« on: November 15, 2012, 05:46 PM »
After a certain point, I had a different thought every day, which would make this thread look like a twitter feed, and I decided not to post to this thread until I made a decision. So for the sake of closure, I will tell you that a couple weeks ago, I saw a mint Galaxy S Blaze for $208, at least $42 cheaper than I could find previously for a non-mint one with an unscratched display, and jumped on it. It doesn't meet all of my original requirements, but it meets a lot of them. I couldn't really find a S II in decent shape for much less than
$300$250. I had no resistance to putting ICS on it via Samsung Kies program, and there were no issues. I am not using it as a phone yet, I am waiting until I can get it in a decent protective case, but I am installing apps like crazy as well as an offline version of Wikipedia (via Aard Dictionary).
I plan on using it on T-Mobile for at least a couple months (it can take advantage of HSPA+ 42, which in my hometown is faster than Verizon LTE) and probably longer. After two months, my understanding is that T-Mobile will unlock it for me, and then I will still probably stay with T-Mobile, but it will be international 2G and 3G (2100Mhz) ready if I need it (not that there is any urgency to that). There are a few T-Mobile MVNOs emerging that look interesting, including a prepaid data one. I'll probably go with $30 unlimited data + 100 minutes talk plan + Google Voice or something similar. That's all I really need.
Battery life is so-so, but at least it is removable. If I go somewhere, I may get a charging case for it. The Super AMOLED display is very clear, but visibility in direct sunlight is nothing special, about the same as my iPod Touch. What I was looking for as far as visibility in direct sunlight may not be possible, at least not in my price range. But I think everything else meets my revised specs in the original post.