The Year of Phones

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One year ago today, I began a weird, fun, stressful, ridiculous, and revealing process of choosing the right Android phone for me. That process didn’t end until just a few days ago, meaning that I had so much trouble settling on a phone to stick with for the long term, the Earth had to get all the way around the Sun before I could bring the project to a conclusion. But this first-world consumerist quest is indeed over – as it must be, because I promised my wife I’d be done, and stick with what I have for at least one year. And that’s okay, because I also happened to have finally nailed it.

On Halloween of 2014, I popped open my newly purchased, lightly used Nexus 5. I had owned a different Nexus 5 briefly earlier that year, but got cold feet over being on Android after being an iOS devotee since the first iPhone. For most of 2014 I was on an iPhone 5S, but Android remained so compelling to me, especially as 5.0 Lollipop was being announced. Feeling increasingly bored with iOS, I sold the iPhone, and just in time for Lollipop’s rollout, I dove back in with this Nexus 5.

There was so much to love about it, but its abysmal camera and poor battery life were frustrating me, Lollipop or no Lollipop. Now that I was skipping the whole carrier-contract rigmarole, and simply buying a device outright, I felt rather liberated to try other devices. I knew that if I shopped wisely, and sold my used devices skillfully (or returned them when necessary), I could freely experiment with different phones until I found one that suited me best, and more or less remain, as they say in Washington, “revenue neutral.” More or less.

This turned out to be mostly true as the year unfolded, if I do say so myself. But this is not to say there were no ill side-effects to what started as a sort of hobby, and turned into something of an obsession.

I won’t go over every detail of every device I tried. I will give a rundown of my impressions of the individual models later in the piece, but as far as the process itself that went from one October to the next, it’s as you might expect. I’d get a device, put it through its paces for some length of time, and decide that some aspect of it wasn’t working for me, and try something else instead. A few times, of course, I would receive genuine lemons, devices that were defective or damaged in some way, which had to be returned. There were a lot of opening and packing up of shipping boxes, a lot of waiting for the UPS truck to pull up, a lot of trips to the post office, a lot of listings on eBay and Swappa, and a lot of accessories bought, sold, and returned as well.

As readers of this blog know, one problem that arose from this process was that Amazon apparently grew weary of my returning items, and exiled me. I have documented this story in detail already, but I’ll simply say here that, as I mentioned, I got quite a few bum devices that simply had to be returned, and I also returned devices that I simply wasn’t satisfied with, which I assumed was fine until they unceremoniously gave me the boot. All of which I may or may not have deserved, but that’s another discussion.

The larger lesson of the Amazon exile, however, was not really about my behavior as a customer, but about my state of mind in regard to seeking out a satisfactory phone. Why was I going to such lengths and expending such mental resources on this project? Couldn’t I have settled at some point far earlier in 2015 and been just fine?

Eventually, it would be my wife that would shake me out of my pursuit of the technological white whale. It was she who pointed out to me the disparity between the effort I was putting into strategizing and researching and buying and selling and plotting for the sole purpose of having a gadget I’d be marginally happier with than I was with the last one, while there was so much else in our life that required those resources. It wasn’t an accusation or a complaint that I was not available, or that I needed some kind of A&E-style smartphone intervention, but a dose of perspective about what it is I was prioritizing in my free time, my limited finances, and my emotional bandwidth. And she was right. It had started out as a fun project, until I gave it too much of myself. This came about as I had One Final Device on the way, and I promised her this would be the last one for one whole year.

I had made that promise before, actually, and wriggled my way out of it in order to give it one more go. That in itself, that I felt the need to weasel out of an agreement with my wife on something so relatively trivial, showed me that I needed to be done with it. Again, not because anything was being hurt by it, but because nothing about a consumer purchase decision should have this kind of gravity in my life.

So, enough about me. Let’s take an overview of the devices that passed through my hot little hands during the Year of Phones.

Photo credit: iamos / Foter.com / CC BY-NC

Nexus 5: I don’t know what it is about this device, but it inspires genuine affection not just from me, but from a legion of fans. Something about how it feels and how fast and simple it is, and how inexpensive it is, made me come back to it even after abandoning it. But there was simply no getting past its bad battery life (for a heavy smartphone user, this is a huge pain), and its terrible camera, which simply wasn’t doing justice to my adorable and very fast-moving children. It had to go. But man, that red one.

OnePlus One: When I got ahold of this one, I decided rather abruptly that it was just too big, and this was before I began to become a phablet convert, so I might have a different reaction today. But I also began to feel a little panic over some horror stories I’d seen online about wretched customer service from OnePlus, with many units turning out to have been shoddily manufactured, and I decided that this was just not something I wanted to put myself through. It probably didn’t get a fair shot, but I’m sure whoever I sold it to is very happy now.

HTC One M8: I actually got three lemon M8’s in a row, buying them used off of Amazon and eBay. This critically acclaimed device, I assumed, had to be a good fit for me, but it was not to be. Even after returning the damaged units I received, the undamaged one I tried to use (which was still the wrong color from what I ordered, by the way) was physically slippery and slow in performance. No one else ever complained about poor software performance from the M8 before, so it may too have been a bad apple, but after a fourth try, that was it for me.

Moto X 2014: Bought direct from Motorola, opened it up, saw it had a defective screen, returned it, and never tried again. Though I was often, often temped.

LG G3: This came the closest to being my keeper, such that when one phone experiment didn’t work out, I’d think, hey let’s just go back to the G3. It was by far the least interesting phone. Not much to look at, but comfortable and reliable, with a great screen, a great camera, a swappable battery, and expandable storage. The main reason I didn’t stick with it was that its size, which was big for me at 5.5 inches, convinced me that big phones were in fact the way to go, and that, if anything, I should get something bigger. Which led me to…

Photo by the author.

Nexus 6: My relationship with this phone was a rollercoaster, such that I went through several units over several months. First, because I found that the phone got so ridiculously hot, that surely, surely they must be defective units. A couple returns resulted, until I had to simply face the fact that this is just what this phone is like. But I loved the enormous screen and the pure Android software experience. After rejecting and returning to this phone a few times, I tried my damnedest to mitigate the heat problem, but I finally gave up. But the desire for a big screen was unsated.

Galaxy Note 4: A truly excellent phone in so many ways. But I found that I had trouble reading off the screen for long periods of time, for reasons I could not for the life of me pin down. By this time I had sold my iPad and my Kindle because my big phone (whichever one that was) would now serve all those other device’s purposes. To experience discomfort reading off this phone was a big blow against it.

Xperia Z Ultra: Similar story to the Moto X. A used unit, it came with a bum screen, bad pixels, and it had to go. But I was also pretty sure that it was a little too old of a device, with a crummy camera to boot, such that further investigation was not warranted – despite it’s massive 6.4-inch screen, which I really did appreciate.

Galaxy Note 5: I got this sight-unseen upon release, which turned out to be a mistake. I grew to really love the S Pen, the ability to write on the screen when the display was off, and the raw power of the phone. But I found I was having the same problems with reading off the screen as I experienced with the Note 4, which I really should have predicted. What is it about Super AMOLED, anyway? Whatever it is, I also just felt like this superphone was too precious, too apt to be accidentally destroyed at great cost, and simply uncomfortable to use.

You may have detected a theme. Most of the time, when I’ve rejected a phone, if it’s not because it’s simply broken, it’s because of some physical discomfort. Too hot, too slippery, too breakable, etc. A device that I’m going to use so often and for such lengths of time, to serve as my escape and as the vessel of my augmented self, I felt I needed to be “at home” with it. It should fit me, rather than I having to try and fit myself to it. This is why the Nexus 5 and LG G3 were the only devices I really have “fond feelings” for as I look back on the Year of Phones. They fit me pretty darned well, even if they didn’t check all the boxes.

Oh right, you need to know where I landed.

Photo credit: Janitors / Foter.com / CC BY

LG G4: I am very lucky that my last shot was a bullseye. Purchased October 19 of this year, and I am entirely delighted by this phone. Its display is a joy to read off of for long stretches, its camera is excellent, it has expandable storage and a swappable battery, it looks cool, it performs well, it’s light, it doesn’t feel fragile at all, and perhaps most importantly, it’s really damned comfortable. You might know that the G4 is ever-so-slightly curved, not as severely as its cousin the G Flex 2, but just enough that it feels so nice to hold. And for reasons I don’t quite get, the curve also makes the touch display feel nicer to use. Why??? I really don’t know. Maybe it’s just novelty, but it makes me look at non-curved phones now with a sense of disappointment. As of tonight, as the Year of Phones finally ends, I can really say that I think the G4 is my favorite phone I’ve ever owned.

So that’s where we are. I’m done for the entire year. As of right now, I really do feel like I landed on The One True Device for me. And so it shall be, from here on.

Or at least until October 19, 2016.

Not that I’m keeping track.

Last Year’s Crown Jewels are Still Crown Jewels: Old Flagship Phones versus New Mid-Rangers

2014's LG G3 and iPhone 5S Photo credit: Janitors / Foter / CC BY
Unless you’re a smartphone power-user or obsessed enthusiast (like me), chances are you really don’t need to spend $600+ on a current-generation flagship device (currently speaking, phones like the iPhone 6 and 6 plus, the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge, the HTC One M9, and the LG G4). Your needs, and far more, will certainly be met by “lesser” devices that cost far less. At Pocketnow, Adam Doud poses the question as to which category of device is your best bet if you’re not going for the latest-and-greatest – a current-generation mid-range phone or a previous-generation flagship?

This seems easy to me. You get the previous-generation flagship. (Almost always, and I’ll get to the exceptions in a bit.)

Doud himself leans toward a previous-generation flagship mostly for the fact that usually these have better cameras than mid-rangers, and that’s as good a reason as any. Doud is also right that, with the exception of Apple and Google Nexus devices, a year-old flagship is not guaranteed to receive major software updates for very long, and a more-recent mid-ranger may be maintained a little longer. But if you’re in this market, I’d say latest-and-greatest software features are also not your highest priority. Chances are, you just want a good phone that will perform well for a long time.

And that’s really why you want to err on the side of a flagship, even an older one. Yes, the camera is likely to be superior, but so is almost everything else about the device. The one exception might be internal specs, such as the processor speed or RAM. But the reason last year’s flagships were considered as such is because they were the crown jewel of that manufacturer’s lineup, and got the attention befitting a crown jewel.

In a previous-generation flagship, you’re going to get a device that was fussed over by the top designers and engineers of their respective manufacturers. One can assume the best components and materials were used, and they received the most attention to detail and optimization. As long as the device in question isn’t some sort of major blunder, it’s going to still be a tight piece of technology.

A mid-ranger is much less likely to be so. It will have been designed from its outset to be less expensive, meaning it will use cheaper components, and probably receive less TLC from its manufacturer (unless they specialize in this kind of device, like Asus for example). Corners are likely to have been cut wherever feasible. Yes, it may have comparable specifications, but if we learn nothing else from a company like Apple, we know that specs aren’t everything.

Here’s where it’s not as clear: Motorola starts its flagship Moto X at about $500, and sometimes less when they run a sale, which straddles the price divide. They also make highly-regarded mid-range phones (the Motos G and E) at low-range prices. Also, the OnePlus One made a credible claim as a “flagship killer” at the decidedly-mid-range price of $300-$350. It would be hard to go wrong with a Moto X, though the OnePlus One had some issues, hardware-related and otherwise.

So it’s not entirely clear-cut. But on the whole, I would almost always recommend a year-old crown jewel over a brand new piece of cubic zirconia. Case in point: The LG G3, which I’ve previously heralded, is now just such an old-news flagship, and a brand new one can be had for $400 or less, and it’s an even better deal if you can get a used one in good condition. It’s still fantastic, it’s still powerful, and will remain so for a good long time.

(And I have a recommendation about where to get something nice that’s not $700.)

Comics on Tablets: A High Bar Easily Cleared (Addendum to “The Tablet Reconsidered”)

20150104_125122_HDRIt occurred to me that after my 3400-word opus on how the tablet is being squeezed out of its reason-for-being by big phones and sleeker laptops, that I owed it to myself and my tens of readers to give a serious look at one use-case for large tablets that I suspect no other device can match, and one that Steve Jobs never mentioned when he first introduced the iPad: comic books and graphic novels.
The Google Play Store was having a sale on some interesting titles, and keeping in mind that I know next to nothing about comics and I’m fairly intimidated to dip in, I rounded a few titles up (including a collection of the new Ms. Marvel, which looks pretty cool). But what I began reading last night on my iPad Air, just before bed, was Watchmen. I’ve read a little more today, too, and also took a little spin around a couple of titles on my beloved LG G3, which has a 5.5-inch screen.

There’s no two ways around it. Reading comics and graphic novels on the iPad Air is fantastic. I can only imagine what a revelatory boon it must be to comics enthusiasts to have an iPad, plus services like Marvel Unlimited. The art, the story, and the bird’s-eye view of an entire page’s layout come through beautifully on that big, colorful screen. If you’re a comics fan, you really must own a large-ish, high-resolution tablet of some sort.

IMG_0012It looks like comics are doable on a phablet. If the resolution is high enough (and on the LG G3 it’s crazy-high), even zoomed all the way out, most text is still legible, but you really do need to zoom in on individual panels to get the full effect. That’s a busy, fiddly process, and not as much of a “lean-back” experience as one would want comic reading to be. You have to repeatedly poke at the screen on each page.

So there’s a big justification for tablet existence. If you dig comics, there’s no other way to go. It’s not enough to keep an entire mass market product category afloat, but it’s a reason for someone like me, who’s interested in getting into comics, to keep it around.

Whither the iPad? Oh, It’s Way Over There, Never Mind, I’ll Just Use My Phone.

IMG_0004Would it be a big deal to be sans tablet? Despite my 2015 tech-setup pronouncement the other day, I’m stuck on the idea that my phone, a 5.5″ phablet, covers most of a tablet’s territory, and I really hate having objects that are both expensive and redundant. Admittedly, this is the first-est of all first-world problems, but it’s a genuine question for those of us working out what tech devices we’re going to invest our money in, and live our very full electronic lives through.
I’ve already gushed about my LG G3, how it’s the right balance of ergonomics and display size, and how I find it a genuine delight to use. The problem is that I prefer using it for most of what I’d use an iPad for, primarily reading (be it blogs, books, or tweets). There are a handful of games that are better experienced on a much bigger screen (Monument Valley comes to mind), and browsing a website is easier on a tablet, but not so much so that I find myself seeking out the iPad when the phone’s already in hand.

Often, when I consider busting out the iPad for my lean-back (or “choose-to”) activities, like reading books, browsing RSS, or playing a game, I think, Why bother? It’s all the way over there, and my phone is right here. Whee! I love this phone!

Conversely, when inspiration strikes and I want to get some writing done and blow the Internet’s mind with my incredible depth of thought*, the easiest thing to do is grab the iPad and start tup-tup-tupping on its screen. But then I run into all the usual pains-in-the-ass that come with word processing and publishing on a tablet, where text selection and editing is harder (and ironically easier on the G3, which has a built in clip-tray for easy access to your clipboard history), multi-tasking is burdensome, and formatting posts (whether in a Markdown editor, WordPress’s app, a third party blogging app, or in the WordPress web interface) is unreliable and frustrating. There is less net-frustration by just popping open my Mac. The iPad is great for on-the-go writing in some ways, with its small profile and great battery, but again, not so great that it’s not almost as easy to just bring the MacBook, and maybe a charger too if I know I’ll be working for more than a few hours.

Where the iPad truly excels over other devices is things like comic book reading, casual video watching (stand the thing up in its case and hit play), and drawing on apps like Paper. Well, I still don’t really read comic books much, if not never, so that’s not such a big thing. I don’t watch much casual video, either, and when I do, I probably already have the TV to myself (because the wife has gone to bed and Gilmore Girls is no longer playing), and can even cast much of what might be playing on my phone over to the TV via the Roku. And there’s always the MacBook.

There’s no real solution to the drawing thing, unless I move from Paper to, well, paper. That seems to work for my kids, but who am I kidding.

So it seems like a clear case, doesn’t it, when you lay it all out? Sell the iPad and spend that money on something more useful like food, heat, or rent. (Hahahahahahahahaha)

But then remember that since 2008 I had been an iOS-only guy, which means a significant amount of money has been invested in iOS software over the years. Having no iPad would mean having no iOS device at all, and all of those apps would be useless. All those $5 games! Those $10 artisanal productivity apps! I once bought a $10 Pinboard app, and I don’t even use Pinboard anymore, in large part because it wasn’t tablet-friendly enough!!!

(╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻

Here we get into the whole sunk-cost fallacy (thanks, Matt), which I am particularly prone to falling for. I was one of the dummies who, in 2009, stood in line for a million years for the iPhone 3G when all of Apple’s systems crashed on launch day, and what would have been a couple of hours in the early morning turned into over 7 hours in the sweltering midday sun. But I’ve already been here for 3 hours, I can’t leave now! And it was for the iPhone 3G! The 3G! Not even one of the good ones!

Anyway, it’s not always clear to me that the sunk-cost fallacy is a fallacy at all. I mean, I did spend that money, I did invest that time and effort into familiarity and relative expertise with the system. And the iPad is not devoid of utility by any stretch of the imagination. I just need to give enough of a damn to use it.

But of course, needing to manufacture damn-giving is the exact opposite of my whole Theory of Tablets. They have be the device you want to use, that you choose to use even though you needn’t, in order to make sense. Otherwise, they’re just too-big phones or too-underpowered PCs.

It would be strange just on principle to not have a tablet, seeing as how zealously I’ve touted the iPad’s wonders in the past. And I can imagine myself with no trouble at all completely reversing myself within a day or so. I contain multitudes. Perhaps I’ll experiment with a tablet-free life, and simply put the iPad away for a couple of weeks, and see if I notice its absence. And of course, I would write about my experience here, because I know you really, really care.

Or, maybe I could buy a Chromebook.

*This never happens

Android Being a Profit Hole Sucks for Everybody

IMG_0406Android devices are apparently vacuuming money from device manufacturers. Uh oh. Here’s Ina Fried at Re/Code:

Analyst Chetan Sharma estimates that global profits in the Android hardware market for 2014 were down by half from the prior year — the first year that there has been any significant drop.

A lot of that is due to the big drop in profits at Samsung, the largest player in the Android market. China’s Xiaomi gained significant market share, but is only modestly profitable thanks to its slim margins. Meanwhile, other players like Sony and Motorola lost money in their Android-based mobile businesses.

That’s obviously of concern to the hardware companies, but it should also be worrisome for Google.

This should be worrisome to Google, but it’s also worrisome to me. As someone who uses and genuinely enjoys and appreciates both major mobile platforms, the idea that this whole Android thing might not be working out spooks me.

First off, a robust Android ecosystem forces Apple to compete and improve; it’s the bar Apple must clear to maintain its reputation as the best in the mobile space (and even I as a happy Android phone user can say that overall iPhone is the generally superior hardware platform for most normal users). iPhone/iOS gets better in large part because Apple works to provide a superior experience to Android – and note that it’s iPad that’s seen the least innovation, and there is no meaningful competition from Android in its price range (at lower price points there are some excellent Android tablets like the Fire series and Nexus 7, but Apple doesn’t play in that part of the market). With no strong Android ecosystem, Apple is free to navel-gaze…more than it already does. I want better iPhones, so I need manufacturers to make great Android phones.

Now, Google could pull an Amazon, and ramp up the manufacture of its own hardware, sold at more or less a loss. For Amazon, that gets more people shopping its store. For Google, loss-leader Android devices would put Google services in front of more people. But that’s a tall order for a company that’s not really a hardware company, and usually partners with myriad manufacturers to build its Nexus devices.

But there’s also tremendous value in the battle to stand out within the Android space. Motorola battling Samsung battling HTC battling LG spurs all of them to outdo each other. Sometimes you get clusterfuck devices as a result, other times you get brilliant pieces of tech, like my new beloved G3. A Nexus-only Android world would be in big danger of stultifying, save for competition with Apple, but that would likely become a software-only fight, where Google would have no choice but to sell cheap, uninspiring hardware. I want awesome Android phones, and that means Android phones need to be profitable to make.

So what’s going on? Is it simply a matter of insufficient numbers? Because it seems like devices like the HTC One M8 and the Moto X, while not selling at Samsung levels, ought to have been enough to be in the black. It seems that way, but obviously something is up. Is it that the flagship phones are profitable, but the glut of midrange bricks don’t pull their weight? Is it the other way around, where marketing power is thrown at high end devices, but all for nothing, when all the money is in cheap phones? Whatever it is, I hope they all figure it out.

And speaking of “cheap” and “flagships,” this makes me wonder: is OnePlus profitable? Answer: Yes, sort of, barely.

My Tech Setup Going into 2015

I’ve spent much of the final months of 2014 settling myself technologically. This, as you can imagine, is a Big Deal for someone as fussy about their tech as I am. As I’ve recounted on this site, I lost interest in being an iPhone user, and found myself irresistibly attracted to the beautiful cacophony coming from the Android space. Through a convoluted system of sells, trades, and deal-hunts, I experimented with several premium Android handsets, and at several points thought I had found The One (including the literal OnePlus One). I even had what I thought was a damned Rob Reiner-directed romantic comedy when I tried, abandoned, and then reunited with the Nexus 5. But there was to be one more part to that story.
Before all of this, I also looked to consolidate my devices, and reevaluate what I was really using them for. Earlier in the year, I swapped my iPad Air for an iPad mini 2, since at the time I was primarily using the iPad for reading. This also prompted me to sell my Kindle Paperwhite, because it was more or less redundant.

The times have changed. Here’s the new setup going into 2015, and I expect it to stick for a while. “A while,” for me, of course, could mean a few weeks. But it’s looking good for now.

Laptop: 2013 13″ MacBook Pro with Retina Display.

Acquired early in the year, it’s my first new computer in a few years. It’s got the power, portability, and easy-on-the-eyes display that’s poised to last the next few years with aplomb. And I finally have a machine I can run the latest Civ on.

Phone: LG G3.

visual6_visual1I tried this one on a lark, and it was a fine lark. Thin, light, and fast in performance. Its camera and battery life are not mind-blowing, but both very good and superior to the Nexus 5.

And most of all, that display. Now, many tech pundits keep telling us that “quad-HD” displays on smartphones are overkill, unnecessary drains on CPU power and battery life. 1080p is more than sufficient, they say.

Do not listen to these people.

The G3’s display is excellent, and its ultra-high resolution (538 ppi vs. the Nexus 5’s 445 vs. iPhone 6’s 326) makes it wonderful for viewing many things, but mostly for reading text. I admit that it’s as impossible to consciously detect pixels on a 1080p display (such as on the Nexus 5’s excellent display) as it is on the G3’s, but at a deeper level of perception, I’m aware of it. I can’t quantify it, but my body is definitely responding to the difference, even if I can’t specifically make out the difference is pixel visibility.

Plus, the LG G3 allows me to be the “phablet guy” I recently lamented I’d never be able to be, thanks to my wee little hands. The G3 is so well designed as a piece of hardware, that’s it’s essentially as easy for me to use one-handed as the Nexus 5 was. (As Marques Brownlee puts it, “DAT BEZEL.”) This is despite having a 5.5″ screen, the same as the OnePlus One that I couldn’t make work for me. The buttons being on the back of the G3 rather than the sides makes a big freaking difference. If the HTC One M8 had done the same, it might not have been such a dud for me.

The G3’s display size and resolution combine to make it perfect for one particular use-case: It’s just about the best “Kindle” I’ve ever used. It does not feel like reading off a smartphone, nor does it feel like you’re trying to palm a tablet. As a reading device, I’ve never used anything better, save for the benefits of having an e-ink display on a dedicated e-reader.

Add to this the fact that the G3 is fast and fluid, it’s a huge winner for me. I’m delighted with it. My only complaint is that the AT&T variant still doesn’t have Lollipop, and I’m too chicken to flash something onto it myself. But it hardly matters.

Tablet: iPad Air (1st Generation).

I’m going back to the original Air, though with more storage than I had before. Now that I’m a phablet guy, having a “mini” tablet became almost immediately ridiculous. This isn’t to say the difference between the two devices isn’t meaningful, but not meaningful enough. Like the Kindle before it, the iPad mini 2 has become redundant.

I’m replacing it with a used iPad Air (and not an Air 2 because there are almost none yet that are used, and I’m not made of money goddamn it) to return to my former iPad use-case: All the things you want to do on a computing device as opposed to what you have to. There’s still no better way to browse the web, watch video, or play games than on a full-sized iPad, and I am also betting that one of the reasons I’ve written less lately is because the tablet in my lap has not been large enough to invite off-the-cuff, in-the-moment jotting of ideas. I’m hoping that going back to regular-sized iPad will grease some creative wheels.

Now, there will be more overlap between the G3 and the iPad than there ever was when I was an iPhone user. The G3 straddles my invented line between “have to” and “want to,” as I really enjoy using it. But all the better.

Let’s see if I can settle down now, stop putting so much time and effort into getting the perfect tools, and start building something with them instead.