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Friday, 27 August 2010

Choosing the best phone: Waiting for the next big thing...

My G1 gadget Pain has been recently helped by the fact that, unknown to me it was still under guarantee! So the good people at T-Mobile have taken it away to their Bunsen burner filled laboratories to tinker with it and once again give life to the little Android that could.
Another miracle however has landed, my contract is up for renewal which means I'm due a new phone!

But which one??...

Here is my ideal criteria:

  • Speed: The main thing lacking in my G1 was some pace. So I'd be looking for at least an equivalent 1Ghz Snapdragon chip and at least 512mb RAM

  • Screen: 4" would be nice, I reckon any bigger stops being a phone and less starts to lose its browsing prowess. Super AMOLED and Retina are pretty snazzy and it needs to be high res.

  • Physical Keyboard: I'm willing to bend a little on this as I know the iPhone keyboard is pretty good, Android's is improving a lot and Swype seems pretty interesting, but I just like a physical keyboard. My G1 was an excellent typing machine as is my Blackberry Bold and however good a soft keyboard is it just isn't as good!

  • OS: Ah the big question. While iOS is undoubtedly the easiest OS around and it now has multitasking, I think I may still miss my widgets and open market. I liked Android but hated being left behind with older versions, so it would have to be stock Android or at least have a promising update cycle. Being left behind like the Hero did is not an option. Using Blackberry as my main phone recently and it 'just works' functionality is great, however with a lack of compelling apps , it almost feels more like a good feature phone rather than a smartphone. If HP/Palm had pulled their finger out their arse and released a Web OS 2.0 and a nice shiny new Pre mark 2, I may even be tempted to the best failing OS. Windows Phone 7 isn't gonna be quite ready and Nokia can jog on.

  • Battery: Comfortably a day. I don't mind charging at night, but not at 1pm. 

  • Camera: At least 5MP, with a decent flash. HD Video recording would be a 'nice to have'

So which phones tick most of those boxes??

Motorola Droid 2:

A U.S. only device so far and with no sign of a Moto Milestone 2 hitting the UK anytime soon, this may be an unrealistic hope. However with a physical keyboard, 5MP camera, Froyo baked in, it's a potential winner.

Potential Deal Breaker: US device only so far , Not stock Android

iPhone 4:

Whatever flaws the iPhone has, it without a doubt gives you the best overall UI. With that said it's the most expensive handset around if you choose the 32GB (which I would) It has the best app selection, however it also lacks widgets. Pro, Con, Pro, Con

Potential Deal Breaker: Expensive, Soft Keyboard, Lack of Widgets

Samsung Galaxy S:

4", Super AMOLED, Divx HD certified, 1Ghz processor. There is definitely a lot to like about the Galaxy S. However with no Flash on the camera, no 2.2 just yet and the hideous (in my opinion) skin they have grafted to Android, it isn't a clear winner.

Potential Deal Breaker: Custom Samsung UI (a biggie), Soft Keyboard (swype), no camera flash.

Blackberry Torch:

RIM's 'Best Blackberry Ever' had a lot to live up to and hasn't quite met the expectations of the reviewers, however it is still an option (or would be if it graced the UK with its presence)
My main issues with my BB Bold 9000 are the lack of touchscreen and the appalling browser, both of which were addressed in this model, add to that the industry leading keyboard and a revamped OS, it aint looking so bad. However with a spec sheet that reads from 2008, it has also missed a few opportunities to shine.

Potential Deal Breaker: Outdated Specs, US only so far, Still just a Blackberry.

One last thing......

HTC Desire Z/HD:

HTC have an event planned on Sept 15th in London and the Desire Z/G2(U.S.) and the Desire HD are heavily rumored to be announced.

The Desire Z/ G2 holds the most interest for me as it is rumored to be a QWERTY slider, with a 1Ghz processor with stock 2.2 Android. This is potentially the phone the G1 should have been and could fill the void of the Moto Droidless UK.

Potential Deal Breaker: May never happen

So for now I am waiting until Sept 15th and forever chasing the perfect device and the next big thing.


1 comment:

  1. I really like my HTC Hero lots - apart from the camera. It's not a bad resolution but the lack of flash makes taking pictures in anything but broad daylight tricky.