You’re the best advantage in your life, not your phone.
On my never-ending quest to discover the perfect devices, I have been trying to discover the best or most perfect phone.
But a realization:
I think the best phone is no phone.
Let me explain:
I’ve spent a long time not owning a phone, and to be frank, it seems like it helped me tremendously. Fewer distractions, and also being able to focus my mind.
Furthermore, by not having a phone, it opened up so many photo opportunities. For example when I’m bored in line or in some public space, I will let my eyes wander, and I see all these new things to photograph! As much as I think the iPhone is a great camera, I think to have a RICOH GR III around your neck (and no phone on you) is the optimal setup to witness more potential photo opportunities, and to open up your eyes to more creative photo opportunities.
In praise of iPad
I think thus far the iPad has been the ultimate device. Insanely powerful, light, yet expansive at the same time. The ultimate tool for visual artists (phenomenal display, brightness, color rendition) and great for delightfully viewing your photos, calligraphy via Zen Brush 2, and illustrations in Procreate. I think the iPad is the ultimate device as imagined by Steve Jobs, and the new iPad OS is quite phenomenal. The iPad (thus far) is the ultimate device.
Obviously it’s better to have a phone but no phone. But some suggestions:
- Don’t always feel so pressured to upgrade your phone or iPhone. Generally your phone is the worst depreciating asset you can buy.
- When possible, buy your phone used or refurbished. Buy 1-2 generations older — you will get 90% of the performance for perhaps 50% of the cost.
- If you got android, root it and install “Lineage OS” (I did this with my old Samsung S5, and the phone essentially works like brand new). I ruthlessly uninstall all the superfluous apps, and the phone works great now.
- For photography, better to use a good “standalone digital camera” than your phone. For example RICOH GR III is not much bigger than an iPhone Pro yet the image quality and performance is probably 10x better. Better “bang for the buck” with RICOH GR III when compared to all other cameras.
- Better to think of the phone as a phone: useful for phone calls, text messaging, etc. Also Google Maps and Uber. Besides this, a tablet or laptop is probably 100x more effective.
- When in doubt, don’t upgrade: If you don’t feel the upgrade is “worth it”, it probably isn’t.
- Don’t feel that you’re at a disadvantage by not owning the newest iPhone. Having the newest iPhone might give you a .5% advantage when compared to having an older iPhone. To me the true competitive advantage you have is your brain, the muscles in your body, and the amount of sleep you get. Devices don’t give you a significant advantage in life.
You are the ultimate advantage, not a device.