4 month check in: how’s the switch back to Android?

Thought I’d check back at my Samsung switch now after what, 4 months?

In summary: it’s going good (enough.)

In more detail:

The main upside (still): battery life.

screenshot of Samsung A54's battery status screen. with 25% of battery left, the remaining battery time is 12h23m. (with "good" optimisation state)
12h 23m left at 25% battery – and this is pretty much accurate too!

I realised that all those years I’ve been saying “ooh I have terrible battery anxiety”, I just had phones with shit battery life. My battery anxiety is gone, reader. I charge my phone when it goes below 20%, or 10%, and I charge it up to around 80-90%, sometimes only 60%, sometimes only 55%. I do this knowing that it will comfortably give me at least a day’s worth of use, and I don’t have to worry. It’s a liberating feeling.

The main downside seems to be: the camera.

After a 3 week long Scandinavia trip (photos here), I can now safely sum up my opinion on the camera as: meh. I was (probably) right in being sceptical about the camera. I’m using both the stock Camera app and Camera FV-5, and the results are a bit hit-and-miss. I’ve installed ProShoot, which gives similar results, although more control over them.

Speed is good enough.

Although this supposed to be a midrange phone, it provides absolutely sufficient speed for my use. I don’t play hardware intensive games of course (although sometimes join MS Teams calls which might be similar), I do some youtube now and then, and I installed Kodi to watch movies sometimes, which is actually very nice.

The app stack is… OK.

What I’m missing the most is proper DAV integration, which is needed for Nextcloud. iOS does this quite well, actually, supporting CalDav, CardDav, and all the others out of the box, which is a little miracle. On Android DAVx5 is the de facto solution, after which one gets a plethora of choice in calendar apps, and a plethora of choice of one (as far as I can tell) in terms of task managers… But neither of them is perfect, owing to that infamous lack of vertical integration. What that means in practical terms is I lost my workflow of adding tasks that I juts remembered during brushing my teeth via Siri. (And, as an extension I also lost the smiles when I read back the tasks Siri created based on my mumbled commands.)

What’s missing and have I switched on my iPhone since?

Sorely missing, and by no fault of Android, is the control of my kids’ Screen Time, which is of course a vendor locked-in Apple solution. If at least they gave a way to approve screen time requests on the web!… but alas, they are Apple, so they didn’t. There is an app for that, just not on your Android device, loser.

Along the same lines, I’ve missed the “Find My” (…children on a map) feature about twice, until I realised this is accessible from the web as well, with SMS as the second factor. So now I have a Firefox bookmark pinned on my Android home screen that takes me directly to “Find My” on iCloud. I’ve never used iCloud, well there’s a time for everything.

Oh and there’s one more thing I miss from my iPhone: its size. Samsung phones these days are just too big. This was a strong factor that almost took me towards a Pixel but then battery life, as my single most important decision driver, convinced me to buy the Samsung, and I ultimately don’t regret it. Still, it could be smaller.

Featured image: a photo taken with the Galaxy A54. Not that bad after all, right?

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