Well, a few hours ago I went ahead and ordered a new smartphone, the Samsung Galaxy S8+. As of today, it's not yet generally launched in the UK. That will happen on Friday 28th April. I've got my order in ahead of time, so that delivery ought to be on launch day itself.
It's become urgent to replace my existing smartphone, Demelza, an S5 bought in 2014, because the poor thing's internal memory is nearly full up. I could with care eke it out for a few months more, but the position would become critical by the end of the year. So an upgrade is a Good Thing.
I'm not having the black version of the S8+: that looks way too sepulchral, making the phone look like a very anonymous dark shiny slab. I'm having it in the other colour, 'Orchid Gray', which is a nice grey, with a hint of lilac.
However, I hope this lighter colour isn't too pretty. It has anyway influenced my choice of name for this phone. I had been considering a range of serious girls' names, all names with a suggestion of gravitas. Martha had for days been the front runner. But now it's going to be Tigerlily. She is the Chinese girl friend of Rupert Bear, whose father is the Conjurer, and here she is in these cartoon frames from the 1958 Rupert Bear Annual:
I think you'll grant that lilac features strongly in her outfits. And that, like her father, she has a certain gravitas. Amazing that (according to the Rupert Bear Annual anyway) Chinese persons once dressed in robes like those, and made a point of bowing to each other at every opportunity. It would be nice if they did so again, wouldn't it? Just as it would be nice if Regency garb came back into fashion, and we all dressed, spoke and behaved like characters in a Jane Austen novel. Hey ho.
Back to the twenty-first century. Let's cut to the chase. What's the cost of my new device? I'll tell 'ee no lies. I don't presently have the cash for an outright purchase, so I'm getting Tigerlily on a two-year contract with Vodafone. It's certainly not the cheapest deal out there, but I wanted to stay with Vodafone and not spin off to a reseller. Well then, it's £60 a month. But for that enormous sum I do get, straight away:
# The best (and largest?) smartphone currently available - with a screen the size of a little TV.
# A bundle that includes 16GB per month of mobile data, perfect for Internet usage on my caravan holidays. (With of course unlimited calls and texts, and free roaming if I go abroad)
# 64GB of internal storage - vital for all my Ordnance Survey mapping.
# The ability to install up to 256GB of external storage (on a microSD card) - vital for all my photos and my mp3 music collection.
Specificationwise, the S8+ is exactly what I was waiting for. And with two months of summer and early-autumn caravanning still to come, I thought it better to get this phone now, and not wait until October, the earliest month in which I could easily find the cash needed for an outright purchase.
Trust me, the figures do work out surprisingly well. That £60 covers both the device and the data/calls/texts bundle. Vodafone's nearest-equivalent 16GB SIM-only deal is currently £19 per month. So I'm actually paying 'only' £41 a month for the phone itself. That's a total of £984 for it, spread over two years. The current price to buy it outright (at John Lewis, say) is £779. So you could say it's £984 to have it now, as opposed to £779 to have it later on - perhaps six months later on. To me, it's well worth the difference of £205 to enjoy the advantages of this phone in April, and get it set up for the entire summer ahead.
At the moment, I'm paying £17 a month to Vodafone on a SIM-only deal: so I now have to find an extra £43 each month for the next two years. After that, I'll revert to SIM-only again for a further two years. I can easily find the money - I just reduce my monthly savings by £43. I actually end up with more in my savings account at the end of 2017 than I'd planned, because although I'll be saving a little less per month, I won't have to withdraw £779 from the account for a new phone in October. And I can fill the coffers a little by selling Demelza for recycling - she's still in top working condition, and it seems I can get £50 to £55 for her. Worth looking into.
So, there you are. I spent big money on a new camera in 2015, a new laptop in 2016, and now there's a new phone in 2017. But I intend no more such purchases for the next four years. I can let funds accumulate, and hopefully afford some really super holidays in due course.
Did I mention setting Tigerlily up? That'll be quite a task! It'll be like setting up a new computer. Careful planning will be needed to transfer everything from the old phone to the new one. Some stuff (everything connected with my Google or Dropbox accounts, for instance) is up in the cloud, and will just magically appear on the new phone soon after firing up the relevant apps. There will be no problem with anything (such as music and photos) on the existing microSD card, which I simply insert. If necessary, some items can be transferred by cable, via my laptop.
But at the moment I'm not sure how I'm going to avoid having to re-create all my to-do lists. And believe me, there are a lot of them. Sigh.