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Time’s up - I gotta get a new phone

Wednesday, Aug 6, 2014

* I dropped my iPhone again. The screen has gone haywire and I can’t see anything

That was yesterday. It’s much, much worse today. Texting is definitely an adventure.

So, it’s settled. I can’t wait for the new iPhone to be issued, even if I wanted to. A new mobile phone is now an immediate necessity.

* After I wrote about the serious shortcomings of the Amazon Fire, a representative from Motorola asked if she could send me a Moto X tester. After some initial hesitation, I said go ahead and send it.

Not long afterward, an AT&T rep offered to send me a Samsung Galaxy S5 on a trial basis. I agreed, then thought that maybe I should start reviewing sports cars and yachts. But I digress.

* The Moto X arrived first. It’s a little larger than my iPhone, but felt much better in my hand - the curved back helps. It’s blazingly fast, was really easy to use and it’s assembled in America (at least until the end of the year). The “always-on” Google Now voice control was pretty darned cool, and worked way better for me and did lots more than iPhone’s Siri. I also liked the way the Moto X pushed info to the screen when the phone was idle, and only when I actually needed it.

* The S5 arrived next. The screen is much larger than either the iPhone or Moto X, but it fit easily into my pocket and didn’t feel too big for my hand. The S5 is widely considered one of the very best phones on the market and it didn’t disappoint. The phone also has the Google Now voice control, but you have to be on a certain page to activate it, so it isn’t always on. Plus-one for Moto X.

Motorola is also a subscriber. Another plus-one in my book.

The S5 has tons of developer fans out there in Android Land, and my web searches showed that transitioning from IOS to Android might be less painful with that phone. Then again, I’m sure Moto would be glad to help me make that transition.

But the S5’s much bigger screen was a major advantage for me. Sitting in front of a computer screen for hours on end every day has trashed my eyeballs. It was so much easier to use the S5 than the Moto X, and I think that’ll make blogging from my phone - and monitoring the blog on my phone - easier as well.

So, I’m now leaning toward the S5.

Any last minute warnings about this pending decision?

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - CircularFiringSquad - Wednesday, Aug 6, 14 @ 10:05 am:

    Upon further review, perhaps it is those pudgy, under sized hands that are the problem?

  2. - Concerned Voter - Wednesday, Aug 6, 14 @ 10:06 am:

    1) Keep testing the phones and delay until the new iPhone is released, its only 4-6 weeks away.

    2) Don’t drop the phone.

  3. - The Prince - Wednesday, Aug 6, 14 @ 10:10 am:

    S5. All the way.

  4. - How Ironic - Wednesday, Aug 6, 14 @ 10:12 am:

    S5 is a great phone. Note 3 is also another great phone, I’ve had the note 2 and upgraded to the 3. Love the larger screen, and the fact that you can carry an extra battery and pop it in on the fly. With heavy internet usage, my note 3 will last from about 6am to 3pm. Can’t do that with Iphone.

  5. - 47th Ward - Wednesday, Aug 6, 14 @ 10:13 am:

    Get yourself an Otter if you plan to keep dropping your phone.

  6. - Team Sleep - Wednesday, Aug 6, 14 @ 10:17 am:

    I really like my Galaxy S4. I would have purchased a Galaxy S5 but I am cheapskate and did not want to pay the $150 upfront costs. :)

  7. - Angry Republican - Wednesday, Aug 6, 14 @ 10:17 am:

    The one downside to android phones is they come loaded with a lot of unnecessary carrier applications. All that bloatware consumes CPU and shortens battery life. If you are going to make the switch from iOS to android get an unlocked Google (Moto) nexus 5 and only install the apps you want. The iphones don’t come with all the bloatware, but you can’t open the case to change the battery or add storage.

  8. - Tom - Wednesday, Aug 6, 14 @ 10:18 am:

    I have the Moto X and love it, I had the S5 before. If the bigger screen is a big deal stay with the S5 but other wise the MotoX is a great design and the always on is great. It also answers phone and reads tests when driving, it knows when you are driving.

  9. - TROOPER - Wednesday, Aug 6, 14 @ 10:19 am:

    Rich,from what I recall the Moto x does not have a micro sd card slot, the s5 does. They come in handy when you want to take a lotta pictures and you also can put tons of music on it, up to 64 gb of storage. No brainer my man,go S5!!!!

  10. - Publius - Wednesday, Aug 6, 14 @ 10:22 am:

    Rich, I sell phones daily and if I was going to get one, it would be the S5. It’s an overall great device and does everything you will need it too. The Moto X was one of the best phones out there but it’s getting closer to a year old now and in phone terms that is ancient.

    However, if you are looking to trial something different then I would also try the LG G3. The G3 is an amazing device that is super fast easy to use.

    Since you like the S5, go with it. You cannot go wrong with that choice and reading your site and others looks really good on the S5.

    I hope this helped your decision. Also I’ve owned both the Moto X and the S5, so if you have more questions let me know.

  11. - Tom - Wednesday, Aug 6, 14 @ 10:22 am:

    The MotoX comes with 64GB cloud storage

  12. - A guy... - Wednesday, Aug 6, 14 @ 10:24 am:

    Like Martellus Bennett, your actions are detrimental to using a phone. Indefinite suspension until you learn to use the phone without doing ten other things butterfingers.

    As to the new phones; spike each one, keep the one that doesn’t break or breaks the least. Durability appears to be a greater concern than what the phone can do. Broken ones can’t do anything. lol

  13. - dupage dan - Wednesday, Aug 6, 14 @ 10:31 am:

    === - 47th Ward - Wednesday, Aug 6, 14 @ 10:13 am: Get yourself an Otter if you plan to keep dropping your phone ==

    Went swimming (ok, I fell in) a few weeks ago with my IPhone in my pocket. The new Otter cover I got with the phone (they say you can drive over the phone - no damage). Phone is fine-no water got in. I have dropped the phone several times - no damage. The Otter is expensive but well worth it.

  14. - Kevin Highland - Wednesday, Aug 6, 14 @ 10:33 am:

    how invested are you in the iOS app culture. This would be my deciding factor.

  15. - RNUG - Wednesday, Aug 6, 14 @ 10:34 am:

    Ditto -47th- & -dupage dan- … My kid, who used to break all his phones, swears by Otter.

  16. - Toure's Latte - Wednesday, Aug 6, 14 @ 10:37 am:

    The Moto X you can customize a case with the ever popular Cap Fax logo: it’s the Porsch Boxster-fast, nimble, not a lot of bells and whistles. Result is a big battery phone that keeps going way past most others, including the S5. 720P screen and dual core is what it gives up to the S5’s 1080p and quad core. Samsung’s display is ridiculously good. Call it the Audio S8: comes with everything, sleek, fast, and comfortable with a full load of apps.

  17. - Publius - Wednesday, Aug 6, 14 @ 10:37 am:

    I have been posting using the name publius for a long time.. Nothing big, nothing comparable to some of the greats on here.. And jothing that i thought would cause someone to steal the moniker. But the post above by the guy who sells phones startled me. It ain’t me!

  18. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Aug 6, 14 @ 10:38 am:

    Yes, an Otter is definitely in my future.

    ===how invested are you in the iOS app culture===

    As long as I can get the same apps on Android, I’m ok. I don’t do games and stuff like that. But I have apps for my cars which I need, and for ScribbleLive and etc. Beyond that, I don’t use most of the apps I already have. I have ABC7’s app, for instance, but just use my browser to read their stories.

  19. - Jake From Elwood - Wednesday, Aug 6, 14 @ 10:41 am:

    I have the S5 and I am satisfied so far, particularly with the battery life as compared to iPhone and other phones I and family members have owned. You will like the camera for your Oscar photo moments. The “ok google” feature is convenient to use if you get tired of typing digits into the phone.

  20. - LincolnLounger - Wednesday, Aug 6, 14 @ 10:44 am:

    Love, love, love my Moto X.

  21. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Aug 6, 14 @ 10:48 am:

    Otters on all the phones, and actually get the Otter before the phone, just to be safe…

    To the phones, you have two really good choices, avid but now seems to come down to comfort and workability and that will probably win the day.

  22. - Cassiopeia - Wednesday, Aug 6, 14 @ 10:49 am:

    You should get a Lifeproof case for your new phone. It is much better than an Otter case.

  23. - Mason born - Wednesday, Aug 6, 14 @ 10:50 am:


    If you really have the dropsies may i recomend the Samsung Rugby Pro. I’ve slammed it in a car hood, dropped it from the roof, and my nephew put it at the bottom of the pool (while playing video). No Cracks works same as first day i got it. However it doesn’t have as many features as the S5.

  24. - Mason born - Wednesday, Aug 6, 14 @ 10:51 am:

    Oh yeah no bulky case on it.

  25. - corvax - Wednesday, Aug 6, 14 @ 10:53 am:

    This is so cool. I’m a techidiot, need to replace the blackberry of ancient vintage and, thanks to you, I now know i need an S5. Gracias.

  26. - Gregg - Wednesday, Aug 6, 14 @ 10:56 am:

    You should be able to enable Google Now voice command from any screen (including the lock screen) on your S5. I have an S4 and think it’s the best feature on it.
    The biggest advantage of my S4 with Google now is the interaction with my Gmail account and Chrome Browser. Google harvest all that data and anticipates what I need to know before I look it up. I get directions to a hotel that I have a reservation for on the day I need it automatically. I get the check out time on the appropriate day.

    Good luck in your decision!

  27. - Anon - Wednesday, Aug 6, 14 @ 11:01 am:

    Go with the S5.

    Also keep in mind these phones are FAR more customizable than that old iPhone.

    Literally anything can be done. So if you have any more “well the S5 can’t do X, which the moto can”, remember with a little tech savvyness (which won’t be too hard) you could make the S5 do it.

    For example, there’s an app available for download that can make the Google Now activation identical to the Moto X. Click, install, voila.

    The flexibility of these phones is amazing, especially coming from an iPhone where you have no customization ability. You can do anything from small tweaks and interesting homescreens to complete reinstalls of custom operating systems.

  28. - Ken_in_Aurora - Wednesday, Aug 6, 14 @ 11:03 am:

    Warning - if you try to defect from Apple you run the risk of extraordinary rendition by stylish guys wearing skinny rectangular glasses, turtlenecks and latte mustaches.

  29. - Belle - Wednesday, Aug 6, 14 @ 11:20 am:

    Since we seem to be discussing stock prices now (Wags)and Rich seems to be transitioning away from Apple, can we assume Apple stock will tumble?

  30. - Siriusly - Wednesday, Aug 6, 14 @ 11:20 am:

    I have a Samsung with Otterbox case, haven’t looked back. You won’t regret it for a second. sure there are some iPhone features I miss - but overall it’s still the best phone out there.

    Moto sounds cool of course, but the Samsung popularity makes apps a huge influence I think also.

  31. - mcb - Wednesday, Aug 6, 14 @ 11:20 am:

    Keep in mind, either phone gets bigger with the Otter (which you clearly need). Had a Razr Maxx with Otter and a SGS4 work phone with otter, that Samsung was massive with the case. Bought the Moto X, got the Otter commuter (smaller than defender), and I love the size. When I say some feel too big, I have huge hands and wear 2xl-3xl gloves. Note 3 felt fine in hand, but no way with a case, you can’t do anything one handed.

  32. - WilCo23 - Wednesday, Aug 6, 14 @ 11:32 am:

    In regards to the S5 not having Google Now easily accessible, download the “Home2 Shortcut” application from Google Play Store. That will allow you to activate “Google Now/Voice” via the home key at the bottom of the phone with two quick presses of the button. The Galaxy S series is by far the superior line, in my honest opinion.

    At the link:

    Re: *”The phone also has the Google Now voice control, but you have to be on a certain page to activate it, so it isn’t always on. Plus-one for Moto X.”

  33. - LINK - Wednesday, Aug 6, 14 @ 11:59 am:

    They just announced a September 3 PR event where the Samsung Note 4 is expected to be announced. From the article, “Some of the rumoured specifications of the Galaxy Note 4 include Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 processors with support for fourth-generation LTE mobile wireless technology, and 5.7-inch QHD (1440×2560) AMOLED display.”

  34. - Stones - Wednesday, Aug 6, 14 @ 12:08 pm:

    Admittedly I am pretty uninformed when it comes to cellphones (low information phoner). That being said, my wife’s Motorola Droid Ultra is way cooler than my iPhone 4s (which I know is a couple of years older). I like the size of the screen, apps and user friendliness of hers over mine.

  35. - elginkevin - Wednesday, Aug 6, 14 @ 12:11 pm:

    I have a Moto G (which I understand to be a lesser version of the Moto X) on Page Plus Cellular.

    $40/mo with really great coverage and unlimited calling/texiting, but it does suffer on the data side (3G and 1GB) which isn’t a big deal for me because wifi.

  36. - elginkevin - Wednesday, Aug 6, 14 @ 12:12 pm:

    And I meant to include: best smart phone I’ve had so far.

    My favorite phone is still the Motorola Razr V3m.

    If I could get the thing to sync contacts over-the-air, I’d still be using it.

  37. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Aug 6, 14 @ 12:35 pm:

    Oh, and by the way, I have an Otter case on my iPhone.

  38. - A guy... - Wednesday, Aug 6, 14 @ 12:45 pm:

    Call Samsonite.

  39. - 47th Ward - Wednesday, Aug 6, 14 @ 1:07 pm:

    ===I have an Otter case on my iPhone===

    Did you drop that thing from the rail outside the chambers to the first floor or what?

  40. - Arthur Andersen - Wednesday, Aug 6, 14 @ 1:07 pm:

    Rich, I have the same problem with the eyes and the iPhone’s little screen. Just test drove an S5 and it was much easier to read, but a tad larger than I liked. I’m waiting til the iPhone 6 comes out to make a choice, but I don’t think you would regret getting the S5.

  41. - Gantt Chart - Wednesday, Aug 6, 14 @ 1:22 pm:

    Drop the $80.00 for a LifeProof case…they’re the greatest.

  42. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Aug 6, 14 @ 1:34 pm:

    I think what I need to do is go to the store and have them put a case on the S5 to see what that does to the size. It’s pretty much perfect now, but a case may make it unwieldy. If so, I’ll go with the Moto X.

  43. - Empty Suit - Wednesday, Aug 6, 14 @ 1:56 pm:

    “Any last minute warnings about this pending decision?”

  44. - Checkers - Wednesday, Aug 6, 14 @ 2:21 pm:


    Get an Otter Box Commuter series case. They have a slimmer profile, and are still very durable.

  45. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Aug 6, 14 @ 2:24 pm:

    ===Get an Otter Box Commuter series case.===

    That’s what I have now.

  46. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Aug 6, 14 @ 2:30 pm:

    For what it’s worth. ABC did a test on the Otter and the cheep gel case and found that the $10 gel case was about as good as the more expensive and extremely heavy Otter. I’ve had my phone in a gel case for years and never a problem.

  47. - logic not emotion - Wednesday, Aug 6, 14 @ 2:55 pm:

    I’ve had the Moto-X and currently have the S5 in an Otterbox. I’d probably again choose the S5; but more strongly consider the lifeproof case. Would have went with them to start with if they’d been a little more price competitive. Although it seems like my Otterbox is supposed to be water resistant and all that, dust gets in… It has protected it from many drops and such though. Hmmm…

  48. - Arthur Andersen - Wednesday, Aug 6, 14 @ 3:20 pm:

    The Otterbox Defender is the way to go if you can manage the bulk. My iPhone would be toast without it.

  49. - I was too stoopid for U of I - Wednesday, Aug 6, 14 @ 3:32 pm:

    Whatever phone consider the Otter Resurgence case. It’s pricer than the Life Proof but can withstand more abuse. It’s saved my phone several times. It is a brick though….

  50. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Aug 6, 14 @ 4:18 pm:

    Sorry, forget the Otterbox Resurgence case. If you can find one the Otterbox Armor series is very good. It is a brick, it has metal hinges!

  51. - LINK - Wednesday, Aug 6, 14 @ 4:47 pm:

    My last suggestion is get an S5 at the last possible moment and if your not happy I believe there is a 30 day window for return/exchange and maybe the Note 4 and new iPhone will be out…

  52. - Mobile web - Wednesday, Aug 6, 14 @ 10:16 pm:

    create a mobile friendly version, create your fully customized mobile site, start selling websites.
    Just for follow the link :

  53. - Michelle Flaherty - Wednesday, Aug 6, 14 @ 10:56 pm:

    I’ve seen your phone. I have a commuter series and my otterbox is much bigger and better than your otterbox. Just sayin …

  54. - Michelle Flaherty - Wednesday, Aug 6, 14 @ 10:58 pm:

    And you might want to read this …

  55. - Angry Chicagoan - Thursday, Aug 7, 14 @ 6:52 am:

    Make sure the Samsung S5 fits in your hand, especially if you’re going to use a protective case on it. Display brightness is a factor in favor of Apple and the S5 right now. The Moto X is extremely robust in my view, and has the advantage over other Android phones of being a lot less customized and addled by the carriers. Bear these points in mind, and get what physically fits you, and you should be fine. Samsung is IP67-certified dust and waterproof, so long as the back doesn’t pop off. If you have AT&T, Samsung has just brought out a ruggedized version of the S5 that looks very nice, and would save you from having to use a case.

    One other point, and it applies to anyone who is thinking of switching carriers. Verizon, ATT and TMobile phones are increasingly alike in terms of frequency support; they all actively use LTE Band 4 (the one Verizon calls “XLTE”), for example. Sprint has a different set of frequencies, and a draconian policy on unlocking, but the recent Congressional legislation there should start to ease that. iPhones in general are a lot more portable among carriers than Android, but in practice right now that really only benefits Verizon subscribers who think they might switch in the future to ATT or TMobile. A liberated Sprint iPhone should, however, be able to work on any US carrier, 4G and all, once unlocking comes to pass.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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