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zeeman
Oct 25, 2012

What would you look for in a new smartphone?

I haven't bought a new phone in quite a while. My old Motorola Charm (bet you've never seen one of those) is just a touch outdated. It's running Android 2.1, remember that? Our BYOD policy basically allows me to use any device, so I can get whatever I want. I don't really want to spend a ton of cash for the absolute latest and greatest, but I do want to be up to date for a little while, which will be a totally new experience after my two years with the Charm. I like having a physical keyboard, but I guess that isn't a deal breaker not to have one, and I don't see many devices that have them anymore. What is most important when looking at a new device that you intend to keep for a while? Memory, CPU speed, OS version, etc....? It would be nice if the device isn't outdated in 6 months. Oh, and I'm not stuck on Android or Apple, I just want it to be a good device that will last me for 2 years without making me feel like I'm in a penalty box.

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tganley
10/26/2012

As an Android user myself, there are two things I look for in any new device that I intend to keep for any length of time.  First, I want to make sure that it is running one of the newest versions of Android OS.  For a new phone now, the oldest version I would consider is 4.0.  There are some ok devices out there running Gingerbread (2.3) still being sold, but as time goes on fewer and fewer apps are going to run on older versions of Android, plus there are improvements with each generation.  The other reason I insist on at least a fairly current version of Android is that I have been burned in the past on "promised" updates that never occurred.  Fool me once, same on you, fool me twice...won't get fooled again, as a former President once eloquently put it.

 

The only other thing that I put in my top tier of importance is internal storage/memory.  Yes, with Android since 2.1 (I think) you can move apps to your SD card, but that's a little misleading.  Just because you move the app it doesn't mean that you moved everything to the SD card, there are still files in internal storage from that app.  So even it you move every app that you can, and not all are able to be moved to the SD card, you will still be using up that finite store of internal memory.  It doesn't take long to fill up, as I'm sure you know with only 512MB of internal storage for your systems applications and anything else you want to install (I looked that up, since to be honest I've never seen a Charm). 

 

I've never owned an iPhone, so I'll have to defer to others on that front.   

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Christopher Nerney
10/26/2012
It's also helpful to ask people you know about their phones. People are usually pretty candid about how much they like or dislike their personal devices and why. Plus they're not trying to sell you something, unlike the sales people in a carrier store.

The iPhone 5 does sound great, and I've also read and heard good things about the Samsung Galaxy III.

I wouldn't be hung up about a keyboard. I thought I had to have one a couple of years ago when I was shopping -- I bought a Motorola Droid II -- but I stopped using my physical keyboard in a couple of weeks. The touchscreen keyboard is just as easy, and your phone will be lighter without the physical keyboard.


jimlynch
10/25/2012
I suggest an iPhone 5. I'm loving mine. The 4 inch screen is great, but the width stayed the same as the 4S. So you can easily use it with one hand, unlike the larger phablets with the really wide screens. It's faster than the 4S and it's much lighter too.

Head over to your nearest Apple store, and pick up an iPhone 5 to see how it feels in your hand. My guess is that you'll be amazed at how light it is, and you'll probably end up buying one.
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