I hate when a feature or device loses its allure

Evan Selleck
Contributing Editor from  Arizona
| July 21, 2014

Our smartphones are a collective. A collection of features and specifications, all put together to make one amazing device. We've watched as they've gone from simple devices that just make phone calls, to handsets that do just about everything else, too. (And in some cases, do everything else and not make any phone calls.) While the whole device is meant to win a customer over, it always gets broken down to individual features.

Ultimately, it's just a bullet point list that we either look at or hear about. A big, gorgeous display. An amazing camera. A unique user interface. A fast processor. And then, from there, we can generally break it down even further, with some companies using exclusive deals to launch games for certain processors, or some apps launching exclusively for one platform or another.

This is why someone can fall in love with a device for something, like the camera, but end up hating just about everything else with the device. I've seen it happen quite a bit as online sales have shot up, as consumers buy a new phone because they keep hearing about one feature, and then end up getting rid of it because something else doesn't sit well with them.

I've asked about getting bored with your device, in the past, but as I look at all of the new and amazing features coming to the market, I'm not thinking being bored, necessarily, is really an issue anymore. Getting bored with your operating system, as many people had become with iOS before the big changes introduced in iOS 7, takes time. These days, people don't even keep their phones long enough to get bored with them.

I was speaking with an owner of a Lumia 1020 not too long ago, and she was telling me about how much she loved her phone. (I teased her about being bored with the OS, in a few years like with iOS, but she didn't take the bait.) She kept raving about the camera, right up until the moment she started to describe how she had fallen "out of love" with it, simply because it had lost its luster. It's shine. All of its appeal.

That seems odd to me, simply because it's a tool that's supposed to do one thing: take (amazing) photos, and as long as it does that, doesn't that mean you made the right purchase?

And then I got to thinking about iOS betas.

Apple actually just released the fourth beta for iOS 8 to developers earlier today, and obviously there are new features in there. But, it's still unofficial software, and three's still going to be an official, public release later this year. For all the people who are using the beta on their daily driver, and obviously there are a ton of people out there doing it, that means you're going to be using software for several months before it even officially launches, and, then not updated for another year.

I could see why iOS 8 would lose its appeal to someone in this particular case.

Or, as the LG G3 climbs up our Official Smartphone Rankings board, I can't help but wonder if that QHD display will lose its appeal by the time content that can actually take advantage of it gets widespread release. To be specific, will the people that early adopted the LG G3 (or any other phone with a QHD display for that matter) lose interest in the display and be looking forward to something new by the time the display can actually be utilized to its full extent?

When's the last time a phone's lost its appeal to you? Whether it was just a specific feature or the whole device, what was it, and how long did it take? Let me know!

Products mentioned