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How often do people find in practice they have to think about specs at all? I'm typing this on an SE. It is, of course, literally last year's phone (two years) but both when I bought it and now, there's nothing except the camera that doesn't feel well above adequate (and the camera, while missing some neat low light features, is adequate) and there's a few things that feel optimal about it that simply aren't available in current models (form factor, headphone jack, and price).

I never think about specs/performance... much in the same way that I haven't thought of specs for the mid 2012 MBP I bought years ago. What are people doing with their phones that drives a sense that last year's specs aren't good enough?

I don’t think it is the specs or even the real world performance, but rather the unease/sense of compromise you feel spending $450 for an “outdated” phone regardless of the actual user experience.

On the other hand, people can spend $550 for OnePlus 6T, a current generation phone, and feel better about their decision.

Your question reminds me of a humorous quote - "I use Gentoo because I'm a speed freak - I can't stand the thought that some of my packages might not be running as fast as they could be.".

PS: The above quote is just one of the gems from https://funroll-loops.teurasporsaat.org/ - a humorous portal to a lost world from the 90s - 2000s (ie the gentoo subculture).

Fun page, I remember those times. Some of the quotes aren't so ridiculous, like:

>"I notice that my disk does a whole lot of thrashing when I boot up. I have a lot of stuff that gets loaded into memory every time I boot, like X11, ion2, Firefox, Eterm, Thunderbird, etc. It seems to me that putting all of the files necessary to those apps in a contiguous section on the disk and loading that into memory in one shot would be a whole lot faster. Is there a way to do this? Is it stupid?"

That's a good idea! It's kind of what Windows Prefetch feature does.

(And in case anybody's interested, the utility e4rat (ext4 read ahead... tool?) does exactly this)

> What are people doing with their phones that drives a sense that last year's specs aren't good enough?

Wanting to play the new game showcased in the announcement. and other news games that come out, that requires the latest phone to play smoothly and without utterly destroying my battery in under 2 hours.

EDIT: That said, I care less about performance specs and more about physical size, and so I too am still on an iPhone SE

Doing OS updates, taking pictures and storing stuff on limited storage.

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