As I recently posted, I’ve won a Nokia Lumia 820 from our good friends at Microsoft – now I have to use it (for at least 3 months). As I flew back home yesterday from a training gig, I pondered on what I actually needed in a phone. I’d had the iPhone for a couple of years and about the only weaknesses are the inevitable scratches, the slowly diminishing battery life and the reality that I needed more storage on the device. Otherwise, I really like the iPhone – it does what I want, I can have some fun (I will probably never conquer Plants v Zombies), listen to an extensive collection of Grateful Dead shows – plus it makes phone calls.
So what does the phone need to do for me? What features are really important – and a literally deal breakers, which were nice to have and which were things I’d not miss. Having thought about it, here’s my key features.
- It’s got to have decent radios – it’s got to be a decent world usable telephone and must do wireless. Sort of a no-brainer, but it has to get/receive calls and SMS via my carrier (O2). O2 reception in my home office is poor, but is fine everywhere else. A new phone must be as good, and preferably better. It’s also got to do all the various phone standards and has to do wireless.
- It’s got to do email – I need to have my main mailbox (hosted in the cloud) so I need active sync to sync my mail to the phone.
- It’s got to be secure. That means login screen, a remote wipe ability and a ‘find my phone’ feature.
- It’s got to do decent music. I have a good pair of headphones and want to hear music at the same quality as on the iPhone. This includes a good on-device Player and a good desktop tool to manage the content. To some degree, I’d be happy with just files/folders and manage the device’s data via Explorer on the desktop, but a better app would be nice. The old Zune app would be OK. Anything better than the current version of our fruity themed company’s offering - which I think is suboptimal.
- It’s got to get RSS Podcasts that I can listen to. I subscribe to The Deadpod (http://deadshow.blogspot.co.uk/) and want to continue to listen to it. On the iPhone, I subscribe and it just automatically downloads via the apple desktop app.
- It’s got to be expandable at a reasonable price. I have a lot of music that I like to play and the 16GB limit on the iPhone is too small for me! So I want more and preferably removable.
- It’s got to have decent Linked-In and Twitter applications. I spend time on these two social networks and want to carry on doing so. I also want other apps but these two are MUST haves.
- It has to have a decent web browser that is as industry standard as possible. Via mail and SM as well as by Search Engine - I get a lot of links to look at and I want a good browser. I’d like to have Firefox's Ad Block feature – to know out the flashing and obnoxious ads (and reduce my bandwidth usage).
- It’s GOT to have Google maps. I’ve used others – and I know what I want.
- It’s got to have a reasonable camera. I have taken a lot of pictures with the iPhone and it’s good enough – but I’d like better. I’d also like to be able to remove/replace the lens easily. My current lens got scratched during a recent trip and the pictures now are fuzzy as a result.
- It should have a Skype and Lync client. I like using these for the obvious reasons, but on the road I can tolerate using the phone – or using those apps via my laptop.
- I’d like some decent games. I currently enjoy Solitaire, lane splitter and Plants v Zombies. All are somewhat addictive.
- It should have as many apps as possible to communicate with various on-line entities. This includes apps for: O2 (myO2), BBC News, BBC iPlayer, Tweet Deck, Google+, The Register, Kindle, First Direct (bank), Stock tracker, Tech Eye, the Register, Pluralsight, Amazon shopping, Pedometer, LogMeIn. YouTube, GPSForTHeSoul, Angry Birds, Paper Toss, would be nice too. And FilmonTV would be awesome. I’d prefer all these to be free, but I’d be willing to pay a bit for some of the games, and for good productivity apps.
- It really should have non-proprietary charging cables (e.g. micro USB). I’m really tired of apple’s walled garden here. A docking station and a Bose-like docking station would be nice.
- I’d like a replaceable battery. Given how much music I listen too, and how active I can be on email and social media, I need a decent battery life from the get go, but I am realistic about the technology in today’s batteries. EVERY phone I’ve ever owned has had the batteries die off over time and I’m not expecting any change. The ability to replace the battery rather than needing a whole new phone is sort of important.
Well – that’s my list. At least for now – I’ll give this more thought and reserve the right to change this list at any time!
My next post will cover first impressions of the new phone.