I’ve had my Droid for about a year and a half now (got it the day it came out) and all though it has treated me well, it’s getting quite old in “phone years”.
I’m not due for an upgrade until July, so it’s not a pressing issue at the moment, but while musing on what I might get when it’s time, I have come to the conclusion that there really isn’t any Verizon Android phones in the near future that look compelling.
Probably the most interesting phone currently is the Motorola Atrix 4G, but of course that’s AT&T.
HTC’s up coming phones are decidedly last-gen, lacking the hardware sensors that 2.3 brings to the table, and shipping with 2.2.
The Sony PlayStation phone (Xperia Play) is fairly interesting to me for it’s performance and how up to date it is with 2.3’s hardware features, I feel like it will be kept up to date as new versions of Android roll out, but that’s admittedly based on nothing.
And then there is the news that Netflix simply won’t ship apps to phones with out hardware DRM support. Meaning ALL current phones will never get Netflix streaming. And more than likely all the phones currently in the pipe line will similarly never get Netflix. This is actually kinda a big deal to me, I’m a Netflix addict!
On the same vein, the Motorola Xoom, while very sexy from a lot of stand points, will NEVER get Netflix! And at least for me, it’s primary use case would BE streaming movies!
Now Qualcomm has recently announced a new rev of the Snapdraggon line that included hardware DRM, and Netflix has given it it’s blessing, so thats great news, but they are only now shipping samples to manufacturers, which means we most likely won’t see handsets with it till NEXT YEAR! Suck!
And none of the other SOC manufacturers have even announced a similar solution yet. NVidia already release their road map through early next year, none of which included hardware DRM, and that’s just the SOC release schedule, not end user devices including them. TI to my knowledge has not released a road map showing so far out, but we can assume they have at least the rest of this year planned out. All this means is we probably won’t see wide spread Netflix support till the end of 2012! SUCK!
As a small side note, I’d been down on Qualcomm for their less then stellar GPU they saddled their Snapdragon SOCs with, but the new rev of their GPU is a whole different ball game, it’s goes head to head with the Tegra 2 and holds it’s own, so I’m very interested in the next generation of phones based on this SOC.
But I digress…
The last thing that weighs in on my decisions is both UI customization (I don’t want any!), and time-to-update when new versions of the OS come out. Google’s own handsets get updated very quickly, but they never come to Verizon. Both HTC and to a lesser degree Motorola manage to update their handsets, but pretty much every other manufacture has a MISERABLE track record.
So where does all this leave me…
I guess what I really want is a Nexus X, Google made, Verizon loving, stock UI, always updated hand set, with Motorola’s industrial build quality, and hardware DRM for my precious Netflix… Let me know if anyone sees one laying around 😛