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Nexus 7, giant phones, and an experiment

I finally decided to take the plunge and attempt to replace my phone with something new. I've said before that I'm not just looking for a spec bump or performance increase in my new phone, I'm looking for something that gives me some better usability and fits my usage scenarios better. With that said, let me go over what I'm looking for again.

Currently I have a nexus 4 running CyanogenMod 10.2 and I'm running off the $30 plan from T-mobile that includes 5gb of data and 100 minutes of talk. I'm also using a Google Voice number (I don't even know my real phone number). This setup works fairly well for me now, but I realize that there are several aspects of my setup that can be refined to give me a better overall utilization of my devices. I rarely talk on my phone, instead utilizing Hangouts when I'm at home via the PC to make my phone calls and not taking any calls while I'm at work. I primarily use my phone as a Bluetooth access point for Glass and for checking e-mail, web browsing, Google+, and occasionally YouTube.
I am not currently taxing the device's processor, so that's not really a factor for me since even a midrange phone is going to have a decent enough processor for my usage. Qi compatible is a major factor for me though as I have already spent enough on Qi chargers to pay for a Moto G. Screen size is somewhat important since I'm using it for reading and such, and battery life is a mild concern since better battery life is never a bad thing. LTE data is a serious nice to have, and some form of you non-wifi data connection is a must. 

Knowing my use case and desired features, several devices were available. The three I considered most were the moto x, the nexus 7 (2013), and the omate truesmart. Each have their own benefits and trade-offs. To start with the X, it's a very solid midrange spec'd device that performs like a high end device. The sensor array it has and the no touch features are nothing short of amazing. It has incredible battery life and tons of customization options. The major flaw, in my eyes, is the lack of Qi charging. That was the deal breaker for me. Next up is the 7. This is a capable device with a large screen, nice battery, LTE data, and the usual benefits of being a nexus.  It even has Qi charging. It is a little larger than most other phones though and can not be used with typical cell plans and can not make native voice calls. The omate on the other hand is like no phone I've seen before, and that would largely be because it's not a phone, it's a watch. It has 3g data and a very unique form factor that would remove any sort of phone device from my pockets. With omate and Glass I wouldn't need another device. The downside is that it's not out yet and has no real world reviews.

I decided to give the 7 a shot. I found a guy on swappa with one for a good price and he even lived close by. We completed the purchase on swappa and I met him that evening to pick up the tablet. I activated it shortly afterward with a sim card I had at home. Everything went smoothly and I was able to get the free 200mb per month for life t-mobile was offering. The nexus 7 is a bit larger than my other phones, but it still fits in my pocket without trouble. I have to remember to take it out before I get in the car, but that's the only time. The battery life is incredible, and with restricting background data to only the apps that need it on cellular, I think I may be able to stay within the 200mb and not have a cell phone bill. Groove ip works incredibly well on the tablet and the calls are crystal clear on 4g.  So far I'm 4 days in using this tablet as my phone and so far it is the best phone I have ever used.  I guess I really only needed a tablet all along.

I'll continue to test the tablet as my primary phone for the next week or so and provide my feedback on the things that went well and the things that didn't. Right now the biggest issue I have is that Glass is not detected as a bluetooth headset, so I can't use it for calls. I'm running stock kit kat so this may be something the Glass team or a custom rom could fix.

On yeah, I'm trying out the Minuum Keyboard again and this post was written utilizing that via my new nexus 7. I'm at 10 and a half hours of usage with groove ip running, Moves tracking my gps constantly and still have 40% battery left.


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