This morning, I pre-ordered the Pixel 4a, which Google announced today, after months of false starts and speculation. Though the phone was officially announced today, it won’t actually ship to me for another 40 days or so. I think I can count on one hand the number of products that I’ve pre-ordered in my entire life. This isn’t the type of thing I usually do.
I debated with myself whether or not to wait until the phone was actually available to buy it, or even wait for its first discount to purchase it. I guess I should explain why I even considered getting a new phone. My current phone is a Nokia 8 which I purchased around 2017. While it performs most of the necessary functions I require from a phone on a daily basis, it definitely has degraded from the day it arrived in the mail. The camera does not work great. When I want to take a photo, it frequently is out of focus. The view finder shows the image as all wavy, as if we’re watching a cheap TV show where we’re doing a flashback to a previous episode. Luckily, the plastic camera lens cover on the back of my phone fell off almost a year ago, so the two rear cameras are totally exposed to the elements now. I learned a few months ago, that if the camera gets all wavy, if I press my finger against one of the camera lenses directly, it sorta resets them and the waviness is fixed for at least one photo. What a janky way to take a photo.
The mic is also screwed up intermittently. Sometimes I’ll make a call and all the other person will hear is static. They can’t hear my voice at all. This can be problematic when I need to talk to the bank or some governmental agency.
Lastly, the phone is no longer getting active support from Nokia. It received two years of meaningful updates but Nokia is now only releasing security patches every three to four months. The last security patch will arrive in October of this year.
For the last few months, I’ve held back on my personal discretionary spending. We live in very uncertain times and it just seemed smart to not go crazy with impulses buys for things I didn’t absolutely need. I don’t regret that strategy but today, I allowed myself a small indulgence and I think that’s ok.