This is a rant about modern smartphone design. I’ve had a few ideas in my head for some time, since MWC 2018 in fact, but never bothered to write them down as it was only focused on this notch thing that keeps on spreading. However, recently my sister’s phone died – thanks for the boot loop issues LG (it was my Nexus 5X that I passed on to her) – and so I helped her searching for a suitable replacement.
Although there are plenty smartphone makers out there, our go-to list wasn’t very long. For one, we had ruled out LG from the start. It seems that the Nexus 5X wasn’t the only one with recurring hardware defects. The next ones that didn’t make it to the list were basically all Chinese manufacturers like Huawei, Honor, ZTE or Xiaomi. I understand that they make very good handsets, especially Huawei has upped their game, but I do have my doubts regarding software updates. The last time I had read about the Android update situation sometime last year, these companies didn’t have the best track record (I don’t have the link to the website anymore, sorry). In fact, just throwing it out there, some Android phone manufacturers even lie about the patch level of their firmware.
What started out as a reasonable decision at the beginning of 2014 now reached its climax with the Surface Pro 3: switching away from Apple, in every regard, and move to the Microsoft platform. First the PC, then the phone and lastly the tablet. Since having a Windows based PC is nothing unusual (although I might be one of the few that actually came to like Windows 8 – just as I was one of the few that liked Vista over XP; what does that say about me?) and the Surface is still too new to write about it in any meaningful way, that only leaves us with the phone. Read More »
Apart from being a phone, the second most important feature of a smartphone for me is the camera. As I have written previously, the most time I had spent on researching available phones went into reading camera reviews. Since I was committed to about 80% to the Nokia Lumia 925 I was most interested on how this phone compared to my then current iPhone 4S. Unfortunately there haven’t been any reviews comparing those two devices. Most of them used the iPhone 5 or 5s as an opponent, which already had a better camera than my highly praised 4s.
As I have already mentioned in a previous post (8th paragraph), the Windows Phone platform had me hooked since day one. There was something to it that made it more interesting than iOS or Android. However, at that time the competition had been more mature – not only the OS but also the devices – and therefore I chose a Samsung (from now on called Copyshop) Galaxy S2 as my first smartphone. Android seemed the best fit back then (around 3 years ago), simply because of all the possibilities this platform offered on a technical level (I’m a programmer, that’s how I think). As it turned out, I basically used none of those things I found so interesting (like widgets) but rather tried to get a vanilla Android experience without the Copyshop bloatware – not to mention regular software updates.
I’ve been to festivals for the past five years and every time I’ve taken lots of photos and even some videos. Especially last year, equipped with the iPhone, I was able to create 1080p video. I have to admit that shooting photos or recording videos takes away part of the experience but, for me at least, it has a big value in retrospect. From all those data I created videos for each of the last three visits to the festival and added some music to it. If available I also chose music of the band that is on the respective photo. Those videos are like a documentary on the whole festival, from getting there, setting up the tent, wandering around, seeing funny things and the actual concerts. I love watching them from time to time and think back at the great time I had. Just last year my sister recorded a “I died for you” from Iced Earth and I used the music from the Alive in Athens live album in the video and it matches so perfectly you could almost think it being the sound of the video (until you realize it’s not Matt Barlow on the stage). Still, a great memory!
I think, as also mentioned in the linked article, that you should be wary of how much you see through your camera and how much you experience by really watching. For me it’s about being there and living it, but also use all that photos and videos as vivid memory to build up a pleasent anticipation for the next gig.
And frankly, who would not want to remember that? (I picked the more catchy ones ;-] )