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Old 04-06-2012, 04:59 AM
Brendan Hugo Brendan Hugo is offline
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Default US Cellular announces the Galaxy S Aviator, its first LTE smartphone


Just as Verizon is starting to sell off Samsung’s Droid Charge, US Cellular has decided to adopt it as its first 4G LTE smartphone. This variant, henceforth known as the Samsung Galaxy S Aviator, doesn’t vary much from the Droid Charge. Actually it doesn’t vary at all, far as we can tell. Even the price is the same. While the Aviator is priced at $199.99, for a limited time in “select markets covered by the 4G LTE network,” it will be $99.99—the same price as Verizon’s version.

The Aviator shares the Charge’s midrange 1GHz single-core processor, as well as its 8MP rear camera, 1.3MP front camera, Android 2.3.6 Gingerbread, and miniscule internal storage—only 1.4GB available. The screen is an easy-on-the-eyes 4.3-inch Super AMOLED Plus display, probably running at the same 800 x 480 as the Charge.

Thankfully, these light specs translate into a respectable 6.5 hours of talk time, with 13 days of standby thanks to a 1600mAh battery. And of course you’re getting 4G LTE, and 3G CDMA 800/1900. All this for $99? I wouldn’t complain. My only concern with this phone is its massive list of pre-loaded apps, otherwise known as irremovable bloatware. The 46-item—seriously people?—list is below.

All Share, Amazon Appstore, Amazon Audible, Amazon IMDB, Amazon Kindle, Amazon MP3, Amazon Shopping, Amazon Zappos, Asphalt 5, Books, Browser, Calculator, Calendar, Camera, City ID, Clock, Daily Perks, Downloads, Email, Gallery, Gmail, Google Play, Google Search, HD Game Portal, Latitude, Maps, Media Hub, Memo, Mobile TV, Music, Music Player, My Files, Navigation, Places, Portable Wi-Fi Hotspot, QuickOffice, Settings, Talk, Task Manager, Tone Room Deluxe, Video Player, Voice Dialer, Voice Recorder, Voice Search, YouTube, Your Navigator Deluxe.

Is anybody else massively turned off by bloatware? I know you can always root the phone and do some magic, but it would be delightful to have a phone with only the things I put on there. Unlocked bootloaders, when OEMs bother, are nice but the ability to remove bloatware without voiding the warranty would be nicer, and more practical for more users. That said, is there any bloatware that you consider indispensable? That one thing you were really glad was preloaded on your phone?

[US Cellular via PhoneDog]
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Old 04-06-2012, 12:20 PM
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Fallstar Fallstar is offline
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This is the carrier that I've been using. They recently launched LTE in a handful of mid-west and northeast markets, and will be expanding a bit through the rest of this year. I'm in the pacific northwest region, and probably won't see LTE until middle of next year, although a few larger cities nearby should be getting it this year. So, no rush for me to get a 4G phone.

As stated above, specs seem to make it more of a mid-level smartphone. I had been using the HTC Desire, and really liked it, and the Sense interface was nice. Unfortunately, I needed much more internal storage and a larger screen. I just upgraded to Galaxy S II...even though I would like another HTC phone, but this will do for now. There are some things I miss not having from HTC. I will be eligible for another upgrade in a year, so hopefully they'll have a higher end LTE phone from htc available.

As for bloatware, that has always been an issue...and not just for US Cellular. A lot of the apps you listed are from Google, some are from the manufacturer (Samsung) and some from the carrier. I think my Desire had much more bloatware than my SGSII. It's not a big deal for me right now, since I have a much larger internal storage than the Desire. But still, I don't like that I can't uninstall things I don't use/need. Apparently US Cellular has some sort of agreement with Amazon (which I love), but Zappo's? Really? ugh! Otherwise, it's not that bad. Plus I no longer am stuck on contracts, and have a decent priced plan. Am happy.
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Old 04-06-2012, 02:10 PM
Brendan Hugo Brendan Hugo is offline
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Being happy with one's phone/plan combo seems to be a rarity these days. And I fully agree with you on the Google bloat, much of these programs are also pre-installed on my DROID X2. Different manufacturer (Motorola) different carrier (Verizon) but much of the same bloatware.

I would be very happy to see the bloat gone, but by downloading a third-party launcher (GO Launcher EX) at least I am able to hide the bloat programs, even though they still eat up space and demand updates now and again. As far as manufacturers go, even after owning a SGSII, which is considered by many the very best smartphone of last year, you're still yearning for a HTC device? Is Sense really that good? I've never used it.
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Old 04-06-2012, 02:34 PM
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I don't know if it's "that" good, I'm sure lots of folks would disagree. But, after using my Desire for a couple of years, I've grown used to having certain features and widgets built in. With the SGSII, I've managed to find some apps to make it more Sense-like...Swiftkey for a much better predictive typing experience, Beautiful Widgets because I love the big flip clock with weather , and a few others. There are still some things I'm missing or having to put up with. One thing that bugs me is when you wake up the phone, there is a pause (2-3 seconds or more) before the lock screen turns on.
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