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Chris Jones
(NightMarcher) - F
Ultralight Smartphones (2012) on 07/22/2012 10:33:32 MDT Print View

Have you found the ultimate ultralight smartphone? If so, what make/model is it?

Of course, weight is a primary concern. But in my opinion, weight shouldn't be the only (or perhaps most important) concern.

Other concerns are:
*Battery life
*Ability to configure settings for ultra low-power usage
*Option for swapping out batteries
*Durability (water/shock-resistant)

Oh, and definitely nice to have:
*Good screen for watching movies/videos offline while on the airplane.
*International roaming

I don't envision using my smartphone for GPS or hiking apps. Really, once on the trail, the thing is going to be powered off for the duration of the hike.

So far I have found the Samsung Galaxy series (particularly the XCover, SII, SIII and Ace) to fit the bill above. But I am wondering if there are any makes/models that I have overlooked. The Galaxy SIII is incredible, but I think the screen is slightly on the large side. Still, when I watched the Yosemite HD Timelapse video (YouTube), I was quite impressed.

Any ideas?

Liang Kong
(gearer) - MLife
moto on 07/22/2012 10:47:12 MDT Print View

how about moto razer maxx?
3300mAh battery
kevlar back panel
Also moto defy+ is a "water-proof" smartphone, I ve seen videos that defy+ receives calls in a cup of water.

Laural Bourque
(lauralbaby)

Locale: PNW
droid bionic on 07/26/2012 14:06:09 MDT Print View

I got the Bionic in April to replace my Original DROID and have been very happy with it. Even on, it lasts 48 hours in airplane mode, it's very thin, uses 4G, came with an extra battery, and the processor is blazing.

Also, I drop it about 3x a week and it's still perfectly fine. Even (ahem) in water, if you hurry up the little dyepack doesn't even change!

Edited by lauralbaby on 07/26/2012 14:07:37 MDT.

Nathan Watts
(7sport) - MLife
camera on 07/26/2012 16:07:44 MDT Print View

might want a good camera too although you did say you pack it away during the day.

think the iPhone might give you the best camera and battery life. new one rumored to be coming out soon as well

Rick Dreher
(halfturbo) - MLife

Locale: Northernish California
Re: moto on 07/26/2012 17:03:21 MDT Print View

Razr Maxx is a pretty good gizmo; I much prefer it to my bride's iphone 4s. The standard Razr is much thinner and lighter, but not so good on battery life.

No swappable batteries with any of the above, however.

Cheers,

Rick

Diplomatic Mike
(MikefaeDundee)

Locale: Under a bush in Scotland
Pkone on 07/26/2012 17:24:01 MDT Print View

I've got the Samsung Galaxy S3, and it's simply nice,
Especially fully loaded with UK mapping.
US models are seemingly different.

Mike Whitesell
(madgoat) - F

Locale: Ohio
battery on 07/27/2012 07:42:41 MDT Print View

I have a Samsung Galaxy S3 (Verizon). I found that I could not reliably get through a full day without putting it on a charger. While the factory 2100 mAH battery gives me better battery life than the factory battery on my previous HTC Incredible, it just wasn't enough to get me from wake up to bed time. Though, I spend my work days in a place that gets poor cell reception, so that is probably hurting my battery life.

The battery on the S3 is replaceable, so I bought a 4200 mAH battery from Qcell and I am getting much better battery life... although the phone is now thicker... I plan on using this for my upcoming hiking trips as my camera, emergency communication, ebook reader and backup maps. Though I might decide to get one of those external battery charger packs to extend its life for longer trips.

The battery in the Motorolla RAZR MAXX is 3300 mAH and is getting rave reviews, but it does not have a replaceable battery. Although its life could be extended with one of those external battery charger packs for it as well.

Motorolla is putting out a RAZR HD sometime this summer/fall. It will have a larger screen (somewhere around 4.3") but it sounds like the battery will be smaller... around 2500 mAH and it will not be replaceable....

As for the iphone crowd, they do not have replaceable batteries so the external charge pack is the way to go. The iphone 5 (or whatever they choose to call it) supposedly will have a larger screen around 4" and have an LTE antenna in it. With that in mind, they hopefully will increase the battery capacity proportionately so that they don't run into some of the same issues that some of the early Verizon LTE android handsets had with extremely short battery life.

As for the S3. Great camera. Great screen (4.8"). But coming from HTC's "sense" UI on the incredible, Samsung's "touch wiz" UI seems a bit clunky. Maybe I will get used to it... or maybe I will root it and put on stock jelly bean.

Roger Dodger
(RogerDodger) - F

Locale: Wess Siide
Single point of failure on 07/27/2012 11:59:20 MDT Print View

Recent trip, near the trail head there was a zen looking lake at 5am, very photo worthy.

My buddy gets out of the truck to photograph, drops his iPhone, cracks the screen. Can't use the camera, can't use the phone. he is S.O.L. for the remainder of the weekend trip.

I intentionally keep my phone separate from my camera. When I drain my camera battery, my emergency phone is not affected.

There is something to be said for consolidation, and UL gram counting greed that creates a single point of failure and a realistic risk of bigger loss of functionality.

This is my emergency phone. not smart phone. it's old, outdated, plays music, take low resolution photos, sends TXT, but I only power it up for emergency calls. very thin, Smaller than a pack of cigs, and I've dropped it plenty of times.

Motorola Krzr

Edited by RogerDodger on 07/27/2012 12:00:19 MDT.

Nathan Watts
(7sport) - MLife
Re: Single point of failure on 07/27/2012 12:48:42 MDT Print View

As a counterpoint to the "single point of failure" logic I might argue that carrying 2 phones in your case might be better than your phone + camera solution as you still have single points of failure for the individual needs.

Edited by 7sport on 07/27/2012 12:49:35 MDT.

Roger Dodger
(RogerDodger) - F

Locale: Wess Siide
Re: Re: Single point of failure on 07/27/2012 14:05:56 MDT Print View

Nathan,
You are correct, and apparently I am transparent as well as paranoid.
When I am solo bp, I carry my work Blackberry phone as well as my personal phone. Different service providers gives me more options for coverage.

But when I am bp with my buddy, then I rationalize that his phone is my secondary backup.

:)