Friday, 21 April 2017

Tech Update

Well, I received the Galaxy S8 Plus yesterday morning. I've jumped from a Galaxy Note 4 to a Galaxy S8 Plus by way of a Galaxy S7 Egde within 7 months, but I don't really notice much of a difference except that:
  1. With each increment the phone gets vastly more expensive,
  2. Each increment is easier and quicker to configure to my desired state, complete with all my apps, data and settings (down from a day to a couple of hours), and
  3. I don't seem to be able to accomplish much more that I did with the Note 4.
The S8 Plus has moved the fingerprint sensor to the back of the phone, which makes it awkward to use, especially when you have a case on it. The retinal scan security feature would be great, if I didn't wear glasses. To be brutally honest, I don't think the S8 Plus has any advantage over the S7 Edge - in fact it's a slightly retrograde step. I do miss the Note's S Pen and there's no way I've found to recover any voluminous S Notes I wrote on the S7 Edge.

One small advantage is that it supports USB 3.1, meaning the micro-USB charging cable can be inserted either way up. However, it also means I have to replace the cables for the car (although it does come with a small adapter so you can use your old charging cables, but that's just something else to lose between the seat and transmission tunnel, along with vast numbers of pound coins that reside there). You can charge it with an induction charging pad, but that's just a faddy thing and no real advantage. At rest state overnight, it loses about 1% of the battery per hour - which isn't bad. I have read that if you set the device up before inserting the SIM, it does an automatic factory reset the second you insert the SIM - no mention of this in the instructions. Also, the battery is once again integral and can't be removed if you have a battery issue.

I'm certainly not going to root this jobbie before I'm 100% sure it doesn't have an intrinsic fault.

One thing I have become aware of is the different qualities of leather used on phone cases. I bought one from Amazon that was advertised as 'genuine leather'. Now genuine leather is actually only one, small step up from PU leather - it is the lowest quality and thinnest hide. What I should have been looking for is full-grain leather. What I got was cheap and nasty; it certainly wasn't worth £18.99 and looks nothing like the photo on the advert. Just a few quid more would have purchased a full-grain leather one.

It is a relief, however, to hand back the Vodafone courtesy phone, which prevented me doing even the most basic tasks due to the lack of storage memory.

As an aside, I installed an Amazon Fire Stick on my neighbour's TV the other day. She was fed up paying £40-£60 odd a pop for TV series box sets, so I introduced her to the delights of Amazon Prime Video. Since installing the Fire Stick she's not been seen. I suspect she's been watching back-to-back episodes of Black Sails, Vikings and The Bureau. I do like its neat voice-enabled search capability - searching for films or TV programmes using a TV remote is a pain in the arse.

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