Insanely great

by Volker Weber


In the last couple of weeks, I have replaced almost every single one of the mobile devices I work with. And Steve Jobs' 'insanely great' perfectly describes these marvels. The iPhone 5S and and the iPad Air are incredibly fast. I can still remember getting my first iPad for my birthday only three years ago, and I could not comprehend what a powerful computer with a slender profile it was. Three years ago I had the iPhone 4 which had the first camera that would let me leave my Canon back in my hotel room. And now this. An iPad Air is more powerful than a notebook used to be just three years ago. And the iPhone 5S is by far the fastest device I ever had.

Yes, these devices come at a premium, but I find them to be flawless.


2013 brought four new BlackBerrys to the market: the iconic Z10, the Q10 for BlackBerry keyboard fans, the Q5 for the budget minded, and finally the Z30, which trumps all three. You have to hold it in your hand to feel the difference. BlackBerry has lost a lot of money this year because they overestimated the demand for the Z10, but that does not mean that these BlackBerrys are not also insanely great. Their greatest benefit is that enterprise can manage a part of the device and keep their hands off your private data and apps. No need to block Facebook et al. If you want to store your data in the cloud that does not affect your enterprise data. Two machines in one. And yet, only one interface to worry about.

Again, these BlackBerrys are not 'affordable' which may be their biggest problem.


Way below the iDevices price range there are a lot of Android devices. Android is a phenomenal success story. While there are very capable high end Androids that are still more affordable than iDevices, the majority of the Android success is at the low end. Cheap plastic, underpowered, often on older Android versions. Landfill Android, as one colleague describes them.

Just two weeks ago, Lenovo has demonstrated that you can build very affordable Android devices that stand out from the crowd. Literally. They don't run the pure Android experience that Nexus devices offer. If they would, I would have zero reservations to recommend them.


My own biggest innovation was the Lumia 1020 with its exceptional camera. It may not be what you need, but it's currently the perfect device for me. And it will be challenged in just a few weeks by the mighty 1520, that I have already played with in Abu Dhabi. I have no idea if I can live with a 6" phone, but if I can, I will hardly be touching tablets any more. Look at Kindle and imagine it had a brilliant full HD display, readable out in the sun and an exceptional camera. This promises to be my device of the year, even eclipsing the 1020.

All of these machines are insanely great. There, I said it again.


Great to see the Q10 again, fantastic device. Monopolies or duopolies are never good for the market, so I wish BlackBerry and Microsoft/ Nokia well. They certainly heard the message from the consumers, hope they can still turn it around.

Jocheen Kattoll, 2013-11-10

Interessant, deine Einschätzung zum 1520. Hatte es auch schon in der Hand, was dazu führte, dass meine bisherige Ordnung der Gerätewelt ins Wanken kam. 6" hielt ich bisher für ein No-go, aber das 1520 hat das Zeug, alles zwischen 4 und 10" zu ersetzen.

Wolfgang Miedl, 2013-11-10

I've upgraded to the Ipad Air as well as soon as it was available. But I'm finding that pretty much everything I do with the iPad is some form of online service / online reading / browsing, so everything is pretty much limited by network bandwidth.

Everything feels quite nippy, but I'm still looking for that blow-me-away---shit-this-is-fast experience.

Any suggestions, anyone?

Daniel Tietze, 2013-11-10

"Landfill Android" is a very true and sad observation. But even those insanely great devices are very hard to recycle. We buy devices that will turn into toxic waste few years later. I'm experiencing gadget fatigue these days.

Hanno Zulla, 2013-11-11

A not rushed post. Probably the best of 2013.
Thank you for sharing your opinions.

Horia Stanescu, 2013-11-11

My missus' shiny new Nokia 1020 arrives in the post tomorrow. I'm looking forward to playing with it for her!

Steve Bailey, 2013-11-11

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