I currently use an iPhone 6 — a plain 6, not the ’S’ or any of the ‘Plus’ variants — which I bought in January 2016. I was forced into buying that because the iPhone 4 I had broke on the day I moved house and, with no landline yet connected to the new place, I needed a mobile phone that worked so that I had some way to communicate with the various utility providers I was engaging.
I’m not a phone person. I hate making phone calls and only do so when it’s absolutely necessary. I’d much rather email if possible. In fact I dislike phones so much that I regularly forget to take it out with me, which probably makes me some sort of dinosaur. If so, I have a preference for the Stegosaurus.
The thing I dislike most about phone calls is the immediate interruption. With email you can attend to the reply at your leisure but a phone interrupts you there and then. Or at least it would if you answered it — I rarely do and mostly just want people to go away.
Yet I still want a mobile phone for emergencies, of which I seem to have more as I get older. I will use it for email, reminders, notes sometimes and for the occasional phone call — I don’t make many.
Then of course there’s the camera. I know the youth of today think things didn’t happen if there’s no photograph of it, but I don’t take that many photographs myself and the ones I do take are generally terrible. But I do take some.
I have a little Sony CyberShot I’ll carry if I think a photo opportunity might present itself and I have a Canon EOS 450D for more involved photography, although that hasn’t seen the light of day for at least 4 years.
I only rarely use my iPhone as a camera but perhaps if I had an iPhone 11 — the camera in which will be much better than the one in my iPhone 6 — I’d start using that instead of my Sony CyberShot.
The killer, though, is that my iPhone 6 won’t support iOS 13 and, whilst I only infrequently use a phone as a ‘computing device’, I want it to be compatible with my iPad and MacBook Pro, which are both still modern enough for the upcoming upgrades via iOS 13, iPadOS and macOS Catalina.
So I’m thinking I’ll upgrade. The iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max look tasty but I just can’t justify then given my use of mobile phones, so it’ll be the plain old iPhone 11 with 128GB for me. That’s still an extraordinarily expensive £779 but hopefully I’ll get at least 4 years use out of it before needing to consider upgrading again.
Of course you’re not really buying a phone with these things, at least not primarily. You’re buying a camera and computer that just happens to be able to make phone calls.
Much is made of the cameras in phones these days and there are many comparisons that mention things like pixels, whites being blueish, tonality, tint, colour saturation, noise reduction and other phrases used by photography geeks. But if you’re that much of a geek you’re probably going to be using a proper — and accordingly expensive — camera for most of your photos.
What most people want with a photograph is to capture a memory and as long as the image is reasonable then that’s enough. All I want to do is look at a photograph a few years later and remember the day or event. It’s just a trigger for my memory, which is appalling these days.
I’ve even forgotten where I’m going with this article. Oh yes, I’m getting an iPhone 11. I’ll report back on that at some point.