Monday - Nov 18, 2019

Narcissism on a Budget


“Greed is good”, proclaimed Michael Douglas’ character Gordon Gecko, in the 1987 movie ‘Wall Street’. He might as well have said, ‘greed is god’, for god smiled on him and the movie went on to become a critically appreciated hit, as well as the archetypal portrayal of 1980s success and excess, earning him that year’s Oscar for best actor. The character and actor both returned for a sequel in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, however, this time around, the story did not seem to resonate with the public and the movie lives in the giant shadow cast by the original.

That’s because ‘greed is good’ has become a well-beaten truth at this point in time. Greed is an old god, still powerful but banished to the back of the altar where it languishes in the darkness, lamenting its glory days. The god of this age is the self, the individual, the ‘I’.

Nothing is more representative of this fact than the phone with the selfie camera. When the camera was first invented, the lens was on the side opposite to the operator, symbolising its singular purpose; that of capturing the world. Originally bulky and highly technical, technological progress soon made it portable and user-friendly. One thing that remained the same however was the lens on the side opposite the operator. Even then however, the new god made brief appearances in people turning the camera around and pointing it at themselves.

When the idea of a phone with a camera was first floated, it was ridiculed. Progress however, continued its unstoppable march and camera phones were soon the rage. And of course, it wasn’t long before people started turning the phone around to take their own pics. Inevitably, supply followed demand and the first selfie-cameras came around. The new god of narcissism was finally unleashed upon the world.

Though initially reserved for the elite, the feature has now trickled down to more affordable phones as well. And it is one such affordable phone that is the topic of this article: the Mobiistar X1 Dual .

Available in two colours, matte black and beige/gold, the dual SIM phone is a beast for the price. Its 5MP selfie camera offers clear selfies and with a 7 level beauty mode to boot, for that extra touch that we all like to give our pics nowadays.

The rear camera is equally glorious, offering another 5 megapixels of crystal clear clarity, along with High Dynamic Range (HDR) capture and a nifty panorama feature. The included night mode feature lets you capture the starlight or the party night with more detail and lower noise.

With a 5.34 inch, FWVGA+IPS, edge-to-edge, full view display, it’s super-easy to scroll through those multiple selfies to pick the perfect one to edit before uploading. The resolution of 480×960 pixels is displayed in the increasingly popular 18:9 aspect ratio. Engineered to perfection, the screen is of the 2.75D curved variety, giving the phone a sleek look and at the same time, making it easier to handle.

The phone also comes with OTG, a unique feature for this price range. Also known as ‘on-the-go’ USB, the feature allows you connect any compatible pen drive, making the hassle of finding a cable to transfer data a story from the ancient past.

With 8GB of onboard memory however, it’s going to be a long time before you need to transfer any data. Of course, this is expandable to a whopping 128GB. This massive capacity is supported by 1GB of RAM, keeping the phone responsive and quick on its feet. Even quicker is the 1.3 GHz Quadcore processor running Android Oreo (8.1).

In this new age of ‘I and only I’, the X1 Dual is the perfect embodiment of the age. Packed full of high-end features, it’s a phone that revels in the spirit of the times, letting everyone partake in the generation defining ritual of selfies, without judgement or favour. It’s truly a phone of the times and one that is sure to find a place among countless hearts and pockets.