A new phone :O

Times really are changing. After about two years of actively looking for a replacement for my trusty - yet slowly rotting - Nexus 5, I finally think I found a suitable model! The Samsung Galaxy S9. 4k60 OIS video, USB-PD charging with USB 3.0 and dual SIM support. And a notification LED. Eat that, Nokia! A whole lineup of attractive phones, yet no LED. Why do you do this?

Unfortunately the Galaxy S9 isn't everything I had hoped for. I found a large amount of things I dislike in just a few hours, sorted roughly by category. I sincerely hope that I can cross out these pain-points as time goes on and I adjust to them, or find good workarounds. If not: fuck.

  • It is a lot harder to pick the phone up from a flat surface.
  • The surface of the phone is extremely slippery. I wouldn't dare to try to hold it with woolen gloves, for example.
  • Extra care and thought must be put to holding the phone; the edges of the screen pick up unintended touches rather easily.
  • The phone has a very small chin, and this makes it hard to press the back-button when using it with just one hand.
  • On an otherwise smooth phone there are disturbingly rough edges on the back-edges with the charging port, and the one opposite of it.

  • The camera needs a really bright environment to work well at 60 fps. Lit indoors are just not enough.
  • Charging is limited to 10 W even though the phone supports USB-PD, which allows for 100 W.

  • Bixby can't be disabled without a Samsung account.
  • No "Development shortcut" option in developer options for easily killing and uninstalling apps. No any shortcut to kill apps!
  • Appinfo doesn't show the package name
  • Screen turns on when charging with no way to disable this.
    • A workaround is to install SnooZy Charger. The screen still turns on, but then immediately off. But it will also turn the screen off even when it was already ON prior to charging/ending charging :(
  • Bloaty software that can't be uninstalled, some not even disabled.
  • No option to disable charging LED notification.
  • Annyoing popup to buy Samsung Secure Wi-fi VPN service when connecting to new Wi-Fi networks.
  • I haven't (yet?) rooted the phone, so it is impossible to copy the settings and other saved data from some applications to the new phone. But this point applies to all other phones, too.
  • Rooing will disable Knox, a type of TPM. I see no reason for this. With rooting the TPM would be an even more important component, allowing to store cryptographic secrets while preventing them to be extracted from the device.
  • With fingerprint unlocking enabled, the phone will randomly ask for the password. No setting to make fingerprint work 100% of the time.

I guess that is everything for now. Why did I even get the new phone if I hate it so much? That is a valid question. The biggest reason is of course the fact that the older phone was becoming unuseable. The same thing that happened when I had to upgrade my otherwise perfectly fine 4790k-based desktop PC oto 8700k. That was actually even worse, as the performance gains were only marginal.

With this new phone I have high hopes that the greatly increased computing power shortens iteration times with mobile application developement when I eventually get back to doing it. And now I can once again use the phone for fun things, instead of just swearing it for being so slow. But I wonder what those fun things are. Is there other things to do with a phone other than just browse reddit? The greatly upgraded camera will hopefully also enable a whole new class of things to do.

And USB-PD support will make it easier to charge the phone when traveling light - without needing other extra investments - as it allows to charge the phone with the same charger I use for charging my laptop (Dell XPS 13). I could charge the phone via the laptop, but the USB outputs of the laptop work unreliably when it is turned off; can't risk it. But travel battery charging setup would be a whole topic on its own, so let's not get into it now.

In conclusion: I loved Nexus, can S9 get anywhere near it? That is what I'm hoping for; time will tell.

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