I want my phone to have enough memory and processing power to handle its operating system without hiccups. It is ridiculous that even a $700 phone can just start lagging on you. I want my phone to have it all - Bluetooth, WiFi, IrDA, accelerometer, thermometer, barometer, SD card, double SIM, removable battery; all sensors and standard protocols and features that companies use now to segment markets. I don't see a reason for a phone to not to have it all other than vendors trying to extract more money from people by forcing them to choose the least inferior option. But fuck it, I'll pay even $1000+, just create a phone that works.
And I want a tool, not a fitness toy for bored first-worlders. Double, no - triply so for wearables. People ask me why I just bought a Pebble instead of one of those shiny touch-screen "smart"watches. It's simple - I want a tool, not a glorified pedometer. While I think a touchscreen would be really welcome, still, Pebble seems to be the only wearables company that wants to make something useful instead of shiny. But I am yet to find such a comapny for phones themselves.
It's disheartening when you compare what we know we can do with what is actually done because of business reasons.
So - if a really solid smartphone was available for $1500, that is $750 over 24 months, or $31/month. There are a lot of things that I pay $31/month for, that don't give me the same value as my smartphone, that I would happily give up to get a world-class best-of-breed experience.
And realize, we are comparing with a "good enough" $400 phone - which would probably only have 25% of it's value ($100) after 2 years - so, $300/24 month or $12.50/month, so what we are really asking ourselves, is do we want to spend $12.50 for a good enough phone, or $31/month for a best-in-class phone. I'm certainly willing to pay the extra $19/month.
IMHO the blame for that lies with the software, not the hardware. Android is basically the realisation of the original Java OS, but on hardware fast enough that its performance has become "acceptable" - most of the time.
As for the other features; Bluetooth, WiFi, accelerometer (and compass/magnetometer), SD, dual-SIM, and removable battery are pretty much standard on every generic Chinese phone now since they're based on reference designs that have all those components (they cost almost nothing - it would probably take more work to remove them and customise the HW/SW - and it's yet another feature point they can list.)
I'd consider such a "full-featured" phone "flagship", but what the term appears to mean today is just a fast CPU, big screen, and pretty looks, with the other features appearing and disappearing seemingly randomly.
This is what bothers me. I suspect it's not random, it's market segmentation. So ok, a vendor may think that some consumers value feature X, Y, and Z, while others value featues X, Q and V. But one thing that is missing from all offerings is a phone that has them all. This is the phone that I would like to buy, even if it was significantly more expensive than the rest. But I can't, because it's not there.
(Or I haven't found it yet. If anyone knows of such device, I'd be grateful for a pointer.)
The animations are just too slow and annoying for me to get used to. There needs to be a way to turn them off. The phone wasn't laggy. It's just the animations that got on my nerves.
What also irks me is that all that consumer-defined hardware is pushing human ability to weather stress and annoyances. I sometimes really wonder if the proliferation of underpowered, laggy phones isn't turning into public health problem. I sometimes get to fix my mother's laptop (also used by my sister). It came with Windows 8, but it runs it so slow that personally, I'd kill myself if I had to do any work on such equipment. And yes, my mother is incredibly annoyed as well, but she doesn't really expect any better, she gave up on it some time ago.
Yes, I am dreaming about good technology. I know we have the means, there just isn't will. The only place when you can see technology working without problems is sci-fi movies. Just try and imagine that scene from Star Trek - an away team tries to scan derelict starship with a tricorder, only to have it hang up, reboot and then complain that it won't work because it can't connect to the cloud. Ridiculous, isn't it?
But hey, not all is lost yet. People are attempting to make their own phones outside of big phone vendors. They do that mostly to push against erosion of privacy and user's ability to control their own device. I'm hoping someone will try to make a smartphone equivalent of a tricorder. I think there are enough geeks like me to fund a decent Kickstarter.
We're not in the 24th Century yet!
e.g. http://www.dx.com/p/xiaomi-4-quad-core-android-4-4-3-bar-pho... which can be compared against the OnePlus 2 here: http://tech.firstpost.com/news-analysis/xiaomi-mi-5-needs-to... (headline says mi5, scroll down)
I'm interested to read details of how the fingerprint unlock works. Remember that a fingerprint reader is insufficient to be secure, as fingerprints are low-entropy and relatively public.
I'm running CM12.1 on my One at the moment and it's leaps and bounds better than the stock CM11S ROM that comes with the device.
1. Are they easy to brick?
2. Is there a decent guide for updating?
1. Not that easy to completely brick. If you try to flash the wrong recovery or boot, it will fail to start even in recovery mode (bricked?). I've done that to mine, but I was still able to boot it up while tethered (I have two phones and I inadvertently used the image for my other phone on my One Plus).
2. Loads of guides on their forums or google in general. Also, Nexus 4 or 5 guides are the same procedure, just replacing with the relevant images and ROMs (the OnePlus One's codename is Bacon, in case you're looking at what roms to download).
Looking at the S6 Edge on my desk here I won't ever buy another device, without seeing official nightly builds from CM first. So no OPT(? OP2?) for me, for now, although I crave for a replacement device to get away from this Samsung POS.
I picked it up as a Nexus 5 replacement solely for the ridiculously large battery (3100mAh or 72% more than the similarly sized iPhone 6 and still 6% more than the 6 Plus). It's slimmer and more solid (the N5 has a tendency to get dented), and arguably has better specs (it definitely deals with Skype, my only performance hog, much better). When I was in the market, there was nothing that came close in terms of battery life. IRL it has been alright, if I read a book and check emails most of the time it will die in about 32 hours but going into town for meetings (i.e. only using maps, email and the odd Kindle), I've found it only lost 30% battery/day.
Cost me around 205 USD including shipping and a 6 month warranty, but if it breaks I'll just buy another one. It's only 1/5th the cost of an iPhone...
The Xiaomi portable chargers are also pretty neat.
I don't know about US availability as it appears most things Xiaomi are directly ripped off Apple and there's probably copyright issues. Check out the Mi Note to see what I mean...
I don't think the power consumption is as smart as the N5; it def drains about the same in airplane mode as not in airplane mode, whilst the N5 basically became as good as switched off. On the upside power management seems much better when it comes to dealing with networks; maybe I was on the wrong frequency bands. The N5 battery was shockingly bad; after a year and a half I was getting barely 1.5 hours of use out of the thing. Great when you're stranded in Tokyo and relying on Google Maps and Translate...
FWIW my iPhone 4 from years ago is still the most durable phone I've owned. I still get a good 3 days battery out of it (it's our guest phone) and it can go weeks on airplane mode in the drawer. But when you've tasted a 5" screen and multitasking, it really is too little...
For the time being, though, I'm going to wait out the "my phone is bigger than your dick" game that everyone and their dog seems to be engaged in. 175 grams is way too heavy to carry around in a pocket, let alone hold with one hand for more than a few minutes. And yet everyone competes in the already overcrowded "flagship" market instead of trying to find a niche.
I hope at least some manufactorers will return to their senses before my 4.27-inch, 107-gram Galaxy S4 Mini begins to feel unbearably slow.
The Nexus 5 is bigger and heavier than that, but I'm keeping it near the edge of my radar in case I have no other choice.
<rant> LG recently began to market the Gram, a series of high-end ultrabooks that weigh less than 1000 grams. Why on Earth is nobody trying to market medium-to-high-end phones that weigh less than 100 grams? </rant>
As for the software, I don't really care as long as I can wipe it and replace it with Cyanogenmod. Just checked and it seems that Cyanogenmod supports the Z3 Compact. Thanks for the suggestion.
There are cheaper phones out there. Would you name them among 'flagship' devices?
Of course, as usual, their own skin and who knows how long you get updates.
You can find people running various other versions of Windows (and even MS-DOS) on an Android phone, again as a VM.
Here's one, for example:
This is not including models that are 12+ months old that are discounted but still have solid specs.
I would like to say this in simplest possible way
-- One plus one support model and execution is poorest of all phone makers --
The emphasis and culture in the company is to grow fast without concern towards individuals paying still very high prices for their phones but not getting the worth. The half life of the phone is lower than market and people do face issues when the OS changes are pushed without a good amount of testing.
One plus one forums are inundated with people all over the world having hardware issues and the insufficient support they have been receiving. The founder Carl Pei has made commitments to improve support however the progress has fallen short on promises.
One Plus One ended up being a huge lesson for many customers. One plus two would just end up being another phone without company getting its act together.
I don't think it is nice-looking. It's not ugly. It's just normal. It looks very similar to some Android phones.
Of course one of the ways in which it smooths demand is to turn people away; I was interested in a Meizu Ubuntu phone until I learned I had to 'compete' for the privilege of giving them my money.
Same with the original OPO, by the time I won an invitation ( after waiting several months ) I had gone and bought an LG G3.
I hope it's not the same screen as in the One... Other than that, it looks like a good improvement.
When the battery drained, it refused to boot past the "cyanogen" boot screen. Twice. A common problem that required a factory reset.
Would say it's charged to 100%, until the moment the USB was removed and it instantly went to 4%. Every time, no matter whether it had been drained, or charged when turned on/off. Again, factory reset fixed it.
Wont vibrate more than once with the OnePlus official flip cover when calls are incoming on silent mode.
WhatsApp vibrations cant be turned off since CM12 upgrade.
Doesn't do 4G in Europe. There's probably a carrier whom it does work with, but from my last bit of research there isn't in the UK. Perhaps Three though.
I've used CM happily on other handsets, and encountered far fewer and far less frustrating. However if you're marketing a phone specifically to be used with CM, I'd expect a lot more QA to be put into it. If you're happy with a "hackable" phone and you're willing to put up with missing calls, disappearing notifications, private lock screen notifications showing message contents still, then it's not a bad way to waste £300, but I want a reliable phone I dont have to fight with, so I'm sacking it off very soon.