Sunday, February 14, 2016

NEW2U Certified Pre-Owned

Who comes up with these names? Marketing MBAs? Anyway, after a few Twitter messages, T-Mobile agreed to send me a replacement for my dying HTC One M8. I have been with T-Mobile for 10+ years, including several years where I only needed a "home" phone number and would use ~5 minutes out of my 700 minute plan each month. The replacement phone arrived quickly and I have 7 days to return the old phone.

However, T-Mobile managed to send me a different phone. So instead of a HTC One M8, I now have a refurbished Samsung Galaxy S5. Both phones came out around the same time in 2014, and both were $650 new. Even though both are running Android 5, there are enough hardware and software differences that it's a pain in the ass to copy apps and data over to the "new" phone. I'm struggling to remember dozens of usernames and passwords, and there's no way to transfer chat/text history. Ugh.

Also the Galaxy S5 is slow. My HTC was a bit slow already but the S5 is worse. Here are some quick impressions:

- S5 is lighter and thinner, and has a replaceable battery. If I could replace the battery in the M8, then I would be posting this.
- The screen looks nicer than the HTC, and has a much higher resolution camera.
- Even though the battery is replaceable, it doesn't seem to last very long... and it comes with a USB 3.0 cable port.
- Sound quality is bad. The HTC had awesome speakers, but I guess everyone uses headphones to listen to music.
- S5 only came with 16GB vs. 32GB of on-camera memory. Good thing there is a micro SD card (I hate Apple).
- The refurbished phone came with free headphones! Surprisingly, the M8 didn't come with any. I have lots, but I like the cheap Samsung ones. I'm still using the set that came with my original Galaxy S9000.
- Already bought a new case since the old one won't fit. $11.99 from Amazon.

Again, beggars can't be choosy. Having a S5 is much better than no phone, or spending another $700 on a new one.


One more thing: The S5 is supposed to be waterproof so in case you drop your phone in the toilet or something. To achieve this, the USB 3.0 charging port has a huge cover that is hard to open/close, especially if you don't have long fingernails. The obvious solution is to get an inductive charger back cover (or a thin insert) and charge wirelessly. I'll see how long I can deal with the fat cover for now.


Well, I think I've copied everything I could off the old phone and reinstalled most of the apps on the new phone. I did a factory reset on the HTC and it's going back to T-Mobile tomorrow. Looks like I'm stuck with Samsung phones for now.

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