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Things I've learned by being forced to upgrade my phone


It's a shame what's happening to phones these days.

The first thing you want to know is why I'm being forced to upgrade my phone. It's my Android version.

I have a Samsung Galaxy S7, and it's great. However, it only supports up to Android 8. There's a specific app I use, and the company that makes it recently made an announcement to the effect of, "Hey, we know you, like, really need this app, but we decided to make Android 9 the minimum requirement to run our stuff because we're lazy, so... yeah, upgrade your phone or screw you. Have a nice day!"

Gee, thanks.

I said to myself okay, time to get a new phone, so I started shopping around. I quickly discovered two huge truths:

It is very difficult to find a normal sized phone

I have a complaint that is echoed by many across all age groups (meaning this is absolute not limited to middle aged guys like me), and that complaint is most phones are too frickin' big. Not only are they legitimately painful to hold in the hand for texting or talking, but they don't fit properly in most jean or coat pockets either.

To add insult to injury, when you do find a phone that is a correct size for, you know, a human, it's a massive downgrade compared to the plank-sized phone of the same generation.

Most newer phones are downgrades compared to older ones

It used to be that you could get a really nice new phone for under $200. Again, new. That's not the case anymore compared to what we had before...

...which is why I just ordered a used Samsung Galaxy S10e with condition listed as "open box" (one level below "mint").

The price I paid was a little over $160. You're probably thinking it was stupid to pay that much for a 2019 phone in 2023.

Not really.

What I get with the S10e is a) a normal sized phone, b) the ability to move my 256GB microSD card out of my old S7 and into the S10e with no problem at all, c) a real headphone jack, d) stereo speakers, and e) the ability to record 4K 60fps video.

To put this in perspective, my old S7 can record 1080p 60fps video, which is still considered a "premium" feature today!

Yes, the camera is a big deal for me. I wanted something that at least matched what the S7 can do in the same form factor. Turns out the S10e was the only one that could really cut the mustard at a price that didn't break the bank.

You might now be thinking, "But older Apple iPhone smaller models can do 4K 60fps video..." True, but with the Apple iPhone 11 Pro (the closest equivalent) you're absolutely not getting one for the price of a Galaxy S10e. I'm not kidding.

I have no idea if my S10e will work properly since it is used, but it's one of the few phones out there with a newer Android version that will allow me to run that stupid app I need while at the same time giving me excellent photo/video quality.

Fingers crossed.

Published 2023 Mar 9

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