02CA1: Emergency Phone Replacement Day

Tuesday Laing

Metro Manila Community Quarantine - Day 1165

So I guess all my fretting over my phone over the past few weeks paid off. Just as I was fully prepared to buy a new phone after work today, matters came to a head when I woke up to find that my phone's screen had died. It still responded to touch input - hence I was able to swipe my alarms off and even manage some blind photos without knowing what exactly I was pointing the camera at. But the screen was completely black. So instead of waiting for after work, I went back to SM Aura during lunch, much to the delight of the Samsung salesperson I had spoken to yesterday. 

I rushed back with my older S8 (and its fully functional screen) along with my disabled S21+ under the rather punishing noontime sun and immediately sought out the attendant. She had been prepared to wait for me to come back later after her actual shift in order to make sure she helped me (and secured her sale, I'm sure), which I ultimately appreciated. We went through their assessment process to get a measure of the relative value of my older phone and were pleasantly surprised to find out I was entitled to a rebate that was a little higher than initially estimated. This made the decision to get a new phone on the fly a little less painful.

I had "settled" for a green-colored unit since I didn't think it was worth it to go for the higher capacity 512GB model just to get the plain black version. The phone that is in-hand now is way more valuable than one that may take another week or so to become available. The phone came with a free silicon case (that actually has a strap for drop-prone users like me) and an adapter for the USB-C charging cable, which are decent enough accessories. And then it came to the question of whether or not I was going to invest in Samsung Care+ for the phone. Typically I'm wary of extended warranty services given they feel like they're designed to only extend for as long as the phone would normally function well anyway. But the promise of coverage even because of accident-related damage felt like a good idea given my S21+ experience. I'm already viewing my older phone as something like Waspinator from Beast Wars - he kind of blew up in every other episode. I want this new phone to last me longer with the longevity of a character like Fortress Maximus or something.

Switching over to the new phone wasn't as seamless as had I had the option to actually use the QR Code-based Smart Switch features that all Samsung phones have, but it wasn't terrible. My Google One phone backup saved me a LOT of time, although it left me the work of re-arranging all my apps on my home screen after Google One had queued them all for installation. And I've spent a better part of the day fiddling with things to get all my notifications in order along with other bells and whistles.

I had already ordered a Ghostek case for this planned phone via Lazada last night and I'll switch over once it arrives later this week. I don't necessarily have direct experience with this brand, but it seems pretty rugged and I'll go with that. I'm going to do my best to make sure this phone is going to last me longer - this includes me actually taking the time to name it after Trailbreaker, a G1 Transformer who had the quirk of a force field ability in the old cartoon. And this is a little new for me since I hardly ever bother to name my devices. 

In the meantime, I'm already viewing my older phone as Rhinox from the Beast Wars series, which feels a bit more optimistic than naming it after Waspinator. I say this since Rhinox was eventually "reincarnated" as Tankor in the Beast Machines sequel series, albeit he was a bad guy. But that's the plan for my S21+ as I intend to get the screen repaired one more, but this time at an official Samsung Service Center and then either keep it as a backup phone or force Tobie to upgrade to a better device. I was hoping to avail myself of Samsung's supposed pickup service, but actually calling the hotline resulted in the rep telling me that the three nearby service centers didn't have the ability to pick up my damaged phone for some reason. Getting the old phone fixed will have to wait until after my upcoming work trip.

As for the new phone, I'll concede that incremental improvements aren't groundbreaking, but they are nice. The screen feels even more vivid than my previous unit, especially when I'm playing Marvel Strike Force. Camera photos look pretty good so far, but I've yet to really put it through its paces. More on the new phone's performance in the days and weeks to come.