That however hasn't been the case for almost a year now as nothing new has been able to demote the love I have for my current handset, the Samsung Galaxy S3. I simply cannot fault it and until now, no new phone has been able to beat it. My dilemma now though is that with all the recent announcements at CES and Mobile World Congress, there isn't just one device that's been pulling my attention from my beloved S3, not two either, but three.
I'm currently tied between choosing the Sony Xperia Z, the HTC One, or the as of yet unannounced Samsung Galaxy S4 to be my next handset. The contest is slightly unfair at the moment seeing as all of the information about the S4 is just rumour and Samsung have yet to release anything official but seeing as most of the leaks and rumours about the S2 and S3 came to be true, I'm holding them with at least few pinches of salt for the purposes of this blog post.
In true teenage girl style, I decided to make a pro/con list to settle my indecisions and come to a conclusion, so here goes...
- Incredible design, one of the best looking phones I have ever seen and I personally think it looks far better than the other two (if rumoured images of the S4 come to be real).
- Water proof and dust proof with an IP57 rating. This is just unheard of in premium devices and just adds a greater piece of mind when using it around rain or water. I have even seen videos on YouTube where people have used it as an underwater video camera with incredible results.
- SD Card slot, which is a necessity for me, I have a lot of data, and having it on removable media makes it far easier to transfer that data between devices.
- Bravia display engine that makes photos and videos look absolutely stunning.
- A 13 mega pixel camera to keep the photographer in me happy, with Sony's Exmor Sensor and a world first with HDR video.
- It will work better with my Sony SmartWatch, which works great with any Android device, but the call features work best with a Sony phone.
- Another world first with a full 1080p HD screen, great for web browsing and videos which are two key things I use my phone for.
- Non removable battery. Not a big problem, but is always handy to have.
- It will be more difficult to root and modify the device software which is something I love to do and also have some apps that only work with root access. I'm sure it wont be impossible, but will require more work than the other two.
- 8 core processor in Samsung's new Exynos 5 Octa powerhouse. This is real and already publicised, but unconfirmed that it will be in the S4. I have a feeling they will save it for the Note 3 but either way, it will pave the way for some incredible applications.
- Far easier to root and modify and tends to attract far more home brew developers than other brand devices which leads to some brilliant tools and applications that can make the device even better than Samsung originally intended.
- Removable battery, again not a major issue, but it's nice to have.
- SD card support.
- Better compatibility with my Samsung Smart TV. Although there are many apps that will allow any brand phone or tablet to share and stream content to any brand smart TV, the Samsung Smart TV apps I have on my S3 do tend to work better or have other features that third party ones dont.
- The only con I can think of here is design, and material. Samsung is known for using plastic for their flagship devices and I cant see it being any different for the S4. Admittedly its nice, hard wearing plastic, but plastic none the less and although its never been a deal breaker for me in the past, with other brand flagships being built with much higher grade materials such as glass and polycarbonate, plastic is starting to look a bit cheap, especially for a high end product.
- Beats Audio, which I had on my HTC One X last year and the audio quality was far superior than any phone I have ever used before or since, an excellent phone for music.
- Stereo speakers on the front of the device, nice and loud, which means it would be great for watching films and would also eliminate having cup your phone in your hand to boost the sound in order to show someone a YouTube clip.
- Wide angle front facing camera, same as the one on the HTC 8X which comes in handy for those Instagram selfies, making a Skype call to someone with a group of friends or taking an arm length photo of you and your other half.
- No SD card support, which for me is a true deal breaker. I was really excited about this phone, it has some amazing new features including a revolutionary new camera, redesigned Sense UI, and of course the above pro list but for me its a total no-go without an SD card slot. It comes in both 32 and 64 GB models, and although the 64GB would probably be enough for my use, its just easier to transfer data between my phone/tablet/laptop and various other devices with removeable storage and after using the One X for a short while recently while I was waiting on an insurance claim for my Galaxy S3 to be replaced, its something I learnt I just cant live without.
- Non removable battery.