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The Perfect Smartphone Doesn’t Exist, and That’s OK

  • November 17, 2018

The smartphone in your pocket is good, maybe even great, but it’s not perfect. Close, but not quite. Maybe it’s a little too thick, or the software is a little slow. Maybe you don’t like that the all-glass design feels slippery. Stupid phone! Horrible.

Have you noticed that when we talk about smartphones, the conversation inevitably turns negative, to a nauseating degree? The iPhone XS is amazing, but where’s the headphone jack? The Pixel 3 is Google’s best phone ever, with the best mobile camera ever, but its bezels are large. Bezels, they suck. Who’s the bonehead who invented bezels?

Look at any comment section of any tech website or YouTube channel and you’ll see complaints, some valid, many of them needlessly cynical. Let me scrutinize this incredible device because the battery, ugh, doesn’t last an entire week without needing to charge, rather than saying, “OK, maybe this is good enough.”

As someone who reviews technology for a living, it’s my job to objectively judge mainstream consumer products, ostensibly so people can make an informed decision. But I have a confession: even when a phone doesn’t live up to the lofty standards we set, that rarely dissuades me from enjoying the experience. As someone who loves technology, I’d rather celebrate each smartphone as the small miracle that it is.

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