My Next Phone: Revisited – 2018/19 Shortlist

Similar to the shortlist I drew up 2 years ago, I’m now considering whether I will keep my S7 as my main device and just get a SIM-only deal, or whether I’ll replace it with a newer phone.

If I kept my S7 for a few more months, through to July 2019, I’d benefit from a few summer deals. I’ve already noticed a few this year – some phones come with a free tablet, while others even come with a free PlayStation 4 console.

To be honest, the money I’m paying, if I could get a great phone, a great contract and a free gift as well, I’d say that was value for money! It’s a shame I can’t partake in the discounts and deals currently being offered, but I’ve still got a few more months of my current contract left, and I’d have to fork out the remainder of the contract, in full, to start a new one.

Just in case I do keep my S7 for those few extra months, or even if I don’t, I’d like to compile a more up-to-date list of devices that I’ll be keeping my eye on for the foreseeable future.

Those are:

  • LG G7 ThinQ
  • Huawei P20 Pro
  • Pixel 2
  • OnePlus 6
  • Blackberry Key 2
  • Huawei Nova 3
  • Honor 10
  • Honor View 10
  • Moto Z3 Play
  • Planet Gemini (PDA)
  • Sony Xperia XA2
  • Sony Xperia L1
  • Sony Xperia XZ2

Galaxy S7: Short Review (My Next Phone: Revisited)

I wrote this a while ago, but it didn’t seem right to leave it in drafts, so I’ve updated it and here it is. Enjoy!

4 April 2017: If you’ve been following the My Next Phone mini-series, I searched for the perfect phone, and found it in the Samsung Galaxy S7. Running Android 6 out of the box in December 2016, it had a lot of features that other phones just didn’t have until the release of Android 7.

In April 2017, my S7 received the Android 7 Nougat update, and now, in July 2018, its running Android 8 Oreo. Yes, 2 months before Google is set to release the yet unnamed Android 9 P to the world.

I went for the S7 when I did not just because I was near the end of my contract, but because I knew the S7 would be cheaper seeing as the newer S8 was due to be released.

2 years on, and we now have the S9 as well. I know there’s a lot of people who are only interested in the latest tech, but the S7 is still more than capable of handling daily tasks. Yeah, so it has big bezels and a Super AMOLED screen at the old 16:9 ratio – not something that bothers me, as it’s big enough and yet still small enough for me to hold and use one-handed. I also know people would prefer the S7 Edge to the lower model – not me, because I loved the feel of the S7, whereas the S7 Edge felt too sharp in the hand. It didn’t have nice curves.

So if you splurged on the S9, or S8, yes, you’d get the body and the larger screen, an almost bezel-less design, and more screen real estate to play around with, considering the picture aspect ratio on the S8 was 18.5:9.

Most phones released in 2018 are guilty of 2 things: the bigger aspect ratio within a bezel-less design, and a cheap iPhone X notch copy.

But the S8 and S9 are now selling at a premium cost, too. Something you don’t get with the S7. Also, and this goes without saying for some, it doesn’t have Bixby, Samsung’s new voice assistant – or the button! There’s also no Dex, it’s version of desktop computing by simply hooking your phone up to a monitor, รก la Microsoft Continuum…

But, the S7 is still a great phone, and shouldn’t be treated as anything less than what it still is – a flagship phone. Just an older model, by 2 years… that’s all.

– Chris JK.

The Sad Demise of my Windows Phone (My Next Phone: Revisited)

Up until recently, my Nokia Lumia 820 had been working flawlessly, with no problems. This is despite it being on the older Windows Phone 8.1 OS, not the newer Windows 10 Mobile.

Although I have my old HTC Desire Eye as my 2nd/backup device, I kept my Lumia 820 because it offered a different experience altogether. It offered the ‘Windows experience,’ one that I knew and trusted and lived when it was my main device.

However, recent changes in app support, namely Twitter and Facebook updating their app APIs to no longer support this OS, means that, apart from email (which I already check on my Android devices), it has now been rendered completely useless.

I was semi-okay with losing access to Facebook Messenger, but Facebook and Twitter themselves? Hmm, I wasn’t quite ready to stop using it.

Maybe it’s because I loved the phone and the experience it offered, that I’ve kept it and used it. But when your favourite services stop support for older systems, even if you no longer use them primarily, it seems such a shame to write off my Lumia 820 when it still functions fantastically, and just as it did from new.

Apps support, or lack thereof, was originally the reason I moved on from WP8 to Android. If I’d traded in my Lumia 820 at the time, I probably would’ve earned myself a cool ยฃ20 or ยฃ30 discount on my newer phone. But I didn’t, and I kept my Nokia just in case.

I’m still desperately trying to keep it going – the battery certainly hasn’t given up yet – but as more and more services stop supporting the Windows Phone/Mobile OS platform, I fear it won’t be long before I can no longer do anything with it. Not even to check my emails.

Maybe now is the time to move on, to stop looking at the past through red-tinted spectacles and give it up. I dunno, maybe I don’t want to get rid of the past just yet.

It won’t be my last Nokia device – of that, I’m sure. Especially given the recent re-launch of Nokia by HMD, with Android phones aplenty in their lineup.

2018 has already been an interesting year for them. Nokia 7 Plus. Nokia 8 Scirocco. Nokia 9. Nokia 10. (Not sure if those latter 2 exist, yet!) All these are options, though, for my next phone.