Leaving Android for Apple. Wait, no... No, wait...Staying with Android Devices
Apple Has Done It Again
As someone who has had a computer for most of my life, I've also been fascinated with technology and personal computing in particular. I can bore you to death with great stories about MS DOS, Microsoft Windows 3.1 and Steve Jobs as Apple CEO version 1.0. Of all the different technological advances and ongoing feuds, I enjoy these smartphone and tablet wars as much as any. Android and Apple are more like Pepsi and Coke (Android is the clear #2 when it comes to engagement and influence like Pepsi) than Apple was to IBM or Google was to Yahoo. And as someone that has owned and continues to own multiple gadgets, each big showcase from Apple or Android's friends at Samsung, LG, and HTC has me waiting with bated breath.
With the latest Apple event and the unveiling of new iPhones, I shrugged off the new models at first. Why would I want the iPhone 6 or the 6 Plus when I already have a large phone? Why should I pay $200 or $300 for the latest device when I am a proud personal finance warrior?
But as the first reviews hit the web last night at 9pm EST, I found myself in a familiar spot: looking at new iPhone cases.
iPhone 6 Plus
Speak Softly and Carry a Big Phone
Theodore Roosevelt famously said, "Speak softly and carry a big stick" in reference to his foreign policy.
My own thought on smartphones is to speak softly and carry a big phone. This was a recent change for me as big phones have only really been around for a couple years. What this also meant was that I have an Android phablet (5.5 inch screen too!) because Apple wasn't playing the big phone game. That was what Samsung, LG, and HTC fought over, the 10% of people that wanted to have an all-in-one device in their pocket - and us 10% were then called power users.
And ever since moving from an iPhone to a much larger Android phone, I've rarely looked back. I have so much more display room to read emails, surf the internet, write parts of hubs for Hubpages, and enjoy photos and videos. Occasionally I'd scoff at the glitchy software and the counter-intuitive touch controls compared to my friends' iPhones. But all in all, I'm surgically attached to my smartphone, and I need it to be a powerhouse so I'm not going back to teeny tiny Apple devices.
So you can only imagine how I felt when I saw the 5.5 inch Apple iPhone 6 Plus...confused.
iPhone 6 Plus
Oh, How You Tug at My Heart Strings
Oh Apple, how you tug at my heart strings with this new iPhone 6 Plus. If you haven't seen it, then you must take a look at the countless reviews (or even the hub I wrote a week ago) as it's a massive beauty. It has the raw dimensions of what you'd see from Samsung with near identical width and length, but then it's so strikingly thinner and more luxurious looking. It has the latest version of IOS that basically brings all the best Android features to the iPhone while allowing you all the best features that Apple devices have always had: Better app selection, better resale value, more choices of cases and accessories.
I can finally have my cake and eat it too. A bigger badder iPhone with all the bells and whistles, the sleek metal body, and the guarantee that as long as I don't break the thing, it'll be worth it's weight in gold when it's time for a new one. I've decided to go with the white one because the space grey color is boring and the gold color is too garish for me. And I have the transparent case picked out so I can have a little protection for my new $300 investment.
And then as I went to Apple's website to buy it, I realized something very very important. I've changed. I can't do it.
Are you going to get one of the new iPhones?
Are you going to get one of the new iPhones?
My Current Smartphone
Current Pricing for New Phones
Amazon Fire Phone
iPhone 6 Plus
No Phone is Worth $300 on Contract to Me
Now, before you stone me, I know that $300 on contract does not even compare to what a lot of my international friends would be paying for an iPhone 6 Plus (somewhere between $600-$1000 from what I hear). But staring at that order screen, looking over the curves of my future white iPhone 6 Plus, my mind kicked in.
"You're DealForALiving. You spend countless hours sharing great deals with people so that they can save money on goods and experiences that make their lives better. Where the heck do you get off paying $300 for a phone that does what your current phone does".
It was a devastating personal admission. Even a few years ago, I wouldn't have batted an eyelash at spending a few hundred dollars on something fun that I could enjoy for a few hours or even a few days. But looking in the mirror, I know I'm now the person that can't spend $10 without an airtight reason. I hold myself responsible for what I spend because I now appreciate how much effort it takes me to earn that money.
And while an iPhone 6 Plus will be faster, slicker, and offer me better camera and video capabilities, that's really it. Sure, I won't be able to access every single app I want. And I won't be able to wave around a new phone like a badge of honor.
But my human revolution is worth more than any of that.
iPhone 6 Plus Video Review
Deals on Smartphones
The other part of this equation is that I have no problem finding great deals on smartphones here in the US. I don't mind cell phone contracts, and since that's the case, the major wireless carriers operate on my terms. Here are some phones that are better than my current phone, can do everything I need my phone to do, and cost less than the iPhone 6 Plus:
- HTC One M8 for Verizon - $50. Top tier specs across the board with a similarly sleek metal body and 32GB of RAM. If I get this phone at $50, then I'm sitting pretty with $250 left in my pocket.
- Amazon Fire Phone for AT&T - $1. I've written about it, and I'm considering it even though it's on the smaller end of what I'd like. Can't beat getting a brand new phone with 1 year of Amazon Prime for a buck.
- LG G3 - $200 including spare battery and charging cradle. My very favorite phablet on the market. It has the 5.5 inch screen but in a smaller body than the iPhone 6 Plus. And I can get a free spare battery and charging cradle which make me a ultra-power user.
- Samsung Galaxy S5 - $200 and dropping. Samsung's current flagship phone has all the power of the new iPhones but comes in lighter and less expensive. Samsung traditionally drops prices a week or two after a new Apple product so this'll be $100 in no time.
None of these are as splashy as the new iPhone 6 Plus, but I won't have any trouble knowing that I got a great deal on these, and that does it for me.
I'll Keep on Living For a Deal
I get that I'm probably being overly dramatic when it comes to this topic.
I mean, how important is a smartphone anyway? (Well, to me it's what I use for work so it's important).
And why are you spending so much time thinking about $300? (It's $300!)
Why don't you just trade in your current phone and pay $100 or $150 for the new iPhone? (Because I can get the same trade-in value for my phone and get another phone for $1)
There's no turning back. I am DealForALiving for I will keep on living in search of deals to share with all of you.
I believe that being frugal and making smart money choices is like any other exercise. As we continue to practice good habits in saving money where possible, finding deals for what we want, and having a good time at it, then we become better at dealing for a living.
I'm committed to sharing my experiences with getting the most out of using credit cards, saving and spending tips, and I might even add a slice of perspective without trying to be a psychoanalyst like some other personal finance folks out there.
Please let me know what you think and if you'd like to hear my take on a specific topic.