One of the benefits of being around for the smartphone revolution, aside from seeing some of the greatest technology crammed into ever thinning frames of metal and plastic, is watching it all evolve at a rapid pace. It’s never been a secret, or even a hushed whisper that this was always an arms race to nowhere. That, eventually, and probably sooner rather than later, all of the improvements for our smartphones would culminate in more evolutions, rather than revolutions.
Indeed, I think that became perfectly clear to everyone when Samsung decided to start iterating in smaller doses with their yearly flagship releases. What’s more, every other manufacturer out there has now stepped into the same bucket. The technology that powers our smartphones, from our high-end displays to the multi-core processors under the hoods to any other individual component that looks good on a bulleted list, has reached a point where it’s now just throwing numbers around.
To be fair, it’s been like that for quite some time. A few years ago a switch got flipped, and suddenly manufacturers started only caring about the specifications list. What can they shove into a phone? How fast can the processor go? How many pixels can we shove into a screen? And so on, and so forth.
As a fan of technology I jumped on board the spec train and I was more than happy to show off phones with brand new dual-core processors back in the day, and then quad-core chipsets, or 1080p HD displays, 41-megapixel cameras, and you get the idea. I fell right into the bandwagon, but I can honestly say that I wasn’t caught there for long.
Eventually, the specs just stopped being the most important thing.
And it wasn’t just any one device that made me feel like this, either. Over the course of many years, and trying out many, many (so many) different devices, I was just beaten down by the fact that no matter how great the hardware supposedly was, the software never really matched. When I’ve got a processor in my phone that’s clocked above 2GHz with four cores, I shouldn’t have to care about lag, or stuttering, or apps and games that open slowly. Cameras with ridiculously high megapixel counts shouldn’t give me crappy pictures (even if everyone knows megapixel count doesn’t really matter).
We’ve been inundated with phones with powerful specifications over the years, but not many have stood the test of time in overall performance, despite those beefy specs. And that’s a problem. More than that, though, it’s led me to be the person that just doesn’t pay any attention to it anymore. I’ve just stopped caring if a phone has the fastest processor ever, or the most RAM, or the best camera. In the end, it’s going to come down to actually being used, tested and thoroughly vetted in real-world situations. And not just in a week, or even 30 days. We’re meant to own these devices for months, if not years, and that’s how long they should work.
During that time, I don’t want to have to restart my phone because it’s slowing down. I don’t want to have to tap my foot as I wait for an app to open. I definitely don’t want to see any lag just switching between home screens. I want to see great photos, no matter what.
I just want it to work.
And I’m curious if you happen to feel the same way. Despite being a fan of smartphones and tablets, and wanting to know everything about them even before their announced, are you actually craving to hear what the processor will be, or how much RAM it will have? Do the specs even matter to you anymore? Let me know!