My new phone (the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra) is waiting for me at home and I'm itching to get to it and start
playing setting it up.
I started thinking a while back about what it is that draws us to new devices, is it the hardware or software? It must be the hardware right? The new shiny, the spec sheets, screens and cameras? But what about the software?
One iPhone, or at least the software on it, looks just like another. Android devices can be customised so as to be almost unrecognisable and once we hit on a setup we like we often want to keep it. Still, when new updates come out we clamour to them, can't get them installed quick enough. iPhone users can generally get them straight away and start using all that new goodness, Android users are generally not so lucky, bemoaning the often glacial pace of manufacturers and carriers.
So, when phones no longer receive the latest updates, it must be new software that drives the purchase of a new phone, especially if the spec sheets and cameras hold no great appeal - look at the number of cheaper, midrange phones that get sold without all the bells and whistles of their Pro, Max or Ultra cousins.
It's a matter of preference and circumstance.
For me, personally, it's a combination of the two, hardware and software - I want the new shiny but also everything the latest version of the OS provides. When I get a new phone I set it up as a new device and never restore a backup; I want to give the new device a chance on its own merits, I want to experience that "new car smell" so to speak. I feel it's pointless getting something new and then having it look and behave exactly like the thing it replaced. I let my choices be influenced by the look and feel of the device, to allow it to establish its own identity.
It takes time and a lot of tweaking but I feel that's time well invested; I become familiar with the options, the intricacies of the software (particularly with OEM skins for Android) and the capabilities of the new slab of glass and metal in my hands. It makes the device better and easier to use as we (myself and the phone) have organically reached a consensus as to how it should be configured.