Well, the mobile division at any rate. I have a few months to go before my contract is up. I was using the galaxy s3, when the screen cracked. That will teach me not to use a screen protector, nor to have the phone enclosed in a case. The entire thing happened in a moment of absent-mindedness. I went to forcibly catch the phone after it fell from my hand, when I attempted to move it about 2 feet from one part of the desk to another. The upper left-hand screen-edge impacted against a 5 or 10 pence piece sticking out from the side of a book. There was a slight retort and a partial spider screen, and that was that. A pristine phone ruined in an instant, but luckily still functional. As i was only a few months away from an upgrade, i decided to simply wait.
It was in december 2013, after the long awaited update to jelly bean 4.2, that things started to go sour between samsung, orange, the s3 and me. One problem, was the dreaded slow charging. After leaving the phone plugged in, using the original charger and cable, with wifi, mobile data, sound, brightness, either all switched off or set to minimum. After nine hours of non-stop charging the battery had finally reached 80% capacity. Then the moment it was switched on i could count the seconds as as it lost a percentage point of charge. It took a month for samsung/orange to correct that little cock-up. Once it was corrected, normal battery charging and usage were resumed. In the meantime i was left with my veritable and sturdy htc wildfire – which happily works to this day and is a default backup for phone calls, sms, and even the odd painful attempt at an email, should an upgrade go wrong.
But the day came after months of waiting, it was time to upgrade to a shiny new device. I had my eye on the note4 for flexibility, the android os (despite the rubbish overlay), replaceable battery, microsd slot, and the s-pen. It was still in the samsung fold, but i was more than happy giving them another free opportunity. Unfortunately i had to swap from orange to ee, but after sitting down and doing my calculations it was all worthwhile. So i upgraded and waited for it's appearance on my doorstep. It arrived. I could feel the box wrapped in an unopened bag, which didn't sport any external signs of damage.
I opened the bag and carefully removed the contents. The delivery note seemed odd. I read down the list of contents, and among them was a letter for the devices' return, a refund letter for the device, and the device in its box. A furrowed pucker started to burrow its way to the surface of my brow. I put the delivery note down, and picked up the letter, which began “we're sorry to hear that you're not satisfied with the device...” Not satisfied, i thought. I've only just received it. How can i not be satisfied? I looked at the delivery note and back to the letter. Put the letter down and picked up the box. The first label was intact. Turned the box around and looked at the second label, the security label. The one which says 'do not accept if broken'. It had a nice break running all the way through it.
I contacted ee, and queried why there was a break running through the security label.
“Oh the box is like that, as we have to test some of the phones,” she said.
Bullshit, I thought. “It's not acceptable, it's used.” I said. “I don't want a returned phone, when i'm paying the price of a new one!”
“We can send you another one, if you're not happy with it?” she said.
“Fine. Thank you,” I replied, and rang off.
Luckily, after learning my lesson the hard way with the s3, i had pre-purchased a case and screen cover for the note4 – both of which have kept it in very usable condition, despite the odd knocks it's experienced. Even with insurance, I'd rather try to hang on to it, and not have to schlep to a store, or send it away never to see it again as it's been run over after falling into the path of a forklift, after dropping from a lorry whose door had swung open as the driver had been out the night before and only saw, at the last moment, the postman crossing the road with earphones stuck in his ears connected to a s3.
Suffice to say, i was more than happy with the note4, and probably like many other owners, were eagerly looking forward to seeing the specifications for the note5. What wonders would they tempt us users with next?
No replacement battery, and no microsd slot!
I'm on my 2nd original manufacturers battery, i have the the microsd slot at 75%. When the phone plays up, I can simply remove and replace the battery and restart, and yes if that means sacrificing 2mm of thickness, then I can really say that I don't mind in the slightest.
Since the note5's unveiling, I knew that my love affair with samsung (as tempestuous, and unpredictable as it was) had run it's course. It was time to look elsewhere.
I had thought all was lost. That all the manufacturers had lost their senses when it came to device design and were all following the apple-cart of oblivion, well those who only depended on phones for their living. I made a conscious effort not to put the device in harms way, or near an edge, or halfway hanging out a side pocket easily available for a mugger to hoik, and run off with. Until one day lg, of all companies, brought out their V10. Yes, I know it doesn't have a s-pen, or a pen of any description. But it has battery that can be replaced, it has a microsd slot that can take anything from 32gb up to 2tb – i'm sure one of the reviews and spec sheets will be proven correct when the v10, or the g4 pro, finally lands in the uk.
There is, however, a large fly on the horizon: mobile world congress in barcelona from the 22-25 February 2016.
Cover on… cover off. What more could a nerd want.