I’ve been hanging on by a thread for a new phone since mine took a dive in the pool in Fiji a year ago. Since then it has worked, but badly, and the reverse camera doesn’t work at all. Meaning no selfies. Livable, but not ideal in today’s age.
So I’ve spent the last few months casually researching the latest phones in the market, knowing that a new iPhone launch was imminent to mark the 10th anniversary of the once groundbreaking device. Samsung has the epic Galaxy Note 8 which is arguably the best phone on the market, even after the new iPhone X launch. Google Pixel have their latest phone out which boasts a massive screen, ultra high res camera and the popular Google interface.
Then there are the cheaper iPhone “impostors” like Oppo and OnePlus5. Perfectly incredible phones for a fraction of the cost and they all look remarkably similar to an iPhone.
I searched high and low for specs I didn’t understand, Android vs iOS debates, forums where the world’s biggest geeks leaked benchmark tests and gossip, making the decision even harder. I spent too much time trying to argue the switch to android for my preferred handset, the Samsung Galaxy Note 8. I’d not had much luck with them previously, and swore that I would never touch one again. But man…..this is a REALLY nice phone. Then there’s the exploding thing…..do I risk it? They say it’s been fixed, but I value my right ear.
Of course, the other side of the debate is Apple and their sinister tactics of forcing you to upgrade the software continuously which makes your phone shit itself. The price gouging for brand name accessories. The incompatibility with other aftermarket chargers. The huge cost even on a plan and the fact it can’t take a 1-second dip under water. It’s certainly not a perfect fit.
Before you all tell me to shut up, that it’s just a phone and it really doesn’t matter. It DOES matter. You cannot deny that we live in the age of the smartphone. They can pay bills, take photos, videos, make and take phone calls, Facetime (if you have an iPhone) and even email. For me and my business, it’s been a game changer. I can (and have) run my business from the top of a mountain with a snowboard strapped to my feet. I’ve done deals by the poolside in Fiji, Thailand and LA. I’ve face timed my kids from New York City. I’ve uploaded photos instantly to my iCloud account for the family from Tokyo, Lake Tahoe and Kuala Lumpur. Not a moment gets missed. It’s not “just a phone”.
For me, the switch away from iPhone is a bitter pill to swallow. While I prefer the screen and features of the Samsung Galaxy Note 8, switching means a few things. No iMessage meaning I have to pay to text my international agents in the early hours of the morning. No Facetime for the family. No iCloud photo uploads that instantly pop up for the grandparents in real time. These are things that I use on a daily basis and things that I would miss if I were to make the change again. I also have iPads and iMacs and Macbooks meaning absolutely all portable technology in my house is Apple.
Waiting it out has not caused me great internal turmoil. It’s just reinforced the fact that you’ll never have the hottest thing for more than 5 mins. And I don’t need the hottest thing. I was not camping outside the Apple store to buy the new and extremely overpriced new iPhone X. But with a very broken and old iPhone 6 Plus on life-support, I DID need a new phone. And fast.
So I did what every self-respecting Apple fan would do. I walked into JB Hi-Fi at 9am today and asked for a new iPhone X. Then I walked out of the shop, down the stairs and past the insane line outside the Apple store and marvelled at how a bit of technology can change the world in just a few years. I grabbed a coffee, then I went back to the Apple shop once the line was gone and purchased a watch that can make and take phone calls without the phone even being present. Because this is a feature that will actually enhance my life. It won’t fix my dinner, babysit my kids or massage my back. But it will allow me a certain amount of convenience and save me some time while I am on the move. Isn’t that what technology is meant to do?
So Fuck You iPhone X for making my decision a rather emotional one. You are not the prettiest phone out there. You are far from the cheapest. You don’t even have the best screen. I’m also not a huge fan of the face unlocking or your “devil horn” cut outs on the front of the screen. But what you do have is a pretty incredible brand loyalty that your competitors can only try and compete with. The service in-store has never skipped a beat because your bearded nerds selling the wares are the sweetest breed of human I’ve ever encountered in a retail environment. Yes, the Church of Apple™ has me hooked along with millions of others.
And I have a shiny new phone.