Open Thread: What do You Want from a Cell Phone?


There are plenty of manufacturers and carriers out there who will be happy to tell you what you want from a phone. To hear them tell it, if you’re not carrying a device with a camera, a touchscreen, an internet browser, GPS, Bluetooth, and a fancy colorful operating system, you might as well be carting around a tin can and a long piece of string.

With the recent upgrades to the iPhone, and the imminent release of the first Google “Android” phone, the hype machine surrounding these devices has been cranked up to higher levels than ever. But while I’m sure there are focus groups and test devices involved in the process, no one ever asked me what I wanted in my cell phone. And I’ll bet they never asked you, either.

So, let’s remedy that. If you were designing your ideal cell phone from scratch, what would you put into it? And perhaps more importantly, what would you leave out? Have you found your ideal phone in the market, or are you still vainly hunting? And does the next generation of handsets look like it’s going to offer what you want?



I am looking for an new iPhone.

My 3g is out of order (it goes in the toilett, if you know what i mean:)). Now i want a new one. But here in Germany the mobile phone is so expensive :-( i have to pay more then 800€ = 1.100$. This is to a large amount for me.

When i look on ebay i see the iphones for 600 euro and less. But this are import models from UK. I don´t know. Works this phones in germany (maybe with the jailbreak?)

Here in germany we say “iphonekoenig” it means, king of i-phones. And i be of the same mind. The iphone is the best cellphone what i have ever see.



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I really want my phone to be location aware and and have quick and easy access to the internet. I am moving everything to the cloud and I want good access to that data. Plus I really want to be able to leverage my social and business network on the move.



I want a phone that feels solid, that is thin enough I can carry it my jeans front pocket and doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. No camera, internet, games, etc. Just a phone. Oh yeah, bluetooth would be nice but not a deal breaker

sheridan flynn

I’ve had a wide array of cell phones over the past 10 years with all the usual bells and whistles… 3G, cameras, bluetooth, games, MP3, mobile apps ect…

I have to say my current Nokia 1650 rocks the show. Basically it makes / receives calls & text messages, has a clock and the battery that lasts a full seven days! It’s light, sturdy and cost me $50 sim free. iPhone / N-series kiss my ass.

Here’s how it should work:

Phone: To make calls
Camera: To take pictures
UMPC: For apps & web
Frisbee / Rubix cube: For games.


There must be a reason it’s called a mobile PHONE.
I want one with
big numbers
buttons I can actually press without hitting another 4 at the same time,
NO camera, NO text,
NO internet,
NO games

I want a PHONE!

Paul Allen

A bluetooth interface for the phone and a full-size keyboard.

A video out from the phone allowing me to connect a monocular or binocular display.

Ben Nguyen

By the way, the MP3 player, should act as a real MP3 player!!!

(i.e. pause, search thru file, save position, etc)


I hate to say this, but my Blackberry Pearl is just right both in size/format and function… I wish they would make a iPhone Nano.

Ben Nguyen

#1 Feature: Open Software or SDK available (The app store is the only reason I would get an iphone)
#2: MP3/Divx/XVid Playback
#3: WLAN
#4: GPS
#5: QWERTY Keypad
#6: FM Radio Receiver
#7: Camera / Video Recorder
#8: Microphone
#9: Built-In Speakers
#10: BlueTooth
#11: FM Transmitter
#12: SD Card
#13: Accelerometer
#14: TV Out
#15: TV In (with record)
#16: Built-In Scanner

No clear-cut winner.. but some close ones:
HTC Android
LG KC910
Samsung i550 / i8510
Nokia N96
HTC Touch / S740
Flip Blackberry
LG Prada II


Darren, maybe this is what you are looking for its still in initial stage but looks promising.

As for me Nokia e71 is close to my ideal mobile add in a better camera and good entertainment options and i dont need to look any further.

Ben Overmyer

I want very few things for my phone.

1) Make and receive calls. Duh.

2) SMS messaging.

3) Cheap, real web browsing (ala iPhone/iPod Touch).

4) Good network coverage (I live in South Dakota).

5) Full sound ring tones.

6) Extensibility. If it can’t do it out of the box, anyone should be able to add it in.

Essentially, I want a tiny wireless laptop with Skype and Chrome on it. That’d do.


I’ve always wanted something about the size of a DVD case as a PDA and portable tablet PC, with a *dockable* phone (something that hides nearly seamlessly in the larger device).

When docked, the phone provides internet connectivity, and can still be used from the larger device’s contact list, etc.

When undocked, the phone would be light, small, and relatively light on features — with very long battery life.

This way, I could port the large pad around on the train, at work, and when I’m out with friends to talk about our Next Big Idea; but, I could just tote a small and reliable phone when I’m biking or have other reasons not to want the larger device.


I’m a luddite. I want my mobile to make and receive calls, send and receive SMS, have real-sound ringtones and a battery that survives for a long, long, long time.

That is *it*.


I am one who actually likes windows mobile. Yes, it needs to improve, but it has apps, lots of apps. Throw in the Zune and and some interface tweaking, Flash (I want to stream audio) and Opera 9.x and voila!

And please, PLEASE! Mount the the SD card as a new drive rather than a directory.

Eric in Cupertino

Totally Open. Let me dual or triple boot S60, Linux or FreeBSD. It should look as nice at the Touch Pro or E71. Dual SIM slot. Dual microSDHC slot. Yes for the BT, GPS and decent camera. Opera Mobile 9.x as the browser. Do not care about flash.

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