Sunday, 17 November 2013

Why Did You Buy Your Phone?

Piece for KnowYourMobile Job - Why Did You Buy Your Phone?  15/09/2013

HTC Desire C (or why I didn’t buy an I-Phone)

For years I had to listen to everyone saying how great the I-Phone was while I cradled my reliable, battle hardened but ultimately obsolete Nokia and pretended I didn’t care that I couldn’t afford anything better.

Gushing statements that I was genuinely on the receiving end of included:

“I can’t believe I ever lived without an I-Phone!”

“It has changed my life!”

“It’s the most important thing I’ve ever owned!”

And so on.                       

Starry eyed with excitement I tried to think what other inventions in human history could boast similar glowing references.  The plough?  Perhaps the commode?  How would an I-Phone compete with these?  

Could it magically transport my piss into the toilet without me realising it?  Would it feed me while I slept?  I was sceptical.  Besides these were the same people who were telling me how good Lost and Dan Brown were.

When it came to choosing a new phone I decided there were six desirable qualities I wanted.

1)     Durability

I drop things. 

Not all the time like Joe Hart or Bez, but enough to make me realise that whichever phone I chose needed to be able to withstand the occasional kamikaze nosedive from the safety of my pocket to the unforgiving concrete of the floor.  There wasn’t an easy way to test this as the staff in the stores I visited seemed tired and eventually irritated by my repeated requests to test every device they handed me by dropping it from a height while standing on a chair.  So instead I had to recall personal memories of friends who had shown me their unreadable cracked I-Phone screens and their unusable I-Phone split keypads and wonder whether the I-Phone was really for me.

Further research concluded that another phone, the HTC Desire C, while far from the bomb proof husk that my old Nokia Brick provided me back in the 00s, was nonetheless durable and able to withstand shock impacts that would render many of its competitors unusable.  I reasoned I was unlikely to subject my new phone to the same routine pummelling that, as a carefree young scamp high on booze and excitement, I had once subjected my Nokia to; but at the same time there was perhaps still enough booze and excitement in my life to rule out something as apparently delicate and fragile as an I-Phone.

HTC Desire C – 1

I-Phone – 0

2)       Music Storage

At the time I was looking to buy a new phone I had recently been parted from the functioning possession of my I-pod Classic after it exploded into several interesting, but no less heart-breaking, pieces on my apartment floor after a booze ridden night of excitement sat in watching Wimbledon on television.   I decided that whichever phone I committed to next would have to also replace my beloved, now deceased, 32GB I-pod Classic.

Again here I looked at I-Phones for a long time, noting that to get 32GB of storage took the price up from a basic £200 to a whopping £500.

I dug around a little and found that some phones, like the HTC Desire C, supported SD cards which could ramp the storage space up to equal the 32GB of a top of the range I-Phone, but at a fraction of the cost.

The HTC Desire C also came with the Dr Dre Beats audio bass booster which, unlike the obscenely overpriced Dr Dre Beats headphones, you can turn off whenever you want to listen to something that isn’t meant to be piledriven into your ears.

HTC Desire C – 2                                                                                        
I-Phone – 0

3)       Camera

You never know when the cat is going to vomit or a friend is about to be happy slapped and I decided I wanted to capture these treasured memories with a picture quality that wouldn’t turn out looking like a deleted scene in Paranormal Activity .  Again I undertook painstaking research (okay it’s the Internet) to deduce which phone would have an acceptable camera for what I wanted – i.e. very basic photography.
Nowadays I-Phones have a standard 8 Mega Pixel camera included as standard but back in the far distant days of early 2012 the 5MP camera of the HTC Desire C was as good as the 5MP camera on the I-Phone 4 and superior to the 3.2MP camera of the I-Phone 3GS.

Again it was difficult to see what advantage an I-Phone would give me here…

HTC Desire C – 3
I-Phone – 0

4)       Football Manager Handheld

In 2012 when I was looking for a new phone I was actually living in Mauritius without a computer or an internet connection in my house.  My days off work were spent lounging on a tropical beach reading and drinking cocktails and yet…something was missing.  No computer meant no Football Manager to occupy my waking thoughts and without this there was always going to be a hole in my life that needed to be filled.
So when Apple announced they were releasing Football Manager Handheld on the I-Phone it threw all my previous logical reasoning out of the window in favour of the inexorable purchase of an I-Phone Whatever.
Until Android announced they were bringing Football Manager Handheld to the HTC Desire C.

HTC Desire C – 4
I-Phone – 1

5)       Price

HTC Desire C - £100
I-Phone 4 - £500
I-Phone 3GS – £300

HTC Desire C – 5
I-Phone – 1

6)      Conclusion

What tipped the final balance was when I realised with horror that I had forgotten to check if any of these devices could actually make a phone call or receive a text message.

Desperately I went back to my research (yes alright the Internet) and promptly read an article that suggested the I-Phone 4 had ‘difficulties maintaining conversations if held incorrectly’.

With the final score a convincing 6-1 to HTC I packed away my charts and proudly marched to my local store to demand they fit my pocket with an HTC Desire C.

The store assistant smiled at me.

“Good choice sir,” he said, resting a reassuring hand gently on my arm, “Good choice”.

N.B. James is now planning to ditch his slow laggy HTC Desire C for an I-Phone Whatever which will enable him to use Garage Band and all the other apps he is currently using ‘second rate versions of’ on his HTC.

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