Saturday, 3 June 2017

What is the best smartphone for combatting memory difficulties?

I've so far had three smartphones, and my contract on the third is due to expire in a few weeks. I honestly can't wait to get off the Windows Lumia 640 as the handset and operating system has many drawbacks, particularly if you have memory difficulties but also for people of any ability.

The Windows mobile has an awkward operating system that makes it difficult to find information, its store it lacks key apps like Snapchat and ColorNotes, and also it's unlikely to have apps for local businesses. Health restaurant Kettlebell Kitchen, in Manchester, has an wards scheme that is run through the smartphone- provided, of course, you're either on Android or iPhone. There's no Windows app. Other apps, for instance mental health assistance tools (See Mind's list) are also lacking on Windows. The web radio apps aren't as good as Android's and Whatsapp has a sinister black background, in contrast to Android's grey.

But anyway, about memory. The advantage of a Windows phone is that OneNote, the notetaking system, allows for the incorporation of pictures with written notes, a huge benefit when you're- for instance- photographing DJs and you can't remember who's who. Or photographing anyone. Putting pictures into notes with text alongside it has been a benefit that, as far as I was aware, Android's Colornotes couldn't do. But Colornotes was easier to organise, simpler to find your latest notes, or most recently updated.

The Android system also didn't arbitrarily shut down apps as you're using them.

That said, I've found the Windows calendar easier to update and quicker to set reminders on. These two advantages are all I can offer for Windows phones, but then, it's been two years since I was on Android. For all I know, Android has closed that gap.

What was I on before? I started with an HTC Wildfire, a decent Android phone for its time with a 5mp camera and a 3.2' screen. It was light and compact, and did what I wanted. £20 a month for 1GB data. But HTCs fell by the wayside, smothered by iPhones and the like.

After this I stepped up and shelled out £27 a month for a Sony Xperia P, another Android device with an 8mp camera and a 4' screen. This also came with unlimited data, meaning, among other things, I could stream whatever radio station I wanted. The key advantage of this: if I needed information on something, no matter what time of the month it was and no matter how much I'd streamed radio or video, I could still go online. I never had to battle with dodgy TfGM public transport wifi, I could get on the Meetup app (which is rated an adult site, so transport companies wouldn't let you get on it) and I never had to tether to upload videos, meaning there was no accidental forgetting to do so and whacking out 3/4s of my data at the start of the month.

After this, cutting a long story short, I ballsed up and ended up on Windows. This is my final few weeks of this contract. I'm going back to Android, and to Sony Xperias, as soon as possible.

But which one? Look at the range. If all 21 are on Android they'll have a similar setup to the Xperia P. The only specific thing that strikes me as important is the low-light front camera, available on the XA Ultra. As someone who hounds Z-list celebs in dark, overpriced nightclubs, it's important that- if I can't get someone to take the pic, I can get a decent selfie without sending myself and said-famous-person temporarily blind. And I stress, important.

Other than this, as long as all the Android apps are still available, and as long as the camera is better than 8mp, It'll do for me. Question is, which of these is best for holding info? And which is most affordable? And where can I buy this outright and unlocked? And, finally, which is the best sim-only contract? These are just a handful of queries I have. I don't want to find myself, once again, roped into a 24-month contract where I'm paying through the nose and receiving very little in return.

I'll return to this subject for the next #psychologysaturday blog post, where hopefully I'll have made a decision.

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