Need a Decent Phone

Mercutio

Fatwah on Western Digital
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We have to advocate and educate, or the situation will only get worse. Windows has been the Free Software Foundation's hobgoblin for the last several decades, but iOS is many, many times worse and even fewer people seem to care.
 

LunarMist

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You are advocating for the Google and against Apple? Maybe you should be advocating for better interoperability between them.

It's not clear if your community is a physical municipality or randomly located people with a common interest like a church group.
Either way you might want to buy a cheaper 2nd phone to communicate more smoothly with the iPhoners and then communicate with your tech-savvy friends on the Google Andorids.
 

sedrosken

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I'll defer to your experience on the images issue. I don't send them often enough to know, and when I do, they're usually either screenshots or not actually photos taken by my camera. I wouldn't know.

The messaging thing is quite annoying I'll grant, but I think you overblow the color palette issue, or at least the palette for iMessage is just as unreadable -- I don't have any more or less trouble reading white-on-blue than green-on-blue. If one has a colorblindness issue, I believe it's configurable as an accessibility option. It's also worth noting that you've got it backwards, messages sent TO non-Apple users are white-on-green, messages received from any source are whatever the default is for light or dark mode as you have it set -- I think that's black-on-gray and white-on-black respectively?

I will readily agree with you on the status/cult point -- it is frankly ridiculous that my generation and beyond has dumbed it down so much. Especially when a flagship Samsung will cost you as much or more. Not that I think any of them should cost as much as they do. The cult-like tendencies of Apple users at large is frankly rather disturbing.

Another point I will easily grant you is the file browsing experience. It really is rather subpar. But the fact of the matter is, even on Android, I just don't need to get as deep into the nitty-gritty filesystem, pretty much full-stop. The most intensive thing I do is something it readily supports -- copying files into my VLC library. Do I wish it were a folder and not some bizarre container? Sure. Is it going to kill me if it isn't? No.

The keyboard issue is subjective -- it annoyed me at first, but I've gotten used to it. It helps that you can hold down the symbol key, hit your symbol, release and it'll go back to the main keyboard. makes using it one-handed annoying, yes, and especially since phones are so tall now I wish I could at least pop a number row up top, but the swipe typing on offer is literally the best I've used hands-down and the dictation is damn near spot-on, which given my southern twang is a feat. And if that's not good enough for you, I hear you can even use alternative keyboards now. I think I saw Swype and Gboard when I was scrolling in the App Store looking for something else.

Yes, the only available browser engine on iOS is Safari. Yes, I think that's utterly asinine. That's all I have to say on the subject other than it ought to be illegal, and I think in the strictest definition it might well be. It sounds like the kind of shit Microsoft got sued for in the 90s, only even worse. Hopefully getting dunked on in the EU will make Apple relax a little on this front.
 

Mercutio

Fatwah on Western Digital
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Swype with Dragon is the all time champion for on screen keyboards, but Microsoft bought it and killed it, and the APK can't be installed on the S24 (or Tablet S9) at all. It had free dictionary imports and stored and synchronized the words on your Swype account, which is massively important for people who have to type a lot of jargon. It also had easy and natural shortcuts for adding punctuation and for cut, copy and paste. Nothing else is even close.

Gboard is the replacement I won't even pretend to be happy to have, but at least it allows exports and has a relatively straightforward import process that I can quickly repeat when I get new devices. So far as I can tell, no other mainstream keyboard does both. Fuck me for wanting the other things Swype did.

The most intensive thing I do is something it readily supports -- copying files into my VLC library. Do I wish it were a folder and not some bizarre container? Sure. Is it going to kill me if it isn't? No.

Something that I do is copy a set of notification noises into the appropriate folder on a new device so that they can be used OS-wide. The relevant folder is /Android/media/com.google.android.gm/alarms or notifications or ringtones. These files become discoverable to SecSoundPicker, the system application for picking beeps and boops and putting things there minimizes the work I have to do to set those sounds. I use these specific sounds that have held their meaning to me for over a decade now, and I rely on them coming from my Android devices to tell me if something important is happening. Having the comfort to control files that are someplace commonly understood to be an OS-specific folder is important to me. There's no way in hell iOS will ever give users that level of control. iOS doesn't even let end users see all of their own folders full of photos via its file interface. iOS is fundamentally broken. It's one size fits some at best, and that is my most charitable assessment.

LM, regarding photo sharing: My observation is that most content creators are VERY set in their ways. Photo sets are most often shared via Dropbox or iCloud, shown to the public via something like Instagram or Facebook or maybe Vero and individually using either iMessage or possibly Snapchat. I have encountered an unwillingness to even attempt to communicate with someone who says no to all those things. This is part of cult behavior as far as I can tell. The entrenchment and intransigence of iOS users is part of the reason dealing with it is so maddening.

(Technically, I do have an iCloud because I have an Apple account, but you can count on two fingers the number of times I've ever looked at it; it's tied to my professional email rather than anything personal)

You are advocating for the Google and against Apple? Maybe you should be advocating for better interoperability between them.

It's not clear if your community is a physical municipality or randomly located people with a common interest like a church group.
Either way you might want to buy a cheaper 2nd phone to communicate more smoothly with the iPhoners and then communicate with your tech-savvy friends on the Google Andorids.

Google is by no means perfect, but it is Apple that is wrong and it is Apple and its cult that needs to change. And its developers, analysts and business directors should be apologizing to humanity for the toxicity they have enabled. There is no circumstance where I would willingly use an iOS device on an ongoing basis. Anything more than transferring data off of one is asking too much. Apple has created a communication device that is an impediment to communication.
 

LunarMist

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There's no need to describe other opinons as being a cult. :LOL: Life is too short to make every silly software into a big thing.
 

LunarMist

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You clearly didn't take part in the Amiga vs. Atari wars. I still hate Atari ST.
I have no clue what that means. I have an Atari 2600 somewhere, but it was for the primitative games.
I used the Commoder 64K at work that ran some process equipment in the 1980s.
 
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Mercutio

Fatwah on Western Digital
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It's my professional and personal opinion that every platform has some critical flaw or another, and that you should use what works for you.

It's like voting. One side is moderately incoherent and can't get its act together enough to get anything worthwhile accomplished. The other side thinks prison camps are dreamy and loves words like "Ethnostate."
 

sedrosken

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I have no clue what that means. I have an Atari 2600 somewhere, but it was for the primitative games.
I used the Commoder 64K at work that ran some process equipment in the 1980s.

For context, primarily outside the US (PC was king even back then here, though the Commodore 64 and Apple ][ were also doing very well), during the mid-to-late-80s there was a bit of a platform holy war between users of the Atari ST and the Commodore Amiga. Humorously, by that point, Jack Tramiel and most of the engineering staff had jumped ship... from Commodore... to Atari. The Amiga team was originally a separate company that first appealed to Atari... then got in with Commodore.

Both machines were based on the Motorola 68000, but while the ST had pricing and interesting features on side (native MIDI support in 1985-6 is an interesting concept), the Amiga was a graphics and sound powerhouse of the era and rapidly got much, much cheaper with the release of the Amiga 500 a couple years later. PCs didn't really catch up until the release of the Gravis Ultrasound and Super VGA was common.
 
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LunarMist

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I'm amazed you are so knowledgeable about the history. As a perspective for you, I never had a home computer until the 90s. Most people in my age group that I knew did not have one either until the late 80s-early 90s. The younger people had something like what you mentioned and used them for school (word processing like writing papers, doing engineering maths, and some 2D line diagrams, etc.).
 

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It was not a bit of a fight, ot was really serious business. Almost as bad as soccer supporters in Europe, but without physical fighting. :)

I had both the C64 and Amiga 500, they were really nice computers, the Amiga had specialized chipsets for graphics, sound and MMU (Denise, Paula & Agnus).

And I'm sorry for hijacking the phone thread.
 

LunarMist

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It seems there are some complaints about the S24+ yet there are probably some about any new model.
The A55 announcement is imminent, but it is projected to be only a minor upgrade over the A54.
A problem is that the "work" phone is the A53 and the A54 is the "personal" phone.
 

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Fatwah on Western Digital
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There are people complaining that specifically the Vivid mode isn't as vivid as it was on the S23 models. and some people think the battery life isn't any better. Coming from an S20 with an old battery, I can't say. I just wish I had an SD slot.

The A5x phones are never going to be the showpiece status symbols but they are the culmination of years of lessons that got applied first to Samsung S phones. They don't need to be updated anything like annually. They're just a good general purpose fit.
 

LunarMist

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I have a feeling that Vivids is just awful. Without a Loupe, it's unlikely that I could see the difference between 1080 and 1440 on a 6.5' display if that's the main difference. Is it possible to calibrate any of the Samsung smartphone displays with a Datacolor Spyder, i1Display (Calibrite), etc.?

Looking at it conversely, is there anything other than the SD slot that is lost in the S24+ compared to the A55 such as battery life? I'm not fan of that inductive charging setup in the phone. I'd rather have a larger battery capacity.
 

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The A5x don't have flagship Qualcomm SoCs, nor quite as much RAM. I can't directly compare the battery life myself. I usually end a day at 50 - 60% battery life, though I seldom let it drop below 30%.

I don't see any way to adjust the display colors except that there's an adaptive mode that uses the phone's cameras to continuously adjust the colors. I don't care THAT much, although I do leave it in standard rather than vivid color.
 

LunarMist

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I discovered that my A54 is in the Vivids mode. In the Naturals mode it looks all washed out like a wide gamut without the right profile.
I also run it brighter than the 100-120 nits of the high-grade LCD desktop display so that it is visible in a wider range of lighting. The auto-exposure for the display is too dim for basic GUI use. I suppose for the younger folks that watch videos on the tiny screen maybe different settings are appropriate. I'll decide in a few months what to buy next, but I will always want two phones one way or another.
 

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Fatwah on Western Digital
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It does still have an SD card slot and five years of updates. That's four more years than you'll get from anything that says Motorola on it.
 

LunarMist

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I am very familiar with the Moto lack of updates.
I should probably do a double substitution A53->A54 and A54->A55 this summer, but it will be a painful process. :(
 

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Fatwah on Western Digital
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I hate that this is a video, but it does raise some interesting points.

The short version is that if you look at sustained benchmark performance over multiple runs, you'll see substantial differences over time. That makes sense, but it's interesting to see how quickly performance can collapse after an initial benchmark as well as how much change there can be over a large number of runs. Spoiler: Apple doesn't bother to cool their SoCs. Samsung/Exynos is relatively consistent but definitely second rate and Samsung/Snapdragon is fastest but also varies the most over the test.

The benchmark in question is a 3Dmark test, which should be apples to apples across all different architectures.

 

LunarMist

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Do all that many people actually watch the little cellphone screen in 3D? My eyes would be bugging out.
Actual usage must not be much impediment to Apple or they would change that system.
I remember years ago that a benchmark could heat a CPU higher than any actual use other than e.g., cryptolithium mining or the f***ing at home.
 

LunarMist

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Evidently the Samsung 🤬 are not selling the A55 in the states.
 

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Fatwah on Western Digital
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3D as in GPU, LM.
My partner watches Tiktoks on her phone screen in preference to all other forms of media. Even using a larger tablet is too inconvenient for her. The kids are really into that stuff.
 

LunarMist

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I'm not sure what you mean. Your GF's daughter watches the 3D videos for gaming? I did not know that the simple videos required 3D accelerators, just for gamers.
 

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Fatwah on Western Digital
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My partner is the kid in this case.

Phone SoC (System on a Chip) include the combination of CPUs, which in the mobile world are usually a combination of high performance and low performance cores; Wifi and LTE/5G transceivers; and some kind of GPU. Most phone handsets use a combination of Av8 cores with the GPU being a primary differentiator of overall capability. nVidia, AMD, Apple, Samsung and Qualcomm (Adreno) GPUs are all on offer over the range of SoCs. The SoC also has a dedicated module for image sensing, separate although associated with the GPU.

Generally speaking, Qualcomm has a high end range (Snapdragon 8-series), a midrange (7-series) and a budget range (6-series) product. The high end Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen X SoC trades blows with Apple's EXTREMELY well tuned silicon for the fastest overall mobile chip. Apple uses far fewer cores, but iOS also disallows multitasking, so it can be faster at whatever it's doing from moment to moment. Qualcomm's philosophy is that there's no kill like overkill and provides one HUGE primary core, several almost-as-big secondary cores and then a bunch of chumps for background tasks.

Samsung has its own SoC, Exynos, which is generally regarded as a step down from high end Qualcomm in terms of both performance and efficiency. I think Exynos is import restricted in the US(?), which is why we get the high end and expensive Qualcomm SoCs on fancy Samsung phones instead.

Google Tensor SoCs are a Google-tuned variant of Exynos, but architecturally they're built the same way. Tensor and Exynos are both very capable and cheaper than Qualcomm.

Another competitor is Mediatek. High end Mediatek (Dimensity) is on par with Qualcomm in terms of its CPU cores but its Mali graphics are generally pretty sad.

The other guy you'll run across sometimes is Huawei Kirin, which IIRC is supposed to be export-banned to the US but it shows up in Tablets and set top boxes sometimes.
 

LunarMist

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At this point it is all a bit ridiculous, but people can spend money how they like. I'd rather spend money on a CPU/computer than a stupid cellphone. I'll probably be forced to buy the high end, since the makers are eliminating the middle range for the states. But I'll wait until absolutely necessary such as when the battery is weak or the OS is obsolete.
 

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Yeah, like I said, the US doesn't get cool stuff anymore, and that includes competent mid-rangers. You can get an A5x on a carrier, I'm sure, but if you want to buy unlocked, it's pretty much only high end stuff available. There's an argument to be made that an older flagship is a better buy than a new mid-range phone, but some people aren't too terribly interested in performance, and would like an active warranty that isn't in question as they're the original owner. Some of those same people also don't have upwards of a grand and a half to drop on a phone when the time comes, either.
 

LunarMist

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According to Samsung, the A5x line will not be sold in the states by carriers going forward. The 2023 A54 phones probably will be around for a while. It's not clear which carriers will offer the A35 (which will be sold in the states), but I have no interest in it. The supposed rationale is that the Fundamental Editions of the older phones are too close in price to the A5x and too competitive with the S2x+. So they want us to buy the S23FE for example or the S24+, and the lower midarange will be the A3x. The A1x is more for the low end, often for free with a subscription.
The problem with older phones in general is that they will have shorter OS/app lifetimes. The more I would spend on a phone the longer I would expect to keep it.
 

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The S24 is supposed to get seven years of updates. That's quite substantial, and the biggest reason I chose it over an A54.
I do believe phone warranties are basically useless, but Samsung has its own coverage plan that DOES include accidental damage and replacement in the event of loss or theft. Services are handled at some Best Buy stores or UbreakIfix locations.
 

LunarMist

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I would not be buying a year-old phone like the A54 either. I can understand some people prefer a smaller S2x vs S2x+ and the cost is $200 less, so the differential to the A of FE series is less. Presbyopia makes a smaller phone less desirable for me.

I would hope for 4 years of service, which should be fine on a decent battery. What does an authorized battery replacement service cost?
Are the newer OLED doisplays holding up well over longer periods of time.
 

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Battery replacement on most sealed phones is $75 or $100. My LG G8 has an OLED screen. It's five years old and the screen is still perfect. I still use it as a camera monitor and occasionally a video camera since it works with my Moment phone lenses.
 

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Apparently, the A35 is the replacement for the A55 in the US Market. The A35 has a $100 lower MSRP in exchange for a one generation older Exynos SoC, mildly downgraded camera sensors, a plastic frame and less RAM across models.

It's probably closer to what Moto is doing and it'll probably wind up as a $250 device, at the cost of losing the premium midrange SKU that was almost as good as a Samsung S-series. There's still the Pixel 8a for that.
 

LunarMist

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The A35 is mostly the A54 at $50 less than it was, but stupidly if you already have the A54. I would not even replace the A53 with the A35. I would have purchased the A55 at $500 without hesitation then swapped the A54 for the A53 and A55 for A54.

The S23 FE is getting old already at $600, so I'm awaiting the S24 FE to decide whether to buy any phones in 2024 or not. Unfortunately the FE series prioritizes all the crap I don't need like the cameras, wireless charge, and metal body at the expense of a smaller battery, no memory card, and poor ergonometric design.

I wish they would make a model with no cameras, a much larger battery, a full SDxC UHS-II slot, and better speakers.
 

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Fatwah on Western Digital
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Plus side on the S23FE is that you'll get another three years of OS updates on it. There's no compelling reason to switch it for anything else if you're happy with the battery life.
 

LunarMist

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My plan is not to buy any phones older than 6 months if possible.
My A53 is a tad slow sometimes, I suspect caused by the underwhelming CPU. It is close to 2 years old, so the battery is still good, but a bit less than when new. My A54 is good enough for personal use. I think buying a new phone every 1.5-2 years and rotating the last two would be a reasonable plan.
 

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Sony has indicated that it has no plans to release the Experia 1 IV, its current flagship device, for the US Market; International versions won't have support for three common 5G bands used in the USA. Sony phones are almost impossible to find at retail already and no US Carrier resells them. If Sony exits completely, we are down to just Samsung, Google, Moto/Lenovo, TCL and One+. We can technically still import phones from the likes of Asus, Poco, Xiaomi and Huawei but my understanding is that none of the above have full support for US carrier bands.
 

LunarMist

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You are ignoring the APPLE products for price or other reasons?
 
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