3 simple questions:
1) What is the best phone for work use (email, corp facebook/twitter, future cloud integration, document viewing/editing/sharing)?
2) I would prefer to stick with my current carrier (Cincinnati Bell), but is there a company that has better prices or phones available? I do not qualify for a discounted phone, so I would like an unlocked phone that can follow me between cell companies if possible.
3) What about releases on the way such as WP8, or whatever the next version of Android? and are they worth waiting for with my uses (see below)?
The following can largely be ignored, but gives an idea of what in specific I would like the phone to do (if at all possible):
eMail: I have e-mail through gmail, hotmail, and exchange server. I can live without the hotmail syncing, but the other 2 are a must. This is the main motivation to getting a smart phone, I got a cheap Alcatel simi-smartphone that suposedly would do this for me over wifi, but it only syncs up to 100 messages, and it refuses to sync with exchange... so obviously that does not cut it.
Texting: While I hate texting, it is sadly the best way to get ahold of people, so big virtural keys are a must, or a physical keyboard would be even better but not required. I have big fat, knobby fingers and have had a lot of troubble with friend's phones with small-normal sized screens.
Web: While I would not need it much, I do need to be able to view web pages while in a call. Nothing better when speaking with a company than to google them and get a 'big picture' idea of who they are and what they do.
GPS and Maps: I have a GPS unit that I like, so these are not particularly necessary features
Social Media: I run the company's FB acct, and it looks like we will be adding Twitter soon as well, so something that is media friendly would be a plus, but I can also do this the way I have been with no issue.
Documents: I love that there is a basic version of Word and PPT on WP7.5, but I am afraid of how neutered it is. Would I be able to have documents on the phone that I can edit and then e-mail to clients? PDF support? If so then I think that would be a must have for me. I am also looking at doing more public speaking (scary!), so having PPT and some sort of video output would be beyond cool, but again, not required.
Music and Video: entirely not needed... I cannot stand my friends phones for watching youtube and such. Music via a headset could be a nice feature... but finding a phone with enough storage would be a high price to pay for something that is not necessary (unless it takes an SD card).
Pictures and Video: I have a very nice video camera... I don't see myself using a camera on the phone much unless it was for skype or something... and even then I dobut I would use it much.
Apps: I have yet to find an app that looks remotely useful or fun to me other than the prospect of office, FB, or skype. Perhaps I simply need an education on the topic, but I really don't get it yet. I mean, I beat angry birds in ~30 minutes, and was rather confused as to how it was fun, or why on earth anyone would pay good money for it (much less a hat or plushie).
Phone via WiFi: Is this even possible? Does it eat minutes? I have awful reception at my home, and would love to talk via wifi if available instead of investing in a cell repeater. I currently have wireless G, but will soon be moving up to N or AC.
Docs and Accessories: I think I would like to have a bluetooth headset (I drive a lot), or future car integration (looking at getting a kia Rio in the next year or so). The holy grail would be to have a dock with keyboard to be able to do longer emails to clients, and real web browsing (basically a laptop replacement), but I get the sense that phones are not quite there yet.
I like the idea of a Windows Phone for the ease of use, office, and skydrive capability, but I am not 100% sold on it as it is still a young platform (though WP8 sounds nice from the little I have heard of it)
Most of my friends have Androids of one form or another, and they are so wildly different from phone to phone that I cannot make heads or tales of them. They look nice, but I cannot say that I have enjoyed using any of them so far, or found them intuitive to learn. Still, if there is a good recommendation for one I would be more than willing to check one out, and I am sure I will adjust to whatever OS or interface is thrown my way.
iPhone: simply not an option. Siri is perhaps the only cool thing about them (very cool in fact), but in general I have not been particularly 'Mac compatible' in the past. I use them, but would never get one for myself.
Budget: I would like to keep it near $400 if possible, but if it takes $600 to get a good phone, then I will spend what is required.
Sorry for the wordy post, and thankyou for any advice you can give.
advice would mean that you even attempted to address any of the concerns or capabilities that I am curious about. Your post just says 'phone x is great!' which is not helpful in the slightest. I am not concerned with multimedia playback or video/picture capture. I am not concerned with the thickness of the phone or the type of processor it has. Though knowing that it has 64GB of space is appealing, and 'good' battery life is nice but a number would be more helpful.
I am looking for questions of if it plays nice with corporate networks for email/contacts/calendars/tasks, has buttons large enough to press, and good battery life (6+ hours of use). And what are the document options for it? can I send email with attachments from it? can I make files to attach to an email?
Also, what networks does the phone work with? ATT? Verison? or can I stick with my current carrier?
I am not saying it is a bad phone, I just want to know what makes it so good in your opinion. Will it work as a 'mobile office' or at least a partial laptop replacement? Or is it just another smartphone with fun specs and a beautiful screen? I am more concerned with content creation and distribution than content consumption
*sigh* It's like pulling teeth trying to get an answer. Maybe I need to be more specific:
Roughly how long is your battery life in real world usage (heavy day vs a light day)
what kind of document editing functions are local on the phone (not talking google docs or office 365 as my workplace does not allow the use of cloud storage for work documents). For example, at my work I have a template document where I change the name of the company I am working with and a few fine points of a contract, make a PDF for that company, and then e-mail the PDF to them. Would such a workflow (or some alternative) be available on the phone?
Would I be able to sign onto a local wireless network and print documents from a phone? Because that would save a lot of walking back and forth in the warehouse!
Would I be able to open documents (specifically Word and Excel, but we are also using Access more and more these days) stored on a NAS or file server from the phone? The company is currently on the most recent version of SBS if that makes any difference, and at home I will be using either FreeNAS or Win Home Server.