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20 August 2016

Time for a new phone

It's been some years

It was January 2009 when I got a new work phone from my then employer. It was the brand spanking new Nokia e71 smartphone. It did it all and it proved to be a longtime companion. I've used - and loved - that phone ever since. I'm on my 3rd battery. Lately though, more and more things stopped working. The VoIP client and the VPN didn't hold up with the software cycles in their fields. Lately the email-client stopped working too. Those are software problems, there might even be solutions. More and more keys stopped working or fell out. And then the USB connector started to break.

In the end I bit the bullet and decided on a new phone. Given the current selection of phones, this is like "choosing the least sucky of all those sucky phones out there". There's nothing with a physical keyboard. The phone ecosystem seems to think that as a customer, you're just an expendable that never really "owns" the hardware. The security problems are a nightmare. Providers don't bother to update software. Everybody thinks that it's ok if a phone breaks apart and is broken if it ever falls down (typical e71-owners wouldn't even check the phone for damage when it fell down).

So I got myself a "Samsung Galaxy XCover 3 VE" (instead of "VE" it might also be described as "(2016)". It came with Android 6.0.1, which means it will be up-to-date for a little while. I'm trying not to think about all the security holes that are already announced for that platform and duly ignored by providers and handset makers. It's a phone that is slightly waterproof (IP67 IIRC), dustproof, and "should" even survive a little bit of falling down. Only experience can tell on that side.

First impressions: It works. The cameras is better than the one from the e71, but not by a huge margin. Good enough for pics to put on the web when out cycling. Using it is ok. Response time in the UI are really ok. The screen resolution is not great, but good enough for the current state of my eyes (I wouldn't see more on an ultra high resolution screen). Battery time is not in the same league as the e71, but I guess good enough. I'm very stringent about shutting things like bluetooth down and dow't use much (same as on the old phone). The e71 clearly was a phone where "phone things" were much easier accessible.

There is this saying about war, that says it makes difficult things easy, and simple things complicated (or something like that). That's the impression I have about Android. Install a VoIP client? Easy peasy. Open the phone to make a simple phone call to someone in your address book? Takes about 10 steps more than on the Nokia. Put pictures from the camera straight into Strava using the client, childs play. Get your pictures from your phone to the computer that sits 30cm next to it? Ah well, you could do it this way but..., and you could do it that way, but... but in the end it was designed to just hand over your stuff to Google or some other "cloud" thing. Which I obviously don't do.

And there is an app for everything(TM). But that app is quite likely trying to display annoying ads or is crippled in some other way. On the Symbian platform there was none of the ad bullshit really, but there were the crippled apps too. The symbian app selection was smaller, that just meant that you had less "sifting through all the garbage" to do.

Verdict: For now, it will do. It won't last as long as the last one, and it makes some simple stuff complicated. The rest, time will tell.

Posted by betabug at 17:47 | Comments (6) | Trackbacks (0)
ch athens
Life in Athens (Greece) for a foreigner from the other side of the mountains. And with an interest in digital life and the feeling of change in a big city. Multilingual English - German - Greek.
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Re: Time for a new phone

great to hear your opinions as a latecomer!
i'm sure you'll discover more things as time goes by :-)

Posted by: rodolfo at August 20,2016 20:41
Re: Time for a new phone

Hey Rodolfo! I'm somehow glad I'm a latecomer on this platform. Looking at how it is now, there must have been huge teething problems for early adopters. Definitely I'll find out more as I go along!

Posted by: betabug at August 21,2016 07:36
Re: Time for a new phone

you're latecomer by no chance, wise sensei :-)

just realized you didn't included pix of the phone itself!

Posted by: rodolfo at August 21,2016 17:27
Re: Time for a new phone

I thought about including a picture, but it just looks like all the other touchscreen phones.

Posted by: betabug at August 22,2016 08:54
Re: Time for a new phone

"On the Symbian platform there was none of the ad bullshit really" - I think I can recall some apps with ads there too, but way less than in android.

I switched to Android way before you (MotoG 1st gen, now MotoG 3rd gen), and I still don't really like it. Sure, lots of apps and "cool stuff", but then... Battery don't last, specially if you use the phone... Lots of shitty/unneeded google apps installed you cannot remove... and in my latest MotoG looots and lots of problems with the internal storage that are really hard to get rid of (even adding a 32Gb microSD card the problem is there, as you cannot put all the stuff and temporary files that fill up your internal storage there)

On the other side, every body I know that owns an iPhone is really, really happy with it... I wonder if the difference is so big.

Posted by: Wu at August 24,2016 21:44
Re: Time for a new phone

Yeah, man, I guess there are much worse experiences. I don't see so much annoying stuff installed here, no problem with storage (yet), battery life isn't great, but ok (should last about 36 - 48 hours with my usage).

The iPhone wouldn't make me happy because it's basically "whatever apple is doing is right", it doesn't address the concerns I have at all.

Posted by: betabug at August 25,2016 12:24
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