Cellphone HELL...

With all the phones, tablets, laptops and computers I go through, I should be used to upgrades/changes by now. Last week, I took delivery on the Samsung S24 Ultra with 1 terabyte of memory. It's their flagship model that boasts a 200 megapixel camera.

Using Samsung Smart Switch app, I backed up the old phone to my computer.
The new phone came with a double end USB-C connector for direct transfer phone to phone which s faster than using Wi-Fi. Smart Switch is resident on both phones but it took a few tries to connect.

Nearly everything transferred and all the the apps and screen settings are identical. Passwords didn't sync and I had to setup Google, Gmail, Samsung, WhatsApp and Signal again. I lost my most cherished app called Gesture Search. Someone else is making a version of Gesture Search that is no better than a first year computer programming homework assignment. Hopefully, they will listen to the user comments and make an update worthy of calling it Gesture Search.

I'm estimating nearly 2 days lost for research to set the phone up where it actually functions to my liking. A handful of calls to T-Mobile support and so many calls to Samsung customer care and technical support I lost track. I had a 'needed to fix' list or the phone goes back to Samsung and I get a refund.
Some features are no longer supported so I have to do a 'work around' to get what I want.
Notifications both visual and sound are nearly there. I would have preferred to see a flashing indicator or flag to let me know there are unread messages or emails.
The phone will give a reminder beep after 3 minutes and briefly vibrate when I pick up the phone. Always on display is the cure, but that eats into battery time.
Most of my text messages are converted using the microphone... Well, they were on my old phone, but the icon wasn't on the top row of the keyboard as expected. A call to Samsung and I was told the microphone is no longer supported. WTF? microphone not supported.
They had me download and install Gboard which is Google's keyboard app. It worked fine and quick, but the top row with numbers (found on the default Samsung keyboard) required a function key and extra keystrokes to achieve the same results... just like my BlackBerry phone 20 years ago!

Not accepting the Samsung Tech Support solution, I reverted back the the Samsung keyboard. An internet search revealed, you can toggle the microphone on and off via a separate menu. It now appears on the lower corner and not along the top row of commands like the previous 4 cellphones did.

Now for the camera that cannot default to low resolution images. I guess Samsung thinks it's beneath the S24 Ultra and forces them to only shoot high-res images.
Images were distorted and out of proportion. I reset the phone settings to default, rebooted the phone and most of the camera aspect issues went away. Photos sent by text messages are large, but the file size is manageable. Probably 2.5 times larger than my old phone.
The phone has a serious problem with images appearing like a fisheye lens. Vertical lines appeared curved, especially noticeable when looking at buildings or geometric objects having straight lines. I downloaded Samsung's Camera Assistant that has a setting to cure that. I'll test it tomorrow when I'm out on appointments.

While my experience and product review with this phone has been mostly negative, the speed of functions and menus is amazingly fast. It does automatic translation when texting. A very powerful feature.
I'm holding the screen resolution at it's lowest setting of HD+ 1560 x 720. maybe later I'll experiment with the QHD+ 3120 x 1440.
All the drawbacks to using anything more than the basic settings is reduced battery time. I'll have to test it with lots of use, calls, photos, GPS and see if I need to activate battery saver.
(note to self: phone doesn't come close to rated battery life)

Cellphone hell...
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created Apr 11
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Last Edited: Apr 17
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