Need a Decent Phone

LunarMist

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I have been informed they are here and there, just not here right now. 😧
 

LunarMist

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So it is in stock supposedly. According to the rep it has a slot for the phone card, but doesn't need one and you can't actually use both on the T..Mobiles.
 

LunarMist

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Some of the software sucks, but the phone works fine otherwise. :)
I need to figure out the best way to block the cameras.
 

Mercutio

Fatwah on Western Digital
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Some of the software sucks, but the phone works fine otherwise. :)
I need to figure out the best way to block the cameras.

You can just deny the camera permission to the camera app you have installed. That'll take care of it just fine, although every time you accidentally open the camera somehow, it'll bug you about it.
 

Mercutio

Fatwah on Western Digital
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SMS is evil and no one should use it under any circumstance, since it requires users to disclose their phone number. My phone number is absolutely privileged information.

iMessage is just SMS but worse, and also assures that any binary attachments are mangled by Apple before they are delivered.
Whatsapp and Facebook messenger are evil because they are owned by Facebook.
Signal is just Whatsapp, but owned by a couple shady-ass Russians. Also: no one uses it.
Telegram has all of the privacy bona fides and about 1/20th the user base of Signal. Also they dropped support to act as an SMS replacement on Android, which took away the most compelling argument that could be made for having it.
Teams is evil because it's a separate thing from Skype, a product I actually used to kinda like that no one uses any more, and I'm not OK with having multiple chat services from the same goddamned company on my devices. See also: Google Duo and Google Allo. Are either of those still a thing? I have no idea.

Discord is evil because those fuckers can't be bothered to open anything up for web indexing. These days I check what available support options are for hardware and software products and if I see something about Discord, I just won't buy or use that thing. This one is especially important when it becomes clear that the responsible party in Discord chat is clearly irritated that they have to answer the same questions multiple times a day, yet they don't have any kind of support document elsewhere. I got rid of my Snapmaker printer after learning that the only meaningful support for them was Discord.

I will reluctantly accept Google Chat or Snapchat. I have a Google Voice number that I give to things that absolutely think they HAVE to be able to send SMS messages. The number isn't tied to a real phone. I just receive emails of whatever texts or voice mails people leave.

Email is on the other hand perfect. It's easy to understand, easy to filter and easy to script. It works on a potato. I can make IFTTT triggers. Everyone can have as many addresses as they want. It does not have the power to make my phone ring, and I can delay responding or treat it as real time as necessary. I cannot understand why anyone would bother with anything.

Reading all this, if you think that I do not wish to be contacted, you are absolutely correct.
 

Handruin

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I know you've been complaining about txt for as long as I've known you here and it's still working fine for me decades later.

It's way more accepted as a quick communication norm than email and I'd rather use it. For contacts that want to txt that I don't trust they get my Google voice number as a proxy and that works well.
 

Mercutio

Fatwah on Western Digital
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If you're OK with letting people have your personal phone number, fine. There's no technical reason for things to work that way any longer, and I don't want to be forced to disclose the number people can call whenever they want. One of the major annoyances with SMS is the assumption that someone you've texted will see and respond immediately, or respond to it faster than other forms of communication. It's gotten better because of things like Phone Link and Intel Unison, but so, so, SO many people think that everyone just lives with a phone attached to their hand. Actual calls are a whole other level of irritation. I overwhelmingly want to type what I want to communicate so there's evidence of correspondence anyway and to keep the expectations of people who want to discuss their issues with me within the realms of reason.
 

Handruin

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I never said it was a technical reason but it's a social construct that's quite normal for a ton of people. The email-is-technically-better is subjective if people don't want to use it as their norm. I'm fine with my friends/family having my personal number so they can txt me, I want them in my life so why wouldn't I give them my number?

The immediate reply assumption was real for me like 10 years ago but it's no longer a thing for me or the people I txt with in my life. We've all accepted slow responses; my phone is on 100% silent and no vibration all the time. That trend has come and gone from my perspective. Maybe it's still true in your world though.
 

LunarMist

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If you're OK with letting people have your personal phone number, fine. There's no technical reason for things to work that way any longer, and I don't want to be forced to disclose the number people can call whenever they want. One of the major annoyances with SMS is the assumption that someone you've texted will see and respond immediately, or respond to it faster than other forms of communication. It's gotten better because of things like Phone Link and Intel Unison, but so, so, SO many people think that everyone just lives with a phone attached to their hand. Actual calls are a whole other level of irritation. I overwhelmingly want to type what I want to communicate so there's evidence of correspondence anyway and to keep the expectations of people who want to discuss their issues with me within the realms of reason.
What's so personal about a phone number? I have at least three phone numbers, plus one at work. Only about a half-dozen people text me regularly on #2, then there are spammers and a few legit business texts on phone #1. Mostly phone #1 is for the incessant 2FA texts from every system at work. Phone #3 is on the Fibres and doesn't get texts AFAIK.
 
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Mercutio

Fatwah on Western Digital
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I used to get calls almost constantly, frequently at the least opportune times and often very often from people I really couldn't bill or hold accountable for the time. Like some random jerk would have my phone number because I'm the office support person and his computer at home was screwing up on a Sunday morning. I'd be mean about that sort of call, but I'd get them enough that I decided that my cell number is privileged information. I last changed my cell number about the time texting started to become common (2003? Blackberry days) and that was honestly the last straw. I just didn't give out that number. Maybe 20 people can call me. I've had second numbers several different ways (Ooma, Grand Central, Vonage et al) but at this point I'm convinced that sharply keeping my cell number private has been the healthiest decision I ever made.

I've also found that the people who want to SMS the most are the neediest customers and least articulate when they want something. I don't feel bad at all cutting them off from that. I'm glad all my communication with them is centralized to my email account.
 

ddrueding

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Not disagreeing with your reasoning Merc, but I went a different way that leads to a similar outcome. Only numbers I whitelist ring or ping or notify in any way. Everyone else is dumped to a voicemail that informs them to contact me via email and doesn't allow messages to be left.
 

Handruin

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Doing the approved list is also a good idea too.

I also installed the Phone by Google app to replace my default Samsung dialier and it's also helped a bit with managing unwanted calls.

 

sedrosken

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Anecdotal, but the Google Phone app doesn't work so hot on a device that uses dual SIMs. I separate my calls by which SIM they're coming in on using ringtones, but the Google Phone app just uses the same one for both and I wasn't able to configure this.
 

Handruin

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I have no experience with using multiple SIM cards so I can't say if my experience would be similar.
 

Mercutio

Fatwah on Western Digital
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Anecdotal, but the Google Phone app doesn't work so hot on a device that uses dual SIMs. I separate my calls by which SIM they're coming in on using ringtones, but the Google Phone app just uses the same one for both and I wasn't able to configure this.

You can set ringtones for callers. That's a bit of a PITA but it's probably worthwhile to do. I have a folder full of sounds I have assigned to specific people that I've been using for years and years. You might also be able to do it with Tasker or the like.
 

Handruin

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I'm impressed people still want their phone to actually ring and make sounds.
 

sedrosken

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The problem is, there's no limit to the numbers that can call on my work number (it's posted publicly) so it's infeasible for me to do that. It's a whole lot easier to just separate by SIM.
 

Mercutio

Fatwah on Western Digital
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I'm impressed people still want their phone to actually ring and make sounds.

I rely on the noises my phone makes to track normal activity vs anything out of the ordinary. I also want some noises to ALWAYS play from the phone speaker rather than bluetooth. My phone is almost never on silent, unless I'm at a concert or something. I have a whole bunch of triggers to make particular noises based on what shows up in my inbox.
 

LunarMist

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I'm impressed people still want their phone to actually ring and make sounds.
Unless you have a phone glued to your person as a vibrator, then without any sounds how do you know if there is an important incoming call?
 

LunarMist

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Yes, the Google and the Samsung are awful. I don't want any internal connected crap.
My phone has one slot and one simulated.
 

Handruin

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Unless you have a phone glued to your person as a vibrator, then without any sounds how do you know if there is an important incoming call?

I usually have my phone around but it's set to complete silence, no vibrating either. I genuinely don't care if I miss 99% of calls.
 

LunarMist

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I never noticed that the basic functions like the phone were actually apps to be chosen. Keyboards are also available as apps. 😳
 

Handruin

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Link doesn't work, says the page isn't available. For keyboard I'm using the Gboard.
 

Mercutio

Fatwah on Western Digital
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My standard for over a decade was the paid version of Swype. Swype had an online synching dictionary that I really appreciate since I use a lot of jargon and it had the very best keyboard support for punctuation while swiping and also cut, copy and paste. Microsoft bought and abandoned Swype. I can still use the APK, but it no longer supports the dictionary sync and does not have a bulk import function outside what used to be sync'd from the account and some devices I have now are blocked from installing it for some reason.

Gboard DOES allow bulk import of a user dictionary, but it doesn't sync dictionaries between devices. It's easy enough to keep a file containing my words on hand, but it's deeply annoying that I should have to.
Swiftkey and the Samsung keyboard might support dictionary sync but don't have an import function.

In the end, I'd still rather be using Swype than anything that's still available.
 

LunarMist

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I had Swype keyboard on a phone some years ago, but it's missing as an option now. :(
I'm not seeing major differences, but maybe OpenBoard is good enough? It has the FOSS and supposedly doesn't send your data to AI bots to predict your writing.
 

Mercutio

Fatwah on Western Digital
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The S20 product line was the last Samsung S-series to have an SD slot and it also has more RAM than comparable newer S-series phones have, but my battery life isn't so great any longer and it's PROBABLY time to replace the phone.

Looking at what's out there, I'm not a huge fan of Motorola because they don't provide updates for shit. Google Pixels are usually mid-range devices with above average software, especially for the camera. Sony is still out there putting card slots in its phone, but it's absolutely impossible to find someone selling one at retail and Sony is ALSO terrible about updates. And also it's Sony and that name is still basically a curse word to me.

Apparently the S24 will be released in about a week. If I go that route, I'll have five years of Android updates, probably the nicest screen possible on a phone given its size and presumably a top-tier SoC, but also limited storage options without a proper SD slot. I'd ALSO be able to get "Samsung Care", which provides similar protections for accidental damage to the coverage available on iphones. I've never needed that kind of coverage, but on the other hand, my partner has completely broken her iPhone 15's screen one time (she tripped and it landed face-down) and cracked it a second time (emergency stop at highway speed; phone launched off her seat and into the windshield of her car and yes that was through the case) in the three months she's had that phone, and both issues were covered pretty quickly. Since new phones are mostly going to be glass on both sides, this strikes me as more useful than I might otherwise find it.
 

LunarMist

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I've been very satisfied with the A54. It and even the A53 were updated to Andorids v14 in Q4 2023. The A55 is expected in March.
Why exactly do you need the SD slot; IT and legal purposes?
 

Mercutio

Fatwah on Western Digital
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The #1 reason for the card slot is switching cards so I can back files up from my camera. I can copy over the .CR3s with a non-Canon 3rd party application using Wifi, but I'd rather just swap the cards since it's much faster to do that.
Secondary reason is that I have a card full of entertainment media for planes and road trips, plus copies of some things I use for IT needs. Those things are also on flash drives I have on hand, but sometimes people steal my flash drives and as yet nobody has tried to run off with my phone, so it's not unreasonable to keep copies there. The "entertainment" 1TB card stays in my phone almost all the time, unless I'm on a trip.

IMO it's just silly to ditch the very useful option to offer extra storage.
 

LunarMist

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That's a bizzare backup. You know that the R camera copies from one slot to the other, and quite quickly with minimal battery drain?
For example, the write speed to a measly UHS-II SD card is 64 MB/sec. and after 56GB the battery only dropped 5-6% (estimated 900MB per LP-E6N battery charge). A cellphone won't do that. Of course you could just use two memory cards.
 

Mercutio

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That's a bizzare backup. You know that the R camera copies from one slot to the other, and quite quickly with minimal battery drain?
For example, the write speed to a measly UHS-II SD card is 64 MB/sec. and after 56GB the battery only dropped 5-6% (estimated 900MB per LP-E6N battery charge). A cellphone won't do that. Of course you could just use two memory cards.

It works well for me, and I think it's incredibly useful to have the ability to change the entire personality of my phone to suit my needs.

The contenders for me right now are the A54 ($450), the Xperia 1 v ($1000-ish) or whichever S24 offers a 1TB option (probably $1200+ on an Ultra body). The A54 is definitely the sanest option but also possibly just kicking the upgrade can down the road. S*ny is full featured in my estimation but may not get updates. There's a real question in what the S24 would do that's worth more than twice the cost of the A54.
 

LunarMist

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If the only problem is your battery, then just wait until the new phones are out.
I know the younger folk are so into the phones for media and everything social, but I just don't trust any device controlled by the Google or Apple, etc. and connected to the internet with my data.
IME phones are stolen far more often than flash drives. Having a removable SD card is some mitigation I suppose. I generally have two phones in most regions or countries unless just going to a store or something. Unfortunately having three or more phone may raise suspicion.
 

Mercutio

Fatwah on Western Digital
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I have zero social media. That's not an issue, but as things are, my phone has gotten its last OS update. Security updates end this year as well. That's the biggest problem. The battery is just mildly annoying. I used to end the day with around 45% of a charge remaining. Now it's more like 20%, which would be fine, but that does mean that a long day or a night out is potentially a problem for me.

My partner keeps two phones, but she's on both of them so much that her phones actually go dead late in her day if she's out of the house.
 

sedrosken

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I'm on the S22 I got from my carrier on promotion for "free" so long as I stay with them until January 2025. When that day comes I want to see about going back to an MVNO, real carrier pricing on a single line is rather ridiculously high for my uses. I'm not one of those folks that really needs to be paying 85/mo for a phone. Long term I want to go back to just buying unlocked phones and then using them with whatever carrier/MVNO offers the best deal-to-coverage ratio I can find at the moment.

The A54 looks nice, but the Xperia has good ROM support from what I hear. I actually was unaware Sony were still in the phone business.
 
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