02C9B: Current Phone Thinking

Wednesday Tinola

Metro Manila Community Quarantine - Day 1159

In yesterday's blog, I mentioned that I was thinking of getting a new phone. I'm going to dedicate this blog post to just jotting down my ramblings.

1. The Realistic Plan

This all started when I cracked my phone screen again on my current S21+. I've only had this device since December 2021 and it has largely been okay save for when the original screen turned black back in November last year and we had it replaced while I was in Singapore. So the current screen is a third-party replacement and it didn't take much for me to damage it. 

The most practical solution in the short term is to bring it to a local third-party phone repair person and get it fixed as an interim measure as there is technically nothing wrong with the phone itself. It still works pretty well despite rather extensive usage. Plus it's still early in the year - my Globe phone contract isn't up yet, so any phone I'd get would be at full retail cost. And newer models are going to be released later in the year, which will either mean better options or the current line becoming more affordable. I don't have a particular need to have the most cutting-edge phone apart from making sure it lasts for as long as possible.

And maybe get a more robust phone case to compensate for me being...me.

2. Gooogle Love

So there's been a lot of good buzz about the Pixel line of phones starting with the previous 6s and now the 7s. Plus you all know I'm quite the Googlephile and all the little enhancements they've made to the Pixel phone over the years do get me pretty excited. Plus I'm already heavily invested in the Google Photos app, which seems to play a key role in augmenting the Pixel's camera features. The Magic Eraser feature that debuted with the Pixel 6 has already been made available to Google Photos users who also have Google One (like me!).

The Google 7 Pro is not as expective as Samsung's flagship phone, and its camera hardware isn't quite as impressive as what some other phones have. The software-supported photo-taking can be a little hit or miss in different lighting conditions and video seems to be a big question. And given how I use my phone extensively for taking photos and videos at O Bar under some rather dynamic lighting conditions, that's sort of a big deal. Some tech reviewers say it's pretty good for the price. Others say either low-light photos are a dealbreaker or videos are terrible or whatever. And others cite that the battery life is a day at best and significantly less with more limited use. Plus any Google device (for now) won't have any local support options, and I've been down that road before with my Google Nexus phone so many years ago. 

3. Samsung Supremacy

The other option is to go for either the Samsung S23+ or the S23 Ultra. Samsung is a pretty reliable brand with a decent track record, robust local support options, and other good things. I can get it at a discounted rate through my mobile service provider and I can probably get a bit of a discount by trading in my older S8, leaving the S21+ as a backup unit. And I'll need all the discounts I can get given that in order to get the best camera experience, I'll probably have to go for the Ultra, which is significantly expensive.

Based on the reviews, the S23 Ultra is a crazy phone. It has more optical lenses than even the Pixel 7 Pro and seems to take some of the best videos via an Android device. Some could argue that if I'm really serious about mobile video, I should consider switching to an iPhone. But we know very well I'm not going to cross over. The list of features for the current Samsung flagship phone goes on and on including crazy long battery life, a few more years of software updates versus Pixel, and other good bits. One just has to deal with the typical Samsung bloatware that comes with any such device, but I've been living in the Samsung ecosystem for a while now, and it hasn't been terrible. 


For now...I'm trying to stay put. I think I'm just feeling a little phone envy given how much hype was generated for all the different Pixel devices during the recent Google I/O conference. And I know that I'm probably going to crack my phone screen again after I get this one repaired because I'm pretty prone to phone dropping even on a good day. And there are more important things for me to save up for beyond a phone, so I know it's better to wait.