Sunday, 5 June 2016

First World Problems: Choosing my next mobile phone.

Yeah this really doesn't justify a post. But it matters. Life now revolves around these blasted things. On my personal Holmes and Raha Stress Scale it is up there between "Change in responsibilities at work", "Child leaving home" and "Trouble with in-laws" on 29 Life Change Units, and "Foreclosure of mortgage or loan" on 30 Life Change Units. For some perspective, the most stressful event - "Death of a spouse" equates to 100 Life Change Units so the issue is not a full on Life Event but nonetheless I rate it more highly than:
  • Outstanding personal achievement  28
  • Spouse starts or stops work 26
  • Beginning or end school         26
  • Change in living conditions 25
  • Revision of personal habits 24
  • Trouble with boss                 23
  • Change in working hours or conditions 20
  • Change in residence          20
  • Change in schools                  20
  • Change in recreation          19
  • Change in church activities 19
  • Change in social activities 18
  • Minor mortgage or loan         17
  • Change in sleeping habits 16
  • Change in number of family reunions 15
  • Change in eating habits        15
  • Vacation                                13
  • Major Holiday                        12
  • Minor violation of law        11
So it does matter but how did it come to this? My current phone is limping along with a cracked screen. I talk a lot using my arms. Talking is a very form physical expression for me. Unfortunately it is for Mrs Kong too. As in Ghostbusters where you should never cross streams, the tigress and I should never clash arms when in full conversation. But it happened and my phone spun out of my hand and tumbled to the floor.

It is not as if I can just fix the screen either. Well I could but that would involve a journey of 5500 miles back to where I originally bought it. It is/was a Xiaomi Mi 3. My history with mobile phones mirrors my life. I prefer quirky rather than mainstream. I got Ericsson when everyone else got Nokia but then Sony took it over.

I have never liked Apple so my first true touchscreen smartphone was an HTC HD2 (aka Leo). I got it as a second hand emergency purchase because at the time nobody wanted them so it was cheap and some fool had just stolen my brand new but terrible Nokia N97. The HD2 ran the Windows Mobile 6.5 operating system. Or at least it was supposed to. I still have it but it now runs Android. People have got pretty much everything from Ubuntu to WinPhone 7 to run on it. It was a great phone but hardware limitations and batterylife have caught up with it.

While I still had the HD2 I needed something better that was cheap but powerful. I was familiar with Xiaomi from their MIUI HD2 ROMS so when they announced their first phone - the Mi One I got one from china and was one of the first people in Europe to have the device. I have subsequently had a Mi 2 and a Mi 3 but with Xiaomi recently announcing a deal with Microsoft it is time to move on. They a no longer the quirky enthusiast outfit they once were and are now promoting walled gardens in much the same way as Apple and Google do. 

So this is my dilemma. What phone to get next. It has got to be quirky and not stupidly expensive. Current candidates include the OnePlus 2 and the British (so therefore definitely quirky) WileyFox Storm. I'm not sure if they quite fit the bill and neither look particularly Mrs Kong proof. First world problems...