What smartphone do you use and why?

radeon962

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Just curious as I have been through quite a few in the past year or so. Swappa has been a godsend to feed my habit.

I have been the type that keeps changing phones looking for the perfect phone. I have found what is the best for my use currently and will explain my totally non-scientific comparison of phones and how I came to what phone provided the best use for me. I have had the Nexus 4, HTC One, Galaxy S4, Nexus 5, Moto X and Note 3 over the past 12 months or so. Each were used as my daily driver as I like to actually use them myself to see how they work for me and what I use a phone for.

A little comparison of the phones follows (except for the Nexus 4 as the Nexus 5 does everything it did but better in every respect). The phones are compared ALL stock, no custom kernels or custom ROM's as I got tired of trying out different ones and just wanted to use the phone rather than spending time finding stable ones that in most cases did not work as well as stock.

I ranked each on a simple 1 to 5 scale in a couple of categories, with 1 being the best and 5 the worst (or lowest), all in my opinion.

* In Hand Feel - how it feels to hold and use

1 - Moto X
2 - HTC One
3 - Nexus 5
4 - Galaxy S4
5 - Note 3

* Battery Life - how long does the battery last - not standby - but actual screen on time

1 - Note 3 - really none of the others even come close to actual screen on time
2 - Moto X
3 - Galaxy S4
4 - HTC One
5 - Nexus 5

* Camera - ease of use and quality of pictures when viewed on a computer

1 - Galaxy S4
2 - Note 3
3 - Nexus 5
4 - HTC One
5 - Moto X

* Screen - image quality, text quality, overall how things look on the screen
1 - Nexus 5
2 - HTC One
3 - Note 3
4 - Galaxy S4
5 - Moto X

* Speed - not raw speed, but how fluid or quick normal use feels when you actually use it

1 - Nexus 5
2 - Note 3
3 - Moto X
4 - HTC One
5 - Galaxy S4

* Intangibles - special stuff phone provides, does or just is special to that phone

1 - Moto X - Active Notifications is spectacular
2 - Note 3 - size and S-pen
3 - Nexus 5 - stock Android and overall performance
4 - HTC One - build and Sense (I liked how Sense worked with the One)
5 - Galaxy S4 - nothing really special for my use

If I total them up, the final tally is:

15 - Note 3
16 - Nexus 5
17 - Moto X (was surprised by this as it does not excel in any one area, but just works)
20 - HTC One
22 - Galaxy S4

In the end, I went with the bigger screen and longest battery life as those provide the best experience for how I use my phone (more or less a pocketable computer). I primarily use my phone for surfing the web on the go, GPS and texting with actual calling very low on the list.

The Note 3 fits in my pants pockets whether wearing jeans or dress pants to the office. I don't use the S-pen often but when I need to take a quick note or write a phone number it is quick and easy. It's plenty fast, but not as quick as the Nexus 5. The screen provides the best experience while surfing the web, watching a video or movie, but the smaller screens have crisper text and images. The camera is very good but not great (actually none of the current crop of Android phones compare very favorably to the ease of use and actual picture compared to the iPhone 5s, but they are all good enough for my picture/video taking needs). Size of the Note 3 can be an issue in certain situations, but I generally use any phone 2 handed so it is rarely an issue.

Active Notifications on the Moto X really is the only thing that I miss as it really is a great user experience and is something that I do miss, but other than that the Moto X did not really compare. I used Dashclock on my Nexus 5 and it provides some of the same type user experience, but requires you to turn the phone on to see notifications. I could never get Dashclock to work with the Note 3 as Samsung has some type of security measure in place that blocks the function when you use a PIN or pattern for the lockscreen. Tried enabling it through WidgetLocker, but no success doing that, so I just live without it on the Note 3.

I use the Note 3 as my daily driver and have been very satisfied with it. I would still be using the Nexus 5 as it really is an excellent phone but the battery life just could not compare and it seemed like I was always charging it.

So why do you use the phone you have?
 

BHenry

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I love my Nokia Lumia 920 for these features:
  • Everything I want to do on it is fast, no lag
  • Live Tiles
  • Glace, which allows you to see the time and notifications by holding your hand over the light sensor
  • One Note for all my various note needs (syncs to my desktop)
  • Office with SkyDrive so my budget sheet can be viewed anywhere
  • General ease of use
  • Great battery life (I get a day or two out of a single charge)
 

radeon962

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I only compared the phones that I actually owned and used. Never had the G2 so did not include it.

Can you elaborate on what makes the G2 special? I've not used it but never say never until I actually try it out for myself.
 
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AMD T-type

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I only compared the phones that I actually owned and used. Never had the G2 so did not include it.

Fair enough, but the statement still stands. There is a reason it's the second highest rated phone on phonearena (9.4) behind only the Nexus 5 (9.5)
 

radeon962

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When you say you get 2 days of life how much is the screen actually on? The Nexus 5 and HTC One both can last for days if they are not used. They both are remarkable in standby.
 

radeon962

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It sounds like you are a fan. Why do you consider it the best phone? I'm assuming it's your daily driver and am curious what makes it special? I have read reviews but would prefer to hear from a normal user. Everyone tends to have a bias to what they have for some reason and that's what I would like to know.
 

AMD T-type

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Can you elaborate on what makes the G2 special? I've not used it but never say never until I actually try it out for myself.

It's basically a Nexus 5 with a better camera and a (much) larger battery

When you say you get 2 days of life how much is the screen actually on? The Nexus 5 and HTC One both can last for days if they are not used. They both are remarkable in standby.

It's been awhile since I did any real tests on mine, but i did take a few screenshots of my battery.
IIRC the first was with 5+ hours of screen on time and the second was more a test to see how long i could get it to last with minimal use.

g2batt_6.png
g2batt_8.png
 
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AMD T-type

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It sounds like you are a fan. Why do you consider it the best phone? I'm assuming it's your daily driver and am curious what makes it special? I have read reviews but would prefer to hear from a normal user. Everyone tends to have a bias to what they have for some reason and that's what I would like to know.

I would definitely say I'm biased since it is my daily driver, but managing Verizon accounts for some of my clients I've handled most of the above phones.

Hardware wise it's pretty much the same as the Note3 and Nexus 5 (except the Note3 has an extra GB of memory that some would say is needed for all the software that thing runs)
Also, the Note3 has a 3200mAh Battery while the Nexus 5 has a 2300mAh battery. The G2's is 3000mAh.

The buttons on the back of the G2 are definitely the biggest standout feature, and one of which I personally like. I've don't even know how many times I've handed my phone off to someone to show them something and they hit a button and lose whatever was on the screen, no longer an issue with the G2. I've come to find them just as easy to use as all the other phones at this point.

One of the biggest features of the phone, knock on (and off). IMO this feature should be in EVERY phone and tablet, no exception. Ever since having it on my G2 I find myself inadvertently trying to turn on other devices using the same method.

The software seems to have people in two camps, with people either loving or hating it.
If you are a true android experience user and love the simplicity of the Nexus series, you might find it a bit different, but coming from a Galaxy Nexus myself (originally) I found some of the included software features to be amazing and welcomed.
While some of the included features on the G2 can be found in custom roms or Play store apps, I've not seen another phone include all of them in a stock ROM. Some of my personal favorites being Quiet Mode (set times for making any noise, which can be customized down to the particular person calling you), Wireless Storage (browse the phone via WiFi at the tap of a button), Q Slide (bar at the top to quickly access features such as the two above apps, wifi, gps, plane mode, etc)
This is my first ever android phone (and I have quite the drawer full) that I'm still running the stock rom and don't see any reason to change. And while not technically true since I'm running CleanROM, it's just the stock rom with the VZW apps removed and hotspot enabled.

I'm not the biggest fan of the glossy back (at least on the VZW model) but Incipio makes a great case which barely adds anything to the thickness of the phone and clears up the fingerprinty problem. Some people can't even tell it has a case on it.
Also, VZW model has built in Qi charging capability.

The speakers leave something to be desired, easily the weakest point of the phone.
 
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fantabulous

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I have a Moto G and I'm quite happy with it due to the price/performance and the flip cover. While I have yet to lose/accidentally break a phone, I'd be far less torn up about a $200 phone than one of the more expensive flagships.
 

teh_chem

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LG Optimus G. Because even 1+ year old hardware is still completely overkill for where the software and services are at. I haven't found any newer phones exciting in the slightest, and the only reason I'd consider getting something new is if I wanted a phablet (and I don't think I do).
 

///AMG

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* In Hand Feel - how it feels to hold and use

1 - iPhone 4/4S
2 - Nokia Lumia 920
3 - iPhone 5
4 - HTC One
5 - Note 3

* Battery Life - how long does the battery last - not standby - but actual screen on time

1 - Note 3 - really none of the others even come close to actual screen on time
2 - iPhone 5
3 - Note 2
4 - HTC One
5 - iPhone 4/4S

* Camera - ease of use and quality of pictures when viewed on a computer

1 - Nokia Lumia 920
2 - iPhone 5
3 - Galaxy S4
4 - Note 3
5 - HTC One

* Screen - image quality, text quality, overall how things look on the screen
1 - iPhone 5
2 - Note 3
3 - HTC One
4 - Nokia Lumia 920
5 - Note 2

* Speed - not raw speed, but how fluid or quick normal use feels when you actually use it

1 - iPhone 5
2 - Note 3
3 - Note 2
4 - Nokia Lumia 920
5 - HTC One

* Intangibles - special stuff phone provides, does or just is special to that phone

1 - iPhone - iMessage, Facetime and overall app quality
2 - Note 3 - Screen Size and battery life
3 - Lumia 920 - Camera
4 - HTC One - build
5 - Nexus 5 - stock android



So why do you use the phone you have?

I dont really remember most of my experience with my phones anymore except for the most recent ones in the last 2 years. I use my Note 3 because its easier to watch things on the go which I constantly am now also my eyesight isnt as great as it was a few years ago ( I have to focus sometimes to see things far away), and for once it is the first trouble free Android phone probably because Samsung brute forced everything. Note 2 for work because they paid for it.

At the end of this year depending on the new iPhone and Xperia Z1 successor it might be iPhone personal, Note 4 work or Xperia Z2 personal and Note 4 work and very unlikely but iPhone personal and Xperia Z2 work. I dont expect the S5 to be anything that will wow me but we will see. Though LG might wow me possibly with a well built premium G3.
 

///AMG

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hmmm. I think the Z1 should be on that list. SMH

It would be on mine but I waited and waited forever for the C6906 so I could use it on AT&T and by the time it came out I already had my Note 3 for 2 months and my hype for it dulled when I read about the camera bugs and inconsistency as well as the display. If Sony fixes those with the Z2 it will be my perfect phone, a phone I can use anywhere specifically have it right by me when I swim so I never miss an important call, email or text again.
 

gunbust3r

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Lumia 521. I don't worry about it breaking because a new one can be had for $35.

Does 95% of what a $600 phone does.
 

obug

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Dec 9, 2010
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Galaxy S3, but want to upgrade. My #1 desired feature is much longer battery life because I use mine for work (mostly calls and email, minor web use) and cannot get through a day with confidence the phone will last.

The official 4.3 upgrade on the S3 has really ruined the phone because I see a lot of lag. So I'm really looking forward to upgrade.

Almost upgraded last year to the G2 or Note 3, but waited long enough that I decided to wait for the S5, G2 successor, etc.
 

Nimisys

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Nokia 928... only Nokia on Verizon at the time. After the craptastic experience with Samsung, Android and Sprint for the 3 years previous, I wanted something much different and not Apple. 8-9 months later and no regrets.

though that new Icon is tempting
 

radeon962

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Lumia 521. I don't worry about it breaking because a new one can be had for $35.

Does 95% of what a $600 phone does.

I've been looking at the 520 for my kids as they are using dumb phones currently. I switched to the AT&T Mobile Share Value plan so an off contract smartphone and a basic phone are billed at the same $15/mo. So the 520 is an interesting option for them.

Microsoft sells them at $59 off contract, but I'm waiting to see what comes out at MWC. Nokia is supposed to debut a budget Android phone "Nokia X" or Normandy so I'm waiting to see what that is like and what other budget options are announced.

4 of my kids are on basic texting type phones, so I am looking for a better option to get them off contract smartphones and avoiding the iPhone unless they pay for the iPhone themselves.
 

rudy

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I use a note 3, the OP basically summed it up when you take a single area of interest the note 3 may not win, but when you start looking at more and more areas of interest the note 3 rises to the top in so many of them it becomes clear it is the best average phone on the market with the least compromises.

Incompetence is astounding with Samsungs competitors.

Samsung always had the option of making the note a piece of junk and riding on the stylus as the main selling point. The fact that they made it a high end phone with great display and specs too is great. Because most other companies wouldn't do that.
 

schizrade

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I love my Nokia Lumia 920 for these features:
  • Everything I want to do on it is fast, no lag
  • Live Tiles
  • Glace, which allows you to see the time and notifications by holding your hand over the light sensor
  • One Note for all my various note needs (syncs to my desktop)
  • Office with SkyDrive so my budget sheet can be viewed anywhere
  • General ease of use
  • Great battery life (I get a day or two out of a single charge)

Same list but with a 928 on VZW. I REALLY like Windows Phone and where it is going. Used to be die hard Android, but didn't like where it started heading after 4.2.
 

teh_chem

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Same list but with a 928 on VZW. I REALLY like Windows Phone and where it is going. Used to be die hard Android, but didn't like where it started heading after 4.2.

I'm not trying to start something, but what was it that changed after 4.2, and what was it you didn't like? Don't get me wrong, I don't think Android has really advanced since 4.1. I think some of the "integration" aspects are troubling, though I don't think there's any malice involved. Just curious. My biggest fear of going Windows Phone is losing some of the integration with google services that I like with Android. But if there were an equal option (without having to change my email address entirely) I'd go for it.
 

radeon962

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Picked up a Nokia Lumia 520 from the Microsoft Store after work today to try one out and see if it could be a cheap replacementfor the kids basic phones. It actually is pretty nice and obviouslya step up from the Pantech Laser's they use now. $62.54 out the door.

How the [H] do you turn off the Haptic feedback? I Googled it and it appears that there is no setting to turn it off.
 

Aurelius

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I use three devices... only one SIM right now, so I rotate, but I'm fortunate enough to have my choice of platforms when I go out. The choices:

- iPhone 5: my most frequent pick. Yes, it's small, but Apple still has one of the best all-around camera experiences, great offline music support and still gets many of the better apps first (in some cases, even the Google apps). I also think Siri is better at task-oriented voice commands than Google's engine (setting timers and reminders, for instance), although that gap is narrowing. Passing on the 5s, since I'd like to see if Apple moves to a bigger display with the 2014 model.

- Nexus 5: One of the few Android phones that gets timely OS updates, and really powerful for the money. It even has good camera performance following the 4.4.2 update. Just wish the battery didn't drain so quickly.

- Lumia 1020: for the camera, obviously. This is the phone you want if you're craving 'lossless' image zoom and high-quality audio recording. I also appreciate features such as Glance (seeing basic notification info when the phone is asleep) and free Nokia Music. That and it's fun to have a yellow smartphone.
 
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Zepher

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I use an iPhone 5s because I like the way it operates between my iPad and appleTV.
I don't care about customizing my interface, I just use it to make voice calls, text, browse the web and stream audio to my truck via Bluetooth.
 

///AMG

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I use an iPhone 5s because I like the way it operates between my iPad and appleTV.
I don't care about customizing my interface, I just use it to make voice calls, text, browse the web and stream audio to my truck via Bluetooth.

This is one of the things IMHO android isnt in the same league with iOS on. Apple TV and airplay is superior compared to chromecast and miracast. Ease of use still goes to the iPhone IMHO and iPhones tend to work better with AV equipment.
 

Bluesun311

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I'm actually happier with my iPhone 4s than I was with a brand new android, and I switched grudgingly to save a little money on a used phone.

Not having all the millions of options gives me more time to do things that matter. In the end with either one all I really do is make calls, browse, GPS... the voice quality and camera quality on the iphone 4s is higher than the galaxy so... pleasant surprise.

Then I realized you don't have to be a Mac person to like the iPhone.
 

Aurelius

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I'm actually happier with my iPhone 4s than I was with a brand new android, and I switched grudgingly to save a little money on a used phone.

Not having all the millions of options gives me more time to do things that matter. In the end with either one all I really do is make calls, browse, GPS... the voice quality and camera quality on the iphone 4s is higher than the galaxy so... pleasant surprise.

Then I realized you don't have to be a Mac person to like the iPhone.

I've used the expression before, but it's worth repeating:

Android is for those who like to do things to their phone, iOS is for those who like to do things with their phone.

Not that you can't tinker with an iPhone or get things done with Android (both are certainly possible), but it reflects the philosophies behind each platform. A friend of mine is proud that he can easily use his iPhone to capture video of his young son and post it to Facebook -- he's not "wrong" for passing on support for home screen widgets and third-party launchers.
 

rudy

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No one ever said you had to do anything to an android phone which is why that phrase is utter nonsense. In fact most people out there don't do anything to their android phone, they don't even know how to use it, this is evident in the over priced listing for flappy bird phones. Clearly people have no clue they can install an app from another place than the play store.

I record a video and click the share button, guess what facebook is in there. Yep its that easy like 2 finger presses, how is that hard? What does the iPhone use telepathy to do it?

The only reason people consider iPhones easier is because they got a head start, the larger user base to start meant more people could just ask their friend how to do it, its not actually easier to do much. Sure somethings are but other things are harder. Just like the difference between touch wiz and sense is not a 1 over the other deal.
 

YeuEmMaiMai

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still using a Nokia Lumia 810. although internal storage is small, it's OK as you can use a 64GB mSDHC card for storing music videos and your GPS maps.

Battery will last a day under normal to heavy use and up to 2.5 days of just laying around (push as items arrive enabled for mail) and few calls.

Wife's 521 offers similar performance but she talks like a billion minutes a day and her battery needs to be recharged in about 12 hours time.
 
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In my opinion, the screen looks absolutely magnificent, even better than the S4 in my opinion and the Note 3. However, when you look at the screen at an off angle it does look kinda washed out, but then again, I hardly or never look from an off angle so the screen looks probably the best. I have to admit though, the camera is quite SHIT. Hopefully the kikat update will fix that problem.

It would be on mine but I waited and waited forever for the C6906 so I could use it on AT&T and by the time it came out I already had my Note 3 for 2 months and my hype for it dulled when I read about the camera bugs and inconsistency as well as the display. If Sony fixes those with the Z2 it will be my perfect phone, a phone I can use anywhere specifically have it right by me when I swim so I never miss an important call, email or text again.
 
D

Deleted whining member 223597

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iPhone 5. Been using this current one for over a year now and still love to use it, although some things are bothering me. The one thing that really pisses me off is this fucking power button, it always breaks. (It broke within 2 weeks of my first iPhone 5, and within 2 months of my current one). Partly my fault for not getting it replaced in time with the warranty though. Also, the scuffs are kind of bothersome sometimes although I really haven't taken care of it at all lately (keys always in there, it's completely scratched up on the sides and back). That said, the screen still looks fantastic and I still love the feel and look of the phone, which is one of my obsessions and why I didn't really like my GS3. The battery life has become kind of eh, and there are some slow downs with iOS 7 sometimes, so I hope the next iPhone will fix these issues. Oh and the crazy amount of LTE bands in new iPhone's is also a huge plus IMO.
 

Trimlock

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This is one of the things IMHO android isnt in the same league with iOS on. Apple TV and airplay is superior compared to chromecast and miracast. Ease of use still goes to the iPhone IMHO and iPhones tend to work better with AV equipment.

Miracast is pretty easy to use, but if the oems stopped Fucking it over by trying to implement their own useless variant of miracast it would be king by now, especially seeing how many tv's have Wi-Fi these days.
 

didactandnarpet

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Note 3 for it's 5.7 inch Amoled display. Every time I see those infinite blacks I smile. Absolute joy to mobile game on.
 

Cube

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motorola triumph.

Because I dont play games or care with horrible touch screen controls on it I carry a 3ds or vita. its fast enough to run work apps and what ever.

2 I can hack the hell out of it and it's cheep. I have it working as a wi-fi hotspot for free.
 

King of Heroes

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Still using a Nokia Lumia 521. It does everything I want so it kept me from buying a Moto X or Nexus 5 like I had intended on doing.
 

///AMG

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Miracast is pretty easy to use, but if the oems stopped Fucking it over by trying to implement their own useless variant of miracast it would be king by now, especially seeing how many tv's have Wi-Fi these days.

Its simple enough but reliability is a huge issue for me. Since I got the Apple TV I havent had any drop outs and disconnects like I do with Chromecast. With Chromecast I can expect 1-2 dropouts for every 15 minutes of streaming. I commend google on chromecast only for the price but the apps, reliability and support for it sucks.
 

AudiTuner

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Samsung Galaxy S4 here. I'm a loyal Samsung user and comfortable with their devices so take it with a grain of salt. :p
 
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