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Discussion Starter #1
My Samsung Galaxy S3 is dying. I was hoping it would last until the new year so that I'd already have my Bolt before I had to choose a new phone, but it looks like I'm going to have to take the plunge right away.

Does anyone have any recommendations for an Android phone that plays well with the Bolt? From my reading of the various threads it sounds like KeyPass is a bit flaky on a lot of phones, and there can be some Bluetooth issues as well. If anyone has a success or horror story I'd love to hear it.

My strong preference would be to get a phone with a replaceable battery, but those seem to be getting fewer and farther between. Proprietary batteries are bad enough, but having to the throw the phone out when the battery wears out just seems to me to be the worst idea ever. But it looks like I might have to just hold my nose and just deal with it this time around.
 

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I got a used Samsung S7 because the old crappy phone I had wasn't Android Auto compatible. So far, the S7 plays well, Bluetooth has been fine and Keypass works (although it just turns on the lights when I approach). I'd guess the S8 would work well too, but I can't confrim, so it's just a guess.

The battery, with a bit of mildly challenging "surgery", is replaceable, though it's nowhere near as easy as it used to be.
 

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My Samsung Galaxy S3 is dying. I was hoping it would last until the new year so that I'd already have my Bolt before I had to choose a new phone, but it looks like I'm going to have to take the plunge right away.

Does anyone have any recommendations for an Android phone that plays well with the Bolt? From my reading of the various threads it sounds like KeyPass is a bit flaky on a lot of phones, and there can be some Bluetooth issues as well. If anyone has a success or horror story I'd love to hear it.

My strong preference would be to get a phone with a replaceable battery, but those seem to be getting fewer and farther between. Proprietary batteries are bad enough, but having to the throw the phone out when the battery wears out just seems to me to be the worst idea ever. But it looks like I might have to just hold my nose and just deal with it this time around.
While my Nexus 6P works fine now, it was an ordeal getting the BT connection to be stable, and I cannot recommend it. I read similar things about the first generation Pixels. I do wonder if it is related to that generation (7.1) of Nougat. If I was in the market to replace my phone now, I would look at the second generation Pixel phone, but not buy until it had been out in the wild for a bit

You will have a very difficult time finding a "good" phone with a removable battery these days. All the hardware that enables that removability takes up space that could be filled with more battery, and provides opportunities for water to get in, making it harder to engineer for water resistance. A company (iFixit) compiles scores on phones that can give you a feel for how hard it will be to replace the battery down the line (https://www.ifixit.com/smartphone-repairability).

Expect headphone jacks to go away over time as well. This started on the iPhone, but is moving to new Android handsets as well.

At the mid/lower end, I read good things about the Morotola G4/G4+ *Gen 5), which you can buy unlocked for a couple hundred dollars, and just move your SIM over to. Make sure that whatever you get is at least on the 7.1 support train, so that you're likely to have a current version of AA for a while. The sales material on the Amazon or BB web pages doesn't always illuminate that, so google for it, and there will be manufacturer announcements.

Best case is if you can borrow or rent a phone that will work with your carrier, and try it out for a few weeks to get a sense for battery life, screen, and connection stability. Use it in all your normal places..
 

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I have the LG Phoenix 3, no BT problems now that I turned off "Auto-Updates".
The Phoenix 3 is a tight fit in the Bolt's built-in phone holder... but it does fit. I got a 6" Micro USB cable from Amazon to plug it into the Bolt's USB port... nice and neat.

Overall, no complaints w/my $79 Android phone.

FWIW- the Phoenix 3 has enough processing power to stream audio from it's radio.com app while projecting AA mapping to the Bolt.
 

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During a time when Samsung is preparing to launch the S9, you might as well get the S8 since right now it goes for cheap or free if you're getting it through a carrier. Being one of the latest phones out right now you should have a flawless experience with it here.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the feedback, everyone! My S3 died completely this morning (power button issues, which are apparently a reasonably common occurrence) and because I cancelled my land line a few months ago I was suddenly in pretty desperate need of something.

I ended up picking up a Galaxy S7, mostly because of my good experience with the Galaxy S3 and because it's a mainstream phone that seems to be well supported. The S8's aren't quite available here yet, and I actually prefer the shorter S7 anyway. I'm looking forward to seeing how it works with the Bolt when it finally arrives.
 

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I use a LG G4 that I have since new which has replaceable batteries, cheap to buy now, all the bells and whistles from a flagship phone not many years ago.

Don't use it for key pass but Bluetooth works fine.

My motherboard was replaced by LG for free when it was doing the infamous boot loop thing.

EDIT:
I see you're looking to get a new phone, not just something to use as an GPS/entertainment center in the car.
Honestly, the last great phones that come with removable batteries are LG V20 (2016) and Samsung Note 4 (2014).
 

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Does anyone have any recommendations for an Android phone that plays well with the Bolt?

Asking - not listing - Which Android Versions does the Bolt support through Android Auto?
Looks like Android Auto itself runs on 5.0 and higher.

KitKat 4.4 – 4.4.4 October 31, 2013
Lollipop 5.0 – 5.1.1 November 12, 2014
Marshmallow 6.0 – 6.0.1 October 5, 2015
Nougat 7.0 – 7.1.2 August 22, 2016
Oreo 8.0 – 8.1 August 21, 2017

I currently have a BLU 4.0 (4.2.2) and although it has been perfect / suits my requirements at $60 up front and ~$20.00 per year...
Looks like I am "forced" to purchase something else.
 

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Asking - not listing - Which Android Versions does the Bolt support through Android Auto?
From the help section for AA
"An Android phone running Android 5.0 (Lollipop) and up with a data plan. For best performance, we recommend Android 6.0 (Marshmallow) and up."


Not the low cost of the Blu, nor the low cost plan (is it $20 / month or $20 yr?)

But I can recommend the Moto G5S+ on Republic wireless
https://republicwireless.com/shop/phones/moto-g5s-plus/
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I ended up picking up a Galaxy S7, mostly because of my good experience with the Galaxy S3 and because it's a mainstream phone that seems to be well supported. The S8's aren't quite available here yet, and I actually prefer the shorter S7 anyway. I'm looking forward to seeing how it works with the Bolt when it finally arrives.
Just as a follow-up to this post, the S7 is working great with the Bolt. It fits (tightly) into the charging slot even though I have it in an Otter Commuter case, and I've gotten into the habit of sliding it in and plugging it in each time I drive so I can take advantage of Android Auto. I have a very shot (~10cm) USB cable that holds it's shape pretty well which I leave plugged into the car's centre console USB port - that makes plugging the phone in very easy.

I love AA - it gives me voice command access to navigation, the phone, incoming and outgoing text messages, and general queries like "what's the weather". And the really cool thing is that as Android Auto is updated and gains new capabilities my car will inherit those automatically.
 

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From the help section for AA
"An Android phone running Android 5.0 (Lollipop) and up with a data plan. For best performance, we recommend Android 6.0 (Marshmallow) and up."


Not the low cost of the Blu, nor the low cost plan (is it $20 / month or $20 yr?)

But I can recommend the Moto G5S+ on Republic wireless
https://republicwireless.com/shop/phones/moto-g5s-plus/
OK great - Thanks - will look into it.

BLU is $20 per year - $0.25 per min. Through 7-11 - Just for 45 second calls on the way home.
I do try not to use it though.
I have a landline at work if a message really needs to get through during the day.
 

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OK great - Thanks - will look into it.

BLU is $20 per year - $0.25 per min. Through 7-11 - Just for 45 second calls on the way home.
I do try not to use it though.
I have a landline at work if a message really needs to get through during the day.
Just realized you are in Canada, so scratch the Republic wireless suggestion, they do not offer service in Canada, but the phone is still a good choice...
 
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