Julie’s gadget diary – I’m finally upgrading to a new phone

ARTICLE – My track record for upgrading phones has been bad the past year and half but that’s finally going to change. Really, I promise this time guys!

First some background… I bought the Pixel 2 XL back in the fall of 2017 which feels like forever ago, but I’ve been using that phone since the day I bought it and even though I’ve tried to upgrade multiple times, I always ended up returning the Pixel for some reason or another.

First I bought the Essential Phone PH-1. There was a lot to like about the Essential phone like the amazing price! But my dislikes outweighed the likes. Mainly the fingerprint sensor which wasn’t compatible with my alien fingertips. I also found it to be smaller than what I’d become used to after using the Pixel 2 XL. So I boxed it up and shipped it back for a refund.

Then I got all excited about the iPhone XS Max and ordered one only to send it back within a few weeks. It was nice enough, but every time I try an iPhone, I end up missing the Android OS.

Let’s see… then there was the Pixel 3 XL which I thought for sure I’d keep, but…. nope. Sent it back because it felt identical to my Pixel 2 XL.

In between those phones which I bought on my own dime, I reviewed other phones like the Samsung Galaxy S9, LG V40, and Sony Xperia XZ2. None of them made me want to part with the cash to update. But now I’m ready to literally say goodbye to my Pixel 2 XL because I’m trading it for a $300 credit towards the Samsung Galaxy S10+ which I pre-ordered this morning. I opted for a blue S10+ with 128GB. Why the S10+? I figured bigger is better and the overall dimensions are actually ever so slightly smaller than the Pixel 2 XL.

I’m pretty jazzed to finally upgrade to a new phone and I am looking forward to having wireless charging again, a microSD card slot, and screen mirroring. I’m also excited to try DEX again because I’m always thinking about turning my phone into my only computer. Yeah, I know it probably won’t work, but it’s always fun to give it a shot and let all of you know my thoughts about trying.

The Samsung Galaxy S10+ might not be as new tech drool worthy as the Samsung Fold (which I want to try when it becomes available) but it has enough features to make me finally upgrade – at least until this fall with the Pixel 4 XL comes out! Just kidding… Ok, probably not kidding. But we’ll just have to wait and see. Head over to Samsung.com to read about the S10e, S10, and S10+.

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34 thoughts on “Julie’s gadget diary – I’m finally upgrading to a new phone”




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  2. I’ll be curious to see what you think of Samsung’s forked Android. I’ve never been a fan of Samsung’s customized UI and mandatory apps.

    1. When is the last time you had a Samsung? I ask, because I had the same attitude in the past, but I am really digging the S8+. As crazy as it sounds, the ability to rearrange the back and app buttons was a huge deal for me. Never liked Samsung’s order.
      If only I could reprogram the Bixby button…

        1. There is a free 3rd party app called BxActions that lets you remap the Bixby button to launch a different app (or just become a dead button). Samsung sometimes tries to disable it and the developer has to release an update but, so far, it still works.

      1. According to the Verge you can reprogram it 🙂

        “Samsung will allow buyers of its new Galaxy S10 smartphones to use the Bixby key to open whatever app they want. The Verge has confirmed that with the S10, the company has added settings that allow you to customize the button beyond what has been allowed previously. You can assign the Bixby button to open a third-party app with either a single or double press of the button.”

    1. Bryan, I totally agree. Who is going to buy it at $2k?! Well, that’s a dumb question. People WILL buy it just because it’s new and different. But I wonder if the idea will catch on. I hope so. But I want a Pixel 3 XL sized device that opens up like that. If we’re going to go big, let’s go real big!

      1. Remember, though, the $2k price tag is for the entry version. If they add storage (since there is no microSD card slot), the price goes up. So the more desirable version could be $2500.

        Just a bitter little ray of sunshine for you…

  3. if you are anything like me, you will come to detest the curved edges.
    aside from this making my s8+ more easily breakable, I do not know what purpose it serves… I’ve had it for almost two years and it’s never done anything other than crack easier requiring a bulkier case. and the corners are round like a 1955 TV.
    the flat s10(E?) is too small to be worth the headache.
    good luck!

      1. thanks for the reply. I used the edge panel for a bit but concluded that THAT was a software solution not a hardware solution. surely the edge panel would function on a flat screen. I’m certain that I am in the minority. there are a lot more people making the choices for the line. I, for one (well two, counting my wife), will not be getting another bubbly screen.

  4. Mark L. Ferguson

    Hey Julie,
    Good on you for getting a new phone. I have a Samsung S9 from last year…and bought a Oneplus 6T in November. I prefer the Oneplus 6T much more than the S9. Main reason…Samsung keeps forcing apps onto my phone that I don’t want. Combined with Bixby and the Bixby button and it just irritates the heck of out of me. Simply allow me to determine which apps I want on my phone and allow me to remap the button to use whatever voice assistant or app that I want for that button. Everyone is different and what irritates one person is not an issue for another. I hope you enjoy the new Samsung phone.
    Mark

      1. Julie,

        I can honestly say with no hype…It really is my favorite Android Phone…ever. Just one on many thing that stands out to me…Battery! Since my first Android phone (Samsung Galaxy S) I have always just plugged my phone in at night so that I would have a freshly charged phone…and at times (all the android phones I have had) it is a race if they will make it to bedtime. With the Oneplus 6T. I plug it in at 5:00 AM (when I get up) and in a little over an hour…I have a fully charged phone. It goes all day! I think the minimum my battery has ever been before bedtime has been about 39% I really like not having to keep my phone connected up all night. I have all kinds of widgets on my phone running as well. Battery life is really has been the best thing about this phone. For the first time…I am satisfied with my phone and honestly don’t see myself wanting a new phone…even the Samsung 10. I really hope that Oneplus will send you a review model.
        Mark

        1. Battery life is a big deal to me too. My Pixel 2 XL has been pretty good but it’s starting to lose capacity. Even so, I get through a 24hrs or longer. It’s usually at 35-40% by the time I am ready to go to bed. That’s usually not a prob and I’ll plug it in when I get to work the next day. Or I will plug it in when we’re watching TV in the evening as I have a cable on my end table. Then it’s at 100% when I go to bed and lasts all the way till the next evening.

  5. Congratulations, Julie, I hope you love your new phone! I’m jealous – the s10+ is the first time I’ve been truly tempted to upgrade from my S7 Edge. But I just installed a fresh battery and the S7 Edge is back to easily lasting through the day, so I’ll probably hold out at least until the prices drop. If the next generation loses the headphone jack I can probably talk myself into buying this “old” phone at that point.

    By the way, several reviews have said that you can now remap the Bixby button, so that’s a welcome improvement.

      1. I know, right?! But I had a wish list of features before it came out, the S7 Edge hit just about everything on the list, and I haven’t added much to the list since. It’s been great. But the vibration motor is dead and I lost waterproofing with the new battery installation, which got me paying close attention to this announcement. Now I’m starting to feel a case of phone fever coming on!

        1. I know phone fever very well. I catch it all the time but then it fades within days (sometimes minutes) of getting the phone. Hope that doesn’t happen this time. I don’t think it will and it doesn’t matter if it does because I’m going to send in my Pixel 2 XL, so no give backs 🙂

          1. I can’t wait for your review! I took a look at the S10+ in the Verizon store and have to say it dampened my enthusiasm a bit. Better in every aspect than my S7 Edge, but no single thing that made me think I simply must spend $1000 to upgrade. (Plus their display phone was using a sickening Pepto Bismol-colored wallpaper that couldn’t be changed!) But I’m still reading reviews, even case reviews, so I guess I’m still infected with the Phever (aka Phone Fever).

  6. Very cool you are going with the S10+. I have the S9 and it just upgraded to the One UI this week. It is like I have a new phone. I love the dark theme! I know you always eventually have issues with fingerprint sensors and I am curious to see how the S10 with its built in sensor in the screen will work. I plan on at least waiting till the new Pixel comes out this year. Hopefully I can make myself wait till next year to upgrade. Since I had to shell out another 800 plus on the S9 because I broke my Note 8 by throwing off the back of my motorcycle, I can’t justify spending more money on a new phone right now. I am anxiously awaiting your review.

      1. Cold, dry fingertips? I have an easy fix for you then. Move on down to south Texas where we have plenty of heat and humidity to fix that problem. LOL

    1. Pixel fetish? There are only 2 reasons why I like Pixels. 1. They get Android updates before all other devices. 2. They have stock Android without all the bloatware. I don’t think the Xperia can do either.

      1. Nah.
        You are right.
        There are loads of crapware on Xperia. I spend hours at a time trying to disable so-called system apps that can’t be uninstalled. I hate Sony.
        And don’t get me started on the maybe/maybe not upgrade suspense. It is like game of thrones.

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