Last Updated on 2016-05-30 , 9:36 am
In 1995, the five things that people look for in a phone are simply these: the ability to make calls when drinking kopi in a coffee shop filled with people wearing No Fear T-shirts, the ability to receive calls while others look for a payphone after someone paged them, the ability to use the phone as a paperweight lest the one that your friend has bought for you during Christmas is lost, the ability to slot the phone into your big canvas bag and finally, the ability to have it stand by itself on the table.
In 2005, things have improved so much that made Star Trek ancient: people then looked for phones with a colour screen, phones that could check email on the go (how cool was that, man!), phones that could send more than 160 letters in a message, phones with ringtone louder than your house stereo sound system and phones that could play games other than Snake and Space Invaders.
It was, then, revolutionary.
Now? It’s 2015. Who cares about the ability to make a call? Wait—do you know, in the first place, that a phone can be used to make calls? Let’s look at the five things that people look for in a phone. And since I’m using a sponsored phone from Oppo (it’s an Oppo R5—it’s so slim that I forget when I’ve placed it now), I should list down these functions that my phone have.
1. Speed (i.e. the processor and the ram)
Days when we type faster than a phone responding (anyone remembers Nokia 3310?) has become history—sort of. While phones are usually pretty responsive now, some could still lag if you’ve got either 1. A slow phone or 2. Numerous apps running in the background. So far, the phones I’ve used, from iPhone to Motorola to Sony to Oppo, have been pretty decent. There’s no considerable lag as I type, so I presume that phones nowadays are reasonable fast, right? Not that I type slow, right?
It’s ironic, really: in 1995, people wanted just mere phones. In 2005, people wanted phones as small as possible. And now, when there are phones that can be as small as a credit card, people want big phones because they want to watch videos. What’s next? A flip phone? Oh. Actually, once upon a time, that was the “in” thing, too.
And just to make you jealous, my phone is the slimmest phone in the world, so it serves the 1995 and 2015 wants: small yet big. Size does matter.
3. Battery life
Nokia 3310 allowed us to use our phone for days, if not weeks. Charging a phone is a once-in-a-blue-moon affair. Now? Charging a phone is once-you-see-the-moon affair, which is every night. Of course, I must admit that while my Oppo phone sucks battery like how my car drinks petrol, there’s the rapid charging system that allows it to be charged within 30 minutes. So without a strong battery, there should at least be a strong charger lah.
Fifteen years ago, the only OS we know is Windows and Mac. Now, no one seems to give a damn about Windows or Mac—they’re all asking whether you’re an Android or an iOS fanboy. In other words, to some extent, people are choosing a phone based on the OS as well.
I remember going into a Singtel shop and asking the difference between Brand X and Brand Y. I asked which brand’s specs was better: he said Brand X. Then I asked him why Brand Y was more expensive. He said, “Because of the logo.”
I was like, “What the—“ then I stopped. A phone has become part of us. So why be surprised?
Then again, while it used to be a competition between two brands, now, it seems to be different.
The Oppo R5 was sponsored by Oppo for Low Kay Hwa. However, all articles are not influenced by the firm and are completely impartial.
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