What would your ideal device be?

Yesterday I posted some pictures of the Infobar phone that’s going to be released in Japan. I then got a little cross about the various manufacturers and their lack of adventure in designing phones for the European market. Well that article and something that happened at home got me thinking again.

I was trying to find a charger at home and I came across two blocks of metal. I won’t spoil the surprise in telling you exactly what they were. But these large lumps of metal are what made ask myself “what would my ideal device be?


How big would it be? How much memory would it have? Would it have a card slot? GPS? Stylus? Keyboard? Dual sim? Camera? Lots of different things to choose from. After a lot of deliberation I came up with the following list of requirements for my magical device.

Screen – about 5” high resolution 1280×720 like the Samsung Galaxy Note. It would make web browsing great and negate the need for a seperate tablet.
Memory – it would need at least 16gb storage with an app storage space of at least 2gb and a microSD slot. I could carry lots of music, films and documents with me then.
GPS – yes it would definitely need gps, I could replace my TomTom with it then. Using the 3g to get live traffic updates.
Stylus – after seeing the Samsung s pen and using the HTC Scribe pen I can certainly see a use for them. So yes I think it would need a clever stylus.
Keyboard – a while ago I had a Desire z. I loved it, having the ability to use a proper qwerty keyboard was great. It just added a load of extra bulk I wasn’t too keen on. Needless to say I sold it and got something thinner. I like the idea of the keyboard dock for the Asus Transformer. Having a removable keyboard would be ideal.
Dual sim – this is something that would be great. Using a work sim for voice and a personal sim for data. Only Viewsonic seem to think this is a good idea.
Camera – two cameras. One rear camera, decent quality, fast shutter speed, decent flash and a front facing camera for video calls.
What else would my ideal device have? Gorilla glass, a healthy range of accessories, maybe HDMI out, full size usb slot, Bluetooth, infra red, wifi b/g/n, some hardware buttons on the device as well such as a d-pad. The list could really go on.

Well guess what I found?

[slideshow]

These devices are my T-Mobile Ameo 8gb and my O2 XDA Flint 16gb. The only thing that these two lack is a decent os and a modern cpu. They have pretty much everything else on the list. Be it slightly slower older versions. The main thing that stops me using them today is Windows Mobile 5 and 6 is what they run. After years of using Android I expect too much. I still use the XDA Flint as my main sat nav with the TomTom software though.

So to answer my original question about my ideal device. It would look a lot like these two. Basically a cross between the Samsung Galaxy Note, the Asus Transformer and have some of the Xperia Play buttons drafted on as well. I guess a bluetooth keyboard and a Note would suffice, but hey why should I compromise. I reckon I’m not on my own here in my requirements. I remember the Ameo forum at XDA developers used to be quite a busy place. What are those users using today? Surely my magical device would be of interest to them.

Where are the new versions of these once great devices? Like the two shown here or the Universal or the HTC Shift laptop. An updated version of that would sell like hotcakes.

What devices would you stick together then? Let us know?

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  • Liam

    The HTC Shift was indeed ahead of its time. I would love it if HTC could turn themselves around to get back in the PC business. I would prefer HTC to do the Shift 2 to go for a low voltage i7 processor, 4GB RAM, Hybrid SSD/HDD and wedge a dedicated graphics card in there. If they gave options for 3G then that would be good too.

    If they could do this, but dual boot the device with Android ICS as a instant on OS, but be able to access media files from the HDD then they would be on to a winner.

    Samsung did try out the Shift form factor again with the unreleased Slider 7 PC:

    http://www.theverge.com/2011/08/31/samsung-series-7-slate-specs-release-date-hands-on/

    Microsoft recently patented a design for a phone with an interchangeable slide out add on. So you could swap the slide out keyboard for a game pad or even an extra battery! Now that would be some reference design!

  • While these devices were unique how useful are they really?  I love cool gadgets but I’m not
    sure that I would really use any of these in place of my current stand-ins.  I’m also not sure one device could replace phone, tablet and laptop because they all have different purposes and
    expectations.

    I carry two phones, a Samsung Focus and an HTC Desire Z.  Both are great phones but if I could get WP7 and a front facing camera on my Desire Z I would be ecstatic. If it also had a longer lasting battery, slightly faster cpu and the Rhodium/Tilt2 keyboard I may never need another phone.  BTW the Samsung is sleek and light but it feels cheap and the only
    reasons I have it are the nice screen, WP7 (Yes I like it) and it was an
    inexpensive second hand phone.  On the plus side I don’t feel the need to fiddle with my Focus where I’m constantly flashing roms and tweaking things on my android phones exactly like I was with WinMo a few years ago.

    The Asus Transformer is a nice tablet that ticks most of the blocks I’d be looking for and if it had the internal hard drive mod incorporated it would be a very hard option to beat.  However my tablet of choice is the Flyer.  It has the right combination of size and portability that works well for me and more importantly it has the scribe technology.  If it offered text recognition as an optional keyboard like WinMo did it would be very near perfect.  To improve the flyer it needs
    more storage and if it wants to fight my laptop for attention it needs to be able to access my KVM and it wouldn’t hurt if it had a desktop capable OS…

    If I were to go with the Frankenstein device model though I would combine my Focus with my Flyer in a Padfone fashion, keeping their respective OS’s but shared storage and processing, add on a transformer style keyboard with a VGA/DVI port and an internal hard drive for extra storage.

    Another take on the Padfone model would be using a monitor, with USB ports for keyboards etc, where the flyer slides in a dock to make it a standalone PC.

  • Anonymous

    I’d love a 4.0″ HTC Desire S but with a 720P SAMOLED+ display running Galaxy S2 Exonys internals with ICS.

    HTC build quality but Samsung Tech and Google’s latest and greatest.

  • Guest

    Quite simply, the Asus Transformer Prime running Windows 8.