No headphone socket - no sale
The Pocophone F1 is much cheaper - basically the same innards and does have a headphone socket.
What if Huawei used OnePlus's Oxygen UI, I found myself musing recently. Wouldn't it be the perfect package? Huawei's amazing RF performance, and bleeding-edge tech, with a UI that didn't actually suck? Specs Display: AMOLED 6.41-inch (6.24-inch for the rounded corners); 1080 x 2340 pixels, 402 ppi, Gorilla Glass 6 Innards …
Still have a Oneplus 1 and a OnePlus 3T but the increasing cost and a few annoying Oneplus quirks (no automated quiet times because 'the settings may interfere with the hardware DND switch', battery issues after updates, no Daydream support even though the chipset supported it, among other things) and the increasing price made me think twice about getting another OnePlus.
Ended up getting a s9+ with 256gb of storage for such an awesome deal it worked out cheaper than the OnePlus. Obviously I had to de-bloat it with package manager as I prefer the cleaner OP experience and generally dislike Samsung, but can honestly say im happy with the performance of the phone. The waterproofing and camera quality are worth paying that little bit extra for, even though I actually paid less.
I think my love affair with OP is over now. Loved their first phone but now they are becoming similar prices as other flagships and all have quirks which annoy me to some extent and have terrible support. Hurts my pride to say I like a Samsung phone too, compared to the pride of having an OPO with cyanogenmod as standard.
Also, no warranty or support. With OnePlus you get 1 year warranty & 2 years guaranteed of major updates + 1 year of security updates.
Yes, you're paying more, but you're getting something for that money. I don't want to deal with the issues of a Chinese market phone ever again.
"Yes, you're paying more, but you're getting something for that money."
I don't care about warranty and support, but I do care about the loss of important features. I'm certainly not going to pay a premium for a phone that doesn't, at a minimum, do at least what my current phone does for me.
Dropping the headphone jack was a stupid metoo decision. How much real estate did they save from the measure? How many cents did it save? The answer to both is "minimal".
This was an opportunity for them to say "we're lead by what our customers need and want, not by the whims of the market to save a few pennies". They blew it.
I disparage the people who rail about SD support and removable batteries but I just don't get the demise of 3.5mm. It's a ubiquitous standard that works incredibly well and has done since the Walkman (and before). We know that voluntary use of wireless 'phones has not gone mainstream - they aren't removing the socket because everyone has stopped using 3.5mm, everyone stops using 3.5mm because it's removed.
I use multiple devices (phone, iPad, other tablet, PC) with my earphones and while some of these support BlueTooth, not all do... and in my experience BlueTooth accessories HATE being shared between devices. So I'll have to dick about pairing/unpairing devices and continually find my earphones aren't working because they decided to pair with my iPad instead of my phone, etc.
"I disparage the people who rail about SD support and removable batteries"
Really? Disparage? What on earth for? Just because your use case doesn't mandate the necessity of those things...
Sensible requests from my perspective, as an Android user who also has a mac and distrusts cloud storage for anything important/sensitive.
We agree on the headphone jack, however.
>Really? Disparage? What on earth for? Just because your use case doesn't mandate the necessity of those things...
Because these small minority of people continually rant and rail Apple et al won't build their devices around their specific needs. The VAST majority of users do not want removable storage or battery, El Reg is in no way representative of the wider world.
Whereas, regular normal people DO want to use 3.5mm headphones. OnePlus even have the data showing this.
The "it doesn't have removable storage!" comments have been remarkably constant in frequency and nature since the days of phones only having 4-8 GB of internal storage.
I can only conclude that no amount of storage will satisfy some people, and I wonder what they're doing with it, how they back it up, or how they possibly lived in the days when 20GB of spinning rust was as much as you could keep in one pocket.
You've obviously never had to transfer large numbers of files on and off a phone! Removable storage is mainly useful because it's *removable* --- meaning, I can take the card out and stick it in a fast PC reader.
Yes, modern phones have adequate amounts of internal storage (although you can still quickly run out if you want to, e.g., load up with completely legitimate films for a long flight), but having removable storage adds so much more flexibility.
> Removable storage is mainly useful because it's *removable* --- meaning, I can take the card out and stick it in a fast PC reader.
Indeed, I do that all the time to move photos/videos taken with the camera off the phone and onto my PC.
It is also really useful for migrating to a new phone. All my personal stuff is on the SD card already, all I have to do is click "export contact list to sd card" (and if I feel like, export my installed apps to the SD card as well).
Then stick the SD card in my new phone, import contact list and apps, and done. All my data is already there.
It isn't really for the extra storage, as most phones have decent internal storage. The nice thing however is that you can take as many photos/videos as you want, and if you fill up the SD card, the phone keeps working. You can even temporarily switch to internal memory as a reserve area, so you can carry on taking photos/videos of the event, while being aware that you need to empty it out to the PC when next possible.
Nothing worse than filling up the phones internal memory, and then you have to delete stuff before you can use the phone again.
Needless to say, I only buy phones with removable SD card, sim and battery (and a headphone jack), so most of the "top end" market doesn't cater to me.
not that i'm questioning the usefulness of what ur describing but they sound like edge cases to me.
are you switching phones so often that the 'i can switch my sd card between them' is genuinely a feature? or is it nice to have on that odd occasion you switch phones every other year when u upgrade?
similarly with the 'running out of space on my internal storage' use case. just how frequently are you filling it up that you need to switch storage? again it seems like an edge case that can easily be remedied with backups off your phone every now and then.
i'm genuinely curious about the need for sd cards in modern phones with 64GB+ storage. are you guys really copying that volume of data on and off your phones that often that it's a such a chore? what exactly is this multi gigabyte data that people are capturing so frequently on their phones?? i understand that hd and 4k cameras are now built in... but are you really capturing that much footage so frequently that you genuinely need to switch cards? or could you simply benefit from the occassional backup every other month?
for the content creators out there - i figure removable storage is an absolute must. but they're using proper camera devices for that, surely?
"are you guys really copying that volume of data on and off your phones that often that it's a such a chore?"
"what exactly is this multi gigabyte data that people are capturing so frequently on their phones??"
The music I carry with me, mostly, but also document collections, and large datasets of various sorts. Oh, and I also run a webserver on my phone that I use to quickly distribute information to others. This isn't data captured on my phone, this is data I want to access on my phone, or data I'm moving to a different place.
>Oh, and I also run a webserver on my phone that I use to quickly distribute information to others
Well clearly then everyone needs SD. This is a very common use for a phone.
So, you can't get USB->Ethernet adapters for phones? I suppose I'd assumed phones would support USB3 these days anyway but maybe they don't.
are you switching phones so often that the 'i can switch my sd card between them' is genuinely a feature? or is it nice to have on that odd occasion you switch phones every other year when u upgrade?
It is not always case of how often either. I had a phone break when it dropped and hit ground in a bad way. Luckily I had any personal data, photos, Keepass database and such on the SD card. Get new phone and put the card in, wait for Google Play to redownload apps and everything was back.
So yes I am definitely in the "no SD card - no sale" camp.
If you are trying to sell handsets to a company that has any idea about security no SD card slot is a plus.
You dont want your dozy employees saving files to the SD card they didn't encrypt and then losing the phone.
Then there is the data squirrel that seems to think every document on a company private cloud belongs to them and may have a use one day.
You need to make it as difficult as possible for these bozo's.
I spluged a bit, and got the 40GiB's of spining fruity goodness back in the day. Might be worth looking though it again... If I can ever find the Cables for the wretched thing. but, year the iPod was about the only thing (Cr)apple ever managed to get somewhat right.*
*Some what, in that you could only... (And, probably to this day to boot!), use it with iTunes. Cause you know Drag & Drop, was for the dirty WinXP Plebs.
"I can only conclude that no amount of storage will satisfy some people, and I wonder what they're doing with it, how they back it up"
And what hard limit for storage do you think should satisfy everyone? Last I checked, different people had different needs, and remoaveable storage is an easy and satisfactory way of being able to accommodate everyone.
For the record, I use the bulk of my storage for two things: to move very large datasets, and to hold the music that I listen to. If I couldn't use my phone for those things, I'd have to carry Yet Another Device, which is something that I'm trying hard to not do.
I think that phones have already a couple of years ago passed the threshold of vastly diminishing returns. I have a Samsung Galaxy S6, which was the flagship model 3 1/2 years ago.
Sure, newer phones have faster processors, sharper screens, better cameras, wireless charging.... but the gains are marginal and the new features aren't 'must-haves' (and in some cases like audio jack, the newer phones are going backwards).
When I got my phone it was already over 1 year old model picked up for around £300. If I had to replace it, I completely fail to see the compulsion of spending north of £500 for a new phone as opposed to £££ less for a model that's a year or two old but still offering more functionality and performance than I could ever imagine needing. £500-£600 for a flagship model a few years ago was already steep, but maybe justifiable for someone using the processing power/screen for games or amateur photographers who wanted a really good on-the-go snapper. But £700 to over a grand for a phone that's only marginally better than something that cost £300 2 years ago is batshit mental
Before the OnePlus 6T I used to own a OnePlus 2, which has a 5,5 inch display opposed to the 6,4 inch of the 6T, but you know what: it has the exact same width (okay, 0.1 mm less wide...) but is only 5.7 mm longer, so apparently you had problems with the 2 too, I presume?
I for one think it's amazing you have so much more screen estate for a phone with almost the same dimensions!
Sharp just announced a new model. It looks a bit odd - a top and bottom notch - but it is smaller than the current Sony Compact, has a 5.2 inch 120Hz IZGO screen, an 845, a 3.5mm jack, an SD slot, and is IP68 rated. It also has a sensible plastic back.
Apprently it won't be sold outside Japan which is simply annoying, I don't care what it looks like, but if they can do it why not others?
I bought one of these on launch day, my 3T was due an upgrade anyway.
The headphone thing is obviously subjective but I don't see the big problem here, just another thing for people to moan about. There's an adapter in the box, plug your old headphones in if you need to. If you're out and about you don't need the USB-C port for charging and if you're at home you don't need to use your headphones for music. People argue about the quality being less over bluetooth but if you really care about audio quality you wouldn't be using the headphone jack in a phone anyway...you'd have a proper high end music player.
Moving on, the biggest battery ever is truly superb and, despite being a heavy phone user, it just runs and runs - helped massively by Android Pie optimisation.
Talking of which, BlackBerry devices don't run on Android Pie yet and has a big history of being utterly useless on Android OS newer than their own - I had a problem with Nougat for ages until they release KeyOne. This is far more likely a BlackBerry/Pie issue than anything to do with Oneplus.
When the battery does run down, the Fast Charging (can't call it Dash now...Amazon copyright) easily gives you a day's charge in half an hour. I've only charged mine when I'm in the shower so far and it never needs any more than that.
Screen based fingerprint sensor is slower than 3T but face unlock is instant so I don't care - fingerprint plenty quick enough for banking apps etc and its relocation has made the screen real estate much more useful.
Camera isn't as good as other phones that cost £££s more, no surprise. It is however massively better than the 3T and now takes decent photos at night along with being good at close ups.
All in, a great purchase - another guy in my office has already bought one and I'm going to buy a second for my wife.
I was going to go for a OP6 but got put off by the price (I had a OP3 before). I ended up getting an Honor 10 - I use Nova Launcher so don't really care about the look and feel of EMUI.
The one thing that does bug me about the H10 is that it keeps popping up notification about the Huawei Cloud. The date I get an account there is about the same as the heat-death of the universe..
 Needing an account on one mass-intrusive entity (Google) is bad enough. If the iPhones were more reasonable in price for a new-ish one I'd go back to Apple.
"The one thing that does bug me about the H10 is that it keeps popping up notification about the Huawei Cloud"
Ugh. That alone is reason enough to replace the ROM with a reasonable one. If that's not possible, then it would be a good reason to return the device for a refund.
Dont think you know all use case.. other half uses headphones to listen to phone while charging -in bed. They are insomniac (I am not!) and so use headphones to stop sound waking me (as right choice of music can help them get back to sleep). Given use of music to sleep, then phones without charging (i.e. the crappy adapter) would be useless as if OH falls to sleep while music listening then phone will lose charge.
.. Also advantage is standard headphones as cheap as chips, so if get damaged by in bed sleep movement, cheap to replace.
A weird use case. not typical (though you will find a good number of insomniacs use relaxing sound methods to try and aid sleep), but shows you cannot base everything on your own use case only..
tiggity - I don't charge my phone in bed, i never even charge my phone to full. It significantly reduces the lifetime of a non-replaceable battery.
Your wife can charge her phone before bed and listen to music all night and there will still be plenty of charge in the morning. She can charge it again whilst she's in the shower if she needs to but it won't run out and she simply doesn't need to charge and listen at the same time.
Charging your phone overnight is a dated practise and precisely why dash charging was created. You can get an unfeasible amount of charge in the phone in a very short time and it allows you to just charge when you need to and not shorten the life of your device by hanging it off a cable all the time.
Why anybody who struggles to sleep would choose to wire themselves to a phone which, in turn, was wired to the power is beyond me. If ever there was a use case for a pair of wireless earbuds, this is it.
"The headphone thing is obviously subjective but I don't see the big problem here"
That's because you don't have a use case for it. For those of us that do, it's a big enough issue that it prevents us from buying a device without it.
"There's an adapter in the box, plug your old headphones in if you need to."
Adapters suck mightily, and are not a reasonable substitute.
"if you're at home you don't need to use your headphones for music"
You don't, but I know a number of people who do.
My primary headphones are a pair of Bose QC12 - they're old but still work just fine so I've no reason to replace them.
They're wired and came with a cable about a yard long. I used to plug them into my 3T, as a London commuter I use them for several hours a day.
Now I've added the adapter for my 6T - it means the cable is about a metre long instead. I can still hear my music, I can still listen just as I did before.
People are moaning about something that just isn't a problem - just try it.
If you're out and about you don't need the USB-C port for charging and if you're at home you don't need to use your headphones for music.
What about when I'm in the car on a long trip, with the sat nav on and want to play music through my stereo?
Need to charge my phone and plug it in for sound - no Bluetooth audio in my car
"People are moaning about something that just isn't a problem - just try it."
What makes you think I haven't?
People are moaning about something that is totally a problem for them. That it's not a problem for you is great for you, but doesn't mean that it's not an issue for others.
The main reason that I make a lot of noise about this is because the entire industry seems to be going the direction of stripping out important functionality like this, which is making smartphones into products that simply don't meet my needs.
"There's an adapter in the box, plug your old headphones in if you need to. If you're out and about you don't need the USB-C port for charging and if you're at home you don't need to use your headphones for music"
Deal breaker for me. USB-C port=fragile and device is hosed if it's damaged, 3.5mm port=robust (generally) I don't want to have something hanging out of my data/charging port when I've got the phone in my pocket. The more bits you put in a chain, the greater the chance of failure. Headphone technology is mature and there's something there to suit all needs and budgets - set of earbuds for a tenner, fine, want to spend a grand? be my guest.
Bluetooth headphones on the other hand are frequently meh from an audio quality perspective, more often than not lead to a pairing dance, and are yet another thing that needs charged (and are usually low in charge just when you want to use the damn things). The other thing about devices with batteries - the batteries are usually toast after a couple of years and are non-replaceable. Throw the headphones away, and buy new ones - kerchinggg. Meanwhile my 25 year old Sennheisers are still excellent and usable interchangeably with my phone, amp, etc
I was thinking about upgrading recently from my 1+3 due to various problems (not sure if the hardware or Android or OxygenOS). Offers on various Huawei devices on Amazon caught my eye, around the £300 mark. The one consistent negative I see is the UI, not sure I can cope with that!
As someone already mentioned, Nova Launcher might be an option for anyone put off by a hideous shipping ui, especially when run on a model with a generous portion of memory. Of course maintaing the drumbeat over bad design may someday drive handset makers to see the error of their ways and change, so it's worth pointing out at every opportunity (same point for hardware: give us back the damned audio jack, lemmings!).
Offers on various Huawei devices on Amazon caught my eye, around the £300 mark.
I've just picked up a Pocophone F1 new, from Fleabay for £260, via a UK based grey importer, though I can't see any more at that price at this moment Its the global 128 Gb version. Absolutely fabulous to hold (well, insofar as any mobile phone can be). Decent battery, micros SD card slot (or second SIM).
Main things to be aware you don't get on the F1 are wireless charging, waterproofing, and NFC capability, and it comes with a variant of Xiaomi's MIUI skin. I've used MIUI for a year or so on a previous phone, and have no complaints - particularly since it plays nicely with Nova Launcher. Teardown videos suggest it is also practical to dismantle should you wish to replace the battery in a couple of years.
I just ordered Xiaomi A2 Lite for 180£ since I can't justify spending over 500£ on a phone. Specially that whatever the differences are, those differences are not worth hundreds of £/€ - in my opinion. But hey, I am cheap. I have learned it the hard way though, after my Nexus 5X bricked (and so my wife's), iPhone 5S slowed down to the point it was a real pain to use it. I thought at the time that I'm buying a premium quality devices from trusted vendors, but I feel cheated and never going that route again. Cheap I am and so be it.
I just ordered Xiaomi A2 Lite for 180£
Why? I just got the same device for £118, thanks to a UK Ebay grey importer. Personally I'm reluctant to buy from offshore suppliers, mainly because of the risk of being hit with import duties and admin charges, but there's lots of well-rated UK based importers. Pay with a credit card via Ebay and you've got various lines of recourse if things go sour:
1) The supplier
2) The Ebay guarantee
3) The Paypla guarantee
4) Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act, backed by your credit card provider.
Nice. I don't get why people pay £600+ for phones. I had a Oneplus 3 which was excellent. In July I opted for a Mate 10 pro which is also excellent - but it cost only £370 brand new, unlocked from CPW. A monthly SIM costs £7.50.
I really don't get why people pay astronomical upfront or monthly fees. I'd not regard either of the aforementioned devices to be substandard.
(I also don't get not putting £xxx devices into cases. iPhone users tend to be the main culprit/victim/idiots here - I see way too many with spiderweb cracks.)
I no longer really know the differences or specs of all the different phone models that come out. Other than that most are far too expensive and include some random skin over android. Does anyone know a phone that meets the following extremely long list of requirements:
1. Costs less than $200 or so.
2. Runs a modern version of stock android or has an unlocked bootloader so I can put one on.
That's all I care about, really. I don't care about the camera (with the frequency I use it, it would be fine if it just didn't have one). I don't need a replaceable battery. A headphone socket or SD card support would be minor pluses, but not needed. I don't need any special extra hardware built in. Just a modern enough phone that does not cost as much as a fully specced-out desktop.
"Does anyone know a phone that meets the following extremely long list of requirements:"
Mi A2 Lite I just bought from Amazon.co.uk (thank you for bloody 3 week delivery!)
- 159-189£ depending on where you buy it
- 4000mAh battery (the wife has it and with her, rather heavy use, lasts for 2 days on a single charge)
- Stock Android One
- dual SIM and SD card slot
- headphone jack
"What if Huawei used OnePlus's Oxygen UI, I found myself musing recently. Wouldn't it be the perfect package?"
Why not get a Huawei and install a different launcher? This is so obvious that I must have missed something.
The launcher on my (elderly) Huawei had a new launcher within five minutes of starting it up.
You missed a few things from your review
A company that drops support for its phones after a short time - ask OnePlus 2 users about that
A company that lied and bluffed its way through a hack resulting in people losing a lot of money.
If anyone trusts such a company - good luck - I won't be going near them.
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