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On the other hand, if you want our expert recommendations on the latest and greatest phones, we have you covered elsewhere.
The fact is, of the 22 ZDNet contributors we talked to, barely half currently use handsets that are still for sale — new — by their respective vendors. So much for “early adopters,” right? Horse Racing Hawaiian Shirt
Senior contributor David Gewirtz calls his six-year-old iPhone 6s Plus “the best phone I’ve ever used. Why spend thousands of dollars when this thing hasn’t failed me once?”
Reviews editor Charles McLellan said that despite “having seen all manner of new and improved flagship phones flow through the reviews system,” he remains happy with his Samsung Note 8, thank you very much.
By contrast, it’s no surprise that our mobile gadgeteer Matthew Miller thinks his iPhone 12 Pro Max “sets the bar for all other phones.”
As with our earlier survey of “Laptops We Love,” Apple once again dominated. In fact, 16 out of 22 editors are using an iPhone model. Specifically, the iPhone SE and iPhone XR are tied for most popular — each used by three of our contributors.
As expected, a couple of Samsung models showed up in the survey results. Less expected: The Lumia 1520 and Huawei P20 Pro each found a fan.
We also asked our colleagues about their next planned phone purchase and, looking further into the future, to describe their dream phone. Here are all their mobile realities and fantasies, in their own words.
Jason Cipriani: I’ve almost always used an iPhone as my daily driver, but the iPhone 12 lineup has solidified it for me. The camera with improved portrait mode thanks to the Lidar sensor and HDR video is truly impressive. And MagSafe, which I thought was a gimmick, has turned into a very useful feature for me. Between the Shortcuts app and HomeKit devices around the house, there’s not much I can’t do from my phone.
Next phone or dream phone? The iPhone 13 Pro. We’ll see what the future holds, but 120Hz display and potentially no ports? Go on, I’m listening.
Simon Bisson: With a pair of young kittens in the house a good, fast camera phone is essential for capturing those moments of cuteness that pass by fleetingly as the kittens leap from one thing to the next. It’s also got a good screen it’s also helped keep me sane during extended lockdowns here in the UK, with my mobile operator throwing in Apple TV, Apple Arcade, and Apple Music as part of a SIM contract. That’s let me work my way through a backlog of videos in my daily workouts, and as a result, I may be one of the few who’s coming out the other side of the pandemic lighter and fitter. There are other benefits, too, as Microsoft has turned off Cortana as a home IoT hub, it’s helped me shift to HomeKit-based automation for lights and heating, with tools to set my devices up for voice control from a couple of HomePod Minis. I still miss the usability of Windows Phone, though iOS’s new Widgets are the closest thing yet to Live Tiles.
Next phone or dream phone? I suspect I’m going to keep this one for at least another two years, so who knows what will be available then? The ARM ecosystem is accelerating at such a rate, it’s hard to predict what will be available next year, let alone in another two. Then there’s screen technology, memory, networks: So many different factors to consider!
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