High-end smartphone (small form factor)


#1

Hey there,

i just want to share my ideas regarding a next gen smartphone.

I bought my first smartphone (iPhone 5) in 2012 and i am still using it a lot.
However i am sure you can imagine that this phone is becoming pretty old (from a phones perspective :wink:)

I have been looking for new small (the size of an iPhone 5) Smartphones in the past, but didn´t find any device other than iPhone SE (which i actually like, but it´s far too expensive here in Germany and i don´t like the idea of having the exact same phone as my next smartphone)

That is why i am writing this post.
And this is my wishlist for a perfect smartphone:

  • hight quality materials
  • small form factor: display can be bigger than 4", but the phone should be one-hand usable without having to worry about dropping the phone by accident --> Size of an iPhone 5 with a bigger screen and less bezzles
  • next gen components: high processing/graphics power
  • lte, nfc, bluetooth, next gen wlan, etc.
  • good battery life: getting through one day of normal usage is enough, but it needs to have some kind of quick charging technology
  • usb type c
  • Screen doesn´t have to be super hight dpi, but it should at least be “retina” level
  • Thickness: doesn´t have to be super thin, but it should be somewhere around iPhone 5 level, so that you wont drop it by accident
  • OS: Android or Windows 10 Mobile
  • Windows 10 Mobile: Continuum support
  • i personally don´t like on screen buttons, because they take up so much space. But in the end i would´t care that much about it.
  • fast finger print reader, some decent (doesn´t have to be ultra dslr level) camera (front and back), some decent speakers (i acutally like iPhone 5 speakers)

I hope you like my ideas and appreciate any comments regarding this topic.
I talked to some workmates and they missing small form factor smartphones, too.

The idea of having a small powerhose in you pocket, that fits in every kind of pocket, is easy to use and doesn´t replace your tablet needs to get more support by phone companies and i hope that eve community will be able to design such a smartphone.


Do you need full Windows/Linux on your smartphone? (Discussion about smartphone operating systems)
#2

I like your idea very much! But why don’t you consider xperia compact phones?


#3

Xperia Compact devices don´t have top end components, that´s the point. And i know, that eve could create a much better smartphone!


#4

They used to have…


#5

iPhone 5 is way to small for me.
Minimum 5"


#6

Well, there are many opinions about the perfect phone display size.
I don´t mind having a 5" version of this phone beside the small one :slight_smile:


#7

actually the camera is the component where I personally would be most keen on seeing high-end specs :slight_smile:

now what exactly is normal usage in your case? :thinking: I can get through 2, sometimes 3 days with my Lumia 532 (though since I may unexpectedly need it a lot at the moment, I charge it every night, but I remember a time when I didn’t :sweat_smile: )
Of course, me I would expect similar (if not better) battery life in a premium phone… though I have to admit that the question is whether it would still be high-end as when it comes to the phone I’d be prepared to sacrifice some performance for battery life. :smiley:
(was very happy with my feature phones up to almost a year ago, when having a smartphone became necessary - at least temporarily ;))


#8

Normal usage: watching some youtube (1h), texting, surfing the web, facebook etc.

@mulenga better camera is always better, just wanted to point out, that a OnePlus 3 level camera would be enough, too for example


#9

tsk tsk… now you have indeed required me to look up the OnePlus 3’s specs myself… :wink: (yes I’m lazy :smile:)

agreed on the ONePlus 3 level to be sufficient… though MORE! BETTER! ARRGH! :smiley:
it seems there could be some reasonable improvement on the flash and noise reduction at low light though…
I find the concepts with two lenses rather interesting btw. :slight_smile:


#10

I currently own an Xperia Z5 Compact and I’m quite happy with it. But I agree that there isn’t much choice in that area…
@saibotna What top end components are you looking for that the Z5 Compact doesn’t bring to the table? Just curious.


#11

I like decent cameras for digitising notes for university using scanner apps.

I would also gag over an Eve phone. A VP (pyramid flipped phone/portable) if you will.

But I would love a thicker phone with a big battery and a screen similar to the Xiaomi MiMix in terms of its edge to edge design (what the OP was suggesting?), but not the screen size (but I am probably a fan of 4.8" of real estate which is bigger than your suggestion, but with edge to edge it could suit?).

Edit: I have a Sony Xperia Z5 and while the specs are better than the Compact equivalent, I have had to have it repaired so very many times. I’m completely over Sony as a company because of it. But I have a wee female friend with little hands who really likes the compact because she can actually hold it unlike most android phones out these days.


#12

#I LOVE IT!!!

I’ve been rolling this idea around this forum for a while, and basically there are people who like it and those who don’t.
I even made a poll for it:
http://eve.community/t/the-perfect-smartphone-screen-size/3902
There are 20% of voters (out of 98), who voted for 4.7", and then 13% for 4"-4.5". If we add those two numbers, that would be pretty much 1/3 of all voters.

And I have something to say to those who don’t like this idea:

There are lots of great phones to choose from. Be it HTC (my favorite except screen size), Oneplus or Asus (super bang for buck), there is a lot to choose from.
Let me run through some numbers:

  • GSMArena (click) lists 490 smartphones with 5" or larger screens released since the beginning of last year (2016).
  • That includes 343 smartphones with 2GB or more RAM, which I consider the minimum for enjoyable experience. I didn’t filter them by processors as there’s no definite scale to filter on, but generally if it has 2GB of RAM it has at least a half good CPU
  • Now let’s list the phones from the same period of time, under 5". We get 100 results.
  • But wait! That also includes non-smart phones like this one. And even smartwatches, which are unrelated to our search. I filtered it by OS, included all the major (and not so major) players: Android, Windows Phone, iOS, Firefox OS. Now it’s 71…
  • Let’s add a RAM filter like we did with larger phones. That brings us to a whopping NINE!!! phones. That’s a lot! [/sarcasm] :slight_smile:
  • Now we open the result and see this… One of them is a rugged phone that is just as big as a normal 5.2" phone (except thicker) (blue), three are unavailable anywhere outside Asia (green). Then we have 2 iPhones (red) which belong to a closed “walled garden” ecosystem that not everyone is willing to accept, and are horribly overpriced. Which leaves us with 3 Android phones. Neither of them has really top of the line specs, and only one of them can bravely wear the “mid range” label. The other two are complete garbage.

So, we’re comparing 300 (or at least dozens, after filtering out what we don’t like) big smartphones with 9 (or just one really worth attention) smaller ones. That is far away even from the poll results.

Another note: my hands are not small. You can see them in action here:

####What I would personally suggest as a followup to the original proposal:
(assuming Android)

  • Size: what’s important here is the width, at least to me. I need to grip the phone on its left bezel (I’m holding it with my right hand) so that it doesn’t slip out easily, and still be able to touch every single pixel on the screen without moving the device in my hand. Moving it around results in quite long delays between some touches, which really slows down everything, not to mention how uncomfortable it is. I suggest no wider than 65mm. That would be the absolute maximum. IPhone SE is around 60mm wide, and that is the perfect size IMO, but some people want that bigger screen so it would be smart to do a compromise here. Up to 65mm should satisfy everyone who is not satisfied with current oversized handsets, maybe 63mm is the sweet spot. BQ managed to fit 4.5" into 63.5mm, so if we minimize the bezel size we should be able to get 4.6" into 63mm. I’m personally satisfied with 4.3" - I recently had to use my HTC Sensation while my main phone was broken, and I almost fell in love with it again. It could be a bit narrower, but I don’t need a bigger screen.
  • Hardware specs: 2GB of RAM is currently enough IMO. Nowadays we’re used to more, but that’s because most manufacturers overload their phones with bloatware that they can’t run without lag on 2GB. If you remove the bloatware, 2GB is just enough for pretty much everything you can do on an Android. Especially with a small screen, because RAM is shared with the graphics chip. Or, let’s add an extra GB and get 3GB for futureproofing. The processor - it doesn’t need to be the latest and greatest, but I’d say it should be a Snapdragon 800 series chip released within one year before the release of the phone. Again, a small screen device doesn’t need as powerful a graphics chip, so getting the best chipset out there would be an overkill. I’d say even the best of 600 series would be good, but it could prove to be annoying in the long run.
  • Connectivity: I have never really used NFC apart from testing purposes. Some museums have stickers that link to audio guides, that’s the best use I can think of (apart from advertising, which I think we all hate). But then, most museums also have free WiFi hotspots for their visitors (price included in ticket) and downloadable audio guide apps. As well as QR codes. I’d rather spend a second or two opening my camera app than pay for NFC antenna that I’d use maybe once or twice in the whole lifetime of the device. So my vote is no on this one, but it’s just my opinion. Other than that, it looks great. I just need it to have LTE, as I don’t buy a new WiFi router every time a new tech appears (yeah I’m still using b/g/n), but I understand why others want it.
  • Buttons: software buttons are a good idea sometimes, but the truth is that they’re often annoying. They appear so close to other UI elements, that very often when pressing the back button of my phone I end up also pressing the reply button in Outlook. So every once in a while I need to clear my drafts folder out of weird empty drafts that I don’t remember ever creating. I personally prefer hardware buttons with good spacing from the screen and at least one of them being a true physical button, like in Samsung phones. Some of you might not understand this, but to me it’s critical to have a way to answer phone calls when wearing thick snow gloves. Trust me, it’s not fun when you get a call in the middle of the street in -20 degree Celcius and have to use your frozen nose to answer it. That’s why I just love physical buttons that I can assign to answering calls :wink: Power button rejects calls, volume buttons mute them, but I need another one for answering them.
  • Thickness and weight: I like it a bit to the hefty side. A simple reason for this is physics: imagine you’re riding a bus and there’s a bump on the road. A light smartphone would jump off your hand and (possibly) land on floor, while a heavy phone stays in your hand because gravity doesn’t let it jump as high. Speaking of thickness, I don’t even know. I understand it’s hard to stuff the usual specs of 5" smartphone into a 4.5" body, so I’m not asking for a slim body. However, I’ve noticed one thing: as long as it has curved edges (to make it easier to hold), I don’t really feel the thickness. For example, I had HTC Sensation and then switched to Samsung S4. I could tell it was thinner because I had both of them in hand, but in actual usage I didn’t really notice much of a difference. Except that the Samsung felt too light for me (the bus and bumps problem :slight_smile: ). So, I’d say it can be up to 10mm or even slightly thicker. But if it’s over, let’s say, 8mm, it must have curved (body) edges. (look at Asus Zenfone 2 or HTC Sensation if you want an illustration - no, not screen edges but body edges)
  • Screen - should be readable outside, I really don’t know how many “nits” that equals so I’ll only be able to give my opinion after I receive the V since I know how many nits it has. 720p is more than enough.
  • Build: I’m a fan of metal bodies, but I’m also a fan of removable covers. I want to be able to swap out SIM and SD cards without using a special tool, because those are easy to lose and I would not always have one at hand. BTW, usually those holes don’t fit a toothpick so that won’t work. If they manage to do both, it’s perfect. If not, I’d advise to at least have a metal frame. Again, the Sensation is a good example, but that design is incompatible with small bezels.
  • Other features: it’s impossible to have good speakers in this size, so let’s just forget about that. Every phone I’ve seen so far sounds like rubbish, even if they advertise their speakers a lot. Let’s just leave it that way and not expect anything significantly better, because it’s just not physically possible. I don’t need a front camera, but the back camera should be at least 8MP and not just some cheap crap. That is, it shouldn’t be chosen for the sole purpose of writing “8MP” on it, it should be chosen for actually being good. Fingerprint scanner is not my style - I prefer just keeping the phone in my pocket and not giving it away to people I don’t trust, that way I don’t need to lock it at all :wink:
  • And this is the only time I don’t mind USB-C. I mean, I don’t like the idea of replacing all my cables now just because of it being reversible, but it’s a phone and I don’t have to replace that much. Only a couple of charging cables and an OTG adapter. If it was more of a serious computing device, I would be against it because then I’d need to use an adapter 99.9% of the time.

Now, if it’s some flavor of Windows… It needs to be actual Windows. Not Windows Phone (otherwise called Windows 10 Mobile), not Windows RT (otherwise called Windows 10 on ARM). It needs to be full Windows running on a real Intel CPU, otherwise it will be lacking many apps that are vital to my life. So, from the above specs I’d change it to an Intel Core M3 CPU and 4GB of RAM, but that is hardly possible in the size we’re talking about, so I’d like to stick to Android for now.


#13

The only small fault I have with your fantastic proposal is NFC. I use it daily to top up my travel cards (I know people in London UK and Dublin Ireland do this, I presume elsewhere too?) and also have my debit/credit cards on Google pay to use them via the NFC protocol.

I also adore fingerprint scanning for my online banking apps and unlocking the device, but that’s personal use.

And I like a GOOD camera to take pictures of notes/whiteboard in lectures, and a decent front facing one as my partner lives abroad and it’s the only way I get to see his happy face and vice versa :worried:… and this is also personal use.

Kudos on the EXTENSIVE post.

Yay USB-C! You might like these cables, on a side not (because reversible): https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01HGIXL9K/ref=cm_sw_r_taa_zG1Pyb1SSWPJF

Edit: I don’t top up my travel card daily… But I do it often and I hate doing it in the shop, it’s great when you’re running for the bus/train. I do however use my Google wallet app thing most days.


#14

Oh, well I don’t use those payment methods so I forgot about it :slight_smile: I’m not a “security freak”, but I tend to be careful when it comes to money. So I don’t use a credit card or that new “contact-less” card, because they’re not safe enough. Same applies to mobile payments - Android is a vulnerable platform, and even if it hasn’t been hacked yet, it’s fairly new and I don’t want to risk it.

And speaking of those cables… I really see no point in switching to USB-C especially since we have these reversible cables already. But as I said, with a phone I only need to replace a handful of cables, so it’s not that big of a deal. If anyone insists on type C, I won’t mind.

Oh and I almost forgot the camera part… I mainly use my phone’s camera for scanning paper and whiteboards, but I don’t think we need a really good camera. My phone’s 8MP is just barely enough, but if it could take photos with shorter exposure (I guess wider lens would help), it would be pretty much all I need. Right now the biggest problem is shake, as it’s super sensitive to even the slightest hand movements. As I said, this could be fixed by shortening the exposure time (but with the same sensor photos would come out too dark).


#15

By the way, I forgot to mention one thing in my big post:
The battery. I think 2000mAh should be enough. My Zenfone 2 lasts a full day and some more with 2500mAh, and let’s not forget that Intel processors are still less energy efficient than ARM. Add that to a smaller screen and no bloatware… So it should be enough :slight_smile: We don’t want our phone to be 2cm thick so even though I’d prefer more, I’d recommend sticking to the minimum.


#16

or by increasing the resolution and having anti-shake…

for me, the camera is really important. But I’d rather have a nice camera that happens to be a phone as well. :wink:


#17

I thought you might like to know about the cables for your current personal use :grinning:… I haven’t tested them, so I don’t know how efficient and practical they are though.

Totally agree with shaking and blurry images, it annoys me to no end. You’re right that a cameras worth isn’t based on just megapixels, so whatever works in between that it takes clear pictures, however that may be :slight_smile:


#18

don’t forget sensor size (and quality) :wink:
it’s actually not so much about megapixels… though having a decent number would be nice as in a phone you’d rely purely on digital zoom…

+1 :smiley:


#19

Nah, I don’t care about reversible cables at all. I really don’t understand the fuss about it… Why can’t people just look at the cable or touch it before inserting it? To me, it’s enough to just touch the surface of a microUSB cable, or the tip of a USB-A cable, to see which way it goes. I don’t even need to turn my eyes. Oh, and even with reversible cables there’s some touching. So no extra time wasted.

@mlivesey I understand your desire to take good pictures, but no phone will replace a real digital camera. There are plenty of compact cameras that shoot really great photos, and it’s probably cheaper to buy one separately than to buy a phone that has the equivalent quality, anyway…


#20

@pauliunas please don´t start USB-C debate AGAIN! Thank you! :wink: