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I'm completely disappointed with the way phone market evolves. I don't want a cheap phone, I want a phone that works.

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.

Althought that might be your preference, I'm fairly certain very few people feel the same. I too want a phone that "works", but I'd never pay $1000+. I can live with some sacrifices if i can get a Good Enough phone for ~$400. And imo, OnePlus One is fits the bill quite well. I was sceptical about no SD card and the non-removable battery, but when the battery lasts for days, and i have 64GB eMMC and online backup, I found I don't need those things anyway.

I think there is a huge market of people who wouldn't think twice of paying $1000 for, even among those who aren't really wealthy. Include me in that market. My smartphone is my most important possession, and I use it more than anything else that I own, including my laptop. With reasonably good care, a smart phone will last for 2 years, and, at that time, have 50% of its original value.

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.

It is ridiculous that even a $700 phone can just start lagging on you

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.

> 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.)

I don't want to start here any flame war or something, but that's the main reason why I've switched to Windows Phone OS - for 100$ - 150$ You've got the system that runs like a charm (I'm not smartphone power user so all apps I need are available in Windows Store)

I HAD a windows phone (Lumia 620) for about 6 months before I gave up trying to get used to it and went back to Android.

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.

The animations in Windows Phone hide the loading times. The phone wouldn't be any faster without them.

Can you recommend a good chinese phone with similar specs that I could find on aliexpress?

Keep dreaming. The sad fact is, the majority of consumers do not even know what half of those features are for let alone need them. We, the techies of the world do not define these products any more - our mothers, uncles and children do (and all they want to do is take acceptable looking selfies, share them and send the odd text message.

I don't have high hopes. Just had to vent out.

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.

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?

We're not in the 24th Century yet!

Sounds like you might want one of these:


It doesn't matter about the memory and processing power. The hiccups are down the the OS, not the hardware.

Relevant video: https://vimeo.com/134128443

A very interesting video, thanks! So the question is, how can I get my hands on something from Shenzhen that works? I've seen people importing Chinese smartphones that are equivalent to high-end products on Western market but for half a price. But could anyone share some tips on finding and getting a device that may be more functional than what you can buy in Europe/US?

I'd just browse dealextreme or aliexpress: http://www.dx.com/attr/cell-phones-accessories-599/cell-phon...

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)

My personal oppinion is that dx is lacking the newer Android devices. Geekbuying.com is often better in this regard. DX has for example not the latest Meizu or Ulefone phones.

Well, if you're in Europe, find some info about VAT and customs duty rates and limits for imported goods and how individual customers pay them. Here in Slovakia, for example, if I buy anything over 20€ from China, it will be held by the post office until I come and pay 20% VAT on it and if it's more than around 140€ (I don't remember the exact amount), I have to pay duty too.

There is a EU-based shop of dx at http://eud.dx.com/. At least, they ship via the Netherlands. Not as fast as a typical EU-based shop but it takes out the hassle with customs

I want a phone that has all that, and also makes coffee

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