Home Beerfiles How a mid-range smartphone rescued me from Apple

Author's Opinion

The views in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of iTWire.

Have your say and comment below.

How a mid-range smartphone rescued me from Apple Featured

As a father, I care deeply about the future of the younger generation so I don’t want them to be imprisoned by an expensive cult known as the Apple ecosystem. I learned the dangers of this first-hand eight years ago when I was captured by an iPhone and I have only just succeeded in buying my freedom. Viva la vivo!

Yes, that’s right – I am now the proud owner of a brand spanking new vivo v11 smartphone and she is a beauty. I was on the verge of buying an OPPO F9, another darling little temptress, but then the homely but supercharged Xiaomi Pocophone F1 caught my eye, then Huawei Nova 3i, Honor Play – it was all too much.

I was swimming in a sea of big, bold beautiful affordable dual-SIM, microSD expandable, 6-inch plus, thin bezel, high definition screen Android smartphones. It was an embarrassment of riches – affordable riches.

For weeks I was playing with phones, testing their features, reading spec sheets, reviews, unboxing videos. I even occasionally visited the iPhone section of phone stores to try to discern what the XR was offering for two to three times the price of these beautiful mid-range smartphones. Perhaps I was missing something?

Not really. The latest figures from smartphone market researchers tell the story.

The iPhone XR is a dud reminiscent of the 5C fiasco and it is not selling well. Assembler Foxconn has cut back the number of production lines by 25%, Pegatron is on hold, while Wistron will not be producing any at all this year.

Apple chief executive Tim Cook will no longer be quoting unit sales in company reports to the market.

Meanwhile, the likes of vivo, OPPO, Xiaomi and Huawei are killing it in a tough market where overall unit sales have dropped in four successive quarters, with absolutely superb mid-range products in the A$400-A$500 range that come with many of the features on offer by the flagship products.

All of the above phones offer beautiful displays with thin bezels, dual SIM slots, expandable 256GB microSD storage, excellent front and rear camera systems, fingerprint ID, excellent battery life, and Android 8.1 with their own respective skins.

As far as shortcomings are concerned, all had powerful engines under the hood and were very fast, but of course none could match Apple’s A12 CPU in its latest iPhone trio. Likewise, none could rival the new iPhone models for shooting quality videos – built-in image stabilisation is something yet to make its way into the mid-range and there are limited options for shooting formats and speeds.

Then again, for the vast majority of users the features that the latest Chinese mid-range phones do offer are much more than adequate.

Uncharacteristically for Apple, the iPhone XR is not even a pretty looking device. The low-res LCD display has forced Apple to make the phone thicker and line the perimeter of the screen with thick unattractive bezels. In contrast the mid-range phones, with the exception perhaps of the Poco F1, are exceptionally attractive.

In the end I chose the vivo v11 after going through an exhaustive process of comparisons.

The v11 had a number of features that made it stand out from the rest, including a beautiful bright 6.41 inch Super AMOLED 2340x1080 402ppi display, standard 6GB RAM, 128GB storage expandable to 384GB, on-screen fingerprint reader, excellent facial recognition, ability to shoot 4K video.

The vivo v11 phone has a small tear drop-shaped notch at the top and very thin bezels which together make for an exceptionally high 91.27% screen to body ratio. This enables the phone to fit comfortably in an average sized hand and pocket.

As far as the other Chinese mid-range contenders were concerned, they were all very good and all had their own pros.  All were a bit cheaper than the v11 but after weighing everything up, I felt the extra spend was well worth it.

I was able to walk out of the store spending less than A$550, about A$750 less than Apple’s current “budget” iPhone offering. Over the past few weeks, I have done extensive investigation into transferring from the Apple ecosystem into Android. I have never been a big iCloud or iTunes user so it’s really no big deal to move my most important data over.

As far as my MacBook Air is concerned, I have no plans to move back to Windows for now. However, I will say that I have another story coming about my experience with defective keyboards and how I believe Apple tricked me into needlessly buying a new machine – so stay tuned.

REASON TO CHOOSE TENDA MESH WIFI

Our Mesh WiFi system MW3 is the first in Australia market with price below AUD$200 for a set of three.

· Best valued product
· Strong signal covering up to 300m2 for MW3 and 500m2 for MW6
· Aesthetically pleasing and light weigh (blend into any room deco)
· Wireline backhauls supported
· Product units are pre-paired and easy to setup
· Not requiring phone number or email address to set up
· Wall penetration (better than other similar brands)
· Seamless WiFi roaming
· User friendly app with controls to setup a guest network, parental controls for disabling groups of devices you allocate to individuals, QoS and more

CLICK FOR MORE INFO!

LEARN HOW TO REDUCE YOUR RISK OF A CYBER ATTACK

Australia is a cyber espionage hot spot.

As we automate, script and move to the cloud, more and more businesses are reliant on infrastructure that has the high potential to be exposed to risk.

It only takes one awry email to expose an accounts’ payable process, and for cyber attackers to cost a business thousands of dollars.

In the free white paper ‘6 Steps to Improve your Business Cyber Security’ you’ll learn some simple steps you should be taking to prevent devastating and malicious cyber attacks from destroying your business.

Cyber security can no longer be ignored, in this white paper you’ll learn:

· How does business security get breached?
· What can it cost to get it wrong?
· 6 actionable tips

DOWNLOAD NOW!

Stan Beer

 

Stan Beer co-founded iTWire in 2005. With 30 plus years of experience working in IT and Australian technology media, Beer has published articles in most of the IT publications that have mattered, including the AFR, The Australian, SMH, The Age, as well as a multitude of trade publications.

 

Popular News

 

Telecommunications

 

Sponsored News

 

 

 

 

Connect