Another review of all smartphones ever

Divils.

The lot of them.

Since my last review of all smartphones ever, I acquired a new smartphone.  Last October.  Much shinier, much larger, and much more expensive.

Much tougher too, you’d imagine.  Was it shite tougher, ’twas no more sturdy than dandelion fluff.

The phone in question, is the OnePlus 3.  The Four, I like to call it.

It took it upon itself to also abandon me, six months in to our epic discovery of how handy technology actually is, just as I was cycling along appreciating the fact that it had actually lasted six months without a scratch.

I reached for my jacket pocket (waterproof and all, because I treated that phone like royalty hey), only to find that the Four had taken a leap for freedom the one time I hopped on my bike without zipping up my rain jacket pocket.

Off it went, not a shite given, and dived straight onto a busy Galway road, at rush hour, if you don’t mind, for fear it wouldn’t get run over and destroyed beyond repair.

Apparently the phone cover and ‘shatterproof’ screen protector were no match for the big ball of concrete which met the Four as its dream of freedom, as well as its screen, were shattered.

95% of the screen still worked, but it quickly gave up on bothering to display anything.  The lazy feck.

It has finally been fixed, almost two months later, and is generally just being class and fast and hi-tech as feck, so I haven’t spoken to a single human in person since I rebooted it, last night.  God bless phones and their ability to allow us to communicate, ha?

Divils.

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A review of all smartphones ever

Update:  This post has been reproduced over on Ireland’s Technology Blog.  Exciting times for all involved.

It’s five months since I joined the world of smartphones.  (I’ve always been mad for the latest gadgets.)  I decided to upgrade from my Nokia 5310 Xpress Music.  There’s a good chance you made the very same decision, about 6 years ago.

On reflection, for me it was a poor decision.  My seven-year-old phone still works, and only has two cracks on the screen, despite becoming well-acquainted with the floor over the years.

My new phone, a Samsung Galaxy Core Prime, pales in comparison.  Though larger, it is much weaker.  Its screen lasted seven days before shattering, quite artistically, after the phone dived from my hand onto the floor, from a height of 1-2 feet.  “A bit of a soft lad”, one might say.  “‘Smart’, me eye,” others may conclude.

It has since been provided with a lovely protective cover and a solid screen protector, albeit a little too late, for poor wee Sam.

It needs charging every day, if used a lot; 36 hours on the trot would be a serious push for the cratoreen.

It doesn’t have buttons.  Well, just two, on the side.  Madness.

Its radio is just not as good as the blokia’s.  It doesn’t even work without internet.  Serious hey.

The alarm won’t go off, if the phone is switched off.  I have now had to become a crazy human who leaves their phone switched on, overnight, despite aiming to sleep.

Needing to charge the phone more than once or twice a week (ridiculous, really), and not being able to fire it across the room once I’ve the alarm set, make waking up hugely problematic.  At night, my phone stays near my bed, because that’s where the only plug sockets are, and no matter how far away I place it, I can either reach it without fully leaving my bed, or I can pull it within reach using the charger.  The result being that it is scientifically impossible to get out of bed when my alarm goes off.

There was none of that shite with old Blokky.  Alarm on.  Phone off.  Close the eyes and bam, throw the phone in any direction (gently, to avoid property damage).  Job done.  Who knew where the alarm sound would be coming from in the morning?  The only option would be to leap out of bed to find it before it woke the nation.  Bed exited.  Mission accomplished.

Hashtag Jennifer Lawrence

The title of my last post might suggest that I’m starting to get the hang of this clickbaiting craic.  Don’t worry though, I’m not going down that route, even if the title of this post completely suggests that.

It’s an amusing (soul-destroying) phenomenon to observe though.  The lads over on Channel 4’s ‘Craic Addicts’ are fairly wise to it, and do a fantastic job of explaining the shenanigans of some of the biggest successes in online journalism, in this episode from their series of short videos.

Chris Greene and Peter Ganley, creators of Channel 4’s ‘Craic Addicts’

The Jennifer Lawrence reference also makes sense when you watch the video, I swear.

An unfortunate and ironic presentation title choice

On Monday, I had my first French class here (excluding a couple of translation classes).  We had to get into groups of three, and pick from the list given what we would do our presentations on.  So naturally enough, I found a pair to work with, asked what they were thinking of doing the presentation on, and went with that, because it happened to be a really interesting topic for me too, and I hadn’t really read the list too carefully.  The subject we chose, was something along the lines of – “peut-on vivre sans un smartphone ?”, or basically, “can you live without a smartphone?”.

Now, unlike most people I know, I didn’t have a smartphone at the time, had never had one, and still don’t, which I suppose gives a different angle to the presentation.  But I have an iPod Touch, so the only negative difference between the combination of that and my beloved Nokia, and an actual smartphone, is that you can’t get Whatsapp on an iPod (Viber, Snapchat, Skype, Facebook Messenger and every other iOS app I’ve ever wanted all work on them, so there isn’t much need for Whatsapp, I suppose), and you can’t pay to use internet on them.  For me, that wasn’t a problem because ain’t nobody got time fo’ that, and I usually have access to wifi, or contact people by call, text, or just later on if I don’t.  No big deal.  I consider my iPod to basically be 95% – a smartphone.

Except I don’t have an iPod.  I lost it the day after we chose our presentation titles…

“O my prophetic soul!”

Hamlet quotes are always relevant.  Deal with it.

Anyway, life without anything close to a smartphone should be fun.  Added to that, this lack of English-speaking thing I’ve started.  And, speaking of which (seeing as one rule for the no English speaking was that I could do so on Skype and the likes) – my one-and-a-half-year-old laptop now refuses to use a lot of apps (it has apps, because it’s silly and has Windows 8), including Skype.  Making calls with any kind of program, from what I can see, doesn’t really work either.  At least, I got the call function of Facebook’s video caller to work recently, but not audio on anything else.  I haven’t tried every possible means of calling or video-calling yet, but I’ve tried a few with no success, and I don’t expect others to be any more successful, but fingers crossed the audio on Facebook will work so I can actually talk to people.

There’s some extra irony at play here I think.  First, I quit speaking English, except for on Skype, and in a few other situations, then I discover that Skype doesn’t work on my laptop.  Then, I decide to do a presentation on if it’s possible to live without a smartphone, and lose what was basically a smartphone for me.

It’s a bit strange that both of those things happened within the space of two days, but hopefully that’s the end of this sorcery…

Facebook Birthdays

(Disclaimer:  I’m probably not as angry as you may think I am about this after reading this post, like a lot of what I write here, it’s not meant to be taken too seriously!)

It irritates me when Facebook points out people’s birthdays to me.  For a number of reasons.  First of all, it’s patronising.  You think I’m not going to remember my best friend’s birthday?  Wow.  Thanks.  Concerned that I’ll forget my one of my brothers’ birthdays?  Okay, I may not have been alive when he was born, so I can’t remember that exact day, but I have since been filled in on when his birthday is, and remember it.  A lot of people seem to do this.  It’s not that difficult.

Secondly, let’s say I don’t know when someone’s birthday is.  But Facebook tells me.  That seems kind of useful, right?  But now if I wish them a happy birthday, it’s just because I’ve been told to.  That doesn’t count.  It’s like when people purposefully remind you that it’s someone else’s birthday.  Then it undoes any further birthday wishes offered after that moment.  I was going to remember on my own, okay?

Another problem with Facebook’s insistence on telling us all when everyone’s birthday is, is that I get told about lots of people’s birthdays.  Most of whom, I’ve wished a happy birthday to on Facebook at least once or twice already.  I assume, at this stage, that they just know the drill.  Yes, I hope you have a great birthday.  No, I am not bothered writing it on your Facebook wall again, unless you’re a close friend and I’m going to write something with a bit more thought put into it than “happy birthday <name>”, with an optional smiley face thrown in.

This may seem a bit strange when this practice of wishing people a happy birthday as a once off doesn’t happen much in ‘real life’, but consider the fact that I may barely have seen the person in question since I last wished them a happy birthday, on Facebook.  It doesn’t matter any more if I say it to them or not.  It’s not going to have an impact on them if I don’t.

…You might be able to tell, but I’m not really one for celebrating my own birthday, hence the general lack of fuss about birthdays in general on my part.

The notifications, when sent, are the worst.  So now we don’t even need to remember to look at the top right corner of the screen to see if it’s someone’s birthday, we actually get a little virtual nudge and an update telling us whose birthday it is today.  Why do we even bother with these ‘brain’ and ‘memory’ things we have?  Sure Facebook will remember things for us, there’s no need to prevent our memories from getting worse all the time because of technology – technology’s going to allow us to survive without even having a decent memory.

I read too much into these things.

Happy birthday to everyone ever, I hope all of your birthdays are fantastic.  There, I think that covers everyone.