No expandable storage, no deal
I used Galaxy devices from the S2 to the Note 9 but I travel for work a lot and not being able to carry a nice media library for when I'm stuck somewhere is an absolute deal breaker.
I find adopting a new smartphone has become tedious and painful – especially when moving between iOS and Android. So it's a rare handset that makes me feel it's worth the ordeal of re-entering passwords, re-establishing virtual credit cards, ensuring 2FA apps are in order, and reacquiring keys for smart locks. Samsung's Galaxy …
Samsung want £200 to take it from 512GB to 1TB (and £350 to take it from 256GB to 1TB but that's a RAM upgrade too). Meanwhile, it's currently £120 for a 1TB SanDisk extreme and that will probably drop below £100 in the next year. I've also had eMMC die on Samsung phones before so I'd rather not hammer a soldered component unnecessarily.
I think I'll head over to Sony, which feels weird when I'm doing it to avoid being ripped off.
Kiwix offline reader with Wikipedia and a few miscellaneous book collections
Backup of mirrorless camera storage to rsync home later
Yeah, 1 TB is about the minimum for traveling. I don't want to screw around with cloud storage or impromptu file shuffling. Now it just needs a headphone jack for those FLAC files. Too bad the stylus doesn't double as a headphone jack. It would probably be a mechanically trivial trick to build.
Apart from the cost it is also about portability of the data.
When you phone buggers itself up and has to go back for repair they wipe it clean.
Having backup and restore hundreds of gig of stuff is a PITA, it is so much easier to just take the card out and pop it back in later.
Of course lots of apps are a PITA here not offering the chance to store their files on the card :-(
But I for one really appreciate the ability to take the card out of the phone and stick it somewhere else from time to time.
So no slot, no cash.
In personal experience, I've found the big high capacity micro SD cards are probably more likely to fail than your phone's onboard storage.
If you have hundreds of Gigabytes of stuff to back up, then just hook your phone up to your computer or laptop with a USB-C to USB-C cable and back it all up pretty quickly.
I have the same problem but with tablets as I use them to read book, magazines, comics and manga off-line. I currently have a 1TB microSD in my Tab 10 and I am running the razor's edge of having it filled. Luckily, so far, the series I have finished JUST manage to make room for new issues of the series I am still following.
Bring on the 2TB microSD. ^_^
Personally I have given up on the flag ships, their power, memory cameras etc are only marginally better than the mid range models.
A 10% processor boost is meaningless when you see how much today's mid range procs can already do. 5 extra mega pixels is already above what any actually needs for an image that will probably never get seen for a smartphone pic.
Flag ships are now just a status thing, they gave no actual benefits other than an extremely fleeting ego booster. Everyone loves a new toy but the feeling wears off quickly.(
It's been a along time in our office since anyone even asked what model someone recently acquired .
I would go so far as to state that at a distance most models can't even be distinguishe apart, everyone wraps up their device in the same black plastic casing anyway.
I did like the article even though as it reminded me just how over powerfull smartphones have become. Yes there are tiny percentage of users that might require this power, but they are very rare. We have gone above and beyond even what the Trekkies expected.
Which is why there is increasing pressure on manufacturer's to build in failure. A decaying battery, a decaying screen (particularly OLED), and decaying security for lack of updates. They also want to build in information gathering, and eventually adverts, as a continuous source of income.
Possibly, but remember mobile phones like personal computers are mature technologies.
An alternative is for the OEMs to get into the refurbishment and secondhand market, and sell the same device multiple times; just like the car company’s.
Which would require devices to be longer lasting, repairable, and software updates…
Interestingly, given the trend Samsung seem to be trying to establish, with their relatively generous trade-in schemes, they need to be manufacturing devices that can last five plus years, so that the devices received can be resold…
> I don't know anyone who upgrades for any reason other than breakage anymore
Personally, I upgrade when the 2-year contract expires. SInce
a) It means I skip every other generation, which gives me a slightly bigger set of improvements
b) It means I get a decent trade-in value for my phone, since my contract-expiry now ties into the annual February launch period for Samsung, when they're offering ridiculously large trade-in values for early purchasers
c) It means I'm no longer carrying around a 2-year old phone with the twin spectres of diminishing battery life/increasing risk of hardware failure
In truth, I didn't really see much of a difference when going from the S10+ to the S21 Ultra, and feature wise, there's not really been much to call out between the S21U and the S23U.
However, there has been one notable difference: the S21U was always a bit too power hungry, but whether it's due to generally improved tech, or the switch over from Exynos to Qualcomm's Snapdragon, battery life has significantly improved with the S23U. And that's pretty much justified the upgrade in and of itself!
On the other hand, I did make a bit of a tactical error this year.
Normally, I dump all the trade-in value into an upfront lump sum to keep the contract cost down; the S21U cost me something like £17 a month.
This year, I decided to take those pennies and use them elsewhere. Which meant that when Vodafone lumbered up with their 13.8% annual price increase, my monthly contract cost jumped up by about a tenner. Which is a tad annoying, since there's still the best part of two years left to go.
Still, you pays your monies...
I haven't paid more than AUD 200 for any phone. I normally just pop into Harvey Norman and see what they have on clearance. Don't need bleeding edge, so am happy to use a year old model.
Just got a Nokia that was retailing at over AUD300 till they stuck it on clearance. Has face recognition, fingerprint recognition, decentish camera & screen, SD card support, runs the few apps I need much faster than previous phone and has Android upgrades available.
Spending >$1000 on a phone is crazy.
Facial recognition eh?
Guess you didn't read this article
https://www.theregister.com/2023/05/19/2d_photograph_facial_recog/. (on this site today)
And how long do you think Android updates will be available for? I doubt it will even come close to the years that iOS updates are available.
Just noticed my iPhone and iPad have updated themselves to the latest version.
Yup, what you said. I was a fan of the Note series, had a Note #1, #3 and #4 and I was sweating the #4 until it finally died. I thought about a new Note, but they lost features I liked (the IR blaster was one) so I thought if I had to live without that why not shop around, and the one feature I really wanted to keep was the stylus, so I ended up with a Moto G Pro Stylus, for ~£200, and well, it's a phone. it does phone stuff, it does it well enough I don't think about it. I just can't justify flagship prices,.... I'd rather spend the grand I've saved on building materials for a geodesic dome,... I just have to sell the idea to my other half, although I'm sure she'll like sitting in it with a G&T.
Came here to say something similar. Apart from a Fairphone (which is expensive partly for reasons other than being "flagship") I've never bought a phone more expensive than about £160* until last week when I bought a second-hand phone at £300 which originally had a price tag of around £700 I think.
There is very, very little to choose between my expensive phone and the cheaper ones. It has a slightly better camera setup (a fixed 5x zoom for example) but for general use I'm all "meh".
There may be certain use-cases for ultra fast processors, ultra high-resolution screens, ultra-megapixel cameras, but if I want a mini laptop I'd rather shell out for something from Planet Computers which has a keyboard, or (if they can sort the software out) a Pinephone with a snap-on keyboard back which also happens to double the battery capacity.
I'm bloomin' nervous even carrying a second-hand phone around given how often I tend to drop the things. The Pinephone and the Fairphone both have reasonably-priced and user-fittable spare parts. My last phone did me for just over 9 years (could really have replaced it from about year 7 onwards but didn't have the cash back then) so we'll see how this one gets on...
*I don't buy a lot of phones for myself (hence the 9-year-old one), but family do tend to ask me to buy for them, so in the last five or six years I've bought and set up six (I think) smart phones (that's not counting the non-smart phones), one of which was a Fairphone but the others all under £160 IIRC. Given that many of these people are teenagers who tend to hammer their phones (though they're not into gaming other than a bit of Super Tux Kart) I've had absolutely no complaints about storage capacity, camera quality, device speed, battery life or any of the other things ("do my mates think it's ok?") that are supposedly "better" the more you pay for a phone.
> if I want a mini laptop I'd rather shell out for something from Planet Computers which has a keyboard
Don't waste your money.
I was an early adopter of the Gemini in 2018, which was released with Android 7 and got its final update to Android 8.1 later that year. Then it was abandoned. No more updates for a phone less than a year old.
Incredibly, they're still selling it. A phone with Android 8.1. In 2023!
My wife is still using hers, I just swapped the battery from a Cosmo that was faulty. Have an astro slide ordered, but Planet is very slow to deliver.
Their support is very poor and software release schedules unbelievably pathetic.
The hardware can be decent, but they just don't keep supporting it as it deserves.
Sadly, if you want a proper keyboard, nobody else is competing, so what can you do?
There are at least a couple others, but I don't know if they're any good. Unihertz has a few models with Blackberry-style tiny keyboards, but they're at least known for making phones quickly and actually delivering them, and F(x)tec, despite having a terrible name, makes a phone with a sliding keyboard that has Lineage and Sailfish support, but I'm not sure how easy they are to get.
There are compromises you have to make if you want that hardware, but you don't have to accept Planet's compromises as the only option. Since those compromises involve some pretty bad software support and production delays, it might be worth trying someone else's.
Oh, I think there's plenty to like about them. But are they worth the price? The battery on my S10e is showing its age (4 years) and I was thinking of getting a new phone. I don't want another flagship and the A54 looks pretty good, except that it doesn't do wireless charging. So, at the moment it looks like I'll just be getting a new battery for what is still a fantastic phone.
I jumped from a Galaxy S9 plus (lovely phone) to a S21 Ultra instead of buying a new laptop. I concluded that the phone is a better all-round computer, it has more useful functionality for my requirements and when plugged into a usb-c dock, provides an adequate desktop experience.
It makes sense that Samsung have merged the Galaxy and Note ranges, particularly when they are pushing foldables as their new top tier. The SPen is good but not a game changer on screens of this size (I have a SPen with my S6 Lite tablet and it works well on the S21U, but the experience is better on the larger tablet screen).
At this stage I know that when I go to get something new and shiny down the line, the device might have a few tweaks, but ultimately the entire experience will be same as what I had before, because I have got into a particular way of using my phone and that’s not going to change.
I had to upgrade as my trusty old Note8 not only could no longer hold a days charge, but the charging port itself was getting flimsy. Still, five and a half years from a device is good. I went for the S23 Ultra only because of the S Pen. Having come from the EPOC/Symbian market, I rely on a stylus way too much to be able to live with a phone that I can navigate using only fingers.
Nice device, way too powerful for my daily use, really (the Note8 was still going strong in that regard). They fixed the thing I was most annoyed from in the Note (the curved screen edge), which is good. Hopefully this one will live as long as my Note did, then I might feel like it was worth the price tag.
Still miss the radio from the older Notes (not that a FM radio would do any good these days, here in Norway we're DAB only), and I dislike them removing the headphone jack (I did go and get an adapter, though, which works well enough).
I've run a Note 8 the last 3 years & had been looking for a reasonable price for the Note 20 Ultra (Which I got recently as New Old Stock) as I didnt fancy (or (justifiably) afford) the latest & greatest, I jumped off the merry-go-round of free upgrades\contract renewals a few years back, especially when the phone contract prices went up & a purchase fee for the phone added.
I'm staying with my corporate rate deal for $50 per month 25Gb Data 5G US\Canada calling.
Its nice to actually start receiving updates again & generally its more "useable" than the 8 & got it doing a few things that I'd never quite got around to with the old, like automatic hotspotting for my trucks Android head unit, mainly thanks to both the old Note & The Truck keeping the mobile hotspot going all the time & it also plays nice with the wireless charger in the truck, something the 8 rarely did.
It is annoying that the stylus port is on the wrong side compared to the old unit.
I still keep the 8 to hand as its a handy 2FA backup for work.
Long story short:
I too am one of those that prefer's to use a stylus especially with fat fingers\half dead hand these days, as long as it's got a stylus Samsung will have a customer (Only other contender in that is Motorola & getting Otterbox cases for them is potentially problematic).
Tempted to take a look to see if it has any other positive designs features that favours left handed users and operation.
Suspect the reasoning for the location is the right side is busy due to the positioning of the camera and edge mounted control buttons.
I have not used this, but I am still confident that I can answer your question: it's fine. I've used a bunch of phones in recent years, from my own devices to work ones and ones I set up for friends or family. Some iPhones, some Android, one KaiOS, and one feature phone. While some people don't make phone calls often, I am not one of them, so I've made calls on most devices. They are all basically fine.
While some may disagree that making phone calls is the "main purpose for a phone" nowadays, what's much less questioned is that phone calls are a pretty basic feature. It's using well-tested protocols and, if the phone can't manage a call, it's going to have problems with the other services that people who don't use the calls will notice. Unless you need something unusual, it's going to handle your calling needs fine. Of course, if calls are your primary use case for a phone, you might be better off buying an incredibly cheap device which will also manage calls just fine, since the extra money on this ridiculously expensive device is likely not to benefit you.
I'm still using a Galaxy s9 - something considered "ancient" at just 5 years old.
Every year, I've looked at what is on offer, compared it to what I have and shrugged - "I don't need a new phone".
Sadly, the device no longer gets security updates - so, planned obsolescence, despite the fact it's still got at least another year with reasonable battery life.
My Galaxy S9+ was sometimes a very good phone. Samsung would occasionally kill off some major feature with a bug and not fix it until whenever they felt like rolling out another security update. There were a couple of months where it had an unstable signal, a few months where WiFi cycled constantly, and I finally quit using after a couple of months with intermittent GPS.
So the big question is: Can you unlock the bootloader?
Android really is a mess. It started out as a way to have a flexible and powerful computer in your pocket but now Google wants to dumb it down to sell more cloud crap. A few updates past made Google Drive the only backup option for Android phones. Today I found out that those backups are impossible to restore without a Google Pixel phone. Google Support said it's not a bug; it's a feature.
It feels nice when your phone reaches that age when you can install LineageOS on it. Enable ADB shell as root. Do magic.
Last year I bought my first ever new cellphone, the S22 Ultra. Samsung promised 5 years of Android and security updates, and AT&T gave me $800 off when I traded my Note 8, which I was given as a replacement when my Note 4 died, and they didn't have any 4s left. The Note 4 was given as a replacement when my Note 3 died and they were out of 3s. My original Note 3 was purchased used, for around $50. I opted for the model with 256gb storage, figuring that would hold 5 years accumulation of media. So, I got a $1,300 phone for around $500, and it costs me $13 per month over 3 years. I feel that this phone will serve me adequately for a minimum of 5 years, and perhaps several years past that. Of course, it'll need a new battery or 2 over that time, but I can live with that. It's also got a camera that's far better than my photo skills need to get great images.
Back in the late '00 (or even earlier than that - there were "smartphones" before the iphone and I had a couple of them) every time a new version of a phone came out there was usually a "wow" feature which differentiated it from the previous lot. FM radio (since removed, but it looks like it's about to be legislated back in as an emergency contact method requirement in some countries); IR blasters (which made your phone usable on ALL scanners, since removed); LIDAR (since removed, except on iphones); the list goes on.
In fact. most of the "wow" features I can think of were eventually removed in favour of more and bigger cameras, and the removal of the head-phone jack for no appreciable reason I can think of (especially since they can be made decently water-tight). The only thing that had my attention in the last few years was the foldable phones (Samsung, now Google and, if rumours are correct, Apple in the near future) but so far the folding mechanism is still unstable and the devices too bulky when folded. Hopefully they will improve.
Which is why I am still using an S10+ - subsequent offerings so far have just been incremental increases in capabilities. No "wow".
I got a little excited upon seeing the headline, but after checking out the specs..... No microSD? No headphone jack? No deal for me.
Don't give a fuck how you THINK I should use my phone, I know how I WILL use it, so if it doesnt have basic features, ports or expandability, I aint buying.
How is this better or different or helpful? It's just another version of the same shit literally everyone else sells, just bigger.
I havent upgraded since my Note 9, as this had literally everything I want and still does. Any new phone, apart from maybe the flagship (and overpriced) Sony X1, is a big downgrade for me.
Totally agree. No headphone jack, no microSD? It's not a Note successor, just one more or a crowd of phones with similar specs. Still using my Note 9 - still excellent performance. Audio output is outstanding with wired high-end earphones/buds.
DEX is also great btw and doesn't need a more powerful SoC than the Note 9.
Note4/8/S22 Ultra user - and only got that because the note 8 is no longer supported for security updates.
Hated that there is no SD or headphone jack as well
got a £4.99 usb-headphone converter
not many mobile blackspots left and pay ~£1 per day when abroad
and the pen can be used to trigger the camera
So not really that bothered
I will replace it ~2027 when the security updates stop
The only thing I would like is a better DEX - 4k 60hz support (and no cable). With that and a bluetooth keyboard I wouldnt need a laptop
Of course ymmv depending on the use case
Only one prob with USB headphone adapters - the potential danger of putting repeated stress on the phone's biggest weak spot after the screen - the USB socket. Personally I much prefer putting my media on an SSD card, especially when abroad - don't have to rely on potentially dodgy mobile/hotel hotspots just to listen to music etc, (also no signal kots of places out in the wild) plus significantly less phone battery use with wifi switched off. Ditto no bluetooth sniffing danger from nearby miscreants, and no additional bluetooth broadcast-related battery drain with wired headphones too. Love my Note 9.
> but after checking out the specs.....
It really irritates that Samsung doesn’t make this easy…
It has taken a little digging to determine whether the S23 family do (or do not) have a IP68 water-resistance rating (can be important as phone is likely to survive if you go for an involuntary swim or accidentally drop it in the bath etc.). They do, buts it’s not in the spec’s Samsung give for the phone. Hence why there will be a minimum of external ports.
Similarly, Samsung have been quiet about dropping support for ANT out of the box (you will need a third-party ANT usb-c dongle…)
Yeah, yeah, OK, the ability to do handwriting annotation (and even handwriting recognition) using the S Pen is nice if you like that sort of thing, and it CAN BE faster than trying to type on a mobile device, but really that's only because trying to type on a mobile device is such an excruciatingly horrible experience. (Which is a whole separate rant.) The thing that I love the S Pen for is because it makes it so much easier to TYPE on a touchscreen soft keyboard, since my fingertips are, bizarrely, not 3mm in diameter. Even more shockingly, this seems to be true of many other humans too. One might be forgiven for cynically wondering whether actual real-world human anatomy was taken into account when designing mobile devices at all.
The first "smart" phone I ever used was actually a work-issued Crackberry. I hated the cursed thing, not least because its keyboard buttons were so tiny and so densely packed that my fingers covered three or four buttons at once and it was never certain which button (or buttons) it would register the press on. Admittedly I have rather, let's say, robust hands. But not freakishly enough so to make me some kind of bizarre corner-case when it comes to using a human interface device.