Category Archives for "Buying A Phone"

Essential information on buying a used cell phone.

A Closer Look With Our Samsung Galaxy Note 8 Review

Our Samsung Galaxy Note 8 Review
Our Samsung Galaxy Note 8 Review

Samsung is one of the major players in the smart phone industry and it is not hard to know why. The South Korean company has released a lot of game changing phones with impressive display and excellent performance. However, it hit a roadblock when its Note 7 started to burst into flames.

So when the Galaxy Note 8 came out it was a wonder if this newest offering from Samsung will redeem the company’s tarnished reputation.

Read on to find out more and understand why we think Samsung found the perfect solution with our Samsung Galaxy Note 8 review.

Tried and Tested Battery

Before beginning it is imperative to tell you that Samsung has learned from its mistakes and have completed exhaustive tests before giving the green light for the Note 8.

According to reports, Samsung did an eight-point battery safety check on the Note’s battery. In addition to an increased number of safety testing, Samsung has also decreased the physical size of the battery to avoid repeating history.

The capacity of the battery was also decreased from 3,500mAh to 3,300mAh. Samsung also sought a certification from an independent organization to endorse the Note 8 as a safe and secure phone.

However, it is too early to tell if the Note 8 is safer than its predecessor. If you are still worried, then it is best to wait a few months after it has been released.

An Impressive Display and Cool Features

Two of the major wins of the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 are its marvelous screen display and two powerful cameras. The Note 8 boasts a vibrant 6.3 inch super AMOLED display and is very expensive to get this Samsung screen repaired. Thanks to the Infinity Display of the phone, users will have a wonderful experience interacting with the screen and its features.

With this impressive display, this phone can easily be the go to gadget of artists, students, and businessmen. For instance, the Galaxy Note 8 also has a feature that allows you to jot down notes even when the phone is locked.

This feature is called the Screen-off Memo that also allows you to make animated GIFs that are shareable in different social media and messaging apps.

A Kick Butt Camera That Takes AWesome Pictures

The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 sports dual 12MP rear cameras and one 8MP front camera. The two cameras at the back work together in order to deliver crisp photos. When you take a picture with the Note 8, the camera saves two versions of the photos: one wide-angle and one portrait.

Samsung’s portrait mode, also known as the Live Focus, should be taken when you are at least 4 feet away from the subject of the photo and the lighting has to be good. You might think that it’s too demanding for a camera but when you see the high quality photos from the Note 8, you will not hesitate to adjust accordingly to its needs.

The photos taken with the phone are vibrant and sharp thanks to Samsung’s ability to reproduce true to life colors. Aside from Live Focus, Samsung has also added new tools and filters to the camera app that will surely delight any photography lovers out there.

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An S-Pen You Might Actually Use

The S-Pen, Samsung’s stylus pen, is already loved by many users. When paired with the amazing features of the Galaxy Note 8, fans of the stylus will be delighted.

Samsung has made its stylus so compatible with the Note 8 that using it comes almost as natural as breathing. Other than writing, the S-Pen can also be used for taking shots of just portions of the screen, erasing mistakes in typing, checking out previews of images and hidden menus. The Galaxy Note 8 is a water resistant phone and Samsung has also added this capability to the S-Pen.

No Change To The Finger Scanner

Sadly, in our opinion, the Note 8 is still a few steps away from being perfect. The Galaxy Note 8 still has that inconveniently placed finger scanner at the rear part of the phone. Most users have complained that Note’s finger scanner is a hassle to use.

Unfortunately, Samsung still thinks otherwise. Given the fact that complaints regarding the scanner have been around since Note 5, one would expect Samsung to come up with something better, but it didn't.

Perhaps it's because the phone also offers the face and iris scanner, which to Samsung means users have two other options to unlock their phone and let go of the finger print scanner.

But still, we do think that in certain situations, the finger scanner is the better and faster tool to use to unlock a phone. For now, we are stuck with the bad position of the finger scanner.

The Bad: Finger Scanner and the Hefty Cost of the Phone

Aside from the finger scanner, one thing that might slow you down from running out and buying the Note 8 is the price.

Since Samsung has put a lot of effort into the display, camera, and performance of the phone, it is no wonder that they would want to recoup their costs and monetary value for their efforts.

In the United States, the Galaxy Note 8 starts out at $930. Carriers like AT&T and Verizon offers the same model for $950 and $960 respectively. Sprint also offers the Note 8 at $960 while T-Mobile tries to be competitive with $930.

Therefore, buying the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 is not a decision you should make right away. That is unless you get on a payment plan or you have an extra grand laying around. ​

Our Final Thoughts On The Note 8 Review

The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 is a powerfully beautiful phone that is a few notches away from perfection. If you are in the market to buy a new phone, then we encourage you to know your priorities and needs first before purchasing. You may even want to sell your old phone to raise some cash for the new one.

There are a lot of good phones from other brands that are not as pricey. So before spending almost a $1000, ensure that what you are getting is something that you will put to good use every day.

September 30, 2017

The iPhone 8 or iPhone X, Which One Should You Get?

iPhone 8 or iPhone X
iPhone 8 or iPhone X

For 2017, Apple has decided to launch three iPhones. There are two similar looking iPhone's and one premium, re-designed iPhone X. If you are thinking of buying one of these new iPhone's, you will be confronted with a mind-boggling question: the iPhone 8 or iPhone X?

These three iPhone's are built to attract different types of consumers who value different things in an iPhone. Read on to learn the differences between the 2 iPhone's so that you can decide which one is right for you.

iPhone 8 Price Is for those on A budget

Starting off with the price, your budget is one of the major factors in determining which iPhone is right for you.

For the iPhone 8, the price starts at $699 while the iPhone 8 Plus starts $799. This is still a considerable amount of money to pay but certainly less than the iPhone X which starts out at $999.

These prices, however, are before additional charges like taxes, Apple Care or if you want to get one with more storage. The starting price alone is a determining factor on getting the iPhone 8 or iPhone X.

iPhone 8 is Easier to handle but iPhone X Has A Bigger Screen

Aside from the price, the size of the iPhone also matters. The iPhone 8 is a more comfortable choice if you are looking for an easy to handle phone. The size of the iPhone 8 screen is 4.7" while the 8 Plus is 5.5". This is what you are familiar with on the iPhone 7 & 7 Plus so the iPhone screen repairs on the 8 shouldn't be too expensive.

iPhone X Has A Larger Screen Display

However, the iPhone X is physically sized between the two iPhone's but with its bezel-less design, its screen is larger than the iPhone 8 Plus by .3 inches.

Apple has upgraded its screen resolutions for the three new iPhones by adding True Tone Technology making the iPhone adjust with the lighting conditions. However, the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus still have the HD Retina displays just like the older versions.

If you desire an iPhone with a premium display, then you should go for the iPhone X which has a Super Retina display and more pixels per inch. The iPhone X also has OLED and HDR technology, which is a first for Apple. These new technologies give the iPhone X a deeper, richer color and true to life images.

The iPhone 8 or iPhone X camera, Which Is the Better choice?

For some, the camera is a very important feature in their iPhone. If you are one of these people, then the iPhone 8 Plus or the X is the better choice. These 2 iPhone's have dual camera lens which helps in zooming and gives DSLR-like images.

Both iPhone's also have a Portrait lighting feature. This setting gives a studio-like lighting effect which helps the shots look better. Fortunately, the Portrait Mode is available on the iPhone X front camera.

Aside from that, both lenses of the iPhone X have faster aperture and optical image stabilization.

There Is NO Home Button On The iPhone X

The biggest and most noticeable change Apple did to the iPhone X was removing the physical home button. The home button has been a prominent identifier of the iPhones for a long time.

iPhone X Has No Home Button

It is a little weird seeing an iPhone without a home button but Apple has a way around that. With the iPhone X, maneuvering through the iPhone is done by gestures. Which may turn you off a little by having to learn a new way to navigate your iPhone.

Therefore, if you are not ready to let go of the physical home button yet, then you should opt to get the iPhone 8 or iPhone 8 Plus which still has the traditional build, design & navigation.

Your Face is Now Your iPhone Unlock

With the disappearance of the physical Home button, Apple has also did away with the fingerprint scanner on the iPhone X. The premium iPhone X can now be unlocked with a thing called Face ID. Authenticating payments and users, which used to be the function of Touch ID, is now part of Face ID’s functionality.

According to Apple, the Face ID is more secure than the Touch ID. This is the first time that Apple has used facial recognition technology as part of its security features. According to the tech company, its own version of the technology is more secure than others given the fact that it uses a 3D scanner. Which means that the Face ID cannot be tricked by merely using a photo.

However, while Face ID might be safer, there is still a debate on whether it is convenient. If you are not yet sure whether you will be comfortable with the Face ID technology, then the iPhone 8 or iPhone 8 Plus should be your choice since both of those iPhone's still use the Touch ID feature.

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Gamers Are Going To Love These iPhone's

All 3 iPhone's launched this year are equipped with Apple’s augmented reality function. This gives the user a more exciting gameplay and life-like experience with interactive apps. For this feature it does not matter if you go with the iPhone 8 or iPhone X since both will have them.

Augmented Reality For The New iPhone

If you REALLY love this type of technology, then go with the iPhone X. Aside from its augmented reality capability, this iPhone's front camera has TrueDepth technology which lets the camera do facial mapping. This means that you can now make a Snapchat filter of yourself or even an Animoji of your face.

Know your needs With The iPhone 8 or iPhone x

If you are coming from an iPhone 7, the iPhone 8 might not offer you a substantially different experience than if you went for the iPhone X. But if you are coming from an iPhone 6 then the iPhone 8 can definitely bring you something fresh.

At the end of the day, choosing the right iPhone for you means you have to know your wants and needs and which of these is negotiable. Buying any of these three iPhone's will put you back a significant amount of money so make sure that the iPhone you choose will be something that suits your lifestyle and personal preferences.

You can also save big by not buying one of these "new" iPhone's and consider buying a used iPhone, unless you plan on getting the iPhone X.

Everything On The iPhone 8 Rumors & The September 12 Release Date

iPhone 8 Rumors & Release Date
iPhone 8 Rumors & Release Date

For those who do not know, 2017 is a big year for the manufacturing giant, Apple. The tech company will is celebrating its 10th year anniversary of the iPhone. People are excited for what is in store for this year’s release of the much-anticipated iPhone 8.

With only a few weeks to go before the big launch of the latest device, there are many rumors already circulating about it including one leak from Apple itself.

The Hardware: Living from Edge to Edge

Unlike its predecessors, the iPhone 8 is said to have a radical design with a display from edge to edge. It has been said that Apple will do away with the physical Home button and the only bezel that will be left is a small area dedicated for a front-facing camera.

Apple confirmed that it is working on a facial recognition technology so expect that the Touch ID may be eliminated in favor of the former. Because of its edge to edge design, the device may have a size similar to the of the 4.7 inch iPhone but with a display area same as the 5.5 inch one. However, there are also rumors suggesting that the display area will be 5.8 inches with 5.15 inches of usable space.

Since there is a huge possibility that the physical Home button will be eliminated, gestures might be used to navigate the phone. The display screen is said to be made of flexible plastic OLED rather than the usual LCD. This switch will help Apple come up with a thinner device with less power consumption but shows off a better display with higher contrast ratio and more true to life colors.

Let's hope that the new display is more durable than all of the previous models combined. Replacing the iPhone 8 screen will set you back $109. You can walk into our cell phone repair store in Austin Texas or use our iPhone mail in repair service that works for anyone in the USA.

Still, it is better to invest in a good case and tempered glass screen protector to avoid the costly repair.

Will Apple Go With An All Glass Body?

For the body, the iPhone 8 may veer away from the aluminum. Unlike its immediate predecessors, the latest device might be sporting a glass body similar to its great great grandparent, the iPhone 4.

The glass is said to be built around a polished frame of stainless steel just like the Apple Watch. It is also expected to be water resistant and hold up rain, splashes, and brief submersion in water. The water-resistant feature has also been confirmed by Apple’s supplier and such feature may extend to all iPhone models moving forward.

Inside its body, the iPhone 8 is expected to sport a 10-nanometer A11 chip which will help it be faster and more efficient. New technologies like wireless charging and facial recognition can also be expected. For higher-end models, optical image stabilization may be expected for both front and rear cameras.

The camera will also include 3D sensing capabilities that will allow it to locate and find the depth of objects in front of it. Such 3D capability will also help in its facial recognition features.

The Software & The A11 Chip

For this year, Apple will be sticking with its A11 chip for all iPhone models. The production for the newest chip began in May 2017. The chip is expected to give the users a faster and more power efficient performance compared to the present A10 chip.

The A11 can also lead to a better battery life that will surely be music to the ears of most users. The RAM of the iPhone 8 is similar to that of the iPhone 7 Plus, a 3GB one. The DRAM transfer speed of the latest models is expected to be 10-15 percent faster than the iPhone 7.

So What’s The Price to Pay?

Rumors have been circulating that the iPhone 8 will be the most expensive phone from Apple. The new OLED display, wireless charging, bio-metric features and improved camera performance have been pointed out as the causes for the price increase.

Some have priced the iPhone 8 at around $1,000 while others believed it will go beyond that. However, there are also rumors that lower-end models will be released for those who do not want to spend such a big amount of money on a new phone.

A Complete Review Of The iPhone 7

A Complete Review Of The iPhone 7
A Complete Review Of The iPhone 7

The iPhone 7 is the latest phone from the Apple brand that has taken over. Is it the best iPhone on the market or should you wait for the next one to emerge? Let’s take a look:

Overview

The Apple iPhone 7 has a 4.7-inch 326ppi wide-color-gamut display, 32, 128, or 256 GB storage options, an A10 Fusion chip, and a 12MP camera.

Pros: Excellent camera, water resistance, great performance, sound quality in speakers

Cons: Poor battery life, no headphone jack, expensive, not enough has changed

The Design

iPhones have really always looked like iPhones, so you won’t see much difference in the way they are designed. The same simple design is there: a home button, a screen, and side panel buttons. There are small changes in the placement of some things, which means you’ll have to buy a new case.

As for the color, you have the newest red, then the usual black, space grey, white, rose gold, silver, and gold.

Of course, the biggest change to the design is the lack of a 3.5 mm headphone jack. You can either use the Airpods or you can use the charging port as a headphone jack. Of course, this makes it impossible to charge your phone and listen to music at the same time.

For those not willing to give up their older headphones, you can get an adapter (one is included with the phone) that will turn your charging port into a 3.5 mm option. There are other adapters on the market as well from third party sources.

A somewhat smaller change comes from the home button. You now don’t get the “click” and instead there is a haptic engine that makes it feel like it does.

Screen

The screen is the same as it has been, 4.7 inches without any more pixels and a resolution of 1334x750. It is sharp enough but isn’t the sharpest phone on the market. Nothing looks fake and it is quite rich, which means that you will be able to get more out of it when watching YouTube or Netflix.

When it comes to durability of the glass the iPhone 7 is no better than its predecessors. Luckily, there are plenty of places that can fix that if you ever have the need for it. In Austin, we can replace a cracked iPhone screen in about an hour. And for those not located in Austin, try our mail in iPhone repair service.

Speakers

The iPhone 7 gets extremely loud, which is great for people who like to use their speakers and can’t get around the lack of a headphone jack. There are two speakers now, one at the bottom and one at the earphone slot. You’ll get some separation at times, but it makes for a louder, clearer tone on your phone.

There is still tinny quality about the sound because the iPhone is just too small to really give you that full quality sounds that you need. Don’t put the volume at the top level to avoid some of the worst of it.

Water Resistance

One of the biggest foes of a phone has been water. Now that the Home button has been changed, the phone is now water resistant as well. Now, you can drop your phone into 1 meter of water for up to 30 minutes and it should still be okay.

You can now use your phone in the shower without having to worry.

Performance

This is certainly the most powerful iPhone on the market, and the most powerful phone as well. You can do quite a bit on this phone and keep as many apps open as you want. You can play some great games and never really have to worry about it lagging.

For reference, this phone is 30% faster than the iPhone 6S and 12% more powerful than the Galaxy S7.

Camera

Most people who want the new iPhone want it because of the upgraded camera. This has been a major focus on Apple’s publicity. The iPhone 7 has different optic lenses (6 in total) and better editing functionality than any other iPhone.

The front facing camera, for Snapchat addicts, is also much improved.

One major complain is that the phone still has trouble with red coloring. Another complaint is that the flash still isn’t as great as it could be. If you tend to take pictures in darker spaces, you may want to avoid this or get a separate flash mechanism.

Battery Life

One of the main reasons people start looking at new phones it because their batteries are dying. Apple won’t necessarily be an improvement here because it still doesn’t have the power.

Even though the phone has a slightly larger battery than its predecessors, the battery really hasn’t improved at all. In fact, some complain that because of the new apps and iOS 10, it is worse. Turning down the screen brightness, not keeping your phone on at all times, and even turning your phone onto airplane mode can help – but it isn’t something that you should have to do to enjoy your phone. Add that to the fact that the phone doesn’t charge all that quickly either, and you have some serious problems.

For people who rarely make it through the day without charging, you won’t love this aspect of the phone. You’ll have to charge at some point.

Should I buy the iPhone 7?

Everyone has their own choice to make here, but the iPhone 7 is a fantastic phone. It is something that works almost everywhere and many people design specifically for Apple phones. Still, the battery life is something that you need to take into consideration. Other things to look at include storage size, cost, and the lack of a headphone port.

Still, an iPhone is an iPhone, and it says something when you have the latest model.

When having the latest model is not all important to you, buying a used iPhone that is 1 or 2 generations back will get the job done. This can literally save you hundreds for an iPhone that is not much different that the iPhone 7.

Should you get your phone repaired or just replaced it?

Repair Or Replace Your Phone
Repair Or Replace Your Phone

It's something that's bound to happen and we all hate it, having a broken cell phone hurts. We are so reliant on our phones these day's so much that if we don't have it it feels like a part of us is missing. For most people, not having a phone is not even an option. Our phones keep all of our pictures, music, phone number and important information.

When you have a broken phone your life seems on hold. There are actionable steps to take to get you reconnected either by repairing it or replacing it, we cover both options below.

Getting your phone repaired

Getting your cell phone repaired should be the first option you should consider. This option is usually cheaper that a replacement especially if the repair is minor. Today's smartphones are so sophisticated that a tiny crack could render the entire screen unusable.

A cracked screen is the most common cause of damage, next is water damage, and can be repaired quickly by a reputable local repair shop.

Most people plan to trade in their current phone to upgrade to the latest model. This can save you big of the upgrade price however if its cracked or damaged guess what, you can't trade it in.

Getting Your Cracked iPhone Repaired

The prices on the high end phones continue to rise and every little bit helps when it comes time to upgrade and this is especially true when you get an iPhone screen repair. When you plan to get your iPhone repaired make sure that you deal with a reputable repair shop that has good reviews. Otherwise you may end up with an iPhone that is in worse condition than it was before.

We are located in Austin Texas and we specialize in repairing iPhone's. We also do iPad repairs, Samsung Galaxy repairs and almost all types of cell phone repairs too. And, if you are not located in Austin, try our mail in iPhone repair service where you can mail in your iPhone, get it repaired and get it back fast,

Getting a Replacement

A different option is to replace the phone with a new or used one. You can walk into your carrier store, spend up to $800 and get yourself a brand new phone. If you had payments on your old phone you will have to still pay that off too.

Simple, right?

Most people are not going to have the extra cash laying around to buy a new phone. Especially when the cost of a new phone can be as much as a car payment.

This is when you should consider buying a used phone. There are a bunch of good used phones ready to activate on your service that were left over from a previous upgrade. There are things you have to keep in mind when shopping for a used cell phone. You will want to make sure that the phone is compatible with your service and that there is nothing wrong with it. Buy a used phone on a classified site often means as is with no warranties.

There are business built around the sale of used cell phone and they should be your first choice. They often have been fully tested, clean, inspected and comes with a warranty.

Here at The Austin Cell Phone we do just that. Each phone we sell is hand tested, cleaned, inspected and verified clear to activate on your service. We also include the battery, wall charger and a 30 day warranty on all phones sold.

Buy A Used Cell Phone

Check out our online eCommerce site at Best Used Cell Phones. We have all of our inventory listed there. They are available for pick up at our brick and mortar store in Austin.

Or, just go without a phone

Who needs to have a phone with them all of the time anyway? Sure, you wont be able to receive text messages, remember your parents phone number and you would have to log onto a computer to reply to emails. Sounds like fun, doesn't it?

Challenge yourself to see how long you can last without your phone, you may just enjoy it. Get over your nomophobia and if you can get past the anxiety of felling like your not in the loop of things you may just start the trend we need as a society. Maybe that statement is a bit of an overreach but I can remember the days where there wasn't a cell phone in ever ones hand.

When the time comes to get reconnected with the world, whether you want to or not, visit us for either a repair or replacement. We will get you back on your feet the same day. You can also do baby steps by starting out with a flip phone first.