After a few years of considering which smartphone to buy I have finally settled on which on would work best for me. Avoiding all the unpleasantries of a flame war, ill list out my use cases for a phone and what I eventually decided on.
1. It didn't want to pay for internet twice. Yeah, this is the single area I compromised on. I absolutely loathe the idea of paying for data, but I can't seem to find an American phone company willing to deal me a smartphone that comes with no data plan. Yes I do have Wifi every where. No I don't need to surf the web in the forest. Isn't wifi around you 99.99% of the time too? Plus Verizon charges $30 a month for 2G of bandwidth! If you go $20 a month you get 300 Megs. This is absofuckinglutley crazy-shit pricing. I don't care if its mobile internet, its way too expensive. This is one of the reasons why when the current telcos get disrupted I will have a party in their dishonor.
2. The phone should be fast. Yep. And I don't mean "sort of speedy after I sluggard through the menu and wait as an app loads." I don't mean "quick as in it barely made it to the web browser and now its fast." I mean "when I want to take a picture I can take it, not wait 45 seconds." You know, like when I turn on my camera and its ready to go. Like that fast.
I don't care if it has the ability to run 50,000 things in the background. Seriously, I don't care. I just want it to do what I want quickly. The fact that the phone has 50 cores is irrelevant, if its sluggish its a waste of silicon.
3. It has to have more than 8G of storage. I think anything less is silly. I know, its all cloud these days but its not all ubiquitous yet. Someday sure, but until then, I need to store higher fidelity mp3, videocasts and pictures. Sorry, I don't store everything in the cloud quite yet, perhaps not for quite sometimes as I want things to settle down first before choosing a provider to store my data. For now storage is a cheaper and easier solution for me.
4. Apps don't matter. Netflix does, but if the phone didn't run it I would still be happy. I know this is a huge smartphone marketing point, but 5 billion apps don't matter to me. Having a few kicking around for fun, sure, but as a first class use case? I don't really care.
5. The Mobile Browser Has To Be World Class!
I like using the web. Its in my DNA now, its just how I think. Its odd to me you can't bookmark or link to apps. I like sharing things. I think the web is amazing and I love developing for it. I love using it. The mobile web is awesome and I require that any smartphone I get has to have a top notch browser. I mean that if I start using the phone and the browser ain't great I will not purchase it.
6. The Camera Must Be Fantastic. One of the coolest creative elements of a smartphone is the camera. Id like to take a ton of pictures on it so it needs to look good. Bonus points for great HD video.
Without further ado, the winner of the 2011 year end "What smartphone will I buy challenge is?"
The iPhone 4S.
I know, sort of anti-climactic but in tech its like saying you are a Red Sox fan(sort of). I mean... already certain tech people are applauding and some think I sold my soul to Uncle Joe. In a way its sort of an odd choice as my primary desktop at home is Ubuntu.
It does seem like with my history of being pro Free Software Android is the best choice. That is, until I tried them. I mean its Free Software and its Google! I think you can like even install whatever App you want on it! And I run Ubuntu so its a match made in heaven! The unfortunate reality is that I don't like using Android phones. They seem sluggish. The browser doesn't seem first class to me. Some of them take way too long to load the camera. Plus, and this is only of the last year or so, all the top line phones are way too big for my taste. Its possible there is a great Android out there for me, I just haven't seen it yet.
All that said, its about time I got a smart phone and I am excited to own it.