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867 posts

Ultimate Geek

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#268410 18-Mar-2020 06:20
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Hi,

 

Looking for a new phone here. Android is a given. I've come from a long line of Nexus/Pixel phones (until Pixel 1). Then ended up with a Huawei P20

 

Here are my critieria:

 

- $1k tops
- No Samsungs
- Great Camera
- Good Perf
- Fast charge + USB C
- Vanilla Android or Android One would be my preference.

 

Pixel 4 seems out of budget and I heard bad things about battery life. Pixel 3A comes to mind.

 

Anything else I should be looking at in the alternative brands? Oneplus/Oppo, etc?

 

What do we think of LG Phones?

 

Thanks


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811 posts

Ultimate Geek


  #2440465 18-Mar-2020 07:15
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I've just finished looking for a similar phone as you but I wanted small and IP68.

 

Pixel 3 from Dick Smith. Don't bother getting the "AU/NZ" version as the bands are the same in all models outside the US. GST is included and it's well under 1000 bucks so no issues with customs etc.

 

I was about to pull the trigger but ended up with a Samsung S10e for $850 from Spark.





Interests: HTPC, Web App authoring. 


16098 posts

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  #2440466 18-Mar-2020 07:18
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Pixel 4a is forecast for release early to mid May, unless delayed by the virus. I'm holding on to my just barely working phone until then. Pixel 3 is meant to be ok, but more expensive and won't get updates for as long - but there should be custom ROMs for it for ages. If it's delayed I'll get a Moto 8 plus like my wife has - it's a solid handset, great battery life, good performance.

 

Xiaomi Mi-A2 on Android one is an option, but it's not the fastest around. Nokia 7.2 is similar to the Moto 8, an older chipset and slightly inferior camera when I compared it, but fine.

 

I got a Xiaomi 9T but sold it due to the AWFUL in-screen fingerprint unlock - it was so bad I was willing to lose $150 and go back to my old phone. The Xiaomi OS is ok, main problem I had with it was that the Android smart unlock that keeps the phone unlocked at home / work based on WiFi or bluetooth devices has been disabled, it only works with Xiaomi branded bluetooth devices.

 

There's not many really good plain Android phones around.


 
 
 
 


958 posts

Ultimate Geek


  #2440470 18-Mar-2020 07:27
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I've had the LG G4 and currently the G7. They aren't well supported software wise, but they've been great phones. Honestly I had to look mine up to see which version it was!




867 posts

Ultimate Geek

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  #2440477 18-Mar-2020 07:50
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Thanks guys. Yeah Pixel 4a does sound tempting but not sure if I'll have this kind of patience...

 

Pixel 3A does come to mind buut no waterproofing is a bit of an issue in 2020, I think


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  #2440480 18-Mar-2020 07:57
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Pixel 4a is meant to have a nice, modern chipset / CPU that will make it 50% faster than the 3a. The 9T had the same or similar chipset and it was nice and quick. The Moto G8 plus isn't bad but is a little laggy. A couple of months isn't that long to wait if your current phone is working ok.

 

I've never had a waterproof phone, never had a problem with it.


811 posts

Ultimate Geek


  #2440481 18-Mar-2020 07:57
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gcorgnet:

 

Hi,

 

Looking for a new phone here. Android is a given. I've come from a long line of Nexus/Pixel phones (until Pixel 1). Then ended up with a Huawei P20

 

Here are my critieria:

 

- $1k tops
- No Samsungs
- Great Camera
- Good Perf
- Fast charge + USB C
- Vanilla Android or Android One would be my preference.

 

Pixel 4 seems out of budget and I heard bad things about battery life. Pixel 3A comes to mind.

 

Anything else I should be looking at in the alternative brands? Oneplus/Oppo, etc?

 

What do we think of LG Phones?

 

Thanks

 

 

Interested to know why no Samsung?

 

the UI is now very light, and practically no bloatware. You can even switch the nav buttons around so they are proper Android.





Interests: HTPC, Web App authoring. 




867 posts

Ultimate Geek

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  #2440482 18-Mar-2020 08:04
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turb:

 

Interested to know why no Samsung?

 

the UI is now very light, and practically no bloatware. You can even switch the nav buttons around so they are proper Android.

 

 

Fair question. Like you say, it's mostly because of past experience with bloatware and their take on Android. They also tend to be sold at a large premium for the specs


 
 
 
 


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  #2440484 18-Mar-2020 08:08
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If you can wait there should be good deals to be had in the coming months. I know you don't want a Sammy due to the price and bloatware but as mentioned above their UI is very light now.

 

Price-wise I wouldn't be surprised if they offered a buy-1-get-1-free offer soon. Considering the poor sales numbers of their S20 line, a good deal shouldn't be far away. I say this because if you look at the bundles this year, none of them have sold out, which is telling.


394 posts

Ultimate Geek

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  #2440491 18-Mar-2020 08:35
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Been a LG user    G2, G3, G4 and then V20 which I plan to keep until it dies 

 

G3 and G4 had the boot loop issues but got repaired for free . 

 

I love my V20 and I suggest you look up the more late models.

 

 




867 posts

Ultimate Geek

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  #2440493 18-Mar-2020 08:38
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qwertee:

 

Been a LG user    G2, G3, G4 and then V20 which I plan to keep until it dies 

 

G3 and G4 had the boot loop issues but got repaired for free . 

 

I love my V20 and I suggest you look up the more late models.

 

 

 

 

Thanks for that. What's the OS like? heavily customised?


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Ultimate Geek

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  #2440498 18-Mar-2020 08:49
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gcorgnet:

 

Fair question. Like you say, it's mostly because of past experience with bloatware and their take on Android. They also tend to be sold at a large premium for the specs

 

 

I previously went from die-hard give-me-updates-or-give-me-death Nexus fan to Samsung Samsung phones fan. The whole pure Android with fast updates is great.... if all you want your phone to do is call, text, and take pictures. Until they implement a x.0.0.0 release and then your battery life tanks, wifi keeps dropping etc. I found Samsung's opinionated take is much more rich with useful features and more stable than Android of yore. And a lot of features present in the AOSP now started from features Samsung already had implemented.

 

If you haven't used a Samsung phone recently, I would recommend at least having a play with one. One UI has come along way from TouchWiz.

 

That aside, for your use cases, I would be looking at a OnePlus 7 series phone, I think they would tick all of those boxes for you. I was looking at them myself, but a few things made me stick with Samsung.




867 posts

Ultimate Geek

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  #2440505 18-Mar-2020 08:57
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Thanks for that. I will go and have a play with an S10/S20.


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  #2440506 18-Mar-2020 08:57
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gcorgnet:

 

turb:

 

Interested to know why no Samsung?

 

the UI is now very light, and practically no bloatware. You can even switch the nav buttons around so they are proper Android.

 

 

Fair question. Like you say, it's mostly because of past experience with bloatware and their take on Android. They also tend to be sold at a large premium for the specs

 

 

I too was of that same mind until I came back to the dark side last year - when I killed my OP6 my insurance company offered me either a Galaxy S10+ or a cash settlement (which could have been much lower, given the relative cost of these two phones). I ended up taking the Samsung after getting advice on here, and never looked back. Apart from the fingerprint scanner, it's a fantastic phone. Bloatware is not an issue, as mentioned above. And, TBH, I find the interface better on my phone than on my wife's Nokia running pure Android 10. 

 

Based on this experience, I'd suggest not simply ruling out Samsung phones these days; but, yeah, while their mid-range offerings do seem to be a lot better than earlier gens, they still probably do charge a premium relative to their performance. 

 

 


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  #2440511 18-Mar-2020 09:05

Unless you desperately need to upgrade from the P20 right now, i.e. it's broken, I'd probably wait a bit longer given your criteria. It is currently the downtime in-between device launches, many shiny new things on the horizon over the next ~2 months. Be a while before there's solid new midrange contenders as they tend to launch later in the year, so you'll likely be looking at priced-down flagships. $999 is an interesting pricepoint these days. You'd want something with a Snapdragon 855 or Kirin 980+ to be worth your while to upgrade.

 

Re: LG, I like their Android 8.0/9.0+ software a lot. It is significantly closer to vanilla Android than earlier versions and full of useful features, and they can be turned off/get out of the way should you not want them. The latest model officially available in NZ is the G8S, which was a bit overshadowed by the full-fat G8 that only launched in NA and SK. Looking forward to tinkering with the One UI-esque Android 10 builds when available.

 

Huawei's new models from the Mate 30 Pro onwards have HMS instead of GMS as you're likely aware, but the Nova 5T - which does have GMS like the P30 series - is well worth a look. Same great Kirin 980 chip as the P30 series, 8GB RAM, nice form factor, good camera. You're only missing water resistance, wireless charging, and OLED from the flagship tier.

 

Things to watch for over the coming months:

 

  • Good deals on the P30 and P30 Pro - if you can get a P30 Pro within your budget, it is an excellent device
  • New OnePlus devices - won't be cheap though, and the older models are largely gone
  • Xiaomi - Mi Note 10/Pro, Mi 9T Pro etc.
  • Motorola - leaks point to interesting flagships, ANZ launch a toss-up

The Pixel 3a isn't great value to my mind with the likes of its slower eMMC storage vs. the faster UFS found in other devices, including many cheaper ones. You get long term software support, a plus for sure, but Pixels are notoriously buggy with poor QC, and good luck with local warranty. If Google officially launch them locally that could be a different story, and rumours point to a cheaper flagship tier this year after multiple generations of failed products in market (Pixel 2/3/4 series) which would be a good move.





Product Manager @ PB Tech

https://pbtech.co.nz/smartphones


811 posts

Ultimate Geek


  #2440517 18-Mar-2020 09:22
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"Huawei's new models from the Mate 30 Pro onwards have HMS instead of GMS as you're likely aware, but the Nova 5T - which does have GMS like the P30 series - is well worth a look. Same great Kirin 980 chip as the P30 series, 8GB RAM, nice form factor, good camera. You're only missing water resistance, wireless charging, and OLED from the flagship tier."

 

And don't forget: no playstore, so you have to do without google apps or get them from dodgy places.





Interests: HTPC, Web App authoring. 


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