Need help picking a phone

Discussion in 'Alternatives to iOS and iOS Devices' started by nj-morris, Sep 12, 2015.

  1. nj-morris, Sep 12, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2015

    nj-morris macrumors 68000

    nj-morris

    Joined:
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    #1
    So here's the thing. I'm due for an upgrade on the 1st October, and I want to make sure that whatever phone I get is the best possible phone that I can get. Now I know, it's subjective, there's no phone that suits everybody, but I'll try to explain what exactly I want. At the moment I have a BlackBerry Z10, and in my opinion, basically every phone is an upgrade from that, and I'm also in possession of an iPad Air 2 and an iPod Touch 5th generation.
    Now, I think we can agree that phone quality is not measured by what it has, but rather what it lacks. Now by that, I'm talking about user experience, things like fingerprint scanner, best in class display, fast wifi, I'm not talking about things like 3GB RAM, 1440p screen, 2GHz processor. Now I'm going to try to list all the variables in order of how much I care about it, starting with what I care about the most at the top, then what I care about less going down. Bear in mind that this is just my opinion.

    Display technology: I'm a display fanatic. Nothing beats a great screen, and I think that the best screens that I've seen so far are the ones from Samsung. Vibrant colours, looks like it's painted on, immersive, and feels like I'm touching the content. I'm not sure if I could ask for better. But that's not to say that LCDs are bad. Sure, some are, for instance I'm not a fan of the OnePlus One display, but I would be happy with a good LCD display over an AMOLED.

    Fingerprint scanner: I find it very useful to be able to unlock a phone using a finger. It's quick, and nobody can see your password. I don't really know what the safest and easiest alternative is, but I just know that it would be good to have it.

    Screen size: I like big phones. I don't have much experience with them, but ones I've tried in stores seem great. I would say that my perfect size is 5.7 inches plus or minus about 0.7 inches for a phone that I can use as a daily driver, but the closer to that sweet spot the better.

    Build: I'm not generally nitpicky about phone build, but I like a well built phone. That said though, I'm a small bit choosy on what well built actually means. For example, I would prefer a glass back to a metal one, so I would say that phones like the Z5 premium, and the new Samsung phones are the best built. And I actually really like what Motorola are doing with their Moto X (Style and Play) with the metal frame and silicone back.

    Software support: Now it's a known fact that a lot of Android phones take months to get the latest updates. I can't really speak for the future, as I don't know what's in store for later updates, but I find it quite important.

    Software: I'm specifically talking about Android phones here. I'm not really an expert on the different versions of Android, but I'm for the extra features that other OEMs put. But there's some sort of obsession with stock Android. I'm not doubting that it's good, but if somebody can tell me what's so good about it, that'll be great.

    Battery life and charging: Not really a concern to me if I have fast/turbo charging, or if it can get me through a day. Fast charging is pretty much a standard now, and Motorola's claim of 10 hours out of 15 minutes charge sounds really neat. I'm putting these two in the same section because they are co-dependant.

    Camera features: I like to have things that you can do with the camera, things like slow motion and manual controls. Something that basically every phone lacks is 240fps slow motion though. I think that's one area where the iPhone shines.

    Camera quality: Go on about megapixels, apertures and shutter speeds as much as you like, but my bottom line is this. I just want good photos. This isn't that important to me, there are things I care about more (namely everything above this) but that's just how I measure camera quality.

    General smoothness: I can bear a bit of lag. I'm currently running the public beta program on iOS, and obviously performance isn't as good as it could be, but I don't mind. What I don't like is constant crashing. App/webpage refreshing is a minor problem to me.

    Waterproofing: It's not a standard feature, but I find it pretty neat how I can have a phone that survives the toilet or one that I can take to the pool.

    Display resolution: This is the one thing about the display that I don't really care about. Anything higher than 1080p, which every flagship phone over 5 inches has, doesn't really concern me, it just doesn't make any difference to the user experience to me. I would only use 1440p as a deciding factor if I was completely torn.

    And of course we shouldn't ignore price. I don't yet know how much I'll have to pay for each of the phones, as the upgrade prices only come up when I'm eligible. I don't really have a budget, I'm just deciding based on value for the money.
    If people can recommended phones based on my needs that would be excellent, but what I really want to know is experience. So can you just post what phone you have, and say what I might or might not like about that particular phone. Thanks.
     
  2. MRU macrumors demi-god

    MRU

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    #2
    Do you like your Z10 (the blackberry HUB, and BB's stock apps) ? If so if your looking at Android - you could wait and see what the Blackberry Venice will be like. It should give you familiar aspects your used to, but will offer the flexibility and customisability of android devices.

    If you are going android - stick with devices that are as close to stock if you want to avoid your general smoothness concerns.

    The Z5 could be decent device for you, fitting in with many of your criteria.Though likely to be a pricy option as they tend to be when released in UK/Europe

    If you don't mind bigger devices then keep an eye out for the huawei Nexus devices coming out or the Moto Pure.

    If you are happy to bolster storage with MicroSD then I'd get a stock 16gb moto pure (likely the cheapest option of all those mentioned other and put in a microSD rather than pay for an extra 16gb. You'd get a 64gb MicroSD for £20) The 16gb will likely only be available via motomaker on motorola.co.uk - Clove / Amazon will be selling the 32gb for £350 which is still a great price.
     
  3. tbayrgs macrumors 603

    tbayrgs

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    #3
    Have to agree with MRU. While reading your list of wants and preferences, both the standard Z5 and Moto X Style immediately came to mind. Neither tick al, your boxes but seem to meet the most of your needs.
     
  4. nj-morris, Sep 13, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2015

    nj-morris thread starter macrumors 68000

    nj-morris

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    #4
    Thanks for replying both of you. Have either of you taken into account that my list of features goes in descending order of what I care about? I forgot to say that I'm mostly leaning towards the S6 Edge+, which is about the same price as the Z5, and I think the advantages of the Edge+ outweigh the advantages of the Edge+. As I said, I put features before smoothness, so I think TouchWiz would be good for me.
    And the Moto X Style sounds great, but I think you're forgetting that I can in fact get the Moto X Play, which in my opinion is the true Motorola flagship. The Snapdragon 615 is about on par with the 808, the screen is a tiny bit smaller, and barely noticeably lower resolution, and a huge battery (despite being thinner and lighter). And yes, all of that adds up to amazing battery life. And it's cheaper as well.
    So at the moment I'm leaning towards the S6 Edge+ and Moto X Play, but I still have a while to make a decision. Am I missing something? And can you two please tell me your experiences with your current phones, or any of your previous phones which are still worth buying? I'd like to know what phones I may like or not like. Thanks.

    EDIT: Forgot to mention this, but the reason I'm not considering the Moto X Play more than I could is because of the lack of the two things at the top of my list. AMOLED and a fingerprint scanner. And although everything else seems to be fine, I'm not sure if that's a deal breaker for me. Is the LCD on the Moto X any good?
     
  5. MRU macrumors demi-god

    MRU

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    #5
    Go for the S6 Edge + then. It's a lovely phone, and in fairness I managed to snag one yesterday for slightly less € than I am paying for a Moto X style ;)

    Tbh. You can't really go too far wrong with any of the major flagships these days.
     
  6. nickchallis92 macrumors 6502a

    nickchallis92

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    #6
    Get an Edge Plus. It is the best looking phone on the market bar NONE.
     
  7. tbayrgs macrumors 603

    tbayrgs

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    #7
    Agree with MRU and Nick then...get a S6e+. All of the reviews of the Play that I've seen have been lackluster at best--Alex Dobie over at Android Central gave his account on an edition of their podcast and he said performance was borderline awful--user experience was very 'janky' were I believe his words, lots of unexpected lag and hiccups. It may have a big battery but if the user experience is unpleasant, what's the point.
     
  8. nj-morris thread starter macrumors 68000

    nj-morris

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    #8
    Thanks everyone. My current plans are this, Galaxy S6 Edge+ as my first choice, then Moto X Play if it's too expensive. The problem with the Moto X Play in terms of buying is that I can't get it from my carrier (Vodafone), and even if I could I probably wouldn't have the customisations that Moto Maker has. That might change in the near future though.
    Anyway, I still haven't heard any experiences so far. How are you guys doing with your current phones?
     
  9. Zwhaler macrumors 603

    Zwhaler

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    Jun 10, 2006
    #9
    Edge+ is "da bomb". I upgraded from the Note 4 and I didn't find the Note 5 too compelling of an upgrade, whereas for the Edge+ I did. I even played with the Edge+ in the store a few times and wasn't that compelled to upgrade from the Note 4. But for some reason I got it anyway and WOW! It really is better when you own it than simply trying it out. I'd recommend this phone bar none, it really stands out as the best phone out there right now including the new iPhones.
     
  10. nj-morris thread starter macrumors 68000

    nj-morris

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    #10
    Thanks for the recommendations everybody, but I've got another phone on my radar: the Huawei Nexus. Pros include a screen with my sweet spot size, 5.7 inches (not too sure about the display technology though), a fingerprint scanner, metal build, smooth Android experience, and access to the latest updates (including Marshmallow at launch). Cons are generally nitpicking, but I'll include them. It's quite tall, making it a tad unwieldy, fingerprint scanner on the back, not the best position for a big phone, I'd still rather the glass of the Samsung phones, and to be honest, it's a little bit ugly. Also, it won't have the features that most other Android phones have, unless Google surprises us with extra features for Marshmallow. And Nexus phones historically haven't had the best cameras or battery lives (which is surprising for stock Android).
    I just hope it's a bit cheaper than the Nexus 6 was at launch. Even if it is though, I'll probably be able to fork out that money. We'll see.
     
  11. MRU macrumors demi-god

    MRU

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    #11
    yeah rumours are pointing it to be same $649 €649
     
  12. nj-morris thread starter macrumors 68000

    nj-morris

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    #12
    £479 where I live. That's not too bad considering the ridiculous overseas prices. I'll just have to see if it's worth it.
     
  13. MasterRyu2011 macrumors 65816

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    #13

    Just curious, why does the Edge+ compel you more than the Note 5. Is it simply the Edge screen, and look & feel of the device? From what I've seen, the Note 5's specs seem to be all around better than the Edge+.

    Thanks.
     
  14. Zwhaler macrumors 603

    Zwhaler

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    #14
    That's interesting you say that about the specs, since if anything the phones are most similar in the spec department, with the exception of the Edge+ being superior in weight, thinness and width (not as wide) but is a tiny bit taller. I had the Note 4 and the Note5 came off as more of the same, just slightly updated. The edge screen is the main reason why I got the edge+, yes, and I don't think I would consider a "regular" screen after this; it is simply way too nice. I don't care for it much on the regular edge, it makes much more sense on this larger screen. The design is amazing too. It is super thin and light for its size. I'm waiting for a certain case to come out and have been rocking it caseless and it is super nice. It is so thin though, especially with the reduced thickness of the side metal portion due to the edge screen, that I am more inclined to get a case due to decreased grip. Without a case the phone is a little less comfortable to hold than the Note. I don't really miss the S Pen, I had the Note II and Note 4. I'm on AT&T Next 12, btw.
     
  15. MRU macrumors demi-god

    MRU

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    #15
    Agreed the weight difference is noticeable. I have both and prefer the Edge + too. And yep the plus is nicer to use than the regular Edge too.
     
  16. nickchallis92 macrumors 6502a

    nickchallis92

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    #16
    I watched a blu-ray rip of Skyfall on my Edge+ on Sunday night. Jesus christ. Absolute pleasure on this screen.
     
  17. nj-morris thread starter macrumors 68000

    nj-morris

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    #17
    One thing that holds me back from the Edge+ is that it's uncomfortable to hold. All of the reviews state that, but it's probably just comparing to the Note 5. Can anybody with an Edge+ comment on this?
     
  18. MRU macrumors demi-god

    MRU

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    #18
    Both in my hands and I think the edge + is more comfortable to hold. It seems more balanced weight wise and noticeably lighter.

    I got a Spigen clear case and it provides good grip without adding too much additional weight.

    Best bet would be to see if you can hold one in a store. I don't find mine uncomfortable in the slightest.
     
  19. nj-morris thread starter macrumors 68000

    nj-morris

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    #19
    Ok thanks for the reassurance. All the stores that I've tried the Samsung phones in so far haven't allowed me to see how they feel, because they all have annoying security holders, mostly in the form of huge metal brackets. Some haven't even allowed me to pick the phone up.
    So far it seems to be my best bet. I can currently get it for £569, which is a bit pricey, but I can just about manage it. Is there anything else that I should know about it? At the moment it satisfies most of my needs, but I was wondering if there was anything else. How are you finding it so far?
     
  20. MRU macrumors demi-god

    MRU

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    #20
    Between it, the standard edge and the Note 5 - I prefer the edge +

    Battery has been great surprisingly compared to the standard edge. And the extra real estate and adjusted dpi really offer tangible improvements in apps.

    I also bought the spigen curved screen protector and it went on fairly easily and feels and looks good. It also came with a rear protector.

    The weight really does feel really nicely balanced in my hands. The iPhone 6 Plus and Note 5 always sit a little top heavy in my hands but the edge + just sits right.

    I have used Basic mode now for colour / display settings. Whilst initially it looks far more muted. After a couple of minutes I prefer it's tone and it offers very similar colour vibrancy to my 6 Plus.

    I like amoleds deep blacks but not a fan of over saturated colour especially when taking photos - so basic or amoled photo moderate best for me.

    I'm actually pretty delighted I got it for such a good price and have no regrets.
     
  21. nj-morris thread starter macrumors 68000

    nj-morris

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    #21
    Although a few of these things have been different from what I've seen in reviews, I really appreciate this. I feel I really can't go wrong with this phone. The big screen will be good for multimedia, such as watching videos and gaming.
    I've seen somebody with an S6 Edge, and it looks beautiful. And although it sounds weird, I think looking at the Edge and Edge+ side by side, the Egde+, the Edge+ catches the eye much more, mainly because it's bigger, and looks much more square. I'll attach a photo, so you can see what I mean.
     

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