Saturday, October 15, 2016

The Great Samsung Escape


In a world of emerging technology the smart phone is the must have item of the 21st century. Even more than the tablets that are starting to fill the homes of average Americans or the convertible laptops that seem to be filling the campus’ of the world, it seems that the smart phone is filling more and more pockets of everyone regardless of age or financial means. I’d like to say that I am at the forefront of all of this, but that would be a hysterical overreach. I do of course have some experience and am not a total newbie to all of this either. Actually I was ahead of the curve on a lot of these things even if I did get side tracked by bad habits.

I actually owned some of the first smart phones. I had several Palm phones before anyone had seen an Android or even an iPod, much less an iPhone. Of course I rode that horse until I broke my Palm Centro (still one of the greatest phones EVER) and thought I would take a chance on a Palm Pre (still one of the worst phones ever) and finally was able to afford my way away from the dead Palm line and into my first Samsung Galaxy. Yes it was the awesome Galaxy with the slide out keyboard, and actual 4G connectivity, despite the lack of any 4G coverage. I had as much love for that phone as any Palm (including the Centro) that I ever owned. Of course I am at a cross road again as Samsung (I own the Galaxy 4 and was hoping to get that Note 7 until …) is going to be a dead technology.

Yes I realize that many people think Samsung will survive this, but most don’t. The chatter about how dangerous that Note 7 is has even crossed into the debate of whether Android will survive this. I of course think that talk is silly, but it does leave me with a conundrum. With the newest Samsung offerings being recalled, and the company will probably be sued and ignored out of existence, where am I going to go now? What are the things that other Android makers are throwing in their phones and are any of them worth a crap? Before I get into that I have to explain a bit about what things went into the Samsung phones that made them dangerous and why I am jumping off the ship.

My Samsung 4 has a feature that the Samsung 6 on do not have, which make them a hell of a lot safer. The lithium ion battery that powers it can be removed and replaced. When the battery in my Galaxy 4 started over heating and expanding (so that my screen protector cracked, and the actual screen had a bow in the middle) I was able to remove the battery that was shaped like a pillow after all that heat, and at the very least keep it from catching fire. Then I could acquire a new battery (for very little money) and viola, problem solved. The new smart phones that Samsung makes do not have a removable battery (because they are trying to keep up with our friends at Apple) and have to make the phones slimmer and water resistant.

Well I am not going to own an iPhone. I just don’t like the closed in nature of the technology, but to stay with Android I have to step away from the company I stuck with, and not fall in with the companies my friends complain about. I’m thinking my next choice will be the LG G5 which has a modular design to remove and replace the battery and a few other items. The review found here from CNET likes the phone but thinks the modular accessories are very weak. The fact that I can pull out the battery instead of starting a fire is all the selling point I need these days. Oh yeah and for the record, the iPhones catch fire too, since I’m sure that’s what some people would like to point out that they don’t. Lithium ion is a very dangerous technology, but it is the only one that fits our needs right now. Live and learn.