I think Sony is trolling me.
Back story: 3 of the last 5 Sony devices I’ve truly loved failed catastrophically in the review period. Z3 cracked spontaneously while sitting on my nightstand and the screen stopped responding (the rear glass of the Z2 suffered the same fate). Z3 Compact fell from the dizzying heights of my pocket, while I was crouching down to attend to my then 3-year-old, to concrete. A crack formed across the speaker grille on the bottom bezel and the screen stopped working. The M4 Aqua SIM tray stopped working.
I was excited to finally get my paws on the Sony Xperia X Compact, the spiritual pint-sized descendant of the much-beloved Z Compacts. Sony did a lot right with the X Compact like moving the NFC chip to the rear. The company did remove water resistance from the spec sheet, which is a pain, but retaining a 720p screen with the “beefy” battery delivers pleasing endurance.
And then, in the middle of Doornfontein on Valentine’s Day, I wanted to through the X Compact out of the window of a moving car. Why? The Phone application stopped working.
You know why cellphones exist? So we can phone people from virtually any place in the world. It kinda has that basic function in the device name: smartphone. A phone that is smart.
Launch the app, 30 seconds of black screen, then application failure pop-up-message. This happened three times before I decided to rather try execute using the recent calls menu on the car infotainment system. The X Compact then rebooted into Safe Mode oddly didn’t require me to enter any unlock credentials such as PIN or fingerprint and eventually made the call on the second attempt.
While this device failure could be the primary reason behind my recent contempt for the Android platform, it isn’t the only reason. At least the X Compact received a Nougat update out the box (looking at you LG G5 – still on launch software in SA).
I outsorce a lot of my life to Google and its services, to a point where Google Now’s automatic email scanning and schedule populating functionality is a vital productivity tool. Well at least until some bright spark decided to split the schedule information into a separate tab, but kept the default landing page as the news and weather cards.
I nearly missed a flight because of this.
Android in South Africa isn’t a good time right now. Software updates are hamstrung by network carrier meddling, those meddling carriers also vomit out useless bloatware the moment you stick your SIM in them and Google has no intention of ever bringing the Pixel to our shores.
And since I don’t have access to the flagbearer Android device with all the latest Google-approved tricks and trinkets as well as timely updating, it’s time to say good bye to my beloved operating system.
The joy of migrating back to the up-to-date comfort of my iPhone SE (aka: the best phone) are difficult to describe. It may be the ease of pairing with my Powerbeats 3 wireless earbuds, or the securely all-capturing elegance of iMessage, but it’s going to to be difficult for Android to woo me back into its loving embrace.
Well, unless the new crop of flagships solve the current battery and screen fragility issues. And until I need to print wirelessly on a regular basis because iOS is TERRIBLE at that.
Needless to say that the Sony X Compact lost quite badly to the iPhone SE in the battle of the super minis. Android also continues to lose convenience points by not adding fingerprint recognition to my banking app and Discovery sign in. But Google’s Keep and Photos services as well as Chrome and Play Music will still retain pride of place beside Gmail as things I really can’t function without.