Finding a new Smartphone
I’m barely using my mobile phone, which is an old Motorola Defy, so I’m pretty much fine with its features. It’s a nice and small outdoor mobile phone. My main issue with it has always been its performance. When you’re using it for navigation, and it suddenly starts to freeze temporarily, that is really unfortunate and annoying.
I’ve finally checked for a new, adequate phone model and will share some of my findings here. Keep in mind that most links will lead to German sites.
First of all, I checked Firefox OS. As it’s still pretty new, it’s not very widely adopted, not as much choice of products, not as much apps in the store. Maybe in one or two years time, they’re a real good alternative for all people. As it is now, it’s still only for early(er) adopters and low-end users (in performance and/or needs). The technical stuff does seem pretty cool though.
Having seen and experienced some of the annoying vendor adjustments to android, and pre-installed annoying apps, I was surprised to find that Huawei seems to ship with and provide an actually useful adjustment to Android. I actually stumbled over Huawei as the most recent Computerbase.de test was on the Huawei P8 lite model. Quickly seemed like a good product to keep in mind, and compare alternatives to.
I was already aware that I wouldn’t find a smartphone as small as my old Motorola Defy. Pretty much all smartphones nowadays are huge; HD displays probably being one reason. The P8 lite has a good price at 225 €, and provides good specs for it. It’s size of 143 x 70,6 x 7,7 is pretty huge – pretty much like all the other “normal”-sized smartphones though.
As alternatives, I found and compared the other Huawei P models P8, P7 and Sony Xperia models Z3+/Z4, Z3 Compact and Z1 Compact.
Especially as I don’t use my smartphone much I wanted to stay in the 250 € price range. The Z1 Compact is smaller, advertised as water proof, and can be used longer per battery loading, which is why I decided to go for it rather than a Huawei. Even though the Z1 Compact is of the last generation, it does support Android 5.0. Although I would be interested to try out Huaweis EMUI Android flavor, or the Cyanogen mod, I guess I will probably stay on the default Android. Simply less of a hassle not to try. 🙂
Checking the Samsung Galaxy S5 Mini, you get less in various features for the same price. So that’s not a better alternative either. Previous Android version, less CPU, less RAM, less megapixels (not that that alone would tell you anything), no “waterproof” label, no UKW radio, less battery life.
After reading a bit more on the differences between the Z1 Compact and Z3 Compact, from other sources as well, I am now strongly considering getting the Z3 Compact instead. The Z4 Compact also seems to be in the product queue, hardware details have leaked, but Sony did not confirm it as a product yet.