Another 'Yet Another phone thread'

Critique
Posts: 950
Joined: Mon 17 Aug, 2009 10.37
Location: Suffolk

I currently have a three and a bit year-old iPhone 6, and whilst up until now I've not needed a replacement phone, I think the time has finally come. It's still a relatively speedy phone for most things, but I think I may have accidentally begun it's demise!

Last year I dropped it from a ridiculously tiny height and the screen cracked pretty extensively - the first time I've ever broken a phone screen! It was only 40cm from the ground when I fumbled but it came back up with a spiderweb of cracks, and at this point it was only just out of contract so I decided to get it replaced. However, as Apple was expensive I got it replaced by a different company. On the surface all looked fine but it transpired that they definitely don't use genuine parts, as the screen's off-axis viewing became pretty terrible afterwards. However, it wasn't TOO awful so I persevered.

A few months ago, I managed to drop it again! This time I dropped it from about shoulder-height but it only came back with a few small cracks near the front-facing camera and above the LCD itself, meaning that when using the phone it doesn't actually hinder my use of it at all. However, I think it shook the internals about a bit too much as it's now rubbish at picking up wifi and bluetooth connections, and the earpiece for taking calls is now too quiet. Whilst having to use speakerphone for everything was mildly annoying, I only noticed the phone's inability to hold a wifi/bluetooth connection when I bought some AirPods (which I REALLY do like) - the connection to my phone from these drops out if I'm not holding the phone around chest-height in front of me, meaning that if I'm listening to a podcast etc whilst on the go, I can't put my phone in my pocket as it'll cut out every few seconds and make listening unbearable. In contrast, if the headphones are connected to my Macbook I can be the other side of my flat and they'll still keep a rock-solid connection.

So, I need a new phone, and the issue is I want an iPhone X. When it came out, as pretty as it looked I balked at the cost, but I'm now attempting to justify it to myself! I like the look of the iPhone 8 too, but I want a second rear camera as they come out with some seriously impressive shots, and whilst I know the majority of the X's features are on the 8+ too, I find the phone just too big to hold comfortably. In addition, having looked at the gorgeous screen of the X, my brain now looks at the 8 with it's thick bezels and screams 'no!'. As a result the X seems the best of both worlds (bar the price), as I'll get the nice camera and nice screen, all in the form factor of a much smaller phone.

Does anyone have either an X or a 7/8+ plus and have any insight to offer? Would I get used to holding what currently seems like a gargantuan + phone? Is the X really worth it? Would be really interested to hear! I'm looking to buy the phone outright and then do something similar to my current £12 rolling giffgaff bundle rather than go on contract.
Philip
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Joined: Fri 22 Feb, 2008 21.23
Location: Merseyside
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Your situation sounds pretty similar to mine - I had the regular non-plus sized iPhone 6 from just after it launched, and after a while the earpiece became very quiet on mine too, but I didn't drop mine as badly as you did. Maybe it was a result of me dropping it at some point, though I never dropped it so badly that there was visual damage on the phone itself.

Don't know if it happened on yours but the front-facing camera also dropped down slightly so it looked like there was a crescent moon shaped object obscuring it - this didn't affect the functionality of it though (nothing was blocked). Just looked odd.

I decided to get the iPhone 8 Plus because:

-the iPhone X is more expensive and essentially a first generation product and I'll let early adopters deal with the bugs*
-I wanted to change to a plus-sized display which the X doesn't have
-I really wanted the telephoto lens camera on the Plus
-don't need Animoji
-don't need other front-facing camera effects
-prefer Touch ID

I was a bit worried that the Plus might be too big, and it did seem massive when I first got it, but after a few weeks it didn't seem that much bigger than the non-Plus version. You get used to it very quickly. Typing with one hand is a bit more difficult, not impossible but a bit more difficult.

*I assume the iPhone X will become the standard iPhone eventually and the iPhone 6/7/8/whatever-comes-next line will disappear.
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woah
Posts: 345
Joined: Sun 28 Mar, 2010 12.39
Location: Sheffield

Just out of interest, is there any reason you're not considering Android as an option? (other than the AirPods)
Critique
Posts: 950
Joined: Mon 17 Aug, 2009 10.37
Location: Suffolk

woah wrote:
Mon 02 Apr, 2018 17.04
Just out of interest, is there any reason you're not considering Android as an option? (other than the AirPods)
I recently got an Apple Watch (which I also really like and has definitely prodded me to become much fitter) so on one level it's simply because you need an iPhone to work the thing! I'm thoroughly embedded in the ecosystem by way of having a Mac as well now, so to go for an Android would be a bit of an upheaval at this point - have had Android (and BlackBerry) devices in the past but these were when I had a Windows PC as well so wasn't really invested in any one side. The downsides of this have shown themselves since buying a Google Home Mini, as it won't read from my iCloud calendars, and I equally can't be bothered to migrate them to Google (which I know would resolve the problem, but equally the Echo can read from iCloud calendars!).
bilky asko
Posts: 1142
Joined: Sat 08 Nov, 2008 19.48

I've just upgraded to a Samsung Galaxy Note 8. The increase in screen size and brightness makes my formerly quite good looking S7 look about 5 years out of date (not helped by the screen burn and the heavily faded blue overall).

The Note 8 has a 2x telephoto lens, and it does really make the camera a lot more versatile.

Just note that the iPhone X is even less repairable than previous models - and much more expensive to fix officially (this is the case to an extent with most of the big name flagships, but even more so with the X).
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cwathen
Posts: 1135
Joined: Fri 15 Aug, 2003 17.28

In a few weeks time I'll be coming up to 3 years with my Samsung Galaxy S6. Last year for the first time ever I didn't get a new phone at the end of my contract, as the S7 wouldn't have been much of an upgrade, and the S8 I just didn't like.

So I took a cheap 12 month SIM only contract in the assumption that given a year there would be an obvious successor. There still isn't (it definitely isn't the S9).

My S6 is now battling on permanently fitted in a battery case which has doubled the weight and trebled the thickness but is necessary as the internal battery now can't last more than 6 hours on a full charge, whilst it just seems to feel slower and slower as more and more updates that it wasn't designed for get pushed out to it.

Whilst I'm sure the S6 would somehow battle through another year, since I've already got a somewhat suboptimal experience, I don't think there will be much joy in using it by then.

I did think I would be locked into the Samsung ecosystem since I was one of the few people that actually liked TouchWiz, but since Samsung abandoned that (and even back ported it to my S6) I am now entirely open to different manufacturers.

I'm after a new Android phone which doesn't necessarily need to be a flagship model (and indeed, this appears likely to be ruled out given how flagships have gone) but does still need to be a significant improvement on the S6 in hardware terms.

I do want it to have proper dedicated home/back/task buttons (and ideally a physical home button which actually clicks), I do not want software buttons. I do not want a curved screen. It must have a 3.5mm headphone jack and it must have fast charging.

MicroSD and USB3 would be nice to have, but not essential. As would a removeable battery (although that is probably now a pipe dream).

Any recommendations?
sqwidge1978
Posts: 72
Joined: Sat 25 Jun, 2016 15.42

cwathen wrote:
Mon 20 Aug, 2018 22.03
In a few weeks time I'll be coming up to 3 years with my Samsung Galaxy S6. Last year for the first time ever I didn't get a new phone at the end of my contract, as the S7 wouldn't have been much of an upgrade, and the S8 I just didn't like.

So I took a cheap 12 month SIM only contract in the assumption that given a year there would be an obvious successor. There still isn't (it definitely isn't the S9).

My S6 is now battling on permanently fitted in a battery case which has doubled the weight and trebled the thickness but is necessary as the internal battery now can't last more than 6 hours on a full charge, whilst it just seems to feel slower and slower as more and more updates that it wasn't designed for get pushed out to it.

Whilst I'm sure the S6 would somehow battle through another year, since I've already got a somewhat suboptimal experience, I don't think there will be much joy in using it by then.

I did think I would be locked into the Samsung ecosystem since I was one of the few people that actually liked TouchWiz, but since Samsung abandoned that (and even back ported it to my S6) I am now entirely open to different manufacturers.

I'm after a new Android phone which doesn't necessarily need to be a flagship model (and indeed, this appears likely to be ruled out given how flagships have gone) but does still need to be a significant improvement on the S6 in hardware terms.

I do want it to have proper dedicated home/back/task buttons (and ideally a physical home button which actually clicks), I do not want software buttons. I do not want a curved screen. It must have a 3.5mm headphone jack and it must have fast charging.

MicroSD and USB3 would be nice to have, but not essential. As would a removeable battery (although that is probably now a pipe dream).

Any recommendations?
Honour 10
Alexia
Posts: 2967
Joined: Sat 01 Oct, 2005 17.50

Just out of curiousity, are you aware of GSMArena's (albeit not totally exhaustive) phone search tool? You can do a search for specific features which may throw up a few non-mainstream alternatives.
woah
Posts: 345
Joined: Sun 28 Mar, 2010 12.39
Location: Sheffield

The Nokia 8 strikes me as exactly what you're looking for!
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WillPS
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woah wrote:
Tue 21 Aug, 2018 17.09
The Nokia 8 strikes me as exactly what you're looking for!
Doesn't have physical buttons, neither does the Honour 10.

To be honest, not many decent spec'ed phones do.

I went from the most button'y phone imaginable (a BlackBerry Passport) to a Samsung J5 2017 (which has a similar layout to the S7 and before) to a Samsung S9+. I like it. I thought the lack of a physical home button would do my head in but I can't think of a time I've wanted it back.

Fingerprint sensor on the back works a whole lot better in my experience too.

I was pretty close to buying a Nokia 7 Plus but I decided ultimately I wanted an OLED screen.
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cwathen
Posts: 1135
Joined: Fri 15 Aug, 2003 17.28

Thanks for the suggestions. The Nokia 8 looks surprisingly good. As does the Honour 10 although I think I've also decided that I don't particularly want a notched screen.

Essentially I want a phone like the S6 in terms of form factor and build quality but with updated hardware inside. However such a thing seems to not quite exist. I may have to give up on the physical buttons.
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