My phone is dying. What should be my next mobile device?

Originally published at:

My phone is kinda coming apart. It presents a terrific opportunity for changing up the way I use a mobile device.

I am considering not having a phone. As my Dell Venue tablet is no longer supported and has a drastically reduced battery life (which is made worse in that it doesn’t show the accurate level, turning off when I think I have half a battery…), I am considering getting something in-between, one of those so-called “phablets”. Do they make phablets anymore?

There is apparently no plan to make new Ubuntu phones at the moment. FirefoxOS is undergoing, um, something. Cyanogenmod got turned off and is restructuring as Lineage OS. I still can’t order a Fairphone. The Purism phone is still just a survey.

What am I gonna do? I mean, besides buying a Runcible?

I don’t have a hard list of requirements, I am willing to compromise on nearly anything if the overall package holds value for me. Here is a rough priority list of things I’d like in a device:

  • Built with regard to people and the environment; the least amount of exploitative productive. Built to last
  • Free and open OS. iOS is a deal-breaker, and I want to avoid Google Services (so open-source Android is preferred, if at all).
  • Ability to connect to mobile networks, probably (I am willing to let this go, because I can carry around a clamshell for emergency calls).
  • Less than the cost of a nice laptop. I can get a new XPS 13 for $800, so a Pixel starting at $650 is just silly.
  • Modular, can be fixed without replacing the entire device.
  • Ability to add microSD for storage.

One thing that doesn’t appear on my list is the ability to function for more than one or two years. It touches upon many of the items on the list, because the hardware and the software have to both have upgrade paths; one without the other becomes the limiting factor.

Another that doesn’t appear is specs. I don’t really care how “powerful” the device is, as long as it runs its OS relatively quickly. I don’t want audio to skip or the device to freeze, but otherwise anything is okay.

When I think about that Runcible, I like that they refer to it as an heirloom. While I am personally more likely to pass on Pokemon than a digital device to Clover, it is the intention that piques my interest. I’ll need to track someone down that has one to see how they’ve put it through its paces, but that may just be my next mobile device.

What am I missing? There are so many new devices coming out all the time, I know I missed some. But more importantly, which missions and movements have I missed? Who is building something interesting and responsibly? Let me know! :slight_smile:

Posting this here because I figured it might get more traction.

@mlinksva suggested looking at Copperhead, and @tim suggested a OnePlus 3T.

I am still looking, to see if I get my mind changed before the Nokia 150 is released. That’s right, I might be spurning a smartphone all together! :slight_smile: