Skip to main content

Why I switched to a Galaxy S21 after years of rejecting Samsung

It's a little of the same but a little bit different too. It was just time for a change in scenery.

I just couldn't deal with the Pixel 4's poor battery life any longer. That's something you've probably heard before, either in real-space or written on the internet because the phone really does have the worst battery life of any product since the battery was invented in 250 BC. Seriously, though, it is bad. Really bad.

I hated to do it because I thought everything else about the phone was marvelous and that it was still one of the best Android phones I've used. Of course, it was only marvelous when it had enough juice to stay powered on. I first moved to the OnePlus 8 and was really digging it but was having problems with Google Fi and activation. I did what any tech writer would do in this situation, and just got another phone instead of trying to figure it out with Fi tech support.

And now, for the first time since the Galaxy S7, I'm using a Samsung phone. I don't hate it. I don't quite love everything about it, but it's a damn great little phone and I'm actually glad I switched. 🤯

Here's what I love about it

The "regular" Galaxy S21 is the perfect size for me. I hate tall skinny phones and while the Galaxy S21 is tall and skinny compared to phones built before silly 2-ish by one aspect ratios became a thing, it's not ungodly tall and huge like so many other phones made today. It fits in my pocket, and I can use it with one hand. These are must-have features for me.

It's the right size and has the best display I've ever seen.

The screen is to die for. Samsung makes great displays that almost every great phone uses, but it holds back the very best for itself. The S21 leaves nothing to be desired when it comes to the 120Hz HDR10+ Dynamic AMOLED display. I thought the screen on the Pixel 4 was good. This is amazing.

I love the way it's built. The back is plastic, but it's extruded in some way that makes it feel silky and textured without any give if you push on it. I really don't care if the back of my phone is glass or aluminum or ceramic or plastic as long as it feels really good while I'm holding it.

Finally, that camera bump/housing/wrap-around thingy looks pretty damn cool and I dig it.

What I don't like about it

If you're expecting me to say the software you're going to be disappointed. Samsung has done a fine job taking what Google provides and turning it into a real operating system and it works. As a whole, anyway, because there are some parts of it I'm just not in love with.

I hate the calendar notification screen. In fact, I hate it so much I installed Google Calendar on it and did everything I could to stop it from ever notifying me ever again. I'm sure Samsung has data that some folks like it and that's cool, but for me, naw. Go away.

The software is pretty good once you fix the one or two things that don't suit you.

I also had to switch out a few other apps like the messages client and phone dialer because Samsung was letting spam through that Google doesn't. I hate spam as much as I hate giant full-screen calendar notifications. But for the most part, I'm using the phone with the software it shipped with and I'm OK with it. That's something I couldn't have said before Samsung fixed things up.

I don't like the fingerprint sensor. It's far better than any other in-screen fingerprint sensor I've used, but it still struggles when your fingers are scarred and calloused. Mine are and no matter how many times I set it up, I can't get it to work more than 50% of the time with my right thumb, which is the digit I want to use. This isn't that big of a deal because I'm only using the fingerprint unlock to check it out and will switch back to using a PIN because I really don't care for biometrics.

And then there are the ads. Stop showing me ads unless I'm playing a game or using the web browser, Samsung. Cut that shit out and realize it's a bad look for the biggest phone maker on the planet to force ads on its users.

Believe it or not, that's the end of my gripe list. Everything not mentioned as something I love or something I hate is something that's just fine. The camera isn't as good as the Pixel 4's, but it's more than good enough and if you're not being picky you'll love it. Bixby isn't nearly the pain in the ass the internet told me it was and it took all of two minutes to make sure I never see it unless I want to see it. All my apps run great on the beefy guts inside the phone and even phone calls sound great.

Don't be like me and think Samsung phones are still an over-the-top mess, because in 2021 they aren't.

Don't be like me. I stayed far away from Samsung phones for the past several years because of how they were ages ago. You need to remember that every phone was pretty bad back then and things have improved so much since. I can't speak for any Pluses or Ultras or anything else, but I like the Galaxy S21. I like it a lot.

Affordable and powerful

Samsung Galaxy S21

From $800 at Samsung From $700 at Amazon From $700 at Best Buy

The mainstream Galaxy flagship

Samsung's Galaxy S21 is an incredible Android phone — especially when you disable all of the ads it comes with. Between its 120Hz display, great cameras, and gorgeous new design, this is a flagship through-and-through without the $1000+ flagship price.

Source: androidcentral

Popular posts from this blog

Apple and Meta Reportedly Discussed AI Partnership for iOS 18

Apple has held discussions with Meta about integrating the Facebook owner's AI model into iOS 18 as part of its Apple Intelligence feature set, according to a report over the weekend. Meta launched Llama 2, its large language model, in July 2023, and in April, the company released the latest versions of its AI models, called Llama 3 . The Wall Street Journal reports that the two longtime rivals have held talks about offering Meta's model as an additional option to OpenAI's ChatGPT. The paywalled report notes that the discussions haven't been finalized and could fall through. As part of Apple Intelligence, Apple has announced a partnership with OpenAI that will allow Siri to access ChatGPT directly in iOS 18, iPadOS 18, and macOS Sequoia to provide better responses in relevant situations. Using ChatGPT will be optional, so users with concerns about the technology can abstain and still make use of Apple's own new AI features. Speaking at WWDC 2024, Apple's

Apple Wasn't Interested in AI Partnership With Meta Due to Privacy Concerns

Apple turned down an AI partnership with Facebook parent company Meta due to privacy concerns, according to a report from Bloomberg . Meta and Apple had a brief discussion about a possible partnership in March, but the talks did not progress and Apple does not plan to integrate Meta's large language model (LLM) into iOS. Over the weekend, The Wall Street Journal suggested that Apple and Meta were in active discussions about integrating Llama, Facebook's LLM, into iOS 18 as part of Apple Intelligence. The report suggested that the discussions were ongoing had not been finalized, but Bloomberg 's follow-up indicates Apple never seriously considered a partnership. Preliminary talks happened at the same time that Apple began discussions with OpenAI and Google parent company Alphabet, but Apple decided not to move on to a more formal discussion because "it doesn't see that company's privacy practices as stringent enough." Apple did end up signing a d

iPhone 13 Pro vs. iPhone 16 Pro: 60+ Upgrades to Expect

The iPhone 16 Pro is set to succeed 2023's iPhone 15 Pro , introducing over 25 new features and improvements to Apple's high-end smartphones. With many users adopting three-year upgrade cycles, plenty of iPhone 13 Pro owners will be looking to upgrade to the ‌iPhone 16 Pro‌ later this year, so this guide breaks down every major difference you should be aware of between the two generations based on rumors. The ‌‌iPhone 13‌‌ Pro debuted in 2021, introducing a brighter display with ProMotion technology for refresh rates up to 120Hz, the A15 Bionic chip, a telephoto camera with 3x optical zoom, macro photography and photographic styles, Cinematic mode for recording videos with shallow depth of field, ProRes video recording, a 1TB storage option, and up to five hours of additional battery life. Three years later, the ‌iPhone 16 Pro‌ is expected to offer over 60 upgrades. All of the changes the ‌iPhone 16 Pro‌ models are expected to feature compared to their 2021 predecessors

macOS Sequoia Adds iCloud Support for macOS 15 Virtual Machines

Apple is introducing a notable enhancement to its virtualization framework in macOS Sequoia by enabling Mac users to sign into iCloud within macOS virtual machines (VMs). Previously, users could not sign into iCloud on macOS VMs, which limited the framework's utility for developers needing to test iCloud features and for users looking to sync their apps with iCloud. As spotted by ArsTechnica , macOS Sequoia removes that barrier, provided that both the host and guest operating systems are macOS 15 or newer. The feature will be available on Apple silicon Macs, but it has some limitations. Developers aiming to run older macOS versions alongside macOS 15 in a VM or those who upgrade VMs from older macOS versions will not be able to sign into iCloud on the VM. Only brand-new VMs created from a macOS 15 install image (an .ipsw file) can utilize iCloud and services related to Apple Account (formerly Apple ID). Apple's virtualization framework documentation explains : "Wh