My avatar across the web: a photo of my feet in grey-white socks and brown sandals.

Ben Babcock

I read, write, code, and knit.

4 Articles Tagged with “Android”

  1. New phone who dis?

    I have a new phone for the first time in nearly 4 years. Thoughts on upgrading and a cursory review.

    Almost 4 years ago, I upgraded from my first smartphone, a Samsung Galaxy S Captivate, to a Nexus 5, then Google’s flagship Android phone with a nice stock Android experience. Now I’ve returned to the Samsung fold with a Galaxy S9.

    I loved my Nexus 5. It was such a great piece of hardware, and while it had its shortcomings (the camera wasn’t great), there was so much to like about it. I miss the soft backing! I wish I could have at least made it to 4 years.

    Alas, it was time. My Nexus 5 hadn’t received a security update in over a year. In Internet time, that’s a lifetime. My phone was slow, apps kept freezing or crashing or not receiving updates. I managed to go 3 years without scratching the phone despite eschewing a case—and then in the past year, I managed to crack the bottom portion of the screen quite badly.

    The last straw came a couple weeks ago. I was preparing to go to Montreal for a vacation. My phone was getting on my nerves; in particular, sending texts was slow and unreliable. And my carrier had the Galaxy S9, which I’d had…

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  2. Is this the future? I like it

    Last time … on Ben’s blog! I got a Nexus 5.

    I spent most of that post rambling about why I got a new phone, why I chose the Nexus 5, and my initial reactions to unboxing the phone. Now I’ll go into more depth regarding my thoughts on the Nexus’ hardware and the software—Android 5.0, codenamed Lollipop. A lot of this will be framed in terms of comparing Hadamard, my new phone, to Noether, the old one.

    Samsung Captivate and Nexus 5 side by side

    Overall Hardware

    When the Samsung Captivate first came out, it was praised as being one of the most advanced phones of the time. (That alone says volumes about how fast smartphone technology improved during the past three years.) Here’s a snippet from the Samsung Captivate forum on XDA Developers:

    The Samsung Captivate is the AT&T specific version of Samsung's Galaxy S. Released in July 2010, the device sports a 4.0" WVGA Super AMOLED display, driven by a PowerVR GPU, which was the fastest graphics processor available in any smartphone at the time of its release. The Captivate is powered by a 1GHz Cortex A8 processor, with 512MB RAM and 16GB storage, along with a microSD

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  3. New phone: Nexus 5

    I gave in and bought a new phone last week. It arrived on Tuesday.

    Specifically, I bought a 32 GB black Nexus 5 from the Google Play Store.

    Nexus 5 box

    My former (and first) smartphone was a Samsung Galaxy Captivate (that is, the original Galaxy S phone). I don’t think it ever received an update beyond Android 2.2—I don’t know, though, because I eventually grew brave enough to flash CyanogenMod to it, freeing me from the tyranny of TouchWiz, and there was much rejoicing. Noether (I name all my devices after dead mathematicians), has been an admirable companion for four years. I feel bad that I’m replacing it before it has totally stopped functioning. But it’s kind of like my car.

    I’m currently driving my dad’s 1996 Mazda Protege. It’s a great car, and it drives very well—but it’s nearly 20 years old, and Canadian winters and Thunder Bay roads have been tough on it. When my dad first bought his Mazda 3 a few years ago, I compared its handling and computerized steering unfavourably to the Protege. Now the tables are slowly but inexorably turning: the Protege still drives, but it seems like every week there is a new fault or…

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  4. I kind of want a tablet--in 3 years

    I have to say, I'm experiencing some strong technology lust for the new wave of Android 3.0 tablets, beginning with the Motorola XOOM, that are hitting the market. Future Shop's tech blog has posted some video reviews by rgbfilter that show off the XOOM, and there's a part of me that's saying, "Want. Want. Want." It's exciting to see competitors for the iPad running the first version of Android that's "optimized for tablets," and along with the release of the BlackBerry PlayBook, the tablet market is starting to get very interesting.

    I have been somewhat sceptical of the niche tablets fill since the release of the original iPad. In retrospect, I think that was as much a reaction against the hype surrounding the iPad itself than any qualified evaluation of tablets in general. The idea that the iPad is a "game-changer" (whatever that means) was silly to me; yes, it's a significant new product, but tablets are still in their infancy. They haven't even started teething yet.

    I've had my Samsung Galaxy S for about six months now, and I love it. This experience with an Android smartphone, and some good observations regarding the utility of tablets, such as

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