Clothing and Phone Cameras

In 2012 I wrote about my jeans from Rivers that fit the largest available phones (and the smaller tablets) in their pockets [1]. Those jeans are still working well for me, I can add the fact that they don’t wear out quickly to the list of positive attributes.

Recently my sister asked for advice on getting a new phone, she was considering the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 (the phone I’m using now) because it apparently takes better pictures than the Nexus 4 she’s using. I’ve used both those phones and I hadn’t noticed a difference in picture quality, but there is some variation in manufacturing and it could be that I’ve got a below average Note 2 and a better than average Nexus 4 – so I’ll assume for the sake of discussion that my sister would actually get an improvement in picture quality by using a Note 2.

If you have a phone that doesn’t have the picture quality you desire then one option is to buy a phone with a better camera, but you will be limited by issues of physics. A thin phone has a short focal length which means that the lens has to be small and therefore the amount of light that gets to the sensor is small. The Nokia Lumia 1020 has some of the best camera hardware that you’ll find in a phone, but it’s still only 14.5mm thick where the camera is and that will limit the quality a lot.

Any “compact” camera should be able to beat all phone cameras in terms of picture quality in most areas. The Samsung Galaxy Camera [2] is also worth considering, it has more features than a typical compact camera and good GUI that allows novice photographers to take advantage of it. Also being able to blog your photos directly from the camera could be a useful feature. But the big down-side of a “compact” camera is that it’s not that compact. Most people won’t find it convenient to carry a compact camera with them at all times and therefore they might miss a good opportunity to take a photo. The Galaxy Note series of phones also suffer in this regard because they are larger than most phones. If your phone won’t fit in your pocket and you have it in your backpack when on the move or on a bench at home then you will probably miss some good photos.

As I was at a Rivers store recently I tested my Note 2 in the pockets of women’s jeans. Rivers scored very poorly in this regard, one pair of women’s jeans had fake pockets (this is just wrong for working clothes) and of the rest only one pair could fit a Note 2. The pair that fit a Note 2 didn’t completely enclose the phone, one corner was sticking out, this would probably give a risk of having the phone fall out of the pocket and cause some discomfort to the wearer. I have a pair of shorts with similar size pockets and find it very annoying with the Note 2 in the pocket (for about 10 months of the year I wear jeans so this isn’t a big deal). Rivers jeans only count as “geeky jeans” for male geeks. It’s disappointing that with about a dozen different styles of women’s jeans there didn’t seem to be a single one with pockets of comparable size to the men’s jeans.

I had to recommend that my sister not get a phone from the Galaxy Note series if taking pictures is a priority due to the apparent difficulty in getting it to fit in a pocket and the probability that she would miss good photos due to this.

In past discussions of phone size there have been mentions of the possibility of getting clothing altered. Does anyone have a good experience in getting clothes altered to have bigger pockets or in the case of women’s clothing to have fake pockets replaced with real ones?

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