Why I didn’t buy a Samsung or iPhone

If you’re in the market for a smartphone you can’t go more than 30 minutes without encountering an ad for the flagships of either Samsung or iPhone. I recently upgraded my phone and no, I didn’t get either one.  Here’s why. 

I like big bezels and I cannot lie 

The current design trend is the elimination of bezels (the frame around the display) to allow for the largest screen possible while still minimizing the form factor.  This has resulted in some “odd’ design choices in my book such as the notch at the top of the iPhone X screen and the curved sides of the Samsung phones. With every reduction in the area you have for sensors and other components, compromises have to be made.  Sometimes these are leaving features out or more commonly pushing designs requiring a higher cost of manufacture. 

The phone I chose (which I’ll reveal at the end of the article) has a standard size bezel at the top and bottom of the phone as well as a relatively thin one around the sides.  The phone still has a 5.5″ AMOLED screen which is very good when it comes to clarity, size, and resolution. The trend of bezeless phones is one I think has a short shelf life and I won’t be surprised at all if within two generations we start to see manufacturers start to move back to offering phones with a bezel for a variety of reasons. 

It’s all about the battery 

No matter what device you purchase, battery life is one of the most important aspects of the device. Unfortunately, more and more manufacturers have moved to making phones that don’t support removable batteries (something I’ve had on my phones for a number of years and learned to love.) This comes from a desire for thinner, lighter phones that are waterproof.  I’ve never considered it a valid trade-off for water-resistance to battery life.  After all, the chances of my phone going for a swim are far less than it running out of juice.  The phone I settled on not only has good battery life (though many reviewers criticize the size of the battery – I have to question how much time they put in with the phone) but also supports external batteries for longer life. 

More important than the external batteries I’ve found the Quick Charging feature coming out on more phones is a game changer. Now rather than worrying about how low the battery is, I know that 20 minutes on a Quick Charger and I’ll be back at 80% and ready to go. 

Rebel yell 

The last reason is a much more personal one…I’m just not one to buy what everyone else is buying. No technical reason there, just a lack of willingness to be a follower.  That being said, choosing a phone is no longer a purely personal choice. Consideration needs to be given as to what the people you primarily communicate with are using (especially if they’re Apple people – see Facetime and iMessage for examples.) Deciding on a phone has to take a number of factors into consideration and if accessories and ecosystem are important to you, than choosing one of the big players becomes far more important. 

My choice of device is… 

The Motorola Moto Z2 Force. Yes, I know, it’s caught some bad press about the shatterproof screen being easy to scratch (a valid concern but easily resolved with good tempered glass screen protector) but when it comes to expandability, functionality, and design I’ve found it to be a winner for me.  I’ll write a full review of the device in the coming weeks, but for now suffice it to say the Moto Z2 Force is quickly becoming one of my favorite phones. 

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