Monday, June 20, 2016

June 2016 - Smartphone Research and Comparison

These are my quick notes / comparison table for shopping for a new Android smartphone. I was only looking at phones with 3GB of RAM or more, since my irritation with my current phone was how the small amount of RAM (1GB, it is a Moto G 1st gen) caused pretty much every app to crash or behave erroneously when being pulled from the background.


Phone
Price
Fingerprint?
Camera
PPI
Major Pros
Major Cons
Overall
$154
Yes
14MP
401
Astounding price to spec ratio, plus 4165mAh battery
Company has horrible rep, dev support, BAD signal support
Price is sort of a red flag and is in line with consensus to avoid - IGNORE
$199
No
13MP
267
AMOLED (pretty), nice design
Not much, just stiff competition, no LTE band 12, NOT AVAILABLE ANYWHERE
Good budget phone, but not much else.
$350
Yes
24MP
490
AMOLED (pretty),  good specs
Mixed reviews, no LTE band 12
Considering, but steep jump from $200 range to $300+ -- tied with Nexus 6
$300-400
Yes
16MP
401
Trustworthy, pure android, Moto
Rumors of heating issues, not out for a bit, pricey, NO COMPASS?!
Probably worth jumping off the Moto ship, considering the high price and mixed initial reviews - seems like Nexus 6 would actually be better
$300
No
13MP
490
AMOLED (pretty), STOCK, great reviews
Dated (2014), no fingerprint
Seems like Moto X Pure is much better bang for buck
$300
Yes
13MP
401
Big battery (4100 mAh)
No LTE band 12, Dated
No compelling reason to get instead of competitors - IGNORE
$200
No
13MP
403

No LTE band 12
Nothing impressive - IGNORE
$300
No
16MP
583
Full LTE support (including band 12), Removable battery,
No fingerprint

$300
No
21MP
520
Full LTE support (including band 12), water protection
No fingerprint, IPS instead of AMOLED
Considering
$300 (don't be misled, DON’T BUY ON AMAZON)
Yes
13MP
401
Full LTE support, 64GB OF MEMORY, 4GB OF RAM!!!!!!
It's not moto. That's it. The only con. Type-C USB is a little annoying, but it is the future anyways.
WOAH, WE HAVE A WINNER, WHY DIDN'T I KNOW ABOUT THIS PHONE EARLIER????
$400
Yes
16MP
401
Full LTE, AMOLED, Fast charge, NFC, 6GB OF RAM!
Pricetag
If you want the newest and greatest, this is the BEST bang for your buck. If you like to upgrade frequently, OnePlus 2 might be a better buy until this drops in price.

I ended up going with the OnePlus 2, despite the OnePlus 3 just being released, since I didn't want to pay over $300 for a smartphone that I am probably going to upgrade out of anyways in a year or two. So far, I have been extremely satisfied with my OnePlus 2! I'll have another post in a bit about what I did to make the phone even better right out of the box.

Honestly, I don't get the hate towards the OnePlus brand of phones. I had never heard of them before, because they are rarely mentioned online (if you bring up the brand on most common forums, you get hushed really quickly). From my perspective, it seems like everyone should love them: they are really close to stock android, easy to root, the spec/feature to price ratio is INCREDIBLE, they are good looking, and they (so far) have been OK with rolling out updates (my OnePlus 2 immediately upgraded to Marshmallow after I turned it on).

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