considerations on choosing my next mobile phone

When I worked in London I always bought myself the latest and greatest mobile phone every year.

Now I try to find a phone which has the features I want, but not at a premium price, and I try to keep it longer. When I bought my last phone, about 15 months ago, I had to compromise quite a lot on features, but I really like the phone I chose – a Motorola Moto G. The main features I wanted that I had to forego were: LTE, SD card slot, NFC. What is great about the Motorola is that you always get the latest Android operating system – I got Lollipop around February this year, which was about a three-month wait, but even now only about 3% of Android users have it, so still I am happy. (In a few months, I hear that Android M will be released.)

But I knew the main compromise with the Moto G would eventually catch up to me – the lack of additional storage in the form of an SD card slot. I am running out of space as the phone is only 16GB, which is the largest capacity Moto G one could buy.

Another consideration is whether to buy a phablet – a 5.5″ to 6″ phone. When travelling I could save 1KG in weight over additionally carrying my tablet and its charger. In which case a separate very lightweight bluetooth keyboard would be handy – but I haven’t yet found such a device.

I read a lot of (UK & US) PC magazines, which also feature phones, and phone magazines, so I can keep up with the latest.  Yet another problem is that not all phones are available here, and I don’t find grey imports an appealing alternative.  I check Floor 3 at Gurney, First Avenue / Prangin Mall, Harvey Norman, Expansys.com.my, eBay etc.

I can get a mobile as part of my airtime contract, but it is not a good deal.  One pays around the same as just buying the phone, unless you actually phone a lot – which I don’t.  And they usually don’t have any phones I am interested in on their list.

Anyway, for my next phone I make a list, in rough order of importance to me, of features it should have, excluding the obvious:

  1. Android 5 & generic Android with immediate upgrade – only really Nexus, Motorola
  2. 5″ + screen – Nexus 6, Moto X, Moto G
  3. SD card – neither brand
  4. WiFi 11ac
  5. 4G / LTE
  6. NFC
  7. Dual SIM
  8. Wireless charging

So I find that once I get to 3. I can’t find any phone that meets my requirements.

A ZTE Blade S6  doesn’t fulfill No. 1, but it has Lollipop and many of my other requirements, and costs a very reasonable £170 in the UK, although I have yet to find it in Malaysia. I’ve seen other ZTE phones here, so perhaps it will come.

Or should I just get the latest Moto G or indeed the Moto E – which reviews have said is cheaper but better than the new Moto G?  Both have requirements 1, 3 & 5, and maybe even 7.  I have yet to find either here in Malaysia, though.  Nexus 6 or Moto X have 32GB models – which should be enough space – and they probably are OTG compliant (meaning you can plug in USB / SD cards via an adapter.)  I have yet to find either here in Malaysia with 32 GB, though.

An since I spend most of my time in Malaysia, I prefer to buy it here, for warranty reasons.

It seems I have to just wait and see what develops / arrives here.

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