New Cell Phone: Current Gen or Wait? (2019 Edition)
May 7, 2019 2:12 PM   Subscribe

The end is nigh for my current phone - but I have time to budget and plan for its replacement. I haven't been paying attention to cell phone development for the last couple generations. Help?

I have been happily using a Samsung Galaxy S7edge since March of 2016, despite dealing with the well-known "pink line" thermal defect for the last 18 months or so.* It's my understanding that Samsung has not fixed the pink/green line thing, and it's happening with the S8's and S9's too. Between that and them taking away flagship features from the Edge,** I'm not willing to give them my money again.

Here's what I need my next phone to be/have:
- Usable on Verizon
- Not made by Samsung or HTC.*** I'm willing to consider Samsungs outside of the Galaxy product line, but I think that just leaves the Note phablet.
- Physical headphone jack.

What I'd like:
- Same size as the S7 or so. Taller is fine, wider is a problem. I have small hands and it's already hard to one-hand it. If it has a built-in *good* one-handed option, that could work.
- Android. I'm willing to consider an iPhone, but I'm pretty heavily invested in the Android ecosystem.
- SDcard.
- Good camera(s).
- Native blue light filter.

So, does my unicorn phone exist in the current gen or coming gen? What's the scuttlebutt?

* Yes, I know I could and should have gotten it looked at when it first showed up and possibly covered under warranty. I didn't, because $REASONS.
** They deprecated the edge night clock, and app development for the edge panels has stagnated. Also, if you *know* you have a problem with defective solder, stop using it! Sheesh.
*** The phone before this one, an HTCOne M8 also had a thermal defect. I have bad phone juju. No, really. I have proof.
posted by ApathyGirl to Computers & Internet (4 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
LG is one of few manufacturers that still include headphone jacks.

Both the LG G7 Thinq and the newer G8 Thinq are 2.83" wide, which is a tiny bit narrower than the S7 Edge at 2.86". They do accept SD cards. I have the V40 which has very nice cameras, so it's probably safe to assume the cameras in the G line are also pretty good. Finally LG has comfort view for blue light filtering.
posted by zinon at 3:31 PM on May 7, 2019

Google's Pixel 3a was just released today and is one of the shrinking number of new phones with a headphone jack. It is available from Verizon, has a good camera and native blue light filter, and is roughly the same size as a Galaxy S7 Edge. It does not have an SD card slot, though.
posted by mbrubeck at 3:33 PM on May 7, 2019 [7 favorites]

I agree with mbrubeck. I think the Pixel 3a is a good bet. Costs $400 and should receive security updates for 3 years until May 2022. I believe the iPhone 5S, iPhone SE, iPhone 6 line (iPhone 6/6Plus/6S/6S Plus) are the last iPhones that still have a headphone jack and that are still receiving iOS updates. It may be a little risky to buy these because it's unclear how long Apple will continue iOS updates for these devices. Maybe 1 year? 2 years? No one really knows right now.

If you want an Android phone that's less expensive and are willing to accept 2 month plus delays in receiving security updates, the Moto G6 or Moto G7 phones are another option. These phones are usually recommended as budget Android Phones. The Wirecutter recommends the Moto G6 as the best budget Android phone compatible with Verizon. Their rankings may change soon though since the Moto G7 and the Pixel 3a just recently came out.
posted by mundo at 7:07 PM on May 7, 2019

Response by poster: I'm not really budget restricted at this point. I'm willing to pay for the new hotness or next flagship, if it is the right phone for me, and I have time to plan the expense and wait for something not yet available.
I'm intrigued by some of features on the LG phones mentioned above, though I'm not sure I should tempt my bad juju against the palm recognition system on the G8.
The Pixel 3a isn't water resistant, which is a concern.
posted by ApathyGirl at 11:51 PM on May 7, 2019

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