New Phone, Who Dis

By Serdar Yegulalp on 2021-01-03 16:00:00-05:00 No comments

On top of everything else these last couple of weeks, I had to replace my phone. Not the time of my life I wanted to do it in — more on that later, it's a long, long story — but time was nigh whether I liked it or not. Four years is about the outer limit of use for a phone these days — and that's about two more years than the phone makers and the carriers want you to get out of them, so I've beaten the odds nicely there, I think.

I'm not crazy about the latest breed of phones — the long, skinny display means the vast majority of stuff ends up looking weird and narrow on it, or ends up with wasted display space on either side in landscape mode. But the phone I was limping along on (the Samsung Galaxy Note 5) was out of updates, had no external storage, had developed some inexplicable difficulty receiving text messages, and couldn't even hold a charge properly anymore, and so off to the store I went (metaphorically speaking).

The replacement, the Galaxy S20 5G, is okay. I like having room for external storage and I don't really miss the headphone jack, as it comes with USB-C headphones, but I miss the better use of screen real estate on the Note 5. And I couldn't get anything like that on the new phones at a price I could deal with, so I bit my thumb and went with the S20.

It took most of two days to get everything set up, and some of it is still not there yet. E.g., the wallpaper changer doesn't work (why? it was fine on the last phone), and getting the phone to pair with my desktop made me realize my desktop's Bluetooth module was hopelessly archaic, so I've had to ditch that and upgrade it too.

Were I more of a dyed-in-the-wool techno-philistine (or straight-up Luddite), I'd go with a flip phone and be done with it. But my job and too many of the things in my real life are chained to things only a full-blown smartphone can do. Some people I can only talk to with this app or that one — don't ask why, down that road lies madness — and so I end up with what amounts to ten different ways to talk to people, most of which are tied to proprietary services of various kinds. I've seen the future, and it kinda sucks.

Tags: technology