PhanMail Friday: We’re Back! [May 6th, 2011]


It’s been a loooooong long time since we’ve done one of these. Due to hectic schedules, donuts, and other circumstances beyond our control the past couple of months, we haven’t been able to answer all of the great questions that continue to flow in. We’re putting an end to all of that, though. If you don’t remember, PhanMail Friday is a weekly collection of some of the best questions sent to us and answered by our very own editors.

Whether you need help with your phone or if you want our thoughts on current Android happenings, we’re happy to answer any and everything. (Just don’t expect us to entertain obscene questions – those will get trashed without delay.) Please continue to send your questions in by heading over to the Contact Us section and use the PhanMail form. Check back each Friday to see if your question was answered. I’ll do my best to answer as many of them as I can but I can’t get to them all. Without further delay:

“Why does it seem that other Countries are always getting the newest phones months before the US? I’m a little peeved that US carriers must wait while others get to roll around in Androidy goodness!”
— Andy

Yea, it angers me too, Andy. Even though we write about and review phones, we can’t get our hands on a majority of the European exclusives until their North American counterparts make their way over to the US. And on a personal tip, I’m waiting to buy a certain phone that I’m hoping will come out for a certain carrier with certain features. (I won’t disclose which phone as I don’t want it to seem as if I’m endorsing it.) But yes, we hear you. It sucks. I always say that American cell phone companies should just adopt the Europeans’ style. Their carriers are willing to carry any and everything and you can get any phone for “free” with the right data plan. Actually, I think I might just move to Europe. Bye.

“Do they make an EVO soft cover to accomodate the extended battery for the EVO phone?”

I haven’t seen anything like that, Walsh, but if you don’t mind an ugly solution I’m sure one of the many silicon cases available will be able to stretch right over that extra junk in the trunk.

“Went from liberty gingerbread to liberty 2.0.1 and am now stuck in boot loop, what do I do? Tried holding home and power, that do anything but get me back to the liberty logo in a boot loop…Help please!”
— Spencer

Stop. Go to the DROID X’s All Things Root section at AndroidForums.com or XDA-Developers’ DROID X General section and ask your question there. I’m not saying this because I don’t feel like answering the question, but I wouldn’t dare give advice on a device I don’t own and have no experience with. You’ll find that the Android hacking community – while a bit testy at times – will get you going before you can say “I’m going to switch to the iPho–”

“I have been looking at your site and would like to join as a user.”
— Brad

That’s awesome, Brad! There’s no better way to become a user than to sign up at our sister site AndroidForums.com. It’s owned and operated by us here at Phandroid and your username there will enable some great functionality here on Phandroid.com in the months to come. Don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter – if you haven’t, you’re currently missing out on a chance to win whatever Rob gets at Google I/O. (Keep your fingers crossed for it being a device of some sort!) Look for the newsletter button on the upper right of this page to get started.

“could you tell me how i can make my samsung galaxy europa into a modem for my laptop”
— David

Android has tethering (modem) features built in since Android 2.2, but your carrier may have opted to get rid of them or replace them with their own solution. If you don’t have the option, you may need to root your device and use one of several free tethering applications. This may or may not be legal depending on who your operator is so be sure to check your contract or terms of service.

“I am in need of a Smart Phone, my company reimburses me $75/month for the expense. I just started researching the subject and feel overwhelmed by phone/Carrier choices. I would like to go Android 4G but from where which carrier? Is there definitive information somewhere? Every website I go to spins the information a new way whether I look at carriers coverage, plans or phones. Can you direct me or is it really this convoluted? Like everyone I just want the most for my dollar. The unit will be primarily for business then personal and I expect to need somewhere between 450 and 1000 minutes with data. I can’t be more precise on usage until I have worked here a while.”
— Keith

Hi Keith. I’m unable to endorse any one carrier, but if your $75 reimbursement covers you no matter what, you may only be paying a few dollars per month for service at a couple of different carriers. I know T-Mobile and Sprint have affordable rate plans compared to the two biggest carriers in America, AT&T and Verizon. Verizon’s only two 4G devices at the moment are the Samsung DROID Charge and the HTC Thunderbolt. Their network can also rival most Americans’ broadband internet connections in terms of speed. Unfortunately that leaves us back at square one – there is never an easy way to choose carriers. Consider your limits and see who is the best fit for you.

“So, I’ve been having problems non-stop since I updated my Samsung Captivate to 2.2. I called Samsung and they had me ship it in for repairs. I haven’t gotten it back yet, but my question is, should I be more up-set with AT&T or Samsung about all the Captivate problems?? I mean who’s really to blame here for the overall lack of support and poor quality? Should I switch from AT&T or just never by a Samsung again??”
— Whiskey

I can assure you that this will be a problem no matter where you go in the United States, whiskey. Samsung has proven that they can deliver timely and stable updates to unbranded Galaxy S phones in Europe. They were alongside the first group of folks to receive Froyo and the same will ring true for Gingerbread. In the United States, as you know, there are  no unbranded Galaxy S devices – each update for each phone had to go through respective carrier. They have to customize it with certain preinstalled applications and carrier specific features and must test and test and test. All four major carriers in the United States took quite a while to get Froyo out, and not all of their updates were stable when they did bring them out. (Forcing them to take the update offline until further notice.) Switching carriers isn’t going to help anything so I’d only suggest you do that if you have other reasons.

That’s all the room we have to answer this weeks, folks. Now that I can assure you this feature will continue weekly from here on it, don’t be hesitant to send your questions through. We always love to hear what’s on you guys’ minds and this is no doubt one of the funnest ways to do it. See you next week!

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. ummm I think ATT was the first carrier that offered carrier billing. Im I wrong?

    1. in fact I think it came out back in Dec. ’10

    2. I’m pretty sure that was T-Mobile, but I couldn’t testify to it in court. T-Mobile doesn’t really get the credit it deserves for it’s amazing support of the Android platform.

      1. It was definitely T-Mobile, followed by AT&T, then Sprint. T-Mobile is the definitive android carrier in the US.

        1. you guys are right it was t-mobile first.

  2. Just a note, Droid Charge and LG Revolution are not the only 2 devices LTE for Verizon, who could forget the almighty Thunderbolt???

    1. The Thunderbolt is also the only Verizon LTE phone that has been released, too.

  3. from the article: ” Verizon’s only two 4G devices at the moment are the Samsung DROID Charge and the LG Revolution.”

    i’m pretty sure that verizon has the thunderbolt by htc, aka the first 4G/LTE phone on verizon. not sure why it was not mentioned.

    /not with verizon

  4. Cool. Can’t wait until the next one in another year!


  5. Complain all you want that europe gets phones sooner, but the Nexus one still hasn’t been released here in the Netherlands. If I didn’t get my imported one, I’d still be waiting for it. Thank God google is shifting things up, becausenexus s is available :S. I jsut hope the N3 will be available too

  6. guy with the droid X needs to sbf back to stock froyo and then run z4root, dl liberty toolbox, and flash liberty…

    i recommend sticking with liberty gb nightlies.

  7. we can’t get our hands on a majority of the European exclusives until their North American counterparts make their way over to the US.”
    happens the other way around too mate

  8. My question got posted…. I feel like a real person. Oh and by the way I got my phone back almost two weeks after I shipped it out. Nothing has changed… GPS still sucks. Im thinking about rooting my phone, but I have no idea where to start on my Captivate. Could someone share a good link with the right info for me. Thanks in advance.

  9. What?? US not getting newest phones?!! The US are getting EXCLUSIVE phones mates. The rest of the world had to wait for months to get their version of the EVO 4G, ie the Desire HD. The US had the exclusive launch of the Nexus One. The US had the Droid X. The US had a range of Galaxy S phones to choose from, one of them with a slide out keyboard! And now, the US will be getting the EVO 3D, exclusively! You guys are getting awesome phones exclusively made for the US market!

    Be proud that you guys are using the network nobody else in the world uses: CDMA.

  10. october 09 g1 came and i got it, then went to the sexy nexy and now g2x, i love android

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