What features are important to you in a phone? (i.e. camera, gps, FM radio, Stereo Bluetooth)
A good quality camera is essential. I'd like it to have minimum 5 MP. If it has a greater pixel spec, even better.
GPS might be nice but is by no means essential.
As for games, internet, e-mail and radio I have no use for them whatsoever.
Form factor - i.e. touchscreen, slider, flip phone, etc.
Not important. I quite like my old keys for texting but I could cope with touchscreen.
Internet - is 3G/mobile internet important, or WiFi/EDGE
I've never used the internet on a mobile phone yet. So it's not important.
Operator - have you an operator preference
I've come to the end of my Vodafone contract. Don't mind staying with them.
Pre-pay/Bill-pay/SIM-Free - have you a preference for either
Bill pay. I spend around 35 a month. I'm currently eligible for an upgrade.
Below 100 ideally. Could go a little bit over at a push.
I went to the Carphone Warehouse and the salesman was pushing the Galaxy S2 on the basis of my camera requirement. I came home and watched a 12 minute youtube clip on it and while it looks great, I just don't have the time to play games, listen to music and all the other bits and pieces that go with it. So really, I'm not convinced I need a Smartphone.
I have 3 very small kids so that's why having a good camera is important to me. I want to be able to capture moments without having to search for my Canon camera. Other than that, I'm one of the odd folk who only wants a phone to ring and text people.
Smartphones have the best phone cameras now so I think you're going to have to get a smartphone tbh. First phone which comes to mind is the Nokia N8. Fantastic 12MP camera with an excellent sensor which takes really good photo's/720p HD video. Not too sure if that's available on Vodafone or not though.
You should try a smartphone, once you get one, you'll wonder how you ever lived without one.
For a basic phone with a great camera try the Nokia 6700 classic - still widely available, it's a great phone, the 5 megapixel camera produces some great shots, video is acceptable and it also comes with free GPS/satnav built in.
Also, Nokia have been developing the S40 operating system more lately so there are apps etc. coming online for it now so if necessary it would be a good introduction to what's possible on modern phones should you decide to go the smartphone route in the future..
On Vodafone the 6700 seems to be the best non smartphone camera phone.
Other threads you might be interested in...
Phones with better camera seems to be touch screens. The best at the moment is the N8. The N86 also has a good camera but hard to find now. Good in low light. The Zenon flash on the N8 would be the best indoors and at night.
A lot of smart phones have some pretty dire cameras. Poor sensors and software, no autofocus, and poor or no flash.
I have both an N8 and 6700 in my house. The 6700 takes decent pictures alright, but the N8 is still the best mobile camera around.
Thanks to all for the recommendations. Now, I have to do some more research!