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New Phone

For almost 5 years, I used the Samsung Galaxy A10e, one of the first-generation phones from the Galaxy A line. It worked great, and lasted for much longer than I expected, and I have practically no complaints about that phone. Unfortunately, the years started to catch up to it. The touchscreen started to lose its sensitivity, the occasional text or call wouldn't go through, and it generally started to slow down, among other minor issues. However, the final push that caused me to begin my search for a new phone was the fact that the A10e was still running on Android version 9. Which, at the time of writing this, has been out of support for about 2 and a half years. That means that my phone has been more prone to bugs, glitches, viruses, and spyware. So, I did what any true American does after about a year of owning a phone - I got a new one!

The Galaxy A10e has a special place in my heart, because it was one of the last "small" mainstream phones by Samsung. (But, I didn't know this yet.) I quote "small" because it still had a 5.8" screen - my biggest phone ever, at this point. The phone size was a major contributing factor in my purchasing decision. I looked on Google and Amazon for "mini smartphone" and the outlook was embarassingly bleak. For instance, the latest generation in the Samsung Galaxy A line, the A15, has a whopping 6.5" screen! The iPhone 15 and Pro are at 6.1", and the 15+ and Pro Max at a gargantuan 6.7" screen diagonal! Of course, I'm not forced to use Samsung nor Apple, but the general trend for major smartphone manufacturers was about the same. Come on, smartphone designers - I'm looking for something that can fit in my pocket, not something to watch Imax movies on!

Anyway, I went as far as to consider some crappy unknown Chinese retailers that were still selling mini 3-4" phones. I decided not to go this route as I've heard that these phones may have spyware preinstalled. What frustrated me the most about this, was that I could get an older flagship phone with better specifications, for the same price!

I also considered the iPhone 13 Mini - the last in the line of mini smartphones made by Apple. I use one at work and it is incredible, and everything is seamless with my work computer (MacBook.) The battery life is pretty good, and the camera is excellent. I browsed for it on Amazon, and unfortunately it was close to $400 used. I regret not getting this one over the phone I picked, although the iPhone 13's do have their issues. First of all, the phone was released in 2021, making it 3 years old at this point. Second, I don't own any personal Apple computers, so I wouldn't be able to take advantage of all the great features I use at work. Third, I've heard that iPhone repair costs are through the roof, so if Gods forbid I drop this phone and it cracks, it'd be time for a new one. Lastly, I hate the iPhone charger with a passion. Literally, why doesn't it use USBC like every other phone?

I ended up ordering the Galaxy A15 (and case) from Amazon. It was said to have 5G capabilities. When it arrived, the first thing I noticed was the size of the case. I opened it and put the case in my pocket. It fit, but I knew right away that it would be really annoying to walk around with it. I charged and powered on the A15. It worked just fine, but when I went investigating in the system settings, I discovered that the phone I had received was not the 5G-capable model. I was pretty annoyed, and requested to return the phone. Fortunately, Amazon/Samsung granted my request and I shipped the phone back for a full refund.

From this experience I knew that I would want to stick with a phone as close to the size of the A10e as possible. I did some more research and finally decided on the Samsung Galaxy S22. The screen is 6.1", mainly due to the fact the screen went all the way to the phone edges, so the actual size of the phone was about the same as the A10e. The Galaxy S line is said to be more high-end than the entry-level Galaxy A line. The S22 was released in 2022, making it 2 years old. It also ran Android version 12 which is still supported. This was still a bit of a gamble but at least it was not like buying a $1,000 smartphone. I bought used for $250, which wasn't my first choice, but buying used was a good idea, to give the phone some more lifetime instead of ending up in the dump.

When the phone arrived, I charged it to 100% and powered it on. I performed a factory reset and then also had to run some software updates and install some apps. After only a few hours, the battery had been completely drained! I was really concerned about this but decided to give it more time to try it out. After a second charge, I went out for a walk to use it for taking pictures. The photo quality was incredible, and the phone was extremely fast and smooth. And, it had 5G capabilities! This time, the battery drained much more slowly - I think it only drained fast due to the nature of the first-time setup and software updates.

I only have 2 minor complaints about this phone.

  1. Lack of SD card slot (this is unfortunately standard nowadays on all iPhones and Galaxy S, and even some Galaxy A phones are missing it as well)
  2. Lack of headphone jack (again, this is an unfortunate reality that the headphone jacks are disappearing on major flagship phones, iPhones have not had one for a long time, since the iPhone 6!)

The silver linings of these complaints is that the Galaxy S22 is fully water-resistant. I don't really intend to bring it to the pool, however. I did purchase a USBC to aux port converter, so I can use my phone with wired headphones or my car radio.

I've had this phone for about a week now, and can confidently say that it will not only be my new phone (hopefully) for the next few years, but also my new camera as well! Like I had said, the camera quality was astounding compared to the A10e, going up to 50 megapixels - where my Canon PowerShot A3500 IS can take pictures only up to 16 megapixels. I was a little worried about buying used but I'm so glad I did. This works just like a new phone (in comparison) and I only paid a fraction of the cost. And hey, saving the Earth is cool too!