AT&T Buyer’s Guide: March 2012

March 24, 2012

It’s been just over a month since we’ve last looked at the phones available on AT&T and a lot has changed. Most of the phones I recommended last month are gone off the list, but a few have remained. I am trying to cover most bases here, from people with athletic lifestyles to the business person. If you have any specific requests or questions, feel free to post them down below and I will do my best to answer them to the best of my abilities.

Samsung Galaxy note

 

Samsung Galaxy Note 4G

The Samsung Galaxy Note 4G came out near the end of last month which is why I missed it on my previous Buyer’s Guide. Let me just say this up front: this phone isn’t for everybody, but is well suited for the business person and the media fanatic alike. With a screen size of 5.3 inches, this phone is huge, so it’s sometimes referred to as a phablet (a phone/tablet hybrid). If you are looking for something to replace that 7″ tablet, or that 4.5 inch phone, or a device that can do the job of both, this is your phone. It has all the latest specs and its most notable feature is the 5.3 inch HD Super AMOLED WXVGA screen with a resolution of 1280×800. With a screen that size you will be able to watch movies in great detail and with great colors. Last, but certainly not least, is the battery which comes in at 2500 mAH. You’ll have no problem using all the features of this phone without having to worry about it dying in the middle of the day.

Specs:

  • 4G LTE connectivity
  • Android 2.3.6
  • 1.5 GHz dual-core processor
  • 5.3-inch HD Super AMOLED WXVGA screen
  • 16 GB memory, expandable up to 32GB
  • 8-MP camera + Full HD 1080p video capture

HTC Vivid 4G

A phone from last month’s list, the HTC Vivid made it’s way to March’s line up.  Spec-wise, the Vivid is impressive, sporting technology that will (we hope) keep you in the game for the next two years. This phone is shipping with Android 2.3 aka Gingerbread, but the roll out for ICS has begun! It is available in black or white, so have your pick. While the HTC Vivid is one of the best phones currently available on AT&T, it does have its share of downsides. One of them is the battery, which is ridiculously small when compared to any other 4G phone out there today – it’s barely pumping out 1620 mAh. This is not such a big problem though, since it is can remedied with an extended life battery.

Specs:

  • 4G LTE radio
  • 1.5 GHz dual-core processor
  • 4.5 inch qHD (960 x 540) super LCD display
  • HDMI port
  • 1GB of Ram

Samsung Rugby Smart

For the outdoorsy among us, comes the Samsung Rugby Smart, an Android smartphone designed to take a beating. Beyond just being able to take a fall from your pocket (it’s shockproof), it can also be submerged in up to a meter of water for 30 minutes (waterproof). Although the specs are not stellar, they should keep this phone alive and well for the life of a 2-year contract.  So, for those who often find themselves behind the wheel on their way out to a new adventure, instead of stuck behind a computer monitor or desk, this is the phone for you.

Specs:

  • 1.4 GHz single-core processor
  • 512 Ram
  • 5-megapixel camera
  • 3.7″  WVGA Super AMOLED display
  • 1,650mAh battery
  • 4 GB internal, external expandable up to 32 GB
  • 4G (HSPA+)

Samsung Captivate Glide

The Samsung Captivate Glide (SCG) has again made it to my list of phones this month. This is not because it is an amazing phone, but mainly due to a lack of good phones with slide-out keyboard as an alternative. While the SCG is, spec-wise, a surprisingly capable phone , it still leaves something to be desired (mainly a higher resolution screen). For anyone who needs a QWERTY keyboard, this will do the job; I highly recommend it over any other QWERTY on AT&T’s network. If you can live without the keyboard, I would strongly recommend picking the Vivid instead, due to its spectacular specs and features.

Specs:

  • 1GHz dual core processor
  • 1GB of RAM
  • 4″ (480 x 800) Super AMOLED screen
  • 4G connection (HSPA+)

Where to buy?

It’s hard to recommend where to buy your phone, because it all depends on your specific situation. Often, for new customers, I recommend buying a phone through Amazon Wireless. You get great deals without having to haggle with customer service, and the phone will be shipped right to your door.
If you are looking for a bricks and mortar store, for some face to face customer service or if you want to see the phones “hands on”, Best Buy will often match the price of Amazon.
Lastly, if you have been with a mobile carrier for an extended period of time, you can often get special upgrades, which they are willing to throw to keep you around, but this may take some haggling. As always, I recommend shopping around to see what is the best deal available to you.

Lastly

If you have any issue concerning the terminology in this guide, I suggest you check out this helpful article for a quick primer in mobile tech speak. Good luck!

Comments

  • Brianepatt85

    skyrocket?

    • Sobr0801

      I felt the HTC Vivid filled the slot of the skyrocket well, plus I had enough Samsung devices for one month.

  • Jay

    What is the best 4G Tablet available on AT&T today? Something that rates near an Ipad 3?

  • johnantony

    Good to know about the AT&T Buyer’s Guide March 2012.

  • Baypky

    would you get an att refurbished phone? Which is better, the Galaxy skyrocket at $20.00 or the HTC vivid at $.01?

    • Sobr0801

      It is always a risk getting a refurbished phone, sometimes they have bad ESN’s (electron serial number) or they could be more worn then the reseller lets on. Generally with a bad ISN they will replace the phone IF it is a reputable seller, but scratched screens, and scuff backplates are the norm with a refurbed phone. I was considering a refurbed Rezound but ended up just adding a new line to avoid the hassle.

      Between the Skyrocket and the Vivid. It comes down to two things, screen and personal preference. The phones are so similar that you are choosing between a lower resolution Super Amoled screen (SGS2), or a high resolution LCD screen (Vivid). I would prefer the Higher resolution LCD myself. Next it comes down to manufacturer skins, do you like sense or touchwiz more, again I prefer Sense. Both have leaks of ICS available so you can have your choice of that later.

      • Baypky

        Thanks for the info. The referbs would be from att with a 90 day warranty. I have no knowledge of either sense or touchwiz so I will go back to att store to get familar with both. Again, thanks the insight was helpful.

        • Sobr0801

          Nothing helps more then getting some hands on time. Both are good phones and in this case come down to personal preference.