I’ve been thinking about this for the past three days, coincidentally the same timeframe that I’m on some military grade medication to attempt to reign in my absurd sleeping, so take things with a grain of salt, that we’ve almost reached a point that it just doesn’t matter all that much what device you get.
The only differences are sensors or hardware, sometimes a photo app that isn’t easily replicated, and battery performance. You’ve also got which ecosystem you want to be locked into (Google, iOS, Amazon,) but these become increasingly minor as more and more cross-platform development is aided by automation.
Apps, for the most part perform similarly across devices and across the aisle. Devices built for iOS or Samsung find they’re easily used by a Huawei or HTC.
The only real difference in the flagship big names these days seems to be their launchers, all of which can be ripped out or replaced by a third party launcher in 15 seconds that lets you have fish swimming around your icons or sheep grazing on your home screen.
I caught myself looking at another flagship phone, which I can’t afford, and was drawn to it even if I would have immediately chucked the launcher and replaced it with… wait what… it didn’t have an IR blaster? It doesn’t work right with NFC? No wireless charging? Wha wha wha? OK skip that one.
That was the first time in a while I’ve actually had my phone lust drenched in a bucket of icy shame.
Now there are some caveats to my musings – bloatware pushing carriers or manufacturers can ruin a product, and manufacturers that prevent you from rooting for the express purpose of pushing more datamining bloatware down your throat can go eat a bucket of whale effluence, but mostly these things are are becoming a differently sized square that does the same things as anyone else’s differently sized square within a second or two of the time.
We just recently saw a manufacturer “innovate” (man I wish this site supported air quote emoji) by having a replaceable battery… something nearly everything had three years ago. Innovation… tah dah! Maybe the next generation of the cell networks can use WiMax as one of the failovers and the circle will be complete.
Excitement over a new rectangular screen that has the same internet as all the other black rectangular screens starts feeling like something out of a Hitchhiker’s Guide to me, more so when we invented the wristwatch that would talk to our black rectangular screens that point to the same thing everyone else has.
Data storage is increasingly irrelevant as things store in the cloud, applications live elsewhere with your phone just connecting to an app elsewhere, and your phone universally being somewhat unsuited to play the arcade style games it’s now more than capable of handling due to squareness, lack of controls.
Or maybe I’m just burnt out on slightly better old tech.
Am I wrong? Something new coming down the pipeline that excites you, or are we in an arms race to a black square that’s slightly faster than everything else and may or may not be able to make a phone call on release day?