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Looking for a fantastic high end cell phone
March 28, 2012 9:31 AM   Subscribe

Help me find the best high end unlocked cell phone that can be used with Tmobile (U.S.)

I'm shopping for a high end unlocked cell phone. My price range is up to $700.

I currently have a Nokia N97 and like it a lot, but want something fun and new.

I was very close to purchasing an unlocked Galaxy Note, but am re-thinking that purchase.

I need the cell phone to have the following:

-Most important: I want to use this as my music device in my car. My car is older, so I don't have blue tooth controls in the car. I need to be able to change songs using a tactile device. My Nokia came with a little inline remote that allows me to change songs and answer the phone.

-At least 16GB (prefer more)

-Large screen

-Easily change profiles. I want to be able to have separate profiles for work, home, and bedtime, so that the phone functions differently in terms of rings/texts depending on my location. (Huge added bonus if the phone could use its GPS to figure out where I am and automatically adjust.)

I am aware and am willing to put up with Edge speeds on Tmobile since I dislike ATT and don't want to switch. I would also consider changing companies to Verizon or Sprint and buying a locked phone from them if it met my requirements.
posted by parakeetdog to Technology (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
I don't have an answer on the "Unlocked" part or the music part (I use a Sansa Clip for my music player).

To your "Easily change profiles" part:" Locale is an Android app that takes care of profiles based on geographic location (I also have the plug-in that ties it to Astrid to let my phone alert me to geographic tasks on my alert list).
posted by straw at 9:45 AM on March 28, 2012


I'm not aware of any Android phone that has profiles as a standard feature, but there are several apps that allow for this.

For devices, if you want to really go nuts then get a Samsung Galaxy 7.7 (6800 model). They have a phone receiver/dialer app just like a standard phone. The Note is also a good device. Neither come with a "tactile" remote, although with a dash mount the on-screen controls are easy enough, especially when in car mode. Device recommendations are problematic, though, since everyone has their own tastes and it's best if you can play with the device prior to purchasing.

Another route you could go is to spend a bit less on a phone and factor in a new bluetooth receiver for your car. I have this model, and it works great for my needs. If you're not doing anything fancy like installing a steering wheel button interface then installation is pretty straightforward for most cars (you'll probably have to get a wiring harness specific to your car).
posted by Burhanistan at 9:50 AM on March 28, 2012


re: profiles:

If you are inclined to wade into hacky territory... you can do this with an NFC enabled android device (like say the Galaxy Nexus)... you can program little NFC tags (very cheap to purchase online) to do tasks like this. Like say, you get home, you swipe your phone over the tag by the front door and it turns your ringer on, wifi on, etc. Another tag on your night stand could be set to make sure your alarm is on, set appropriate ringer volume, screen brightness lowered, etc.

The gnex would hit your other two easy requirements, but not so much the music one. I honestly don't know of anything that would.
posted by utsutsu at 11:33 AM on March 28, 2012


I know nothing about Tmobile or what they have available, so won't weigh in on that part.

That said, if you're willing to root and install a new ROM your phone, Cyanogenmod has good profile support, in my experience.

If you're not willing to do that, look into the Tasker app. It costs about $6.50, which is spendy, but it can 100% do what you want it to do with regards to changing profiles by GPS location and changing notification settings based on time/location contexts. As a bonus, it can probably also do a dozen things you didn't know you wanted your phone to do. There's a learning curve, but once you know how to work it, you can pretty much make your phone roll over and beg.

Sorry I can't be more helpful with the rest of it!
posted by MeghanC at 11:55 AM on March 28, 2012


I think you will want to import a Galaxy Nexus HPSA+. Note that the generally available Galaxy Nexus is a device for Verizon so it won't work for you. However the HPSA+ variant is sold in Europe and will work on T-Mobile.
posted by mmascolino at 12:20 PM on March 28, 2012


Can't the unlocked AT&T model iPhone work on T-Mobile? I thought I read that it could.
posted by IndigoRain at 4:52 PM on March 28, 2012


Thanks all! I ended up ordering the Nokia N9, but it's on back order and might end up with the Nexus HPSA+. We'll see!
posted by parakeetdog at 11:43 AM on March 29, 2012


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