What I Want From a Smartphone


I’m going to put this out here to start, I pretty much don’t know anything about smartphones. I want a smartphone, and in Tom’s Perfect World, these are the things that it can do. So in no particular order, here is my wishlist.

I am a uni student. So I don’t exactly have a heap of money to throw around the place. As such, I don’t want a phone on a plan that’ll charge me a heap of money for internet access. It should be able to connect to wireless networks and use that. From there I should be able to do all sorts of things to use bandwidth to contact people.

It should have a headphone jack. A normal headphone jack. You think this would be a given but my last  (only) phone, the Samsung A411 did NOT have a standard jack so only the special headphones would work. Funny story I was talking to someone once using these, the conversation went something like this:
Me: Hey, cool! I found a button on my headphones! I wonder what it does.
Her: It probably disconnec- *call disconnected* -ts the call.
*Tom calls again*
Me: Guess what! It disconnects the call!

Anouther, more sci-fi application is think it’d be cool to be able to use the phone as a sort of remote control of everything in my life. For instance, I want to be able to connect my computer to my TV to watch shows on my computer. Then I want to be able to wirelessly access my computer from my phone and choose what movie I want to watch. What would be more cool is if everything in my hypothetical house has some sort of electronic control, so I could turn lights, tv, microwave, whatever on and off. A practical application of this would be pressing one button on the phone that turns everything off when I leave the house. This could maybe be achieved by installing something on all the powerpoints that can receive signals.

To be honest, I don’t really care about watching movies on a phone, the screen would be all small and if I was in a situation like that I’d prefer to read a book… and listen to some music off of my smartphone. Good music capacity is something that I DO want, video is something I DON’T care about.

It’s also be awesome to have some cool programmer goodies. The ability to be able to make apps and run them on this smart phone would be awesome. As would the ability to get to some kind of command  line/terminal. I’m not certain what I’d use it for, but I think it’d be pretty cool.

So there you go, this is my wishlist. Are these things stupid and impossible? Or are then obviously standard with every phone? I’m probably going to regret doing zero research on this, but I still want to here what you guys have to say about this.

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16 thoughts on “What I Want From a Smartphone

  1. For music capacity, I’d recommend you just get a phone with small builtin memory, and then just expand it with MicroSD (I got a 16 GB MicroSD card for like $20 off ebay). Pretty much most smartphone are expandable, besides iPhone.

    As for your remote control everything in the house, that is a bit of a pipe dream. Would be possible, but would probably cost a shit load to setup. You could probably at least remote control your comp with it to some extent (like change song track or whatever). That software should be fairly standard for any smartphone.

  2. Oh, and I think you can get a bash like terminal on Android, but if you want to have a “sudo” access sort of thing (like if you want to edit system files and whatnot), then you have to root it.

  3. Well, pretty much any Android or iOS phone would let you do most of those, Android phones giving you more of those nerdier options (e.g. iPhones can’t do a command line without being jailbroken).

    Something like a Samsung, HTC, or new iPhone will have a much nicer screen for reading things on. iPhones (and some of the newest of the other brands) have the most responsive touchscreens.

    Based on your needs I’d go for a second-hand iPhone and jailbreak it (probably a 3GS), or a cheapish Android one.

    As far as plans, how much bandwidth do you need? If you’re planning to use it minimally, and get ok Optus reception, TPG has some good “monthly prepaid” plans http://www.tpg.com.au/mobile/plans.html

    I personally am on an iPhone with Telstra and have no problems.

    • iPhones actually can do command line without being jailbroken. I use a paid app, for some nice features, but it was $1.99, so that’s not much, and there was a free version. It’s called SSH Term Pro.

      • Yeah, I considered getting that actually, except I don’t use SSH that much.
        I have a few VNC clients which have been useful.

    • Just to pick up on things others have been saying:

      You may want to root an Android phone, it’s kind of like jailbreaking an iPhone.

      Virgin, Optus, TPG and Boost all use the same network. 3 and Vodafone are together as well. I’m not sure what Karagh is saying about iPhone earphones. They can take any regular 3.5mm ones, but the ones it cones with has a really neat volume/music control/microphone built in. Third party ones of those are cheap too.

  4. Most smart phones can connect to wireless networks, and will have a headphone jack. Note: I have heard that with iPhones you can only use the earphones that come with them though.

    I’m going to say get an Android phone, because that’s what I have and I love it. I have a Samsung Galaxy S, and it’s a bit slow but I don’t know if that’s because of something I’ve done or if it’s just the phone…

    I’m on a plan with Virgin Mobile, and I find their deals to be pretty good. It depends what you do the most I guess. I get unlimited text messages, 1g data and only $50 call credit, for $44 a month. Plus free calls and text to other Virgins mobiles, and that works for me because I just make people call me if they want to talk. Downside, Virgin seem to have really crappy network outside of the city, or so I’ve found.

    I’ve got friends with iPhones, and two of them have had to send it back about four times to get it fixed. Maybe they just keep breaking their phones, because I’ve heard pretty good things about iPhones aside from this.

    Others will recommend HTC phone, which I’ve heard are really good.

    Anyway, just my little bit.

  5. Few preliminary questions: Prepaid or contract? How much would you commit to per month if on a contract or how much would you want to spend to buy outright? Telstra (I assume so because you have an A411 and NextG is awesome) or Optus or other (if you go prepaid you can get some good deals from the likes of TPG, Amaysim etc… usually they include social networking too)

  6. Oops, that wasn’t meant to happen. Try this again.

    Few preliminary questions: Prepaid or contract? How much would you commit to per month if on a contract or how much would you want to spend to buy outright? Telstra (I assume so because you have an A411 and NextG is awesome) or Optus or other (if you go prepaid you can get some good deals from the likes of TPG, Amaysim etc… usually they include social networking too)

  7. Ok I haven’t actually read all the comments because… I’m reading this ON MY SMART PHONE. That’s right Tom, I out nerded you. I have a samsung wave which uses samsungs beta thingo (the samsung version of android) and I can connect it to any wireless internet that I have the password to. It isn’t a remote control for the world but you can get it unlocked for not much. The screen is good and it has expandable memory and a good music player and pretty good speakers for a phone. It doesn’t have normal headphones though =[

    As for plans, I’m on optus prepaid and pay $30 a month and get some downloads, free facebook, twitter, youtube and ebay (Why do I need ebay on my phone?) and unlimited free texts to any network. AND $300 worth of credit. This is why I do everything on my phone. It’s pretty awesome.

      • It certainly is! Especially when your sister shapes the internets. You can still google things! Without it costing lots! I don’t mind if you copy my awesomeness Tom. I think the phone cost about $200 or something. But that was a couple of months ago so it might be cheaper now.

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