BEFORE BUYING: The Camera Curse saved the bank!

Upgrading my phone was never a tough decision since the age of flip phones. Even when smartphones came in the picture, I still had no questions to ask and immediately tasted my first bitten apple.

About six years ago, a rugged second-handed iPhone 4  was all I needed to begin ‘surfing the web’, to use slang of that year. The fact that it was able to browse google and social media of the time relatively quickly it was mesmerising.

Having a used device had its perks, though. Its shape was rounder than it supposed to be and the screen was about to fall off in pieces. It was time to upgrade and without further do I got my trusty iPhone 5s. Slimmer, bigger, faster, it caught my attention straight away and fell in love with it. Except from being more efficient, it also took exceptionally good photos for a phone. The camera has only 8 megapixels, but it copes extremely well with almost all light conditions.

Naturally, been used to the great camera of my iPhone 5s, photo-quality is one of the key parameters that I need to consider before making a new phone purchase. It even comes before the battery life and strength. Apparently, this is a problem when you have a relatively low budget of €300 and you’re too enthusiastic to explore what China can offer in terms of smartphone craftsmanship and innovation.

On a freezing Wednesday night, straight after work, I stormed to a local electronics superstore to try out the device that I had heard so much of; The Xiaomi Redmi Note 3. With a promising 16 Mp camera and a great price of €230 it was all I wanted. I was even prepared to take on the challenge and put my bitten apple down to grab a lollipop.

With an impressive battery of 4050mAh, a stunning 5,5” display and an extremely fast processor, it seems like a brilliant choice for someone social media savvy that doesn’t bother playing games on a computer, let alone on a phone. In fact, I was about to walk to the till, until I moved my finger upwards on the display to reveal the camera. No zoom abilities at all, making the edges of any subject blurry and the image extremely noisy even at 4x. Such a disappointment! Of course, I would never expect a budget smartphone to have an amazing camera. If the Xiaomi had a good camera, what would the iPhone 7 be? A DSLR that happens to take calls?!

At the end of the day, I’m glad that I didn’t make the switch and I saved the bank. While always open to a challenging change of software, I am not ready to lower my camera expectations. For now, I am planning to keep my trusty iPhone 5s and invest in a good case in the hopes of expanding its lifespan for as long as it takes to afford the latest iPhone or a high-end Samsung.