Seeking smartphone advice

Okay - I’m not an “early adopter”. Probably 96% of the with-it world already has some sort of smartphone. Now I’m thinking I might get one.

I’m leaning heavily toward Android, because there are some minor apps I might like to develop. I have a Verizon cellphone and am eligible for an upgrade ( which I guess means a phone at a discounted price if I sign up for 2 years of data plan.)

[ul]Which phone models are worth considering? Is the Droid Razr (said to soon be available for Verizon) a good item?[/ul]
[ul]How feasible might it be to use this as my home internet access method (thus allowing me to dump Comcast - a wonderful thought)?[/ul]
[ul]How far does an allowance of 5G/month of data go?[/ul]
[ul]What IDEs are favored for Android development?[/ul]

I was just looking at the new iphone and the Motorola Atrix. Trying to sift through all the reviews. I’m leaning toward the Atrix because it’s half the price and can display flash. Also keeping an eye on complaints about the iphone battery life. the iphone of course has the most aps available.

It’s scary what these new phones can do. 8 mp camera’s and 1080p video, dual core chips. GPS, magnetic and accelerometer capable sensors. You can speak into them and the text translators keep up with accurate translations.

I feel like such a dinosaur with a phone with only a 3 mp camera and no real computing power or internet connection.

to answer your5g question..

I suspect that it would be tough to use it as a dedicated internet connection.

Tough to use as a primary internet connection, but I was just in a 4 day long black out where I used it as my only internet and I was OK. Not great, but ok.

5 gigs is a good amount if you don’t plan on streaming too much video, if you want to stream video it’s not enough. I connect my phone to my home wifi if I stream video, but am pretty indiscriminate with all other internet usage and have never cracked 2.7 gigs and I use the internet from my phone a TON.

I have a Droid Inc, my wife a Droid Inc2. Both are awesome, the Inc 2 more so because it has a fairly rockin battery life (for a smartphone). I am looking to maybe get a Bionic when I upgrade in February, but HTC might have a phone out by then that I like better. What do you want the smart phone to do? I am a big Android supporter, but will be the first to tell people who want no thinking plug and play phones that the iPhone should get a look.

I will dive in.
I currently have a smart phone through Verizon and I too am up for a renewal (or new phone).
The new Motorola Razr is indeed supposed to be pretty spiffy. (I know i used the word spiffy). I am not considering it though as I am not a fan of Motorola phones in general. I am not trying to steer you into anything though.
There are a ton of phones out there and almost too much to choose from.
I currently sometimes go to this site to check out reviews of new phones.
I myself am considering the new Galaxy Nexus from Samsung which is supposed to be out mid November. Right now i have a Droid Eris and it quite frankly is pretty long in the tooth. (anything new would probably be great) I wanted the Galaxy SII but no dice.
Just a couple of things:

  1. if you don’t have a smartphone (and it seems you don’t) then Verizon - which has a great network IMHO - is going to make you pay for the network usage along with the phone. I lucked up and currently still reside under “unlimited” data plan. (that could change at anytime) but they basically forced me to pay $30/month plus buying the phone. There are other tiered prices and so you will have to make a decision on how much you can stand to use. ( have a friend who is on a limited plan but he basically does nothing with his phone without fretting over how close he is to his cap.)
  2. I am pretty sure that if you want to access the internet through your phone (via tethering) that there is another $25-$30 bucks for the privilege.
  3. Also be aware that while all Android phones essentially run on the same platform, many hardware manufacturers load their phones with other than vanilla Android GUIs. HTC - my current uses “sense” and there are others. This makes using the phone slightly different and to be honest one of the reasons I am thinking about the Galaxy Nexus is because it uses a more plain version of the Android operating system.
  4. I currently use my phone for medium web browsing all day and stream music daily at my desk with an app called I never use wi-fi even when home and I have only on two occasions gone over 2GB in a given month. Be aware, however, that if you choose a phone with the blazing fast 4G feature, then you will chew through that limit much more quickly.
    So I hope I have helped some.
    what kind of phone do you want? - it appears you want a thin candybar smartphone (no physical keyboard)
    Do you want the plain vanilla Android operating system or one of its many guis ?
    how much are you willing to pay total each month? -This is crucial as you already have Verizon so you must already know how much they love to shock customers with their bills. “But the person on the phone said …?”
    As far as development - Since Android is java based I am assuming that Eclipse is probably one of the most popular IDEs.

Development: you can download the Android SDK from Google. There is an Eclipse plugin with an Android emulator available.

Just don’t get a Droid Charge. I have one and it sucks. Well, the screen is really nice. But everything else sucks.

The Droid Razr sounds really great, but there is one little problem that really disturbs me about it: Like Apple products (iPhone), it has a non-removable battery. This is a deal-killer for me. It means that if your battery can no longer hold a charge, you have to send it back to the factory and live without a phone for a couple of weeks and pay about as much as it costs to buy a new phone (which you might as well do at this point). It also means you can’t carry a spare battery to swap out when you will be using the phone a lot or buy a higher-capacity aftermarket battery. And if the phone goes bonkers, you can’t reset it by pulling out the battery (or pull out the battery to keep the authorities from tracking you!). I think this is the first Android phone to go this way and not a trend that should be encouraged.

I realize that if you are planning to upgrade to the latest phone every year or two, the battery-no-longer-holding-a-charge issue isn’t going to be terribly important to you. But for others it is a planned-obsolescence issue.

Any phone that will not let you replace the battery is a no-go for me.
I have the Galaxy S4 and love it - however, I have had to completely remove the battery for a re-boot three times this year. Not sure how I could have done that if there were no battery to remove.
I like the web access - reading news, weather, shopping tips, lots of other cool apps and of course, the SDMB.
The batteries suck on these things - you will pretty much be re-charging it every day. I have had mine since February and will be surprised if this battery lasts 6 more months.

Thanks to all for some useful advice.