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Want to be a Smartphone Critic? Don’t Talk About the Quality…of the Call!


Yeah, but can you talk on it?

Is it me, or is that just not considered a vital feature in smartphones today? I ask because in all the reviews I’ve seen of Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) latest iPhone line, nowhere does the subject of “call quality” come up. Or “calls,” period. Not ever. Not once.

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There are plenty of comments on the size of the iPhone 6 screen, and the larger iPhone 6 Plus screen. There's lots of stuff on whether its 8-megapixel camera is as good, if not better, than Samsung Galaxy models featuring far more megapixels. And there's lots more on battery life, and fast Internet speeds, and something called NFC (which at first I thought was an Apple app to get NFL games -- but apparently it has something to do with making purchases).

My point is, making a call is no longer the point with smartphones today …instead it’s how thin they are, how big their screens are, how fast their processors are. What matters these days isn’t the quality of the voice coming through, but the resilience of glass on the phone through which it does. Noise doesn’t matter. Glare does.

What’s important is size, and response, multi-tasking and texting. Don’t get me wrong -- there’s plenty of emphasis on how easily you can dial up contacts; just not much information on how well you can hear once you DO dial up those contacts.

Maybe it’s me. Maybe this stuff just doesn’t matter. In that event, I guess I’m just showing my age. There was a time, after all, when that’s how you judged a phone -- any phone, wireless or otherwise. Now actual calls are a means to an end, and often just left out in the end. Invariably such mundane matters take a back seat to how fast you can text and send emails on them…not how fast you can “talk” on them, or once you do, whether you can clearly “listen” on them.

Now it’s all about “apps” you can download, not actual good-to-go conversations you can dial up. It says much about our times when all these smartphone makers are defining themselves by their bells and whistles, and not by the person with whom you connect, courtesy these bells and whistles. I’m not saying that’s bad, but it is, at least for this old codger, a little weird.

Now Samsung is featuring a phone called The Edge, that apparently allow users to see apps of widgets of their choosing along the side of the phone that up to now, phone-makers were ignoring.

No, it’s all about making use of all that new real estate, and if pinched, squeezing out still more from the same real estate. I’m sure these are all neat features, and I’m impressed by a whole lot of these features. Just let me sound like the technology Luddite I am, when I admit to this not being the tech world I  once knew.

Mark my words, it won’t be long before we similarly start demanding more of other devices as well. Pretty soon, that coffee maker better do damn more than make me a cup of coffee. And churning out a cup of tea as well won’t cut it! This thing that sits on my kitchen counter had better reassess doing more neat stuff or it won’t be sitting long atop that counter! That’s all I’m saying.

And if my smirking refrigerator thinks it can get away with just chilling my stuff, it better start branching out to more than just keeping items crisp. If in a year’s time, it’s still just storing my eggs, and not also “making” me those eggs, let’s just say I’m going to make its cool life “shell.”

Don’t blame me for all these appliance shifts. After all,  Apple (how ironic a name) started it. And now, the “shift” has hit the fan!

Believe it. Text it. Then tuck it in an ‘app…and run with it.

What do you think?

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