OFF THE EDGE
With higher screen resolution, more storage, a better camera and a super-slick (and much-hyped) rounded glass edge, I believed the Samsung S6 Edge heralded the arrival of the iPhone’s one true competitor.
The announcement of its arrival was made at around the same time Apple made the iPhone 6 public knowledge. The way the tech world responded to the news was as though it was a kind of computational Armageddon. “The smartphone face-off!” exclaimed Forbes on its cover. “The new swag is coming,” predicted tech site Spark. Vanity Fair called it “the great smartphone war”.
The duel had begun and my iPhone felt heavier in my pocket.
Then came the reviews from the international folk lucky enough to try them out prior to their shipping. They were, to say the least, disappointing, but I cast them aside as reviewers in cahoots with the advertising people at Apple – propagandists holding hands with the Jobs conglomerate. It was only when the phone finally arrived that I removed the SIM card from my iPhone, slid it into the side of the device and watched as its crystal-clear LCD came to life. For a moment, a chorus trumpeted from the humble speaker in my hands, light emitting like a glowing orb you’d discover at the end of a treasure hunt movie.
That day I took selfies with the incredible camera, devoured apps quicker than a mini cheeseburger and made friends with the Android system – a novelty I thought I would grow to love. Our friendship was deep and real, a pocket buddy I couldn’t wait to get to know. But by day two the honeymoon was over. My temporary romance with the underdog had lost its sparkle as the reality of Samsung’s design flops became clearer by the hour. I hope the tech gods hear me when I say this – the thumbprint sign-in is not a thing, especially when only one thumb can be used for recognition. If I’m holding something with one hand I can’t, and simply won’t, drop it to answer the phone.
The S6 Edge is also really, really big. I don’t care if the trend is moving towards the phablet, I want to put my phone in my pocket. I don’t want to get a separate phone bag. So can we all stop saying it’s a trend? It’s impractical and, quite frankly, technologically indulgent.
Lastly, at nearly R16 000 (significantly more than the iPhone), I want a little piece of tech heaven in my pocket, not a dull copy of an Apple design with a less secure system and a less user-friendly interface.
It’s time for Samsung to up its game, or they’re going to lose the race.