The Return Of The Perfect Phone


So there I was, groggy and half-asleep in international business class on a Dreamliner somewhere between Miami and Santiago de Chile, trying to bring my seat up so I could force down some breakfast. And I tugged at my headphones to retrieve my trusty iPhone SE, my chosen travel phone for three years, so I could stop the music that I’d been trying to lull myself into rest with. And it wouldn’t come out, and that’s when I realized I’d pinned it in the seat. And crunched the battery case so badly that I’d actually bent the side of the phone.

On day one of a 17-day trip to the other end of the world.

Fortunately, the camera worked, and despite some weirdness with the screen (un-cracked, all hail Gorilla Glass) and the problems with satellite-backed WiFi in the wilds of Patagonia, I was more or less able to get by. But I was already resigning myself to the notion that at long last, the ungainly iPhone X from work was going to be my only smartphone, once and for all. And then, mirabilae dictu, what should appear on Apple’s clearance website but the iPhone SE, in 128 GB size.

So why spend $300 on a phone that comes pre-aged 3.5 years? Let’s see:

1. A 128 GB model means that for the first time ever, I could have literally all my music on it with plenty of room for backup content, photography, movies to cast to AppleTV, etc.
2. Every leak around the current Apple roadmap indicates pretty adamantly that there is no smaller iPhone coming. Much like the Moto X mk 1 was my last chance at a US phone, this is probably my last opportunity to own a one-handed phone. The key thing being that with 2 GB of RAM, it’s probably safe through iOS 13 and may be OK for iOS 14 depending, so two more years for $300 is pretty good.
3. I don’t have to use it right away. Indeed, it’ll probably sit in the box for a couple weeks while I experiment with living full time on the iPhone X. It doesn’t have to be the main phone unless something goes wrong or I leave work.
4. It’s insurance. For going abroad, against losing my work phone, in case shit generally. And it’ll be nice to have one with less wear and tear on it generally, never mind having being pinched in the seat. The cosplay dream phone is alive and well, a talisman of the life I wish I led, and a vote in favor of the proven and reliable over the flashy and new.

Now… how to re-arrange numbers again? This certainly buggers my streamlining plan…

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