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Thread: Massassi Tech Support: Mid-range smartphones

  1. #1

    Massassi Tech Support: Mid-range smartphones

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    So, once upon a time I had this Sony Xperia X Compact which was a great phone - it wasn't unnecessarily huge (mostly a personal preference, but still), it ran Chuck's Challenge 3D and Solitaire properly and really didn't have any outrageous bugs or issues.

    Sadly, Android phones generally last for only 2 years until the OS (and other) updates stop so I "had to" get an Xperia 10 last year. After all, my initial pre-purchase assessments of it were more or less like "well, no outrageously outrageous issues have been reported and surely it must be as good as the X Compact was?".

    Well, I was wrong, the phone was and still is rubbish, and now it turns out that it's not even going to get Android 10 support - thus nullifying the whole "well, at least it'll last 2 years" thing. Even though it's not like all support for Android 9 has ceased overnight or anything, I guess I'd still prefer getting a phone that wasn't poop and would actually last 2 years at minimum.

    So I've been looking at a Samsung Galaxy A51 which on paper/the Internet would seem to match all my requirements... but since I came to the same conclusion with the Xperia 10 last year, I can't really afford to make the same mistake again.

    Not to mention how a lot of the A51 reviews seem to make the case of "you could get a better Huawei/Xiaomei phone for the same price", but I'm also not interested in being spied on by the Chinese government (of course, if I sent a script of my Eternity Project to myself with such a phone and suddenly a Chinese investor would offer me 6 million dollars to have the project made, that would ofc do tbf). Similarly, a Google Pixel 3a (+ case) would sadly exceed the budget I'd want to go for (overall I guess you're always getting spied on by Google with an Android phone anyway).

    So, TLDR: Which mid-range smartphone should I get?

  2. #2
    Well, if you want to get longer support and less spying you could probably get Sailfish OS instead of Android for your Xperia. It's even from a Finnish company! The paid option has Android support and at least the free option should be supported as long as there is a community interested in the OS. https://jolla.com/sailfishx/

    If you're stuck with Android, you could get a Nokia device with Android One support. My "old" Nokia 6 got the update for Android 10. If I didn't have to trash the 100 € screen to replace a 2 € USB port I would still be using (and very much recommending) it.

    Personally, as I am fed up with Android and fed up with unrepairable phones, am eagerly awaiting delivery of my Pinephone. But there currently doesn't even seem to be an OS with a GUI for phonecalls available so this is more for tinkerers. The current beta-release is sold out so you would have to wait till March to get it anyway. By then it should even have a somewhat working OS.
    Sorry for the lousy German

  3. #3
    I seem to remember you or someone else suggesting Sailfish OS to me in the past, and I somehow came to the conclusion that neither Chuck's Challenge 3D or the HSL (Helsinki City Region travel card) app would work on it... hmm

  4. #4
    Well, presumably you'd get those apps to work with the paid version. But I wouldn't bet on it. Perhaps they offer refunds. I don't know.
    Sorry for the lousy German

  5. #5
    I picked up a MotoZ4, one of those silly Motorola phones that can use Motomods. I didn't really care about any of those but the phone was priced well enough and well featured enough. Damn thing randomly locks up though. I thought maybe a couple apps I liked to use might be causing the problem (Macrodroid and Hangar) but uninstalling them never fixed it. Sometimes it's good for a long while and others it's more frequent and doesn't really seem to be positively altered by restarting the phone either. It's the level of mediocre performance that my phones have developed over time, in this case from new, that has me somewhat considering switching to iPhone at some point.
    "I would rather claim to be an uneducated man than be mal-educated and claim to be otherwise." - Wookie 03:16


  6. #6
    Admiral of Awesome
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    Still using an iPhone 6S, still waiting for the iPhone SE 2.

  7. #7
    Administrator
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    I'm using an iphone 7 and still waiting for iphone se 2.

  8. #8
    So, TLDR: Which mid-range smartphone should I get?
    When I threw away my Android phone, I asked myself whether or not it was worth all my time fiddling with it to make it a better approximation of a Nokia N900. Seeing that my last LG phone melted its own CPU contacts (something that apparently happens to about half of them after a year or so) and went into the dreaded bootloop, I decided that the answer was "no", and I looked at iPhone prices on ebay.

    Well, basically new iPhone SE's are available for about $100, which is astonishingly cheap for a device that still runs the latest version of iOS. I originally bought it because I wanted to pair it with an Apple Watch, but I'm also very happy with the device. In particular, I don't use it for anything except calls/texts/maps/web.

  9. #9
    Hmm, iPhone 7 is actually going for right around the same price as the Samsung A51... whereas the iPhone 6S is about 20 € more expensive. Wut.

    Moto G7 seems to be available here, but sadly the Nokias seem to have worse GPUs than what the Xperia 10 has - thus inconveniencing my Chuck's Challenging in 3D!

    What would be the average/expected lifespan of an iPhone (4 years according to a quick Google search)? Like, iPhone 11 seems to be the newest one but if an iPhone 7 would still last 2+ years, maybe I need to consider that one.

  10. #10
    Admiral of Awesome
    Posts
    18,525
    Wait for the iPhone SE 2.

  11. #11
    Alrighty, thanks everyone. I'll keep an eye out for the iPhone SE 2 (which should fit well with the Macintosh SE/30 I have around here somewhere).

    Maybe by its release Chuck's Challenge 3D will also conveniently be on a sale
    https://apps.apple.com/us/app/chucks...d/id1105586622

  12. #12

    "Has it won yet?"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jon`C View Post
    Still using an iPhone 6S, still waiting for the iPhone SE 2.
    I had a 6 for about 5 years (end of 2019). Are you riding 6S till support drops?
    SnailIracing:n(500tpostshpereline)pants
    -----------------------------@%

  13. #13
    Admiral of Awesome
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    I am riding iPhone 6S until the iPhone SE 2.

  14. #14
    Administrator
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    For me, wanting the "SE 2" isn't about price, but size. I'm hoping it's smaller than the iphone 6/7/8. I bought and returned an iphone 11 because it was too big. I noticed later that one of the "pro" versions is a tiny bit smaller but it's still too big. My iphone 7 is too big. I want to be able to comfortably put it in my pocket. Like the "se 1" or iphone er.. 5s? I had. If they come out with the SE 2 and it's big I don't know what I'll do. Maybe go back to a flip phone.

  15. #15
    Admiral of Awesome
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    So for me itís about size, too. But itís also about price. I can *afford* a top end iPhone, but Iím not willing to buy one for the prices Apple has been giving lately. No phone is worth that to me, not ever. I will give up smartphones first. iPhone X et al are obscenely overpriced.

    AAA console games cleared $80 CAD a while back, too. Guess how many times Iíve paid it.

  16. #16

    "Has it won yet?"

    Posts
    17,168
    Don't you want the new $1,500 Moto Razr flip phone??
    SnailIracing:n(500tpostshpereline)pants
    -----------------------------@%

  17. #17
    Human Computer
    Posts
    2,836
    My most recent mid-range phone is a Moto G^5 Plus, and I've been quite happy with it. The best part of using a Motorola is the smug looks that you get from iPhone/Samsung users who can't grasp that someone doesn't think a smartphone is important enough to spend over $300 for.

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