With all the current hype surrounding the new Samsung Galaxy S7, I’m beginning to wonder whether this year is finally the time for me to upgrade my mobile phone.
You see, I’m still using a Samsung Galaxy S3 that I got back in 2012, and, to be honest, it still serves me perfectly well. I’m not one of those trend-followers who has to have the latest phone the instant it comes out, and I’m not one of those clumsy people whose phone is so battered and damaged that it barely survives until the next model is released. I take care of my phone, and, if it does what I want it to do, I don’t see the point in getting a new one.
A new BlackBerry?
In 2009, I got a BlackBerry. It was the first “smart phone” I’d ever had, and I got it as an upgrade from an old Nokia flip-phone that I’d got in 2005. In 2011, due to my mobile phone contract, I was entitled to a new phone, so I got a newer Blackberry, which, to this day, is still sitting untouched in its original box.
The reason for my lack of interest in using the new BlackBerry was that I saw nothing much wrong with the old one. I had the apps on it that I liked, and it served it purpose still. In fact, the only reason I got the new BlackBerry was because it had 3G, whereas my old one didn’t. This didn’t cause any problems here in the UK, but it had caused problems in 2010 when I went to Japan, and discovered that my old BlackBerry would work there as Japan no longer supported 2G devices. Therefore, I just got the 3G phone in preparation for my next trip to Japan (which, sadly, is yet to happen).
When the time to upgrade came again in 2012, I finally decided to leave BlackBerry behind and move to a touch-screen phone, even though, being a writer, I really liked the real qwerty keyboard that the BlackBerry had. I decided to get a decent phone, since I tend to keep them for years, so I went for the Samsung Galaxy S3, and the rest, as they say, is history.
The Galaxy S4, S5, and S6 have all come along since, but none of them have really offered enough to make me want to upgrade. I’ve got all my apps just the way I like them on my S3, and, since I’m a man who tends to carry his phone in his jeans pocket, a bigger screen on a bigger phone is not that appealing.
Now, as a mobile games developer, you may think that it’s important to me to have the latest phones to test my games on, but I’m afraid I’m not that rich. I had to buy an iPad Air, in order to be able to test iOS games, but I can’t afford to have numerous Android devices lying around, just for testing purposes. In fact, I actually learnt back in 2013, when developing my original Boxing Manager game, that just testing on a new phone is not good. You see, I tested the game on my, then fairly cutting-edge, Galaxy S3, and it ran fine, and ran quickly. However, upon releasing the game to the general public, I started getting complaints from people with older devices about it running really slowly.
Nowadays, by testing my games on my old S3, I know that I’m getting a better idea of how they’ll run on the majority of devices than if I was testing on the very latest model. That’s very important, especially if my customers are in countries where the affordable mobile phone technology lags a few years behind the “cutting-edge”.
So why get a Samsung Galaxy S7?
The aforementioned technology gap is exactly why I feel it may be time to upgrade to a Galaxy S7. Unlike myself, many mobile app developers don’t care too much about the people lower down the technology ladder. They want to focus on those people at the cutting-edge of technology, the people who always have the latest Samsung phone or the latest iPhone. They want to focus on the people with the most money. Therefore, they do everything they can to wring maximum performance out of the latest phones. They want their app or their game to be the flagship one that people proudly use to show off their new phone to their friends. After all, somebody with a four year old phone obviously isn’t that free with their money, are they?
This technical progression has caused my old S3 to strain under the pressure a bit nowadays. Everything on it seems to take that bit longer to do, and there seem to be long pauses as apps struggle to open up on this “old” device. There’s also the issue of the battery, which will only have a limited life, before a replacement is necessary. Therefore, despite the fact there are people out there who would love an S3, I’m beginning to think a newer phone might be in order, and, staying loyal to Samsung, that a Galaxy S7 might be the way to go (if I’m intending to keep it until 2020).