Tech Talk: What's the make & model of your current phone? What do you like about it? Dislike? What phones have you owned in the past?
Following on from the Tildes 0.5 year survey in which 72% of users stated they used an Android device, and 24% used an iOS device, I thought it'd be fun to ask people in a longform manner to talk about their current phone, and their dislikes & likes about it. What has your upgrade history been like?
I'm currently utilising an iPhone XS (no "Max") in 256GB. This is my first phone upgrade where I've felt like the changes are a step sideways rather than forwards from what I've previously experienced. The minimal bezels are very nice, and once you understand how the iOS experience fits into the overall vision for Apple's phone lineup, the notch becomes an immediately obvious choice—a design compromise for the time being until we can place the sensor array under the display.
Face ID is acceptable. It fails a bit more often than Touch ID ever did, but it fails in different situations, and also works better in others. For a first generation iteration it's acceptable; if it can get more diverse with time and work better in extreme sunlight and at wider angles, it'll become definitively better than a fingerprint scanner.
I talked a bit about the OLED display in the XS in this comment here, where I can distinguish the pentile crosshatching pattern, and again, I feel that the OLED is a case of better in some situations, worse in others. The inky blacks are fantastic, but the dark ghosting is a compromise I'm less happy with. Apple's IPS LCD panels are so good, they had a high bar to meet here.
The camera is again truly fantastic; not enough to ever make me consider selling my Sony mirrorless, but the computational photography aspects makes taking challenging photos more of a breeze than ever before.
Finally, after living with a plus-sized phone for the past 4 years, a step back to a smaller form factor with a similar sized screen is a breath of fresh air—I can finally tie my shoelaces up with my phone in my jean pockets again.
The watch & AirPods & continuity integrations will keep me happy in the Apple ecosystem for a while yet, but I'd need to see a very compelling new feature of aspect to a future phone to upgrade in the next 2 years at this point. Phones are lasting longer than ever before, as they should, and Apple knows this.
Previously I've owned
iPhone 7 Plus, Jet Black 256GB. The Jet Black finish coupled with the weightier frame & thicker body definitely resulted in this feeling like the most polished iPhone 6-style design to date. Runner up for my favourite phone. Further more the P3-gamut display significantly improved image quality. I wasn't happy enough with the iPhone X to consider an upgrade.
iPhone 6 Plus, Silver 128GB. Might be my least favourite phone of all time? Too thin, slippery, suffered from bendgate; and had display issues which gave it a bad rap. Touch ID was cool; however.
iPhone 4, Black. Might be my favourite phone of all time, purely from a design standpoint? Utilising the steel frame around the edge of the phone as an antenna was completely unheard of back then and truly a fantastic design innovation. The sandwiched glass profile was both a fingerprint magnet and truly gorgeous; and the Retina display was breathtaking. I'd love to see a return to this design profile.
iPhone 3G. My first phone. I distinctly remember jailbreaking this device to change the cellular provider name in the top left corner & enable some extremely low quality video recording; this was also the good old days of fantastic games like Tap Tap Revenge.
How about you?
I own a Nexus 5X. Begrudgingly, Project Fi is my carrier.
I owned a OnePlus One as my first Android phone a little bit before I got the 5X, but it was broken in a car accident.
I also own a Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 Plus because I am an idiot and don't learn quickly enough.
My tablet and phone run Lineage OS because the people who made those devices can't be arsed to keep them up-to-date so I have to rely on a grand and faithful community to do that for me. Thankfully, both of my devices are officially supported by Lineage OS, so it should be smooth sailing for a few more years.
At the hardware level I like all of the devices. To this day, I distinctly remember how much I enjoyed the rough texture on the back of the OPO. The Nexus 5X is an all around good phone, and although I really just bought it for the affordable Project Fi, I actually really like it and the camera is great compared to what I got with the OPO.
The tablet has excellent speakers, louder than any laptop I have ever listened to. It is jarringly loud. The battery life is also great. If all I do is use it to browse the web for a few hours a day, I can get a whole week without charging it.
At the software level, both devices are utter shit.
I'm not going to comment on what bullshit it is that Android is in such disarray when it comes to updates, because if you own an Android phone and actually care about software then you know how much of a money pit they are, but all three devices, even the OPO which I only owned for a bit, experienced degrading performance, battery life, and bugs.
I love my Nexus 5X so much (and I'll be damned to waste more money on another Android device) that I actually replaced its battery after it started draining faster than normal. After three years it had went down to 75% capacity so it's not like it wasn't warranted, but the damn phone still doesn't get the same battery life it used to. Considering it performs worse the older it gets, and taxes the battery more, this made sense, so I angrily replaced stock Android with Lineage OS and... it gets worse battery life, so I went back to stock Android until a few months ago when I discovered that the Nexus 5X isn't getting Android 9.
So, now I run Lineage OS with zero Google services, which are the primary drain on battery life, but that also means I am locked to either T-Mobile or Sprint towers, not both like Fi is supposed to give me, because the Fi app doesn't work without GServices installed.
Fuck. You. Google.
Also, fuck Lenovo. I know, I am an idiot, I won't deny that, I did buy a tablet with Android 6 on it after 7 had come out, and I did already know about the fact that Lenovo is the single worst company for Android updates, but you can still imagine my surprise when I discovered that my tablet wasn't getting two, not one, but zero Android version bumps.
So from the very beginning it has been thanks to the effort of community members that my tablet can even run Android 7, and now 8, and hopefully 9, eventually.
I get that this is a rant, but smartphones are the biggest goddamn scam compared to other commercial devices. Even laptops don't fuck us this hard.
I am obviously disillusioned with smartphones in general, and I will not be buying another one. I am done. If I have to carry a Raspberry Pi or some other POS SBC like a pager clipped to my belt or in some ridiculous fanny pack with a microphone strapped to my face just so I can send SMS through cobbled together bash scripts and phone calls over hellaciously unreliable bootlegged SIM cards by god I will fucking do it before I buy another Android/iOS device, before I re-enter the world of exploitative in app purchases and "smart"phones.
Google, billions of dollars, dozens of different chat apps, two versions of Maps because optimization doesn't exist...
Still can't master updates.
Apple, controls its hardware/software combo in ways that make Microsoft wet itself, trillion dollar company, brand icon across the world with more white knights than Natalie Portman...
Doesn't provide updates for legacy devices from 2012.
Sorry OP, but you asked.
EDIT: I should also mention that I owned an iPhone 5 before this. It was my first smartphone and I loved it for the entire time that I had it. I still think the 5/5s were the best iPhones in terms of design. They were thick enough to not be a meme and if Apple would have just released the exact same phone but larger with a 5 or 5.2 inch screen I would probably still be using it today. I am not a fan of the roundness of the new iPhones nor am I impressed by their thinness. A ground breaking company doesn't make a phone so thin that it bends and breaks between your ass cheeks. They should have kept the thickness, minimized component space in favor of more battery capacity, and never have added that stupid bump for the camera.
Of course, that would mean that Apple would have to actually slide towards a utilitarian approach and not rely on their branding and marketing to cover up their design mistakes because "innovation" is apparently something they are good at.
And don't even get me started on notches. Come the fuck on Google. Every single Pixel device has copied some stupid gimmick from the iPhone. You killed the cheaper, more affordable Nexus line to what? Release overpriced fashion statements that are really just Apple designs but with your logo and arguably worse software?
I don't know if it's because micro-dosing and toxic work ethic lead to shit results, or maybe I am just turning into an old man, but silicon valley companies seem like they're scrambling to see who can jerk each other off the hardest rather than inventing something new. China is at the doorstep of the Internet and our best and brightest are already releasing copies of their apps and arguing over who gets to use whose APIs. Oh well, at least the new Macbook Air still has larger bezels than my Chromebook and one of the shittiest keyboards ever made.
I mean, c'mon. So far, they haven't dropped support for a single 64-bit iOS device. Even the 5S is, despite everything, still really usable.
I plan on keeping my SE for a loooong time honestly.
I currently own an Motorola Moto G5 Plus (XT1687) which I've owned since the initial launch day.
It has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 processor, 4GB of RAM, 64GB of internal storage, and a 3000 mAh battery.
Overall, I've been fairly pleased with the phone. It has great battery life and has run everything I've thrown at it flawlessly. It also just recently received Android 8.1 which I was pretty pleased about.
The only real points of contention is that Lenovo/Motorola takes a long time to get their updates out and I wish it had NFC (which variants outside the United States apparently had).
I have the same phone. I recently rooted mine and installed Lineage OS 16.0 (which is based on Pie.)
Same phone but with NFC, also love it. It's great, especially for the price m
Same phone, and also wish I had NFC. I previously had a Galaxy S4 so this was a big upgrade.
I love the camera, I travel quite a bit for work and getting to take nice pictures without feeling like a need to carry a nice camera is great. I love the look of the rounded edges of the screen, but I find myself accidentally pressing stuff all the time and that can get frustrating. Also, it can be hard to press things on the edge of the screen. I have had the phone for about six months and I still haven't gotten used to this. The fingerprint scanner is awful and easily the worst part of the phone. About once a day I have to manually type the password because I failed the five attempts to unlock the phone even though I try a different part of my finger each time it fails.
The second worst part, the Bixby button. When I first picked it up, I don't believe there was a way to disable it but I have now. It would be so helpful to program that button to a function, like toggle the flashlight. At the very least, it would be nice to change which voice assistant it triggered. It really sucks that it's either Bixby or nothing at all. I have tried programs which allowed me to change it to something else, but I had terrible success rate with it.
Having a 3.5mm jack for headphones is a must. I have too many nice pairs of headphones to start over. The battery lasts all day, and even when I use it heavily I can't complain at all about battery life. I keep the phone in battery saving mode all the time and I don't find it running really slow. Occasionally, I notice it getting tripped up a bit, but it happens rarely enough it doesn't ruin the experience. Last full charge lasted just shy of 20 hours, with four hours screen on time and about 8 hours of spotify in the background.
iPhone 7 32gb, I feel like I’m the outlier here with not wanting a super powerful phone. My phone is basically just my web browsing /occasional email/ music streaming machine. Texting too I guess, and god forbid an actual phone call. I don’t really take pictures and I don’t really save media to it so I’m always curious what the average user is doing with so much memory on their phone. Hell my MBP only has 256gb, I mean I store my personal documents in S3 but I guess if you don’t work with visual media memory isn’t that big of a issue for most people? Am I missing something?
Not at all! I think that's an opinion that is completely normal, especially nowadays with innovation in the smartphone form factor tapering off. Devices should last for at least 5-10 years without issue. I didn't feel the need for 512GB in my phone, so for the first time I did not max out my device storage with my XS.
Maybe a few years ago when phones were improving in leaps and bounds every year, it was a worthwhile upgrade; but the urgency is no longer there.
I really hope this will become the norm. My past 3 devices have all had some kind of hardware failure between 1 and 3 years after purchase.
iPhone 5S here. Fist bump for another late-adopter.
My phone does what I need it to do and I have other more productive uses for the $ I'd spend on a new phone. When I do upgrade, it'll be to a phone running Android or some open source OS. I've never liked the Apple ecosystem.
Social media apps have become so bloated that your whole phone will slow down if you have facebook installed and don't have the latest cpu and 8gb memory. I have an "old" phone with no social media apps and it runs better than most peoples brand new $1000+ phones.
Even on an iPhone with its much stricter set of APIs available, I am far too concerned for my privacy to let Facebook or Messenger be anywhere close to my phone... a disastrously high number of people don't seem to care or realise this, however.
So, uh, I'm a tablet fan, not very into phones, but all of them run Android, so I hope they still count :)
My current tablet is a Samsung Galaxy Tab S2. Wonderful device; very lightweight, the screen is amazing and in a great form factor too (4:3), it always feels fast and responsive, and I really like not having virtual buttons, even if it takes a bit of adjustment. The only things I don't like about it are that, while Samsung's stock experience is actually quite nice, they're not going to update it past Android 7.0 I believe, and that out of the box, the physical keys always light up. I hate that, especially in darker settings as they're a bright white, and you have to download a random third party app to turn them off. Outside of those two downsides though, it's really great, one of the best tablets you can get imo.
For past tablets, I had an Asus MemoPad ME572C, which I'm kinda mixed on; the screen is absolutely brilliant and by far the best I have ever seen on such a cheap tablet, it has convenient expandable storage (the Galaxy Tab S2 needs a paperclip to pop out the MicroSD tray, while this tablet has a spring loaded slot, so you can pop out a card with your fingernail), and it has great battery life. It's pretty slow though in my experience, and with only 2GB of RAM, it stutters pretty often and needs to constantly restart apps. I thought it was maybe something I had installed on there, but my Galaxy Tab S2 has all the same apps except for the stock ones, and it runs fine.
Lastly, I have a Nexus 7, an original 2012 model. It's really slow with modern apps, the screen is straight up terrible by modern standards, it feels pretty icky after the original covering has disintegrated after all these years, it has no expandable storage, only 16GB internally, and it only feels tolerably fast with Android 4.3 or older. And I love it! :D I can't rate this objectively, but it was my very first tablet and Android device in general. It's super cheap and had an amazing community centered around Android roms back in the day. I spent quite a while customizing this thing in all sorts of different ways, sort of like Linux distro hopping. This particular model was also a huge factor in making 7 inch tablets popular for a while, and it was just a really great thing back in it's day. Compared to any modern device, yeah, it sucks, but it has a ton of historical value for mobile devices and I still enjoy using Android 4.3 today. I miss Android, really, I miss everything, pre flat design. I didn't think it was possible to hate a design language, but there has never been such a thing so grotesque, and that has managed to completely take over everything, and for all their pride about thinking different and innovating, I'm astonished that Apple, Google, and Microsoft are still sitting with the same pile of garbage more than 6 years after they released it.
Yeah those Nexus 7 were a blast. Inexpensive and open for ROM dev scene, they ran almost everything from book readers to popular games, and that was useful and fun especially in the days of smaller phones. Bigger tablets like Tab 2 even had that exotic Android 3 Honeycomb where apps were designed specifically for tablets. Then that trend declined. Now Android tablets somehow became rather dead comparing to that glory while iPads are doing fine. I wonder what kind of renaissance the newly shown foldable phones will bring to big screen Android.
I had a Nexus 7 too, was great. Currently using an Nvidia Shield K1. I love this thing, I’ve had it for years and it’s still great. It’s my main entertainment device. Has HDMI out and runs my tv when I’m not carrying it around. Android got updated often, I also got the gaming controller which is pretty cool. If mine broke I would buy another one right away, but they seem to be discontinued, so it would have to be used/refurbished. They seem to be selling for over original retail these days.
Current phone is a Moto X Pure. I'm reasonably happy with it, but software support has been... disappointing to say the least. Only got the update to Nougat months after Oreo was released, and the ROM community has nothing like the vitality it did in the old days, so my options are fairly limited. Other than that, the battery is starting to go, and ultimately that's going to be the limiting factor in how long I keep this phone, since it's not easily replaceable.
Which is a shame, since aside from those issues, it really is a phenomenal phone. Anything else I get is going to be a downgrade in some way, whether it's carrier support, lack of a headphone jack, lack of stereo front facing speakers, etc. Phones today are all about form over function, and I detest that.
Previous phones, there's been a few. The immediate predecessor was a 2015 Moto E I picked up on black friday for $10, off contract. 1GB of RAM made multitasking painful, the camera was bad, and it didn't have a flashlight, but the battery could keep it going for days and the reception was excellent.
Before that, I had a Galaxy S3. It was my first modern smartphone (I'd had some older pre-iPhone ones like the Moto Q and a few blackberries), and I got a lot of use out of it. Rooted and flashed it with Cyanogen day 1, luckily, since the bootloader was later locked by an update on Verizon. Hopped from ROM to ROM for several years, got an upgraded 30Wh battery and a wireless charging coil, and just generally used and abused the hell out of it. Eventually I swapped to the Moto E since I switched carriers and the S3 wasn't compatible, but that phone spoiled me when it came to tinkering and upgradeability. Haven't had anything comparable since.
I used to have the Moto X Pure (I moved on to a Pixel 2). I loved that device, the only downside outside Motorola's glacial update cycle was the screen - it's too big and is much weaker than the original X 2013 (I've dropped the OG X on the sidewalk and didn't even get a scratch. The Pure slipped from a shirt pocket, fell 3 feet, and the screen became a spider web of cracks). I understand that bigger screens won't be as strong, but it seems a bit ridiculous how fragile the X became over time.
I still miss being able to customize my phone's appearance, though. I wish Google had something similar with the Pixels besides the customizable cases.
Luckily I haven't managed to crack it in the couple of years I've had this phone, but as someone with smaller hands, I do think that the compact market is extremely underserved at the moment.
Nexus 6. I'd consider it the oldest of the modern kind of phones: packed with features such as great AMOLED screen wider than on most other phones, stereo speakers, still sufficient RAM, wireless charging, headphone jack, colored notification LED, OIS camera, even decent bezels for this age, battery holds fairly, and acceptable CPU not for gaming. The dev community is as good as it can be, lots of choices and tricks to customize the phone. Design is great with really thin edges made of metal and expensive plastic back not cold to touch. Almost a dream device from a company that invented mobile phone. Basically Nexus 6 is only slower than the recent phones, but when I hold it next to them I see they are never totally superior.
Nexus 6p, the Huawei update of the Motorola Nexus 6. The prior phone was a Samsung Galaxy Note 2 which I limped along on ROMs until fighting with Kies got too annoying. [It's becoming increasingly difficult to keep a phone for more than 2 years - forced obsolescence through discontinuation of security updates, and locked bootloaders, is a PITA, and why I will not buy a Samsung device.]
I was completely in love with the Nexus 6p, stock Android M made it the first phone I didn't feel obliged to root and ROM the instant it was out of the box, but I'll mention a few caveats:
Non-replaceable battery, which became very consequential as below. Expert phone repairmen refused to work on the device and warned me against DIY because it's almost impossible to separate the case epoxy without breaking the screen.
A substantial number of Nexus 6p phones got crap batteries from Huawei, and mine was one of them. Batteries showing near-full charge would suddenly drain to zero and the phone would be shut down.
The first battery started doing this at exactly two weeks after the manufacturer warranty expiration, and even with extended support, the phone cost $60 to RMA. I joined the class action suit because the last sudden battery failure left me lost on the highway in a white-out Kansas snowstorm. Almost exactly a year after the RMA, the second Nexus 6 has the same problem.
Annoying Bluetooth issues across multiple Android versions - device won't play audible alarms after disconnecting a headset, without reboot, etc.
End of official Google support this month. Big G was kind enough to extend support to 3 years plus a few months, rather than from first release date.
But for the battery problems, I'd start fiddling with ROMs again.
I depend heavily on camera quality for both work and play, do much of my reading with the phablet form factor, power-use a large suite of apps, and have investments in the Android app ecosystem.
Replacement choices are down to the Pixel 3 XL (dang, that's expensive!) or the OnePlus 6T. It's a serious question whether it's worth $350 extra for a slower phone with less memory and lower battery capacity, but fully supported stock Android and great camera function.
Edit: corrected phone model as noted below.
Are you sure you are talking about Motorola Nexus 6 (with a ring camera flash, plastic back), not Huawei Nexus 6P (with camera black bar, metal back)? It's the 6P which are known for failing batteries. It's just strange how a Motorola would have a Huawei made battery. Also 6P support is ending this month while 6 support ended a year ago. Sorry for doubts.
You're correct, it's the Nexus 6p, and that's why I shouldn't do insomnia posts, or why model numbers should be distinct and meaningful.
Current phone: Samsung Galaxy S8+
It's a sleek and attractive glassy flagship phone from one of the biggest smartphone competitors. The screen is huge and there is very little bezel. I keep it naked even though that has resulted in a couple of crack on the back. It's at least a year and a half old now and the battery isn't what it used to be, but it's not terrible yet. The camera is quite good and the fingerprint sensor on the back is surprisingly ergonomic.
I'd like to get the Pixel 3 or Galaxy S10 or whatever it's called when it comes out, but my company may force me to get an iPhone for work and I'm not keen on having two phones.
I already use Bluetooth for headphones and car connection rather than an audio jack, so I'm not too concerned about that. I always want to have a great camera on my phone, but it will never be able to completely replace my DSLR and giant lenses.
iPhone SE. I like the small form factor because I put that thing in my pocket and I want to be able to type comfortably with one hand. I had an iPhone 4 for ages and it got so slow with later iOS updates, which was frustrating. iPhone SE still feels snappy and actually got faster in the last update. I honestly don't feel jealous of newer smartphone models at all (and I did in generations before). I feel like smartphone updates jumped the shark somewhere around when Apple, with a straight face, presented Animojis as a core feature of the iPhone X. Generally, though: The camera is fine (excellent, actually, unless you do night photography or something), the interface damn near perfect and loading times are in the "tap and it loaded by the time the opening animation finished" range.
I feel like mobile websites getting worse and worse to use, though, which could be because they're tested on 5+ inch phones exclusively. That's annoying. But websites are all around crap these days.
iPhone SE here as well. I've been with Apple since my first real smartphone, the 3GS. At 5, I felt like the form factor was maxing out for me and when the 6 came out, I was sure of it. I was so happy when the SE was announced - and equally disappointed when no successor came in the latest round. I don't like the current form factor of phones. I'll keep my SE for at least another year and then review my options. But I think the writing is on the wall.
Looks like I'm the only person here with a budget phone. I have the Xiaomi Mi A1, and so far it's working out really well for me. Hardware wise the phone is both better and worse than high end phones.
Not only does it have a headphone jack, but it also has an IR emitter (although I rarely use either, they're nice to have).
It isn't perfect though, I'm disappointed in the screen (color range, brightness, screen to body ratio, etc.), and it has an awful vibration motor compared to any other high end phone. Otherwise, everything seems decent hardware wise. I have an SD card installed for more storage, so I have 32 GB + 64 GB (External).
I'm really active with modding/rooting phones, and I've done the same with this one. I have Magisk+Xposed, and they both add so much in terms of functionality, I've also flashed a custom kernel (Franco's Kernel), and I get really good battery life.
I very nearly went with the Xiaomi when I was looking for something new. I wanted something on the cheaper end of "mid range" and preferably in the Android One programme. Ended up going for the Nokia 7 Plus for slightly more, and am very happy with it. I haven't felt the need to root or mod it yet.
I currently have a Note 9. The screen is big and bright, the speakers are pretty good for a phone, the battery lasts all day (I'll be at 70% by the end of the day with light use) and the camera takes amazing photos. It's very thin, I couldn't imagine not using a case. I don't like the lack of physical buttons on the front, but I've gotten used to it. I use Nova launcher, one hand+, and bxactions to make it... more to my liking. Probably a 9/10. I'd give it a perfect score if it supported native Bixby remapping to google assistant and had a physical home button, even if it wasn't a real button like the iPhone.
My previous phones:
iPhone 7: This was a business phone for my last job. I dislike apple for their pricing and anti-consumer practices like making their stuff harder to repair, but this phone was pretty solid. I hadn't used an apple device since the iPod touch but I really enjoyed using this phone. It was snappy and the gestures are a great feature. The fake home button felt real, but no built in back button was annoying, especially since I'm used to it. The settings are confusing to configure and there is no customization available. I'd give it a 6/10.
Note 4: I had this for 3 years and I could have used it for another 3 if I didn't just get a new one on a whim. The removable battery meant I only had to replace it once to extend the life, although the battery life was still pretty weak and it was hard to make it a full day without having to charge it. The screen was pretty good but not great in sunlight, and it's the same res as my Note 9 (1440p). I dropped it more times than I could count (including drop kicking it 8-9 feet trying to prevent it from hitting the pavement) and never cracked the screen. You can still get these from amazon for like $200 unlocked, if you need a strong budget phone that will last forever, get it. Probably like an 8/10.
Galaxy S3: Had this in high school. It got hot, the charging port was going out just 2 years after getting it, and it was made out of cheap plastic that felt slippery and cheap. 4/10.
I've got a Note 9, agree with you completely. If it weren't for Bixby requiring bxActions with adb, I'd feel almost like this was a phone without compromises. Though, I'm unhappy that they decided to use Snapdragon processors in Canada this time around, because the bootloader is locked, negating the benefits of Treble...
I'm still loving my note 3. But I might upgrade to 4 if this tank ever dies.
Note 3. 3 gb of ram, removable battery, modern screen size and stylus. Cheap enough I won't cry if I have to replace it. But the things a tank. And it still runs everything fast.
My only wish is the same phone with new hardware and 8 gb of ram.
The new notes are too long in my opinion.
Google Pixel 2: my previous Pixel 1 experienced a saltwater-related death (turns out, sneaker waves are more common as tide recedes!) I have owned iPhones in the past, and even tested out the iPhone XS Max for a day before returning it. I find it hard to "retrain" my brain to the new iOS once I have set up my android OS the way I like it. However, the news about the Pixel 3 just isn't...that compelling to me, as the upgrades are too incremental.
One feature about the Pixel 2 that may be more nuanced is its weight--I had my iPhone-carrying friend try to hold it, and he was surprised by how light it feels. As a woman with small hands, I appreciate how it doesn't feel like a burden when I hold it!
I'm still using my beloved Samsung Galaxy S5.
Getting close to 5 years old, it really ought to feel more out-dated, but with a fresh battery and good LineageOS support bringing it up to Android 8.1, it still runs great and the OLED screen looks as good as ever.
I still consider this to be pretty much the peak of the last few smartphone generations, everything after has seemed lacking in the features I use.
For my uses, on a 5-6" device, any resolution > 1080p really isn't worth the extra drain on the battery, replaceable storage and battery are crucial to device reliability/lifespan, I prefer the headphone jack for my car or portable speakers/headphones, and use my phone as a universal remote for all my IR home theater devices (tv/soundbar/bluray/roku).
If I were forced to buy a new phone today, I'd start by looking for refurbished or lightly used S5 before anything newer.
I have an iPhone X currently, in Space Gray with 256GB of storage. I have jailbroken it and it's staying on iOS 11.3.1. Right now I've barely used any storage (maybe about 70GB) and I keep a lot of things in iCloud. I enjoy Face ID but I'm suffering from the lack of the alternate appearance feature added in iOS 12 due to my willingness to stay jailbroken.
I used to use the iPhone 7 (although it's still in my possession for iOS 12/Shortcuts). It's Jet Black and I think it has 128GB of storage. Touch ID wasn't that enjoyable but that was likely thanks to the plastic screen protector I used, which is annoying to go back to. I normally use it caseless now because it's not my daily driver.
However, the iPhone 5 I used to have is no longer in my possession. It was white/silver and had absolutely no storage. I don't remember the exact amount, but it was probably 16GB. I always had to delete apps.
I'm probably going to either upgrade to the next-generation iPhone or the one after that. It depends on how much changes; if it's a minimal performance upgrade like the iPhone Xs was, I'm not planning on upgrading.
Ask me anything about the experience and/or other devices if you want.
I'm one of the 1% that answered "other" in the survey. My current phone is a Sony Xperia X running Sailfish OS.
I guess the obvious question is "why?". Well, there are several reasons.
A big one is that both Google and Apple were mentioned in the Snowden leaks, so I'd worry about my privacy when using them. And that's in addition to the privacy worries I'd have on Android knowing the business model of the company designing the operating system is to collect as much information about their users as possible. I guess I'd feel some level of privacy on an Apple product (assuming I didn't use any of their cloud services), but holy shit; have you seen the price of those things?
Another reason is to promote healthy competition. I don't believe a duopoly is the best thing for us consumers.
Yet another is I want to support the European tech industry, partially because they're subject to stricter privacy and consumer-protection laws, and partially because I'm ever so slightly patriotic.
And then there's the fact that I really like it. The gesture-based interface is fun and fluid to use, and it looks gorgeous. (Those are all personal opinions, I guess. Your mileage may vary.)
Currently using an iPhone 8+ (and Apple Watch Series 3). I had to choose between the iPhone X and the iPhone 8+; I went with the iPhone 8+ because the iPhone X was a first-generation design, and I was worried about Face ID outdoors (my job required me to be outdoors a lot.) In hindsight, Face ID apparently works pretty well outside, and I mildly regret not going for the iPhone X. I'll probably end up upgrading to the Xs when the used market begins to fill out near the end of the cycle.
My iPhone 8+ is paired with an Apple Watch Series 3, which I got at the same time. Still works fine and has almost zero cosmetic damage, which is impressive, because I've hit the glass face directly against solid metal several times (by accident, obviously).
Moto G4, which was functional but had some issues (mostly wear and tear; at the 2-ish year mark, just a few days before I got my iPhone 8+, things started failing quickly: first the power button literally fell out, then the touchscreen started to die, and then the connector stopped working unless you held the cable at an angle.) About one year in, I unlocked it, rooted it, and flashed LineageOS because Motorola hadn't released the Marshmallow update that they'd promised for several months.
Galaxy Nexus, which was a hand-me-down, and never actually used as a phone. It had a first-gen OLED display, which really showed its age after all those years (terrible density, very obvious PenTile matrix, severe burn-in, and more.)
Regarding the iPhone 4 and its sharp steel edge; I feel like disliking that is a highly unpopular opinion. I never liked that design, from both engineering and aesthetic standpoints. It's a very poor antenna (since by touching it, you're massively altering the electrical characteristics), and it means the device has sharp edges (which could potentially be mitigated with a case.) I much prefer Apple's current rounded edges; sure, they're a bit more slippery, but there are no sharp edges on the device at all.
Have you considered getting the battery replaced? I think it's $29 until the end of the year, but I don't know if the 5S is still supported by Apple.
I currently own an iPhone 6S Plus which I’m really happy with. I had the battery replaced last year when that throttling scandal came out just to be sure when though I had no notable troubles.
Previously I owned a Nexus 6, Samsung S5, and Samsung S3. I like the openness and tinkering aspect of Android but really disliked being unable to upgrade to the latest version because of my phone carrier.
I have an iPhone 7 Plus, which I got after I was done with the iPhone 5s. I really enjoy the amount of storage I have on the 7+, because I only had ~12GB on the 5s. The screen size is amazing, and even though I have small hands and small pockets, it works for me! I really like TouchID because I can unlock the phone while not looking at it. I am very much into the Apple ecosystem, so I will probably stick with iPhones in the future. Overall, I am pretty happy with my current phone and don't see a really good reason to upgrade yet.
I'm currently using a Nexus 5 from 2013 and have been since late 2014. It's a really amazing phone, I love the stock Android and it is still keeping up in terms of speed with most things - however I definitely notice its age when I use heavier app like for example the mobile Super Mario game or the WoW Companion app. It also has the perfect size - a 5 inch screen is as high as I can go as I have small hands, and I like being able to use a phone with one hand if I want. I can't do that with most phones nowadays, I really hate how large they've become.
I'm gonna keep it until it simply can't keep going anymore, because even though the camera and especially battery life leaves a lot to be desired, it's still fine. I do need to charge it every day, sometimes twice per day if I've been using the GPS or using it as a hotspot for wireless internet. But for the price I paid back then, ~400 USD, it's worth it. I don't really understand why people pay 1000+ USD for a phone which is also why I have yet to upgrade. It seems like there hasn't been any high-level phone at mid-level pricing for a few years. I was really annoyed when Google announced the Pixel phones, because they seem to be the same in terms of value that my Nexus 5 was, but they're priced ridiculously... Extortionate amounts, even.
Before my Nexus 5 I just had a Samsung Galaxy S, which was... Uh, a phone! I honestly don't remember much about it other than it already being old when I bought it! Those two are the only smartphones I've had so I'm not a huge phone person evidently :)
I've got a basic Nokia one, I like that I can call with it.
Moto Z2 Force. I got it because it was on a ridiculous sale (I paid ~$350 for it new, when other SD835 flagships were in the $700-$800 price range, and that shatterproof screen has been an absolute lifesaver with how clumsy I am.
I'm a giant phone nerd though, just in the past two years I've owned: A Galaxy S8, iPhone 7 Plus, Nextbit Robin, Galaxy S6 Active, an LG V10, a Pixel 1, and a Nexus 6P. The whole buying and reselling phones on Swappa thing got real old though, so I've stuck with this one for almost a year now.
I'm using a Galaxy S9 64GB at the moment. I like it, bezels are small, high enough specs for my needs. I like how there's a headphone jack, no notch, and USB-C. I am kind of mad it's literally the one model that's non-rootable though. Literally the entire reason I bought it was to put LineageOS on it.
The only phone I've ever had before this was a Motorola Droid MAXX 2. It was...... less than great. Battery life was terrible, it cracked easily, and I had to send it back twice due to overheating issues. But considering it was 2015 and up until then I was the last kid in my middle school without a smartphone, I liked it at the time.
I have owned too many devices to mention them all. My first smartphone was an HP iPAQ hw6515 (2006), then later a Palm Treo 650, then a bunch of weird devices. I used to get a new device every year as a perk of a job I had for 10 years, so I had the new thing every year. One of the weirder ones was a Sony-Ericsson S710. I waited to get an iPhone until iOS had copy/paste, which took a while.. so my first iPhone was the 3GS. Another one that I loved was the black HTC M7 running cyanogenmod. That was a great phone, probably one of my favorite devices ever.
Currently still running an iPhone 6s Plus, because it's great and I have to pay for my phones now, also you can pry my headphone jack from my cold, dead hands. I have the "jump" device/upgrade protection from T-Mobile, so I am on like my 5th 6 Plus. I had the 6 plus which developed "touch disease" due to "bendgate", and was replaced by T-Mobile 4 times, for $5 each time, and last time they ran out of the 6, so I got a free upgrade to the 6s. The headphone jack recently stopped working, so I'll be getting a new refurb 6s Plus soon, for $5.
I really don't know what to get next, I am likely to stay on the 6s as long as possible.
Edit: I am super likely to stay on iOS though as I value privacy, and Android is the opposite of privacy. Also, apple continues pushing the latest iOS to old devices for seemingly ever, which is also way better than android. Finally, iOS apps are usually higher quality and come out first.
Pixel 1, bought a month ago to replace increasingly sluggish Nexus 5X.
I like running previous generation phones for more realistic testing of web app performance.
Samsung S7. Had this one for 2 years, broke my last one falling down ice covered concrete steps. They don't survive that. Had a S6 and S5 before that. And some others that I don't remember.
I work outside, and I am on my phone a lot. Too much, for sure. Battery is good. Speakers are decent. Headphone jack still works, I think. I don't use headphones often so who knows.
It works, and is reliable. That's why I like it. It is a touch too big, but I also have it in an otterbox because I kill phones easily.
It does what I want, when I want it. That's all i need from a phone.
Galaxy 7. I'm currently with AT&T because my girlfriend and I are on her parents' family plan so it only costs us $25 a month. It works pretty well. No real complaints other than the preloaded apps that I can't uninstall. The service is better than what I used to have as well. I used to be with Credo (which uses Sprint's network) and even though I feel worse, morally, about using AT&T I can talk on the phone inside my house without standing next to a window now.
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge (AT&T)
It is, by far, the worst phone I've ever owned. I don't know if mine is defective or if AT&T's software updates are just garbage, but it went from being very quick and pleasant to damn near unusable in the few years I've had it. When it rings, you've got about a 50-50 shot of it being able to wake up its UI in time to actually pick up the call. If you want to take a picture of something, unless it's an inanimate object and you've got a while, you're missing that photo. It just chugs along, unable to do hardly anything.
I've cleared it of all but a few essential apps (no games, no stuff running in the background, just work email, Slack, Discord, Zoom, etc.--the bare minimum), I don't run a million tabs, it's got loads of free storage, and I've done the built in cleaner regularly.
I'm not super familiar with Android performance tweaks, but I did set up Cyanogenmod on my old Amazon Fire phone (which is faster than my S7 Edge, hilariously), so I'm not entirely clueless on how to use one. I can't really make modifications to this handset, though, as it's a work phone, so I'm stuck with the stock thing that Samsung and AT&T provide.
Which is garbage.