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101 posts

Master Geek
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Topic # 239742 1-Aug-2018 21:09

Another year and another phone that's decided it's life has come to an end prematurely.

 

I have been rocking an Oppo A39 for the last year after my previous Oppo Find 7 hard pricked itself on a security update. The Find 7, while a good phone, it suffered from dead spots on the digitizer that caused a headache.

 

But non the less, my A39 started suffering performance issues earlier this year and now this past week, the phone has started suffering from digitizer issues like my last phone. This time random touches when left untouched and touches holding making keyboard use impossible.

 

I just switched to a Galaxy Note 5 that I have been using as a developer phone. Got it second hand for the purpose of development. Performance on it is amazing compared to my recent phones but battery life at 40 minutes and and atrocious burn in on the screen makes it not ideal for day to day use.

 

 

 

So since my daily driver has decided it doesn't want to work, I'm in the market for a new phone. I'm contemplating going through a plan to get something decent but I want to make sure it for fills the needs of being a development platform as well.

 

 

 

Phone needs/Wants

 

Snapdragon 800 series processor (Don't care for gpu)

 

5.2 inch+ screen (1080p, but can go higher. 5.5 inch+ preferable)

 

Bluetooth support (A given)

 

NFC (Not required but desirable)

 

Headphone jack (Maybe if they supply audio over usb-c but I need wired audio)

 

I want to avoid curved displays, glass backs, notches, mechanical cameras. (Adds cost and cuts from rigidity/reliability)

 

I don't mind if the phone is last years flagship

 

Vanilla android experience preferable.

 

 

 

Two phones I have looked at are the Google Pixel 2 XL and the Essential PH-1.

 

The Essential PH-1 pretty much fills all my needs, Except with the way that the company is going, I don't think software support is going to last which is leading me to hold off from it.

 

The Pixel 2 XL is great except it's overpriced for what it is and the screen calibration issues/burnin issues/reboot issue/digitizer issues/noisy audio has put me off.

 

So I'm looking for some recommendations. Essentially I'm just looking for vanilla android with good software support with basic features as listed and a good display with no easily repeatable issues.

 

If anyone has recommendations, that would be great!.

 

 


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  Reply # 2066632 2-Aug-2018 05:45
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Oneplus 6. great phone for the price.  If you want to dodge the glass back and notch etc then might pay to look at the oneplus 5t 


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  Reply # 2066637 2-Aug-2018 07:42
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Moto G6 is amazing value. My wife has the G5, battery life is great, performance is good (not quite as good as my Huawei P9), not a lot of extras like NFC but it's a good basic solid phone. It has Snapdragon 400 / 600 series processors, not the 800.

 

I didn't like my Huawei P9 for a long time, but I finally got the latest updates and it works well now. So I'm less down on Huawei. They might even update the 2 year old P9 with the latest Android, but no-one knows for sure.





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  Reply # 2066735 2-Aug-2018 09:36
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Apart from the processor (Snapdragon 630) it sounds like you are describing the nokia 6 (2018) aka Nokia 6.1.

 

 

 

Snapdragon 800 series processor (Don't care for gpu)

 

5.2 inch+ screen (1080p, but can go higher. 5.5 inch+ preferable)

 

Bluetooth support (A given)

 

NFC (Not required but desirable)

 

Headphone jack (Maybe if they supply audio over usb-c but I need wired audio)

 

I want to avoid curved displays, glass backs, notches, mechanical cameras. (Adds cost and cuts from rigidity/reliability)

 

I don't mind if the phone is last years flagship

 

Vanilla android experience preferable.

 

Nokia 6.1 is Android One - part of the 'vanilla' android program with best update support around.

 

Every review I have seen mentions its really tough - check  https://youtu.be/VnRduGRQ1fQ

 

(warning - phone being tortured!)

 

 





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  Reply # 2066793 2-Aug-2018 11:55

You want a Nokia 7 Plus. Don't let the 600-series processor distract you, it's exactly what you're looking for - the primary advantage of the SD800-series is in the GPU, not the CPU, and the 660 is a vastly different chip to the lower-end 625/630, much faster with A7x cores instead of only slow A5x cores.





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Master Geek
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  Reply # 2067041 2-Aug-2018 18:06

The reason why I noted I wanted an 800 series processor was down to performance after a year of use. Now I understand things have changed over the years but I have seen slowdown issues with Galaxy S3's, S4's, My A39 (Though I was told it was a snapdragon 600 series, it turned out to be a mediatek) along with my partners mothers A39 and my sisters A39.

 

I realise slowdown is inevitable as the chip wears out but its tiring buying a phone only to find it sluggish 6 months later. Reason why I was aiming for an 800 series phone.

 

I also need it for smoothing out the development process, Waiting a minute for a phone to install an app in between changes while debugging really eats up valuable time.

 

Though I will take a look at the Nokia 7, I understand that their phones are no longer made by the original company and it's just a brand name now but I didn't consider them before.


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  Reply # 2067056 2-Aug-2018 18:37
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Nokia 8. You can get them for ~$500-600 from parallel imported stores.

 

Snapdragon 835, 4GB RAM, stock android with good/timely updates, nice and sturdy, 3.5mm headphone jack, good screen.

 




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Master Geek
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  Reply # 2067060 2-Aug-2018 19:01

The Nokia 8, while being cheaper than the 7 plus, just is a little small, especially with it's 1440p display. The Sirocco is overpriced for what it is from what I can see considering it's just a glass Nokia 8 with a better display and slightly larger. Hardly worth twice the price.


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  Reply # 2067068 2-Aug-2018 19:17
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Rudster:

 

The Pixel 2 XL is great except it's overpriced for what it is and the screen calibration issues/burnin issues/reboot issue/digitizer issues/noisy audio has put me off.

 

 

 

 

Those haven't really been issues for awhile now (maybe the over-priced still is). And if battery life is anything you're interested in, they're amazing (on DP5 of Android P).


gzt

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  Reply # 2067070 2-Aug-2018 19:23
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Pixel 3 is widely said to be 5.2-5.4 with a thin bezel. Usually due around October, at some mega price no doubt ; ). Said to have proper wireless charging.

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  Reply # 2067075 2-Aug-2018 19:30
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gzt: Pixel 3 is widely said to be 5.2-5.4 with a thin bezel. Usually due around October, at some mega price no doubt

 

 

 

Rumoured mid-tier one coming at "nexus" prices.


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  Reply # 2067138 2-Aug-2018 20:24
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Rudster:

 

I realise slowdown is inevitable as the chip wears out but its tiring buying a phone only to find it sluggish 6 months later. Reason why I was aiming for an 800 series phone.

 

 

Ah, chips don't slow down as they get older. Sometimes CPUs are throttled by software if the battery capacity drops, but that's mostly apple. If the heatsink comes off it might get throttled, I guess, but that seems unlikely. Operating systems slow down as they get patched and gather many apps. Do a factory reset and reinstall only what you need and it'll be back to original speed.





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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 2067184 2-Aug-2018 22:22
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timmmay:

 

Rudster:

 

I realise slowdown is inevitable as the chip wears out but its tiring buying a phone only to find it sluggish 6 months later. Reason why I was aiming for an 800 series phone.

 

 

Ah, chips don't slow down as they get older. Sometimes CPUs are throttled by software if the battery capacity drops, but that's mostly apple. If the heatsink comes off it might get throttled, I guess, but that seems unlikely. Operating systems slow down as they get patched and gather many apps. Do a factory reset and reinstall only what you need and it'll be back to original speed.

 

 

Old phones (before Andoid did TRIM) do slow down badly when their flash memory is full.  I am hoping my new one (Samsung A3 2017) will not do that - it was really bad on my Samsung Galaxy S2.


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  Reply # 2067329 3-Aug-2018 10:59

Rudster:

 

The reason why I noted I wanted an 800 series processor was down to performance after a year of use. Now I understand things have changed over the years but I have seen slowdown issues with Galaxy S3's, S4's, My A39 (Though I was told it was a snapdragon 600 series, it turned out to be a mediatek) along with my partners mothers A39 and my sisters A39.

 

I realise slowdown is inevitable as the chip wears out but its tiring buying a phone only to find it sluggish 6 months later. Reason why I was aiming for an 800 series phone.

 

I also need it for smoothing out the development process, Waiting a minute for a phone to install an app in between changes while debugging really eats up valuable time.

 

Though I will take a look at the Nokia 7, I understand that their phones are no longer made by the original company and it's just a brand name now but I didn't consider them before.

 

 

As others have noted, that's not the processor causing slowdowns - more often than not it's cheap flash storage. Flash memory has evolved in leaps and bounds over the last few years. It's one of the unsung key points of a spec sheet, you'll get more mileage out of a device with UFS storage than the older, slower, eMMC. Of course this is more expensive, so manufacturers tend to pair it with the faster and more premium processors, hence the perception that it's the processor leading to a longer lifespan. All that said, midrange phones are not what they used to be, and are much improved over models from only 1-2 years back.

 

As for the Nokia/HMD business, it's a remarkably clever power move post offloading the ailing in-house manufacturing and supply chain arm to Microsoft - they essentially pulled an Apple and get Foxconn to do the manufacturing for them. Make no mistake, the new Nokia phones are not Nokia in name only, they are doing very well.

 

If you are dead set on an 800-series chip despite not needing the GPU grunt, OnePlus 6 is an excellent option that will more than meet your needs. Don't overlook anything running the 835, though, that was an exceptional piece of kit and delivers better battery life than the newer 845.





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https://pbtech.co.nz/smartphones




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Master Geek
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  Reply # 2068673 6-Aug-2018 14:06

NikT:

 

Rudster:

 

The reason why I noted I wanted an 800 series processor was down to performance after a year of use. Now I understand things have changed over the years but I have seen slowdown issues with Galaxy S3's, S4's, My A39 (Though I was told it was a snapdragon 600 series, it turned out to be a mediatek) along with my partners mothers A39 and my sisters A39.

 

I realise slowdown is inevitable as the chip wears out but its tiring buying a phone only to find it sluggish 6 months later. Reason why I was aiming for an 800 series phone.

 

I also need it for smoothing out the development process, Waiting a minute for a phone to install an app in between changes while debugging really eats up valuable time.

 

Though I will take a look at the Nokia 7, I understand that their phones are no longer made by the original company and it's just a brand name now but I didn't consider them before.

 

 

As others have noted, that's not the processor causing slowdowns - more often than not it's cheap flash storage. Flash memory has evolved in leaps and bounds over the last few years. It's one of the unsung key points of a spec sheet, you'll get more mileage out of a device with UFS storage than the older, slower, eMMC. Of course this is more expensive, so manufacturers tend to pair it with the faster and more premium processors, hence the perception that it's the processor leading to a longer lifespan. All that said, midrange phones are not what they used to be, and are much improved over models from only 1-2 years back.

 

As for the Nokia/HMD business, it's a remarkably clever power move post offloading the ailing in-house manufacturing and supply chain arm to Microsoft - they essentially pulled an Apple and get Foxconn to do the manufacturing for them. Make no mistake, the new Nokia phones are not Nokia in name only, they are doing very well.

 

If you are dead set on an 800-series chip despite not needing the GPU grunt, OnePlus 6 is an excellent option that will more than meet your needs. Don't overlook anything running the 835, though, that was an exceptional piece of kit and delivers better battery life than the newer 845.

 

 

 

 

I ended up buying a Nokia 7 Plus. So far very happy. Performance like mentioned earlier is more than enough. I was stuck in the mindset of older devices where the 600 series chips were generally cheaply built and really had flaws in their long term usability. The Nokia really did surprise me. Everything from the Camera to the battery life to performance and ease of use when developing has been top notch (Thankfully lacking that top notch ;) ). Only two issues that are minor in my case are the lack of an official method to unlock the boot loader (You can buy an RSA key but I'm looking at long term support so this situation might change) and the NFC coil is very small, with very little tolerance for positioning an NFC tag (Wouldn't work with small tags or say, an NFC ring)

 

 

 

Price was a little more than I was hoping for but performance is up there with a Note 7 so I can't complain. Three year software support is great though if it lasts longer than three years, I hope they continue supporting security patches for an extended period of time. The last thing I would comment on this phone lacking is a pre installed screen protector. My last few phones came with them but that's common with Chinese phones. The additional case is nice though.

 

 

 

The only other thing to note is data does not automatically work and without knowing what was wrong, (Setting up Access point names) you are left scratching your head. Required going to Vodafone to get them to sort it out as I couldn't find that information readily available.


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