Smartphones are small, portable and easy to carry—as long as you limit yourself to one at a time. But as the mobile reporter for eWEEK, carrying just one smartphone has been impossible lately.
Right now, I'm carrying five handsets that are literally filling my front pants pockets. The idea is to carry them daily, use them, try their features, test out their cameras, examine their interfaces and see what I like and don't like.
The differences and similarities appear pretty quickly. I end up carrying a small paper notebook as well so I can jot down my comments and impressions and keep things straight between five handsets.
So what am I carrying right now?
There's a new Samsung Galaxy S7, and a fresh Galaxy S7 Edge; an LG V10 (pictured); a pre-production LG G5 handset that I'm just trying out without any actual head-to-head testing at the moment; and my own personal two-year-old Samsung Galaxy S4 smartphone. Please don't send me any snarky comments because I'm still carrying a Galaxy S4. I have to live with it, and that's enough snarkiness for my own sake.
Here's what I can tell you about carrying five smartphones at once. It's borderline ridiculous, but it is a conversation starter.
When I go out with friends or with my girlfriend, I slide the phones out of my pockets and stack them on the table or in the car center pocket or wherever else I am spending time. Rolling eyes often accompany the facial expressions of those around me as the shiny metal and glass hardware glistens in the light of the room or the moon, depending on the environment.
Strangers ask why I am carrying so many phones or alternatively think it is cool to finally see one of the handsets they might have read about recently that haven't yet been released. Showing off the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge before they hit the stores on March 11 was fun as people wanted to take a look and see the new features that Samsung added.
And besides filling one's pockets, carrying five phones at once also means carrying five phone cords and chargers, which can be unwieldy, as well. I've even adopted a five-plugs-in-one mini surge protector outlet device from Accell so I can plug them all into one outlet at a time. That's particularly useful on Amtrak trains, where outlets are at a premium.
Sure, carrying five handsets at once is a bit ridiculous, but it's part of my job and it's actually fun, too. I like taking the same photo with multiple phone cameras to see how they perform. It's cool to see how phone calls sound different on different devices and how Android really performs differently from one vendor to another.
Like test-driving multiple cars when car shopping, filling one's pockets with smartphones is an intriguing way to find out what phone might be the best for your own use. I'll let you know what I discover.
Now if only I had bigger pockets.