Friday, July 01, 2022

Off The Hook

For the last couple of weeks, I've mostly kept my "smart phone" -- a Samsung S6 -- turned completely off. It started doing things like freezing up and heating up. The latter makes me think there are battery issues involved.

It so happens that I got the phone (and the service) eight years ago as part of ... well, a benefits package, I guess ... from a place I do some work for. In theory this was so they could get in touch with me ASAP, so I could use it as a "hot spot" if I was away from home and needed to get in to do the work, etc. In actuality, I consider it just a nice thing they did for me, since there's not been a WHOLE lot of work calling or hot-spotting involved.

So anyway, when I let them know that the old phone was going, they cheerfully agreed to get me a new one. There was some talk about what I needed, to which my answer was "pretty much any  reasonably modern Android phone will do." Until the hardware started screwing up, it was still plenty of phone for me even after nearly a decade. I don't run a whole bunch of wild apps or anything. I talk, text, message, run crypto wallets, etc. Heck, I don't think I even have any games still installed, and when I did they were "casual" apps that weren't too resource intensive.

One question I got asked was, did I want a phone with a physical home button? And yes, I prefer that. Tamara has a Motorola Moto, and any time she hands it to me and asks me to do something, I find it confusing because it's ALL touchscreen stuff. But times are moving on, and if I have to learn to do things the new way, I will.

Anyway, they found me a phone with a home button.

And, if it's the phone I think it is, 4Gb of RAM instead of 3Gb.

And 64Gb of internal storage instead of 32Gb.

And a slightly faster CPU.

None of which is surprising since my phone is so old, but like I said, the old phone was plenty of phone for me even now, so I figure this one should be good for at least another eight years.

Also its case is pretty much an Otterbox, so I don't have to buy one. I got my first Otterbox on sale for something like seven bucks, probably because it's pink (I consider that a feature, not a bug -- makes my phone more easily identifiable) and for an older phone, but they're normally much more expensive. Not that I drop my phone a lot. I bought the Otterbox after the first and only time that I laid my bicycle down and the phone went flying, years ago. I seem to be the only person in the house whose screen doesn't crack when I look at a phone sideways.

I think (based on trying to remember the conversation, and on a web page listing available phones under my benefactors' group plan) that the phone we're talking about here is the Sonim XP8. It seems to be designed for -- or at least marketed toward -- military, "first responder," and outdoor utility worker types. Not just the rugged casing, but a speaker that will hit 100 decibels, a "SecureAudio" connector that you can get a "push to talk" handset for, etc.

So that's on the way, and then I'll be connected 24/7 by phone again. Which may be a bug rather than a feature.

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