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Thread: What do PC's and Phones have in common?

  1. #1
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    What do PC's and Phones have in common?

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    I’ve been trying out Microsoft’s Lumia 950 Windows Phone all week. The fact that it runs me Microsoft's Windows made me get a bit nostalgic. I’m a bit of an old-school gadget nerd. I’ve been working on HowardForums for over 15 years now and while I’m a huge phone nerd who always regrets not keeping every single phone I’ve ever owned, my original love will always be desktop computers.

    My memory is a bit hazy but around the time I started the site I had an Intel Pentium 133MMX laptop running Windows ME which was soon to be replaced with an Athlon 600 which I built myself. Here’s a bit of trivia, the first computer HowardForums had all to itself was a Celeron 300 (or was it a 600) which was overclocked. It ran Linux and had a 40GB hard drive. It was cobbled together from new and existing parts I had lying around.

    Over the years I would replace my computer as often as I could afford. Fortunately I had a girlfriend (now wife) who was okay with this. However, a few years back something happen; My interest in computers started to wane. Instead of replacing my computer every year I’d start replacing it every 2 years. Then I went through an almost 4 or 5 year stint where I didn’t change it and really didn’t think twice about this.

    Last year I built myself an 8 core Intel computer and unless it breaks I really don’t see myself getting rid of it unless it breaks.

    I guess the reason why I stopped caring about computers is that newer versions didn’t really do anything my old computer could already do. Mind you with desktops you can always upgrade it incrementally. Want more space? Buy a new hard drive. What better speakers? Swap those out.

    It makes me wonder, are we at that point with phones? The Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge’s ‘new’ trick is a curved screen - is it cool? Yes. Does it make it able to do something the GS5 couldn’t? Not really.

    The iPhone 6s pair can sense how hard you’re pressing the screen. Does it make it make it a lot more capable than its predecessor? Nope.

    Of course, phones are highly integrated devices so unlike a desktop, if you want better speakers you can’t really just swap them out. If the camera isn’t good enough you’ll have to wait for the next version.

    Still, phones are rapidly reaching a point/have reached a point where they’re “good enough” for most people. My favorite example is screen resolution. We’re now using phones with PPI’s of over 500 in some cases. Unless you’re going to use it in 3D goggle there really aren’t any use cases where you need more than this.

    Much of the progress is purely to please marketing departments.

    Add a large ecosystem of companion devices like wearables competing for your gadget dollars along with the hassle of switching devices to the mix. I really wonder when are we going to stop caring about new phones?

    Oh and if you’re still reading, check out the picture of the MicroTac. It’s technically a band 4 device right?

  2. #2
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    I'm doing a full upgrade on my 4 year old PC, but not because its too slow. Its running an i5 2500k with 16gb of ram. I'm only upgrading due to a bad bios firmware release by Gigabyte that renders newer video cards useless(no post). If it wasn't for that, I would only upgrade the video card and keep it the way it is. PC's have gotten to the point that if you spend the right amount up front and with the right components, you can do incremental updates for years.

    The only real logical reason to upgrade phones at this point is for more frequency support, especially with the new bands ie, 29 and 30 for At&t. Verizon users will begin to upgrade soon for phones that will support bands 2/4/5/13 because most Verizon phones sold over a year ago only use band 4/13.
    iPhone 7+ (Qualcomm) Georgetown, TX ........................... Spectrum 300/20, $94.99/month

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    I'm on the "built myself" route as well. Once you are going that route, you just want to replace parts instead of get a new whole system anyway.

    "The iPhone 6s pair can sense how hard you’re pressing the screen. Does it make it make it a lot more capable than its predecessor? Nope."

    My brother who is a major Apple drone says this make a huge difference compared to the iPhone 5*

    "Still, phones are rapidly reaching a point/have reached a point where they’re “good enough” for most people"

    There's plenty of room for improvement. Great l"eading edge" ideas like removable batteries that last longer than 8 hours.... slider keyboard options for flagship phones to make up for the terrible functionality of virtual keyboards for text entry. MicroSD slot being standard. Nah... that's stuff's too "Buck Rogers" isn't it

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    As far as the industry is concerned, all those things are going backwards not forwards. Too bad we can't build our phones ourselves like we can our PCs.

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    I cannot find a reason to upgrade my Note 3 on AT&T. Beautiful screen, 3 GB of RAM, nice camera, nice battery, Snapdragon 800, and Lollipop is fine for me. My computer's aging Pentium is looking for an upgrade I'm sure, but runs fine on Windows 10.

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    Bought an iPhone 6s to replace my Galaxy S4. Returned the 6s after 5 days. It was a great phone, but not $800 better than the S4. Yes, high-end phones have evolved to the same point as high-end computers. In either sphere, the latest ones play graphics and video intensive apps better, but that's about it. The vast majority of casual users are fine with older or cheaper models.

  7. #7
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    The last computer I have now is quad core and was built in the same case that my old computer had. I do not like the latest versions of Windows. I do not play games and do not like do much on my computers. I can not see my self updating my computer in the near future unless it breaks. I do want to get to a Laptop to start a business with in the near future. I may just get an old think pad with Windows 7 on it with a CD drive. The way phones are being made the only thing that needs to change now is battery tech. When a smart phone can last as long as a flip phone the technology will come full circle.

  8. #8
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    Quite some time ago I gave up on desktop computers and switched to using a laptop instead. I then discovered that buying off-lease laptops was REALLY INEXPENSIVE, and so long as I don't desire the most recent tech, I can save boatloads of money. My current laptop is an HP 8540W Mobile Workstation, which has a first-generation core i7, clocked at 2.8 GHz (which can be boosted to 3.5 GHz when needed) and a 1080p display (1920 x 1080). I paid $300 for that machine, though I have added an SSD to it.

    I still own a Galaxy S4, which I keep up-to-date with custom ROMs. I'm THINKING of getting the S7 when it comes out, but at the same time, I haven't felt a driving need to upgrade just yet. I'm thinking that perhaps I'd be better off doing the same thing I'm doing with laptops, and always be a generation or two behind "the curve" and save a boatload of money on smartphones too.

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