Being part of forums like thinkdigit, techenclave, I come across lots of queries regarding phone purchase. Some are easy to answer, some are a bit tricky but there are some that need to be answered carefully. The reason is that you are suggesting a product to a relatively unkown person and you know nothing about that person. So, I thought of penning few types of people with whom one need to be a bit extra careful while suggesting a phone, be it a feature phone or a smartphone.
1. empees and geebees:
The usual question will be something like “I want a phone with ‘x’ megapixel camera. Do not misunderstand this type of people with those who look for a phone with quality lens (N8, N86, satio etc). These guys just want as many empees and geebees on the phone and it doesn’t matter whether the lens is good or not. It doesn’t matter what OS the phone has or how reliable the phone is. Before suggesting a random phone, do try to explain the advantage of having better lens over having more pixels etc and if they listen, make them pick a phone with quality lens. And if the person is adamant on getting a phone having camera with highest megapixel rating, just suggest a phone with highest megapixel rating inside the budget and there is no use in trying to make them understand.
2. Half a dozen Chinese phones please:
Ever came across someone in a bus on elevator taking a look at your smartphone and say “Chinese phone?”?. You won’t see them in online forums that regularly but when you find them, you can do nothing but a big hard facepalm. This is one such example “http://www.thinkdigit.com/forum/mobile-monsters/133790-iphone-airphone.html”. When you suggest a device above 12k or so, the first response from them is that they can get same for 3k-4k in a local market and that it will even play Doordarshan and they start comparing the phones spec to spec. Few minutes of talk with them and you will either pull your hair off or try to suppress the strong urge to punch them real hard. The thing is it is very easy to make them understand as they are totally ignorant of what makes a mobile good. Tell them about SAR, about reliability, firmware updates, support and warranty. Some will understand and go with branded phones. And for those who are adamant that chinese stuff is better, you get to choose which middle finger to show and leave.
3. I only want a Nokia:
India is (still) a Nokia country. When a person asks you to suggest a good Nokia phone, never ever ever try to explain to them things like Android, HTC, Samsung. This is a special crop of people who have a very strong feeling that a Nokia device is near indestructible. Even if they face innumerable issues with a Nokia phone, their next purchase will again be a Nokia. Even if you try to make them go for any other brand, they will either give a straight no or they might think that you are a n00b. If by any chance, they buy non-Nokia device, you better pray every day that their phone remains absolutely bug free. Because, even the tiniest bugs will be seen with a telescope and you are the one to be blamed for making them purchase a non-Nokia device (even if it happens due to user error). So, just suggest the best Nokia that he/she can get and move on.
4. Geek outside, n00b inside:
These are the most confusing ones. When you talk to them, if feels like they know a lot about phones and that you can suggest devices like N900/SGS/HD2 that need some extra work, fine tuning and customization to get most out of them. In reality, they only talk and when they get hold of such phones, they act like end users and behave as if you made them get an unworthy devices when they were happily going for a decent phone. And yes, I have encountered such people. It’s difficult to spot such a person. Sometimes they act so foolishly that they deny to make the phone work citing lack of time and use dialogues like “End users should not be doing such things”. If you know people like this, either suggest a phone that just works out of the box or just keep quiet.
5. Am buying this phone, Period:
Now, this kind of person start with something like ‘I am going to buy xyz phone, is there any better phone that you can suggest?”. But, whatever you suggest, however good it is, in the end, they will go for the phone that they first thought of. So, if you see a person stressing on one phone, just let that person get the phone. Trust me, it will save you lot of time.
6. Gone with the wind:
A simple way to describe this genre of people is “Friend have android, let me get android. Friends have iOS, let me get iOS”. Best example is those who are going after phones like galaxy 3 and HTC Wildfire which have sub-par hardware and the sole reason being Android-powered smart-phones. However hard you try to explain the negative effect that sub-par hardware puts on the OS, they won’t be able to understand. Some get to know the -ves after using the phone for a while whereas some will never know. So, when you encounter such person, see if you can get him the best of the pack or keep quiet. You can try to make them get better phone from a different vendor powered by a different OS but nine times out of ten, it won’t work.