CHOICE membership

What do you look for in a smartphone?


#22

I have these points to make about the “smart phones”
The size must be small enough to fit my pocket, but large enough to read the screen comfortably, 5" is okay.
The battery must be removable and replaceable by the owner, as well as lasting a lot longer than 6 hours when playing back audio books.
Reception in fringe areas is of paramount importance - that’s why we are with Telstra.
The flexibility of controlling the bloatware and which apps are shown on the screen is much better in Android phones than my wife’s IPhone.
I have an S5 mini Samsung with two sim slots for use when we travel overseas, but that relies upon the phone having the correct internal settings for the countries which we visit!


#23

Well, I love all the technology - like all of us!.. I have been looking for new phone, and new computer!.. It gets on my goat that I buy new things that only last a couple of years and then I have to replace it all, and back it all up and transfer it etc… I am using my 10 yo Dell computer b ecause my 2 yo Tpshiba just died - EAD!. SO HAD TO Pay to get info off ( haven’t checked it as am stil on ond Dell - - don’t want to risk losing it on this one I’m using) My first smart phone was the Motoroly Defy - water-proof -(resistant?) toughened glass - needed no case!.. the charger connector died - not worth fixing!.. bought cheapo Hauwei temporarily - an ran it over!. still using it (not much use needed) so there aren’t many w/proof tougher phones that aren’t ridiculously expensive - as a pensioner I just shouldn’t have to replace EVERYTHING so much because of built-in obsolence!! I have resisted a tablet so far - mainly because it is another thing to buy at great expense - and wait for it to die too!.. I sound like a grinch - but I am fed up with the quality of what is abailable - and as a pensioner I usually know more than the guy in the local shop - so I can’t buy from them - I don’t want to deny their commiission or whatever they get - but6 I really want what is suitable for me - I am prepared to spend - buy good wuality - I ‘futureproofed’ with THIS Dell - you will never need more than 80GB!!! ha ha - i AM OVER PLANS TOo - TWO YEARS! SOME OF US Won’t be around that long!.. it’s riuculous!.. you shouldn’t have asked… this is my bugbear!.. oh, forgot about my new wifi device that I was on TWO phones for 5 plus hours on Tuesay gone - while they learnt how to do what they are trained and paid to do!.. so I basically want a goo phone - pref. w/proof and toughened - enough RAM tol run it (Hauweii failed me there ) and reception - therefore I am Telstra!.. geez - ddo we really have to buy 2 - 3 - 4 new devices every couple of years ??? no, I don’t want a scabby little thing either - so if anyone can suggest anything I would be very gratefull - please excuse typing - it is the equipment, not me !! and that’s true!.. grr, why did you ask???


#24

Hi @foster.desiree, to assume that an out of stock product is due to a lack of care for customers is a little misguided. Environmentally preferable phones are (unfortunately) a niche market so Fairphone cannot simply keep producing their product indefinitely. From a business perspective, that would be naive.

Just so you are aware, the actual reason for it being unavailable at this point in time is because it is yet to be released. You can join the waiting list for the new model’s release in a couple of months or buy the original model.


#25

I have an s5 Samsung, I look for a separate data card at least 32gig removable memory card and a removable battery. The speed is adequate and I see no reason to replace it as it does all I would wish for it.


split this topic #26

A post was split to a new topic: iPhone battery life


#27

Phone price has become the most important thing to me. Now that we have re-sellers (aldi, amaysim) who can be 10 times cheaper than telstra, optus or vodafone I don’t think it’s worth going into a phone contract any more. So I look for phones that i’m comfortable buying outright.

I tend to agree with many of the other users that battery life is very important. You would hope the phone would last a day without charging regardless of how much you use it. I think my LG G2 goes flat quicker in remote locations than it does in the city. Does that make sense and should it be something choice should test for?

Second for me would be the quality of the main camera for photos and video. I have never taken prints of my phone photos so i suppose “quality” means something different to a quality from a regular camera. Full HD resolution is enough and focus, noise, and image stabilization is very important. The selfie camera on my previous phones was lousy so i tend not to use it although sometime i would like to.

16GB is enough memory for me now because I use music and video streaming services (spotify, youtube) and online photo backup (google photos).

Every phone i’ve used lately had good enough call quality and was loud enough (via the ear speaker). i was recently impressed with a HTC phone which had excellent sound quality via the external speakers (is that what their called?). The quality and volume was good enough that you would not need to use small external bluetooth speakers.

When you do your next review, please be careful not to get into a “megapixel competition”. By that i mean, there’s only so much you need in each feature after which more doesn’t help. if the ear speaker in one phone is twice as loud as another phone it’s not twice as good if the original phone was good enough. You may say that readers can choose what is important to them but the problem with that is we don’t have a frame of reference so we will most likely ignore the lower rated product and never know it was good enough for us.


#28

The most important thing I look for in a smartphone is regular updates. Phones that don’t get these are vulnerable, yet manufacturers who modify Android leave users reliant on them, rather than on Google, to send through updates and many either don’t, or release them so late as to be useless.

The only phones that receive updates regularly are Google’s Nexus (and now Pixel) lines.


#29

Reliability, customer service and easybto use is my preference. So far Iphones have done this for me I have found the customer supppirt outstanding always ending up with another phone or a on the spot fix my devices easily work with one another and when i upgrade all my stuff is saved.
Bad sides not being able to save youtube videos to view offline, battery replacements extra storage price.
I have recomended i phones to a number of seniors and each time they awaken and learn to use fetures by themselves whereas having had other smart phones previously only being able to use call functions and perhaps other simple operations.


#30

There should be a not smart phone that just makes phone calls and for all people under 16 this is the only phone they are allowed to use. Go back before mobiles then imagine your child at home by themselves a door to door salesman arrives whatever they are selling could not be purchased by the child as they didn’t have access to credit/funds. Is the salesman a predator/burglar or supplying untested illegal drugs,unlimited porn or terrorist doctrine all this and more is apparently OK to Governments/Our Social Leaders/Smartphone companies/Advertisers and Parents as we willing give underage people exposure to all of this just so we can keep in contact and so they can txt each other about what they said 5 mins ago at school with the added bonus of spreading their entire selves for troll world to discuss. With this level of exposure they should be given the vote, consumer and law classes and the knowledge that society has abandoned all pretence of protecting them.


#31

Yeeessss, this is so important! I find this with many technology reviews but it saddened me when Choice succumbed to this when reviewing stocking densities for egg-laying hens. There are many factors contributing to the health and happiness of hens and the environment, but stripping away that information and only judging farms by one criteria is misguiding consumers.

But that is another story that is not suited for this particular thread.


#32

I used to be an android user, but got tired of the things being so slow and buggy. So I tried a Windows based phone and got tired of the lack of apps, and the poor quality of the few apps that were available, plus the alarm volume couldn’t be adjusted on the thing. Pretty sure I was waking up the people down the street every mornīng. So I bought myself a second hand iPhone 5s in mint condition and now have less bugs, faster and better apps, and an alarm volume that works. The only gripe I have with it is you can’t add extra memory like you can with Android and Windows based phones, and it’s pretty much impossible to get the back off to change the battery if needed, so if it ever goes belly up I’ll have to pay someone to replace it for me, which will probably cost close to $100 for the new battery plus the technician’s fee.


#33

Looking for-
Memory
Reliability
Track record/reputation of not being able to be hacked/infected by apps/software as iPhone does compared with android.
One stop App Store

Don’t like-
Constant updates that caus you to ‘have to’ buy new phone so often(iPhone)
Not so expensive!!!
Doesn’t have the ‘slave labour/poorly paid workers’ that is used to make iPhone.


#34

Most important thing for me is a coherent, consistent interface.
I’ve tried Android. It just annoys me having functionality such as wifi at same level as apps makes it very confusing.

On the other hand, being stuck in a walled garden is annoying too. Especially when it forces consumers to pay up to $50 for a charger.


#35

Agree with everyone who says the number one deal breaker is Reception. This is not a ‘bush/rural’ issue as I live within 35km of GPO and still suffer from poor reception on Telstra mobile phone network. Top issue in regard to ‘making & receiving calls’ and ‘data communications’
What else do I look for?

  • size of screen - so I can see it without needing to get reading glasses out
  • size of screen so that the ‘screen keyboard’ has ‘keys’ of sufficient size for my fingertips that I do not have to get a stylus out (I have small hands so I wonder how a person with average or large size hands copes with some handsets)
  • overall size of phone - so it will fit into bag or pocket
  • length of time (and use) between charges. Therefore phones with smart power management (eg Sony’s Stamina) get my tick
  • ease of charging. That is - no fiddling with uncovering charge port, or fiddling with plugging a cable in to the phone - just slide it into a charge cradle
  • durability of phone. A phone that costs hundreds (and these days quite a few are over $1200) has to be tough enough to sit in a pocket, get dropped a little, be handled in moist and/or dusty environments. The ability to clean with the phone with water is nice.
  • ability of phone to link (usually Bluetooth) to car or satnav - so that phone is hands free in the car
  • ability of the phone to link into my home LAN
  • a reasonable quality phone (which is about half or third of what the top model phones offer now) so that I don’t have to carry both a phone and a simple digital camera
  • very good size internal memory, RAM, and fixed internal storage. Not every app allows you to “move to SD card” so internal phone memory and internal phone storage can fill up - and when it does the performance of the phone deteriorates.
  • the phone to incorporate a radio function so that I don’t have to carry a separate radio when out and about (real broadcast radio not internet radio)
  • ability to secure the phone

#36

https://www.fairphone.com/en/ It looks as if Fairphone is still available, if you search this web address, you can see for yourself.


#37

Do the Fairphones run CyanogenMod? If so, I’d be very tempted!


#38

What I look for in a phone is:
Ease of use and rock solid reliability, Oh and not catching fire when charging!!

IMO everything else is secondary.


#39

I have no idea whatsoever, @Fred!


#40

Check out Opera or Opera Mini (designed for Smartphone/pads) for your browser it may help you get a better battery life.


#41

Yeah tried those but unfortunately they were missing too much needed functionality for my use.