I didn’t do this video myself but will be posting more things I find interesting from around the web, perhaps through a weekly media roundup at some point. This particular little video isn’t as informational as inspirational. If you aren’t quantifying yourself yet I can really recommend trying it out!
Today I went out and bought myself a new Galaxy S4. Spending that much money on a little peace of white plastic while my old phone already covers my basic mobiling-needs made me feel a bit out of tune with my overall goal of living more of a minimalist lifestyle. Is it possible to be both a minimalist and a geek?
I think it is, at least I’ve convinced myself that it is. Here is how and why.
My old phone is a HTC Hero. When it came out in 2009 it was the HTC flagship and I bought it as soon as it hit the market here in Europe. In this day and age a phone is yesterday’s news as soon as it is out on the shelves, so I believe that the fact that I’ve waited for so long warrants a purchase such as this. If you simply have to replace your tech once a year you are wasting resources. But if you do, resell your old device, at least this way it is not a complete waste.
Anyway, lately I’ve realized just how important being on the forefront of the tech development is to me. Or perhaps, just how important quality is to me. I’d rather live without than live with something that doesn’t live up to my expectations. The same thing goes for women, really, but that’s a whole different story.
Why I bought the Galaxy S4 and not the HTC One
I am going to do a review of the galaxy S4 soon, but for now, here is the reason why I choose the S4 over the One.
To some extend the One is the superior phone. It has a better, more classy build quality and a camera that does a better job at collecting light, which means it’ll take vastly superior photos in bad lighting. The S4 looks far less appealing but has other advantages.
And looks doesn’t matter to me, at least when it comes to phones. This is a tool, and I didn’t get it to impress anyone. If looks matters to you, go with the One.
Software-wise I don’t really have any experience with either sense (the version I am using now is super old) or touchwiz, but I’ve heard bad things about touchwiz. Among other things, Samsung put a lot of useless bloatware into the S4.
So if both design and software is to the One’s advantage (depending on how you look at it, of course), why am I picking the S4 anyway?
Well, the S4 has a replaceable battery, it does wireless charging if you change the back cover, and it has a micro sd card slot.
Wireless charging is mostly just another gimmick the way I see it, but it is a gimmick that I want to try. I won’t be getting another phone for at least 2 years and I am not going to wait that long with trying that.
Then there is the camera. The One supposedly takes more ‘realistic’ looking photos with more natural colors, but the S4 has a lot more features than the One do. According to the reviews I’ve read (and I’ve read quite a few) the S4 is going to be the better option for the very casual photographer. I am going to use the auto function for the vast majority of photos I am going to take, and I’ll be taking a lot, so for me that makes the S4 the better option while the One would be better for someone a bit more professional in his approach to photography.
Other than all of that I might just have fallen into Samsung’s amazing marketing scheme when making this decision. When it comes down to it, though, they have similar hardware, and both are going to be great phones worth the price mark.
So how do I plan to balance my love for tech with simple living?
I’ll be buying a lot of gadgets in the future, that is for sure. But when I buy something I make sure to get rid of the thing that I am replacing. Furthermore, I always have a good reason for justifying a purchase. And some gadgets are actually helpful when it comes to minimalism.
Since I bought my Nexus 7 tablet last year I’ve only read e-books, and with great succces. It is sort of a sad thing to see the book collection go, but it is taking up a lot of space in my apartment. I still haven’t given away the many physical books I do own, but it is something I want to do at some point.
Soon I’ll be scanning in everything, from tax-filings to medical journals, which will save me a lot of space as well.
In general, I try to judge things by their utility to me. Am I using this vase for anything or is it just for show? If it is not useful, out it goes!
This is, like other things, also a concern of mine when it comes to me eventually moving in with a woman. I shouldn’t be making generalizations here, so I’ll just say that a lot of’ ‘people’ care about having a stylish home that shows off their identity. Not me. Functionality above all else. And this is a point of view that I am standing strong on.
In the end, living with someone is going to have to be a compromise just as loving tech and living simple is going to be a compromise between the two. Finding a natural balance is key in most areas of life.
PS. I recommend anyone interested in tech to follow the Google I/O conference going on as we speak. Every year they are introducing something interesting, and this year won’t be the odd one out.