In need of buying advice once again

NicolasB

Distinguished Member
Hi y'all. :) The 18-month contract on which I bought my faithful HTC HD2 is about to expire, and I'm now thinking about upgrades - but am, sadly, rather out of touch with recent market developments, so if anyone has any thoughts or suggestions, they are very welcome. :thumbsup:

The obvious question is: what do I intend to use my new phone for? But the problem is that I can't actually be entirely sure about that. :( What I thought I would use a smartphone for before I first bought one (back in August 2009) and what I've ended up using it for are rather different; and I suspect that any new device would open up a whole bunch of new possibilities I can't anticipate; and I may well end up doing some of the things I currently do less. But here's what I use my current phone for:

  • First, it must do a good job as a phone. I'm partially deaf, so the sound in the earpiece needs to be of high quality and go reasonably loud. I need the person at the other end to be able to hear me clearly too. (Is there any actual benefit to the "HD Audio" standard, or is that purely a marketing gimmick?) Things like not dropping out in the middle of calls is also important.
  • I do a fair amount of texting, so it has to be a device that one can type on easily, even if one has clumsy, fat fingers. :blush:
  • I use it for mobile email quite a lot; it has to be able to handle POP email from an ISP, and also interface with my company Exchange server (email and calendar) over the 'Net. Checking for mail frequently (or using email push) should not totally destroy the battery in a matter of hours.
  • I do a fair bit of mobile web browsing; so the quality and speed of the browser and browsing experience matter. Decent support for Flash would be a plus, but not a dealbreaker. Being able to view PDFs is essential, and generally being able to emulate a desktop browser as closely as possible matters.
  • I use the satnav quite a bit, but only for navigation on foot; so it needs to be able to get a GPS lock quickly and reliably, and interface with something like Google Maps; but it doesn't need turn-by-turn satnav software.
  • I'm not a rabid Facebooker, but the ability to check for Facebook updates would be nice; I also sometimes use Windows Live Messenger on my HD2, and the ability to do that (and perhaps also hook into things like Skype or Facebook chat) would be mildly useful.
  • The thing I currently use it for more than anything else is as a mobile video player. So it needs to produce good sound quality over wired earphones (I use it on the Tube a lot, so a bluetooth headset won't work unless it provides similar levels of sound insulation to a pair of Etymotic headphones) and also produce a good quality picture; it should be able to handle all common downloaded video formats, and also have reasonable battery life when used for video playback. The ability to adjust the right/left audio balance would be helpful (as I am deafer in one ear than in the other) and a working graphic equaliser (so I can boost the treble and make dialogue more intelligible) would be nice too.

Some other thoughts:

  • It needs to have a fairly large screen - my HD2 is 4.3", and it would be a wrench to go much smaller than that; I might even consider going to a 5" tablet device, especially if the screen resolution is higher than 800x480, but it does still have to fit in my pocket at the end of the day.
  • Because I'll be using it for video, the quality of the display is important: having a good black level matters, as does a display that goes fairly bright, is at least semi-visible in sunlight, does not have badly over- or under-saturated colours, isn't outrageously far away from a D65 white point, etc.
  • The number of modern applications that can be downloaded for my HD2 isn't that high, because of the sad demise of Windows Phone 6.5 as a viable platform just 2 months after I bought the phone. :mad: But I can imagine that I might make more use of "apps" on a better-supported device; I might get into mobile gaming; I'd really like some sort of integrated system where it can figure out where you are using the GPS, and then work out what the nearest pub is and give you directions to it, etc. Some sort of e-reader might be fun too (although I can't imagine battery life would make that a viable proposition).
  • I can't decide if I would ever want to make video calls if I had the option; probably not phone-to-phone, but just possibly being able to make a video call to someone who is using MSN on a laptop/webcam combination would be useful. Certainly not a big deal.
  • A decent quality camera with a flash would be a small advantage, but isn't very important.
  • If there are any new communications standards ("4G") likely to become available within the lifetime of the phone, supporting them would presumably be a good thing.
 

alphaomega16

Distinguished Member
"First, it must do a good job as a phone. I'm partially deaf, so the sound in the earpiece needs to be of high quality and go reasonably loud. I need the person at the other end to be able to hear me clearly too. (Is there any actual benefit to the "HD Audio" standard, or is that purely a marketing gimmick?) Things like not dropping out in the middle of calls is also important."

That I cannot really tell you it might be something you will have to hear for yourself, but regarding screen size and playback and such I have found really good whilst showing my dad how to use the SE Xperia Arc and I can also say its pretty damn loud as well compared to most phones and the screen size is quite impressive.

Camera isnt too bad but at the moment can only use zoom on the 2mb mode which is unfortunate and the light on the back is outstanding which is not suprising considering its using a LED light.

Video calls would be a nono as there is no camera on the front of the ARC but there is on the NEO which is under 4" in size due to the added camera.

Arc
YouTube - Sony Ericsson XPERIA Arc Hands-On

Neo
YouTube - Sony Ericsson Xperia neo - first look

Id say pop into a local phone shop and ask if there is a way you can hear sound from the handset as you would when speaking to someone, I am sure they would be more than happy to assist.

Sorry I could not be of more help but I dont get to play with a lot of phones but I am really fond of the Arc but have been sliding towards the Neo for myself as it seems a bit sturdier build wise.
 

salthegal

Standard Member
Ive been looking around web for advice on new phone, apparently the new samsung galaxy s 2 is the phone to have at the moment. I have a normal samsung galaxy s and its great, I jumped ship from an iphone as it was half the price.

If you dont mind being tied into a new contract :confused: then when Ive compared the deals the retailers are offering I think dialaphone have a pretty good offer. www.comparemobiledeals.com/mobile-phones/Samsung/Galaxy-S2?&tab=Pay-Monthly&page=1&sortby=Monthly-Cost&internet=yes £20 per month and £99 up front with memory card.

Ive read the reviews and this android phone gets very good feedback. Not going to be the cheapest phone in the world as its only just come out but I think it may suit your requirments well.

Let us know what you plump for and how you get on with it. ;)
 

wiggleyleeds

Active Member
Very easy choice based exactly on your needs would be the galaxy s ii - no other phone matches your needs more perfectly

399 on o2 payg, then a five to unlock to any network
 

NicolasB

Distinguished Member
I shall definitely investigate the Galaxy SII. :smashin:

No votes at all for an iPhone 4 or something that runs Windows Phone 7? Or Maemo...? I'm not disagreeing, I'm just curious as to why no one's trying to push an iPhone down my throat. :)
 

alphaomega16

Distinguished Member
I shall definitely investigate the Galaxy SII. :smashin:

No votes at all for an iPhone 4 or something that runs Windows Phone 7? Or Maemo...? I'm not disagreeing, I'm just curious as to why no one's trying to push an iPhone down my throat. :)

Because they are too expensive compared to other phones that can do just as well if not better for cheaper :D
 

Jamie

Distinguished Member
How about giving Android a try on your HD2. The HD2 is not that far of spec wise, its just burdened with an outdated OS. The HD2 can run Android perfectly, it can also run WP7 but I'm not sure how completely
 

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