TLDR: Call quality versus camera quality
Is it just me, or does it seem a tad ironic that this headline exists? I mean seriously; we’re talking about phones here. Of course call quality has to be the most important right? Ehh.. not so much.
It’s really funny. I was watching our own Michael Fisher’s review of the LG G Flex. He got to the part talking about call quality, and I found myself thinking to myself, “Who cares about call quality…wait.”
But it is true. Call quality and camera quality are both pretty highly subjective fields, but we as a tech community are much more forgiving about call quality than we are about camera quality. Every now and then an OEM will announce something about call quality. In 2011, Nokia brought us Tampere. What’s that? You’ve never heard of it? Yeah. I had heard of it, and it still took me an hour of Googling to find the darn thing.
Meh I say!
So this Tampere thing looks pretty cool, especially at the end of the video when our unnamed but kinda hot hostess switches from a “non-Nokia phone to a Nokia phone”. On the face of it, I say “Who cares?” but then again, I did remember it existed, so it must’ve left some impression on me. It really is an impressive difference between the two phones, but I’m still forced to say “meh”.
After all, call quality is less important in the grand scheme of things. A person can talk over a little static or a little background noise. I had a few phone conversations on the El train here in Chicago just the other day, and my callers and I managed just fine. It’s the type of feature where if an OEM can do something to improve it, fine. But if not, that’s ok too.
So, it occurred to me, “What else is rated by “quality”? The camera! Camera quality is a whole different bag of potatoes. Tech journalists will spend paragraphs and minutes of video reviews completely dedicated to camera quality. Outside light, inside light, HDR, OIS, exposure tests, video tests, stability tests, nary an aspect of photography and videography is ignored. It’s almost silly especially since we’re talking about phones here.
But then again, we are talking about your memories, or at least your instagrams. After all, that’s what’s important to people. Not silly things like talking to people.