General Question

Carly's avatar

What's the best smart phone to buy right now?

Asked by Carly (4555points) December 1st, 2014

Right now I have an Iphone 4s, and tomorrow I’m renewing my Sprint contract so I’m getting a new phone. Based on these preferred specs below, what’s the best phone you’d recommend?

- smartphone
– great camera mpx
– something around the size of the iphone 4
– at least 8 gb for music
– fast processor for internet usage (I have the unlimited data plan)
– has a large variety of cases to choose from
– durable even without the case

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23 Answers

hominid's avatar

Sounds like you have minimum requirements and no specific functional needs. Why not just upgrade to the iPhone 6? It’s going to be larger, but nearly everything is. It’s still only 4.7”, but it may feel huge coming from something as small as an iPhone 4s.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

Motorola moto X 2nd gen or Samsung S5

hearkat's avatar

I have to agree with @hominid that it is unfortunately difficult to find smartphones the size of the iPhone 4 / 4S. I made a concession when I upgraded to the 5, but this is as big as I’m planning to ever go. My hands are small and my pockets fit the 5, but the 6 is too big for easy entry and exit from the front jeans pocket.

My fianc√© had the Samsung S4 and that was pretty big, and I think the S5 is even bigger, so I don’t think that’s what you’re looking for. He now has the LG G3 and he’s happy with that, as are a few of his techie friends. It’s still bigger than the iPhone 5 / 5s. The HTC One was similar in size to the iPhone 5 / 5s, if you’re considering switching to Android. Otherwise, you may just want to go with the 5s, since it’s got a decent camera and has the Touch ID – it’ll do everything you’re used to and a bit more, and the case selection is huge.

Pachy's avatar

I just got an iPhone 6 PLUS and love it (I tried the Moto Droid Turbo and hated it). The PLUS looks ridiculously big, but I got used to it within 145 minutes and can’t believe I ever owned smaller phones.

hominid's avatar

@ARE_you_kidding_me: “Motorola moto X 2nd gen or Samsung S5”

Objectively, the Moto X is likely the best smartphone – and Android is just years ahead of iOS in functionality. But the OP is not looking for a change. The needs are minimal and she seems to be looking for a simple upgrade. iOS to Android is a big change, and unless you have have a productivity need or are into learning new things, it could be a frustrating change. My wife tried moving to iOS from Android and swore like a sailor until I switched her back.

seekingwolf's avatar


Agreed. I love Android but I tell people, if you like iOS and like the newer iPhones and they fit your needs, stick with them. It can be a frustrating change. I have an iPad so I do use iOS but I prefer Android for my smartphone. Going from iOS to Android can be a frustrating experience unless that’s TRULY what you want to do.

jerv's avatar

Just finding a new smartphone the size of an iPhone 4 may be a challenge. Manufacturers, even Apple, realized that a large portion of those who buy smartphones are physically larger than your average adolescent, and don’t all have the 20/10 vision required to comfortably read a 3.5” screen. Accordingly, the trend is towards phones in the 5” range (iPhone 6, Moto X…), with 4.3” screens like the Droid Mini for the more petite. In fact, unless you are willing to go for a larger phone, the Droid Mini really is your only choice.

Large variety of cases pretty much precludes most Android phones in the first place. The only real exception there is Samsung, but their phones are not exactly durable without the case. Motorola phones have fewer cases available, but I’ve had my Razr HD for >2 years with no case and been fine; most current Motorola phones have a Kevlar back, and Gorilla Glass face. I’ve dropped mine 6 feet onto concrete and it didn’t even ding it.

If you are an iOS-lover, you are pretty much stuck with the iPhone 5/5s.

@hominid @seekingwolf I had almost the opposite experience. My wife and I hated our iPod Touch but liked our Droids. Unlike me, a demanding geek, she is just an average person with no real computer knowledge. Truth is, iOS and Android are similar enough that the only way that it could be frustrating is if you are certifiably afraid of change.

hearkat's avatar

My observations of friends and acquaintances who have tried switching is similar to those above. People who are very tech-savvy and like to fine-tune and poke and prod at what’s behind the curtain definitely prefer Android. There was a time in my life that I would have been among them.

But now I’m a pretty typical end-user. To me, it is more important that I can rely on it to work consistently and predictably. I want my smartphone to be like a broken-in pair of shoes. It’s a tool for me and I need to know that it’s there when I need or want it, and that I’ll be able to get it to do what I want it to.

Many of my friends and acquaintances are also in this category, and the majority who switched to Android went back to iOS. But there are those who switched and liked it better and have stayed with Android, but they just don’t bother with the nitty-gritty rooting and tweaking that so many people seem to like about Android.

So I generally tell people that if they have a modest comfort level about dealing with changes in technology, then they should consider switching platforms if there’s a particular hardware feature that one device offers that is very desirable. Most Cell Phone Companies have a 14-day return option, so it makes sense to give it a try if one is really unsure.

jerv's avatar

@hearkat You bring up a good point in that many of the things geeks like me love about Android can be conveniently ignored by the less-geeky. You also point out why my wife prefers Android over iOS; she can find what she needs to find and do what she needs to do better and easier than iOS allowed, making it more of an actual tool than just a useless slab. Both can meet the needs of average people, so don’t be afraid to switch.

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

I love my Samsung, but it’s bigger than an iPhone. Does size really matter that much?

dappled_leaves's avatar

@jerv “You also point out why my wife prefers Android over iOS; she can find what she needs to find and do what she needs to do better and easier than iOS allowed, making it more of an actual tool than just a useless slab.”


hominid's avatar

@jerv – I had a major typo in my comment above…

“My wife tried moving to iOS from Android and swore like a sailor until I switched her back.”

She actually tried switching from Android to iOS. It was a nightmare. “Where the f%&k is the back button? Is this made by Fisher Price? Seriously, what the sh#t?” I had warned her.

dappled_leaves's avatar

@hominid I did wonder about that! My experience dealing with iOS has been exactly the same.

Response moderated (Spam)
jerv's avatar

@hominid Pretty big typo! But heck, I’ve done worse….
@Earthbound_Misfit Ask Yoda….

In all seriousness though, as someone whose phone is getting a little long in the tooth (it’s successor just got superceded), I’ve been eyeballing the HTC One (M8) and the OnePlus One. But as the One is only available on an invite system, it looks like the One (M8) is the One I’ll wind up with.

SecondHandStoke's avatar

Odd question.

They have not stopped making the iPhone.

jerv's avatar

@SecondHandStoke No, they still make the small 5s and 5c, as well as the larger 6 and 6 Plus. Thing is, the 5c/5s is outdated (the 5c anemically so), and the 6/6 Plus are huge. Not to mention , Android has stepped up their game, so whether iPhones are still the best smartphones is even more debatable than it used to be.

Carly's avatar

for those asking about size: my hands are on the small size so the smaller the better. I’ve dropped my husband’s galaxy while trying to use it with one hand, so it just doesnt work for me… >__<

jerv's avatar

In that case, you are truly limited. I’ll triple-check, but I don’t think there are many phones in the current generation that would fit you; the small smartphone is fading into history. There are a few “mini” models out there, but they all have pretty hefty issues. For instance, the HTC One Mini has half the computing power and 75% the battery life of it’s full-sized cousin while being only 5mm smaller, while the Samsung S5 Mini is… well, it’s embarrassing, really. And both are still bigger than the iPhone 4 by a notable margin. While they may fit your hand, I would not want to recommend a bad phone.

This picture should help your comparison shopping. It looks like if you want something no larger than what you have, you’re probably looking at 2012 models.

Carly's avatar

well.. I caved and got an iphone 6. Its not as big as I thought it was. :)

tinapanpan's avatar

I like iPhone, but I never have enough money to get one.

Stelle's avatar

Um…About ¬£200 or more ;-)

archananair's avatar

What else then iphone 6, the best smartphone now a days.

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