Cell Phone Recommendations – August 2016

I often push my way into conversations with people about their cell phones. I am curious what they think of them and what they are planning on getting next. Sometimes, I even get asked my opinion. I try to keep up with what is happening in the Canadian cell phone market, and today I wanted to provide my recommendations for cell phones on various budgets.

One Plus 3

oneplus3This is the third iteration of the One Plus line, and this isn’t from HTC or any other “brand name” cell phone manufacturer, but I still highly recommend this device. I’ve read up on it extensively and it or its next version will likely be what I move to next if I have the money.

Here are some quick specs worth knowing:

  • 6 GB Ram – huge, even for today’s flagship devices. This will improve performance in games and when you have multiple open apps
  • Good battery – 3000 mAh is a bit on the small side for today’s flagship devices, but overall it should last a day
  • 5.5” screen – big but not too big in my opinion
  • Great included storage – 64GB included in any/every model is really good considering some phones still ship with 16GB
  • Fast charging if you purchase the Dash Charge Bundle for an additional $50
  • Unlocked – It can be used on any Canadian network, as far as I know
  • Dual-SIM – You can put a cheap SIM in when travelling to reduce roaming costs

The biggest catch with the One Plus 3 is that you have to buy it outright. There are no carriers in Canada that allow you to subsidize the price of the phone as part of your plan. The good news is that you don’t need to get stuck in a contract, and the phone is just a little over $500. Compare that to the many $1000 phones valuations out there, and you’ll start to understand how good of a value this device is.

Learn more about the One Plus 3 on their website.

Samsung Galaxy S7

The first comment I’m likely to get is “why not the Edge version?” While it does have a larger battery, I’m concerned that the wrapped screen will lead to more opportunities to crack or otherwise break the screen or digitizer. I am not completely sold on the added benefits of having an “edge” screen area, also it is more expensive to get the Edge version of the S7, so just stick with the regular one.

  • Near $1000 phone ($300 on 2 year contract)
  • 32GB included storage
  • Expandable storage
  • 5.1” screen
  • Water and Dust Resistant
  • Fast Charging

I think the only drawback is the price of this phone, at $300 on a 2 year contract, or $0 on a 2 year contract at $90+/month with Telus, this phone doesn’t feel like a “deal”, but I’m someone that doesn’t like paying for a device I’m going to be locked to a contract on.

Nexus 6P

I am very excited to see what Google does next with their Nexus brand, and we should hear in the next few months the replacements for the current generation of Nexus devices, but I still think the Nexus 6P has a great deal to offer someone, especially if you are a bit more concerned about budget.

  • Gets latest Android operating system updates as they come out
  • 32GB included storage
  • Expandable storage
  • 5.7” screen – feels big in the hand and will use more battery life than smaller screen sizes
  • Water and Dust Resistant

This feels almost like a small tablet, even in my large palmed hands. I would recommend anyone wanting to go in this direction go to a store and try it out before purchasing, as it may feel uncomfortable due to the screen size. On the other hand, I will say that watching videos on this phone is amazing. If you are looking for a zero cost phone on contract, and you don’t mind a massive phone, I’d suggest the Nexus 6P.

Conclusion

In the end, you have to figure out what phone works best for your budget. Some major concerns when purchasing a phone should be:

  • How much is the phone off contract? – This gives you a comparison from device to device for what you can likely expect for features and performance.
  • Is the phone durable? – Not enough time is spent considering this when buying a phone. If the phone isn’t extremely durable, you’ll want to purchase a case, and don’t think just because something has Gorilla glass that it will survive being dropped.
  • Will it meet my needs in two years? – If you are expecting to take videos, capture amazing photos, and listen to a large library of music, then your needs will differ from someone only consuming from the Internet and texting their friends. The best phones under 30000 megabytes in storage might not be best for you, but try to imagine what you’ll need your phone for two years down the road because with most of these devices, you’ll be on contract for two years.

Take your time and consider your options. While we don’t have the market of plans that other places in the world has, we do have plenty of device choices to fit nearly any need.

P.S. – For those looking for a zero upfront cost phone that isn’t a huge monster like the Nexus 6P, I recommend getting the Moto X Play.

2 Replies to “Cell Phone Recommendations – August 2016”

    1. I am considering going iPhone for my next device, but they are expensive in Canada to purchase, even on contract. The biggest thing that stopped me from getting an iPhone previously was the lack of Swype. I can’t live without that keyboard input option on a cell phone… but now you can do it! 🙂

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