Best Smartphone for audiophile Part II (Updated: Jan 2020)
Oct 21, 2023 at 6:41 PM Post #5,116 of 5,154
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If you plan on using with a dongle, battery life is an important factor. If it's used that may be something to consider.

Another point is UAPP - are you playing local FLACs or also streaming via Qobuz/Tidal? If so you need a chipset to support streaming large files without latency otherwise UAPP will constantly buffer.

I would go with an older flagship Vs midrange and ideally a new one if possible on some massive sale. I would personally recommend the Vivo Nex S if you can find one new or mint - still fast today, looks current, within your budget and actually has a jack and a HIFi DAC. Battery life is quite decent as well for a 2018 flagship. LG8X has a newer chipset but lags compared to it
Thanks for the info.

A few points to clarify. Use case is less than an hour at a time without access to a charger. No live streaming of Tidal just downloaded playback.

I'll check the vivo Nex S but doubt it supports all the T-Mobile LTE bands. I had 3 LG V series in the past and now have an LG G7 but looking for a better source.
 
Oct 21, 2023 at 6:44 PM Post #5,117 of 5,154
Thanks for the info.

A few points to clarify. Use case is less than an hour at a time without access to a charger. No live streaming of Tidal just downloaded playback.

I'll check the vivo Nex S but doubt it supports all the T-Mobile LTE bands. I had 3 LG V series in the past and now have an LG G7 but looking for a better source.
Perhaps a T Mobile unlocked LG V60 would a be a good idea - I just had bad experiences with LGs as actual phones but for a music player it's probably your best bet
 
Oct 22, 2023 at 4:30 PM Post #5,118 of 5,154
I hope some phone junky with a good amount of Android phone experience can jump in and help guide me. Need a phone under $225 (used is fine) works great on all T-Mobile LTE bands (5G nic not a must). Plan to use with entry level dac/amp dongle with USB Audio Player Pro and my own files.

My most likely suspects might include the following simply because of the larger pool of used offerings:

Samsung S20 series, maybe the Plus
Some older Pixel phone
Any Motos that are worthy
A cheap entry level new Samsung like the current A14 5G or maybe older A13
A more expensive used mid Samsung like the A32 or A52/53
A Nord N30 5G - slightly used?

Big plusses are bright outdoor nits and Gorilla 5 or better. I'm not too concerned about processor for games or video and such as long as it does not have laggy menu or touch operation.

Thanks in advance for well vetted ideas based on personal use.
Depending on your location, a Sony Xperia 10 MK3 should be within your budget.
It's always worth a look, imo.
 
Oct 22, 2023 at 4:57 PM Post #5,119 of 5,154
+1 for XPeria 10 III. Its display is much more forgiving to the eyes, compared to 10 IV. Sound wise, it is pathetic, but UAPP does sound better than Poweramp. The Notebookcheck review gives plenty of info, as well as how to achieve perfect white balance. Its display destroys any Scamsung, not to mention the absolute joke Poco F4 GT (which is eye-watering). I bought one used and the battery was at 98% lifetime, according to Accubattery. Just be very careful with the SIM lid, it breaks easily. Fortunately, Aliexpress sells replacements for $ 5, so I bought quite a few. I quite like the menus in Android 13, although I never used another phone with that OS, so I do not know if Sony polished the UI. It proved very fast and stable in roaming, even when speaking in train, bus, etc.
 
Oct 23, 2023 at 8:28 AM Post #5,120 of 5,154
Hi, guys! As you known I own at least 3 of each: HTC 10, LG V10/V20/G7. I did not like the sound from xDuoo Link 2 Bal dongle. UAPP says it is not compatible and refuses to play it, although under Windows, WASAPI and Foobar2000 bring great results. The JCALLY AP7 is said to be the same as 7Hz 71, but from memories, the latter is mediocre compared to the great AP7, which is like the love child of HTC 10 and an ESS-based LG phone. I love AKM! I remembered yesterday that the ZTE AXON 7 mini was said to have newer DAC and amp, basically the same as Axon 7, but integrated into one. On the German eBay I found a 7 mini with LineageOS and Google Play store for 75 EUR shipped. I could by a dongle for that...So I wonder if I should take the shot. First, it is unclear if the LineageOS version has the hifi mode toggle...I am a pro photographer and I always carry an APS-C camera with me, so I do not care in the slightest about phone "cameras". It is more than cringy that they even dare to call these things cameras. The audacity... So I was hoping someone could elaborate on this further...If the Axon 7 mini is worth trying. I have high quality spare batteries for all my HTC and LG phones, so I wonder if I should risk another phone. On eBay and Aliexpress, it is impossible to find the legendary phones from 2014-1206 from the likes of Vibe X3, Vivo and Meizu. Newer phones can be found at absurdly high prices.
 
Oct 31, 2023 at 3:06 AM Post #5,121 of 5,154
So would the xperia 1 v get a thumbs up from its users? Thinking of switching from iphone 14 pro max. The only thing i might find hard to live with is the narrow screen and i do love the apple watch. But the screen and audio quality are my main wants in a phone the 14 pro max is good but the Xperia seems to take it up a notch.
Thoughts guys ?
 
Oct 31, 2023 at 7:16 AM Post #5,122 of 5,154
2 weeks with the Vivo X90 Pro Global and they managed to update the hifi list with Qobuz app support now - using the internal DAC through the analog Moto Z dongle (7.5 GBP so got 3) it simply sounds amazing! Of course IEMs don't do it justice so I'm mainly on my B&O Form 2 or the B&Q P7 wired. If anyone is on the fence for a modern flagship I highly recommend. The camera especially shooting concert videos at night is sublime it's almost like cheating or some magic!!
 
Oct 31, 2023 at 2:17 PM Post #5,123 of 5,154
Does anybody know if the EU versions of LG are worse, audio-wise? I know the EU versions have lower volume and I fear getting an inferior device. G710EAW 128/6 (HKG, SGP, AU, EU) is what I intend to get, it also has Android 10 which the US unlocked version ULM does not have.
My second questions if there are still problems with Android 10 and above about DSD playback? I remember something about Dop, although I only have a handful of tracks in DSD.
 
Nov 27, 2023 at 5:03 AM Post #5,125 of 5,154
I'm looking for a new DAP as I think my main are dying. My main DAPs are Sandisk Clip (just short of enough power for Sennheiser hd598) and Samsung Galaxy S(1) (original from 2010, with custom ROM and voodoo sound). The Samsung has enough power. I'm looking to spend around $40, so my eye has fallen on Chinese ones, but I thought why not a well used phone from yesteryear. Don't really care about age, if only it has enough power and is old enough to be found around $40. Any recommendations?
Oh and I'm from EU, so I need to be able to unlock the capped power.
 
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Nov 27, 2023 at 8:30 AM Post #5,126 of 5,154
I'm looking for a new DAP as I think my main are dying. My main DAPs are Sandisk Clip (just short of enough power for Sennheiser hd598) and Samsung Galaxy S(1) (original from 2010, with custom ROM and voodoo sound). The Samsung has enough power. I'm looking to spend around $40, so my eye has fallen on Chinese ones, but I thought why not a well used phone from yesteryear. Don't really care about age, if only it has enough power and is old enough to be found around $40. Any recommendations?
Oh and I'm from EU, so I need to be able to unlock the capped power.
You might give ZTE Axon 7 a try. It's got an AK4490 in it.
 
Dec 26, 2023 at 9:36 AM Post #5,128 of 5,154
✨:christmas_tree:Ground out this update over the past 7 hours.........MERRY CHRISTMAS! 🎁:sleeping:

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P.S. I still have 322 more models from Vivo and Realme to sift through so I'll probably post another update around New Year's (edit: end of January maybe 🤞)
 
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Jan 3, 2024 at 3:23 PM Post #5,129 of 5,154
Does anyone know if I can get apple music to play lossless through my android phone via usb c to my lotoo S2 dongle? I know of the usb audio play app but that supports tidal but not apple music. Otherwise I'll need to buy an iPhone
 
Jan 13, 2024 at 11:58 PM Post #5,130 of 5,154
I've decided not to include this in the 'phones with headphone jack' list since it's slower than the Galaxy S8 (or Apple A9 SoC for reference), but have you ever wanted a Fiio M17 without the fancy amp, balanced ports, and tailored audio enthusiast features? Well I kinda wanna see just to see how well this stacks up against the Xperia 10 IV in continuous music playback over the course of a transpacific flight.

PRESENTING THE UMIDIGI POWER 7 MAX: the 10,000mAh phone that we never got from Energizer.

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I would wait until the Anniversary Sale (3/28) and Singles Day (11/11) on AliExpress (MSRP: $120) or Prime Day (7/11) and Cyber Monday (12/2) on Amazon (MSRP: $140) to try to snag this closer to $100 or even less by stacking AliExpress sale coupons on top of discounts.

REVIEWS:

https://techxreviews.com/umidigi-power-7-max-review/
https://mobile-review.com/all/reviews/smartphones/nedelyu-ispolzoval-smartfon-s-batareej-10-000-mach-kakie-vyvody-sdelal/

P.S. quick update to 'the list' with more Umidigi phones:

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