Let me explain quickly what the Adopt A Phone search is all about. My earliest years in mobile and in smartphones were the Nokia years. The Nokia Communicators ruled the landscape and were my natural choice. I had deep love for Ericsson and later Sony Ericsson smartphones too, and so I played with some of those. But Nokia remained my love. It was easy. Nokia phones were rugged and they met my needs. Symbian OS, which both Nokia and Sony Ericsson smartphones ran, was awesome for its time. Plus, Nokia made great cameraphones.
Then the new age arrived. This was the age of iOS and Android. While I have owned tons of Android smartphones, I have never become loyal to one Android smartphone brand. My loyalty to the Nokia brand was difficult to throw away, even when Windows Phone began to disappoint.
Fast forward to 2016 and I am well settled into the Android OS ecosystem. It has occurred to me that I have not settled with any one brand. I have become the vagrant, switching between brands as the occasion demands. And it has been costly. You may not know it, but different Android manufacturers have different implementations that affect usability. A few examples.
3G Only Network Mode
I loved the Motorola Nexus 6. I loved it so much that i purchased it twice. Yet, it had one flaw that always got on my nerves – it did not allow the user to lock the network mode to 3G only. That resulted in painful internet experiences for me. I am a Motorola fan, but I have learnt to stay away from Moto smartphones for this reason. Moto implementation of network mode doesn’t sit well with me.
4G LTE Network
In the last few weeks, I have put my Smile 4G and Ntel 4G SIM cards in the Alcatel Idol 3, Lumia 950 and Yezz Andy C5VP. On paper, all three support the respective LTE bands for those two networks. In practice, none of them latched on to the networks. Again, it boils down to some sort of implementation by the manufacturers.
Jumping Around Is Expensive
Yes; jumping around can be expensive. In most of the situations I have described above, the phones involved were review devices, but my head makes the calculation and asks, “What if I was spending my own money on these phones?” You know: buy Lumia; find that it doesn’t work with your 4G network or something. Sell it and buy Alcatel; repeat performance. Ditch that and buy another. Nah. Bad for the pocket.
Project Adopt A Phone
So, I am looking to adopt a phone brand again: one brand that implements things in their phones the way I want, so my needs are met. One brand that doesn’t implement it this way in product A today and change it another way in product B tomorrow. This is my recommendation to anyone out there too, especially with the complex web of 4G LTE bands and device compatibility issues. Adopt a phone brand that has been tested and found to meet your needs, and stick with that brand.
Now that the search is on, what options do I have? Samsung is unarguably the brightest option at the moment. In addition to taking care of the network issues I have mentioned, Samsung has great cameras on their flagships, and those phones are fine! Huawei is another brand that fits the profile of what I need. HTC is another, but I am not sure that i want to bet on a brand that may be out of the market in a short time. Asus is another brand that is on my list, though I am no fan of the diamond textured backs of their devices. Are there other valid options? If there are, I will find them and examine them. One thing though: I want a brand with phones that stand head and shoulder with the best in the world. Nothing less will do.
I will make up my mind eventually and adopt a phone brand. And then I shall delightfully spend my money on their flagships year after year and hopefully not have to deal with the drama that has triggered this search. E don do!