brainwane: Photo of my head, with hair longish for me (luckyshirt)
[personal profile] brainwane
I want to buy a smartphone. Help me decide.

I care about:

  • Freedom (I want root on my phone without having to jailbreak it)
  • Hardware quality
  • Operating system quality (random crashiness is not acceptable)
  • Operating system longevity & upgradability (Maemo and Meego went away pretty fast, and I don't want to buy a device that will never see another OS upgrade)

I'd rather have a physical keyboard, either in addition to or instead of a touchscreen, but I can stand not having one. And I have basically no hope that I could get a device made under fair labor practices and with any attentiveness to the environmental impacts of its manufacture, but am willing to be surprised.

I really do not care how many apps are available for a phone -- I'll be fine if it browses the web, makes and received phone calls, and it would be lovely if it takes mediocre photos and plays music. And it can be big and heavy and ugly and I don't mind as long as the hardware is robust.

I am planning on buying a device, that is, buying an unlocked one separately from getting a data/voice plan from a carrier (see again: my interest in freedom). I acknowledge that I am being picky here so I'm fine with spending commensurately. And I live in the US but am willing to purchase devices from abroad. For example, if multiple people have tried the Geeksphone Zero and can recommend it, I'm willing to pony up.


(Crosspost from Ask MetaFilter.)

Date: 2011-11-02 03:40 pm (UTC)
rivenwanderer: (Default)
From: [personal profile] rivenwanderer
I'm happy with my HTC-made G2, and it's cyanogenmod-able if need be. My girlfriend CM'd her old G1 for a while, and it seemed like a pretty reasonable experience.

Date: 2011-11-02 06:38 pm (UTC)
aedifica: Silhouette of a girl sitting at a computer (Girl at computer)
From: [personal profile] aedifica
I rooted my G1 so I could run Android 2.x on it. I was happy to have been able to do it, but I did get increasingly frustrated with the phone for the last year or so that I had it--it was exceedingly crashy. I don't know if that was the mod or the increasing age of the phone (and the increasing demands that are made of smartphones).

Now I have a G2, unmodded so far, and am pretty happy with it. I don't know about OS longevity, though--[profile] branewane, does the ability to run something like Cyanogenmod meet that criterion for you?

Date: 2011-11-02 07:30 pm (UTC)
jeshyr: Blessed are the broken. Harry Potter. (Default)
From: [personal profile] jeshyr
BTW I see you posted this is a few places, if you come up with a single-ish answer can you let me know? Because aside from preferring a touchscreen keyboard to a physical one your requirements totally match mine :)

Date: 2011-11-02 10:30 pm (UTC)
rhivolution: the Doctor, pointing at his shop name badge: The Doctor/here to help (Here to help: The Doctor)
From: [personal profile] rhivolution
I don't have any specifics and I'm pretty stuck to knowledge about UK-available phones at the moment, but I will say that if the trend here is indicative of where the US is going, physical keyboards on smartphones are on the way out. My partner's looking for one himself and there really isn't anything widely available that's not BlackBerry-based.

Date: 2011-11-03 12:39 am (UTC)
sophie: A cartoon-like representation of a girl standing on a hill, with brown hair, blue eyes, a flowery top, and blue skirt. ☀ (Default)
From: [personal profile] sophie
Good question about having root without needing to jailbreak! I'm not sure if any would even exist. I could be wrong, though.

(Also, hi! *waves*)

Date: 2011-12-24 12:39 am (UTC)
zorkian: A picture of Oliver sitting up with his Dreamwidth onesie on! (Default)
From: [personal profile] zorkian
I'm not sure this exists... Carriers are notoriously sticky about wanting to have the devices locked down. I'd definitely be interested in knowing if you find a solution that fits this bill of particulars, though.


brainwane: My smiling face in front of a brick wall, May 2015. (Default)

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