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Old May 27th, 2011, 08:41 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Tslide91 View Post
Im always seeing threads about choosing the best phone, so I figured I would make a thread to try to clear this issue.
The real issue tends to be that people assume that needs/wants are universal. They're not. That's why "best" is so subjective. Any words like that are subjective. If you find yourself using any of these words:

  • best
  • worth
  • cheap
  • expensive
  • good
  • nice
  • useless
  • useful
  • pointless
  • ...and so on. There are too many for me to list them all but hopefully you get the idea.

...then keep in mind that they're highly subjective words. Spend some time qualifying exactly why you have that opinion. What makes you think that one option might be better than the other may not be perceived the same to another or may not carry the same weight. If we all had the same needs/wants then we'd all be using the same device.

In the end, it all boils down to determining your particular needs/wants, prioritizing them and seeing how the options suit you. It's really no different from buying anything else. I think people just get overwhelmed by specs and don't understand how to translate specs into what does or doesn't work for them. If you can't narrow down the choices based on your requirement sthen of course you'll be overwhelmed by all the options out there.

And don't overlook assessing devices in person. Many people have strong preferences for various physical characteristics, whether it's the feel of the particular physical keyboard, the size of the device, the image quality if the screen, the form factor of the device, the weight of the device, etc.

If you're trying to write a guide for everyone to refer to you really should try to strip your subjective preferences from the guide and write it in a general way for people to make their own decisions.

Originally Posted by Tslide91 View Post
HTC usually has a nice balance of specs, build quality and updates. Though, their specs usually lack in comparison.

Samsung is usually spec'd the best, but build quality is light and plasticy. Updates dont happen as quick as HTC.

Motorola usually gives you good specs, decent build quality, but the software blows. Updates happen though.

LG usually has great specs, ok build quality, but the software can be "eh" at times.
These are all your preference. Another person could rank these OEM's differently. You really don't need to tell people about who has better specs or not. That can change and shoppers can compare specs for themselves. It's very straightforward to compare two numbers and determine the larger one.

Build quality is also a highly subjective point. I've lost count of the times that I have not agreed with another person on perceived build quality. For a general guide, you should just leave build quality as one of those items for the shopper to assess in person rather than dictate your preferences.

Originally Posted by Tslide91 View Post
HTC is the leader when it comes to UI overlays. Samsung and LG tied for second, Motorola - well, let's just say dont get a motoblur device.
Again, your preference. UI preference is something that each person needs to assess on his/her own. Pointing out exactly why you prefer a particular UI can help but if you're trying to write a general guide you should instruct the individual to try out all the options.

I haven't liked any of the UI's out there so HTC isn't a leader IMO. The next person may strongly prefer Sense. Yet another person may strongly prefer another OEM's UI. Don't project your preferences if you're trying to write a general guide.

Originally Posted by Tslide91 View Post
I would advice getting insurance if you can afford it. It's cheaper to pay $5-10 a month than to have to shell out $500 when you break your phone.
Yet another matter of personal preference. Full retail isn't the only option for replacement. There are used devices, refurb/CLNR, etc. There are those that don't consider insurance on such items worthwhile at all. Some just stash aside some cash in case of loss.

I'd suggest mentioning that the carrier isn't the only source of insurance either. Many people seem to assume that's the only option when there are 3rd party providers including insurance companies that the shopper may already use for homeowner's and other insurance.

Originally Posted by Tslide91 View Post
Basically, GSM relies on one tower at a time to give you a connection, while CDMA links to multiple towers. CDMA takes more battery power to connect to, though.
Not exactly. You might want to read up more on the different network techs before trying to author a guide. There is a difference in how the 2 split up the available bandwidth but it has nothing to do with multiple towers and everything to do with time division versus code division.

Also, keep in mind that not all Android users are in the US. US carriers aren't the only ones out there. In the end, most consumers don't care about GSM versus CDMA. It's real world coverage that matters most and people need to assess this on their own. Coverage maps are a starting point but they're not totally accurate. Every carrier gives you a time to cancel without ETF. Spend that time assessing coverage where you need it.

International travelers will probably want a device that supports international GSM bands. Most GSM devices already do this. There are options for CDMA but the shopper needs to look at CDMA/GSM hybrid devices which are generally labeled as "world phones".

Shoppers might also have a preference for GSM versus CDMA based on sound quality. I've seen people that prefer GSM and people that prefer CDMA. This is another thing that each shopper needs to evaluate on an individual basis.

In general, it doesn't hurt to test drive anything that you're considering.
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Last edited by takeshi; May 27th, 2011 at 09:21 AM.
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