The shamefully low specced X Phone
The reactions to the recent leak of possible "X Phone" specs worry me a little and made me think.
It seems that the Android community has been perfectly trained by OEMs to believe that a better user experience can almost solely be achieved through better specs. The X Phone only has 720p, only has dual core, only 2 gig of RAM. Must be an utterly shit phone right? Of course not. Still, people are "extremely disappointed". It is immediately considered mid-range and can only sell over the price, as a budget phone. It can't possibly compare with the flagships, duh. Does nobody notice how much of a marionette of the OEMs they've become?
Sure, for OEMs this is a dream scenario. Simply jamming the latest and most expensive components into their hardware is easy. It's by far the easiest way to achieve good performance. Other ways to achieve good performance suck, because they involve time, knowledge, testing and cannot be advertised as nicely as "Octacore, bitches!!!, 13 megapixels! Yes, that's more than 8!!!".
But user experience, and even performance consists of so much more than just megahertzes, megapixels and gigabytes. There's also optimization, software design and simply common sense to make something work well. As I said above, this involves much more effort than simply jamming in the latest hardware. Consequently, OEMs tend neglect it. Within the phone geek community it's observable every day: people are fed up with OEM skins. After 3 years of everyone groping in the dark, HTC seems to be the first OEM to have put a satisfying skin over Android. For Samsung it's still current practise to slow down their steroid pumped hardware with sluggish software.
Don't get me wrong. I'm not trying to badmouth good hardware here. I'm not saying we should all go back to the middle ages in terms of smartphone hardware. There's just this trend that I notice of OEMs going the easy way. Prioritizing specs over common sense. And the thing that worries me is that people are even supporting that trend, by disregarding a device solely because of its specs. This device could slow down this trend of blindly going bigger, more and more powerful. I'm not foretelling here that the X Phone will be a perfect example of design, optimization and common sense. But it could be. It could showcase a better balance of specs and sense and because of that could offer the same or very similar performance and possibly even better user experience even without the last word in specs.
TL;DR Simply jamming the latest and most expensive hardware into devices is just the laziest of several ways to achieve good performance/user experience. Don't judge a device simply by numbers. If done properly, the X Phone can compete with the big boys despite not having octa core and 1080p screens.
So much for my opinion, what do you guys think?