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#265544 27-Jan-2020 08:43
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My Huawei P9 was a flagship a few years ago, has great hardware, ok software but with a heavy skin, but the hardware is wearing out - particularly the battery but also the buttons. I'm looking for a new phone to get in the next few months, not immediately but when I get around to it. Can anyone suggest something suitable?

 

Priorities in approximately this order:

 

  • Ideally plain Android, no or minimal skin, though I may compromise on this if there's an awesome phone with ok software
  • Good battery life
  • Good performance: as fast or preferably a bit faster than the P9
  • Updates for 2+ years - perhaps on the Android One program?
  • Pedometer would be nice to have, maybe other sensors like temperature
  • Support and Warranty: NZ or international warranty, reasonable support so don't want a niche phone or tiny manufacturer.
  • Moderate screen size (I don't want a tablet, needs to fit in a standard pocket, but doesn't need to be small)
  • Budget: $750, prefer a bit less

My wife has a Moto G8 plus, which seems as fast as the P9 and generally a good phone. That's probably the leading contender right now, but I would like a pedometer if I could get one. I liked that my S4 had a temperature sensor as well that I liked having.

 

I'm not that interested in Samsung. I had the S4 many years ago, it was fine for the time, but not good for the heavy skin or updates. Willing to consider as apparently they are better now.


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  #2407325 27-Jan-2020 08:53
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I am a big fan of the newer Nokia's running Android One.  I've had an Nokia 7.1 plus and its been great over the past year, although I've suddently suffered a battery swelling causing a few issues so will test the return at Noel Leeming today as its just over a year old.  If I had to get a newer one now, I'd probably be looking at the 7.2 with 6GB Ram and lots of storage.




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  #2407327 27-Jan-2020 08:57
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Moto G8 Plus rates better than the Nokia 7.2 IMHO, as it's built on a newer chipset and has a better camera set. Otherwise they're fairly comparable.


 
 
 
 


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  #2407328 27-Jan-2020 09:00
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could look at the LG G7 ThinQ, it is a good phone .





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  #2407333 27-Jan-2020 09:09
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I used to have a similar attitude towards Samsung, having never taken to TouchWiz (even the name is bad!), but now there's a possibility I could be accused of being a Samsung fanboi given I have an S10+, Galaxy Watch, and Buds...

 

Unless you've owned or extensively used one of the contemporary (and quality) Samsung handsets, there's a good chance you're in for a pleasant surprise. They're actually fantastic phones, and the OneUI skin is not at all dominant or irritating. Updates on Samsungs are not the issue they once were either (I have Android 10 on mine, and it has received the Jan 20 Android update already) , so again I suggest that is no longer a relevant criticism.

 

All I'm saying is that I suggest dismissing Samsung phones, based on those reasons, is unnecessarily limiting your options. As to whether their mid-range phones (A70 perhaps?) offer the best bang for buck I'm not sure; my sister has an A50 she's really happy with, and overall the A series do seem to offer much more for the money than the equivalent range in earlier years.

 

Have you thought about a OnePlus? One of their older models can be got at your price-point, and they're excellent phones. One issue can be that usually all but the most recent models have to be bought from a non big-box retailer or drop-shipped. 

 

Also, just wondering what you mean by 'moderate screen size' and how important this is? Or is it more about the overall size of the device? Most  phones are now 6" or larger, but the mid- to high-end phones can usually wear this size well given they now typically have tiny bezels. This wasn't the case a couple of years ago (eg my wife's Nokia 7+ has a 6" screen but also has such a substantial bezel it's more bulky and difficult to hold than my S10+ with a 6.4" screen).

 

 




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  #2407343 27-Jan-2020 09:22
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Thanks @jonathan18 , I'll consider Samsung. Regarding size, just nothing too huge.

 

Issue with older phones tends to be updates won't be released for very long. I don't have a problem with parallel imported or importing a decent brand, my wife's phones for the past five years have all come from overseas (Amazon or Clove UK) and we haven't had any issues yet. I assume anything I buy in NZ will be overpriced due the extra markup that most things in NZ get.


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  #2407351 27-Jan-2020 09:32
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timmmay:

 

Thanks jonathan18 , I'll consider Samsung. Regarding size, just nothing too huge.

 

Issue with older phones tends to be updates won't be released for very long. I don't have a problem with parallel imported or importing a decent brand, my wife's phones for the past five years have all come from overseas (Amazon or Clove UK) and we haven't had any issues yet. I assume anything I buy in NZ will be overpriced due the extra markup that most things in NZ get.

 

 

I guess that depends on your definition of value when you consider stuff like a local support network, CGA protection, NZ specific firmware and carriers etc; all of which have an associated cost. Coupled with NZ's scale of economy, that means a bit of extra dollar-roos, but given the increasing complexity of devices, (within reason) I think it is worth paying local personally.  That's not to say that is always the case, and I can certainly understand why people opt to go grey market.

 

If you haven't, I would suggest to go and try out an S10 in-store to give you an idea of size and general feel of One UI. Size has also become a lot more relative in the past year with increasing screen-to-body ratios. I would happily trade my Note 9 for a S10 proportioned phone.


 
 
 
 




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  #2407353 27-Jan-2020 09:37
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Budget $750 max, so the state of the art Samsung not in budget. I don't care that much about phones, not enough to pay that much. I'd get a G8 Plus over an S10 at $1000 plus.


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  #2407355 27-Jan-2020 09:39
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Another vote for Pixel 3a here - everything you need without the expensive fluff stuff.

 

 


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  #2407359 27-Jan-2020 10:01
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I've just bought a new phone for the wife to replace an aging Samsung A5.

 

We went in with an eye to replace it with another A-series. Samsung have crippled their A-Series lineup, and even their $699 A70 has a plastic back, no OIS, no waterproofing, cheap-feeing plastic rear panel and the speaker sounded utterly awful. (Wife watches a lot of netflix!)

Edit: the new A5 series are also extremely large, for a woman with reasonable hands they're 100% not one-handed devices. Her A5 was borderline too big as it was.

 

In order to stay in the Samsung ecosystem and at minimum keep waterproofing (we have two young kids so waterproofing is a must!) the S10e was the bare minimum.
The S10e is also a very nice size, even without a pop-socket she's able to reach the top with her thumb!

 

I mean she also gets stereo speakers, glass design and OIS camera but it was 1149 with discount!!

 

The midrange is pathetic at the moment,  I'd honestly recommend second hand. or spend as much as you can if you want decent features.




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  #2407381 27-Jan-2020 11:25
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Thanks all for your thoughts, super useful. Samsung purchased from Amazon aren't badly priced, but in NZ they're too expensive.

 

The Pixel 3a looks really interesting. Not too big, only US$350 / NZ$550 at the moment, very good midrange camera, and a bit faster (score 160) than the current P9 (score of 130). I like that it gets updates until 2022, which is as good as anything. Battery at 3000mah is smaller than the 4000mah G8, but isn't bad. That it's only a little faster than the P9 isn't ideal, as in a couple of years it will feel fairly slow. So it's a great option, midrange price. Batteries last about 3 years in my experience.

 

The LG G7 ThinQ looks to be about the same price, but it is quite a bit faster with a benchmark at 250. It seems to be difficult to buy new at least on Amazon, as the G8 is out. It will eventually be updated to Android 10, but it will take some time. This suggests it's not going to be supported for long. So while it's fast I think I'll count it out.

 

The LG G8 has monster performance at 370 and costs about NZ$700. The reviews are mixed, aren't impressed by some features, don't like the UI much, they're not good at updates, cameras only ok, and some say the S10E at about the same price when purchased on Amazon is the better phone. So I'll count this out, but look more at the S10e when I have time.

 

Moto G8 plus with a benchmark of 143 feels fine to use, quite quick, at about NZ$450 imported. They will do two years of updates like Google, and camera is decent.

 

Samsung S10 is NZ$630 (refurbished with 90 day warranty) to NZ$800 (new). Super fast performance, haven't looked at the rest yet, but from what has been said above it's pretty good.

 

So in summary, Pixel 3a looks like a good midrange phone with moderate performance and a couple of years of updates, Moto g8 plus is much the same but slightly cheaper and not quite as quick, whereas the S10e is about 60% more expensive but much faster. Given batteries last about three years, probably not worth buying super fast, and just buy another one in a couple of years that's mid-priced then that will be faster than todays flagship.


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  #2407483 27-Jan-2020 12:35
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Have you also considered the Xiaomi Mi A3 if you want stock android?

 

Personally I would go with the Mi 9 series or potentially a move to the Mi Note series, I've had years of updates from the Mi 5 and then the Mi 8. The Mi5 which I no longer use, still gets updates, although 4 years on the battery is a bit sad. 

 

The Mi Mix Alpha is an interesting concept idea.




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  #2407493 27-Jan-2020 12:53
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Xiaomi Mi 9T costs NZ$470 and gets a performance score of 250, so pretty quick, Android 10. The 9 lite at NZ$420 still gets 220 for performance, Android 9, but I expect it would get upgraded fairly soon. Both have 4000mah batteries. Seems like they're excellent value, well priced, and punch about their weight for value.

 

Any feedback on Miui @mrdrifer? Any drawbacks? Xiaomi have a mixed track record on quality - some of their things are great, some are really not good. Seems like a great value phone, but looking for gotchas after having the P9, which has good hardware but questionable software.

 

Useful spec comparison between my favorites here.


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  #2407504 27-Jan-2020 13:16
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timmmay:

 

The LG G7 ThinQ looks to be about the same price, but it is quite a bit faster with a benchmark at 250. It seems to be difficult to buy new at least on Amazon, as the G8 is out. It will eventually be updated to Android 10, but it will take some time. This suggests it's not going to be supported for long. So while it's fast I think I'll count it out.

 

 

I have one of these. I agree that you shouldn't get one but it has a lot of useful features you might like to consider:

 

* Qi wireless charging - having used it I wouldn't buy a phone without it.

 

* USB-C. It is so much better than the other micro USB connectors and is now Apple compatible for a double-win. If you don't wireless charge then the durability of this connection may be be sufficient to eliminate all the problems we have with cables and phone connections failing.

 

* IP67 for waterproofing and dustproofing. Great if you take the phone to the beach a lot.

 

* Barometer. Which has also been useful as an altimeter.

 

I imagine that you've also read this informative post on 2020 high-end phones:

 

https://www.geekzone.co.nz/forums.asp?forumid=97&topicid=265515&page_no=1#2407371




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  #2407505 27-Jan-2020 13:21
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Thanks 😄 Agree re USB C, not bothered about wireless.

Starting to look at Redmi as well.

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