Home » Editorial » Don’t Be A Spec Whore; This Isn’t A Spec War

Don’t Be A Spec Whore; This Isn’t A Spec War

It used to be that the best phone in the land was the one with the best specs. However, that was a time when cavemen with Gingerbread and iOS 3 roamed the earth and grunted when they saw someone with a lesser phone than them. These days every phone has the same specs and it’s hard to make sense of what’s the best except for by what features it has. However, every now and then a new phone will come out that’s not the same as everyone else. HTC will build a phone with a 4 MP camera or Motorola will build a phone with a Snapdragon S4 Pro in it when everyone else is using Snapdragon 600’s. When this happens the internet explodes. Today we come together to study the spec whore and why he needs to become extinct.

What Is A Spec Whore?

[td_divider top=”no”]

Spec Whore (n.): A techie that refuses to buy a device because it isn’t using the absolute cutting edge hardware, disregarding the fact that it can potentially be better in a lot of ways than competition that does use the cutting edge hardware.

Spec Whore Lucille Image

What Is The Issue?

[td_divider top=”no”]

For almost two years now, phone hardware, like computer hardware has begun to plateau. Not to say that hardware manufacturers like Qualcomm, Samsung, Nvidia, and MediaTek aren’t consistently improving their products and building new chips that have new features and higher clock speeds every year, they are. However, if you consider the fact that this year’s offerings aren’t really a huge step up from last year’s, it’s a bit unreasonable to throw a fit when something is released with anything less than the current leader from Qualcomm, the Snapdragon 801 chipset. To quote TrustedReviews.com:

The step change between the 800 and 801 isn’t huge. It is more of a slight evolution. The benefits we should see in phones and tablets powered by it will revolve around slightly faster performance for opening apps and multitasking and in high-end 3D gaming.

In essence, crying every time an OEM doesn’t include the absolute greatest in terms of hardware is just nonsense. Take for example, the Motorola Moto X. It was released in August of 2013 amid a time when the Snapdragon 600 was the current best hardware available with the Snapdragon 800 just around the corner but it was using the Snapdragon S4 Pro (plus some other fun stuff added by Motorola) which was the hardware to beat of 2012. This is what TheDroidEffect had to say about the Moto X on release day:

 C-mon Motorola, you are not Apple and cannot give consumers mediocre specs and expect them to pay top dollar. You have no idea how many time’s I’ve been to a store like Verizon, T-Mobile, or ATT and hear the sales rep pitch a phone that is top of the line.  Just a few weeks ago I heard a guy tell a woman “Don’t buy the Note 2, the LG Optimus G Pro is newer and has better specs”. Do you honestly believe people are going to want to pay premium price for yesterday’s technology.

Of course, we now know that the Moto X is a great device (my personal favorite and daily driver as of today). Just because it had “year old specs” doesn’t mean that it’s not an excellent phone. All of this hoopla over the fact that it didn’t have the latest SoC and a 1080p screen? If it does everything that you want a smartphone to do, why do you care what hardware makes it tick?

Stop It. Just Stop It.

[td_divider top=”no”]

The computer market is a great example of what to look forward to. Do you instantly declare a computer garbage if it doesn’t have the latest generation Intel i7 Processor? Of course you don’t, because those types of things don’t matter as much anymore unless you require some very high level computing (or you’re a gamer, in which case you’re probably more concerned with the graphics card anyway). The point is, we’re reaching that point in the smartphone industry as well and it’s time to give manufacturers a chance to prove themselves before you discard them as useless before even seeing what it can do. Just like benchmarking is dead, so is the spec war, so lay down your weapons and go home.