Skip to main content

Why it is becoming harder to choose a phone

Few years ago, while shopping for my wife's phone, we walked into a store, checked out a few mobile phones, liked one and then paid the amount. It took us about 20 minutes for the entire thing.

Choosing a phone was easy - physical stores had an array of collection and models were limited. Nobody cared so much about specs or the weight or the display brightness. 

Fast forward to today in 2023, I  have spent almost 3 weeks now trying to decide the best mobile to purchase. Here's why:

  1. Too many models  - There about 1000 mobile phone launches every year. Some companies launch 2 versions of the same model in the same year. How on earth can one decide which one to buy?
  2. Too many reviews - Youtube and tech blogs review almost every new phone that lands in the market. The more you watch and read, the harder it becomes to pick one because let's face it. I don't want to make a $800 mistake.
  3. Lack of physical stores - Most phones are listed online. I wanted to select iphone 13 so, I walked to the nearest dealer to feel one. But, it only had iphone 14, Plus and Pro(Max) models. So, I walked out.
  4. Cost - Mid-rangers have gotten better over the years. A phone that costs $450 is almost as good as a flagship one. But it does come with some sacrifices - camera and performance. It is hard for me to decide how much performance I need or how good the primary camera will be compared to a flagship. Will the performance deteriorate over time? Who knows? Will the picture quality be enough for evening photos? A big question mark.
  5. FOMO - Phone companies are great at marketing. I fear missing out on feature if I buy a mid ranger. With flagship running AI chips and software, will a mid-ranger perform worse over the course of next 3 years?
  6. Repairability and battery - 10 years ago, I could walk in a service shop and replace parts and battery of my phone. I currently own a Samsung 10FE which needs a battery replacement. I cannot find a service shop willing to replace the battery. I have a cracked screen - where can I find a spare part? Should I buy a phone for the ease of repair and battery size?
  7. Finally - Should I buy a phone that offers expandable memory and a headphone jack? or should I priortize camera and software support over everything else? Frankly, I have no answer.

I suspect, I will spend couple more weeks or months figuring out the best phone for my needs. But before that, let me figure out my needs.


Popular Reads

Buying new vs buying used

I have had this dilemma whenever I plan to buy something - should I buy a new one or a used one. I had this predicament recently when I wanted to purchase a phone. Phones have gotten expensive - iphone 14 costs almost 900 euros and that's just the basic version. I prefer flagships primarily because they have a long shelf life when compared to a mid-ranger.  Use iphones is a huge marketplace. There are tonnes of reputable stores and sites that offer discounted used phones with 2 years warranty so, there isn't much risk attached to it. It sounds practical because you end up saving 200-300 euros on the same model.  I spent 3 weeks thinking about this and arguing with myself about pros and cons of a refurbished device and a brand new one. Finally, I came up with a solution that will eventually help me for future purchases as well. "Buy new if it is a personal thing, buy used if it is not-personal" For example, phone is a personal thing, so are clothes and laptop. They all

What happened to those popular school kids?

Life is a marathon, not a sprint. This cannot be better explained than looking at the current state of your peers who were quite popular in school. For most of us, that weren't outstanding in any domain during the childhood, these popular kids were the pinnacle of success. Popularity is not limited to academia - it could be sports, communication, leadership, ability to make friends, setting trends, winning prizes and so on. There is always a group of kids in school and college that are more successful and popular than others. How did it feel to be average and mediocre during those days. It sucked! People like me were just followers akin to an audience in a concert that has an identity as group but not as an individual. Take out one of us from the group and it would make no difference. Add 10 more, and the result would be the same. Popular kids are like salt in a dish, if you don't have them, you notice it instantly. The popular kids made our choices look bad. I don't blame

Embracing uncomfortableness

Here's what I strongly believe in Be comfortable about yourself but put yourself in uncomfortable situations. I am writing this post as I pack my things to move to a new apartment. I have stayed in the current apartment for more than 4 years now. It was almost perfect home with all the amenities and comfort. But as things in life go, change hits you sooner than later.  Right from the day I was born, I have moved to a different city ever three years. My father's job required us to constantly be on the move. Sometimes, we moved to different states in India which meant new languages, new environment, new set of friends and totally different culture. It was never easy to adapt. I have tried to resist change for a long time now. Humans, I learn, prefer status quo. It makes us uncomfortable to accept change as it brings a range of negative emotions from anxiety to fear. Ironically, our ancestors have lived nomadic way of life up until the revolution in agriculture. So, I assume this

What's the ROI of a fountain?

As I was passing by on a tram, I noticed a fountain that was elegant and pleasing to my eyes. It was on private land and maintained by a private individual or an organization. It made me ponder - what's the ROI of a fountain? Let's break it down into details of the costs involved.    Land needed to place it. You need money to build and install it.  Electricity needed to pump water throughout the day. Water itself. Regular cleaning and maintenance: motor replacement, cleaning etc. So, it is not cheap and what makes it worse is that there is no way to measure the return on investment. Unlike building a house or buying a car, it offers no real benefits. It is beautiful to look at and lets you spend a few minutes of the day staring at it. That leads me to a deeper question - are fountains a way to get us closer to nature - water sources in particular? Do they meet some kind of inherent need for a human being to be closer to the sound, the smell and the feeling of running water