6 Months With A Smartphone

My friend L spent several years trying to convince me to get a smartphone and viewed my refusal to upgrade from my brick to be a sign of worrying technophobia in a scientist.

My reasons for not wanting a smartphone were entirely practical. I am clumsy and break things so I can’t afford to have fragile expensive things around my person. I also spend a lot of time travelling, especially for fencing, so I don’t always have access to sockets. I can’t have something that needs frequent charging.

On top of that, I’m also a raving technophobe.

Anyway, due to a new job I needed a phone that would at least let me respond to emails while I was out and about. It came down to a choice between a Samsung S7 and a Sony Xperia Z5 Compact. The Z5 was £200 cheaper, and the only thing that matches my clumsiness is my skinflintedness, so I went with that.

I still think it was the right choice because my phone is so dinky and lovely.

Size does matter on this occasion because I have small hands (at full extension I can’t even manage a full octave on a piano. Most frustrating!). That was one of the things putting me off getting a smart phone. I had visions of my desperately trying to keep hold of a giant phone and dropping it, or getting severe finger cramp.

I was also worried about a smartphone being so bulky that it wouldn’t fit in my pockets. That was one of the advantages of my old phone, I could shove it in my back pocket and forget about it. Now, the new phone is a bit bigger and heavier than that, but it still fits in fine, even in the ridiculous dandelion print hipsters I wear too frequently.

General Comments on Smart Phones:

I can see why people love them. They’re very useful. No more, ‘oh heck, I have forgotten to write down my train booking number’ or needing to print off maps to know where I’m going.

On the communication front I probably could have survived with just text and talk, but I shan’t pretend the ability to send links on the go isn’t useful (and a good way of keeping me entertained on my commute).

At the same time, smart phones don’t half make the simple things a lot more complicated than before. The difficulty I had in finding things like the calculator was ridiculous, and I still can’t figure out how to turn the vibrate setting on.

Getting a phone case is a definite yes. I’ve got a cheap fake leather one, but it’s definitely improved the experience. Mostly because the screen gets a lot less smeared. If anyone has any knitting patterns for phone covers they’d recommend, I’d love to see them because all the ones I can find are a bit too cutesy for my tastes.

Specific Comments on the Sony Xperia Z5 Compact:

Charging and battery life were things I worried about most. I used to say I refused to get a smartphone until they could last 2 days without a charge. This phone can and it’s not like I’m careful about battery usage.

I have noticed that different websites eat different amounts of battery, in particular Cracked.com is an energy eater. My other big worry was going over my data limit, but it turns out there’s a button for that.

It’s also really solid, and survives me dropping it very well, actually better than the last brick did.

In short, I’m very glad I did finally get a smartphone and I definitely recommend the Sony Xperia Z5 Compact.

The only downside is that L is going to be impossible after this…but that’s not really a concern that others need to factor in.

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