Your Thoughts On My Next Cell Phone

None of my smart phones will upgrade to the latest OS so it’s time for a tech upgrade. And I’m looking for all the Fanboys and Fangirls out there to weigh in.  Tell me what you think, why you love (or hate) your phone. Why you hate (or love) the phones I’m considering, and what you think will suit.  You are smart, you tell me what you think of my tech all the time and now I’m actually asking you what you think.

Which New Phone

Of course I don’t want any of this “get the new cuz it’s the aw3somist!” silliness.  Though I will happily listen to “I lovez my iphone cuz I can take killer instagram photoz of my cat and cheezburgerz”

Here are the 4 I’m considering:  (one is included exclusively for you to slam… go for it.)

I make no promises that I will follow the majority but I do want your input.

Here are the things I care about in a smart phone:

  • fast camera – fast to load, fast shutter, fast to store
  • good camera – sharp, crisp, clear images. Don’t care how big
  • intelligent data entry – I can’t spell so I need my device to make it easy for me, learn the unusual words I use like “lex” and “biryani”, don’t auto correct stupidly like “uop” for “up and “toop” for “too”.
  • smart OS – I’m flexible, but I like my OS to work with me, not against me.  I’m not tied to any OS, but want a phone that won’t instantly be out of the OS-update loop.
  • fast and functional apps – priority on email, twitter, camera, and social.
  • data – I want to be able to work fast and hard on my phone and that means writing, photos, social – data data data.
  • hub – I want to be able to share that data w/ my other devices too. Yes I’m greedy.
  • battery life – we all know I hang out on an island where everything is run on solar and we share the juice… I need long battery life or at least long battery life options.  Hey, if it has a solar charger, all the better!
  • oh ya, and I’d like to be able to make a phone call.

Things I care less about now than before: a keyboard. I’ve been happy with the HTC, Palm and the Motorola phones I’ve had with keyboards but I’m not using the keyboard very much any more.

Okay friends, let me have it!

What should I get?

57 thoughts on “Your Thoughts On My Next Cell Phone

  • May 27, 2013 at 4:05 pm
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    alexaclark Not an unreasonable set of demands. I don’t think anything will 100% satisfy you w/out aftermarket accessories though.

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    • May 28, 2013 at 11:52 am
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      @AlexConde that’s pretty common for my tech needs.  But I do try to find a way to make it through.

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  • May 27, 2013 at 4:07 pm
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    alexaclark Working on that one too. Leaning towards HTC One. Not in the mood for an iPhone. Not forgetting my 2.5 old MBP is slowly dying..

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  • May 27, 2013 at 4:07 pm
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    Well, I wouldn’t buy an iPhone on sheer principle…unless it was free. I saw a friend’s Samsung and it had a nice big screen, which is nice when you have dexterity issues with the touch screen. This, in turn, might help with spelling. Me, I have an Android Motorola which I got because I liked the idea of having my own personal robot. Big Data in my pocket, if you will. Tasha Yar, signing off. 🙂

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  • May 27, 2013 at 4:12 pm
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    There’s also the Nexus 4. C$309 (at the Google Play store) gives you an unlocked “pure Google” Android phone. (I use its predecessor, the Galaxy Nexus, and am very happy with it. And I use SwiftKey for predictive text entry.)

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    • May 28, 2013 at 11:52 am
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      RohanSJ hmmm… okay another to consider. Thanks.  (Am I the only Android user that isn’t using SwiftKey?)

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  • May 27, 2013 at 4:15 pm
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    alexaclark I voted for BlackBerry Z10. Fastest to navigate with peak/flow gestures. Best touch keyboard. Removable battery. Secure.

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    • May 28, 2013 at 11:51 am
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      @elmajian thanks The BlackBerry Z10 is certainly getting a lot of positive recos.  How long does your battery last?

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  • May 27, 2013 at 4:27 pm
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    I just got the Samsung Galaxy S4 and am loving it so far. The camera is awesome and takes really vivid pictures (this is coming from using an iPhone 4 just prior to the switch) but it is not great in low light. Battery is noticeably not as long lasting as my iphone 4 but in my opinion, it is given w/ the large bright color screen but because it has a  replaceable battery, you can always bring an extra battery to use while you charge the other one. For the keyboard, I downloaded SWIFTKEY app because i found the original keyboard on the phone a bit awkward and I end up getting a lot of typos. The Swiftkey app fixed that. The auto correct is also pretty good in terms of recognizing words; once you type a “foreign” word once it will recognize it again if you type it a second time.

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    • May 28, 2013 at 11:50 am
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      foodieyu Thanks for giving me your feedback.  I’ve been using the samsungmobile Galaxy S2 which is why I’ve been considering the S4. I appreciate the camera feedback – you know how much I shoot ;->

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  • May 27, 2013 at 4:32 pm
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    Good afternoon Alexa! You pretty much know my answer! And we have spoken about all the reasons to try the Z10! Your checklist pretty much says “I want a Z10!”. I want to give you one more reason, BBM Channels! It is BlackBerry’s new social network. I know what you are thinking…who needs a new social network? I was skeptical, but I setup my channel yesterday and I can see the potential! There is a perfect channel for you called Foodgasm. BBM Channels is like Twitter meets Instagram. You have 400 characters to work with. It is in beta right now. BBM Channels will be available across all platforms, if you choose to go with a different OS.

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    • May 28, 2013 at 11:30 am
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      BhuDeo I thought you’d weigh in and suggest the Z10.  @kingofthenerds mentioned some other social network limitations – have you experienced this with instagram, foursquare, flickr, … etc?

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      • May 28, 2013 at 12:05 pm
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        AlexaClark BhuDeo I’ll answer from my perspective. Foursquare is there and solid, Instagram is coming, apparently very soon. Dropbox, box and Evernote don’t have native apps but sync with a native app in the BB10 OS. No flickr, no Path, no Vine.
        A lot of apps are available as “sideloaded” versions of Android apps (Instagram for example) but that process is too painful to consider it as a legitimate solution for most.

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        • May 28, 2013 at 5:25 pm
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          kingofthenerds hummm thanks for that detailed breakdown.  It will help! BhuDeo

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  • May 27, 2013 at 4:37 pm
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    alexaclark Helping! Z10! My new reason is BBMchannels! A new social network…millions already use BBM! U can test drive my Z10 if u need.

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      • May 28, 2013 at 11:53 am
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        AlexaClark Good morning Alexa! BBM Channels is in beta right now only for BlackBerry users. However, BBM will be available to iOS & Android users in the near future. 
        The one thing I mentioned to you in a tweet in the past and forgot to include in my post was the only drawback to the Z10, would be the battery life. You should be able to make through a day…maybe. I feel that might be an issue with all smartphones. 
        Although, I have heard the Q10 has the best battery life of all the smartphones. You might want to ask Dan Levy, he is using one right know in a #10BestofBBQ10 promotion through Telus! (or search the hashtag). 
        Excited to know what you end up puchasing! 
        Have a good day! 🙂 
        Bhupinder (@BhuDeo)

        Reply
        • May 28, 2013 at 11:54 am
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          BhuDeo thanks!  I’ll ping TheDanLevy and see if he has any thoughts to share.

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  • May 28, 2013 at 3:36 am
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    Well…… Having had an Andriod, IPhone & Blackberry. iPhone for ease of use & flexibility or Blackberry for durability & security. Android ….. Only phone I ever replaced before I needed too (yuck).

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    • June 26, 2013 at 12:54 pm
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      @Marion Cunningham Interesting.  What kind of Android did you have?  The interesting thing is that it’s the only phone where the OS doesn’t define the hardware manufacturer.

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  • May 28, 2013 at 8:07 am
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    alexaclark I’m a bit surprised. I use one myself, but I don’t think it is best for all your requirements.

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    • May 28, 2013 at 11:27 am
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      @AlexConde hmmm.  The thing I did forget to ask people to tell me was what phone they are using.

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  • May 28, 2013 at 8:11 am
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    alexaclark Heard good things from a few people. As long as you can return it, maybe give it a try for two weeks.

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    • May 28, 2013 at 11:28 am
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      @duanebrown I’ve had the chance to play with a friend’s Z10 but you are right, I’d need intensive time in order to ensure it’s right for me.

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  • May 28, 2013 at 8:18 am
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    alexaclark as a phone, excellent, above average twitter and Facebook integration but lack of other social apps remains an issue

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  • May 28, 2013 at 10:58 am
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    Carol Harrison aka Tasha, I’ve been happy w/ my Motorola Android for years. problem is it won’t upgrade to the new Android OS and so all the apps are slowing down as they roll out upgrades.

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  • May 28, 2013 at 10:59 am
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    Marion Cunningham I’m surprised by how many Blackberry recommendations I’m getting, and how few iPhone ones. Which Android phone did you have? The phone, as opposed to the OS, might have been the issue.

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  • May 28, 2013 at 11:00 am
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    Ah, that’s good to know.

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  • May 28, 2013 at 11:03 am
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    Okay, I’m a little surprised by all the Blackberry recommendations I’m getting and how few iPhone recos I’m hearing. Guess our Canadian-loyality is showing.

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  • May 28, 2013 at 11:13 am
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    i wouldn’t do BB… least populated app store. I’m really liking my Android… gives you a decent app store and the most variability with hardware.

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    • June 26, 2013 at 12:53 pm
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      @Gerry Thorpe Excellent point Ger. The Apps really do help with the functionality of a smart phone.  I gather the Blackberry now lets you “side load Android apps” but I’m not entirely sure what that means and I wasn’t going to test that on a loaner phone.  Wonder if it’s like loading a second OS on your computer.  
      Anyone want to weigh in on what “Side load” means?

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      • June 26, 2013 at 2:05 pm
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        You are mixing two things up a little.
        The Blackberry OS has
        an Android runtime as part of it. It’s a little tough to wrap one’s head
        around it because it’s almost completely transparent, it’s probably
        most helpful to think of it as VMware (or Parallels) for a phone, so
        basically from the point of view of Android app developers it’s just
        another phone specific fragmented version of Android (based on Ice Cream
        Sandwich at this point, upgrading to Jelly Bean soon) Android
        developers can package their applications for the Blackberry runtime and
        they can then submit them to the Blackberry app store (BlackBerry
        World). As an end user there is no way to tell if an app you are
        downloading from BBW is native Blackberry or Android. On a loaner phone
        if you downloaded apps from BBW you may have had some Android apps in
        there.
        Sideloading is a different thing, if a developer doesn’t
        choose to go through the packaging process themselves there is a tool
        that can process the .bar file for a regular Android app and make it
        BlackBerry ready and there are a bunch of people who do this and post
        the results on the intertubes on various sites, you need to get the
        resulting file onto your phone somehow and that’s where sideloading
        comes in, it’s a tool intended for developers to load their own apps
        onto a phone for testing but people are using it as a back door to load
        these converted Android apps. Once it’s on your phone it just behaves
        like any other app. The quality of these converted apps varies since
        some of them may have been coded for features not offered in the
        BlackBerry specific Android fragment.

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        • June 26, 2013 at 2:13 pm
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          kingofthenerds aha!  Thanks for clarifying.  I’ve had a number of people tell me I’d have to “sideload” apps like foursquare and instagram, so I suspect (suspiciously) that it is being misused all over the place. Sounds like RIM has been very smart in how they are opening their device for apps from the Android platform.

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        • June 26, 2013 at 2:45 pm
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          AlexaClark 
          Lots of confusion and a certain abount of fanboi FUD spreading. If you dig into it apps for BB10 actually come in 4 flavours:
          Integrated – Written natively for BB10 and including integration to BB10 features like The Hub, BBM etc. Facebook, twitter, foursquare, whatsapp.
          Native – either written for or ported to the BB10 dev environment but not leveraging the unique OS features. Air Canada, CBC Music, alternative twitter clients like Blaq and Willow
           Official Android conversions – developer has repackaged and offered their Android App through the BB app store (Skype, OpenTable)
          Unofficial Android conversions – 3rd party has repackaged and made Android app file available for sideloading (Instagram, Flipboard)

          Today’s interesting factoid, 92% of smartphone malware is written for Android.

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        • June 26, 2013 at 2:55 pm
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          kingofthenerds AlexaClark “Today’s interesting factoid, 92% of smartphone malware is written for Android.” Wow, that’s insane. Mind me asking where this stat came from?

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        • June 26, 2013 at 3:26 pm
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          flozerkingofthenerdsAlexaClarkhttp://gizmodo.com/according-to-a-report-by-juniper-networks-mobile-malwa-582739672

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  • May 28, 2013 at 5:25 pm
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    alexaclark Having fiddleheads tonight for the first time ever. Thought of you as you intro’d me to them when we shared a cab ride ages ago.

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    • May 28, 2013 at 5:27 pm
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      @JodiEchakowitz well you’ll be having them before me this year (and just got your comment in a thread about cell phones 🙂  Enjoy!

      Reply
  • May 28, 2013 at 5:33 pm
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    alexaclark That was my issue.. phone looks great but won’t be ready fast enough. I need a new phone by end of summer latest.

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  • Pingback: 4 Weeks – 4 Smart Phones | unsweetened.ca

  • June 26, 2013 at 2:17 pm
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    you list camera as a main feature… you should look at the nokia phone…

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    • June 26, 2013 at 2:20 pm
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      JasonRees do you have a specific Nokia in mind? I’ve been very happy with Nokia in the past but I didn’t see anything in the same tier as the ones above.

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        • June 26, 2013 at 3:42 pm
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          JasonRees  Thanks Jason.  One thing I do know is that I’m not a fan of Windows phones. It’s likely unfair, but it’s true.  Are you using a Lumia these days? To be fair, I’ll check w/ RogersBuzz  and see if it’s an option to test one of the Nokias as well.

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        • June 26, 2013 at 3:55 pm
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          AlexaClark JasonRees RogersBuzz  
          i’m not a fanboi of anything really, i think that android, ios and windows have some decent phones out there. The only phone I think is a terrible investment is anything Blackberry, as they have the worst camera, terrible software and the hardware is sub bar.  i would not buy the windows phone myself, but you listed the camera as a #1 feature and the nokia has the best camera, hands down.

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        • June 27, 2013 at 9:28 am
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          JasonRees I did list camera first (not sure if it’s my #1 feature) but you make an excellent point.  Certainly going to see if I can roll it into the test (though it might be asking a lot since RogersBuzz  is already loaning me 4 phones.)

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        • June 27, 2013 at 2:58 pm
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          AlexaClark JasonRees RogersBuzz The Nokia Lumia 920 has an amazing camera + great camera apps… Another one to try?

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        • June 27, 2013 at 3:11 pm
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          RogersElise   If that’s an option, yes. It’s only fair to try them all, give them a fair shake to win my heart, and report back. Thanks for this opportunity!

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  • June 26, 2013 at 8:09 pm
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    If camera is that important and you want to skip carrying the SLR then go with the Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom. Release date this summer.

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  • June 26, 2013 at 8:28 pm
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    Good Evening Alexa!
    I love that Rogers is letting you test drive four different smartphones! That is awesome! And will make your decision that much easier! 
    I quickly skimmed through the new comments, I am not a big App user, so I can’t comment on the Android Side Loading Apps. 
    I noticed that Jason Rees doesn’t recommend the BlackBerry Z10 camera. I have only ever used a BlackBerry smartphone, but I love the camera on the Z10 (I may be biased). For an unbiased review of the BlackBerry camera I would recommend you give Dan’s detailed review of the Q10 (the one with the keyboard) a read. He has included a  picture comparison between Android and BlackBerry. Here is the link to his blog post:
    http://levynewsnetwork.wordpress.com/2013/06/25/blackberry-q10-review-telus-10bestofbbq10/
    I hope this helps! Excited to see which phone you pick! Its almost like I am getting a new phone! Ha! 😉
    Bhupinder @BhuDeo

    Reply
    • June 27, 2013 at 9:32 am
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      BhuDeo Thanks for the link and followup Bhupinder.  You’ve been a strong proponent of the Blackberry since I started this conversation.  It’s the first one I tested and I’ll be posting my thoughts early next week. Luckily @kingofthenerds helped me understand “sideloading” and the app abilities of the Blackberry more clearly. (his comments in this thread are well worth a read.)

      Reply

What do you think?

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