Friday, February 11, 2011

The Next Wave of Android and Technology Overkill

I've got to say, I'm a huge technophile. I've got a wicked curiousity for any new tech that comes out. I just heard about the specs and seen the first pictures of the next generation PSP. Just from that I know I'm getting one. These things make me happy about technology, but there's comes a major burden with it as well.

The Consumer Electronics Show came and went and we got our first look at some major Android brewings. Dual core phones and 4G speed are the newest buzz words. You'll likely here it everywhere you go if you're involved with technology. Manufacturers and carriers are hedging their bets on this, but it's not all it's cracked up to be.

This blog post is really going to be a culmination of previous blog posts. I've rambled on about stuff like 4G, but this is really where it all comes together. Like reading a mystery novel, you don't fully get it till all of the pieces are together.

Some of the first dual core phones are getting ready to come out in addition to some of the first 21 Mbps 4G phones. Reviews have been praised mostly, but battery life isn't any better. Aside from higher capability and media options, battery life is supposed to be a major selling point for dual core phones. The principle is that having two cores allows them work at lower speeds together, effectively reducing overall battery use. So far, that has not been the case.

The real problem is two-fold. First, these are the first dual core phone chip sets so they're going to be a lot like the first 1 GHz chips. Good performance, but below-average to average battery life. Also, the manufacturers keep increasing screen sizes, more power hungry radio chips for 4G, additional media capabilities, and the same size batteries as older models. If the manufacturers aren't going to increase battery capacity, then we're not going to see better battery life which is the MOST important element of portable electronics.

The Atrix, which is considered at the moment to be the most powerful Android phone, is getting ready to hit soon. Early reviews have praised its overall function and speed, but noted that even with its battery that is quite possibly the largest cell phone battery, it's no better in battery life than competing older phones.

There were recent speed tests for the Galaxy 4G that showed it averaged around 7.87 Mbps. Certainly not bad, but nowhere near claims of top end 21 Mbps. This is mostly because although the networks can theoretically go that high, network load from several thousand or more customers will never let it go that high.

We're in technology overkill right now. We have amazing technology that is largely affordable in comparison to what it might cost a decade ago. The problem is maturity. These technologies aren't really ready to deliver on their promises. I personally think that spending the money on them is pointless. Unless you are ready for an upgrade, there's not a whole lot of reason to go out an pay early adopter prices on these new phones and other tech. My city only tops out right now at around 4.5 Mbps on speed with an average of usually 2.5 Mbps so getting a 4G phone right now doesn't make any real sense. Certainly I could do it for future proofing, but I'd rather take a mature technology that works reliably than one with bugs or shoddy performance.

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