Apr 28, 2015

Sgs 6 Review

My much beloved Moto X's screen shattered a week ago. While fumbling through my too small pockets for my wallet at an ATM, it slipped out of my fingers and crashed, corner first into the ground. The portion of the screen (lower right corner) where the enter button that allows you to submit your super secret key phrase, stopped functioning. Slow, dead pixel fade to black over the next four days. I can hear it ring, and buzz with texts, scrabbling against its dark glass coma. Its obsolescence, impending.

I had just gotten it back from the repair center too. A three month wait for Motorola to send me a new phone, with a new screen. The last one had shattered not nearly as magnificently. I had lhipped it off in December and just gotten this new one back in the mail, 12 weeks later.

I am feeling a bit burnt out by waiting periods and temporary measures. I may yet send it back in, but its run as my primary phone is over. Once accursed, forever unlucky.

I spent a week without without a fully functional phone before succumbing to morbid curiosity and buying Samsung's latest monstrosity - the Galaxy S 6 in champagne gold.  64 GB of memory. Fancy camera. The new curvy edge where the screen falls away from you, a pixel waterfall on silkily curved glass.

The camera is out of this world good and deserves the hype. The form factor is slimmer than the Moto X series - making it easier to hold. The edge of the bezeled screen and the screen come together in a thin edge of metal - all the better to grip you by, my dear. Overall, with a thinner profile and a boxier shape, the drop factor of this phone is far better than the Moto X.

It's also way sleeker than my tricked out Moto X (turquoise back plate and black detailing, with a matte finish). The gold is iridescently discolored in some places, but it sparkles in the light. The curved screen and flat back makes it fade into whatever table I place it on.

The curved edges are a bit of a double edged-sword. While nice to look at, it's not easy to grip without touching the screen. It takes some practice to get used to clutching your phone from the back or cradling it delicately. In the meantime, I've had a few Dots mishaps, and unintentional tweets.

Where the phone starts to fail, and fail miserably is in the software. Pretty outside, rotten heart.  To start Samsung chrome is atrocious. The amount of ridiculous dialogs and wizards that were thrown in front of my fast during the initial 24 hours of phone ownership incurred its own form of traumatic stress. Here are some weird things: the two text messages I received, inexplicably, through the Samsung messenger app that I can only view if I accept Samsung Messenger as the one true SMS application. As punishment for refusing to capitulate, these have morphed into an evergreen notification, chilling in my notification inbox from now until kingdom come.

Some, luckily chosen apps can be minified and added to the home screen. The best analogy is an app as a widget. It seems useful and tacky. Having Twitter on the home screen may be a nice touch, but may not be good for my oversharing paranoia. 

I miss some Moto X features. Always on listening and being able to re-name Google Now to whatever I wanted (Ari, come back!) were seemed like superfluous features at the time, but I miss them. I also miss the motion sensing screen that, with the wave of a hand, would summon the time. Basically, my Moto X made me feel like a techno wizard with a spirit familiar. I miss the magic.

The absolute worst thing about the new Samsung phone is the emoji set. Moto Xs come with the Android stock set of emoji, cute yellow caricatures, distinctly Android.  Samsung, in some god forsaken act of ego, created and shipped their own wooden, knock off emoji characters. It's a distinct set, though stunningly similar to the Apple based set. Honestly, I was willing to look past the god awful, Apple inspired home page and app organization that Samsung provided. And never mind that the form factor and color options most closely mimic that of the iPhone 6. I can even look past Samsung's dedication to a hardware home button and rewiring every primary function through it (screenshots, camera quick launch). But the amount of complete copiage that is the emoji set should be worth at least a few hundred million in infringement. It's fucking awful. As an example, I leave you with these atrocities. For those of you who cannot see them, consider your luck.  🙀😿😖🙈

All in all, I'm retiring my wizard staff of a Moto X and keeping the Samsung, but planning to root it to get rid of the atrocities committed by Samsung to the emoji set.

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