Which smartphone would you keep using permanently?

Evan Selleck
Contributing Editor from Arizona
Published: August 30, 2012

A few months ago, I brought up the sci-fi notion of phone manufacturers releasing phones like cars. Maybe a stock option, with no frills, vanilla software, and a baseline for hardware. But then, right there on their website, you could add options, like more RAM or a better display. You could build the phone you want! That's a pipe dream, though. Sure, phone manufacturers release different versions of phones, but since here in the United States we love phone discounts, but still hate contracts, sometimes customers miss the chance to get those other phones.

So, while we may not see phone commercials with "seen with available options" anytime soon for an upcoming smartphone, it is still a cool idea.

Sometimes I find myself thinking back to old phones. While I sit here and stare at either a Galaxy Nexus or the iPhone 4S, I think back to a time before these phones were announced. Usually, long before. I remember the time surrounding the unveiling of the original HTC Hero pretty fondly. I was really excited about that phone. I wasn't as excited about the HTC DROID Incredible before it launched, but after I got my hands on it, it easily ranked up to be one of my favorite devices.

And I'm sure all of you have a favorite device. That one smartphone that you really, truly hated to get rid of. Or, stop using. Or, hey, maybe you haven't stopped using it. I know there's a few people out there that, despite the fact there have been plenty of devices launched after it, still use the Nexus One by HTC. It is their favorite phone, beyond any shadow of a doubt.

So, let's combine a couple ideas here. Harkening back to that original article about building a phone to your liking, and thinking about your favorite phone of all time, what if you had to keep a phone permanently. Just one device! But, this one device is customizable. Fully customizable. And it's easy to do, too. Just pop open the device, and you've got access to easily removable RAM, built-in storage, an interchangeable display, and even extra slots for NFC, or whatever other technology you want to cram in there.

No, the "real life" device doesn't need to be that customizable (coughApplecough), but we're thinking out of the box here. I want to know what your favorite phone of all time is, but not just because it was a device you think back fondly on. Prove it, by choosing the one device that you've owned that you'd keep for the rest of your life, if you had the ability to keep it up to today's standards.

So, even if that's a Galaxy S III, so be it. (That would make sense. It's a really nice phone.) Either way, I want to know which device that you've owned personally would be the one you'd be perfectly content with owning from here on out.

For me, I think that would be the DROID Incredible. Yes, it does have a smaller display, and I think I would prefer it to have a least a 3.5-inch display, but overall the original Incredible still ranks up as high as a smartphone can on my list.

So here are the parameters. I want you to tell me which device is your favorite, the one you'd want to keep. Then, I want you to tell me what features you'd upgrade. (You have to keep the screen size the same, for obvious reasons. However, that doesn't mean you can't change the screen technology!) Would you add more RAM? How much. How about throw in more memory? Maybe microSD card support? Maybe more ports, like HDMI? A better camera?

So let me know, Dear Reader. Which device would you keep permanently and how would you upgrade it, if you had the chance? I'm very curious to see which devices from yesteryear manage to make the list. Hopefully someone can surprise me (and you, too)!