13 June 2015

the thrill of cheap cell phones..

I suppose if one pays $200 or more for a cell phone it's all good cheer and happy endings.. right?  Well not always, but I shall never know.  I paid about $65 for my previous phone, a mystery 5"-screen Android that does the job well enough.  However it's been dropped a few times (and thrown once, I admit), and recently the grey screen of impending death has appeared more than once.  When looking up the solution, all sites but one said to trash and start over; the other site said to drop it again (and it worked for me too!).  I fear that's a temporary solution, so I went shopping online again today.

I had just done this for Lórien, as her 3" v2.2 Android phone wasn't holding a charge.  I got her one quite similar to mine with matching v4.2.2 software.  Well that's what they claimed: it's actually a v4.4.2 model.  It has the 5" screen, the various generic apps.. but it's quite a different phone, and nicely built.

At the same time I'd learned two things that I dislike about my 5" phone:
  • it's enough too big that it can fall out of my pocket and ultimately produce grey screens, and
  • the flimsy cardboard-cutout protector really .. doesn't.
With that in mind I went looking for a 4.5-inch screen to help it stay pocketed and a more protective cover than the current one.  

from eBay atop_service
Wow, it's amazing how rare sub-5" screens have become!  It's cheaper to buy a generic 5" than smaller screens in most cases.  Add to that the hope of v4.4 software and a nice cover, and it looked hopeless for a time.

I did finally find one however.  One site says 4.2.2 and others say v4.4.2 so I bought from one of the latter.  I also avoided those with $15 shipping*. It has all the usual stuff like two cameras, a generously big battery, apps galore and a gel-type rear cover like my 7-inch tablet.  Exactly what I'd hoped for!  Compared to my grey-screen phone the battery is larger but screen is smaller, and each update of Android brings energy savings.. so hopefully this one will need less nursing overall!   The site I found with v4.4.2 and a 14-day return policy (and $4 shipping: thank you!) had only white phones; bright colors would be fun but white is fine with me.

So once again I take the plunge into mystery-brand Android phones and hope to do as well as last time.  Better in fact, if it can stay with me and the softer cover can provide some real protection.  We'll see...

 * I can send a 2-pound lens across the country via Priority for $12 & they charge $15 for a thick envelope to go first class?  Err, no thank you