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·Review, Tech

It’s 2022, what exactly do we want from a smartphone?

A stack of smartphones


There is no doubt that we are at the most diverse time in history under the intervention of the internet and social media. People have many different hobbies, they are separating themselves into different hobby groups, ethnic minority groups, and even gender groups. However, there is one device that is getting similar in everyone’s hand, a smartphone.


Although you may not give a sh** to the smartphone market, you may still hear terms like Snapdragon, Screen refreshing rate, IP68, and 5G. Even iPhone users can’t get away with these terms. As the competition of Android smartphones gets more and more intense, the actual functionality is usually ignored. As smartphone users, what exactly are we looking for? How exactly do all the specs mean to us? The answers to these questions are hard to find. 


This article will not explain all the terms and specs if you don’t know about them. A good place to go is the phone brand’s own website. To ensure their competency, these phone brands have to explain it as simply as possible. This article will talk about the pros and cons of the phones we have today.


What Are the Problems now?

Any phone today suffers a problem of high energy consumption, which leads to two problems, overheating and short usage time. Why is this happening in the first place? It is because of the advancement of micro semiconductor manufacture and 5G. Under the long battle of advertisements, many users have paired up the processor and the device's supremacy. Brands like Xiaomi tried hard to press down the price while remaining the best possible processor. 


 iQOO 9 SE, one of the cheapest Snapdragon 888 phone, only available in India

However, the problems we have today are far away from what processor, screen, or camera fidelity is implemented on the phone. According to French philosopher Jean Baudrillard, product consumption today consumes less on the actual value but the cultural attribute. So, if we separate the sentimental from the product, all we are left with is functional. Then the answer to the question becomes whether you are looking at its sentimental value or the actual functionality. 

Jean Baudrillard, French Philosopher, Worte the The Consumer Society to criticize western consumerism


However, if it is the functionality, we have to admit most phones today do the same job. They can all make calls, browse the internet, slide Tiktok, and whatsoever. The only difference between phones is whether you get your hands on an Android phone or an iPhone. The difference is still merely visible, even for iPhone users. It also makes calls, browses the internet, slides Tiktok, and blah blah blah. 


Playing games is becoming more of a basic inquiry of a phone. When judging a phone’s capability, gaming performance is always a major sector. However, most of the time, the only difference is that manufacturers have to balance the performance and the energy cost. Well, certainly not all users play games, or at least most of them don’t play every day. The performance seems not actually a sector that affects users’ experience, as well as the processor, a good functioning processor will make most users happy. It might be the reason people love Nothing Phone(1) over Xiaomi phones, even it doesn't have the best possible processor.


Nothing Phone(1), the glyph light is glowing in the dark. It only features a Snapdragon 778G.


Then, it goes down to cameras. Ever since Apple decided to put two cameras on iPhone X, the capability of the camera became a major battlefield. Brands are competing for their imaging systems, but they still look similar without presenting at once. 

iPhone X was the first smartphone implemented 2 cameras


I bet every one of you knows the fact that the power of the small box in our hands is much stronger than we need, and, of course, they are getting stronger every year. Therefore, just like Baudrillard said, it provides more sentimental value than actual functionality. Buying the latest flagship phone just feels more satisfying than a budget phone, even if they do mostly the same thing. 

 An iPhone user may disagree with such statement because a whole ecosystem is going on. Yes, but the frequency is still a question.

An animation pops up every time when AirPods connect to an iPhone.


Accessing the frequency of Airdrop, iCloud, and other functions, the result maybe not as good as you might think. Maybe the best function of all is connecting the iPhone to an AirPods. Yes, but AirPods aren’t free, and Bluetooth does it similarly, just without the animation. What does the animation do? It makes you feel better, which again is sentimental value.


Are we looking for the sentimental instead of the actual function? That is for you to decide, but remember to keep an eye on the value of any new features the brand is pitching.  

If you have more in your mind, feel free to talk with the entire Heyup Community on the Forum. By the way, Nothing Phone(1) mentioned in this article is available for Tryout. Don't hesitate to participate in the Nothing Tryout if you want to get your hands on one.



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