This would have been much better if I had written this at the start of my plan, instead of over half way through it. I could have detailed my research and thoughts and how I came to my decisions. But to be honest today most of that information would have been out of date and of no use for today. Next time then.
I started thinking about how long I use devices when I was considering purchasing a smart phone at the end of 2012. When I was growing up technology was moving so fast that upgrading computers, mobile phones and other devices became habit. I often sold components and devices on, gave things away or stuck them in a cupboard never to see daylight again. Previously I had often opted for mobile phone contracts which came with the latest and greatest phone featuring new at the time features such as a colour screen, 3G, touchscreen, WiFi radio etc.
This purchase was going to be an expensive business and I worked out the monthly cost, looking at contract and purchasing the device on its own. I then started to think about the environmental impact of my choices. Changing mobile phone every few years can’t be good for my pocket or the environment. I’m into technology and like to have things not just for the sake of having them but for things which will make some contribution to my life.
I came to the conclusion that if I was going to get a smart phone it would have to serve its purpose for five years. That’s a long time in technological terms and I knew I would have to choose wisely. I did not only have to think in terms of specifications and physical durability, I had to think in terms of software. How long would the software be supported and updated? A hard question to answer. I had been bitten before when I chose a HP Pre 3 running WebOS; A a great phone and OS unfortunately abandoned very quickly on launch by HP.
My choice: The Nexus 4
In the end I chose the Nexus 4 smartphone brought out by Google and LG. It was generously priced and the specifications beyond what I had thought achievable given my budget. For Android I thought that with it receiving Android updates directly from Google it would be well supported for. Obviously today the phone is outclassed by newer hardware but the software is still updated by Google. It does not have a usable 4G radio but at the moment 3G and WiFi serves my needs.
I know that I’ve been very lucky that the Nexus 4 has been supported in terms of software updates for this long. It’s been over two and a half years since I first got my Nexus 4 – the hard part is still to come.