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)