Tuesday, July 5, 2016

So… how’s that phone upgrade plan going?


It’s a mess, I tell you. My phone upgrade plan is a mess. I just don’t know which phone I should upgrade to. I am scared to go with any phone.

Why? Because I cannot really test-drive the phones long enough to see if any issues are there before buying one. My Nexus 5 performs superbly after a reboot. (Until I want to snap a photo of my kid indoor or do something in a hurry. Today my wife asked me to show a photo of our son to someone and it took at least 30 seconds to load my photo albums on Facebook. So embarrassing! But what drives me insane is when I get errors like “Cannot connect to Camera” which requires reboot to resolve. )

I will have to trust the reviewers, but they can be biased.

I have shortlisted three phones to buy but none of them are out yet. They are

  • the next Nexus phone from Google,
  • Galaxy Note 7 from Samsung and
  • iPhone 7 from Apple.

If I must buy a phone today, I would get the Galaxy S7 Edge.

I don’t like some of the design decisions Samsung have taken with their phones, both hardware and software such as the back button on right, cartoonish Touchviz UI (the upcoming Grace UI for Note 7 would fix some of the issues though) and reinventing the wheel with regards to certain apps. But the amazing camera performance (mostly focusing performance) and being the fastest Android phone as of yet appeal to me. It’s not fun not getting frequent or quick OS updates, but at least it eliminates an update messing the phone. For example, my Nexus 5 ran very well with KitKat which it originally shipped with, but the issues mostly came up with Lollipop and Marshmallow.

I still prefer to wait for the Note 7 for that 6GB RAM, so I will try to resist the S7 Edge as much as possible. But if I see a deal that I cannot say no to, I might take the leap.

Nexus is a great choice with the software support and given the legendary Google support, makes it a really appealing to me. But the current model has 3GB RAM which very limiting and the next one almost half a year away, so it probably is not for me. It is such a shame.

iPhone is the safer option, but it has some really irritating issues. iTunes is one. 16GB base model is another. Hopefully the next one starts at 32GB. Some issues related to multitasking can be a problem as well. I remember YouTube Capture app could not finish uploading my videos unless I had the app in the foreground. My friend says Google Photos backup also would face the same issue. 2GB RAM could be another problem, but it is not as problematic as with Android. The advantage of getting an iPhone from the Apple Store is that I can return it within 14 days if I am not happy with it.

The OnePlus3 would have been a great choice, if OnePlus shipped them to Australia and more importantly supported all the Australian LTE bands (especially LTE band 28). But they don’t. The situation has not changed one bit since OnePlus One if you are Australian consumer. I can import the phone through a seller but I don’t want to risk implications caused by lack of  LTE band support.

The next issue is the price. And that is a real problem. But that is for another day.

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