What features would you want in a "perfect" device?Anna Scantlin - Contributing Editor
This holiday season, instead of fairies or sugar plums dancing in my head I've had other dreams in mind (and besides, sugar plums are gross). As I do my usual holiday shopping throughout the season, there is hardly a time where I don't cross a Verizon Wireless or an AT&T where I decide to make a pit stop or two to dabble with new devices. While I'm tinkering with these phones, and with it being the holiday season, the thought creeps into my head every once in a while where I think to myself, "Hey, you know what? I think I want a new phone." But even as tempting as that thought is, and as many great phones that are out right now, I think I'm still waiting for the perfect one. As it stands right now, it would seem the HTC One is the perfect device for me. Or at least, as close to perfect as it gets.
I say that because there are still things I would change about it in order to make it "perfect".
Let's start with the things I already love about it. For the longest time I thought the iPhone 4S's 3.5-inch screen was the perfect size for me. I was happy with it, even after having larger phones before it. While I certainly don't mind a smaller device, around the time my friend went and purchased a Galaxy Note II was about the time that I realized that bigger screens were actually quite handy. I could see a lot better, and I could see a lot more. The only issue was that holding the device for an extended period of time was uncomfortable for me. A 5.5-inch screen was just a little too large for my liking. Not too long after was when I decided to upgrade from my 4S, and I tried the Galaxy S4. As it turns out, even a 5-inch screen is also just a little too much for me. When I finally got to the HTC One, it would seem that a 4.7-inch screen is my sweet spot. So, while a 3.5-inch is perfectly tolerable and even convenient in many cases, when it comes to having a bigger, more visible screen, the 4.7-inch screen is my ideal screen size.
Next, of course I have to mention the body. I've never been entirely too picky on what body my phone had before more options came about. I didn't care that my HTC EVO 4G had a plastic back or that my Samsung Vibrant had textured backing. But again, I think that all might have changed with my 4S. While I still think it was a ridiculous idea to put glass of all materials on the back of the device, I can't lie and say that I didn't think the heft and density of the 4S didn't feel pretty good in the hand. That being said, the HTC One gives off the same feeling. The One is surprisingly weighty for such a slim device. It's also one of the few phones that I don't mind keeping out of the case every once in a blue moon. I run the risk of denting the back if it drops, but I don't have the fear that it will straight up crack. That being said, I don't generally take my phone out of the case, but I've been known to go without a time or two. The aluminum and the heft just feel really nice.
When it comes to specs, with the HTC One being 8 months old now the specs aren't exactly top notch. Quite honestly, I could care less about what the specs are like, as long as the device runs smoothly and quickly. I recognize good specs when I see them, but in the end it just depends on the software the phone is running on. I'm not saying that my perfect phone runs on Android, iOS, BlackBerry 10 or Windows Phone, because my opinion on them is always changing with new updates. Clearly, each platform has a different set of requirements needed to run the software effectively. Some Windows Phone devices are still coming out with phones running on dual-core processors 1GB of RAM and still perform just as well as any high-end Android phone. Better specs are ideal, but as long as the phone runs quickly and smoothly (and ideally has a battery life that at least gets me through a 14-hour day with room to spare) then we're good.
I also think front-facing speakers should be a feature on every phone. Every single one.
Then we get to the camera. The camera is admittedly the one major thing I would change about the HTC One. The UltraPixel camera did an okay job at teaching us that you don't need higher megapixels to take a decent photo, and at first glance that would seem to be true. My One does take pretty decent pictures... until you zoom in. When you zoom in, it's an entirely different story. If I had a dollar for every pixel that I saw on a fully-zoomed picture taken with my One, I'd have two dollars. (That's an exaggeration, but the pictures really don't look that good.) Since we're just talking about a fictional device here, I'm going to get a little crazy here and say if we could get the Lumia 1020's camera on the back of the One it would be game over. But, more realistically I think the camera could stand to be about 10-16 megapixels (with the UltraPixel technology) and still do as good of a job as you would expect out of a smartphone.
Last but not least, I feel like I have once again managed to defy the odds of me ever using up anywhere close to 32GB of memory and am now sitting at about 24GB of memory being used. I'm beginning to think there is no perfect memory size, because as long as I have it it looks like I'll use it. But with that being said, I think another bump in internal memory (or, you know, maybe just including an SD card slot) would be ideal at this point.
And that's my perfect phone. An HTC One with all of the improvements I think that it needs.
But now I want to hear from you, readers. Now that the holidays are here, have you been thinking of what the perfect device for you would be? Does your perfect device already exist? Share what features you would want in a perfect device here in the comments below!