How to judge a person by the smartphone they own

WARNING: This is a very judgemental post, you've been warned.

Since new iPhones are not exactly budget phones, iPhone users are usually pretty well off. Usually but not always the case. Some of them falls under the middle class category and yet they value a good and reliable smartphone. While the well to do can always pick up the new iPhone off the shelf, the less fortunate will usually save for months, take an instalment plan with a telco or charge it to their credit card. Most loyal iPhone users chose them because they just work. The OS and UI is familiar and user-friendly. The apps are of higher quality because of the more stringent control enforced on the App Store. Security is even better than the average Android phone.

Also one cannot help but associate Apple products with status symbol. Got an iPhone? You must not be doing too bad yourself. Compare that to a Samsung or Huawei smartphone user. Very rarely will people associate those brands with wealth and class. Not for me though. I love the iPhone because of the quality, reliability and the quality of the apps. Besides, I almost always get a secondhand iPhone anyway.

One thing you can’t deny, the iPhone is the pacesetter and trendsetter in the industry. From the first iPhone, other manufacturer has being copying and imitating their design and innovation. The camera notch and big screen to body ratio are a few things that come to mind.

Samsung is one of the biggest electronics and electrical manufacturer in the world. They undoubtly ships the most smartphone by unit globally. Therefore it is hardly surprising that Samsung phones are pretty ubiquitous amongst the smartphone crowd. I can safely say one in every five smartphones people own is a Samsung. So what does that tells you about their owners. Well for starters, Samsung users are pretty generic and safe in their preference. From the latest smartphone with the latest tech and dazzle, to a 5” entry level ones, Samsung has a phone for every budget and preference.

Like iPhones, Samsung has also been the benchmark for smartphone innovation. They’re the first to popularize big screen smartphones with their Note series. Wireless charging? They did that first too. Samsung owners are predictable, follow the herd kind of people. They’re taking the safe bet with the most popular brand of smartphone in the market.

Google Pixel
The Google Pixel owners are an adventurous bunch, at least in Malaysia. With no official store or supplier, I can say a 100% of Pixel owners got their unit imported from overseas. Since there’s no official presence, if anything goes wrong with the phone or perhaps they’d like to change the battery or screen, they’re out of luck. I know because I tried finding a store that can change my old Google Pixel battery a few years back but they simply don’t exist. There’s not a single Google Pixel parts supplier in the country. The nearest is in Singapore or for the brave, online suppliers. So if anything were to happen to their expensive Pixel phone, they’re basically fucked.

That said, a Pixel phone offers the best camera and Android OS experience unparalleled in the smartphone world, second just to the iPhone. I must grudgingly admit the new Pixel 3 camera even blew away that of the latest iPhone. Still, like I said, owning a Pixel phone in Malaysia comes with the associated risks. It still pisses me off to this very day the fact that Google made no effort to ship the Pixel to more than a handful of countries that they normally ship. Either they have no vision of being a global smartphone manufacturer or they simply lack the capacity or manpower to do it. I suspect it’s a combination of both.

Huawei users are similar to Samsung users. In fact Huawei smartphone shipment worldwide is second only to Samsung. They offer the same cutting edge technology and innovation as Samsung and their price range starts from entry level models to the state of the art flagship model. If Huawei is a car, they’d be a Perodua. Popular, reliable and ubiquitous.

Not many people know this but Xiaomi sits under the same umbrella company as Oppo and Vivo. Xiaomi is known to offer affordable smartphone at flagship price. While the managed to cramp the latest processors, big batteries and a slew of innovative features (usually copied from other manufacturer), they usually cut corners with using mediocre camera sensors, LCD screens or plastic bodies. That said, most consumer don’t seem to mind them because they are the 3rd most popular smartphone shipped in 2018. Being an owner of a couple of Xiaomi smartphones over the years, I have to say Xiaomi offers the best bang for your bucks. However their smartphone will start to show quality issues after a while, usually with the volume and power button, not to mention sluggish OS performance. Xiaomi owners are usually savvy and cost-conscious smartphone users who are not willing to spend more than necessary for a popular smartphone brand name like Apple, Samsung or Huawei. However their frugality comes at a cost later on since Xiaomi phones usually have a relatively low resale value, almost have the original price in less than a year.

Vivo, Oppo, Neffos, Lenovo, Asus
How do I say this without sounding obnoxious. When one talks about any one of these brands, I can’t help but associate them with cheap and low quality. Sure some of them like Vivo, Oppo and Asus have stepped up their game by copying some of the best features of the top 4 smartphone manufacturers but they can’t shake that low budget/low quality image compared to others. These are the poor man’s smartphone.

Honor, Pocophone, RealMe
These 3 brands or more like sub-brands are relatively new players in the smartphone market. They’re are basically created by their parent company to introduce a budget yet sufficiently powerful smartphone well into the midrange category. This is quite a brilliant move since some of their parent company has a reputation for being associated with cheap or untrendy. By establishing a new separate subsidiary, they can reinvent themselves as something new and exciting. Like Xiaomi users, the Honor, RealMe and Pocophone users are those who are budget conscious and don’t mind substituting brand name for value for money smartphones.

Nokia, Motorola, LG, HTC, Sony
For Nokia and Motorola, these brands had once dominated the mobile phone market but for some reason or another had fallen from grace to near oblivion. Motorola after been bought by a Chinese company had turned into this mediocre mobile phone manufacturer. Nokia after been bought by Microsoft, fared even worse. The Windows Mobile platform failed spectacularly and the Nokia brand had turned from world domination into an obscure name in the smartphone market. Only today after been bought by Finnish firm HMD Global that they managed to make a mini-revival. Once a household name, LG, HTC and Sony today have also turned into fringe players in the smartphone world. So what type of people still buy these brand names? I don’t know, maybe those who are still stuck with nostalgia. Those who don’t know better or ill informed in their decision making.

I used to have trust issues with OnePlus phones. In their early days, they have to do this stupid gimmicky things and used to sell their phones via flash sales which everybody hates. However OnePlus as a smartphone manufacturer has improved tremendously over the years and has transformed into one of the more popular mobile phone brand in the world. Their state of the art but affordable smartphones is giving big name brands like Apple and Samsung a run for their money. It is no surprise that MKBHD had given the OnePlus 6T as the Smartphone of the year award. Who are these OnePlus users? Android phone lovers who has a good taste in smartphones.

How do I start. Blackberry users in this day and age are the dinosaurs of the modern world. Sure Blackberry has innovated from keypad based mobile phones to touch screen models, there is very little reason to choose a Blackberry phone from all the other smartphones on offer today. For one thing they are still pricey as hell and apart from the standard features, I can’t recall any good reason for getting a Blackberry today. Suckers who are still stuck in the year 2000 who can’t move on past nostalgia are their only customers nowadays.

#nohate & #lovewins

Dear children,

This is a pretty sensitive subject but we still have to touch it because one day when you're all grown up you will ultimately come face to face with this question. I think you ought to know by now that there's not only one type of sexuality among us humans. I'm pretty sure you've heard or watched about homosexuality, transgender or queers from TV, YouTube and even the songs you've been listening to. So how should you react or respond to this issue?

Actually it is not an issue at all and how you should respond is the same as how you see normal heterosexual people. No judgment and definitely no hate. You see children, homosexuality is prevalent in a lot of animal species. Over 1,500 of them to be precise. And since we are part of the animal kingdom ourselves, is it any surprise that some of us exhibit the same tendencies?

I know you've probably learned from your ustazs and ustazahs and teachers, perhaps some of your family members as well that homosexuality and being gay is wrong according to our religion. And that people who engage in such activities is sure to be thrown into hell. I can't stop them from believing that nor can I stop the hate and prejudice against the LGBT community. What I can do is teach my children that being gay is not a choice but a complex combination of genetic, hormonal, developmental, social and cultural influences on sexual orientation. In simpler terms, they are born that way.

Let me ask you this, can you make or force yourself be attracted to member of the same sex? No right? That is exactly how it is with gay people. You can't force them to like members of the opposite sex just as you can never force me to like Fatah Amin or David Beckham. We are just not born that way.

Still the question remains, our religion expressively forbid homosexuality so we can never accept them, no? I'm not going to argue about that but our religion allows and forbids a lot of different things throughout history. Once upon a time slavery is the accepted norm in our religion just as well marrying young girls or cutting the limbs of people who commit crimes. Do we see muslim people practising any of those nowadays. Apart from ISIS and the Talibans, I'm sure no progressive, modern muslim countries still condone such barbaric acts. The simple reason being values can and have changed throughout time and history. What seems acceptable back in the 7th century has no place in the modern era.

The same goes about hating people who are different from us. Just because our religion forbids some things and you see certain people doing it doesn’t mean that you absolutely must hate them too for no rational reason other than because some ustaz or teachers told you so. It's like a hindu person hating on muslims because they don't refrain from killing and eating their holy cows. It's simply irrational. What I am trying to say is children, we can still follow our religious beliefs and traditions and at the same time not hate people who are different from us be it christians, jews and especially gay people for no apparent reason. Those two are not mutually exclusive. You can always be a good muslim and accept other people for what they are.

Can I expect my children to not be a bigot and a hateful person? I certainly hope so.