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When is a gimmick not a gimmick?

By Adam Doud February 27, 2014, 9:00 am

When the Samsung GS5 was announced, it brought some interesting features to the table. The one that made me stand up and take notice was the ultra-power saver mode that according to Samsung could make a phone last for 24 hours receiving phone and SMS on just 10% battery life. That’s just silly good. But we’re not here to talk about that.

We’re here to talk about water. Water resistance was also brought to bear in the GS5. Not the GS5 Active, but the GS5 itself. Yes, there is a USB flap/door/thing that needs to be closed, but this phone is water resistant. That’s a pretty big deal. It’s not earth shattering, but it’s cool. But then I looked at the comments and I kept seeing this word “Gimmick”. Lolwut?


Now I’ll be the first to admit that Samsung is guilty of loading up their phones with gimmicky garbage, but water resistance in not one of those gimmicks. Water resistance is a useful thing. You can put your electronic device in water, and it will still work. This sparked a bit of a debate with a fellow tech geek on twitter, which led me to my conclusion:

To me a gimmick is something that looks initially like it will add value, but then goes largely unused.

Here’s looking at you Smart Scroll. This is largely subjective, of course.

But if a feature under any set of circumstances is necessary for the operation of the phone, it cannot be considered a “gimmick”.

One drop in the snow during this for-the-love-of-God-and-everything-holy-will-this-ever-end winter in Chicago makes this a feature worth having.

What say you dear reader? I already know some of you are saying it’s a gimmick, since you’re the ones who inspired that twitter conversation in the first place, but let’s hear you back it up. Define what a gimmick is to you and tell us how water resistance fits into that definition. Like I said, it’s subjective. There are no wrong answers here. Except ones that say it’s a gimmick, ‘cause that’s just cray cray.

The Pocketnow TLDR is a series of sub-500-word editorials aimed at getting you in, out, and back to life. Comment is always invited below, as well as on FacebookTwitter, and Google Plus.


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