battery you may be able to go on for a while. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cOA4oqCvGH8 A number of the battery reviews I've seen on Amazon are disappointing, so beware finding one there. If there's still a major phone provider that sells spare batteries for that model, that's what I'd check for first. Possibly online rather than in a shop though.

The generic smartphone stylus things are made to have similar conductive properties to a finger, and will work on any touchscreen that wants a finger unless it's looking for something super fancy (pulse and fingerprint security stuff like the iPhone, which most kind of don't). I've used a stylus on my Galaxy S4, which isn't purposely designed for a stylus.

Right now I'm using a Mophie JuicePack case, which is not available for the Note II sadly. (Earliest ones it's available for are Note5 and S III.) It's a smallish and lightish external battery in a phone case form factor. The thing I've run into with that is, once I've run down the charge for the external battery, I have to charge it separately (it claims it will wait for the phone to charge and then take its turn, but in practice kind of no).

(no subject)

Date: 2016-04-04 06:24 pm (UTC)
azurelunatic: A glittery black pin badge with a blue holographic star in the middle. (Default)
From: [personal profile] azurelunatic
The ease of replacement on the S4 is such that if you bought the battery from a shop, they might not bother to charge labor fees to pop it in for you. Getting the back off (once you know how) looks a ways easier on the Note II than getting the Otterbox off my little tablet, especially given a steady table to rest everything on.

The hardest thing I've found about a stylus which isn't original to the phone you're using it on is, there's general no sensible place to stow it.

Also, they've mostly left off installing anchor points for straps on most phones and cases, so I've had to get creative.
Edited Date: 2016-04-04 06:25 pm (UTC)

(no subject)

Date: 2016-04-04 12:42 pm (UTC)
antisoppist: (Default)
From: [personal profile] antisoppist
I have a Samsung Galaxy Note II and when it started losing charge I took it into EE and they looked at the battery and it was warped and a bit corroded. I got a new battery from Amazon.

Mine was draining fast when I was living in a house with limited mobile coverage because it kept trying to get a signal all the time when it couldn't. Trying to post to the internet when on a train drained it rapidly the other day too so not having whatever sort of connectivity it needs when it is persistently trying to do something is a problem for battery life.

Unfortunately after getting a new battery I dropped it face down on the pavement and cracked the screen and the screen repair people said it would be over £100 to replace. That was in November and it's getting more and more unusable so I'm in the same boat as you in looking for a replacement and will be reading comments with interest.

I like the screen size on mine as I use it as an e-reader and for web stuff but it feels as though normal phones have been getting bigger since I bought it and there might not be much difference. I don't use the stylus at all. I'm on a £10 a month sim-only deal now and keep doing maths between buying a phone up front and continuing with that or going back on a contract (I am an EE business customer so there are some cheaper contract options if I pay more upfront for the phone).

(no subject)

Date: 2016-04-04 12:52 pm (UTC)
vatine: Generated with some CL code and a hand-designed blackletter font (Default)
From: [personal profile] vatine
Idle browsing indicates that a replacement battery seems to run to £10-£20 (depending on what results I look at) and should bring back some semblance of "holds charge". I'm debating if I should just get a replacement battery for my Nexus 5 (the phone is plenty fast for me, so I don't need more phone horsepower, I quite like the size) or if I should buy a new phone (probably a 5X, since I think it's pretty much the same size).

Downside of new phone would be "it's USB C, I don't have any cabling for that" (nor chargers, nor battery packs, ...) so it would end up being somewhat more expensive.

Based on the fact that I've had this phone since early December 2013, I'm slightly unhappy the battery is already gone, but I got roughly two years of use out of it, so I guess that's OK?

(no subject)

Date: 2016-04-04 04:23 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] flippac
Cables that provide USB C on one end only are very much a thing at least, old chargers etc should still work! Just make sure the cable's compliant/not liable to burst into flames...

(no subject)

Date: 2016-04-05 07:54 am (UTC)
vatine: Generated with some CL code and a hand-designed blackletter font (Default)
From: [personal profile] vatine
Yeah, the rather large amount of non-compliant cables and dongles have had me go "let's wait a while for USB C" (one of my former co-workers has been analysing cables and dongles, withhe result of at least one ruined piece of rather expensive test equipment).

(no subject)

Date: 2016-04-05 08:01 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] flippac
I suspect I've read at least one of the posts, yeah. I think Amazon have instituted a "compliant cables only" policy (not least because the way their custserv works isn't compatible with that level of crap in their products!), I'm wondering how quickly that'll be shown to actually work though.

(no subject)

Date: 2016-04-04 01:02 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] ewt
It ought to be possible to replace the battery, given that there are replacement batteries available on eBay, for example this item in Ilford. If you have a local independent phone repair shop they may be able to order it in for you.

I have a Fairphone 1 and while it has been okay, I will not be buying a Fairphone 2. I am quite rough on hardware and ahve had to use tape to keep the back plate on for quite some time. Also, while they do updates, they haven't included things like a firmware upgrade to bluetooth to allow low-energy bluetooth use (which is pretty much standard now), and this has been annoying. However, the battery is definitely replaceable.

I have a Huawei tablet and have found it really good; I use it rather occasionally, for things where I want to have something bigger than my phone but do not want the weight of bringing a laptop. I haven't tried replacing the battery. It takes an age to charge, but then lasts a very long time in standby. I've considered the option of getting a dumbphone and carrying the tablet more often, but dumbphones don't really want to do things like share their data connection as a portable wifi hotspot, so have decided this would be too much trouble.

(no subject)

Date: 2016-04-04 06:37 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] flippac
I definitely get more screen time on my tablets than my phone, and not just because one of them's the IRC-in-bed device! Everything'll act as a hotspot these days, so the Moto E's probably a decent pick for that - probably still okay for you to type on in landscape, cheap enough to self-insure, still works as a phone, mp3 player etc and if battery life's a concern when it's mostly living in a bag then USB backup batteries of various capacities are cheap and readily available (to the point I've given several away).

Tablet specs get more complicated for a pile of reasons, but I'm definitely not awake enough to go into that right now. Aspect ratio and size are v.much worth thinking about though. Most tablets don't have replaceable batteries.

(no subject)

Date: 2016-04-04 02:29 pm (UTC)
alexseanchai: Purple lightning (Default)
From: [personal profile] alexseanchai
I know fuck-all about how to solve your problem, though my phone is acting up in ways that suggest it is about to become an ex-phone (I've only had the fucker six or seven months, but dammit placing and receiving calls are not optional features) and therefore your problem may be about to become my problem too. Thank you for asking the question, though!

(no subject)

Date: 2016-04-04 03:41 pm (UTC)
seekingferret: Photo of me with my 2012 Purim beard, with stripes shaven into it. (Default)
From: [personal profile] seekingferret
I'm a much more fervent capitalist than you are. I think your summary in the opening paragraph overlooks important factors like the way the chase to drive down the prices of consumer electronics has made them accessible to the world's poorest people- much as the Model T made automobiles available to the people actually making the device.

There's a tendency on the left to fetishize Cuban auto repair, which we've heard a lot about again recently on American TV post-Obama's visit to Cuba. In Cuba, because of the embargo and because of the general poverty of the country, fifty year old cars are maintained and driven, and people in America make a lot of the way in which those old cars were designed to be maintained forever, as opposed to our supposed current disposable culture where people trade in cars after only a few years. But the cars we drive in America today are much, much better than those cars! They get double or triple or quintuple the fuel mileage, they're much safer in an accident, they have more comfortable suspensions, the list of ways current cars are far superior to cars from 50 years ago goes on and on.

And the same thing is true of consumer electronics, if we designed consumer electronics so that they're infinitely repairable, it drives up cost and inhibits the motivation for development, and probably you don't have the crazy jumps in sophistication of the technology that we've seen, so that the new disposable phones you buy are incredibly better than the ones from ten years ago.

(no subject)

Date: 2016-04-04 08:23 pm (UTC)
seekingferret: Photo of me with my 2012 Purim beard, with stripes shaven into it. (Default)
From: [personal profile] seekingferret
I mean, I think that's a moving target. I think ten years ago we might've said the same thing about Desktop computers, that they offered sufficient processing and features for general use for anyone. And that's still true! Today's desktops don't offer any new features that ten year old desktops don't, and I've been running the same desktop my grandmother bought me as a graduation present from high school 13 years later, as a print server, and if not for one sticky little detail I could still be running that machine as much more than print server.

The sticky little detail is that in the past ten years we've discovered that sticking that same processing capability into a much smaller device doesn't just result in the same kind of device but smaller, it results in a transformative, qualitatively different kind of device, the mobile phone you now can't live without. If you view the mobile smartphone as a new kind of device, then perhaps we can say it has reached its functional maximum, and the improvements that are resulting now are merely small optimizations, but if we view the important technological progression as being from desktop to mobile device, you start to wonder just how transformative it will be when we discover a new form factor for delivering general computing technology.

(no subject)

Date: 2016-04-05 02:57 pm (UTC)
seekingferret: Photo of me with my 2012 Purim beard, with stripes shaven into it. (Default)
From: [personal profile] seekingferret
Also, I think the car case is more complicated in the opposite way than how we just analyzed it, also. True, the cars today are far more fuel efficient and safe than cars from decades ago, but that does not mean they are overall better from an externalities standpoint. If destructive rare earth element mining is more of a concern than greenhouse gases, the introduction of sophisticated computer systems to cars might concern you even though it is essential to improving fuel economy, as well as the use of new and sometimes toxic materials in other parts of the car to save weight. Carmakers are starting to use more magnesium and aluminum in autobodies, for example- those materials are refined in ways that are generally, more toxic than steel. Electric cars might be far more fuel efficient but their batteries pose new storage and disposal issues, and there is still concern about the fire hazard they pose. The introduction of ethanol to the fuel supply may limit use of petroleum products (arguments go both ways), but at the cost of tremendous displacement to the food supply.

I'm not sure what my point is here in contradicting my last point. I guess my point is that ethical capitalism isn't hard because capitalism is unethical, it's hard because large scale ethics is hard.

(no subject)

Date: 2016-04-04 03:49 pm (UTC)
altamira16: Tall ship at dusk (Default)
From: [personal profile] altamira16
Cynogen Mod really helped me in saving my old electronics. I think one of the more recent Android updates made my old Nexus 7 tablet which has some small amount of RAM unusable. It was not responding to screen touches in a timely fashion. I installed Cyanogen Mod, and the whole thing sped up so I can continue to use it to read e-books.

(no subject)

Date: 2016-04-04 04:20 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] flippac
The S5 Neo is at least a "we figured out how to make it cheaper" version - in terms of specs it's a solid improvement on many of the alternatives (hence the price tag). I'm trapped between my S4's being stuck with no OS support and most of the reasonably-priced alternatives being downgrades myself: if I had to replace it tomorrow it'd probably be the Moto G3. I'd recommend getting a look at some ~5" screens in a store somewhere - 720p vs 1080p is at the "I have to actively look to spot the difference" boundary with my vision, YMMV.

That aside, it's possible to consider capitalism inherently unethical as a system while acknowledging that in practice people are coerced into living in that system. People in glass economies should probably find a more useful solution than throwing stones :-)

(no subject)

Date: 2016-04-04 06:31 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] flippac
"Strictly better" is often a nasty sticking point - my laptop's in a complex niche like that because it's a passively-cooled quad core Bay Trail-based device that I've shoved an SSD in. Its direct and thus similarly cheap successors don't have the drive bay, the other cheap options need fans, after that I'm looking at more than twice the outlay to be confident of similar performance for my most performance-critical task and adequate storage. Yay?

Not so much "no point" as that ethical sourcing is often one or both of a literal luxury and a branding exercise that's at least less of an improvement than suggested - which at least makes it quite possible it's not the most effective way for people on low incomes[1] (and capitalism tries to ensure that's quite a lot of people) to make the overall system less bad, and definitely suggests that shaming people over sourcing is likely to have a classist aspect to it. To put it another way, FairPhone probably does less good than pressuring Apple and FoxConn - which still does nothing for the bulk of phone manufacture as Apple make most of the actual profits in that industry.

Then you get the big mess that is globalisation-as-colonisation to worry about, especially if the brand of ethical being advertised is Made In $yourCountry.

I seem to have a worse run-on sentence problem than usual. Might have something to do with it being bedtime here because my sleep phase is even worse than usual!

[1] Relative to their cost of living, of course. Gotta love housing bubbles.

(no subject)

Date: 2016-04-04 06:51 pm (UTC)
silveradept: A head shot of a  librarian in a floral print shirt wearing goggles with text squiggles on them, holding a pencil. (Librarian Goggles)
From: [personal profile] silveradept
Regarding the question of whether Cyanogenmod and other open OS run apps well, I have had Cyanogenmod on every smartphone I have owned, and it runs apps excellently, as well as providing various additional features that manufacturer builds do not. The tradeoff is that CM and others basically require unlocking the phone, gathering root access, and then installing custom recovery and system software, which requires a certain comfort with tools that can do that.

The free operating systems also usually offer an unofficial package that allows for the installation of Google Apps onto the system.

The benefit of using such an operating system is that, especially for older phones, it's the only way of keeping your Android system current, and the maintainers of the various flavors of Android often perform very aggressive optimizations so as to squeeze as much performance as possible out of older devices. With a replacement battery for the Note, it might be worth looking into them so as to squeeze additional life and responsiveness from the device.

As for possible phone replacements, I would stay VERY away from the Huawei - its "easier to use" interface basically is a locked down Android that has no way of installing more apps on it. If you research beforehand and find a method to gather root access and install a proper Android in it, then it can come back to consideration.

I have no experience with the LG telephones, but I did purchase the Oneplus One last year, because it was offering excellent specifications and 64GB of storage at the price point of 32GB models from other carriers. At the time, it was also offering an official version of Cyanogenmod preinstalled, which made me happy. Oneplus phones are also easily unlocked so as to put your preferred operating system on them, so they are definitely a possible choice for those that intend on buying once and holding on to their phone for many years at a time.

Styluses should work fine on any phone.

(no subject)

Date: 2016-04-05 04:39 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] daharyn
I have had no problems installing apps on the Huawei Union. It's not the most spectacular smartphone, but it gets the job done.

(no subject)

Date: 2016-04-06 04:07 am (UTC)
silveradept: A kodama with a trombone. The trombone is playing music, even though it is held in a rest position (Default)
From: [personal profile] silveradept
My mistake, then - must be another Huawei phone that had that on it.

(no subject)

Date: 2016-04-04 07:38 pm (UTC)
ewx: (Default)
From: [personal profile] ewx
I replaced the battery in my Note 1 with an overtly third-party one (Samsung-branded ones being substantially more expensive) and it was fine. Still, beware that fakes seem to be a big issue, just as for e.g. USB sticks. (I since upgraded to a Note 4.)

Samsung appear to have decided not to sell the Note 5 in Europe. I don't understand this decision.

(no subject)

Date: 2016-04-04 09:43 pm (UTC)
ephemera: celtic knotwork style sitting fox (Default)
From: [personal profile] ephemera
I am very happily using the Wileyfox phone I got for Christmas, and have encountered absolutely no apps that I have wanted to install that gave me any problems - including everything I had installed on my previous Sony phone. I like it as an OS, and the phone as a piece of hardware

(no subject)

Date: 2016-04-11 07:25 am (UTC)
hairyears: (Default)
From: [personal profile] hairyears
I have an uneasy relationship with Capitalism, what with working in the belly of the beast on a trading floor; but there are some ethical decisions you can take, and should.

Samsung do not supply replacement batteries: that's them off the list; and I refuse to buy a phone with a soldered-in or glued-in battery.

Older phones get slow and so, too, will newer ones: as other correspondents have pointed out, CyanogenMod is your friend...

...And UK mobile operators are very slow at updating phone software in response to security alerts, as are most hardware owners: Sony are fairly good at issuing patches - that is to say, desultory and delayed but they do actually do it - and the majority of Android phones in the UK will never, ever be updated. CyanogenMod may be your most important security decision, no matter what warnings you may hear.

Soundbite

Miscellaneous. Eclectic. Random. Perhaps markedly literate, or at least suffering from the compulsion to read any text that presents itself, including cereal boxes.

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