As tech bloggers, there is one question we get very often – what is the best smartphone? The answer to that question is very hard, because there is no such thing as “the best” phone. It all depends on what each individual values and how he will use the device. One always has to make some sacrifices when choosing one phone over others.
All things considered, a “perfect” phone would have to be custom made for your own needs and wants. Only then would it be the best. It’s impossible for manufacturers to really please everybody. But what if you could actually have a phone custom made just for yourself? How would it be?
January is almost over, so I thought I should seal the first month of the year by having this discussion. Let’s start by showing you what my personal dream phone of 2015 would be like. This is the phone I would buy without a single doubt.
Of course, we are trying to stay within reasonable bounds, so do the same in the comments! Let’s not step into a dream land of phones with unbelievable specs and features.
I want Android 5.0 Lollipop, at least
I would like to stick with Android – at least Android 5.0 Lollipop. But why?
I can appreciate and see all the benefits that other mobile operating systems offer, but I find that Android just plugs into my life better. It offers more flexibility than the others, allowing me to tinker around and customize my phone to my liking.
Android happens to suffer from no app shortages, either. It is the biggest mobile OS in the planet and has support from all the developers and services you can ask for. The OS has also evolved to work very smoothly, so I am not sacrificing performance any more.
Having near-stock Android would be a plus, too. I want my phone to be clean and simple. Now, that doesn’t mean I don’t want some extra features. I will cover that later in the article.
Let’s cover performance
Of course, I want my phone to be fast and handle any app or game I throw at it. And I want it to do it without a single hiccup. Those are some broad requests, so let’s be a bit more specific and tell you what kind of specs I would like to see in this dream phone.
I happen to be a fan of Qualcomm’s chips. They have been at the forefront of connected technologies for some years and no chip manufacturer has quite been able to catch up with them. For my dream phone, I would like to see a Snapdragon 810 processor.
The Snapdragon 810 comes with 8 cores of pure computing power. This chip is optimized to support 4K streaming, the latest 4G LTe technologies and Qualcomm’s quick charging technologies. It is their flagship processor and will handle anything you throw at it.
I do hope those rumored over-heating issues are appropriately addressed, though, and LG states they have. The processor also comes paired with an Adren 430 GPU, which will ensure my graphics and 3D gaming are running smoothly.
I would also like to see 4 GB of RAM in my phone. Multi-tasking is important, so if I want my phone to be running at optimum speeds I will need to have RAM to throw around.
Finally, I would like to see 32 GB of internal storage in my dream phone. That is more than enough to keep me going. I am a big cloud user and 16 GB has proven to be enough, but I also don’t want to deal with microSD cards in the future, so I would rather be sure.
I just want a 5.5-inch 1080p display
I am not buying into the 2K and 4K hype just yet, even if I do want the processor to be able to handle such definitions. I believe such high definition displays are nothing but a waste of resources and battery.
Manufacturers claim their optimizations offer you the same battery life as if it was a 1080p screen, but the fact is that if you put the same technology in a 1080p screen, the phone will last longer. I am willing to give up extra pixels for battery life any day.
Don’t get me wrong, those 1440p screens look amazing, but so do 1080p screens. It has been proven time and again that a good quality 1080p screen is more than enough. I happen to be a fan of saturated colors and super deep blacks, so I would like to go with a Super AMOLED display.
Oh, and I like my large displays, which I have been pretty outspoken about. Give me a 5.5-inch phone and I will be more than happy.
I want 2 days of battery life
Two days of battery life is totally doable under average usage, and that is what I ask for. The Galaxy Note Edge can do it, some LG phones have done it and now even Apple can do it with the iPhone 6+. I feel like I am not asking for much here.
Stick a 4000 mAh battery in there if you must. As you will read in the next section, I don’t care if the phone is not the thinnest. And because the phone would support quick charging, it won’t be a nuisance to keep the device juiced up.
Design and build quality
I will agree that good performance, hardware and a pristine display are the most important parts of a phone, but that doesn’t mean we can’t appreciate a well-designed product. For my dream phone, I would like something that feels as solid and powerful as the phone is.
I find the HTC One design language to be my favorite. The metal construction manages to keep the phone feeling good and looking even better. I don’t care if the phone is thin, either. I just want the phone to mold well into my hand, and that is exactly what the HTC One devices offer. Ergonomics trump thinness.
It wouldn’t be a nuisance if the battery is non-removable. After all, the phone would have amazing battery life already. Something I would like, though (even if it’s not a requirement), is to see exchangeable backs. Something like the Xiaomi back covers, or what Motorola is offering with the lower end phones. I could then have multiple back covers to fit my mood any day.
Please do get rid of the physical capacitive buttons in the front. We don’t need them and they take up space. I would like to see the display cover as much of the front as possible. And I would like my physical camera button back, please. In addition, I happen to be a big fan of the LG-style power and volume button location. Put it all back there for me!
Another small request that I am not to picky about is the microUSB port placement. I would prefer to see that in the middle, on the bottom side of the phone. Why? Most speakers, docks and other accessories are optimized for such design factor.
Also put in some stereo front-facing speakers. HTC did this a long time ago and very few of you have caught on. That is where they belong! One in the bottom and one in he top. That would make sure that sound is great, even if the actual speakers are not the best.
Wireless charging, anyone?
Isn’t it annoying that Qi wireless charging hasn’t really become the standard? Maybe Apple needs to do it before everyone else follows suit, or something. The point here is that wireless charging is awesome, and very important for my style of usage.
Using actual cables may be good, but it affects the ports in the long run and is not as seamless. Leave the cable for the times you need to charge your phone in a rush.
Oh, and NFC too
Keep up with the times, manufacturers. It’s impressive to see that some phones are still being released without NFC.
I am a photography enthusiast, so you will find that I am not too bugged when a smartphone camera is less than perfect. Why? Because if I care about how a photo looks I will pull out my DSLR and go through my photographic rituals.
With that said, it also doesn’t mean I don’t want a good camera. It just wouldn’t make or break the deal. If the camera is not great but the manufacturer can meet my other demands, I will buy the phone.
Now, if we are talking about the “perfect” phone, I would like to have something that matches the iPhone 6+. Don’t kill me for saying this, but it is honestly the best phone camera I have seen so far (other than the Lumia 1020’s). As for the front-facing camera, I don’t care much. I guess give me something that at least doesn’t make me look like I am in a Silent Hill movie (foggy and grainy). HTC’s UltraPixel camera would work, I guess.
Oh, and a Xenon flash like in the Lumia 928 would be nice.
Features and extras
I don’t care for fingerprint readers, heart-rate monitors and crazy features. That is all dust under the rug. Nothing but a bunch of gimmicks (in my experience) that I will test a few times and never use again.
What I do want includes the ability to double-tap to wake (and sleep), the ability to use two apps at once (remember this is a large phone) and Motorola’s touchless controls (or at least something similar).
How would your perfect smartphone be?
That’s it! That is all I want. Am I asking for much? I don’t think so, but the manufacturers probably do. Regardless, these are all technologies and characteristics we have all seen, and I feel like I was very generous with some requests. I would buy a phone like this in a heart beat (which I wouldn’t be able to measure!)!
Now let’s see how your perfect device would be. Hit the comments and tell us how your 2015 dream phone would look. What would a manufacturer have to do to drop all your other options?