Smartphones – When were you last wowed by technology?

If you read The Digital Sock the chances are like me, you have a passion for technology and gadgets. Gadgets are my very guilty and expensive pleasure.

Tablets, Smartphones, Laptops, Televisions, Games Consoles, TV Streaming Devices, Home Cinema equipment, Projectors – the list goes on. I am an avid researcher before a big purchase and always making sure it will suit my needs as closely as possible and of course always looking for the best value for money.

However, more often than not once the new piece of kit arrives after the initial setup and getting to grips with it there is always that feeling of being slightly underwhelmed.

With new technology I want to be wowed. I want it to help make my life easier, improve on what I previously had, something that when I use it I am genuinely impressed.

However, the more I use technology the more I am under whelmed. Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that technology is rubbish – far from it, I just find that over the past few years it has been much more evolution rather than revolution.

Take smartphones – when was the last time a manufacturer did something truly groundbreaking?

Apple, with their hugely successful iPhone have always been criticised for annual incremental updates to the handset. Something, which other manufacturers like Samsung and HTC are now jumping on board with.

You can pretty  much sum up the next year of mobile technology with the following:

  • Slimmer handsets
  • Higher resolution screens
  • Faster processors
  • More Ram

That’s all well and good – but handsets are going down the computer path of ten years ago. Rather than looking at how it can genuinely be used and improve on the user experience they just make it more powerful. And yes, it sucks me in every year!

So without too much forethought we can pretty much assume that in 2014 we’ll see the Samsung S5, shortly followed up by a mini version and then the Galaxy Note 3. HTC will release the HTC Two, again followed up by a ‘mini’ and ‘max’ version. And Apple will release the iPhone 6 and an updated version of the 5C.

With the companies above, what have we really seen in recent years that made you go ‘wow’? The HTC ONE won plaudits because of how it looked, the Samsung S4 introduced Airview and Air gestures with the idea being you don’t have to actually touch the screen, sensors pick up the movement about the screen and allow you to interact with the screen that way. Okay, it’s ‘cool’ but not really that useful and it’s not supported by many Apps anyway.

Apple introduced a fingerprint scanner, this was the ‘big’ change for their latest version of the phone. Again, it’s cool but not that useful and again only supported by a limited amount of apps and it really goes out the window if you’re wearing gloves.

Curved screens also made an appearance with LG going for the vertical curve whilst Samsung went for the horizontal option. Useful? I’m yet to see one but I can’t imagine they sit that well in the pocket. Apart from apparently offering better viewing angles and less reflection whilst outdoors the negatives seem to outweigh the benefits currently – even more so when you put the cost against it.

So come on phone manufacturers give us something to be truly wowed by. Apple and Samsung are by far and away the market leaders on the handset side of things surely they can give us something to be truly ‘wowed’ by?

However, please don’t rush it. Refine the technology, test it, get it working perfectly but please don’t launch it early just to beat the competition (cough Galaxy Gear cough) and wow us again.

One Response to “Smartphones – When were you last wowed by technology?”
  1. Mark Mac says:

    I couldn’t agree more. Historically, I have purchased a new cell phone every 1-2 years. I went from being a Blackberry die hard for years to Motorola Droid to Samsung Galaxy S3 to Nexus 5 and most recently the LG G3.
    I research the technology well in advance, read reviews and forum chatter (CNET, consumer reports, android central, etc), consider the price and buy. I used to get super excited about receiving my new phone and seeing what it has to offer. Now, I find myself saying….meh

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