Choice is a wonderful thing. Choice is a horrible thing. The smartphone has climbed such a high pedestal in our lives, that we're willing to spend hours reading about new phone launches regularly, even though we probably change them in a year or two. And in our search for that perfect smartphone we're often left disappointed with the unfortunate reality that you can't have it all, that compromise is inevitable.
It can be a dizzying experience when you're in the Android camp trying to decide what your next phone will be. I bought the first Moto X just 8 months ago at a sweet Rs. 23,999, excited at the prospect of controlling my phone without moving a muscle. Back then, I genuinely believed that an ageing Snapdragon S4 Pro dual-core chip paired with a powerful Adreno 320 graphics chip and 2GB of RAM was enough to deliver a lag-free operation. I was wrong.
Eight months later, the phone now visibly lags, making me put the blame on the two cores in its chipset that seem to be struggling to compute today's heavy apps. The battery life is miserable, requiring me to charge the device twice in 24 hours and I never dare to leave outdoors without a powerbank handy. Maybe it's my fault as my power user requirements are over-expecting of this otherwise able mid-range smartphone.
Well obviously none of this is life-hampering; I can very well continue to use this device and live on. But when you're in an industry where you're eating and breathing smartphones for a living, it is hard to stay behind the curve.
I think I'm fairly clear with what I want (today) --
● The phone should be screaming fast.
● It should be reasonably-sized. Anything above 5.2 inches is off my recently-increased limit.
● It should have a big-enough battery such that I don't need to charge it before the day ends, even with heavy usage.
● It should run Android 5.0 Lollipop, preferably Stock Android. If not stock, then it better be a well-designed UI customisation with useful features, not needless impractical additions.
● It'll be nice if the phone supports Qi wireless charging (so that I can use a single charger to charge it and my Moto 360 smartwatch).
● It should cost no more than Rs. 30,000. That's my upper limit for spending on a smartphone. New entrants like Xiaomi, OnePlus and even Lenovo have strengthened that belief.
Let's look at the contenders, shall we? Tap here if you're on a mobile phone.
* TBL = To Be Launched
As you can see, there is no phone today that I can buy today with certainty. The choice would have been pretty clear if the sixth Nexus device wasn't a 6-inch phone. Guess I'll just sit this round. Are you in a similar pickle as I am? What do you plan to do? Or is there a smartphone in my shortlist? Sound off in the comments below.