Source: Jerry Hildenbrand / Android Central

I decided to do it in 2021 make a change and got one Samsung Galaxy S21 instead of a Pixel 5. I’ve been using the Pixel 4 for a year and I still think it was one of the best android phones except for one problem – the battery life. No matter how good a phone is, if you have to charge it instead of using it, it ceases to be good, and the Pixel 4 was a jerk in the battery department. If it weren’t for that, I would probably still be using it.

The Galaxy S21 is without a doubt one of the best phones I’ve ever used.

The S21 is an amazing phone. No article, opinion or otherwise, can begin without saying it in the first place. It really is a modern day marvel of technology, and there are so many things that make it better than any other phone I’ve ever used, even my Pixel 4 that’s dead in a drawer somewhere.

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The display is the absolute best you’ll ever find, it’s fast when everyone comes out, the signal strength is fantastic (I’ve even learned to love 5G since T-Mobile dropped a few Mid band near me), and it feels rock hard while you hold it. These are things I want to see when using a phone and the S21 does them better than anything else out there.

But then there are the little things. No, I’m not going to scold Samsung’s software as a whole because I really like the development. You can go all-in with Samsung and use tons of apps from the internet Galaxy StoreBut for the most part, you can also turn things off if you’d rather not have a Samsung calendar or Samsung messages or Samsung contacts, or when the idea occurs to you. Even the Clown puke colors from the past have been toned down so that the apps don’t look like a black light poster from the 1970s. Well done Samsung.

Many of my “problems” – and let me be clear, these are kind of trivial and may not even matter to many people – probably come from the use Google Fior is just something I’ve done that could be fixed. But I haven’t found a way to fix them, and things that work for others just don’t work as intended here. Know that before you yell at me 😎.

Spam loves me

Source: Jerry Hildenbrand / Android Central

Anyway, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty here. After all, you probably want to read this. There are a few things about the S21 that the Bejeezus get on my nerves. Little things to be sure, but I’m a stubborn guy who has my own way of doing things and likes when things are a certain way. First, Samsung sucks on the handling Spam calls. Or maybe Google is really good at it, but either way I hate them and they somehow find a way to get through it.

I’ve tried everything. I tried all the settings in the Samsung dialer app. I tried that Pixel dialer from the Play Store and tried its settings. Nothing seems to help and I see my phone light up and ring as it tells me the caller is spam or suspected spam. Then it rings until I touch it or it gets tired of making noises. This is not for everyone, but my number seems to have been recycled by an Anthony and a Sharon who have both had tough times and fallen behind in their bills. Shady debt collection agencies hit me daily and they are smart enough to switch numbers so it’s difficult to block them.

Worse still, spam comes through without being tagged and I get robots from Arizona trying to sell me extended warranties or someone claiming to be the IRS or Microsoft trying to get some money out of me. It is satisfying to tell them where to put it, but I’d rather they can’t connect at all. Having the same phone number and SIM card, I didn’t have these issues with my Pixel 4. I could see there were still a lot of calls coming in, but my phone never rang. That’s the way I like it.

OneDrive notification I hate you

Source: Jerry Hildenbrand / Android Central

Next up are notifications for things I haven’t set up. My phone isn’t my main gaming machine and I don’t spend a lot of time on social media. I use my phone to keep in touch, so notifications are important. I don’t want Samsung to keep reminding me to switch data from a service I never used to one I never will. So don’t remind me anymore to postpone all my shit Microsoft OneDrive. I’ve turned you off more than once, just stop.

Same goes for Samsung Weather. I’m not going to use it because it’s a vector for Samsung to track my location (no it doesn’t help because Samsung is still tracking my location but it’s a symbolic gesture) and puts Show on a very expensive phone so keep the hell out of my notification area. Again, blocking the notifications works for a while, but it’s like a friend who wants to borrow money and keeps coming back.

I know how to turn this off. I turned it off. You don’t do it stay switch off. I don’t think my phone is broken and I suspect that updating these apps will reset the notification settings to their defaults. What ever. I just like it when things are the way I want them to be. Go ahead and yell at me and tell me I don’t know how to use my phone but I know I’ll try anything you say I should try.

Stop doing updates the old way (but don’t stop sending them!)

I also hate the way Samsung does updates. I love that the company bring them to me quickly and they’re not the kind of updates that break things. I just hate that the actual update installation takes so long and there is nothing you can do during the process. I normally don’t want to do anything special in the few minutes it takes to update my S21, but updates don’t have to be like that anymore. Why isn’t Samsung coming up with the program and making things a bit more seamless?

Last but not least is the camera. Samsung’s camera on the S21 is pretty great and has a ton of features that I’ve actually used and played with. In that regard, everything that Google has built is a shame. But most of the time I want to whip my phone and take a picture before something cool I see is gone and the picture is excellent. Only Google can consistently do this.

I know why – Samsung is using better camera hardware and giving you the picture you take (mostly) along the way Google uses software magic to give you the picture that you have wanted to take. Google is stingy and doesn’t share that magic, and Samsung hasn’t caught up with the calculation department yet. This is Google’s fault that the core technology of photography is not shared as part of the operating system and instead each manufacturer is left to its own devices. We shouldn’t know or care about it and get great pictures almost every time.

Neither of these little issues is worth going back to about the Pixel 4’s crappy battery life.

None of these topics are worth going back to Pixel 4’s crap battery or should give some sort of buyer’s remorse to someone. In fact, if these are the only problems a person like me, picky as hell when it comes to a phone, can find evidence of how good the Galaxy S21 is. If you’re some kind of “never Samsung” zealot, then next time you buy a phone, make sure to try it out. We can compare lists.

I don’t peck because it’s my job not to peck. If you asked me, “Is the Galaxy S21 a great phone?” I would tell you yes, it’s one of the best phones you can buy. And in the end the display makes up for all of my problems with the exception of the spam calls. I can ignore Samsung Weather and OneDrive in exchange for the best display I’ve ever used.

Will i switch back? Maybe when Android 12 is finally out, but not anytime soon. I just decided to share my tiny list of minor grievances because I thought it would be an interesting comparison. It doesn’t matter whether you grabbed an S21 or one Pixel 4a or Pixel 5You have a great phone. Use it and have fun!

(Almost) killer flagship

Samsung Galaxy S21 Render Phantom Violet Front Official

Samsung Galaxy S21

It’s not perfect, but nothing ever is.

For $ 800, it’s hard to do better than the Galaxy S21. You have the industry’s best 120Hz screen, great cameras, a powerful Snapdragon 888 processor, and a battery that lasts all day. Google may still hold back some software extras, but Samsung is doing pretty well in the software department these days too.

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