Today I am trying to get through some of my busy work. One of the incomplete items on my to-do list is replacing my phone. You would think that as a Tech Whisperer, I would have no trouble deciding what phone to get. But knowing the pros and cons of most of the Android phones on the market definitely has its downsides.
I am an analyst, not a magpie. I don’t really care about any shiny features a phone might have. I know exactly what features I rely on and the remainder don’t interest me personally (although I do pay attention to them for my clients). I care primarily about the durability of the phone because I am likely to keep it for 3 years or more. For those who pay attention to these things, my current phone is still running Froyo, which should tell you just how old it is.
I am also price sensitive. Less because of my own budget limitations (although, that is of course, a factor) and more because pricing on phone seems somewhat arbitrary. I understand the wireless companies’ business model. They heavily subsidize the phones because they make their money on the monthly charges. What bothers me is that the cost of any given phone fluctuates so widely. I am an Android girl all the way, but this is one area where I think Apple gets it right. They have one price, period. That price might be high, but there is no shopping around required.
Comparing between carriers is like comparing bananas to artichokes. One might charge $X for the same phone that another carrier charges $Y. But, if you look at the monthly fee structure, they might be very cost competitive. In that case, I should just go with the most affordable model, right? That is, until you look at the coverage maps and the data plans. That is where we leave the fruit aisle and wander into the prickly vegetable section.
I have gotten as far as deciding to stick with my current wireless provider. I have already ruled out all the phones running Ice Cream Sandwich because there is no need for me to start one version behind. Now I am trying to decide between 2 phones. Both are running Jellybean and have very similar specs. There are just a few key differences and I am trying to decide how much they matter. And if they do matter, how much are they worth to me? Right now, my inclination is to think they are not worth the price differential. The question haunting me is whether I will regret my decision in 18 months when my phone is outdated. Because let’s face it. There is no way I am revisiting this kind of paralyzing decision-making process until I absolutely have to.