Since this time last year, I've been through quite a few phones. I have what I guess what you could call cell phone ADD and can't seem to remain content with the same couple of devices for more than a couple months. So I switch it up as often as I can. In doing so, I discover new things – little and big – that I love and hate about devices. For instance, the ThunderBolt made me realize just how great having a kickstand can be, but it also reminded me how much I despise chunky phones and terrible battery life.

A thought that is constantly rolling around in my head (you might be able to tell by these three preceding articles) is what the perfect smartphone for me is – one that has all of the awesome things that I love and gets rid of all the muck. I've come up with some pretty interesting concepts, like a Nokia N9 running webOS, or a stretch BlackBerry 9900 running a custom build of Android (MIUI) themed to look like webOS.

It has been several months since I've dabbled on the idea, and to be honest, a lot of my preferences have changed or … matured, rather. Without further ado, this is my perfect smartphone:



Both internal components and external design in smartphones has come a long way since last year. The average size of smartphones is nearing 4.7-inches, passing what many of us once thought was the sweet spot (4-inches). I once thought any phone much bigger than that would be a joke, unusable and just plain silly. Then I bought a Galaxy Note and there was no turning back. To date, my favorite size smartphone is, without question, the Note, which I never imagined possible. I also recently purchased a Lumia 900. While I feel it's a tad small for my liking, the build quality and materials are second to none.

If I were to have my choice, the perfect phone for me would have the same build quality and materials as the Lumia 900 – a unibody polycarbonate frame – but the size and display of the Galaxy Note. The only thing I would change about the Galaxy Note's display is the sub-pixel layout, from Pentile Matrix to the standard RBG layout (from HD Super AMOLED to HD Super AMOLED Plus). But even that is negligible at WXGA resolution.

As for the other specs, I would need either a dual-core Snapdragon S4 chip or the four-plus-one Tegra 3. I'm not terribly picky when it comes to processors, so long as the phone can operate smoothly, without a hitch. I would need at least 64GB of built-in storage with an external microSD card slot. Also, 1GB RAM should do the trick. And battery? Let's steal the battery from the DROID RAZR MAXX. A 3,300mAh cell should be able to power this Frankenphone for at least a full day.

When it comes to cameras, well, that's tricky. There are a lot of great cameras out there. Both the Lumia 900 and Galaxy Note have some awesome image sensors around back. But I would still prefer the shooter from the iPhone 4S. Using them all side by side, the iPhone still manages to capture the sharper image, though the colors seem a tad faded. I would also add Smart Flash from HTC's new ImageSense technology.

When it comes to hardware, one of the biggest topics that goes overlooked is button, port and speaker placement. I really like the port and speaker layout on the Lumia 900. But the buttons are all jumbled on one edge of the device. The perfect button layout is found on the Galaxy Nexus, with the volume rocker directly across from the power button, which falls perfectly beneath either my thumb or index finger (depending on which hand I'm holding it with). And, of course, the device would need a dedicated camera shutter button and a kickstand.

Throw in Samsung's S Pen and this may be the best thing I've ever imagined.



I'm not generally too hard to please when it comes to software. But I have explained several times before that I am heavily invested in Google's apps and services. I use Gmail for both work and personal email, I use Google Voice for handling voice mail and I rely on Google Talk to stay in touch with my friends and coworkers. While all of these services are available on other platforms, they're not quite as integrated or as polished as they are on Android. (After all, Google wouldn't want to give the competition a better product, right?)

The software I want on the phone is purely stock Android 4.0, just like I had on the international Galaxy Nexus. It was clean, smooth and looked fantastic. That said, the camera software was only decent. I wouldn't mind having the added benefits of HTC's ImageSense: simultaneous video and still image capture, burst mode, etc.

Also, if an S Pen is to be included, there would certainly need to be accommodating software. The Premium Suite from the Galaxy Note's Ice Cream Sandwich update would be a nice added touch, so long as it doesn't bring any TouchWiz elements along for the ride.


Carrier and connectivity

When it comes to carriers, it's down to two choices: Verizon or AT&T. Sprint, however, would be a close third. All I'm looking for is LTE connectivity. Verizon and AT&T already have it and have already dedicated a lot of time and resources to build out their networks. They're far from perfect – Verizon has had multiple, several-hour outages since launching their LTE network, for instance – and LTE isn't exactly battery-friendly. But the blazing fast speeds make it worthwhile.

Sprint is worth mentioning, though, solely because they will be the only nationwide carrier to offer truly unlimited LTE. There's no telling how long that offer will actually last, but I would get it while it's hot if Sprint's LTE is strong in your area once the network launches.


Your turn

Now it's your turn, readers. My perfect phone probably doesn't appeal to many of you. I know a lot of you scoff at the thought of a 5-inch phone. And you may not like my choice in software, carrier or other components.

So here's your chance … again. Tell me what the perfect phone for you would be. Is it a 5.3-inch Lumia look-alike running stock Ice Cream Sandwich? Or is it something totally different? Set your imagination free and tell me what your perfect smartphone is in the comments section below!

Image via The Verge

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Products mentioned in this Article

eBay prices for the Nokia Lumia 900 Black

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107 Reactions to this post

"What's your perfect phone?"

Please limit your reaction to 140 characters or use comments for a longer reply :)
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Anonymous Nokia N9 with the slightly better hardware and the PureView camera technology from the Nokia 808.
Anonymous That would be Motorola Razr Maxx with apple's iOS, because Razr Maxx is just what a good smartphone should be with just the lack of an operating system mature.
Robert Manser A phone that goes to work and poops for me, because I'm always in the bathroom Lol........
Patrick Tam The perfect phone: A phone with interchangeable parts designed by Nokia/Apple/Asus. With a quad core processor and 4gb of ram. 256 gb of flash memory with microsd card expansion. The interchangeable parts would allow for keyboard attachments or something like the padfone. It will be able to quad boot iOS,web os,android,and windows phone 7 and when plugged in to a hdmi port it will run os x lion/windows 8. The carrier would be made by apple and will have unlimited data and good service everywhere and the carrier would also use super wifi hotspots for data instead of just cell phone towers to provide fast speeds and unlimited data. The phone would have the iPad 3's battery capacity but will charge faster and go for 2 days with medium usage. the phone would be as thin or thinner than the iPhone 4s with a 4 inch screen. Realistic perfect phone: IPhone 5 with unibody design with a 4 inch screen and redesigned iOS 6. With 1gb ram and a 12 mp rear camera and 5 mp front camera with led flash on both sides. Also louder speakers and improved Siri and the carrier would be AT&T. LTE for data and a good sized battery. The phone should be the thinnest phone and by thinnest I mean like the droid razr but with the camera cut off and with a good weight to it. Also with apple's revolutionary feuture?
Joey Cossack Anything that is not an iPhone. People that like that phone give Americans a bad name....its like buying a Camry when the BMW is cheaper.
Jason Forbus Actually to much to say
Jason Forbus The htc inspire with a larger display
Jamal Burns A phone with a 3.5 to 3.7 inch screen that's quad core great camera 4glte lots of great apps and finally a phone with a big battery that wont die
Jacky On No such thing as a perfect phone. We always want more, so I guess a perfect phone is a learning phone that gets new things as soon as we want it whatever we want.
Yusuf Bahadur Iphone hardware. Android os. A huge battery. Apple app store, retina display, and 4g capabilities
Fred Haynes My Galaxy Note is perfect!
Jannis Anderson The phone u put together seems pretty nice!
Shane Collins Mytouch 4g or 3G slide
Duncan Wynn Jr. One of the follwing : an upgrade version ( multitasking and gpu of Belle plus multiple homescreens ) of the Nokia Asha 303 ; Belle HW verdion of the Nokia E6 , Belle HW version of the Nokia E7 , Nokia n950 , or the Nokia 808 with a physical QWERTY yessss !! :))
Kashir Bhayroo All the insides of the htc one x inside of the galaxy note with the battery of the motorola droid razr maxx...perfect phone
Robert Kaminski Toss up MOTO electrify or HTC incredable2
Orion Pax who ever said Android software and Iphone hardware? so it can shatter on the first drop...
Orion Pax oh and a 3500mah batter
Orion Pax My Galaxy Note with QuadCore+2gb Ram+Xenon Flash+64gb internal with SDXC support (not MicroSD)....thats it
Ron Clair It would be the Droid 4 with an extended 3300 miloamp battery like the Droid Razr Maxx, but the batteries would be user removable and user replaceable.
Victor Brownwell Android software & iPhone hardware, the perfect combination of freedom in your hands and elegant looks to match!
Abram Wenevermet Dennis IPhone LTE with a big screen would be perfect
Steve Österdahl Nokia lumia 800 in white . Great phone
Mauka Side One that does not re-boot on you at sporadic spurts, even after a so called update. One that does what you want it to do without lagging. One that has an amazing camera that focuses on the subject matter very fast and with 12 megapixels and high quality lens. One with at least a 3.0 front facing camera. One with a quality screen like hat of the iPhone 4. And one with 64g storage. That's not the Bionic.
Nikola Karovic HTC One X
Robaire Henderson 1X with better battery life and the HD 2mp ffc of the Rezound.
Izhar Carrera iPhone+4glte=dream phone!
Stephan Wright A windows phone with the customization and app market of android.
Toreon Jones Sr. HTC Evo4g LTE......
Jeffrey Rodenas iphone 4s
Matt Herman The LTE successor to my Wimax Evo 4G!
Ryan Hunt With dual cameras
Ryan Hunt An iPhone 4s with multiple app stores & big touch screen
CJ Jeffcoat Also dual boot iOS 5
CJ Jeffcoat And touch wiz 4.0
CJ Jeffcoat An android 4.0.3 phone with a tegra 3 processer and a super AMOLED touch screen and an 12 megapixel camera on the back and at least a 5 megapixel camera on the front. Also with a 4.3 inch screen and on Verizon's 4G LTE network.
RJ Boling Im happy with my galaxy sii.. I would like to see a 5" display and a quad core processor. Also I would sacrifice thickens for an extended life battery with a stock look
Michael Klinkum Htc One x with leedroid rom
Michael Gonzalez Iphone 4s running ics, htc sense, and with an 8mp hd rear camera and 3.2 mp front camera... I can only dream... Ps, I am not assn iphone fan but I do like the shape of the new ones
Nahtanoj Divad Htrab iPhone jailbroken, just a little bit bigger screen, 4g I can turn on and off.
Michael Breeze Galaxy note with pure Android 4.0...curved glass like nexus...and virtual buttons on bottom
Jeradiah R Williams The Samsung Galaxy Note LTE!! That will be the next phone I will upgrade to
Osman Ismail Galaxy Note with ICS!
Aldo W Treurnich Samsung Galaxy Note!
Alfonso Dingo Torres Pre-Jailbroken iPhone 4S
Rick Conrad Any "smartphone" that will last more then 1 day on battery. The major brands really need to take a year off on development of new gadgets and concentrate on refining the basics. Battery life, call quality and reliability. The razr Max would be perfect if it was a Samsung device. There is no excuse anymore with today's technology for a smartphone to have retarded battery life.
Huey Liggins You mean other than my galaxy note with ICS update? I'd say iphone design minus the glass body. Real 4g with all the specs of the s3 rumors I've heard. And ICS with more stability. Iphone may not be customizable but it's stable
Leroy Langston Ice cream sand which, bug less, ffc. Dual core with a good kernel for excellent battery life as well as the ability to push itself to its Max when necessary.. and have a big super amoled screen with touch capacitive buttons and the home button first. Preferably HTC Sense.. but HTC doesn't do amoled.
Frank Porter My Galixy Nexus right now
Mark Gittens Android OS, 4.3 to 4.5 inch screen. 1.5 or better dual core processor. Quality physical keyboard like on the Tmo G2. 8 mp camera. Great audio and it has to have excellent build quality.
Yazzid Othman galaxy note..been using iphone since 2008 & decided to be open n try android..so far so good but missed my ios apps :(
Devin VandeVelde A Nokia lumia 900 with a 4.7 inch super amoled HD display and Intel quad core i7 prosessor and a 16 MP camera with a Carl zies f2.2 lens. All running ice cream sandwitch. That would be the best phone ever!!!!!!!!!!
Marie Williams A big screen and will stay charged up all day.
Mahesh Babu a phone with 5000mah battery which can last 24hrs heavy usage
Jeremy Gross one that fits in the hand well (like a 4.3) up to latest software and now i want it to be quad core with great battery life (and proboly not an lg) has a good camera, on a great network and under 300
Michael Ryan Zurbano a phone that made food for me
Kevin Holbrook Nice 4.7 inch screen. Records HD. Takes picture fast rather than waiting 3 minutes. CXan play games and navigate to what i want and need fast. Long battery life and for under £200. Never gonna happen though haha
Shahul Hameed Iphone with customization thats enough
BossMan Atl My galaxy note with quad core processor. ICS. That's it. :-)
JuNed Islam Htc one x
Ernest Marvin Esteban Nokia's lumia design + Android 4.0.4 (stock only!!!)
Jose Angel Santiago How many times are you guys going to ask this question? SMH
Jesse Pitt htc sense in a galaxy skyrocket!!!
Jordan Williams A One X with the Razr Maxx battery and a Droid 4 physical keyboard.
Giemuel Uy ...any phone that has chuck norris on speed dial
Prabhath Jay one x with better battary and sony s camera
Lee Jack htc one x design,htc sense 4.0,iphone smoothness,razr maxx battery, nokia pureview camera!
Rob McGrady Sidekick swivel amoled 4 inch screen sidekick 2 keyboard running android 4.0 with 14mp camera blackberry battery life cricket prices Verizon service and quad core processor with 2gb ram lol
Still Dre Dane Jailbroken Iphone. No argument over customization then. Just need bigger screen!
Johan Christiansen HTC one x with a better battery
Doug Kastner iOS combined with the widgets and customization of Android on an iPhone with the same design as the 4S, but with a 4.5 inch retina display and hardware that wont need upgraded within a year and a half.
Hansel Starley @Arvydas Gruseckas, Isn't the 800 and 710 cameras also awful compared to their counterparts? I mean the N9 camera is amazing and the 800 has the same camera but is awful for some reason. The same with Focus S/GS2 and Titan/Amaze =/.
Andy McCormick Droid Pro with faster processor and slightly larger screen
Susie Tracey My iPhone 4S with a 4" screen and REAL 4G... not that lying little symbol they gave us, and the ability to jailbreak without having to wait for months!
Christopher Gronde Samsung Galaxy Note with Vanila ICS!!! I really wish either A. more carriers would offer the Note or B. more manufacturers would make phones this size!
Wasis Waskito Samsung Galaxy Note. But it's not mine yet. I saw in TV. Bahahahaha
Jim Lucas Moto RAZR
Daniel Cuadrado iPhone 4S
Angelo Collazo Not Iphone
Ian Medina Android features, windows phone OS smoothness and it should be free on contract =)
Arvydas Gr @Hansel Starley No, that is Lumia 900
Corie Borie iPhone 4s that runs ice cream sandwich with no bugs or lags :D
Ian Slade S2 with the Droid Razr MAXX Battery, and HTC Sense
Michael Cabrera an iphone 4s..... or the iphone 5 with bigger screen....
Nikolas Manuelides HTC ONE X with a xenon flash
Marcio Mello Blackberry OS with the iOS 5
Craig Marino Epic touch 4g with a better battery. By better i mean never dies....
Hansel Starley Is that an N9 with Android 4.0? Dayum. Anyway my perfect phone has Iphone apps, Android features and Nokia design. Also an amazing camera, I don't know if it's Windows Phone fault but those Nokia camera are horrendous.
Diego Salazar Android OS with the iPhone resolution!
Isaac Shinde have any1 heard about Nokia pureview 41 mp camera ?
Michael Koishor Iphone hardware with android software with blackberry notifications
Josh Essex Is it as big? What's the carrier with it?
Derek Almond iPhone with a bigger screen and A5X chip.
CeeGii Borels LG Optimus 3D with 64GB msdxc
Shardul Sahdev desire hd
Joseph Alan Richardson A fast phone that is nice to look at and is cheap. Preferable a Windows Phone.
Kali Gr galaxy s3 with keybored
Isaac Shinde HTC one x is much better than G note
Razeen Mujarrab A cheaper HTC One X or Nokia Lumia 900.
Brent Legendre doesnt drop calls and spends more time in my pocket than plugged in to an outlet.
Arvydas Gr Gonna buy HTC One X. But Lumia 900 is a very good phone, just not available in my country :)
Gabe Karl my samsung galaxy s2
Gordon Christie My rooted gs2 or a galaxy note
Josh Essex Galaxy note....I just don't have at&t
Isaac Shinde HTC one x

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