New phone

New phone

 

So, as you may have realized, I have a new phone. It’s interesting because it’s a the sort of phone I used to laugh at people having (sorry Colin), a “phablet” (a phone big enough to almost qualify as a tablet).

It’s a Samsung Note8, a phone that came out about 6 months ago and is one of the crazy breed of flagship phones with more processing power and bells and whistles than is really necessary (you know that old joke about the fact that they went to the moon with less computing power than we all have in our pockets? Well this phone is certainly in that class!). 

I had been quite happy with my Moto G5 Plus, but it was getting a little long in the tooth and even though it was the 4GB version it was having a hard time running the DJI Go 4 app that I use to control my Mavic Pro drone (you attach a phone or a small tablet to the remote and it acts as both the screen, and controls the camera and many of the features of the drone). I had tried to use my old Nexus 7, but though the screen was awesome the battery life sucked as it was so old and it just crashed far too often (and had to be tethered to my phone for an internet connection). So I had thought about buying a used or refurbished iPad mini to use with the drone, but $2-300 seemed like a lot of money to spend for something that would be used just for that (and would also need tethering to my phone). So I started looking for a new phone that would have the processing power to run my drone without straining, and had a good, bright, large screen that I could also use every day.

When I got a little money from a photo gig and realized I had the extra money from returning my Enchroma glasses, and I saw an offer on Woot! (a discount website I’ve had good luck buying from in the past) for “scratch and dent”, refurbished Verizon Note8s for almost half price I decided to risk it…

…and I’m very glad I did 🙂

I’ve had it for almost a week now and it’s great! I couldn’t find a scratch or dent on it- other than the generic box it came in you wouldn’t know it’s not brand new. Following some good advice from someone on Reddit I booted it up without a SIM card first, and after showing it’s Verizon splash screen it went through 4 upgrades, the last of which was to the latest version of Android, “Oreo”; then I stuck in my SIM card and booted it again and it reset itself and up came the T-Mobile splash screen 🙂 Everything works including all the T-Mobile frequencies.

It’s a little bigger than the G5 (a 6.3″ screen vs. 5.2″), but as the bezel is so much smaller it really doesn’t feel that much bigger, and it’s actually about the same width, just taller. The camera is fantastic, and with the better processor and 6GB of RAM it flies through everything I’ve thrown at it so far. I haven’t actually tried it with the drone yet (I’m waiting for the weather to improve a little), but I’m confident it will be a big improvement.

It was a lot of money to pay for a phone (and I have insured it), but I’m very happy with my purchase. I’m sure as I play with it more I will talk about it further in the future… if you want to know any more about it here is the official YouTube video, and here is the Wikipedia page about it.


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