February 16, 2018

Oppo and how Canada's midrange is boring

With my recent trip to the Philippines, I didn't expect to have a newfound love for cellphones. I have an LG V20 and I absolutely love it for being a media powerhouse along with having a wonderful wide angle camera that my aunt loves. Before the V20, I had a Samsung S7 as my daily driver with a modest Moto G5 Plus as a trusted backup. These are miles ahead of the Samsung Discover and Blacberry 9220 that I used in 2015. So this means I'm a sucker for cellphones and this whole post is just me fawning over a cellphone.

(c) NoypiGeeks
I wish I took my own photos of all the advertising because it's insane, even at the airport. Oppo (stylized as OPPO) recently launched 2 cellphones in the Philippines, namely the Oppo F5 and the F5 Youth.

They look like the iPhone 7, especially the F5 Youth since the lack of silver antenna lines make it look cleaner. That's the thing about these phones though. They run ColorOS which is technically still Android but definitely makes the menus look like it's running iOS, down to the icons and notification menus.

"Oh, it's a MediaTek processor so it's cheap and crappy and won't get updates!"

Exactly! It's supposed to be cheap since the common person who doesn't care about technical specs won't really notice whether the processor is either MediaTek, Kirin, Exynos, or Snapdragon. I used to sell cellphones and never once did a customer ask "What's the processor on this phone?" They would ask relatively common questions like "Is the camera good?", "Is this phone Android or iOS?", "What's the storage on this?", and "Can I use a memory card with this phone?"

I would admit the Oppo marketing got me, I admit. I didn't need it but it's way more interesting than what midrange phones Canada is stuck with. Heck, even Huawei phones in Canada aren't that varied. You either go with a great phone like the Huawei P10 or you go with a disappointing one with the Huawei GR5.

Even though it's still technically a Chinese phone and god forbid, someone buys those instead of typical Apple, the F5 is still a wonderful phone that feels premium with its polycarbonate body, wonderful front and rear cameras, and 18:9 aspect ratio which is the trend right now thanks to the Samsung S8.

The Oppo made me realize that Canada isn't a priority when it comes to midrange phones. The closest thing to a midrange phone that can compete with the F5 is the LG Q6, which the F5 takes the lead. The F5 has a fingerprint scanner and way better cameras than the Q6. For screens, the Q6 has Gorilla Glass 3 while the F5 has Gorilla Glass 5 so scratch away with those keys and forks in your pockets. The F5 has 4 gigs of RAM while the Q6 has 3, yet the F5 Youth also has 3 gigs of RAM but is still better than the Q6. The only thing these phones have in common is the facial recognition.

The Oppo F5 is still way better than the crappy phones sold at Walmart. The Acer Liquid Zest is technically a phone but its meager 8 gigs of storage and below average battery life is nothing to be hopeful for. The F5 is still a way better buy than the pathetic BLU phones in stock, not the good BLU phones that have some quality to them. The only phone close to being a gem in Walmart's selection of unlocked phones is the Moto E4 but it's still overpriced by a hundred dollars in retail stores.

The prices for plans in British Columbia are already terribly high. I mean, 1 gig of data and 300 local minutes for $90-$95 if you want a phone like iPhone 7 or the Samsung S8 isn't really something that you head on to the store for 2-year contract. Retailers who sell postpaid plans would definitely hate you for going prepaid and bringing your own unlocked phone since they would rather sell you a postpaid monthly plan rather than a prepaid plan even though you're in the country for less than 3 weeks. The common ground between price and plan is the midrange, or at least it should be.

Good midrange smartphones like the Samsung Galaxy A5 2017 on a postpaid plan would just be 10-20 dollars cheaper on a 2-year contract, assuming you're lucky enough to catch them on a good day where they give you bonus data, because everyone wants data and the big companies don't want you to have it for cheap.

That's why I loved working for a prepaid cellphone company for a time because of no long-term commitments (Everyone's afraid of commitment, AMIRIGHT, GUYS? HIGH FIVE!). With no contracts, it just meant that people would bring their own unlocked phone and that would always make me happy to see what people bring in. It could be a crappy phone like a 2010 Motorola Spice, which looked like a suppository, or a OnePlus One which is a wonderful phone from 2014 that made me realize that unlocked phones are way cooler.

So after all this rambling, I'd really wish for more midrange phones to be sold in Canada, not just Oppo but Vivo and more of Huawei's lineup, because I know they'd make a good impact and give everyone an opportunity to have a good phone at a decent price. However, knowing Canada, the government would definitely just listen to the three big phone companies and put the kibosh on it since they probably can't overcharge everyone.

Wishful thinking.

February 2, 2018

Psychiatrist, fix me

I'm going back to a psychiatrist when I get back from the Philippines.

This has been keeping me depressed and miserable for 6 years now and I want to get over it now. Fix me. Forget about what I'm doing in the future. Forget about what video games I'm gonna play. Right here in Vancouver, Burnaby, Surrey, Coquitlam, Jakarta, Quezon City, or Manila, wherever I am, fix me. I know first cut is the deepest but stitch me up. Fix me.

October 22, 2017

I Need To Work On My Writing

A few days ago, I remember doing a little fun Facebook challenge where you come up with one way to introduce your friends. Someone comments and then you deliver a paragraph or two on how you'd introduce them. I thought, hey, this could be fun. I had some friends comment and, no disrespect, I wish a lot more commented though. Would've been a great writing exercise and it's clearly the only exercise I take. It took me around 10 minutes to finish up a little scenario and I really enjoyed it because I can tell I still have bits and pieces of creativity remaining after years of cynicism and suicidal thoughts.

What I don't like is how I can't transfer this little creativity I have to something more expansive. I wanna write novels, memoirs, compilations of short stories but I can't finish them because I can't focus. I can't try to make things unique. The tone is all over the place with the novels I write and I hate it. I wanna work on it. How the hell am I going to get published if I can't type anything, goddamn it?

Maybe I haven't found my writing voice yet. Maybe I never will. Maybe I never had one to begin with.

October 19, 2017

A Message From Cora Miller

I remember doing a post about how stupid these spam bots that pretend to be women and just advertise websites. I had fun doing that a while back and once in a while, I just read them for fun on how elaborate they get. I found a simple one so it's not as detailed as before so I won't be able to enjoy the lore that comes with the seedy sex website.
I might sound crazy to you but I am a huuuge attention-freak, that is why I'm posting lots of my near-nude photos or other spicy pictures.
That's just weird. If you want attention, just post on Instagram and follow 690 people. Surely you'll get all the attention you need. Also, "spicy" is a funny way to describe near-nude photos. I know memes are referred to as spicy but really, near-nude photos are just mild at best.

Nevertheless, it's been quite a while since I have heard an unbiased opinion, so I was thinking, maybe you'll be the the only one who can tell me the truth?
Sure! The truth is that there are chemicals in the water that TURN THE FREAKIN' FROGS GAY! Do you understand that? I'm sick of being social engineered, it's not funny!

(Thank you, Alex Jones from InfoWars for that joke.)
Have a great look at my sexy photos and please, don't tell me that I'm amazing, everybody else is saying that, I want to hear your real opinion and in case you have one, maybe I can buy you a coffee later?
Asking for someone's real opinion would cause the person being asked to lowball their answer to be nice. How will that scenario go anyway? "Your photos suck and you look like a smacked ass." "Thanks, let's get a latte."
Waiting your reply.
Many kisses,
No reply for you. Well, technically this is a passive aggressive reply but still.

That was fun. I'm going to look for more spam emails to make fun of for no reason.

September 21, 2017

Frank, I'm disappointed

I like cellphones, that's why I work at places that sell them. I like having a bunch of cellphones that not a lot of people in Canada would have like the OnePlus X and the HTC One A9, the latter of which I can't even get cases for in Canadian stores. I like cellphones and I like having a collection of backups so anything out of the ordinary in the midrange level is something I love keeping an eye on.

I saw an ad on Instagram about the Frank phone and how it'll be a cheap phone launching in North America. Benefit of the doubt kicks in and my mind said "hey, this seems interesting and seems like something different. Well, not too different since it apparently is 'just a fucking phone'. And I want it."

I'm disappointed in Frank though - the company, not the nonexistent-at-this-point Frank phone (well, it technically exists). This was being touted by the company as their own innovation and how prototypes were made and how it's gonna be huge and cheap. Hope into one hand, spit in the other, and see which one fills up first. Well, in reality, people online have discovered that Frank is actually a Chinese phone being resold as "original". Here's the link.

Alternate title for this would've been "A Middle Finger To Frank" but I'm not mad at them or anything. Just disappointed. And like this supposed Frank character, I've had enough.

An honest deal? Well, Motorola has been doing well with budget phones like the Moto G 3rd Gen or the Moto G5 Plus, both of which I own (I have a problem, clearly). That means no customer is restricted to one kind of phone as there are always options. Don't like Motorola? Try LG. Don't like LG? Try Samsung. Don't like Samsung? Try Apple. The list goes on and on. 

The Frank phone was probably going to be for people who aren't aware of tech and just care about phones being, well, phones. But again, no one is restricted to buying phones in the 4-digit price range.

It's also pretentious to say that a $1000 dollar phone costs $150 to make but that's not taking into account the marketing, customer service, engineering, manufacturing, software testing, and quality assurance like Samsung's 8-Point Battery Check to actually make that phone worth that price tag. That's why phones are flagships because that's going to be the leading phone in the company, marketed the most, and would be the huge selling tool for profit.

"Fuck the Big Guys," said the edgy company.

To which I reply,

Samsung and LG have great phones, even in the midrange level. Heck, I've sold a dozen Samsung A5 2017's and they've always been wonderful. LG G5 has a great dual camera setup and is surprisingly a decent phone. So why bother "disrupting" something that these phone companies have been doing well for years now with 17-year old college dude trying to run baby's first phone company?

Anyway, I gave the Frank phone a shot because it's a phone and it's cheap. And I want cheap phones. Benefit of the doubt, again.

Option three? Who is this? Austin Aries? In what way does "I don't want to pay $1000 for a phone" lead to "I'm going to straight to the manufacturers to save money"? Instead of just buying a midrange phone for a quarter of that price and move on, the founders of Frank are trying to do an underdog story and want to "disrupt" the mobile world - by being another brick in the wall that BLU, Maxwest, and Sky Devices are already part of. High tech and low cost is something that companies already achieved before like OnePlus with the OnePlus One and Motorola with their Moto G5. Heck, count in Xiaomi and Oppo with their underrated phones.

Also, instead of saving the money for his future education, he'd rather go to the manufacturer and get a phone? Big priorities.

Had they just been upfront with it by saying "Hey, we're selling this phone and we want you to like it, it's nothing special" instead of "We're actually designing it ourselves from scratch! See? Fuck the big guys, this'll be big! A MOVEMENT!"

Their campaign has been suspended by Indiegogo, which was originally supposed to be on Kickstarter, since their emails hyped up Kickstarter. Most likely because people have caught on and realized that the marketing for the phone was that it was designed on a white board rather than just being bought from a Chinese website.

"The Big Guys can't bully us," they say. What "big guys" have actually bullied the Frank company? What "big guys" have actually mentioned Frank? Do Samsung executives, who are likely busy with their Note 8 launch, say "Hey, Phil, goddamn, this Frank startup is giving us the FINGER and would probably steal our customers!"?

And what idiot would fork up THOUSANDS of dollars on a device? The Porche Design Huawei Mate 9 costs a bit above $2000 Canadian so maybe that's what they were referring to, even though that phone isn't really sold in brick-and-mortar stores like Best Buy or Staples. The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 is around $1300 Canadian and that's the new shiny phone that everyone would be talking about. Frank is making it seem like people don't have other options and it's either go big or use a rotary phone.

The ad is way worse since it's just some dude giving the middle finger to stores, most likely filled with hardworking people.

Yes, they have a right to advertise how they want, freedom of speech and all, but that doesn't mean that everyone wouldn't disagree with how they present themselves. One middle finger? Maybe, sure, make it meaningful in its use. 250 middle fingers? Not so much. The seconds of just the dude with his middle finger out isn't really that practical when the company trying to sell a phone instead of a "principle" of fucking the "big guys". The same "big guys" whose phones are being used as daily drivers of the Frank people.

Again, am I mad about this? Not really. Just disappointed.

I wanted this to be good. I wanted them to have been honest from the beginning. But the constant spouting of "fuck the big guys" - the same big guys who are constantly developing phones and have a track record - is just too much. The pricing is also terrible since it's advertised as $180 US for the first few hundred people. The lying about originality and designing the phone from the ground up was the last straw and just made me want to just stick to a company that knows what it's doing instead of cheeky entrepreneurs trying to capitalize on the supposed people who apparently don't know any better about buying phones and how retailers are trying to screw everyone out of thousands of dollars.

I'm Ralph Corleone and that's my opinion.