What do 1.08 Billion Smartphones have in common? Hardly anyone is happy with them. We hear stories all the time of new phones being released to the public with issues. These issues can range from dodgy screens, network issues, creaking cases and other shoddy manufacturing.
Why don't people like their Galaxy S III?
Because if you're using your phone as a phone, it'll cut out at random points, and then the signal disappears because the flagship Samsung device is (we assume) sulking and completely ashamed of itself.
Why don't people like their iPhone 4S?
Because everything the phone does will siphon juice out of the battery like a thirsty Ferrari between petrol stations. In particular, data hungry applications that work even when you're ignoring your phone will bring that battery percentage plummeting to earth.
Why don't people like their Nokia Lumia 900?
Well, unless you love the colour purple, you'll end up distracted by an awkward purple tint on the screen. Also if you just happen to be walking past your favourite movie star, don't expect the phone to turn on as you hammer down on that camera button to get a quick pic.
Why don't people like their HTC Titan II?
The display is rubbish. And it's Microsoft's fault. Whoever thought the standard screen resolution of 800x480 was acceptable should be strapped to a donkey and rode out of town. Standards are good, but they've aimed so low they've almost travelled back in time.
Why don't people like their Blackberry Curve?
The phone seems a bit trigger happy on the reset function. It's not even the fault of the reset button, it's because of the memory card (who'd have thought...??). Enjoy Russian Roulette every time you write an email.
Are you an unhappy user of a smartphone with the issues above?
All of the above raises one major question: How can manufacturers let phones loose with issues that result in completely degrading the experience their customers get from the phone? We have no idea. When the function of a smart phone is slowly reduced to nothing then you are essentially the proud owner of the worlds most advanced paperweight. It's all good that the manufacturers are releasing software updates to fix the issues, but phones are built with short life cycles in mind and they've got no intention of supporting a device beyond a couple of years (Think: Apple, the iPad2 was powerful two years ago, but now it can't support iOS6? Yeah, right).
A software update won't fix a hardware issue either, so in the case of the Titan II above, you'd better settle for your screen issues. In the case of the iPhone 4, hopefully you'll enjoy the feel of a plastic case every time you use the handset. The HTC ONE X suffers a 'death grip' of its own in regards to WiFi. We cannot believe a phone can be so fussy about how you hold it. It's like an angsty girlfriend or boyfriend.
Do we ever expect to hear of a "perfect" Smartphone?
It is completely absurd to allow manufacturers to get away with some of the issues above, but realistically different people will buy their phone for different reasons. Some are snap-happy camera enthusiasts, some love to game, some just want the biggest and best device on the market. The more technically capable will be upset with the audio processor in their Galaxy S II, something the iPhone will never have an issue with. If Microsoft don't up their ante and increase their standard display resolution, Windows Phone users will have to settle with sub-par graphics. Blackberry? Well, that's a very large elephant in the corner of a very small room, and the oxygen is running low.
The lesser technically minded probably won't even know some of these issues exist. If you bought the phone to use as a phone, the Lumia 900, Titan II and possibly the iPhone 4S will be great for you. If you got the Galaxy S III simply because of the awesome processing power to play Tower Defense on your lunch, you'll never know of the problems lurking beneath with the microphone. The fact is, the more you put in, the more can go wrong. Do you think wind-up windows in a car break as often as automatic windows?
We've avoided the whole "battery life" issue on purpose. That can be dedicated to its own blog update - it is just not possible to fix battery problems with the current methodology of mobile handset manufacturing today. If you want a phone that'll last more than a day, play a game, play music as well as fit snug in your hand, better head on over to eBay and grab yourself a Nokia 8310.
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