What phone should I get?

Someone recently asked me:

A good pal in the pub asked what was the best phone apart from the iPhone. What do you think? James Whatley you know about these matters. What’s the best out there on balance?

My response?
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If you’re not looking for an iPhone. Then your choice is Windows Phone or Android. If you want amazing photos, look at the Lumia 925 or the Lumia 1020 (see yesterday’s post for more on that one). The latter outperforms the former in the photography stakes, however the 925 has a more aesthetically pleasing industrial design. 

If photography isn’t your number one reason for having a phone (oh and if, like me, you can’t get on with the Windows Phone 8 OS) then it’s a tie between the Samsung Galaxy S4 or the HTC One – I own and adore the latter.

Finally, if budget is an issue, I’d look at the Google Nexus 4. It is, at the time of writing, Google’s flagship device and is merely an astonishing £159 SIM free on Google Play.

That’s all I got.

Whatley on a phone
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Disagree with this? Let me know.

But while you’re at it, let me know which phones you recommend when people ask you this same question. Those of you that don’t reply with ‘Let me ask Whatley’, that is…

 

Want a Lumia 920 on Vodafone?

UPDATE: AS OF DECEMBER 19th – IT’S COMING

It ain’t gonna happen…

 

Lumia and Vodafone? NO.

The Nokia Lumia 920 is the latest (and greatest?) Nokia flagship phone. It was announced on September 5th, 2012 and sources are placing its release at around the middle of November somewhere.

I like the look of it and, since knowing mobile tech the way I do, I gave it the fairly highly-regarded label of ‘My Next Phone‘.

But there’s a problem. This morning this happened –

Dan Bowsher is one of the super-smart social media chaps at Vodafone and, as managing editor of the Vodafone UK blog, it’s kind of his job to be on the button with stuff like this – so I appreciate the heads up, Dan, thank you.

The ironic thing is, the same episode of The Voicemail that Dan is talking about is also the exact same one where I name-check Vodafone as being one service that I could not live without.

But now, I am in a quandary –

I’ve been a Vodafone customer for nigh on 16yrs. I honestly can’t think what kind of data they have on record or how much customer equity I’ve built up over that time.

And they’re not going to range the one phone that I really, really want.

My options are as follows

  1. Buy the Lumia 920 SIM-free (not ideal).
  2. Leave Vodafone and join a network like EE (who are not only ranging the Lumia 920 but also launching with the first 4G network)?
  3. Ignore the Lumia 920 and perhaps consider a different handset – like the new HTC Windows phones or in fact, an iPhone 5 (which is genuinely a serious option)?

 

Opinions please.

UPDATE: Vodafone have published a blog post confirming the above Windows Phone 8 device strategy 

 

 

 

Freefall Photography: The HTC One

First up, watch this –

The video description:

The Experiment: We chucked a photography student out of a plane to see if he could take the perfect fashion photo. We gave him a model, lighting guys, a makeup artist and smoke machines. The only thing we didn’t give him was a camera. We gave him a phone.

This is the commercial that’s currently running in the UK globally to mark the worldwide release of the HTC One. While it’s not the most original idea in the world, it does have great piece of backing music (Tick of the Clock, Chromatics – most recently heard on the DRIVE official soundtrack), some great imagery and… well, that’s about it.

It sounds harsh but, I’m not entirely sure what the advert is for.

Yes, it’s for the HTC One, I get that much, but why are they jumping out of the plane? Why is the HTC One being used in this instance? From what I’ve read, it’s to help show off  ‘the One’s low-light capabilities’ – if that’s the case, why can’t I see the image and/or video quality that ‘Nick’ shot with the phone in the advert?

The very last second of the ad ends with ‘Watch Nick’s story online’, let’s get online and find that content then shall we?

A Google image search for ‘HTC One free fall fashion shoot‘ only turns up images shot by other cameras that were present on the day; DSLRs etc… keep clicking and eventually, on page 3 of the search, this image shows up via All Things D

I’m not sure, but I’m thinking that this might be the actual image that our man Nick shot with his HTC One. Not bad, right? Right. But I want the full image; the original, uncrunched image, with EXIF data.

But I can’t find it.

Even the official photo album from the shoot, the one from HTC UK’s very own Facebook page, doesn’t have the full file [instead uploading a frustratingly bad and super-compressed FB-friendly version]. Additionally – and still, according to the ad – Nick was recording video and trying to get the perfect photo at the same time. Guess what? No sign of that footage either.

I’m labouring the point, I know. But if you’re going to make a big deal about a fashion student being given the opportunity to take part in a one-of-a-kind free-fall fashion shoot, then surely you’d make a big deal around the actual content that said fashion student produced. No?

Just me then.

Read the press release, make your own mind up.

 

Originality + Mobile

Or lack thereof.

First, in 2009, this –


[Bungee jumping, shot on a Nokia N86]

Then, in 2010, this –


[A rollercoaster review of the N97 Mini, shot with the N97 Mini]

So far so good…

Straight after that, we got to work on this –


[Shoot what you like with the Nokia N8, shot on the Nokia N8]

With the winners being invited along to this –


[A zero G flight, shot on the Nokia N8]

Great stuff.

Later, in 2011, this appeared


[A rollercoaster review ‘unboxing’ of the SGSII, shot with a ?]

Brilliant? Yes. Familiar? Slightly.

Admittedly they went one better, with this –


[A skydive review ‘unboxing’ of the SGSII, shot with a ?]

Well done.

Imagine my surprise when, today in 2012 this appeared on TV for HTC  –


[A free-fall fashion shoot with the HTC One, shot with a ?]

Amazing. Not.

Seriously, three years of this now… come along guys, at least try to do something different. It genuinely doesn’t matter who had the idea first or even who managed to push it to the next level. All we’re asking is for some originality.

Samsung was blatant, HTC is just plain late.

And while it’s fair to say, admittedly, everything is a remix; if Sony can create something new, you can too.

Do. Better.

 

HTC HD7: First look [Yes, it’s Windows Phone 7]

Well, it’s here. We’ve had it for a good couple of weeks now and it’s a beauty. Of the six Windows Phone 7 devices released this week, the o2 exclusive HTC HD7 is the biggest and best of the bunch.

wp71

When the news broke that these devices – this new OS – was on the horizon, many scoffed. But I think TechCrunch said it best when they said, “Did Microsoft bring a gun to a gunfight?

Someone’s stepped up their game and it shows.

Continue reading “HTC HD7: First look [Yes, it’s Windows Phone 7]”