The Wrong Standards: Specs are not what make the iPhone great

by Uluroo — 19 March 2018

The iPhone X just got destroyed. No, not by a three-foot drop onto concrete but by the Samsung Galaxy S9. Apparently. Let’s turn to Newsweek’s James Hetherington for the rest:

“Samsung Galaxy S9: 5 Reasons It Will Destroy the iPhone X”

Apologies, readers. The iPhone X’s demise is not confirmed, just in progress. Let’s check how the fight is going... let’s see... “Galaxy S9 preorders...”

Oh, yay. Down 50 percent from last year.

So why is the S9 such a super-duper phone?

... here we are, celebrating a modest upgrade on one of the best phones ever made. Here are five reasons the Galaxy S9 belongs in your pocket instead of an iPhone X:
1. The camera
...
Don't take our word for it: Look at DXO Mark. The rating site put the Galaxy S9 top of the list for mobile cameras with a score of 99.

Yes! The S9 has an amazing camera. If the camera is the only feature that you care about in a smartphone, the S9 is for you.

Uluroo agrees that cameras are a big selling point. But the iPhone X also has a good camera. It’s good enough that the camera shouldn’t be a deal-maker or deal-breaker. Even if the X had a better camera, Uluroo wouldn’t say that’s the most important feature or the reason he’d recommend the phone.

2. The price
Rumors leaked of the "thousand-dollar iPhone" before the event in September, but that didn't make it any easier when the news was announced—$999 for a 64 GB iPhone X. Apple sells a MacBook Air for the same price.

The iPhone X has more advanced technology than the MacBook Air. Are you determining the device’s supposed value based on its size? If so, why do $300 laptops and $450 smartphones exist?

3. The lack of compromise
Apple fans have had to suck it up for a while now. Waterproofing and wireless charging took years to arrive, expandable storage never came, and perhaps the biggest kick in the teeth, the headphone jack disappeared.

Yes, we’ve been “sucking it up” for all these years because... no reason? Hetherington doesn’t bother to address the reason Apple products have been so loved even when they didn’t have every last feature: They have a better user experience and a better operating system. At least, enough people think they do.

Meanwhile, Samsung has just been sitting back and throwing in every bell and whistle the company can think of.

Is this a compliment? Which of the two companies’ design strategies resulted in devices that exploded?

Even today, as companies claim they must remove the headphone jack for waterproofing, Samsung retains the port.

Recall the section we’re in right now: “The lack of compromise.” Now consider this: If we care so much about no-compromise design, why do we want to say “I want to listen to music on wired headphones at the same time as I charge via a wire” and also praise wireless charging and wireless audio? We want to cut our cords at the same time as we try to tie ourselves down. The future is not wired headphones and wired charging. Those are by nature a compromise. And if you do like those compromises, you can purchase wired headphones that connect to the Lightning port. Why should you want to tie yourself down in two ways at once? Even on an iPhone 7 without wireless charging, Uluroo hasn’t missed the headphone jack. And on an iPhone X, it would be even better with wireless charging.

And by the way, does the Galaxy S9 have anything comparable to Apple’s Taptic Engine? No. Wireless technology is good enough now that companies can remove wired connections to open up space inside devices.

4. Same-day repairs

That’s great, but it’s an added bonus if you already chose to buy the phone, not a reason to buy the phone. And how about same-day updates? Hetherington has to ignore the advantages of iOS in order to make his point. The Galaxy S9 is a good phone, but it’s not enough to overcome the real reason the iPhone is so popular: iOS.

5. DeX Pad

Yep, turning your phone into a desktop is cool. But the next time you give ten points to house Samsung for a low price, don’t advertise a $100 accessory that brings the phone into the same cost territory as the device you’re bashing for being too expensive.

The Galaxy S9 looks like a great phone. If you’re an Android user, it looks like one of the best options. But the way Hetherington compares it to the iPhone ignores the biggest difference between the phones: software. Software is a feature just as much as a camera. And Android, especially Samsung’s version, is nowhere near the iPhone in terms of user experience. The iPhone is still the best option if you’re already an iPhone user because if you are an iPhone user, you care about more than specs. If you’re an Android user, go for the S9. But don’t compare it to the iPhone on terms that aren’t most important to iPhone users.