Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 05-20-2020, 11:53 PM
raspberry hunter is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 1,368

Should I get a Samsung A51 or a Pixel 3a or something else?


I need a new cell phone. I rather want something in a mid-range, and I'd narrowed it down to a Samsung A51 and a Pixel 3a.

The Samsung is... okay. Standard. I've had a Galaxy S5 for the last many years and it's been fine. The camera appears to be fine but not great, especially in low light. It's kind of a big phone, a little too big for me. It does have removable memory storage, which I really like.

The Pixel seems like a really great phone. It's got a camera that people seem to agree is fantastic. People seem to just really like it. It is the right form factor for me. It doesn't have removable memory, which is too bad, but I could live with that. It basically seems like an almost-perfect phone for me.

...except that a certain number of people report a problem with the speaker. Not everyone, not most people, but a sizable number. From reviews I guesstimate a few percent?

Normally I'd just roll the dice and hope I get lucky, only part of the idea here is for me to have a reliable phone just in case, well, things are rather uncertain right now. Also, normally if my phone stopped working I'd just swap the sim card into an old phone, but I'm moving from a micro sim to a nano sim so I dont' have any other phones that would take that card.

So I think I have to not get the Pixel, much as I want to. Anyone have experiences with either of these phones? Something else you prefer?
  #2  
Old 05-21-2020, 01:24 AM
Darren Garrison's Avatar
Darren Garrison is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Posts: 13,910
Unless you really need the phone right now, you might want to wait for the Pixel 4a.
  #3  
Old 05-21-2020, 10:58 AM
Tim R. Mortiss's Avatar
Tim R. Mortiss is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Lincoln Park, Chicago
Posts: 7,413
When I was looking for a mid-range phone for my parents a month ago, my favorites were the Moto G line and the Nokia line. You should check them out.
  #4  
Old 05-21-2020, 11:28 AM
Velocity is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 17,493
I'm not sure how different the A51 is from the A50, but if it's anything like the A50 I would strongly not recommend it. I have an A50 now (brand-new, too) and it is slow, clunky and inefficient in so many ways.
  #5  
Old 05-21-2020, 11:31 AM
Darren Garrison's Avatar
Darren Garrison is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Posts: 13,910
Quote:
Originally Posted by raspberry hunter View Post
I've had a Galaxy S5 for the last many years and it's been fine. ... It's kind of a big phone, a little too big for me.
Then you really aren't going to like this.
  #6  
Old 05-21-2020, 11:32 AM
Spiderman's Avatar
Spiderman is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: somewhere East of there
Posts: 11,778
Samsung's come with (or at least they used to, & I think they still do) a metric crapton of bloatware, a lot of which you can't disable &/or remove unless you root your phone.

You're also going to get Android updates both quicker & for longer on a Pixel than with a Samsung phone.
  #7  
Old 05-21-2020, 12:03 PM
raspberry hunter is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 1,368
Quote:
Originally Posted by Darren Garrison View Post
Unless you really need the phone right now, you might want to wait for the Pixel 4a.
Yeah, I'm intrigued by that, and I'd only have to wait a couple of weeks, it sounds like, which I think is doable. I worry about whether it would have the same speaker problem, though... hopefully they got enough complaints about the 3a that it's fixed in the 4a??
  #8  
Old 05-21-2020, 12:04 PM
raspberry hunter is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 1,368
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim R. Mortiss View Post
When I was looking for a mid-range phone for my parents a month ago, my favorites were the Moto G line and the Nokia line. You should check them out.
Ah, ok! I hadn't even looked at these. I will definitely do so. Thanks!
  #9  
Old 05-21-2020, 12:06 PM
raspberry hunter is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 1,368
Quote:
Originally Posted by Darren Garrison View Post
LOL. I meant that the A51 is too big for me. The S5 isn't too bad. I actually made a cardboard cutout of the A51 to make sure it would fit in my pocket, which it... barely does.
  #10  
Old 05-21-2020, 12:07 PM
control-z is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Virginia
Posts: 13,198
If battery life is important the Moto G Power lasts up to 3 days, which is very useful. It also has a sdcard slot and headphone jack. It is a pretty big phone, as big as my old Galaxy Note 4.
  #11  
Old 05-21-2020, 12:10 PM
raspberry hunter is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 1,368
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spiderman View Post
Samsung's come with (or at least they used to, & I think they still do) a metric crapton of bloatware, a lot of which you can't disable &/or remove unless you root your phone.

You're also going to get Android updates both quicker & for longer on a Pixel than with a Samsung phone.
True. And the Samsung I have now (S5) I can't even root because Verizon has some kind of weird lock on it??

Ugh, I think I may have to get the Pixel after all, and just deal if I get one of the crappy-speaker ones.
  #12  
Old 05-21-2020, 12:12 PM
raspberry hunter is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 1,368
Quote:
Originally Posted by control-z View Post
If battery life is important the Moto G Power lasts up to 3 days, which is very useful. It also has a sdcard slot and headphone jack. It is a pretty big phone, as big as my old Galaxy Note 4.
Aw, man, I was with you (battery life: yay! sdcard: yay! headphone jack: yay!) until you said it was big

I'll look some more at it, though!
  #13  
Old 05-21-2020, 12:13 PM
RitterSport's Avatar
RitterSport is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 4,133
My sister has the Pixel 3a and she absolutely loves it. She hasn't reported any speaker issues and she always has issues with technology.

My mother has some Samsung A or J model, I'm not sure, and it's super clunky and slow. The Pixel 3a is pretty much a flagship phone in a little package.

I have the Samsung S10e which has come down in price since its release last year. I really like it and Samsung has gotten way better at updating Android versions. And, it's pretty easy to turn off all the bloatware.

If price and camera are more important, I'd get the Pixel 3a. If size or performance is more important, consider the S10e, because it's a little smaller than the 3a and has a faster chip (I think). It also has a slot for external memory. Samsung's latest user interface is getting very good reviews.

I don't know what the 4a will look like, so if you're not desperate, then hang on for a couple of weeks.
  #14  
Old 05-21-2020, 01:12 PM
Spiderman's Avatar
Spiderman is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: somewhere East of there
Posts: 11,778
Quote:
Originally Posted by raspberry hunter View Post
True. And the Samsung I have now (S5) I can't even root because Verizon has some kind of weird lock on it??
If you go with the Pixel, buy it from Google (or a third party*) rather than Verizon as they install their own bloatware crap on their phone.


* I believe that BustBye phones are Verizon models, not 'clean' models so check that if you're thinking of purchasing it from them.
  #15  
Old 05-21-2020, 01:22 PM
Really Not All That Bright is offline
Member
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Florida
Posts: 68,578
I just bought an unlocked Pixel 4 (not a) directly from Google. It was $500 and it's fantastic. Granted, I skipped the last generation (my previous phone was an LG G6) but the new native version of Android is incredibly intuitive and the gesture controls are definitely going to become A Thing going forward.
__________________
This can only end in tears.
  #16  
Old 05-21-2020, 01:43 PM
RitterSport's Avatar
RitterSport is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 4,133
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spiderman View Post
If you go with the Pixel, buy it from Google (or a third party*) rather than Verizon as they install their own bloatware crap on their phone.


* I believe that BustBye phones are Verizon models, not 'clean' models so check that if you're thinking of purchasing it from them.
It's true that my S10e from Best Buy was a Verizon model, but I was able to uninstall all kinds of stuff -- Facebook, Verizon Maps, Verizon Messages, some pre-loaded games, other stuff that's long gone. In the past, with previous Samsung phones, I could only disable stuff I didn't want, but this time I could uninstall it. I didn't try uninstalling certain Verizon software that I actually use (the manage-your-account stuff) and I haven't tried uninstalling Samsung-specific bloatware (their e-mail app, for example).
  #17  
Old 05-21-2020, 04:23 PM
raspberry hunter is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 1,368
That's a good point about not buying it from Verizon. Soooo much bloatware on my Samsung. It looks like the Pixel 3a isn't even available on Verizon, so I guess I wouldn't be able to anyway

I was looking at the 10e! Hmm, that sounds like a good option too.
  #18  
Old 05-21-2020, 04:42 PM
RitterSport's Avatar
RitterSport is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 4,133
Quote:
Originally Posted by raspberry hunter View Post
...

I was looking at the 10e! Hmm, that sounds like a good option too.
I think it's a little smaller, although the screen is the same size or larger. I really like it, and Samsungs get better third-party support in terms of cases and other stuff. Not as good as iPhones, but pretty good.

For battery life, I only charge it to 80% at night and then shut it off. Then, it usually has 25-40% left at the end of the day. On the other hand, I'm not that intense of a user.

So, I'm happy to recommend the S10e or the 3a!
  #19  
Old 05-22-2020, 06:01 AM
Lurking Quahog is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Rhode Island
Posts: 167
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spiderman View Post
If you go with the Pixel, buy it from Google (or a third party*) rather than Verizon as they install their own bloatware crap on their phone.


* I believe that BustBye phones are Verizon models, not 'clean' models so check that if you're thinking of purchasing it from them.
Could this be true for the Pixel 4a? I was under the impression that all Pixel phones are unlocked phones and not specific to any one carrier. I have a Best Buy gift card that I was hoping to use to purchase the Pixel 4a when it comes out but now you're making me wonder if I should forgo the gift card and purchase the 4a directly from Google.
  #20  
Old 05-22-2020, 07:36 AM
Spiderman's Avatar
Spiderman is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: somewhere East of there
Posts: 11,778
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lurking Quahog View Post

Could this be true for the Pixel 4a? I was under the impression that all Pixel phones are unlocked phones and not specific to any one carrier. I have a Best Buy gift card that I was hoping to use to purchase the Pixel 4a when it comes out but now you're making me wonder if I should forgo the gift card and purchase the 4a directly from Google.
AIUI, they are unlocked phones but they're selling the 'Verizon' model, which includes the Verizon bloatware, the same as if you went into a Verizon store & bought a phone (outright) & then activated on AT&T, Sprint, TMO, or another carrier; it would still have the Verizon bloatware that you can't remove w/o rooting the phone. Unlocked means you can use it on most (all?) carriers & has nothing to do with what apps are preinstalled.
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:34 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@straightdope.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Copyright 2019 STM Reader, LLC.

 
Copyright © 2017