The Case For A Smartphone In Cuenca (Revisited)

Last month I sold my iPhone 4s and purchased a Nexus 5 (Android phone manufactured by LG).  It was a difficult decision for me to give up my iPhone and to purchase what many experts (including most of my friends ) perceive to be an inferior phone. I am here to say that after a month of using the Nexus 5 I can say that it is a superb phone. I still miss the intuitive Apple IOS but feature for feature the Nexus 5 is superior. My need for a bigger screen and a lower price prompted me to switch phones. The Nexus 5 is $350 unlocked compared to $650 for an unlocked iPhone 5s.

My purpose in writing this post was not to start a polemic on which phone is better but to review the updated benefits for having a smartphone in Cuenca. You can read my first posting here

Most importantly the reception on a smartphone is superior to your average consumer phone.

Here are the additional benefits:

  • Google Now the Voice Activated Assistant is extremely intuitive. The results included driving directions to what I needed to find
  • NFC (near field communications) Presently not on the iPhone which let me pay for merchandise  (In the U.S) by tapping my phone at checkout. *Not in Cuenca*
  • Magic Jack App- Let me receive and answer calls from anywhere
  • Superb camera that shoots great videos and syncs with all photo cloud storage.
  • Amazon Music – millions of free songs streamed to your phone. More later about this service in a future post.
  • Dialer that is intuitive using Google maps to find 411 information.
  • Netflix, Amazon Video, Kindle are there for my entertainment and reading.
  • Pure android so it seamlessly connects to all the Google properties (Maps, Youtube, Google Drive)

The bottom line is that if you need the Internet in your pocket in your pocket or your purse than a smartphone is a must have device.



9 thoughts on “The Case For A Smartphone In Cuenca (Revisited)

  1. I too recently switched from iOS to Android (Galaxy Note) and I must say… “…intuitive” is pretty much just a matter of what you’re used to. My Galaxy is likewise superb – at half the price.

  2. You are just a natural born polemic starter!! And we all know it.

    Hope your travels will be safe and simple and that you guys are enjoying some good family times.


  3. Thanks for the article, curious about several things though…

    1. Where can you actually use NFC to pay for stuff in Cuenca? 🙂
    2. Magic Jack… how well does that work over the (hopefully) 3G you get there (and with which carrier’s data plan) or do you have to be connected to wifi to get enough bandwidth for a decent convo.
    3. Netflix, Amazon video, etc… are you using VPN to bypass country code restrictions in getting those to work with your US account? Which VPN and how is the performance?
    4. If you are using location aware services, maps, directions, etc. how are you toggling between the need to use VPN for some services and local connectivity for others, all tied to the google account. I remember having some issues with some google services easily getting confused about my preferred location in various contexts.

    • So when are you visiting Cuenca EMCshadow?
      That’s quite a list.
      1. NFC in Cuenca. Not yet. The Urbano bus card does have an NFC chip
      2. Been using MJ with Claro (one of 2 carriers in Cuenca). Works fine.
      3. Yes, Strong VPN
      4.Location services are still in their infant stage.

      Future thoughts.
      4G is hopefully coming to Cuenca in 2015. In 3 years I have seen a dramatic increase in bandwidth and a decrease in Services cost.

      • cool, thanks. Nice blog, btw. Probably coming again end of October. Last time I was there (March) I just mooched off free wifi, this next time I might have to actually get set up 🙂

        Speaking of which, I’m bringing a laptop, but will need to find an external monitor at some point. I looked around in March but there seemed to be a limited selection… do you know a good place to get a decent monitor in Cuenca, and do they carry 24″ or above? Thanks

  4. Switched to the new LG Flex after years of using iPhone. So many great features, but for me the larger screen and keyboard are tops. I truly believe people who thumb their noses at Android products have fallen for the Apple hype. I don’t miss my iPhone (just my pretty croc-embossed case).

  5. Pingback: The Almost Final Word On Smartphones In Cuenca | Cuenca Tech Life

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