Among teenagers, BlackBerry smartphones are all the hype at the moment, but I genuinely can’t help but ask myself why. While most people can see that RIM is on a knife edge and need to make drastic changes to survive, our demographic seems to be addicted to the Canadian QWERTY phones, with their outdated operating systems and poor user experiences. Why is this?
In my opinions BlackBerry phones (and PlayBooks) really aren’t great. People say that the BBM way of communicating is their favourite thing about the phones world, but this service ties you down to communicating with other BB users. Why not just download a cross-platform thing like WhatsApp? Then you will be able to communicate for free with people that have other phones too, such as Androids, iPhones and Windows Phones.
The performance of BlackBerry phones is often absolutely appalling, usually due to the outdated hardware, and my friends that have them are always complaining about how they crash far too regularly to be considered reliable. The camera quality is in a completely different league to other phones, and not in a good way. You cannot compare the quality with that of Nokia, HTC, Samsung and Apple cameras as it is just far too poor. The video quality is equally awful, almost embarrassing to watch once blown up to a decent size. The keys on the phone are small and hard to use at times.
Also (personal rant here) have you ever tried sharing a room with a BlackBerry user? When you’re trying to sleep at night and all you can hear is “click… click… click…” People claim that the keypad on the BlackBerry Bold doesn’t click, which for the record, is a lie. When the room is silent at night you can, and I repeat can, hear it. Now you may be thinking of a counter argument to do with the all-touch Torch and similar models due to the fact that they have software keyboards, however the touch panels are quite frankly of a severely sub-standard quality. In some of the older models the screen clicks as if it’s a button when you touch it. Resistive touch-screens do not deserve a place in this world.
BlackBerry devices are good as business phones due to the security and relative efficiency of the push email services, however as a phone for the youth, they are quite simply abysmal in my opinion. Much better alternatives are available at a wide array of price points, but BB diehards seem oblivious to this fact. I just wish that more people would think the same as me.
“OMG I’ve seen this totally cool new phone, I really just have to get it!”
“Oh really? What is so good about it?”
“It’s got a quad-core processor”
“What does that mean?”
“I have no idea. However it sounds WICKED!!”
Companies trick you into thinking that you always have to have the latest thing, and the today’s society pressures you into believing all the given specifications are absolutely amazing. However, the truth is, some of it just isn’t needed. Why would you want a quad-core processor? To have a faster phone obviously. However you will never need that much power, nor will you ever use it! People say they need the power for gaming; however computers that don’t have quad-core processors have been used for gaming for so many years and are completely fine. Also why would you want to play high quality games on your phone? The screen is so small and the graphics are such poor quality that it isn’t worth it, not if you want anywhere near decent detail and picture. My phone (HTC Sensation) has a dual-core processor; and that works sensationally. I can multitask efficiently, I can play music whilst on the internet and texting and running social apps in the background. I can receive emails and play on apps at the same time. The speed is fantastic and you really couldn’t need a faster phone.
Quad-core costs a lot more money and quite frankly, it isn’t worth it. You may think it is cool to have it, however you will never use all four processors at once, and so you will never notice the fact that you have them.
Technophobia is a column by James Hardy. Views expressed are not necessarily those of Digixav.
Before I start this article, I’d just like to point out that I’m writing this from the point of view of a neutral. I don’t own a PS3 or an Xbox. I have a Wii.
Yes, a Wii. Shut up.
So now it is time to face the age old question: PS3 or Xbox 360?
Well no, it’s not. Because frankly, I couldn’t care less.
The truth is, Xbox owners will pick Xbox, and PS3 owners will pick PS3.
Sure, you might get the occasional Xbox owner who thinks a PS3 is better, or vice versa, but these people are few and far between. They are outliers in the gaming world.
In general, people want what they have to be better than others. And they probably won’t admit it if they think it isn’t true. That is a fact of life.
And the arguments that these people use just get tedious. They are always the same ones. A typical argument goes something like this:
‘Xbox Live is better than
PlayStation Network Sony Entertainment Network.’
‘PS3 has a Blu-ray.’
‘Xbox is cheaper.’
‘So? It’s better.’
‘Xbox is more popular.’
‘And? PS3 has better graphics.’
‘No it doesn’t.’
‘Yes it does.’
‘No it doesn’t.’
‘It does. And what’s up with that stupid Xbox controller?’
That last point is fair enough. Seriously Microsoft, I want my thumbs level with each other. Not a hard concept.
I can hear you trolling already.
‘OMG ur so biased u deffo have a ps3 really!’
The 360 is better value for money though. There we go, impartiality is resumed.
So, er, yeah. These arguments are pointless. And stupid.
Let’s face it. We all buy technology of one form or another. Many of us buy our gadgets online for savings and sheer convenience, but sometimes you need to actually try something before you buy. High street stores are everywhere these days, complete with friendly and ‘knowledgable’ salespeople to guide you to the right products and decisions, but not all is as it seems.
Circulating around Digixav are numerous stories of employees at leading British retailers not having a clue about the products and services that they are trying to sell to the public. Here I have compiled a list of some of the worst of our experiences for your entertainment and warning. Remember that all of these stories are true and have been witnessed by the Digixav team.
- A hand scribbled description note for the Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc in a Carphone Warehouse store stated that the phone was sporting an ‘8.1 mega pixle’ rear camera.
- Advertising material in a Carphone Warehouse store shows BlackBerry Curve specifications with a dummy model of an HTC Salsa, thus confusing two smartphones that could hardly be more different.
- After his chain had been featured in an advert for the new Motorola RAZR, a Phones4U employee had no knowledge of the device other than its name despite the fact that people had come in requesting it.
- A label for a Lenovo desktop PC in Currys states that its 2nd generation Intel Core i3 CPU is 2.7x faster than your old PC. This is very misleading as the i3 chip is in fact slower than many processors that have been available for a number of years.
- The entire sales team of one Currys store had no idea of how the Kindle 4 lighted covers worked as the contact points had changed from those of the Kindle Keyboard. How can they try and sell a case for £50 if they have no idea how it works?
- A dummy Samsung Wave II is on display in the Carphone Warehouse with no explanation as to what it was.
- A Currys employee was left confused as he had no knowledge of what a flash drive was. He had to be reminded that it was the correct term for a memory stick.
- Another upside-down price tag in Currys. I see these whenever I visit my local branch.
- In December 2011, a Carphone Warehouse employee said that he did not expect the Lumia 900 to launch in the UK as, in his words, ‘it has been out in America for ages’. I played along with this, and he stated that it was just the 800 with a ‘4G’ LTE radio inside and at the exact same size of 3.7″. This is clearly incorrect as Nokia and AT&T are set to unveil this device at CES at Las Vegas on Monday. Another Carphone Warehouse employee since informed us that the database confirmed an 8MP rear shooter, a 4.3″ screen and 512MB RAM, but we cannot be certain if these specifications are genuine.
In conclusion, don’t believe everything you hear in tech shops. If you are in such an emporium and you hear an incompetent buffoon misleading a fellow consumer, don’t be afraid to butt in and steer them on the right path. Not all salespeople are terrible but the retail industry lacks people with a passion for technology and this is a sorry state for it.
If you have your own high street tale of woe, leave it in the comments or email it to us here.