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Thread: Smartphones

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    Smartphones

    Currently using an IPhone 5s but planning to get a new one with a slightly larger screen.

    Am i the only one who's pissed at how most of the newer phones have removed the headphone jack? Yes you get an adapter but why should i pay a premium for such an inconvenience. It baffles me how much camera technology has improved over the past 5 years or so, whereas people are content to listen to music at such a poor quality, with most people not investing anything beyond their stock earbuds.

    Also what's with the humongous sizes of the phones nowadays. Something with like a 5 inch screen i can accept, but some of these 6 inch phones, you can barely put them in your pocket, and are just so unwieldy to hold in one hand. Every year these phones come up with gimmicky things but the actual usability has actually gone down. Perhaps the companies know that people will buy whatever they put out.

    Having said that, if anyone has any recommendations regarding latest smartphones, do let me know.

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    Gagi's Avatar
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    /random smartphone banter

    I own a budget smartphone, a Huawei P10 Lite. Satisfies my needs (there aren't many), but if I had a lot of money to spare, of course I'd get one of the flagships. And almost all of them would come into consideration. I dislike Samsung, but I gotta say that once I held the S8, it's something else. One of the best smartphones out there.

    If you're following Google's new hardware line, I gotta say that Pixel 2 (incl. XL) looks far, far worse than the original Pixel. I don't understand how can somebody say otherwise. I like the design the most in smartphones, so I'd prefer something from Huawei, maybe the yet-to-come Honor V10 (View 10). Looks great and has the fingerprint scanner on the front - which I think is more accessible and practical. Galaxy S8(+) or the Note 8 would come into consideration too, with a couple of other phones, maybe OnePlus 5T.

    Not an iPhone geek, but I like the design and I'd get the iPhone 8 if I had the chance. iPhone X's notch on the top of the screen just looks ugly AF. How is that appealing to people other than fanboys (looking at you @Nangle haha) is beyond me.

    I like how more often than not, we see some innovations within the flagships. The competition is fierce and that is really making an impact on the smartphones, both in terms of quality and price. A fingerprint scanner is now a must on budget devices. Dual-camera setups are starting to be. Bezel-less screens as well, we're starting to see them more and more.

    Which makes you wonder, which is the next big innovation in the smartphone industry? Reportedly, Samsung are working on a fingerprint scanner that will be under the screen. I think that we'll go as far as hardware allows, but once that is achieved, the software will take over. It's already happening with Google's Pixel line. The camera on Pixel 2 is not that spectacular looking at the numbers, but with software and AI optimization it has been rated the world's best smartphone camera (with a 98/100 score, per DxOMark). It has a single camera lens but is much better than all phones that have two.
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    I'm seriously contemplating getting a non-Apple phone, but it's quite difficult because all my other devices are firmly embedded in the Apple ecosystem. Mainly my main desktop is an iMac and i've spent so much time sorting out my music library on iTunes. I wouldn't want to sort everything out from scratch if i decide to switch.

    I'm not a heavy phone user myself, i'm quite minimalistic, use very few apps, and i'm just fed up with Apple putting out increasingly over-priced products with minimal gimmicky products. The last great smartphone revolution was during the iPhone 4/5 era, but now we are getting incremental improvements even as the price keeps going up. I cannot conceive why anyone would pay 1200USD for the iPhone X. Yes it's a solid phone but there's nothing novel about it.

    Problem is with Apple hiking up the price to the +1000 USD region, most companies decide they can charge similar amounts of money for their flagship products. It brings the price up universally, without actually reflecting an actual proportionate increase in quality.

    I've heard the software on Google Pixel is fantastic but as you said the Pixel 2 seems to be a step backwards (why did they remove the headphone jack!); the OnePlus and Galaxy are again great phones but i just find them too big. The LGV30 is a bit of an indie choice - it has a dedicated high-quality DAC so apparently it's phenomenal in terms of sound, but their other aspects aren't that great (?)

    Problem with modern society is that we're faced with too many choices. It paralyses your decision making capability, and we all either end up going for the default option (getting an iPhone in my case) or not doing anything.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PeenutsDx View Post
    I've heard the software on Google Pixel is fantastic but as you said the Pixel 2 seems to be a step backwards (why did they remove the headphone jack!); the OnePlus and Galaxy are again great phones but i just find them too big. The LGV30 is a bit of an indie choice - it has a dedicated high-quality DAC so apparently it's phenomenal in terms of sound, but their other aspects aren't that great (?)
    I say this without any experience with flagships so this undermines the two words I'm about to say - trust me - whatever flagship/premium phone you do end buying - you'll be fine. Whatever the differences are, they are only minor, and all comes down to the manufacturer, their ecosystem, design and general features. People buy mostly for the brand - which is mostly the case with iPhone and Samsung. Want a headphone jack? There are looots of flagships that still have it. You might miss out on a certain brand but you won't be worse off. I think the differences in quality are minor, especially when you look at the big names.

    Other than that, having a flagship without a headphone jack? You could buy some quality Bluetooth headphones. I think I've heard of one manufacturer that makes great ones, for audiophiles. Plus, you got headphones that now, instead of a 3.5 mm jack have USB Type-C. There's going to be some issues with all solutions, but it's the future.

    Quote Originally Posted by PeenutsDx View Post
    Problem with modern society is that we're faced with too many choices. It paralyses your decision making capability, and we all either end up going for the default option (getting an iPhone in my case) or not doing anything.
    Well put. The other problem is that new flagships keep appearing virtually all the time. So when you think you have the best one, the next, better one goes on sale. A vicious cycle.

    Consider writing a list of all the smartphones that are promising to you. Browse around the web, for current and future phones. I find AndroidAuthority website to be a good starting point, along with GSMArena. Then go to smartphone (or carrier) shops, until you hold each and every one in your hand and use it for a minute. You'll narrow the list down and then you'll ideally have 3 or 4 smartphones in the final list. And then you make a choice.
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    iPhone SE is probably the best iphone value wise. I'm on a iphone 7 atm, but only on it because I got a large discount when I bought it, and I required more space then my iphone 6 128gb.

    Apple in general is getting very greedy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SupaNoodles View Post
    Apple in general is getting very greedy.
    Well, I think they are (one of) the leaders in this industry. Part of it is because they develop their own chips, which means you get to make them specifically for your phones, which is what makes the iPhone's experience unique. Android-powered phones don't have that privilege, since they all have Qualcomm's chips (apart from Huawei, which makes their own as well - Kirin). Apple buys displays from Samsung, though, so that does probably make the price go up.

    The marketing budget must be huge (although probably diminishing), and that's what makes it that expensive. And if you're a market leader like Apple or Samsung, you are always expected to be the first one to innovate, bring something new. So R&D budget is probably very high as well. And in the end, the marketing is probably what made you aware of it in the first place, made you buy it.

    The reason I say the marketing budget must probably be diminishing is because they have done it well. They don't need much/new superstars or influencers anymore, the masses followed and now the Apple logo is a brand, a sign of (social) status. The masses are doing their marketing for them, for free. I have female friends and acquaintances who borrow iPhones from their friends just to shoot a picture in the mirror so that people can see the Apple logo when they post it on Instagram. So it's not always about the quality or the camera or the experience. It's about the brand. It's not a "phone", it's an "iPhone". Don't know about where you are from, but here every other phone is called a "phone", only the iPhone is called by its name.

    Generally, premium smartphones are pretty expensive nowadays, and do not offer much (if at all) value IMO. But if you're willing to drop the brand, you can find ones for as low as half the price of the newest iPhone.
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