I need help choosing my next phone if the next iPhone doesn't blow my mind.
My track with Smartphones started way back with a Nokia 6630 and had other Nokia phones after that but I soon realised I wanted an iPhone after getting my hands on an iPod Touch 1G. As soon as the iPhone 3G became available in Spain, I signed up for a second contract on Telefonica just to have it, even though I was with Vodafone already (back then, they had exclusivity, much like AT&T had it in the US). I skipped the 3GS upgrade as I wasn't thrilled about those improvements being sold in the same package as the old model (that's probably why I also skipped getting the 4S).
Between my iPhone 3G and iPhone 4 (current phone) I dabbled with Android with an HTC Magic 3G that I absolutely loved. My only problem with it is that it wasn't the one with the Google experience. It was Vodafone branded and had half the RAM of the global model. That meant there was a shortage of custom ROMs I could run while still being able to use the phone (most of them made it pretty much useless).
Recently I also owned (for about two weeks) a Nexus S, which I wasn't thrilled about. I had updated it manually to ICS and had several problems with various apps, most notable the browser being almost useless, crashing even on Google.com or the mobile version of The Verge. I ended up selling it on eBay shortly after and got good money for it.
Right now I'm back to my iPhone 4, which, after a few drops, has huge discolouration on the top left hand corner of the screen and its reception is worse day by day. As an example, in my flat I used to have full 3G signal and have never had a problem making and holding a call anywhere inside the place. However now, the only safe place to hold a cellular call is in the balcony. Besides these issues, I can feel it being slower and slower -or I just expect it to be faster and faster and it just can't deliver-.
I'm obviously looking forward to the new iPhone, and being an avid tech news reader, and Verge addict, I am aware of all the speculation and rumours towards what the new model might be. I'm not particularly overjoyed by what it seems will be only a slightly taller and thinner version of the iPhone 4/4S.
What I need from the phone
I'm in IT, I have a small co-owned company that provides B2B and B2C IT services. I work from home but I often am mobile while issues and outages arise and I have to be able to manage these problems on the go. Or at least start initial troubleshooting while I make my way home/to the office. This involves a lot of Ignition and Prompt usage along with other tools for remote control and issue tracking. My main problem with those tools on a 3.5" screen is that most of the space is eaten by the keyboard, especially when using the phone in landscape (RDPing into a Windows server in portrait is unusable by my standards). Also I almost always carry my iPad 3, however it's the WIFI only version and I don't always have access to a good connection or place where I can sit and tap away easily. Also because of the high desire for the device, it's common to not feel comfortable showing it in public. I live in Barcelona and mugging is a problem here. So most times, my only option is the phone.
What I'm looking for is a phone that is great doing the following:
- Good ratio between onscreen keyboard and left space for the app
- Good management of multiple Exchange accounts for both mail and calendars.
- Decent battery life but I'm not looking for anything special
- Screen size below 5", I have an average/small hand
- No interested about the camera quality
- Screen quality IS important. I'm used to the retina display, I think something with a noticeable lower DPI would bother me
What I'm considering so far
I'm currently interested in two devices, the HTC One X and the Galaxy S3, however the One X is my favourite so far. I don't care much for TouchWiz, I have a feeling that all that eye-candy gets in the way of productivity. Sense 4 is much more toned down in this respect and seems easier to get rid of and replace the ROM with a JB one. I've been reading quite a lot on XDA today and seems like the AOSP 4.1 ROM is pretty usable at the moment and I can only imagine it will get better by the time I will actually grab the phone.
What I need from you, awesome people of The Verge forums, members of The Android Army
Mainly advice. Even though I have been paying attention to the Android scene all along, my knowledge of the current Android market might not be enough to make the best choice. I would love to hear your opinions on what model you would recommend based on my needs and wether any of you have similar ones, would like to know what you're currently rocking and how is that working for you.