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New Smartphone is a Disappointment

I must express my disappointment in my new smartphone. I thought upgrading from the dated, failing and left behind Samsung Galaxy S III to the larger, faster, updated Samsung Galaxy S6 would be just the tool I needed to bump my game to the next level. But it was not so.

On the plus side the updated audio provided a much higher fidelity listening experience. And the display is gorgeous. And the ambient light sensor actually works (even in the dark it can be adjusted to a reasonable level). The camera is significantly faster, more capable and higher resolution.

The interaction experience is significantly improved. Touch works as good or better than it did on the old phone. Organization is improved. Sharing is at the center of device interaction. I can get more done with less clicks. The pull down menu is quite good. As is the home screen (it's more configurable.) I also enjoy how newer versions of Android give you more control over the device and apps.

And so is security. The phone is encrypted and has thumbprint recognition. Wi-Fi voice quality has been good (but facebook beats it hands down).

But that's where it ends. Most of the have were not found in the new phone and there were even some disappointing regressions:

  1. Battery life sucks. Bad. Maybe it would be worth it if the phone were fast. It isn't. Better than the old phone? Yes. Blazingly fast and without stall, delay or lag? Not even close. It's slow and the battery life sucks. Who is the architect who chose an 8 core SoC for a phone? Fucking idiots. Really.
  2. I was relieved when I bought the phone because I thought that supporting the latest WiFi, WAN and BT protocols would solve my connectivity issues. It hasn't. I can say that WAN support is better but it's not great. My old phone did not work at all (data or voice) over WAN in my entire neighborhood except for one spot on my bed in my bedroom (not even my entire bed). It also did not work in the subway. Things are improved but not great. Sometimes the subway works and I get some coverage in my neighborhood but it's a low bit rate for sure. All I can say is thank god for wifi calling. It can provide a significant improvement on voice quality but it's not nearly as good as facebook calling. Seriously? FB has better voice quality than a telephone company with a hundred years in the business?
  3. Speakerphone is better but not good. Why no front facing speakers? Why no stereo? These things are not just for me, they are for all the people around me.
  4. No way to disable DND lights. It's annoying, It eats battery. It's a simple feature that was present on the old phone.
  5. USB2.0 only
  6. Remove the health hardware. It's useless, doesn't work well and eats battery.
  7. The lock screen is a trainwreck. It doesn't use the screen efficiently. Buttons are small and hard to press. You have to manually assign priorities to apps. Apps clearly don't have access to parts of the screen. Apps are forced into the list rather than displaying a simple icon up top. For all the improvements to Android this is still a cluster fuck.
  8. For that matter the samsung keyboard sucks. I like the 1-9+0 across the top but the keyboard guessing is AWFUL. The last phone came with swype. Why didn't this one? I had to install it. While the keyboard guessing on swype is nothing short of extraordinary I wish they included more detail on the keyboard. They removed all the tiny icons which makes it much harder to use. I also wish they would add the option to include 1-9+0 across the top. Regardless the keyboard, one of the most frequently used input methods is garbage.
  9. With that said wouldn't voice control be a focus? You'd think! They removed it completely! On the gs3 I could voice control alarms, music, etc. On the gs6 it's just gone. No more turning off a timer from the kitchen. I have to rub my raw chicken and flour covered fingers all over my phone to shut it up.
  10. If we continue onto UX, the default themes suck. They lack beauty and sophistication. None of them approach professional. They all try to be cute or cool or something that would appeal to a 16yr old boy or girl. This is a $600 phone. Who the fuck do you think is buying these? The same goes for the pre installed sounds.
  11. I wish I could say "thanks for the preinstalled apps, I use a lot of them and the rest I just ignore or remove". But no. Instead they force themselves on me like a drunken date that never ends because it's in my pocket 24/7.
  12. File browser is useless. I used to be able to browse music by album. Now it's a randomly sorted mess of tracks that are unreadable because the file names are too long. Bring it back Samsung. There's no excuse.
  13. Smart stay does not work. If I stare at my phone for a couple minutes the screen shuts off. I had the same exact problem on my old phone and it's frustrating.
  14. Night time camera is not improved. All the reviews showed improved night time pics. But in my experience it's still pretty much useless.
  15. They removed the ability to charge while plugged into a USB DAC. I know this is a niche feature. But default Android supports this. Why the fuck did you remove it???

Overall I feel like I got a few nice things on the phone but none of them were items I needed. They are nice to haves. I am completely disappointed with the phone, would not purchase it again and cannot recommend it to anyone for any reason.

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