Archive for September, 2017

Of the New iPhones and Local Telecoms

Posted: September 16, 2017 in Blurbs

Apple as expected unveiled new models of its lucrative phones this week. I’m sure you’ve seen hundreds of raves and rants by now.

I’m still sporting an iPhone 6 Plus. Had it for a little over two years, and it shows its age in some games. While the 128 Gb capacity has served me well, the processor is choking in some apps and games. Even the iPhone SE (my company phone) runs circles around it in terms of performance.

The phone comes with a data contract that ends in February next year; I am in no hurry to upgrade. This is just as well. As much as I want to have the latest and the greatest that I can and willing to afford, I am underwhelmed by the iPhone X.

The main beef I have are price and the removal of Touch ID.

Apple products in the Philippines already sell for far more money than they do in the United States, exceeding the $1000 barrier that those in the US are currently having a hard time wrapping their heads upon. But now that they are on the thousand dollar levels even state-side, it’s gotta take an arm and a leg to buy them locally.

The convenience of TouchID is such that I immediately miss it on my other devices – an iPad mini 2 and an old Lumia 640.

Now, that convenience is completely removed, and in its place is a new Face ID technology that Apple is heavy handedly pushing, just as it did with the removal of the headphone jack. It might turn out to be just as convenient; but right now I’m skeptical. I’ll reevaluate my view come February, the X doesn’t come out until late this year anyway.

With my Smart contract ending February, I need to make another decision as well. Stay with a shitty coverage provider who is so slow to act and whose service consistently degrades over time in my home area, or move to another historically shitty provider? Well Globe at least now offers LTE here, whereas Smart only provides 3G which I suspect has reached its capacity in the area as its intermittent and unreliable, sometimes even at dawn when it’s supposed to have low traffic.

I can go for a third option. Ditch the contract and go back to prepaid. We’ll see.

Update, 2017 December 27

Smart has upped its game and significantly improved cell service. It finally rolled out LTE and despite some hiccups now and then, coverage is satisfactory most of the time. In contrast, Globe’s signal has been intermittent. LTE is spotty at best, and is like the unicorn now. Even on the rare occasions when the phone displays LTE, the connection goes to 3G or drops entirely as soon as you do anything that requires connection. It cycles between the RATs and No Signal so frequently the battery suffers, and you’re lucky if the page loads at all, even if you manage to get continuous data signal (3G likely).