In the past 8 years, I have had, on average, more than one new phone a year. In the earlier days, I could justify it a bit more as a tech enthusiast, the smartphone market was moving quickly and things were generally a lot more exciting.
In the last few years, it felt more like an obligation.. mixed with my own awful impulsive consumerism.. to get a new phone at least once a year. I had become used to upgrading to some marginally better phone every year, so I never really thought much about it. I had the means to do so and selling my phones when they were only a year old in good condition helped me trade up with no financial difficulty.
However, I've largely been uninterested in the phone market for this past year. I recently moved back to an iPhone (7 Plus) after my Note 7 was recalled twice. I enjoyed it, but it was doing nothing particularly interesting, just plodding reliably along as the iPhone has been doing for a while. Samsung is.. Samsung, making better and better hardware with cleaner but still ridiculous software.
The only thing that really continued to interest me was Google and their Pixel line of phones, they had it clean, with great UI performance, a UI design that I think is better than any other system and integration with all the cool new Googley stuff. So I thought my little break with the iPhone had come to an end, I ordered a Pixel 2 XL. Unfortunately, it turns out Google still aren't interested in competing with Apple, Samsung, HTC or any of the other big names and put out some second rate hardware again. Talking primarily of the display - for a cheaper phone - it'd be excusable, but it isn't, so I cancelled it.
Then, still seeking the new & shiny, I ordered a Samsung Galaxy Note 8. That came and I was thoroughly unsatisfied. After a year on the iPhone 7 Plus I had a very low tolerance for poor UI performance, and even given iOS's regressions in this area for the past few years, it is still a way ahead of Samsung's stuff. I also became immediately annoyed at being presented with a hoard of flashy, poorly maintained and thought out gimmicky features from the past few years of Galaxy phones. Samsung are just piling them on and failing to retire them.
There's still no restraint and rediscovering stupid options in the settings to 'optimise the phone by auto restarting it on a schedule' pushed me over the edge, it was going back.
There was also the quite severe problem of the fingerprint sensor position on the very tall body of the Note 8. It's just barely reachable for my average sized hands, and that barely resulted in a lot of missed detections and generally a bad experience. The hardware was otherwise fantastic, it looks great, it feels great and the display is incredible.
So, not being particularly interested in the iPhone X either for a few reasons, I decided I'd finally break this awful habit and stick with my iPhone 7 Plus for another year. There's nothing wrong with it, on iOS 11.1 it's quick and smooth with good battery life.
But then... I saw a few more things that excited me about the iPhone X, primarily the new gesture based navigation and the better (arguably, somehow, the best) screen. I priced one up, I have access to some decent discounts for a new contract on a particular network, and it turns out not much more expensive than the Note 8 I gladly ordered.
But, something stopped me. Perhaps my general lack of enthusiasm for it and general desire to avoid the first generation. I can't say I'm clear and safe from letting my impulses take over and ordering one in the near future, so here's something I'm posting publicly, to try and remind myself to break this pointless habit.