iPhone landscape hiking provoke

What *Should* a Phone Be?

What do we want from our phones?

First of all, I think a phone is not a camera. It shouldn’t be a camera. We should have a ‘standalone’ digital camera instead (Ricoh GR III/IIIx)

Secondly the question is–

Do you actually use your phone for phone calls, or only texting?

A productivity hack I discovered for iPhone — don’t text and don’t use iMessage. Just use FaceTime to call if you need to. And don’t even use the voice calling function. Only FaceTime. Thus, the reason why I will never buy another Android device again is simply for FaceTime. In fact, on my phone all my notifications are disabled (including phone, and texting) and only FaceTime is enabled (in case Cindy or my mom needs to contact me).

Battery life?

Cindy walking iPhone provoke camera hiking

Something people don’t really talk about anymore is battery life. We simply expect our devices to run all day, without charging. Or most people aren’t even traveling anymore, and just stay at home or in their car, where their phone is being perpetually charged.

One kind of recent life hack I have done with Seneca having a new kid, is the walking nap. I put him on the ergo baby front carrier, hold an umbrella, and walk around the sun-drenched suburbs of Southern California to put him to sleep. And I learned to use Siri and Voice Dictate on the iPhone to be productive when out of the house. And even using my old refurbished iPhone 11 Pro, the battery would always fully drain after just a 3 hour walk.

Hand ergonomics

iPhone mini ERIC KIM
iPhone Mini

Having a smallest iPhone is best in terms of ergonomics. Especially being a new parent; being able to text with one hand is 1000x more useful than having a bigger phone. If you are a new parent, and always carrying your kid with one arm, having an iPhone Mini or the smallest iPhone is best.

iPhone as a laptop replacement?

selfie ERIC KIM iPhone pro ultra wide

Can an iPhone replace your laptop? Yes. It is certainly not as effective (you can type 100000x faster on a laptop than text with your thumbs on a phone), but with voice dictate on the iPhone, I wonder if you can actually dictate *faster* than type on a laptop.


Phone as a GPS device?

iPhone store iPhone camera design apple

Honestly 90% of the time, the #1 reason I need it is because it is my GPS/Google Maps device. It is more or less permanently mounted to the front driving part of my car, in order to help me navigate from point A to point B.

And when you are in hot Southern California with the blazing sun, I realized … perhaps a white iPhone is superior to a black one. Why? It overheats less. Same goes with why intelligent people buy white/silver or neutral colored (non-black, non-dark) cars in SoCal … passive cooling. To own a black car in SoCal is insanity; cool aesthetically, but an unintelligent idea for lived reality (also shows faaaar more dirt).

Therefore assuming you use your iPhone a lot as a GPS device, get the white/silver one, not the black one.

For example, when I was using my black iPhone 11 Pro, when it got really hot, the screen would dim (to prevent it from overheating I suppose). And using a dimmer-iPhone when GPS navigating can sometimes be outright dangerous; I cannot see the directions and might miss the turn.

Therefore if you optimize your money and devices in order to *NOT* die in a car accident, get the white iPhone Pro (highest NIT brightness during the day, best visibility, and best heat refraction, and best battery life).

Also, best battery life seems wise because if you are stuck on a desert island with no charger, having that extra battery charge is very clutch.

No phone lasts forever

apple brutalist design store

Kind of crazy; how much money we spend on our phones, for something that will get outdated in about a year or two. But perhaps, buying the newest iPhone all the time is still cheaper than buying a Lamborghini, Tesla, etc.

Scroll to Top