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Choosing a mobile phone

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  • User profile image
    vesuvius

    I am due a phone upgrade now, and don't quite know what to do. The iPhone is out today in the UK, with some dedicated "applers" displaying what some might see as inexplicable behavior in travelling several countries by plane, just to get their hands on the gadget.

     

    Obviously Windows Phone 7 is out at Christmas which is exciting. In all honesty, unless I am specifically tasked to develop a phone application for the device, I don't think I will find the time to develop an application for it, so ownership of the phone is not a necessity.

     

    The iPhone is now quite mature, with a myriad of features and bugs worked through, but it is an Apple product at the end of the day, and I always lack the enthusiasm towards their products somehow, that others ostentatiously display. I think a lot of their stuff is nice, but unspeakably overpriced. The Sony Xperia and Htc phones don't look as good as the new iPhone, and they are also in the £30/£35 a month range, so they are overpriced as well. I also like the new Andriod OS, the touch on some of their phones is great, but they are lacking something, I can't quite put my finger on it.

     

    I am also making less calls nowadays, and communicate mostly via e-mail, so am likely to get a phenomenal bit of tech that will just rot in my pocket for 24 months, while the phone providor fleeces me.

     

    If you were shopping for a phone in the £30/£35 a month bracket what would it be?

  • User profile image
    CKurt

    I would go with a touchscreen AND hardware keyboard. Personnaly I'm waiting for the DELL Lightning http://www.engadget.com/2010/04/22/dells-lightning-thunder-flash-smoke-and-more-a-roundup/ with WP7. Is seems like the perfect phone for me.

     

    I now have a crappy phone (Samsung Corby) and am only holding on to it because I would not know what to but right now. I want windows phone 7 and there is not one phone that is known to be upgradable to Phone 7.

     

    Apple doesn't get my money (out of principle) and Andriod is pretty good, but it lacks a finishing touche if you don't have HTC Sence.

  • User profile image
    ManipUni

    The iPhone has a nice level of polish and everything "just works." It is all very high quality. That being said, with the iPhone 4.0 there might be new hardware issues introduced by their change of chipset, new multitasking, and other changes in the spec' - it is a much bigger change than from for example 3G to 3GS. You can get an iPhone contract for £20/month with Tesco. 1 GB internet standard.

     

    The problem with Android is that we aren't talking about one phone, we are talking about dozens with the same OS. I tried a couple recently and found the screen's touch far worse than I'm used to (iPhone) but that isn't a statement I could say holds true with every Android phone on the market because they all fall at different price points and offer different features.

     

    Android has more features than iPhone but the delivery isn't as good. You get twice as many toys at 1/2 the quality. The application ecosystem also isn't even competitive given how most of the old apps won't work on new phones and visa versa.

     

    I would exclude Windows Mobile (6.5) - it is trash. 7.0 might be good but that is still half a year away - which is your call.

     

    I've heard good things about the Nokia N9x series and have played with one, it was fine but a little pre-iPhone/Android for me (older "style" of phone). It is a phone with internet features, rather than an internet device with phone features. So if you want to primarily do web stuff then I'm not completely sold. It does have Skype however and a few good apps.

  • User profile image
    JeremyJ

    I would probably avoid the iPhone 4.  It seems their most recent design decisions don't work in the real world.  Life for example: Making an easily dropped device almost entirely made out of glass.

     

    Here are some articles:

    http://gizmodo.com/5571171/iphone-4-loses-reception-when-you-hold-it-by-the-antenna-band

     

    http://gizmodo.com/5571143/some-iphone-4-screens-have-yellow-bands-and-spots

     

    http://gizmodo.com/5571658/first-iphone-4-broken-after-one+foot-drop

     

    http://gizmodo.com/5571304/this-is-whatll-happen-when-you-drop-your-iphone-4

     

  • User profile image
    Pace

    Ive had the HTC Magic (Android 1.5 & 1.6) and now have a snapdragon HTC Desire (2.1) and its fast.

     

    The way it links things together is just seamless, my personal and corporate emails, calendars and contacts for example. To tout an Apple saying, it just works. Free Navigation which is fantastic and there are some great launchers out at the moment which really let you customize it to a way which suits you. This is what wins me over the iPhone. Well that plus the notification bar which is awesome. No matter where you are in the phone if you get a mail or message, you can deal with it. With the iPhone, you can re-arrange your icons, but thats pretty much all you can do (with regards to laying your phone out how you want). I wish I could post some screens / a video of how clean I have it running as im sure you would be impressed. Simple calendar on the right screen, 4 of my fav handy icons on the left screen, simple clock and controls on the centre (wifi, bt, sync, brightness) on / off etc. Then on the bottom I have icons for calls, people, App tray, messages, camera (which is surprisingly good actually) and this tray I can scroll left and right independantly of the home screen, so I can easily get at facebook, twitter, emails, time dock, music etc without shifting the top. That might sound messy but its really clean. Im not a lover of loads of widgets on the go personally unlike my friends but tbh I have it configured for speed and ease of use as apposed to eyecandy and striking. I just like to have it that way. Im running LauncherPro and its much, much smoother than Sense or any other launcher ive seen. It has that elasticy snappy feel to it much like the iPhone plus I can now run my home screen landscape.

     

    The Desire totally puts to shame my old Magic but its processor is twice as fast and it has twice the RAM so I guess at the time, that's what the magic was missing. They are getting smooth now.

     

    The other part I like is they OTA updates to you. Im expecting Froyo (2.2) any day really and now they are talking about Gingerbread (3.0?) Which they are hoping to revamp the way you use the UI as Froyo is super fast on all the benchmarks and side by side on like for like demo's I have seen. 

     

    Sure im a fan boy, i've been converted. I can hold my hands up and say that. It just does too many things (for me) that I find productive and enjoy.  I've also inadvertently converted many others and all of whom are happy. 

     

    All this said I would just definitely recommend you at least check one out. Go get a HTC Desire running in your hand in a shop and play with it for a little while. 

     

    Sure it has some shortfalls, battery isnt best, screen isnt HD like the new iPhone but it has no more than any other device out there at the moment. Its TCO is a damsight less than the iPhone and its growing at an amazing rate so yeah... good times ahead for me Smiley 

     

    I used to be a Windows Mobile fan boy back in the day but it just seemed to loose steam at one point so I went Symbian... Lost it, so  I wanted an iPhone but after trying Android just fell in love with it. I can honestly say this though, ive never seen something grow / move so damned fast in the mobile realm. 

     

    Best of luck with your decision! Wink 

  • User profile image
    PaoloM

    Buy an iPhone and be happy.

  • User profile image
    Ion Todirel

    PaoloM said:

    Buy an iPhone and be happy.

    Agree, simple the best phone on the market right now.

  • User profile image
    JeremyJ

    Ion Todirel said:
    PaoloM said:
    *snip*

    Agree, simple the best phone on the market right now.

    That is debatable.  All I have to say is: iTunes.

    No thanks!

  • User profile image
    kettch

    JeremyJ said:
    Ion Todirel said:
    *snip*

    That is debatable.  All I have to say is: iTunes.

    No thanks!

    I was talking to a friend who has an iPhone, and his upgrade to iOS 4 took 12 hours to complete. It was a good thing that he did it on his day off.

  • User profile image
    rhm

    kettch said:
    JeremyJ said:
    *snip*

    I was talking to a friend who has an iPhone, and his upgrade to iOS 4 took 12 hours to complete. It was a good thing that he did it on his day off.

    Yeh, that was a bit sad.

     

    But compare to the situation with just about any other phone: You get nothing in the way of updates or if you do you have to wait a very long time for them. Ask anyone with an andoid phone when the last time was they had a version upgrade.

     

  • User profile image
    Ion Todirel

    JeremyJ said:
    Ion Todirel said:
    *snip*

    That is debatable.  All I have to say is: iTunes.

    No thanks!

    Reminds me of a phone conversation this morning in the bus, the guy had a crappy Motorola phone and was telling his friend he doesn't need a computer, 'cause back in the '95 people were still using paper and pencils, lol

  • User profile image
    kettch

    rhm said:
    kettch said:
    *snip*

    Yeh, that was a bit sad.

     

    But compare to the situation with just about any other phone: You get nothing in the way of updates or if you do you have to wait a very long time for them. Ask anyone with an andoid phone when the last time was they had a version upgrade.

     

    Agreed. That's why I'm hoping that the WP team comes through on their promises of frequent OTA upgrades as they get things done. At the same time, I would still like the reference chassis adjusted in a timely manner to make sure that the hardware doesn't stagnate.

  • User profile image
    JeremyJ

    Ion Todirel said:
    JeremyJ said:
    *snip*

    Reminds me of a phone conversation this morning in the bus, the guy had a crappy Motorola phone and was telling his friend he doesn't need a computer, 'cause back in the '95 people were still using paper and pencils, lol

    Not really sure what that has to do with anything.

  • User profile image
    Zeus

    JeremyJ said:
    Ion Todirel said:
    *snip*

    Not really sure what that has to do with anything.

    I have a HTC Desire ... had it for a week now and it's bloody fantastic. Extremely fast, the screen is the best I have ever seen on a phone and the 7 customisable screens are great to work with. Android 2.1 is very mature and stable.

  • User profile image
    elmer

    I'm sure there are plenty of people who actually need the features of these wizz-bang things, but I'm also convinced that the overwhelming majority are just burning their cash for absolutely no good reason.

     

    Personally, I have a 10 year old basic Nokia GSM.

     

    It rings, I talk - that's my idea of "just works".

     

    Until it breaks (or they switch of GSM) I’m not getting rid of it, and it's survived so much abuse, that I don’t think I could kill it with an axe.

  • User profile image
    Sven Groot

    kettch said:
    JeremyJ said:
    *snip*

    I was talking to a friend who has an iPhone, and his upgrade to iOS 4 took 12 hours to complete. It was a good thing that he did it on his day off.

    I upgraded my 3G to iOS 4 yesterday, it took maybe 20 minutes, most of which was time needed to backup and restore my stuff.

     

    I can't for the life of me figure out how to set a home screen wallpaper though, which I think you're supposed to be able to do.

  • User profile image
    Ion Todirel

    Sven Groot said:
    kettch said:
    *snip*

    I upgraded my 3G to iOS 4 yesterday, it took maybe 20 minutes, most of which was time needed to backup and restore my stuff.

     

    I can't for the life of me figure out how to set a home screen wallpaper though, which I think you're supposed to be able to do.

    It's one of the features you can't use in iOS4 on a 3G, works fine on the iPhone 4 and probably in 3GS. So stop trying Smiley

  • User profile image
    elmer

    JeremyJ said:

    I would probably avoid the iPhone 4.  It seems their most recent design decisions don't work in the real world.  Life for example: Making an easily dropped device almost entirely made out of glass.

     

    Here are some articles:

    http://gizmodo.com/5571171/iphone-4-loses-reception-when-you-hold-it-by-the-antenna-band

     

    http://gizmodo.com/5571143/some-iphone-4-screens-have-yellow-bands-and-spots

     

    http://gizmodo.com/5571658/first-iphone-4-broken-after-one+foot-drop

     

    http://gizmodo.com/5571304/this-is-whatll-happen-when-you-drop-your-iphone-4

     

    The antenna reception problem does seem like a design flaw.

     

    Complaint is that touching the edge around the bottom left-hand corner causes loss of reception.

     

    Rubbing salt into it is a response attributed to Jobs... don't hold your phone that way.

     

    While Right-handed people might be able to adapt,  Left-handed people might take issue with that Jobs decree, as it's pretty much the way you would want to hold it when talking and, as an aside, the way Apple advertises it being held.

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