Phone update - 2016

Mobile phones, PDAs, desktops, peripherals or anything else which doesn't fit in the laptop category
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Phone update - 2016

Postby Replicant » 09 Mar 2017, 15:27

I gave my S7 Edge to the Mrs and have switched over to an iPhone 7
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Phone update - 2016

Postby robbo » 09 Mar 2017, 22:31

The standard 7 has a fairly small screen doesn't it? Small for today's standards anyways.

I think even the s7 is currently out of my budget range. 3310 it is!
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Phone update - 2016

Postby Johnmcl7 » 31 Mar 2017, 01:41

My Note 4 has developed a frustrating fault that it randomly switches off and kills the battery, I can't work out any pattern to it and it somehow puts the battery to zero percent. It's doing this with both the batteries and started around the same time so I don't think it's the battery, I'm a bit loathe to buy another battery as any genuine ones are likely to be old stock anyway. May just go for it though to see how I get on, I've been looking at possible replacements:

LG V20 - By far the most obvious replacement for the Note 4, similar 5.7in screen in a functional body with both a normal and ultrawide camera, replaceable battery and a decent DAC (although I very rarely use the phone for music). However the main problem is it's not sold in Europe which means you have to buy it as a grey import which I'm not at all keen on, I've had a couple of friends who bought grey imports with a UK warranty but had problems when there's been a fault as they've been without the phone for a long time as it's been sent back to its original country for warranty, its cameras aren't great (mixed views on this, seem at least as good as the Note 4 but worse than the S7) and the screen is dull compared to the Note 4's AMOLED screen.

Galaxy S7 Edge - This has one of the best cameras out there, an AMOLED screen and similar controls to my Note 4 plus it's micro USB rather than USB-C so compatible with my existing fast chargers. On the downsides though in use it feels a good bit smaller than the Note 4 due to the curved edges, I dislike the design, it's got a fixed battery and it's pricey. There should be a lot of second hand ones appearing but the fact I can't change the battery puts me off a second hand one.

Galaxy S8 Plus - This also has one of the best cameras, an AMOLED screen and it's a good bit bigger than the Note 4 (Note 4 is feeling a bit small as I've been using the Sony Z Ultra a fair bit recently for the drone) but at £780 the cost is completely insane, I don't like the design or the curved screen and the battery isn't replaceable. I can sort of justify the price as I'll probably get a lot of use out of it but it doesn't feel like getting much for the money and the phone is an unknown right now as it's not out.

Huawei Mate 9 - I've seen a lot of recommendations for this phone but not really seeing why, it does have a slightly larger 5.9in screen but the rest is pretty average, it's pricey and not available in the UK.

Galaxy Note 7 - This is apparently getting re-released with a new battery although it's unknown what the price and even if it will be allowed to be sold in Europe and the US or even if it can be charged without catching fire. Seems a better option than the S7 Edge though if it was sold.

LG G6 - This might officially be available in the UK but camera doesn't seem great, the battery is sealed in and there doesn't seem any reason to get it over the Samsungs.

Sony Z5 Premium - Seems a fairly decent handset and now available fairly cheap but camera seems poor which puts me off it.

I've been looking for other phones with a decent screen, camera and expandable storage preferably with a replaceable battery (although this seems unlikely so have to compromise on that), I have looked into getting just another Note 4 but they're not that cheap second hand and could suffer a similar fault soon after and they're expensive brand new.

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Phone update - 2016

Postby EviL Ras » 31 Mar 2017, 09:23

S8 no questions. Epic screen, great camera, refreshed software, wireless charging, nfc, bixby & google assist, USB C, DEX, water resistant. And they've come out to say the battery should keep 95% of its charge after 2 years, vs 80% of charge for the S7.
So cost it over 2 years.

Or just get a oneplus? Similar specs with a better bang for buck!
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Phone update - 2016

Postby Johnmcl7 » 31 Mar 2017, 10:52

A lot of the S8 features I'm just not interested in and I dislike the design of the phone, I still don't see the point of the curved screen over a more functional flat screen. A replaceable battery means you still have 100% after two years and that's even if you believe Samsung's claim which I certainly don't, I've concerns over how well that massive screen will fare longterm as well as I doubt it will survive the impacts the Note 4 could take. I'm not sure I could justify £780 if the phone was exactly what I wanted but it's more difficult to stomach for a phone that I'm not so keen on, it's almost double the price I paid for the Note 4 at launch and equivalently it's no better.

The Oneplus doesn't have anything I'd want, it's screen is smaller and lower resolution, its camera isn't great, it has no micro SD expansion, no replaceable battery and it's not even that cheap either.

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Phone update - 2016

Postby scarbunny » 31 Mar 2017, 11:06

Any of the Chinese imports tick the boxes for you? The Xiaomi stuff seems to get raved about and their high end phones seem to be around £150 so compromises on battery should be easier as its practically disposable at the price.

No idea how they compare to mainstream phones though, so maybe £150 is on the money for what they are.
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Phone update - 2016

Postby Johnmcl7 » 01 Apr 2017, 01:36

scarbunny wrote:Source of the post Any of the Chinese imports tick the boxes for you? The Xiaomi stuff seems to get raved about and their high end phones seem to be around £150 so compromises on battery should be easier as its practically disposable at the price.

No idea how they compare to mainstream phones though, so maybe £150 is on the money for what they are.


In general, the Xiaomi hardware seems to be really, really good particularly batterylife where they seem to stuff bigger batteries into the same space as others. The downsides are their cameras aren't great and they don't seem to be any better in their more expensive phones, they're only available as grey imports and their global support is often not great so they lack LTE bands used in the UK, they don't have Google Play store (although some importers can sort this, doesn't seem too bad to sort) and they mostly lack sd card support.

That said, I do want a Mi Mix which is a 6.4in phone with 90%+ screen to body ratio:

https://arstechnica.co.uk/gadgets/2016/ ... ix-review/

It's come down in price since I first looked at it and I've found a UK source with tax included and Google Play store preinstalled for £570 with 256GB storage:

https://www.wondamobile.com/mobile/xiao ... -2718.html

While it doesn't have microSD support, the 256GB mostly makes up for that but it's still a grey import, it's not cheap and it has a poor camera with the latter being the main deal breaker. I do have the NFC equipped Sony RX100 with me most of the time but then the poor camera on the Z Ultra was a real annoyance, moreso than I thought and while the Mi Mix's camera doesn't look as bad I think it will bug me. That said it's the first phone I've seen that I actually want and been debating with myself whether to order or not for the last two hours, it looks incredible and being able to have the massive 6.4in screen in a device barely bigger than my Note 4 is pretty much exactly what I've been wanting.

I've noticed the same company has the LG V20 reduced to a reasonable £440 though:

https://www.wondamobile.com/mobile/lg/l ... -free.html
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Phone update - 2016

Postby Johnmcl7 » 04 Apr 2017, 01:22

After a lot of thought I decided it would be best to try another battery for the Note 4 so I ordered both a replacement battery and another external QC battery charger since I cannot find what on earth I've done with my existing one. Package arrived today but with an obvious problem as it was far too light, I opened the package (it wasn't sealed) and the Note 4 battery was missing entirely and the larger battery box was there but the battery itself was also missing, only the case and the cable were present.

I was concerned as I had nothing to prove that the items were missing but spoke to Amazon on Ian's advice who were fine about it and straight up offered a refund. I'm always worried about these stories where Amazon have closed accounts without warning for this sort of thing but perhaps I'm over worrying and I guess this isn't the first time this sort of issue will have happened to them.

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Phone update - 2016

Postby matt » 04 Apr 2017, 10:11

amazon are usually excellent like that John. I've had very quick refunds even late into a year when my doorbell stopped working etc.
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Phone update - 2016

Postby Johnmcl7 » 09 Apr 2017, 14:06

The re-ordered big battery came in the same useless package but this time not tampered with and noticeably had a seal around the Anker box while the Note 4 battery was three days late and was completely over packaged in a big and sealed box. The new Note 4 battery seems to be performing a lot better in duration than the original one although it's difficult to tell if the phone is going to have the same crashing issue as it's been behaving itself recently.

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Phone update - 2016

Postby steffcip » 19 Apr 2017, 08:55

I will get the bb keyone and i know it is not a premium phone/latest specs but i do love the physical keyboards
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Phone update - 2016

Postby Johnmcl7 » 19 Apr 2017, 11:23

I noticed Samsung have a physical keyboard for the S8:

https://shop.samsung.com/uk/samsung-key ... 19102402:s

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Phone update - 2016

Postby robbo » 19 Apr 2017, 23:27

And Samsung have a red screen issue too! Although this can be sorted out it seems.
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Phone update - 2016

Postby Johnmcl7 » 23 Apr 2017, 03:03

I saw an S8+ in the flesh and was impressed by it to the degree if the note 4 was still playing up I'd have ordered one. I'm curious to see if they offer a Note 8 and what it will offer, there's a few rumours around so far but it's a bit early for anything concrete.
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Phone update - 2016

Postby Johnmcl7 » 07 Jul 2017, 22:00

This looks like the phone for me, titanium body, modular design, holographic multi-view content, um nanotechnology and well almost no other concrete details apart from if you don't order one now, you might not get one:

https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2017/07 ... 3d-screen/

It seems a very weird announcement and I'm not sure what the point of it is given there's almost no detail at all about what the device is. For those not familiar with Red they're known for making ultra high end video cameras that are frequently used for film work.

The Note 8 rumours seem fairly concrete now indicating a similar 18:9 body that's slightly larger, a pair of cameras and a stylus for the titular Note feature. The fingerprint scanner stays on the back though and not under the display as was initially rumoured and the battery capacity appears to take a hit over the S8+ to make room for the stylus.

Slightly less solid rumours on the LG V30 suggesting the concept sliding design which had an additional screen coming out the bottom (similar to the Priv but a screen instead of a keyboard) has been canned and the specs are going to be similar to the G6.
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