My Problem with Mobile Phone Couture

Post date: Jul 27, 2015 2:48:23 AM

I love gadgets of all kinds, especially phones. My problem with the current state of the art with mobiles in the US is an obsession with screen size and compute power. I am a firm believer in task-specific or application-specific tools. A laptop for school shouldn't be used for games, and vice versa. This means that I own a number of lower priced gadgets rather than a god-like smartphone.The latest crop of smartphones from Samsung and Apple have comically large screens, and hardware specifications that would rival a desktop computer from 5 years ago. This is great if you plan on carrying your monster smartphone with you everywhere you go, but I prefer a tablet or a laptop if I am going to be staring at a screen for a long period of time.The problem with a smartphone having a large screen is one of portability. A 6 inch screen makes it tough to fit a phone into a pocket, especially if you have a protective case. Big screens also drain batteries. My Samsung Galaxy S3 is a little over a year and a half old and it's already on it's second battery, a battery that I might add is double the size of the one in my burner. Lastly, large screens are expensive. The iPhone 6 plus is around $650 off contract. That's more than a mid-range tablet and mid-ranged laptop combined.

What is especially ridiculous about uber-sized phones is the use of watches, headsets, and other auxiliary gadgets to access them. The screen size arms race has smart phones spending time in bags and awkward belt holsters instead of in pockets, because they have stopped being pocket sized. While a big screen phone will still fit in the large pocket in a coat, suit jacket, or cargo pants, what do you do on the weekend when you just want to wear basketball shorts? Wear a fanny pack?My particular beef with smartwatches stems from the fact that I quit wearing a watch in the 90's when I was carrying a pager and a mobile phone that both told time already. In the case of some fitness watch-things, they don't actually tell time :-)

This is why I have a small prepaid phone in addition to my smart phone, a VOIP service, and Google Voice. This way, I can use my smartphone when it makes sense, a small flip phone when that makes sense, and I can make and receive calls and texts on the devices that I am working on, and not have my smartphone glued to my hand.