My issue with cheaper phones is: I don't mind it being slow, I don't mind it having a bad display. But I do mind the camera quality.
I take a lot of pictures (multiple a day) which I treasure because it's pictures of my kids. But I hate having a camera with me, so my phone has to have a good camera. There aren't cheap phones with good cameras.
And that's likely heavy use. My Z3 lasts three or four days of moderate to light use, five days if you don't mind being at sub-20% on the final day (power saving mode). It isn't quite classic Nokia levels of battery life, but being able to charge it every few days is a massive improvement.
The Z3's camera disappoints me at times. I was trying to take a photo from a dark hotel room of the Vegas strip, and the camera was struggling to focus, and manual focus was a non-option. It was in difficult conditions, but with more control (or smarter auto-modes) it would have come out.
I like Android and would never move over to iOS because of lock-in and limited app API freedoms, but I still feel like even now Android's cameras fall behind Apple's version of the same (picture quality in bad light, speed, etc). All cameras work basically fine in good light, but in diminishing conditions is where you really "test" them.
Camera and slow (or no) OS updates are my biggest gripe with Android. Although OS upgrades are less of an issue than years ago now many of the core apps update via the Play Store.
When I'm at work though, poor reception brings me down to 30-36 hours, still pretty close to 2 days of usage though
1) Because I feel Apple has screwed me. The iOS 8 update has turned my iPhone 4 into a brick. My phone now does everything iOS 6 did, but now it is slow as hell. In return, I get nothing new worth of mentioning besides animations (what a giant leap forward, Apple) and eye-bleeding colors. And turtle speed and constant hang-ups.
2) Apple isn't innovating anymore. They are busy adding "features." Sometimes the way iOS 8 works makes me think the whole iOS division lacks ideas about what else they want to add, so they are simply throwing stuff on the wall. It's hard to believe how dysfunctional iOS has started to be when Jobs left.
3) I still get eyebleeding idiotic colors on this Android device, but A5000 is four times cheaper than iPhone 6, and it delivers the same functionality, plus dual SIM capability for travel, and a 4000 mAh battery. (I am not associated with Lenovo, that was an impulse purchase.)
So after 6 years of having everything-Apple at home and at work, I think I am starting to leave Apple. Sad and happy at the same time.
2) Debatable. Maybe. I have a 6+ and it works pretty fantastic, though, other than the occasional crashes.
3) The mAh of the battery does not matter, because the phone could be a power-suck, and the iPhone is fairly efficient overall. The total runtime of the phone DOES matter. Price? What else are you giving up with 1/4 the cost? My 6+ camera takes amazing photos.
4) We'll welcome you back once you become frustrated with Android. I know at least 2 people who were in the same boat and eventually came back. We all have to make the same mistakes...
+ i agree with what u said about iphone. Same experience.
With the near release of Windows 10 (and Windows 10 Mobile) I was thinking about considering Windows Phone again (I haven't given it much thought since Windows Phone 7).
- ClearBlack displays that do some crazy shit in sunny conditions, so you can still see the screen.
- Awesome cameras and awesome image postprocessing that sacrifices color fidelity in favor of image awesomeness.
- Lumia Cinemagraph is a killer app.
Ans if you don't want that, you can always use RAW in the higher end models.
I just gave my OnePlus One (beautiful, 'cheap' - the only thing against it? Really, really big) to my wife to 'upgrade' to an S6 Edge. Boy, what a mess that thing is.
No reception. Bad wifi. Battery issues. Calls are distorted, I often hear the other side in a ChipMunk-y way. And don't get me even started on this TouchWiz crap. Or 'Odin'/'Kies'/'Smart Connect'.
So, I 'upgraded' from a perfect 300EUR device to a crappy/barely working 850EUR device. There's a lesson here: Stick to devices with stock Android experience and ideally stick to a device that is properly supported by CM.
Can't take the OnePlus One away from my wife by now. I do tend to look at my Flame every now and then and have a hard time deciding which phone to carry. The beautiful or the less broken one?
Yeah, that is why I always bought the Nexus devices from Google. Sometimes there are issues but anything major is fixed by the next patch.
Keep in mind the 5 was released in Oct 2013, and did have a handful of issues at the time that they could have since fixed but haven't.
Instead wound up with a Z3 (5.2" instead of 6"). 5.2-5.3" is about as big as I'll ever go with a phone, bigger and you feel it in your pocket (I've owned a Samsung Note that I felt was bigger than I'd like).
Google OTAs are now block-based, as far as I understand. Which means that I cannot change my system and apply the update afterwards.
I have no problems of that sort with CM. So, while Nexus devices might be a good base line, I personally would still move away from official Google releases.
That said, I agree that the experience is quite nice and it sure helps to get timely updates.
Personally, I tend to worry about the fact CM sometimes bricks phone and would rather have the hassle free stock android.
I miss CM (the 'free one' - even my OnePlus One ran on CM Nightlies vs. the Cyanogen OS thing) a lot. My next device will be picked based on http://wiki.cyanogenmod.org/w/Devices
And it cost me $35.
So instead i pair one with the other via bluetooth if i can't find some wifi to use and the data itch gets me.
Let's say you have a net worth of 25k, which seems about median for a 30 year old in the US.
So you're saying, I gotta spend 2% of my financial existence on a stinkin telephone? A nearly-guaranteed depreciating asset, at that!
For some of you, that might make a lot of sense - you spend 99% of your waking lives on those things. But for me, not so much. I'll opt for the $80 Android I found on Amazon.
I personally rather spend higher percentages of my net worth building businesses and memories/experiences, not things.
And honestly I can't stand the cheap Android phones. Android is a solid OS, but the cheap devices it often appears on are just awful. It causes a lot of headaches...at least $500 worth to me at least :)
I've just found that for a casual user who's not looking to sport a luxury brand in my pocket, $80 Android once every 14-20 months is better than a $500 iPhone every two years.
I choose to think of it as spending 2% of my financial existence on an internet browser, a world-wide atlas, a communication device that I use to connect to five various methods of communication, an e-mail client, an entertainment system (games, video, podcasts, music).
But I guess I'd be making the same argument if this was about cars, and not smartphones.
At some point, an iPhone becomes a minor convenience add-on / vanity / luxury choice. I'm perfectly fine with that decision, too... most people want to look successful... but not at an appreciable amount of net worth, IMHO.
I literally can't think of a company where you end up on-call and the expectation is you can respond in [at most] 15 minutes to an emergency/alert. That means a laptop + mobile wifi hotspot [phone] everywhere you go.
The cheaper phones tend to have worse reception. In my office, I used to only get Edge due to the thick walls. My Nexus 6 has no trouble getting to LTE.
I don't want a company phone and have to juggle two phones.
I claim that any recent smartphone can work up to two days including a few hours of browsing and doing calls, once you disable all (unnecessary) background synchronizations, forcing the hardware awake. At least this is my experience for the Nexus 4.
But reading that the authors phone "used to die with 6–8 hours of moderate usage or sometimes even before that", it seems he had much higher expectations than me. I don't expect a phone to work in "active" mode with screen on for so many hours. I expect it to consume just little power when screen is off and few background synchronizations run, and do not care much about consumption when the screen is on. If you need 8 hours (that is 1/3 day) of screen-on time then maybe your expectations are too high on a smartphone? Additionally you would probably stumble over a power socket in the meantime.
My bic lasts years when I don't use it too.
For me that is like saying "When can we have a car that drives 2000km? It usually stops for me after 1000km."
Most of author's arguments are very Android specific. I haven't seen the first two issues I quoted with either iOS or Windows phone.
I would say that the title should be "Why I am happy downgrading from a $500 to a $75 Android "
I was using a Nexus 4 for a while, but when my wife's phone died I gave her that and got a 2014 Moto G. So far I'm very happy with it, especially given I only paid $150 for it with no contract. It's not quite as snappy as the Nexus 4 was, but the screen is a bit nicer, the battery lasts a bit longer (usually at ~60% when I put it on the charger before bed), and the camera is definitely better. It has a few quirks, things I've seen on many Motorola phones (the earpiece doubles as a loudspeaker, and it randomly switches volume during a call; the ambient light sensor sometimes stops working so I end up with an extremely bright screen at night). But overall I feel I've gotten my money's worth and then some.
I do miss my Lumia 925, and I'm looking forward to sampling whatever Windows 10 Mobile devices come out over the next year. But I'm more than satisfied with my budget phone.
In general, Android keeps disappointing as there are such idiotic problems that I wonder if Android engineers actually use Android phones in real life. For example, taking videos since day one is a huge pain. You start shooting a video, and then you start cursing shortly after, because background apps kill video quality. How hard is to get this simple thing - shooting videos is a CPU-intensive job, pause everything else until the video is done? This is one of the many issues, I just recently struggled with shooting videos and decided to buy a camcorder again to use for the more formal events and use the phone only spontaneously.
I love it's small footprint and plastic back. It's kidproof, verified by my two test engineers here in various incidents. Changed it's battery once, lasts almost two days based on my usage.
For the last three years, I'm trying hard to justify buying a new phone based on my use case and can't come up with a good reason. I shrinked my usage to email mostly. Twitter is so time consuming, I'm happy that my phone can't keep up with it's basic hardware requirements so I gave up using it 2 years ago. Same story with Facebook and other popular apps. Staying long on a not up-to-date hardware trims your excess device usage and makes it hard to have a reason for upgrade.
I was about to buy Xperia Z3 Compact for its smaller size and long battery life but turned down by glass back and lack of physical home button. I guess I'll shop for a second hand Galaxy S if this one dies on me.
I really think the age of the phone has more to do with the speed than the price (and I suspect this has more to do with software than hardware going bad.)
(The only problematic app seems to be Facebook, which is a bit hard on the 1GB RAM.)
1. You would have to charge it twice in a week, at most. Mostly I ended up charging it once/week. It would actually run longer with low battery warning than today's most smartphones' whole charge cycle.
2. It was convenient to hold, small enough to lose in any kind of pockets. At least I never had to take the phone in to account when buying pants, which I need to do now, for smartphones.
3. The phone would last forever, only you would have to change the battery in every two years.
4. It was rock solid. You could use it as alternative to stone to hit something.
5. After all, there is no more satisfying communication method than voice call. And there is no more satisfying game than snakes.
I wish I could buy a Nokia 1100. Today's Nokia feature phones are sensitive, fragile, bulky and they stop working in couple of years.
The 1100 is the most popular cell phone in the known universe:
This is basically the repeat of the desktop market in the 90's and early 2000s. Except that we now have Android instead of Windows as the dominant alternative.
Why? Apparently so they can have it before everyone else...for 48 hours...
(iPhone 5S/Ting user, bought 'em used for my wife and I a few weeks after the 6 came out and a bunch of people dumped their "obsolete" 5Ss. So I agree with you in philosophy, but disagree that enough people think like that to "doom Apple")
Queue's are needed when you need some kind of a priority based selection.
Apple could take -just- their profits from 2014Q4 ($18bn), burn $10M a day, and it would still take -nearly 5 years- before they were done with just that lump of cash.
I mean, seriously... THE DIALER APP?!?!?! Even a $10 Nokia has a stable dialer...
1) don't really want a slower/more efficient processor (like Cortex A7/A53)
2) don't really want a smaller ~4.5" screen
3) don't really want a 960x540 or 800x480 resolution
If we could build a "premium" phone with those specs (for instance the same resolution, but a much newer and more efficient display technology) we could make them last even more than these low-end phones where we typically find these specs.
The screen is something you can't get around but the CPUs are insanely powerful for the kind of work a typical phone is doing.
What.. for? What use case on a phone requires so much silicone? I am fine with ~beefy~ handsets to - I don't know - support multi tasking between a couple of applications. But this? I feel I miss the entire target market (again). It seems I don't understand how you're expected to use your phone to actually require all these resources.
I remember seeing some data about iPhone battery life over the generations. Apple has basically held it steady - as the processors and screens have improved, the power efficiency has improved just enough to hold battery life constant.
The exception to this was the 6+ which due to it's larger size, had a fair bit more battery life.
Personally, I'd love a phone with 6+ battery life or better in the 5S form-factor. I don't need or want a large screen - that's why I have tablets and laptops.
"The Eton Thundergod packs a bigger battery that allows it to nearly match Lenovo's promises in talk time, while delivering a thinner, more powerful device The Thundergod's battery weighs in at 5,000 mAh -- good enough for 21 hours of 3G/4G talk time or a whopping 46 days (1,100 hours) of standby time. Literally, you can go days without charging this monster."
But, googling "5000 mah android" I found:
The problem is that almost all high end smartphones (in terms of build quality, etc.) also have huge screens and are too big. And the cheaper phones have a terrible quality. Not sure about the Moto E, though.
I get 48 hours, and the size is perfect if you don't want a bigger phone. I've had lots bad Sony experiences in the past, but this is a good product.
Here's a link for the Z3C benchmark, which reflects my experience. It benchmarks 2 hours longer than the Samsung S5 in continual use, or roughly doubles the Nexus 5 life.
Here's a screenshot of my batter usage after a day at work
New flagships have much better battery with big screens and faster SoC's.
On a side note, because there are more of them, there are also more options for external battery cases, just as there were extended battery options for some of the more popular Android phones when removable batteries were standard.
That link back to the Guardian gives him any rights to use the image. In fact he's probably making it easier for the rights holder to track him down now that he has linked to the page.
Not that I think the Guardian would care... but still. Don't use other peoples images without permission.
From a strictly emotional standpoint, the idea that I must carry a separate battery if I plan to be away from a charger all day is just stupid.