Stronger, Faster… Better?

by Guest on July 6, 2011

Sleeker. Shinier. Swisher. No sooner has the latest smartphone been released to much fanfare then it has been usurped and rendered obsolete by its successor; version 3 begets version 4, version 4 begets version 4.1, each upgrade promising to be better than the last.

Whatever its predecessor had, the new one has in spades, this time suffixed by ‘-er’, those all-important letters that distinguish last year’s junk from this year’s must-have gadget. What will happen when mobiles finally assume the profile of a Rizla and it becomes physically impossible to release a thinner version – how will they market them then?

Samsung seem especially keen on promoting the merits of their new Galaxy S II smartphone that purports to be significantly faster and thinner than its predecessor, the original Galaxy S. Mind you, some cynics might argue that it wouldn’t be hard to improve upon the “clunky old Galaxy S”, despite the fact that only a year ago it was being hailed as the dog’s dangly things.

While some industries, such as architecture, pay their dues to the past, the technology sector has no time for history. Yesterday’s phones are tomorrow’s recycling. And yet, if there wasn’t such a stigma attached to ‘old’ technology, the mobile phone industry could learn a lot. The concept of returning to one of the house bricks of yesteryear may seem unthinkable; ‘How am I supposed to check my emails when I’m in Pizza Express?’. Yet in
spite of their inferior computing power, there are three ways in which the handsets of the early noughties shower upon the current crop from a great height:

1 . Battery Life
2 . Texting
3 . Screen glare

HTC – also known as Hard To Charge – are makers of the new Sensation, a phone that is awesome in almost every aspect. Almost. Its Android apps will find you the nearest cashpoint and suggest the coolest clubs to check out, while Google Navigation will show you the way there. While you’re queueing to get in, you can kill time by checking your emails or uploading frivolous photographs to Facebook. (‘OMG – Just ate the biggest steak ever, om nom!’ etc.) The Sensation has just one fundamental flaw. Picture the scene: you’re in the club (thanks HTC for showing me the way), you get talking to a hot guy/girl, things are going well and you reach in your pocket to grab their number.

Only trouble is, your battery’s died. Course it’s died, for while the current generation of smart phones may be smart, when they’re not tethered to a wall socket, they have the lifespan of a flame-flitting moth. Worst of all, you can’t even pass your own number on to that hottie, ‘cos who actually bothers to learn their own phone number these days?

Texting is also a complete nightmare on modern-day phones. It’s easy to get caught up
in the novelty of using the latest auto-correct software. When it works, your smartphone’s
predictive text is a time-saver. When it doesn’t work however, you discover to your
consternation that you’ve referred to your Aunt as something else entirely, by which point
it’s too late to recall that text. Because smartphones lack the tactile sensation that comes
from pressing actual keys, texting simply isn’t as fast as on the Nokias and Ericssons of
yore. Old mobiles were so intuitive, you could even text on them while driving (before
such behaviour became illegal) – without needing to take your eyes off the road. These
days, texting while driving has become as socially unacceptable as drinking while driving.

Nevertheless, it would be nice to be able to send the occasional message without feeling
obliged to pull over to the hard shoulder, put on the hazard warning lights and using
fingers, thumbs and occasionally even toes, spend ten minutes bashing out a pithy
riposte: ‘On my way.’

As for screen glare, while the old monochrome screens could be viewed on a sunny day,
the current crop of smartphones get all angsty if you dare step out of anywhere brighter
than a darkroom. These days, we’d struggle to live in a world whose mobile phones
were devoid of Facebook apps, email integration and Angry Birds games. Nevertheless,
wouldn’t it be nice if someone were to invent a smartphone that, in addition to being able
to save the world before bedtime, could perform all the simple tasks that such phones
were invented for in the first place? It’s not too much to ask…is it?

Article supplied by Best Mobile Contracts.

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: