The Grinding Shed: Smartphones Are Boring - The Grinding Shed

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Smartphones Are Boring

#1 User is offline   Alexander Icon

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Posted 31 December 2018 - 10:47 AM

I remember back in't day, getting a new smartphone was deliciously exciting. You'd shop around, weigh up the features of each and stretch your budget to whatever the latest and greatest thing was.

Now, they all look the same, they all do exactly the same thing and the only choice really is between Android and iOS (and how much cash you've got).

I've got a Pixel 1 which is a great phone, but it's dying. 'Upgrading' to the Pixel 3 would net me a slightly better camera, and lose me a headphone socket. So I'm going to keep it until it dies.
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#2 User is offline   darkstrEam Icon

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Posted 31 December 2018 - 01:04 PM

I'd be quite happy sticking with my current phone (Samsung Galaxy Note 4) but I've had it around four years and it could do with more RAM and has trouble finding/holding onto a decent data network connection. Upgrading every one or two years, you probably won't notice much benefit apart from the latest styles and trends (notches and absent headphone jacks currently) but wait longer than that and the bump in spec becomes more obvious and worthwhile.
There are phones with unique features if you really want them, but there's always a compromise and that's often going to be more annoying than the benefit of the gimmick. There are phones that focus on photographers or gamers, but the most successful designs are the ones that give you as best a taste of everything as is manageable, so popular phone designs often feel homogenised.
Then there's the issue of firmware support for longevity, which is invariably better from firms with reputations to uphold (your Apples and Samsungs). You can get a great, fully featured Android device for a third of the price of the market leaders' flagship devices, but you buy them on the understanding that they might lose developer support quicker than something with an industry behemoth behind it.
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#3 User is offline   Alexander Icon

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Posted 31 December 2018 - 03:28 PM

AND! They keep getting more expensive. I thought technology was supposed to get cheaper over time? An iPhone (some models) are a bag of sand, and the premium Android phones are getting close to that too.

Madness I tell you.

Oh and also this:

#firstworldproblems
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#4 User is offline   pH5.5 Icon

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Posted 31 December 2018 - 03:53 PM

I was much the same, until I lost my iPhone and got an upgrade (I was about 12 months overdue anyway, so that tells you my level of engagement on upgrades) going from a 6 to an 8. Noticeable difference in speed, internet browsing performance, etc. Lost the headphone jack of course, and it's not got all the photographic bells and whistles built in compared to the 10, but it's doing a good job for me - even the battery life isn't to be sniffed at.

So yeah, what darkstrEam said...
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#5 User is offline   Alexander Icon

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Posted 31 December 2018 - 04:13 PM

Yeah I guess that's a bit of a jump. But it's obvious phone manufacturers are running out of ideas - screens can only get so hi-res, etc.

Although, this foldable Samsung phone is at least interesting...
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#6 User is offline   darkstrEam Icon

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Posted 31 December 2018 - 08:16 PM

You can try creating something different and fail entirely, of course. There were those modular phones that never really amounted to anything, but presumably cost a fortune in development. More recently the Red Hydrogen One - a ridiculously expensive failed attempt at a 3D-screened phone from the makers of the excellent Red digital cinema cameras. It's also supposed to be modular, but reviews of the base model they launched were not at all favourable. The most interesting different concept I've seen lately is the Nubia X, which takes an interesting route to the apparent holy grail of a smartphone with no bezels around the screen. You have a main screen taking up one full side of the phone with no sensors to clutter things up, then the back of the phone has another screen filling up about 85% of the surface with all your cameras and whatnot, so it's like a phone from five years ago with chunky bezels stuck to the back of a giant screen-only device that seems to be currently desired. It's an interesting idea, though you couldn't have a case on it at all (maybe one of those side bumper things). A lot of the current innovation seems to be around how to manage a big screen with no bezels or cutouts, eg. Samsung having the camera behind the screen as a little dot cut out of the display.
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#7 User is offline   Johann Icon

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Posted 02 January 2019 - 05:35 PM

I guess I'm kind of a hipster when it comes to mobile.. I don't even like laptops a whole lot, but since "the iPhone changed the world", I purchased one (1) mobile device, a tablet to test my sites on. I got bored of even doing that though.
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Posted 24 January 2019 - 01:59 PM

i saw this today and immediately thought of this thread. it's titled: Have Phones Become Boring? hah!

https://www.wired.co...r-weird-phones/

i personally dgaf about fancy. i really just need google maps, phone, text, and whatsapp & skype (so's i can keep in touch with my family and close friends in the US). there are a couple of other app thingies that i use somewhat regularly, but if we're talking bare bones then those things i've mentioned are my mobile requirements.

oh, and i do not care for apple products. blergh.
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#9 User is offline   Alexander Icon

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Posted 24 January 2019 - 02:03 PM

I just had this conversation with my brother the other day.

We're both very bored of 'upgrading' things. My laptop is a 2013 MacBook Pro. They just got worse after that, so while it's still running it's not getting replaced. I think this applies to all tech. While it does what you need it to, and it works, hang onto it. If it dies, then look for the closest analog available. This whole 'latest and greatest' rat race is 100% consumerist bullshit.
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