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It seems like almost every phone coming out these days make only the most incremental changes to the actual capabilities of the phone, instead focusing on making a better fashion statement or a better software camera.

One would think that would be easy to get around—just look at cell phone reviews that don't focus on that stuff! Unfortunately, this seems to everything reviewers care about too, so I'm right out of luck there.

I am focused on three things:

  1. Solid reliability and function—I don't really need a Snapdragon 845, but I would love to have a body that can survive a few years of use.
  2. Battery life. I would prefer better battery life/battery optimization than top-of-the-line GPUs.
  3. Future compatibility. I want this phone to continue to receive support and/or updates for an extended period of time, so I'm afraid phones from over a year or so are right out.

Things I really don't care about, but seem to be the major players:

  1. The camera. I have a camera. If I want to take good shots, I won't use my phone.
  2. The "modern styling" that I'm going to cover with a case anyway and will turn into an old trend in a year or two.
  3. Perfect, top-of-the-line OLED edge-to-edge bezel-less always-on 600-nit screen with perfectly dark blacks.
  4. Gimmicks I don't need like under-screen fingerprint sensors. They aren't really necessary and are mainly used to flex on your friends.

Not even sure if a recent phone exists that meets these requirements, but—seeing as how phone reviewers tend to focus on what I don't care about—I figured I'd ask you guys what might be a good option.

Thanks!

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    Pixel. Only Google's own devices are guaranteed to receive updates for at least 2 years or (or is it 3 now?). They are fairly reliable with good battery life. – user1691 Oct 16 '18 at 13:10
  • one plus phones tend to be pretty good with stock updates. Also get essential phone. Created by Android creator, it should have decent support going forward. – William Oct 16 '18 at 20:27
  • @William But Essential is essentially dead. I wouldn't recommend someone buy a product from a company with such an uncertain future. And an already old phone at that. – user1691 Oct 17 '18 at 18:57
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    @SiXandSeven8ths its cheap and has software support. Android phones are terrible for software support anyways. You might if you are lucky get 2 years. – William Oct 17 '18 at 19:07
  • @SiXandSeven8ths phones in Android One program (such as mentioned in my answer) also have guaranteed two years of updates. – Jan Dorniak Oct 20 '18 at 10:48
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For updates I would focus on phones with Android One - they are guaranteed two years of updates and that's guaranteed by Google themselves (plus it's pretty close to pure Android). And no stupid vendor customisations to the ROM (e.g. MIUI).

Reading your requirements look at Xiaomi Mi A2 Lite. It has great battery life (both in tests and from my friend's comments), is a recent phone and is part of the Android One program.

One thing to look at when it comes to battery life is the SoC - AFAIK Snapdragon 625 (and it's updates) are really good for battery life.

Two sites I can recommend for solid reviews are notebookcheck and GSMarena. They go a bit more in depth in their reviews.

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Nokia 2.1

Decent build quality for the money. 4000 mAh battery. No frills. Monthly security support promise for at least three years.

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  • Can you expand on this? As it is, not a great answer; it doesn't fully address OP's question. – user1691 Oct 19 '18 at 18:16

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