Two Sides to Every Coin

This post will sound like it’s all about cell phones, but it’s much more about the way we should all approach life. Just thought I’d give you a heads-up.

To me, life is all about perspective. There is no one true reality, because your sense of reality will bend according to how you perceive it. What may appear to be bad news may not really be that bad. Every decision that you make and every product that you buy will come with a series of pros and cons, because there is no such thing as the perfect one-size-fits-all solution for everyone.

This is partly why it irks me when I see some of the discussions like the recent poll question on John Chow’s blog. He asks which is the best smartphone, but we already know that he is leaning heavily toward the iPhone 3G S. Even the poll post uses terms like “BitterBerry” to refer to the BlackBerry. Several of the options in the poll are even misnamed.

John says that he’s trying to be fair by clumping all the BlackBerry devices into one option, but he does not do the same for phones powered by Google Android. Similarly, he includes the Nokia N97, but does not clump it together with the rest of Nokia and the Symbian smartphone lineup. What about the Nokia E71? The Nokia N95?

On Facebook and Twitter, he calls it “Nokia crap.” Oh, is that so? Nokia just so happens to be the number one cell phone company in the world. Apparently, John’s perspective on smartphones is bordered by the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. Further still, the Samsung Instinct somehow makes the poll (even though it’s not a smartphone at all), yet there is nary a mention of a phone with Windows Mobile.

On Twitter, you may have noticed the ongoing battle between Stephen Fung and Gary Ng over smartphone supremacy. Stephen loves his BlackBerry and iPhone Gary, as his nickname implies, loves his iPhone. Are either of them correct? Are they both right?

When I choose to participate in said debate, I inevitably end up going after Gary more than anyone. This isn’t because I dislike the iPhone (I don’t); it’s because I dislike the mentality that the iPhone is the be-all and end-all of smartphones and that Apple can do no wrong. This is the wrong perspective to take, especially if so many of these iPhone enthusiasts have never given a fair shake to the other options out there. How can you say it’s the best if you’ve never really tried the rest?

In the end, there is no such thing as the best smartphone. There is such a thing, however, as one of the best smartphones for you. It will depend on your specific needs and what you value the most. The iPhone, as it stands, will not be able to compete with the BlackBerry’s level of enterprise security. The BlackBerry, as it stands, does not offer as strong a “fun” and media-centric experience as the iPhone. Choose the phone that best suits your needs, preferences, and personality, but keep an open mind about what the other options can bring. Value the strengths, but recognize the weaknesses.

There are two sides to every coin. Look at both.