iPhone 4s or Galaxy S2
October 16, 2013 1:46 PM   Subscribe

Do you live in an area with limited cell phone providers due to all the mountains in the way? Do you use either an iPhone 4s or Galaxy S2? Can you share your knowledge with me, please?

I used to live in Florida and used AT&T. Moved to a small mountain town in North Carolina where AT&T does not work. The two providers here are US Cellular and Carolina Wireless(they use their own towers and ping off Verizon when out of range). Due to cost I will most likely chose CW. They have the 4S and GS2 for $50.

So, if you have any insight into how either of these function in a moutainey ruralish area, and/or use either of these providers, please share.

Thank you!
posted by Epsilon-minus semi moron to Technology (5 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I haven't owned the S2, and have only used it semi-briefly in a city environ so i can't really comment on that. But i've owned a ridiculous number of phones in my life. Barring a couple tank-like pre smartphone flipphones, the 4S was the best smartphone or really any phone reception(and battery life, ugh) wise that i've ever owned.

I went hiking/road tripping/all kinds of rural mountainy places with it and i only saw it lose signal in places that were truly satellite phone territory. It would still be trucking along when everyone elses phones had lost signal ages before.

It was honestly far superior to my current iphone 5 in that regard, and i miss how good it was at grabbing signal multiple times a week. I could use the damn thing in completely 4 concrete walls+a concrete ceiling and floor basements where the servers are kept at my work and still have 3g and full coverage.

It really seemed like after the whole "antennagate" issue with the 4, and similar to the charger recall(scroll down to the 2008 safety recall headline) they sent a bunch of guys into a lab and said "make this so it never has an antenna problem again, do whatever you have to do, get it the fuck done". And thus the 4s was basically the apex of antenna-ing.

So i'd vote for that on only comparing it to other iphones, and non-galaxy android phones i've owned/used, and several feature/dumbphones. But if someone has actually used the SII extensively and the 4s i'd be interested to hear how they compare...
posted by emptythought at 2:31 PM on October 16, 2013

Best answer: I love my 4s, it's easily the best phone I've ever owned. I like the idea of a bigger screen and LTE with the 5s, but my 4s is still trucking along in iOS7 and I feel no need to replace it.

I've played with a GS2 here and there, and it's not a bad phone, but you have to keep in mind it's not being supported by Samsung/Google any more, and will be able to use less and less apps as you go forward.
posted by Oktober at 2:50 PM on October 16, 2013

Best answer: I have a 4s with iOS7. I live in a mountainous area (Vermont, more like hilly, really). I have Verizon. Things are

1. SO much better than they were with Sprint
2. SO much better than they were even a year ago where I could regularly only sort of get service in my own house
3. The only time I have a problem with low signal is when I'm trying to use Siri (and get amusing failure messages) and when I'm literally on the other side of a mountain from a tower (which happens to be where one of my workplaces)

I have occasional, though rare, dropped calls. I have some problems with apps that should work with low signal but actually don't (foursquare and twitter, I don't really expect Google Maps to work, for example) and I have good luck with stuff that needs GPS but only sporadic cellular (like MapMyWalk which I use all the time in the middle of noplace). Only real beef is that doing constant looking for signal can drive the battery down so I occasionally will put it in airplane mode just to make it chill out and last longer if I'm not making calls (like while hiking). Make sure if you go with the iPhone you do a little checking for things that suck battery down. It has a bunch of stuff that are background running by default and turning all that stuff off helps a lot.
posted by jessamyn at 3:30 PM on October 16, 2013

Best answer: insight into how either of these function in a moutainey ruralish area

My insight is that the best information on which phones will work where you live is going to come from local sources who have been using the phones with the same towers you will be using.

If you are traveling and passing in and out of areas with signal, that will run down the battery a lot more than usual even if you aren't trying to talk on the phone. If you do that often, learning where those areas are and turning the phone off or plugging it into a charger will add hours to the battery life on those days.
posted by yohko at 5:17 PM on October 16, 2013

Response by poster: Thanks for your answers! I decided to just go with a feature phone for now as the plan is cheaper and I can't justify spending the money for a data plan on my budget. I marked all best answers since you wasted your time with question and they were all helpful to my future self getting a smartphone.
posted by Epsilon-minus semi moron at 6:11 AM on October 18, 2013

« Older Kid having visual hallucinations at night?   |   When does postpartum dizziness go away? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.