Sunday, September 25, 2016

Nexus 5X & Project Fi updates

First review

It's the end of the road now for the 5X. Good or bad, every phone has a life of one year, before a newer model takes over. I'm still very happy with the 5X for the price I paid. Now Project Fi members can get more for $200! It's really not a bad deal for an unlocked phone with those spec.

Of all the bad things you heard about it, nothing happened to me. I would adviced against those memory resident apps that are there running all the time. School kids all install some security protection programs to feel safe and some cleanup programs to save storage. These are not doing anything or not worth the resources or just slow phones down.

I do have some complains that should be improved with a newer model. Somehow the phone can be triggered inside my pant pocket. And it always clear the list in my outofmilk app.

You may be able to notch or shake the phone into doing something. It's a mistery to me.

You can't easily wakeup the phone lying flat on the table. You have to press the power button, wipe up to get the pattern login screen (if you set it). It's so much inconvenient compared to picking up the phone. Once you pick it up, your index finger print will be already on the sensor and the phone unlocked before you think about it. Of course you can use voice command now but you don't want to do it at your open office.

OK, there are some lags occassionally but they are more likely due to temporary network or cache issues. Most of the time, touch response is instant. And it depends very much were you came from. If you have an iPhone 6, you may feel the occassional lag on the 5X. If you were stepping up like me, it's heaven compared to my old phone. I also have the 6S plus. Usually you have the same instant response for the 5X and 6S, or other flagship phones for that matter.

The good? Fingerprint sensor. LG pioneered (?) putting the power button and volumn buttons at the back. It was pretty good once you get used to it. The fringerprint sensor is even better there. It's flat, no bulk and no moving parts.

Voice input/command is pretty good too. I haven't try Siri much but I prefer a short list of simple commands with high reliability. I can call and text using voice with high reliability. Google can catch the simple phrases that I often use reliably. I can see that the phrases are recognized and corrected heavily by AI in the cloud. It's useful when you have a bad accent and bad environment.

Now you can use voice to unlock the phone too. So it's perfect using it on car dashboards, totally handsfree.

I basically used Hangout for a 2nd VOIP line, a separate number for voice and text. It works perfectly. And two lines are active at the same time. But Hangout can be used by one account at a time. You can only login as your main account or your secret player account, not both. Though you can switch instantly but it's not good enough.

I suggest using Hangout only for the player account with a secret 2nd line while it last. And you refuse to use it for your normal open social life. Use Allo or SMS instead for your normal friends.

In my setup, my secret friends all belong to the same company. You have to dig into the contact details to find out their names. I have a duplicated contact list like a normal list with their names, but it was hidden in another Google account, logged into a different user on the phone.

Now I seldom need to log into the secret user on the phone to get the full contact list. I rarely receive calls, but if I do I can tell by the company name that I should receive it. And since sms are stored, I can tell who I was texting just by looking at the history. You can always find some excuse to type her name into the history to make sure. Also, I think I can search the contacts using voice or text input, even the names are hidden deep inside the details.

Project FI is not the cheapest but the killer feature hidden in plain sight is the data only sim. You only pay once for one FI account and you can have a lot of data only sim. It doesn't cost you any money if you don't use it at all, and when you use it, you only pay for the data used, down to each cent I think.

Since voice and text don't use much data, and that you can use a data only sim for a fully functional VOIP phone, you are paying about $0 for unlimited voice and text for every additional line. Or you can use your tablet as the secret phone that nobody suspects.

My 5X survived many falls naked. The screen is hardly scartched. A tough pretty phone.

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