Smartphones Don’t Make Me Feel Very Smart

My current phone contract nets me a new phone in February, and I’ve been considering what phone to switch into. The new phone they’ll give me is probably a similar-priced one, and I’ll probably have a few choices. I wonder if I should pay a bit more money to get it upgraded beyond an entry-level smartphone. I tend to want to try out different phone brands, so I wouldn’t get a Samsung again. I wouldn’t get a Sony Ericsson or a Nokia either, because those are what I got the last time. Neither would I get a Motorola, but I think brands like these aren’t so popular now, are they? I’m quite sure Sony Ericsson has been replaced by Sony — I’m still unsure whether to regard them as the same brand. So what’s left are the LG, HTC… and Apple.

Really? Switch over to an iPhone? I’m aware that once you switch to an iPhone, it’s hard to switch out again. Apple has a whole different iPhone plan than the rest of the brands, and their phones are on the high end. I know the iPhone 5C is supposed to be affordable, but how affordable is it? And is it really the right choice to get the 5C when everyone’s talking about the 5S? Will I stand out with weird colours? And of course, just as I’ve gotten used to the Android OS, I’ll be changing to the iOS, which I’m assuming is quite different. I’ve looked at the user interface, and I find Apple companies all have 1 thing in common — they really like you to open multiple windows at once. I’m quite insecure with that single button controlling everything, and I really hate multi-tasking and keeping multiple tabs open. I know the good point of Macbooks is that they don’t crash even with 30 windows open, but by gosh I really have seen people with more than 10 windows open at once, and they have so much trouble locating the one they want.

Speaking of Macbooks, I haven’t switched over to Apple in terms of laptop either. Maybe I really will go Apple someday, and get a MacBook and iPhone all in one, but will it be easy to just “dabble” in them and then change to the next big thing again? Apple is known for its “cradle to grave” provision. Your MacBook and iPhone will be connected to your iCloud and your iTunes, which you can sync with your iPod. They’re so exclusive that you literally move over to a whole different world with them.

On the other hand, I’ve been hearing great things about Android. It has apparently an open system which technophiles can customise more easily (but alas, I am no technophile and I know nothing of this) but this also means that different phone providers will produce different variations of Android. Android also is less stringent on its apps, which means more viruses get to Android. That’s really bad and something I’m horrified about. But the UI is really so simple and intuitive to use…

How about a Windows Phone? It’s like your Windows 8 Start screen, right in your phone. I’m afraid that much as I’d like to try that out someday too, I’m going to put that way behind the iPhone. I hate inconsistent shapes and sizes and epilepsy-inducing colour matches, and I hear that it’s really not intuitive at all. Most people would recommend the iOS or Android to a beginning smartphone user and even though I’m no longer a beginner, I think I’ll stick to the tried and tested.

One thing I really don’t quite want to do is get the trendy phone that everyone else has, and yet I don’t want an outdated version of a phone either (such as getting an iPhone 4 when the iPhone 5 is already out; can you imagine?). What I’d ideally like is a new phone that’s somewhat under the radar of the public’s eye, but is distinctive and functional on its own. Maybe I’ll hang around Android’s array of brands some more, before I dip my toes in the sea of Apple eventually.

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