So, this is not about the phone per se. It is more about the extent of what I am (and most others) are able to do, with their phones, these days.
Unlike any other ‘phone’ I have owned in the past, the S2 is perhaps the first ‘phone’ that I use extensively, all through the day. Some of the most used parts of this phone include, on an everyday basis,
- 2 emails – one personal and another, official – both on Gmail
- Twitter – 2-3 accounts, at all times (I’m not much of a Facebooker on phone)
- Google Reader/Flipboard – almost 15-20 minutes every morning
- Calendar – mostly for office meetings/appointments
- Memo – a simple, native notepad to note down things
- Camera – 8 megapixels…do I say more? 90% of all pics I take these days are on my phone. And I have a very good P&S Panasonic camera and Canon EOS 450D DSLR too, at that. The thing is, they are not with me, all the time.
- Movies – I watch at least 1-2 movies on weekends, in the phone
- E-book/Audiobook – I listen to at least 10-15 minutes of an audiobook every day, before sleeping. Occasional e-book reading too, given the screen size aids very comfortable e-book reading.
- Browsing – I store my long-reads/must-reads on the phone and enjoy reading them when I get time and don’t have a PC near me
- Maps – Use it occasionally while driving and in the need to find a new place
- Music – not so much, to be honest. I used to have the phone as the primary music storage device and play playlists by connecting it to my car audio, but these days I simply use a thumb-drive for the car
- Games – occasional games; nothing too serious…just the usual Angry Birds, Greedy Spiders or Fruit Ninja.
It is supposed to be a ‘phone’ and I haven’t listed the most basic functions of a phone – making calls, receiving them or text messaging.
My last phone was a BlackBerry. Prior to that, it was a Nokia E61i. I don’t remember what I had, before the E61i.
I believe we have come a long way in redefining the boundaries of a phone. Together with a wonderfully appropriate, large screen and the touch screen that enables the bigger canvas, the device goes so much beyond a phone and into a phenomenal content consumption and creation gadget.
Perhaps because of the S2′s screen size, I really haven’t found the need for a tablet, so far. I suppose the iPhone’s screen size is curtailed for a reason – to create the need for a tablet device like iPad. If the iPhone had a bigger screen – say, a 4-5 inch canvas – I’d love to see how it impacts sales of iPads. Even if I had a tablet, I don’t think I’m going to carry it all day with me, like I do with S2.
I still haven’t used the S2 to create reasonably long form content, like a blog post. I still rely on a PC/laptop for that – it may be because a small screen doesn’t inspire me enough…or it could be the fairly middling typing (even with the wonderful swype) experience. Or, I perhaps just need to find a good enough app to allow me to focus on my writing, in full screen mode, with no distraction!
My wife has a Galaxy Note and that is, in her own words, a hand-bag phone – not a man-pocket phone. I do understand that Note has done extraordinarily well even with the size. The S2′s screen size and overall dimensions make it irresistible as a converged device you carry all day and do a LOT of things with it.
The reason for all this update on my phone usage – while Samsung Galaxy S3 does excite me tremendously, I’m not fully sure if I could do more than what I am able to do in my S2. There may be things that I could do, only on a S3, but I’m not aware of them from the initial communication about the S3 that I so eagerly consume, every day, these days.
This may be similar to users of other, S2-like devices (from HTC, Sony etc.), but the question remains – once you’ve invested in such a transformative device, the impetus to upgrade to a new device may be directly proportional to the extent of things you can do over and above the earlier device. That still doesn’t explain the number of people (in the US, in particular), who traded their older iPhone 4 for a iPhone 4S, which was merely an incremental upgrade – I do understand that.
To me, the S3 seems like an incremental upgrade to the S2. I would most definitely see it in a showroom and drool over it, but the intent to upgrade would be, at least for me, based on its actual value over the S2, if any.
Samsung Galaxy S2 Vs S3 pic courtesy: Techradar.