Earlier this week, I explained that my week spent carrying nothing but the DROID DNA every day was great and that switching back to a two-phone setup was both annoying and difficult to cope with.

As much as I like having the option to switch between operating systems on the fly, duplicate notifications for every single call, text, Twitter mention, Facebook comment and email is noisy and redundant. And smartphones – as well as their respective operating systems – have advanced to the point that shortcomings are minimal.

I stated that I would much rather prefer carrying just one smartphone full-time moving forward. And instead of a second smartphone, I would upgrade to a small or mid-sized tablet with wireless connectivity. But rather than corner myself into a single platform, I would prefer to alternate the mobile operating systems between devices.

I took the last three days to contemplate exactly what my ideal mobile device setup would be. I don't need three, four or five mobile devices, and I want to consolidate. Below I have detailed the two variations of mobile devices that I want; unfortunately, what I truly want does not yet exist.


Nexus 4 and an iPad mini

First, it's time I get back to the roots with Android. I've explored both HTC's and Samsung's latest (current) iterations of their customized Android interfaces: Sense 4/4+ and TouchWiz Nature UX in intimate detail. They both are vast improvements over previous versions and are versions of Android that I can live with.

Still, they are not my primary choice. They do not speak to my inner geek quite like vanilla Android, stock Jelly Bean 4.2.

When it comes to Android handsets, wanting stock Android drastically limits my options. There is only one serious handset to choose, the Nexus 4, and it has to be on a GSM carrier – in my case, AT&T. So that leaves my small tablet choice to Verizon. Through Verizon, there are only a few tablets in the mid-range sector: iPad mini, Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 and DROID XYBOARD 8.2. Considering I don't want to narrow myself into a single ecosystem or platform, that leaves one option, the iPad mini.

However, I have reservations with the mini. The display resolution is questionably low, making the density and, likewise, the quality well below par. The specifications are nothing to get terribly excited over, nor is the price.

If there were an iPad mini with a Retina Display, this decision would be a no-brainer. I would be looking desperately for a Nexus 4 and I would be working towards getting my hands on a Verizon iPad mini. But this configuration leaves me without the one thing I need in a smartphone. An awesome camera.


iPhone 5 with Nexus 7/Galaxy Note 8.0 with connectivity

The opposite of the Nexus 4 and iPad mini setup is a similar Android tablet paired with the iPhone 5, of course.

I already have an iPhone 5 – 32GB black – in my possession. And I'm perfectly content with it being on Verizon's LTE network, which is respectably fast in most areas I spend my time. So I would keep it that exactly where it is.

The conflict comes from the choosing an Android tablet between 7- and 8-inches compatible with AT&T. The options are: iPad mini, Lenovo IdeaTab A2107 or a Nexus 7 with HSPA+ compatibility. I want to split between operating systems, so if I'm carrying an iPhone, the iPad mini is off the table. Basically, it boils down to the Nexus 7.

For $299, the unlocked Nexus 7 is not a bad deal, by any means. But like the iPad mini, the display resolution is noticeably low in comparison to many other devices out there in different size categories, such as the Nexus 10 with a 10.055-inch 2,560 by 1,600 pixel display or the HTC DROID DNA with a 5-inch 1,920 by 1,080 pixel display. That is 300ppi and 443ppi, respectively, versus the 216ppi (7-inch display with 1,280 by 800 pixels) of the Nexus 7.

The only thing that gives me pause are the rumors of the Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0. But it, too, is plagued by a comparatively low-density display, an 8-inch panel with 1,280 by 800 pixels for about 189 pixels per inch.


Either way I look at it, there is no perfect setup. One way or another, I have to make a compromise to get a mid-sized tablet, I have to settle with a sub-par display (at least in respect to the astronomically high-density panels of other devices). The other problem is availability. I could buy a Verizon iPad mini today to accompany the Nexus  4. But the Nexus 4 is still in and out of stock at T-Mobile and has yet to return to stock on Google Play. As for the other setup, the one I'm less inclined to go with, I already have an iPhone 5 and could buy a Nexus 7 with an AT&T SIM today.

Here's to hoping the Nexus 4 comes back in stock soon. If it does, I'll make a move. If it hasn't come back in stock in a couple weeks, I will likely order a Nexus 7 from Google Play and won't look back for a while. This setup will save me money each month and relieve the stress associated with carrying two phones everywhere I go.

What is your ideal setup, folks? A smartphone and a mid-sized tablet, like me? Or do you have a different ideal setup? Sound off in the comments section below and share what yours is or what is currently keeping you from achieving that model configuration!

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Products mentioned in this Article

eBay prices for the Google Nexus 4

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25 Reactions to this post

"What is your ideal mobile device configuration?"

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Julian Scott HTC evo 3d running jellybean and iPad mini
Jason Vargas Galaxy Note II and an iPad. iOS has more games and apps to enjoy on a big screen and anything an Android Tablet could do a Note 2 can do so u get the Best of both worlds
Angel Ortiz Hahahahaha they are all configured to be unlocked
Mike Hogue my 5.5 inch Note 2
Marcus Samual Winchester My ideal config is basically the same as what i have, though id add a Bluetooth keyboard to the mix
Marcus Samual Winchester A galaxy S3, ipad mini and a laptop, with a blackberry bold as a spare phone
Thomas Boehnlein I walk around with an mp3 player, smartphone, 7" tablet and 10" tablet. I wouldn't have it any other way.
Miguel Bleau Note 2 and nexus 10 ftw
Abram Wenevermet Dennis iPhone & iPad ..
Gordon Christie would just buy a galaxy note
Larry Hanks HTC HD2 converted to Android..pretty much covers all my mobile needs
Jeff Penczak Note II and Asus Transformer with keyboard. I never run out of battery power
Travis Robinson And 5 inch Samsung made quadcore 64gb super amoled and should be able to dual boot ios and android latest versions and it must have at least 4500 mah battery.
Dani Hayes A jailbroken iPhone.
Luis Reich Note 2 and Nexus 10
Mark Schroeder Note II and a Ouya
Dave Morgan 5" 1920x1280 display, Exynos octa-core processor, 13mp rear camera, 2mp front camera, Jelly Bean 4.1.2, S Pen, LTE, physical home button, aluminum and glass construction, Gorilla Glass 2, and comes in navy blue
Kevin Joel Windows 8 touch, (Asus vivobook) 6 inch WP 8 (which there isn't) and Xbox on 60"
Geffá Oliveira can't agree more with the one in the tittle. Iphone and Nexus 7
Danny Chavez Note II and ipad mini for apps
Kyle Cordiano Galaxy Nexus till the next generation Nexus comes out.
Tim Davis Nexus 4 and a Nexus 7. No point in buying apps twice.
Nicholas StylishDemeanor Scafe Nokia EOS,Nokia LASER,Nokia CATWALK
Ajith P George A 4 inch phone with ios platform(not iphone just the os),1.7 ghz quadcore processor,2gb ram,full hd display,32 gigs of internal memory,12 megapixel camera with carl Zeiss optics....
Brian Edson ive got my galaxy s 3 and the OG asus eee pad transformer. but i tend to find myself going to my laptop more often than the tablet. my ultimate setup that would work for me would be 4 things all of varying sizes- a 15.6" windows laptop (maybe a windows 8 touch laptop like the acer aspire v5 touch), a 7 inch android tablet (nexus 7 or better), my galaxy s 3, and a pebble smartwatch

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