User Tools

Site Tools

                      change site colors:

2024: Smartphone Options

I've been using a 2018 Samsung Galaxy Note 9. It meets all my needs. I use the stylus mostly for quick engineering technical drawings. I don't do gaming.

The battery was getting old and not lasting the whole day, so I changed it to one I ordered from AliExpress. The battery from AliExpress lasts about the same as the old original: no improvement. :-(

My screen, while still usable, is cracking around the edges so I started wondering about a replacement. In 2023 I thought of replacing the phone with a small tablet, but the market for this is very sad. Now I'm looking over the rest of the market.

Should I hold my breath for smartglasses that would serve as a monitor screen for mobile use? Would this render the larger screen sizes of tablets and folding phones superfluous? Maybe not since it's nice to have extra viewing options.

Phone Models and Reviews

Performance vs Budget

Do I really need a flagship phone when current more affordable phones offer the same performance as my Note 9?

One reason to get a flagship phone is that its performance will still be sufficient many years into the future. The Note 9 was a good choice in 2018. New phones haven't had any new features, just incremental improvements.

However, the industry may be reaching physical limits on performance. If the industry is backing itself into a corner, will it innovate or just continue creating artificial demand (planned obsolescence) to fuel sales?

Hold off as much as I can with the Note 9 or get a budget phone for the interim? Or get last year's flagship open box for half price on ebay?


Benchmarks are useful even though they are crude at approximating real life performance: newer phones aren't as fast as the benchmark implies. I think maybe benchmarks are skewed to favor newer model years (to increase sales, of course). I compare benchmarks of other phones to the Note 9 since it meets my needs.

Screen Brightness

Outdoors, screen visibility is important, but there is no standard measure for this attribute. Manufacturers specify nits for brightness, but this doesn't represent daylight visibility. See 7 Misleading Assumptions About Sunlight Readable LCDs, Grunske 2017. Source: Ergonomic Backpacking with Your Device

My Note 9 has 1050 nits of screen brightness, sort of. It's good enough in the shade or on a cloudy day, but not in direct sunlight. My Note 1 was sufficient although I struggled in the shade of a very bright day, even with younger eyes. I don't mind looking for shade when I'm out and about, as I shouldn't be standing in the sun while doing whatever I need to do on the phone. So the Note 9 has sufficient screen brightness. More would be nice but would also consume more battery.

LTE/5G Modem + Antenna Performance

His conclusion about Samsung and iPhone having best reception is wrong. If you follow the link to the research, the iPhone had the poorest reception. Also, very few phones were tested, and no mid-range or budget phones.

8" Tablet as Smartphone

I was willing to go up in size to an 8“ tablet for use as a smartphone. I was willing to only have 4GB RAM, a relatively weak CPU and chipset, and a lesser performing camera. But I couldn't accept 400-450 nits for maximum screen brightness. That just sucks. As reviewed in 2023 below, they just don't make anything good available.

Availability of Custom Roms

An attractive feature for me is the ability to use a custom ROM and gain ROOT to the device operating system. Manufacturers and possibly governments do not want added freedoms to the users. There are limited number of phone models where the use of custom ROMs is possible.

The most popular rom is LineageOS.

Not Huawei

Huawei uses its own harmonyOS, which will drop library support for any Android apps (apk).

- huawei mate 20 X (5G) 7.2” screen

2023: Tablet as Smartphone

The Hunt for a 7-inch Tablet with LTE or 5G

To improve profits by market segmentation, corporations do not introduce a flagship 7“ tablet, as this would satisfy most consumer's needs and reduce sales from consumers purchasing separate smartphones, tablets and/or folding devices.

The meager Lenovo Tab M7 is the best I can find. The model TB-7306x has the processor MT8766 with LTE capability, but it is only sold in very few markets like the Philippines.


Enter your comment:
information-technology/2024-smartphones.txt · Last modified: 2024/04/27 03:05 by marcos