Author Topic: Smartphone Durability Or Lack There Of  (Read 840 times)

ilconsiglliere

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Smartphone Durability Or Lack There Of
« on: May 05, 2016, 04:10:17 AM »
This morning on the way to work a guy bumped into me at the Dunks and dropped his brand new Samsung. Hit the hard floor and smashed the screen. Some words were exchanged along the lines of why dont you stop freaking looking at your phone and pay attention to your environment. He didnt have a case on his phone for whatever reason.

It got me thinking about all smart phone durability or should I say lack there off. Smartphones regardless of manufacturer are just not durable if dropped. They all have taken the design trend of being sleek and quite smooth/slippery. Everyone ends up putting some kind of case on them which makes them no longer sleek. I have a case that is ribbed and very durable because of this reason.

If you look at Casio G-shock watches which I have worn for years, they are incredibly rugged and durable yet quite reasonably priced. Which is a primary reason they are favored by the military, police and outdoor people.

I see no reason that these smart phones could not be designed like G-shocks so they can be bumped, dropped and banged around with impunity.

Thoughts?

pxsant

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Re: Smartphone Durability Or Lack There Of
« Reply #1 on: May 05, 2016, 05:06:02 AM »
Screen breakage is very common.  It really depends on how it hits the floor.   It it hits somewhat flat, the screen usually survives.  If it hits on a corner, lights out.  There are quite a few repair places online which specialize in selling replacement screens just because of this issue.

With this type of screen, there is not much you can do to protect it if you happen to be holding the phone talking or texting.  One slip and you are done.     A rubberized cases will not protect a screen if it hits on a corner when dropped.

ilconsiglliere

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Re: Smartphone Durability Or Lack There Of
« Reply #2 on: May 05, 2016, 06:48:59 AM »
Screen breakage is very common.  It really depends on how it hits the floor.   It it hits somewhat flat, the screen usually survives.  If it hits on a corner, lights out.  There are quite a few repair places online which specialize in selling replacement screens just because of this issue.

With this type of screen, there is not much you can do to protect it if you happen to be holding the phone talking or texting.  One slip and you are done.     A rubberized cases will not protect a screen if it hits on a corner when dropped.

You are 100% correct. But should they be designed so you can break them just by dropping them? I would rather have it armored up than being fragile and sleek. I know Steve Jobs hated the cases but until you drop one and have to shell out $$$ for a new one than people change their opinions.

The Gorn

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Re: Smartphone Durability Or Lack There Of
« Reply #3 on: May 05, 2016, 06:50:24 AM »
I have a case that is ribbed and very durable because of this reason.

Ribbed for your phone's protection.  :D >:D

Smart phones are a stupid product concept. They're virtually unusable as PHONES. The human factors are total shit. Making a call with Android is a nightmare. Look down at phone, swipe, enter security pattern, press phone soft key, press another soft key to see contacts, WHOOPS hit the wrong contact and it starts dialing, hang up with the red phone button real quick, finally MAKE the freaking call, then the other person can't hear you because the microphone is in a shitty place on the phone.

Try to make a call from a smart phone while driving? Unless voice recognition is working, good luck not driving into someone.

TAKING a call? Fumble fumble swipe AHH SHIT I FUCKED UP. Call lost.

My God, consumers are stupid.

I won't pay much of anything for a phone. Smart phones have regressed into idiocy. I do need 'em, though.

Here's what I did this winter.

Ported my cell number from my wife's smart phone account @55/mo to a Verizon prepaid plan with a simple $13 flip phone. 15/month gives me 300 minutes. EXCELLENT call quality, no hassles dialing or taking calls. All simple and self evident.

I wanted/needed a smart phone. I purchased a BLU HD 6 unlocked GSM smartphone online for $125. Added a great silicon case for $10. The phone's plan is a Straight Talk $45/mo unlimited calls + 5 GB data plan. The one bad part was dealing with Indians to port my business line number over. But I always use an earbud and I am totally focused on that phone when making a call.

60/mo for a USABLE flip phone that works GREAT plus an OK smart phone with a great data plan.

And best of all, no installment payment plan for a stupid unusable smart phone that I'm going to destroy by fumbling it and dropping it.

The flip phone is my primary walking around phone. Whoops, dropped it in the toilet! Stop by Walmart and buy and activate another $13 phone. No problem.

I made cell phones my bitch this winter. It's very gratifying to buck the system and obtain so much value.
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pxsant

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Re: Smartphone Durability Or Lack There Of
« Reply #4 on: May 05, 2016, 08:28:23 AM »
I purchased a BLU HD 6 unlocked GSM smartphone online for $125.

The BLU phones are pretty good.  I have a BLU Studio 6 and it works just fine.  One caution though.  Don't let it update the Android version.  I did that and it wiped out all of my apps, icons and everything else.  Effectively did a factory reset so no more android updates for me on that phone.  It took hours to get it back to where I had it.

One other item to be careful about.   My BLU uses a full sized SIM card and so does the BLU Studio G Plus I just purxchased for my wife.  If your old phone has a smaller size SIM card you will need an adapter for the new BLU phone.  DO NOT install the adapter empty just to test the fit etc.    When you try to remove it, the internal edge of the adapter will catch the SIM contacts and rip them out.   I did that like a moron and had to go get a replacement phone.

The alternative is to go to your provider and have them make a SIM card of the correct size.    Ten bucks but probably worth it.   BLU's usually have 2 SIM sockets each with a different IMEI number.   Make sure they make the SIM for socket number 1, not socket number 2.  socket number 2 has ONLY telephone usage, no data.

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Re: Smartphone Durability Or Lack There Of
« Reply #5 on: May 05, 2016, 08:42:01 AM »
Huh! Great minds think alike. I found this phone online, the reviews seemed to support the price well, and I bought it. It's really not a phone, is it? More like a small tablet with phone function built in.

I'd never messed with SIMs before and I had no idea how they fit or the size of SIMs. The first prepaid carrier I tried was T-Mobile. They are worth avoiding. Their marketing about having "the best" network is bullshit. I liked their plan features but I could only get a signal and 1-2 bars by carrying the phone out in the yard. I even drove around with the phone locally in a 2 mile radius of my house and I never got a signal above 2 bars.

The startup package from T Mobile came with several SIMs in different sizes for different phones, so it was kind of a dry run for me. I fortunately avoided damaging the contacts as you described. I did klutz it up and pop the SIM out of its full sized carrier, so I had to insert the SIM back in the carrier and carefully insert it into the phone.

Then when I found that T Mobile was not a good carrier for me I picked up a Straight Talk SIM package and 1 month plan. My phone is now on the AT&T GSM network. Excellent reception indoors, as good or better than Verizon right here.

A-OK on the Android update. Thanks. I did wipe out the contact list on my last smartphone (a Samsung) by applying a major Android update. So I know to be careful.

Google does back up a lot of the devices' settings, however. I make certain to pull off all the data that is valuable to me from the phone, all of the time.
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ilconsiglliere

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Re: Smartphone Durability Or Lack There Of
« Reply #6 on: May 05, 2016, 09:44:07 AM »
I have a case that is ribbed and very durable because of this reason.

Ribbed for your phone's protection.  :D >:D

Smart phones are a stupid product concept. They're virtually unusable as PHONES. The human factors are total shit. Making a call with Android is a nightmare. Look down at phone, swipe, enter security pattern, press phone soft key, press another soft key to see contacts, WHOOPS hit the wrong contact and it starts dialing, hang up with the red phone button real quick, finally MAKE the freaking call, then the other person can't hear you because the microphone is in a shitty place on the phone.

Try to make a call from a smart phone while driving? Unless voice recognition is working, good luck not driving into someone.

TAKING a call? Fumble fumble swipe AHH SHIT I FUCKED UP. Call lost.

My God, consumers are stupid.

I won't pay much of anything for a phone. Smart phones have regressed into idiocy. I do need 'em, though.

Here's what I did this winter.

Ported my cell number from my wife's smart phone account @55/mo to a Verizon prepaid plan with a simple $13 flip phone. 15/month gives me 300 minutes. EXCELLENT call quality, no hassles dialing or taking calls. All simple and self evident.

I wanted/needed a smart phone. I purchased a BLU HD 6 unlocked GSM smartphone online for $125. Added a great silicon case for $10. The phone's plan is a Straight Talk $45/mo unlimited calls + 5 GB data plan. The one bad part was dealing with Indians to port my business line number over. But I always use an earbud and I am totally focused on that phone when making a call.

60/mo for a USABLE flip phone that works GREAT plus an OK smart phone with a great data plan.

And best of all, no installment payment plan for a stupid unusable smart phone that I'm going to destroy by fumbling it and dropping it.

The flip phone is my primary walking around phone. Whoops, dropped it in the toilet! Stop by Walmart and buy and activate another $13 phone. No problem.

I made cell phones my bitch this winter. It's very gratifying to buck the system and obtain so much value.

I didnt realize what I was typing when I said it was ribbed :) . I have a case made by a company named Magpul. They are cheap and durable and ribbed for your delight :)

https://www.magpul.com/products/electronic-cases

I love what you did with your mobile phones. I freaking hate the telcos having worked for them for years. They are looking to screw the public every chance they get. I have had T-Mobile in the past and they have sucked here in NJ. As long as you were on the highway it was fine but get onto the side streets - no signal. Bye bye.

Both Verizon and AT&T are notorious for screwing the public. High prices and refusing to lower them. Until recently when both of them finally went contract-less everything was an ordeal with them. My stupid smart phone bill was $140/month for like 600 minutes prime, unlimited txt and unlimited data - this was on AT&T and was with the ex-employee discount.

Than one day my brother said his employer could get me on Verizon with the employees discount. So I managed to drop my bill to like $98/month. Than one day I get a letter from Verizon that I am no longer eligible for the discount. So than I was able to switch to my clients discount - managed to stay at $98.

Than about a 2 years ago I was on Verizons web site and I was browsing and they were advertising a special single line plan with unlimited voice, txt and 1GB of data for $60/month. Poof - instantly cut my bill down from $98 to $63 with tax. Huge change in price. Than a few months after that I saw them advertising 2GB of data on the same plan. Called em up and said I wanted the 2GB for the $60 and I got it. My total bill is now $65/month for unlimited voice,txt and 2GB of data.

But now I see with the no contract plans they are offering 3GB of data for $60/month :) - I guess its time to call them again.

One thing is for sure I wont be paying full price for no iPhone. My iPhone 4 is now 5 years old and still works. I refuse to buy another one till its dead. And frankly I would like one that is armored.   

David Randolph

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Re: Smartphone Durability Or Lack There Of
« Reply #7 on: May 06, 2016, 06:32:06 AM »
For a while now, expensive electronics were smaller. Ergo, the image was that sleek was something that someone spent more money on. Doesn't matter that it was more fragile, sleek was more expensive and thus worth showing off at the "lek site". Guys would show off their iPhone at the singles bars.

The Gorn

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Revising my phone fleet - a new Moto G5 Plus
« Reply #8 on: November 30, 2017, 07:43:24 PM »
My Blu phone still works, but it is running Android 5.0 and has been getting progressively slower and slower in daily operation. Almost all operations have become incredibly laggy.

Also the battery life has sagged tremendously with age (just under 2 years old.) After a half hour of very light use, the battery is down to 85%.

Also the GPS has pretty much stopped working. I did find Google's location services settings, and set the GPS for GPS only, no wifi/cell tower assist. The GPS icon comes on, in the status bar, but no application I try such as hiking apps see any satellites. Yet a GPS Status app says that GPS is present. I have used the reset/download fixer data thing and no dice.

Also it's a big assed heavy phone that hardly fits in my pants pocket. I like the screen size but the form factor is awkward.

Also there is a wireless update  dated 8/23/2016 that constantly nags me, which I have found by checking out forums messes up calling on many user's phones. So I have avoided installing it but it keeps coming back.

Also I was CONSTANTLY running out of memory. The phone I (ignorantly without knowing) bought had only 8 GB. I set all of the apps I could to use SD card storage but every time they update they go right back to internal memory. At times I only had 500 MB or less of internal memory.

The point is, the Blu HD 6.0 phone is showing its age. Slow, memory saturated, wheezy, features (GPS) just stopped working, replacing the battery doable but a hassle.

Time for a new phone.

Costco and then other vendors had a Black Friday special on the Moto G5 Plus for $169 so I bought one. It arrived a couple of days ago. It has Android 7.0, is a normal form factor (5.2" screen), has 32 GB (4x the "disk" of the Blu), and has an EXTREMELY attractive build with a metal case and Gorilla glass for the display. So no more ugly plasticky blunderbuss of a phone. And it easily fits in a men's pants pocket.

GPS lock is instantaneous indoors, the camera image quality is on a par in good lighting with my Canon G16, and the call sound quality from the internal speakers is extremely clear.

I moved service over on the same plan from Straight Talk's website very, very easily. First I added a "device", which amounts to keying in the number of a SIM. (I had to find the micro SIM that came with the Straight Talk signup package because that's what the Moto uses.) So after this my account listed two devices, one for the Blu phone and a new device for the other micro SIM. I went to a function on the site that allowed me to simply transfer the phone number from an existing device to the new SIM. It allowed me to do so. I powered up the Moto with the new SIM in it, and the damned thing came up with the carrier and with wireless data working right off the bat.

Considering how much trouble I've had in the past with similar service moves, this was extremely easy. I wondered how it would work in real life and I stumbled through it successfully.

As Pxsant noted, the Moto conforms to the evil cell carrier's prohibition on tethering, which the Blu freely allowed (I get a popup saying "call 611" and set up with ATT for tethering.) I've found that there are many third party apps that allegedly support tethering which get around the restriction. I used one last night when our cable was out for the evening and it worked fairly well.

I'll hang onto the Blu phone as a extra around the house "tablet" and also as a backup in case this phone ever needs service or gets lost.

So FYI... the Moto G5 seems so far like an excellent, cost effective (cheapish) state of the art smartphone.
« Last Edit: November 30, 2017, 07:53:46 PM by The Gorn »
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ilconsiglliere

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Re: Revising my phone fleet - a new Moto G5 Plus
« Reply #9 on: December 01, 2017, 02:39:51 AM »
My Blu phone still works, but it is running Android 5.0 and has been getting progressively slower and slower in daily operation. Almost all operations have become incredibly laggy.

Also the battery life has sagged tremendously with age (just under 2 years old.) After a half hour of very light use, the battery is down to 85%.

Also the GPS has pretty much stopped working. I did find Google's location services settings, and set the GPS for GPS only, no wifi/cell tower assist. The GPS icon comes on, in the status bar, but no application I try such as hiking apps see any satellites. Yet a GPS Status app says that GPS is present. I have used the reset/download fixer data thing and no dice.

Also it's a big assed heavy phone that hardly fits in my pants pocket. I like the screen size but the form factor is awkward.

Also there is a wireless update  dated 8/23/2016 that constantly nags me, which I have found by checking out forums messes up calling on many user's phones. So I have avoided installing it but it keeps coming back.

Also I was CONSTANTLY running out of memory. The phone I (ignorantly without knowing) bought had only 8 GB. I set all of the apps I could to use SD card storage but every time they update they go right back to internal memory. At times I only had 500 MB or less of internal memory.

The point is, the Blu HD 6.0 phone is showing its age. Slow, memory saturated, wheezy, features (GPS) just stopped working, replacing the battery doable but a hassle.

Time for a new phone.

Costco and then other vendors had a Black Friday special on the Moto G5 Plus for $169 so I bought one. It arrived a couple of days ago. It has Android 7.0, is a normal form factor (5.2" screen), has 32 GB (4x the "disk" of the Blu), and has an EXTREMELY attractive build with a metal case and Gorilla glass for the display. So no more ugly plasticky blunderbuss of a phone. And it easily fits in a men's pants pocket.

GPS lock is instantaneous indoors, the camera image quality is on a par in good lighting with my Canon G16, and the call sound quality from the internal speakers is extremely clear.

I moved service over on the same plan from Straight Talk's website very, very easily. First I added a "device", which amounts to keying in the number of a SIM. (I had to find the micro SIM that came with the Straight Talk signup package because that's what the Moto uses.) So after this my account listed two devices, one for the Blu phone and a new device for the other micro SIM. I went to a function on the site that allowed me to simply transfer the phone number from an existing device to the new SIM. It allowed me to do so. I powered up the Moto with the new SIM in it, and the damned thing came up with the carrier and with wireless data working right off the bat.

Considering how much trouble I've had in the past with similar service moves, this was extremely easy. I wondered how it would work in real life and I stumbled through it successfully.

As Pxsant noted, the Moto conforms to the evil cell carrier's prohibition on tethering, which the Blu freely allowed (I get a popup saying "call 611" and set up with ATT for tethering.) I've found that there are many third party apps that allegedly support tethering which get around the restriction. I used one last night when our cable was out for the evening and it worked fairly well.

I'll hang onto the Blu phone as a extra around the house "tablet" and also as a backup in case this phone ever needs service or gets lost.

So FYI... the Moto G5 seems so far like an excellent, cost effective (cheapish) state of the art smartphone.

Good story, thanks for sharing. I have an iPhone 7 that I bought in the summer because my Samsung S7 Edge was driving me batshit insane. After months of agonizing of the switch from my old iPhone 4 to the Samsung S7 Edge I was gravely disappointed with the thing. I stayed on Verizon the entire time. After a few months of having it, I just couldnt deal with it any more and went back to the iPhone. I was very disappointed in having to do so but I just don't have the time to debug Samsung's phone. Thanks for playing. I just want it to work.

In a nutshell here is what I didn't like about it:

-Google intrusiveness - basically Android is a mobile data gathering platform for Google. There is all kinds of stuff running that you don't know what it is. Spent enormous amounts of time trying to turn stuff as it was killing the battery.

-The Samsung edge functionality where the screen wrapped over the edge is STUPID. You can't hold the phone without your fingers touching the edge and activating something. You can turn some of it off but it sucks.

-The phone was extremely fragile. You farted too hard and the screen front or back would crack.

-Horrible battery life. I would have to charge it at a minimum of two times a day. Sometimes three. So much for having a bigger battery.

-The phone would get crazy hot while charging or watching videos. So hot you that you couldnt touch it.

-Separate voicemail app - why the voicemail app is separate from the phone app is beyond me. Hey Android developers - FIX IT.

-The apps tended to be buggy. Very buggy.

-Data importation from the iPhone sucked - it took forever and than it hosed all my contacts, music and other stuff. Thanks but I really enjoyed spending a week fixing it.

I would consider another Android but it won't be a Samsung.

The Gorn

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Re: Smartphone Durability Or Lack There Of
« Reply #10 on: December 01, 2017, 06:39:11 AM »
Very, very interesting. I think Samsung has to watch their asses. They no longer make the best products in their class. They've just become the iPhone of the Android world by default.

My opinion is that Samsung is obsessed with branding and that extends to cluttering up stock Android with their own crapware.

I would tentatively recommend this Moto (Lenovo manufactured) phone.

I need a good case for this phone ASAP but it doesn't feel fragile at all. I've never gotten an overheating issue with any smartphone, this one least of all - I'm thinking you have apps on the Samsung that create massive CPU load. The overheating means of course that the battery's capacity is being wasted with CPU activity and heat.

No edge screen with my phone, just a narrow bezel around the very flay conventional display. The edge displays are a marketing gimmick. They look cool in the store but I figured there were drawbacks.

I observe in general with technology that consumers demand or prefer features that make devices less usable. Cool features are usually anti-ergonomic. The ergonomics of smart phones are terrible anyway.

The Android on the Moto is stock - only one preinstalled app  seems to be associated with Moto(rola.)

Right now after being on disconnected from a charger since last night about 10 PM the phone shows 90%.
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Coming to a conclusion of sorts on phone brands
« Reply #11 on: December 01, 2017, 06:58:28 AM »
If you want a phone to be useful and reliable for more than a year past its purchase date, it's best to buy one of the leading brands (iPhone, Samsung even with its issues, LG, Huawei, Alcatel, Moto, etc.)

I found that the BLU phones are not updated regularly and there are associated problems that crop up. Android is not Linux, it has to be customized to the phone hardware, and there will most likely never be updates to my BLU phone.

The fact that the phone isn't that common means that you can't find other user experiences with particular problems. The phone I bought was a 2014 model - it was already a bit out of date when I bought it.

I'm not saying a name brand is perfect but the off-brand Chinese phones and the lower tier phone brands like the BLU seem to be disposable Kleenex phones that nobody cares about once they are 1+ year out of release.

I'm hoping I get 2-3 years out of this phone, relative to the battery life and the stability of its Android and its hardware. That would be fine.

Next time I want a REALLY cheap offmarket phone I will consider one of this direct from China shipped phones for a lot cheaper than American versions.
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ilconsiglliere

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Re: Smartphone Durability Or Lack There Of
« Reply #12 on: December 01, 2017, 10:15:41 AM »
Some more observations about the Samsung phone, yes the screen was impressive from a display standpoint but thats about it. The Edge functionality was HORRIBLE. As the screen wrapped around you have no place to put your fingers but on edge. And you touch the edge it fires off stuff. Yeah thanks but no thanks. I turned some of it off but you cant turn all of it off.

The one thing that really stood out besides the dysfunctional UI was how hot the thing would get. Samsung toted the whole wireless charging thing where you lay it down on a pad to charge it. Yeah thats nice but it doesnt work with all cases and oh yeah we forgot to tell you its so hot you are afraid its going to spontaneously catch fire. Lithium battery fires are not pretty, dont even go there.

What you say about buying one of the big brand names and longevity is dead on. If you buy a no-name one than it really is disposable. You are on your own.

If you do any real reading about Android the OS - the carrier logo-ed phones are completely dependent on updates from the carrier. What that means is that your version of Android is not only customized by Samsung but its also customized by whomever your carrier is as well. In computer dork source code talk that means you have this:

Google
    |
Android
    |
Samsung
    |
Carrier (Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, Joe's Cell Company)

What that means if Google updates Android, who knows how long it will take Samsung to take it in and do what they have to do and than you get to wait again for the carrier to butcher it even further. So you have the bastard child from mars in terms of Android.

If you go on the Android forums there is tons and tons of people complaining about whatever version of Android there is and when are they going to get the patches. It took Samsung/Verizon over a year to deliver the Lollipop version of Android to Samsung users.

For Verizon, you also dont know what they did to it as they wont tell you. The only thing you can see is the crapware they have forced on you that you cant uninstall. I remember there was at least 6-8 Verizon apps that that you CANT UNINSTALL.

They also have partnered with all kinds of other companies ie. Facebook, Twitter and other crap you have never heard of. And you cant uninstall that either. You are locked in to them 1000%. The only way to get rid of it is to flash your own OS. And you could brick your phone in the process.

Who has time for that? Not me. All of this is why I went back to the iPhone - when Apple pushes updates it controls them. No Verizon, no AT&T. There is no crapware on the phone, just the crap that you install :) . Yes Apple is psychotic and controlling but it could be much worse.

I have read that the Moto's are stock Android, thats a good thing.

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Re: Smartphone Durability Or Lack There Of
« Reply #13 on: December 01, 2017, 11:23:52 AM »
I have read that the Moto's are stock Android, thats a good thing.

The last Samsung device we bought in this house was my wife's Samsung Galaxy Tab A 9.7, which I bought her a couple of years ago. I was a bit off put by all the branding junk that Samsung puts in the the tablet.

The Moto's UI is extremely stock Android, and this is an unlocked phone (the only kind I'll buy unless a carrier has one hell of a deal.)
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