I realize that what I am about to discuss could be considered by many (including myself) to be a “first-world” dilemma. After several years of avoiding the issue, I am on the brink of owning a smartphone…but which one?
The flip phone I’ve been using for years is a war horse. I can’t even remember how long I’ve had it, but it has served me well through many years of neglect. I do have to remember to charge it pretty frequently as it has gotten older, but that has been the extent of my sense of responsibility towards it. What most amazes me is that I haven’t lost it. Misplaced it? Yes…many, many times. But it always turned up.
I noticed during the past several months that I was beginning to feel slightly self-conscious about getting out my flip phone in public to make calls. I think this is because I finally realized that only people my age still use them, and many people my age have already moved on to smartphones. I was beginning to feel like a throwback to a pre-technological age, and although I am far from being technologically obsessed, I didn’t want to be the last person in my age group to take the plunge.
So here I am, days away from Christmas, still undecided about which phone to get. As we left the house the other night to visit the Verizon store near us, I casually asked my husband how much a new smartphone would cost. “About $800 was his reply.” I was stunned. There was no way I wanted to spend that much on an item I might lose quite easily and might, in the end, find more frustrating than useful. I almost canceled our outing, but decided to see what was available.
The store was mercifully not busy considering it is the height of the holiday shopping season. The person who greeted us was very courteous and knowledgeable. We asked to see some of the lower-end Android models as well as a couple of iPhones. A close friend of mine acquired an LG model (Android) about six months ago, and has been very happy with it. She has a new grandchild, so for her the cellphone has become a portable camera; she is very happy with the quality of the pictures she takes.
I mistakenly remembered her phone as being a Samsung, so that is the phone we examined in two different sizes. The interface of the Samsung is quite user friendly: the screen is bigger, the typeface is legible without reading glasses, and the desktop is very uncluttered looking. The functions it has are more limited than the iPhone, but would probably be all I would need.
The iPhone has a smaller screen, and the cheapest model is $200 more than the cheapest Samsung I looked at. It has many more functions, but some are so specialized I will probably never use them. I will also not being using the phone for games; I am not a game player and never will be. I would rather spend my time retrieving information from the internet. The iPhone with the larger format screen (similar to the Android) would cost even more than the basic iPhone…probably close to $500-plus dollars.
I was completely stumped. I leaned toward the clarity and easy-to-use keyboard of the Android and even found the smaller version of it quite user-friendly. But my family members all have iPhones and use them all the time. I am attracted to the multi-functionality of the iPhone, but I’m nervous about being frustrated in my attempts to use the more complicated functions. I also worry about the higher cost of the phone if it turns out that I end up using limited functions. And the screen is just not as user-friendly as the Android, so I would probably need to get out my glasses every time I use it.
So here I am, just days before Christmas, undecided. My husband is concerned about not having a gift to put under the tree for me. My friends, who both use Androids, have advised me to get the iPhone so I could ask my family members for help with its various functions. The husband said “You cannot underestimate the importance of having someone to explain the various functions of the phone to you, or to help solve a problem as this can be very time-consuming for new phone users.” He feels it best that my phone be compatible with what the rest of the family has.
I wish I had thought to ask you this question sooner, but I didn’t. If you have any words of wisdom or advice, don’t hesitate to share. I still have a few days to decide!
So that, ladies and gentlemen, is my final post for this year. It seems awfully self-centered and materialistic, but it’s a true slice of life. I’ll let you know my choice in the New Year. I feel as though this will be a life-changing decision because it will involve a big change in my daily habits.
Best wishes to all of you for the holidays. May your days ahead be sunny and bright; may your gifts be just what you wished for; may we all be back together again real soon
sharing our life stories.