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Somewhat getting into the modern age with a Samsung Galaxy S7 from Tracfone


Kicking and screaming go I into the modern age.

As I've said before, when it comes to phones I am very anti-contract, so I purposely use prepaid. During my time I lived in Florida, I got my first Tracfone in the late 2000s. It was a Samsung T105G model. Ultra-basic candy bar phone that didn't even have a camera. Even so, I absolutely loved the fact there was no contract and good service. I've been with Tracfone ever since.

It wasn't until 2018 that I got my first smartphone, a Samsung Galaxy Stardust. That didn't last too long because in just a few short months, the Android version was too old to be supported with modern mobile web browsers. The browser is arguably the #1 app on any computer these days, and without a modern browser, you really can't do much online. It had to go.

After that I got the LG Stylo 3 in early 2019. I had fully intended on sticking with this phone for the long haul. But then I discovered the phone's one fatal flaw. Crappy camera. There's simply no way to take a good photo with the Stylo 3. And believe me, I tried. It just wasn't happening.

For years, I've been wanting to stop using standalone digital cameras and switch over to using the phone for all my photography. And I think I finally got it with the Samsung Galaxy S7 from Tracfone.

Obviously, the S7 is not the latest model. Generally speaking, phones from Tracfone are about 2 to 3 years behind what's current. And that's fine. The point is that finally, after waiting years to get something that would not only do all my mobile stuff but also be an excellent camera as well, this S7 appears to be what I was looking for.

It's all about the macro shots


Above is my dog, Cooper. I just grabbed the phone and took a quick photo of him.

The fact I was able to get this shot with almost no fuss is nothing short of a small miracle.

Getting close-up shots where everything is in focus using just about any camera be it from traditional digital camera or smartphone is not easy. But the S7 was able to nail it.

This photo is what convinced me that yes, I can finally part ways with standalone digital cameras and use the phone for all my photography.

It's not really about color representation or richness or saturation or whatever with photos. Only three things really matter. Focus, exposure and clarity.

Focus is easy to explain. Out-of-focus is blurry, in-focus is clear.

Proper exposure ensures the photo isn't too light or too dark.

Clarity is how much digital grain is visible. The less grain there is, the better the clarity.

The vast majority of smartphones for whatever stupid reasons have a very difficult time focusing, achieving proper exposure and not looking like a grainy mess.

What Samsung did starting with the S7 is something very smart. Instead of keeping 16 megapixels from the S5 and S6 models, they decided to use 12MP instead to allow for better exposure, faster focusing and less digital grain. And it worked.

So yes, the S7 is "only" a 12MP camera. But it takes photos far better than phones with 16MP or greater. Even the latest Apple iPhone Xr "only" has a 12MP camera for basically the same reasons Samsung went with 12. When dealing with a smaller lens, it is in fact the best megapixel count to use for the best possible photos.

Happy to dump the standalone digital camera

As I said, for years I've been wanting to do this, and now I finally can.

This doesn't mean I'm going to throw out my digital camera as it's still good for taking photos while at home. And I really want to put the emphasis on while at home.

I no longer have to keep a digital camera in the car for whenever I want something to take good photos with when not at home. Now the phone can do it.

It's also nice that I was able to get a Tracfone-issued Galaxy S7. In my experience, using phones directly issued by Tracfone do work the best with their service.

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