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"The best phone you can buy right now"
By Thom Holwerda on 2017-08-07 20:29:35

The Verge does this thing where they list what they consider to be the best laptop or phone or whatever, and they state the Samsung Galaxy S8 is the best phone for most people.

Samsung's Galaxy S8/S8 Plus is the best phone for most people. It's available across all four US carriers and unlocked. It has the best display on any smartphone right now, a head-turning, premium design, a top-of-the-line camera, reliable battery life, and fast performance. Thanks to Samsung's popularity and the support of all four carriers, the S8 also has plenty of accessories, from cases to battery packs to wireless chargers, available to it.

You can definitely make a case for the S8 being the best phone for most people, but personally, I still consider the iPhone to be the best, safest choice for most non-geeky people. Personally, I prefer Android, and for my personal use, iOS on the iPhone is an exercise in frustration - but iOS provides a more consistent, all-around phone experience that remains fairly static from phone to phone, it's a little simpler to grasp than Android, and Apple has an excellent support system in many countries that's far better than Samsung's hands-off let-the-reseller-handle-it approach.

I wonder - what do any of you consider the best phone for most people? If one of your non-geeky family members seeks your advice, which phone do you suggest they get?

The Verge named the Surface Laptop the best laptop, which I find a baffling choice. It's new and unproven, so we have no idea how it'll hold up over the next few years. An odd choice for sure.

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Apple == expensive
By jonsmirl on 2017-08-07 21:22:59
Best Buy S8 = $574, S8+ = $674.
iphone8 rumored to be first phone over $1,000
Permalink - Score: 4
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RE: Apple == expensive
By flanque on 2017-08-07 21:31:33
The cost of the iPhone is very much becoming a major disincentive. It's always been 'up there' but the cost of every new device continues to go up.

I don't think the price differential has a commiserate capability/feature differential these days.
Permalink - Score: 5
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Nokia
By gedmurphy on 2017-08-07 21:46:20
I'd go for one of the new Nokia phones. Probably the Nokia 5. Solid build quality, specs that are good enough for most people, and vanilla android that gets almost immediate updates.
Permalink - Score: 5
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Different strokes for different folks
By wocowboy on 2017-08-07 22:15:29
For geeks who turn on their brand new phone and immediately install a different ROM, change the launcher, change all the app icons, put pirated apps on the thing, etc etc etc, Android is the device for them. For people who just want to turn on their phone, sync with iTunes to put the apps, photos, movies, music, etc they want to have on it and have it work for them, iOS is the perfect choice. Personally, I don't need to change my launcher or change every single icon on the thing, those and other options are things I just don't need or want to do. And there is nothing wrong with that, just as there is nothing wrong with people who change everything. To each his own.

Edited 2017-08-07 22:16 UTC
Permalink - Score: 3
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We are the oddball family
By cjcox on 2017-08-07 22:16:45
My family has had good results with HTC (let the flames begin).

We're a Sprint family (possibly their longest customer, btw, insert more flames here). Our 1st smart phone was an HTC. We have two One M8's and one Bolt. The One M8 is awesome.... headphone jack, IR blaster (yes sir!!)...

We like HTC's interface. Have had no real problems. Likely will be upgrading to the U11 or better (my M8 is still ok, but battery life is starting to fade on our other one, the Bolt we bought was to replace our other M8 in which the battery failed completely... we tend to keep our phones for 2+ years).

Biggest problem is that most all phones are going backwards with regards to total features. Not sure I need a 2,234,231,334,232 pixel front facing camera vs. having a head phone jack and IR blaster (just saying).

I also loved the EVO 4G LTE for having the built-in kick stand and not being so slippery as to force the purchase of a case (hint).

My phone is on all the time, there have never been limits for us. I do not fear giving demos anywhere. WiFi calling is of no interest to me. I use my phone to hit my Plex sever for listening in the car on very long (hours) commutes. Now... let me say that Sprint's coverage varies... but where I'm at, it's good.

All my neighbors complain about their lack of ATT service where we live. Just shows that sometimes Sprint actually does win (even if rare).

Old video of me using my old Evo 4G LTE https://endlessnow.com/ten/Video/... here.

At one point (because I worked briefly at ATT) we were going to switch, but my daughter really wanted that purple HTC phone... so we stuck it out with Sprint. Sort of glad we did.
Permalink - Score: 2
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Comment by Morgan
By Morgan on 2017-08-07 22:23:26
I'm generally in line with you, Thom; the iPhone is the best "my first smartphone" for most folks, and even though the price keeps going up, Apple has also started making the lower priced SE with great specs. The iPhone has evolved into a powerful and convenient device while avoiding Android's fragmented update system and lack of support from carriers and manufacturers. It's the no-nonsense choice.

That said, my wife has a Galaxy S7 (non-Edge version) and it's a hell of a nice phone for the price. If I wasn't opposed to having a Google based ecosystem, I'd probably pick one up for myself, and just Cyanogenmod/Lineage it when Samsung drops support. Her last phone was a Nexus 6 and as great as it was, the Samsung is a better phone in every way.

I'll say too that even though Windows Phone/Windows Mobile is on its death bed, it remains the most practical approach to a mobile UI in my experience. Some of the hardware is excellent for the price too, the Lumia 650 is an amazing deal and a great phone. It's too bad Microsoft has never been able to figure out where they were going with WP/WM, and there's the ever present "telemetry" debate, though I personally feel safer giving my info to Microsoft than to Google.
Permalink - Score: 2
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Comment by grandmasterphp
By grandmasterphp on 2017-08-07 22:31:32
Still got an iPhone 6. Good enough tbh.
Permalink - Score: 2
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The newest and most fragile
By Dasher42 on 2017-08-08 01:07:15
The S8 has a serious flaw: it is one of the most fragile smartphones ever made. I dislike making rare earths and factory labor disposable, so I buy refurbished Samsung S5s off of eBay, encase them, give them an extended battery for 3x the life, and usually put a ROM like Lineage on them.

Plus, the S5 still has a removable battery and a SD card slot - features missing from newer phones.

What am I missing out on, exactly? This has been doing all I ask of it, for about $180 up front.

Edited 2017-08-08 01:09 UTC
Permalink - Score: 5
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RE: Different strokes for different folks
By Alfman on 2017-08-08 01:12:07
wocowboy,

> For geeks who turn on their brand new phone and immediately install a different ROM, change the launcher, change all the app icons, put pirated apps on the thing, etc etc etc, Android is the device for them. For people who just want to turn on their phone, sync with iTunes to put the apps, photos, movies, music, etc they want to have on it and have it work for them, iOS is the perfect choice.

For geeks who want control, android is the phone of choice because there's no good viable competition.

I've done kernel development in windows and linux. I've debugged and patched drivers to improve hardware support, etc. But to be perfectly honest, I think android is pretty damn lousy and crippling in terms of rooting and modding, it's just that the iphone is worse for the criteria I care about. So while android is the defacto hardware of choice for customization, I don't think it deserves that much praise for actually being good at it.

It's a real shame because linux on PCs is extremely powerful, but on mobile devices it has been bastardized.
Permalink - Score: 3
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I disagree
By unclefester on 2017-08-08 02:07:52
People have been brainwashed into thinking they need an expensive flagship, In practice sub $100 prepaid phones are perfectly adequate for most people. They usually have removable batteries, microSD card slots and vanilla Android. They also don't disintegrate when they are dropped.
Permalink - Score: 9

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