After years of waiting, and hoping, I’ve decided that I’m never going to get my perfect phone. I don’t think the iPhone is perfect, I’ve never made that belief a secret. There are so many things about the software and hardware that I would change. Saying that, comparing it to all the other choices, it does what I need it to do better than the rest and in a way that I enjoy the most.
Still, it is far from being perfect and can never be my solitary device.
The HP Pre 3 is the closest design to form factor perfection in my book, but it does need some quality improvements. I like that there aren’t any buttons on the front. Instead it’s just one seamless black panel with a touch sensitive area just below the display. It’s as minimalist as it comes. A key part of the Pre 3′s design is the little oblong bar that lights up when a gesture is detected. It also comes to life when you receive a message, acting as a notification alert, but much more attractive than a BlackBerry’s flashing red/blue/green LED.
It would need to be combined with a great portrait-sliding keyboard underneath. Not the Pre 3 keyboard though. It would need to be the new Bold’s QWERTY, and if that means making the device slightly bigger, I’m down with that. As long as the back of the device was rounded and grippy like the HP slider, I’d be very happy.
The only downside with portrait sliders is that mechanisms often make the phone less durable. Saying that I can’t get away without having a keyboard for my work emails. My QWERTY needs mean I end up carrying two devices all the time. That usually means carrying my iPhone 4 and either the Pre 3 or a BlackBerry of some sort. The iPhone meets my personal, media-hungry needs, the other fulfils my QWERTY addiction.
Obviously there is the Torch, which may appear to potentially satisfy most of my desires but when the keyboard is exposed it feels so unbalanced and awkward to type on. That plus the flat back make it a no go. My perfect device needs to feel good in hand. I’ve made it clear in the past that the iPhone 4′s flat back turns me off too.
I don’t care what anyone says, the camera quality is important, and megapixels don’t mean diddly. King of cameras is Nokia, and I’d have to go with the 8MP Carl Zeiss snapper found in the yet-to-be released N9. The pedigree of these lenses is unmatched in the smartphone market, and in the past have been used to create some really great shots, and a fantastic stop-motion short film. I’m not fussed on a physical camera button, using a pre-existing key (volume key, iOS 5 style) would work just fine. iOS’s manual touch to focus, and HDR features are a must.
Simple choice for me: the iPad’s dual-core A5. Other processors may boast more Ghz, but this performs like a dream. A lot of that does comes down to the operating system that’s making use of it, but since my perfect OS is very minimal it should do the trick just fine.
Despite the iPhone’s Retina display having a fantastic pixel density, I cannot get over how beautiful the Galaxy S II’s Super AMOLED display looks. The colors so bright and blacks are so well produced on screen, it’s hard to take your eyes off it. Size, in this case, is a major downside. I’d have the Super AMOLED technology on a 3.7″ display. With my device being a slider the keyboard is already adding some extra bulk. A 4″+ display would make it unmanageable. Size reduction on the 480×800 resolution screen would see a welcome increase in pixel density too, making images and text look much sharper.
Smaller considerations, just as important
Two things that we often forget to care about are battery life and call quality. A poor performing battery can kill off a phone. It’s one of the reasons I’ve been put off Android devices in the past – without much use I was alway struggling to get any of the three I had through a single day. My device would need at least a 1500mAh battery. It would need a noise cancellation mic installed and a good quality mic and earpiece combo. The best for call quality in my opinion are Nokia handsets, so I’d take some of what they have.
The engine running the show would have to be webOS. Despite it now being virtually defunct, it is a fantastic operating system. There are lots of things I’d change, but the lack of clutter on the single home screen is fantastic. The card-system and multitasking are strokes of genius. Don’t want an app running? Simple, throw it off the screen and it’s gone. No task-killing apps or double-tapping a home key. I love the way text message threads look, I like the loading bars when installing apps. I like just typing to search for items and unlocking the screen is simple. Most importantly, it doesn’t require any buttons except the volume, mute and power/sleep keys. (Apart from the QWERTY hidden below.)
Like webOS (and Android) I believe that apps belong in an app drawer, accessible by swiping up the screen. I would change the icons in webOS to look more like the iOS grids, but at least they’d be off the home screen. I don’t want any widgets in my OS, all they do is look pretty and kill my battery. If I want to see the weather forecast I’ll look in the weather app, and I most certainly don’t need a fancy clock.
Although the basic operating system would be webOS, it still needs some inspiration from other OSes. It would need the iTunes/App Store ecosystem to provide the ultimate developer support and application quality. If there’s one thing webOS lacks, it’s apps and a good media player. It’s hard to beat Apple’s iPod inspired software, so that would need to come along too.
Notifications need altering too, and my personal favorite is BlackBerry scented. I don’t like iOS 5/Android’s drop down drawer. However, having a simple message/email/missed call icon in the top bar is out of the way and ignorable. That combined with the notification light makes it subtle, but at the same time, very clear.
.What is your idea of the perfect phone? Would yours be more Google-flavored? Do you like the giant 4.5″+ displays? Let me know your perfect combination in the comments, or tweet me: @TiP_Cam
Featured image via: Mobinizer.net