Date: 05 December 20, 15:37 PM
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 Google Pixel 5



scuzzy


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  • In an emergency, 9-1-1 calls me.

The Apple iOS experiment is a fail for me. I still have the iPhone SE 2020 while I'm traveling, but it will go to my youngest shortly after I return home. When I have time, I'll list some of the reasons for my decision.

Google recently launched the Pixel 4a, which is running around $350. It has a 5.8" screen, which is in my sweet spot. Storage comes in at 128 GB with 6 GB of RAM, but the lack of wireless charging is a let down. Same story for the upcoming Pixel 4a (5G), which also does not support wireless charging. Worse, it has a 6.2" screen. My biggest concern with the Pixel 4a is that it does not have a rated water resistance (IP rating), which is problematic on my motorcycle when I get caught in a downpour.

Google is supposed to announce its new Pixel 5 this upcoming Wednesday, September 30th. The specs are yet to be formally announced, but it will feature a large battery (over 4,000 mAh), 128GB storage & 8GB RAM, wireless charging, outstanding dual camera, 5G support (sub-6), and it will have a 6" flat screen in a compact body. The latter is the absolute largest screen size that I'm willing to entertain. Another nice thing about all Pixel phones is the quick updates, similar to Apple's strategy.

I will make my final decision on what will replace the iPhone SE upon my return, but so far nothing else comes close to the Pixel 5. It should be available somewhere around mid-October, so I am likely to pre-order directly from Google to get it as soon as possible. Plus, I'd rather not have the carrier bloat. I have to wait until Wednesday for the price, but predictions put it in the $650 ball park. I'll know more after the official announcement.

Bill


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I have had similar thoughts about iOS.  Most recently I made the mistake of downloading iOS 14 which comes with the most annoying screen lock, every time I pick it up I have to reenter the damn pin. And of course, I couldn't find a way to remove it.    I called T-Mo support and they guided me through the process. But there is alot about this phone that I don't understand or like.  Too much happens without my input or control. Reminds me a lot of Microsoft, "do it my way."
All that said, I think I'm going to keep it.  The speaker phone is great and the text messages are fine.  As long as T-Mo support continues to solve my "problems" the issues I have had are not deal breakers, so far.
Fractal Design R5 | Asus  Z170 Pro | Intel i5 6600k | 16 GB G.Skill Ripjaws  DDR4 2133 | Seasonic 650w PSU | eVGA GTX 550 TI | Samsung 960 M2 500 GB | Samsung 850 EVO 500 GB | ASUS Burner | Windows 7 64-bit

scuzzy


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  • In an emergency, 9-1-1 calls me.

I'm not entirely sure where to start, but I'll list some of my biggest frustrations with iPhone. I already knew some of these things going in, but I did not consider that in my day-to-day use it would all add up to one big fail.

My iPhone SE's 4.7" screen is usable, but it's too small for my needs. So my plan was to move to the iPhone 12 for a larger screen size. However, in doing so I would lose Touch ID (fingerprint reader). This is a really big bone of contention for me, as I really want and need Touch ID. I don't want Face ID, as it will not meet my needs.

Also, Apple's determination to keep the Lightning cable in iPhone 12 (instead of moving to USB-C) did not help their case, at least not with me. I thought maybe I could adjust to the iPhone 12 regardless, but the more I use iOS, the more I realize it would be a tragic mistake. Here's some of the issues I have encountered:

1. I thought I could get used to it, but I'm frustrated at my inability to customize my home screen.

2. I managed to install my custom ringtones that I created with Audacity, but it was a LOT of effort for each individual ringtone. I have no desire to constantly use the work-around to manage my ringtones. Regardless, Apple absolutely limits my ringtones to 30 seconds, to include my 1-minute long alarms. * sigh *

3. I heavily use my smartphone for music, especially on my Harley. It is easy to manage music on an Android phone, but difficult with iOS. My only option is to install iTunes on my computer, transfer my music to iTunes, and then transfer it to my iPhone. If I want to edit, add or remove a song, I must do it though iTunes. * sigh * again. I cannot wait to remove iTunes from my computers and put it in the trash where it belongs.

4. Managing photos on an Android phone is easy. I can add, delete, rename, etc., through the USB port. It is not easy on an iPhone. In fact, Apple seems to have purposely made it hard or outright impossible. For example, I cannot use my computer to delete a photo from my iPhone through the Lightning port without installing special software on my PC. I'm not installing any more bloated Apple software on my PC.

5. While riding cross country on my Harley, I was using my iPhone's GPS. However, I began getting an error message (that would sporadically come and go) atop the GPS, which would then override and gray out my map. Trying to read the message while I was going down the road was nearly impossible, and I could not make the message go away since I was wearing gloves. If the message stayed on longer than 2 minutes, it would turn off my screen. I could only restart my screen by pulling over, taking off my gloves, etc. It took a very long time (the next day) to finally figure out that Apple did not approve of my 12-volt charger. Thankfully my spare charger solved the problem. I cannot sufficiently stress how aggravating this was. The unhelpful message was "This accessory may not be supported".

6. I'm pissed that I cannot use Firefox Beta because I'm not an Apple-approved beta tester. Why? It's my frickin' phone and I paid for it! I thought I could get used to Safari, but the more I use it the more I can't stand it.

7. The camera's insistence to override my 16:9 setting back to 4:3 is maddening. I'm also sick and tired of Apple's determination that I will use Live Photo, whether I like it or not. Hint: I don't. I really, really don't. Changing the settings to not use Live Photo apparently doesn't matter.

8. I heavily depend on various Google apps, which Apple likes to hobble or limit their effectiveness.

9. Apple will not allow me to have speed dial. Period. I loved speed dial on my Android phone, but Apple has determined that the "better" way is to use favorite contacts instead. I hate this method. Seriously, why can't I have speed dial? How does me having speed dial hurt Apple?

10. I can't customize the notifications ringtone. Nobody can. So when you are in a room full of iPhones, good luck trying to figure out whose phone just went off. Way to go, Apple.

There are other frustrations, but I'll stop here. As I said, when you put it all together it turns into a big show stopper.

I wanted iOS to work for me, but looks like I'm going to remain on Android for the foreseeable future. I considered running out to Costco today to buy any Android phone to hold me over, but I guess I'll suffer until I get back home.

Bill


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Wow, even just what you listed is nothing but aggravation. Can't say I blame you for wanting out. I think I probably would have purchased a new one for the trip back.
Fractal Design R5 | Asus  Z170 Pro | Intel i5 6600k | 16 GB G.Skill Ripjaws  DDR4 2133 | Seasonic 650w PSU | eVGA GTX 550 TI | Samsung 960 M2 500 GB | Samsung 850 EVO 500 GB | ASUS Burner | Windows 7 64-bit

scuzzy


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I did away with one of the irritants by installing Firefox browser. It's not Firefox Beta (my preference), but it's far better than Safari.

scuzzy


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  • In an emergency, 9-1-1 calls me.

I just ordered a Pixel 5 directly from Google, in "Sorta Sage" color. The cost is $699 plus tax, for a total of $726.26 delivered. The device is scheduled to ship at the end of October. According to the invoice I should have it in hand NLT November 2nd.

I used my wife's Galaxy S9 as a yardstick, figuring that that was absolutely the largest phone that I'd be willing to own. The S9 has a 5.8" screen with a body length of 5.81". The Pixel 5 has a 6" screen with a slightly smaller body of 5.70". Works for me. The Pixel phone is also slightly thinner and a bit lighter, yet has a considerably larger battery than the S9 (4,080 mAh vs. 3,000 mAh).

Looks like my daughter will have to wait about an extra 3 weeks to get her iPhone.

Bill


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Sorta Sage looks nice. I will be interested in your assessment of the audio performance of the Pixel 5.
Fractal Design R5 | Asus  Z170 Pro | Intel i5 6600k | 16 GB G.Skill Ripjaws  DDR4 2133 | Seasonic 650w PSU | eVGA GTX 550 TI | Samsung 960 M2 500 GB | Samsung 850 EVO 500 GB | ASUS Burner | Windows 7 64-bit

Bill


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Looks like the battery is almost twice the size of the SE.
Fractal Design R5 | Asus  Z170 Pro | Intel i5 6600k | 16 GB G.Skill Ripjaws  DDR4 2133 | Seasonic 650w PSU | eVGA GTX 550 TI | Samsung 960 M2 500 GB | Samsung 850 EVO 500 GB | ASUS Burner | Windows 7 64-bit

scuzzy


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The battery size is a nice bonus. Check out the screen on the Pixel 5 (about 1/3 of the way down). I doubt you can make a 6" screen much more compact than that.

Bill


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That is really impressive, edge to edge action. I'm certain you'll enjoy it.
Fractal Design R5 | Asus  Z170 Pro | Intel i5 6600k | 16 GB G.Skill Ripjaws  DDR4 2133 | Seasonic 650w PSU | eVGA GTX 550 TI | Samsung 960 M2 500 GB | Samsung 850 EVO 500 GB | ASUS Burner | Windows 7 64-bit

scuzzy


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Looks like the Pixel 5 will be in my grubby little paws soon.  :)

I stopped by my local T-Mobile store this morning and picked up a new SIM card that supports standalone 5G. All I need now is to get a half-decent case from Amazon.

scuzzy


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My new Pixel 5 arrived this morning and I spent a good part of the day personalizing it. So far we're off to a great start, although I still have several apps to reinstall. The overall size of the phone is perfect, and getting used to the Android 11 gestures has been easy. The fingerprint reader is hands-down faster and more accurate than the iPhone SE it replaced.

The 6-inch screen is gorgeous to my eyes. Physically it's about 1/4" taller than the iPhone SE, and only slightly wider. The phone easily fits into my back pocket. With the 6-inch screen, I have lots of room for the stock keyboard with 7 sizes to choose from. IMHO, the Android keyboard blows the iOS keyboard out of the water. I did not realize how limiting the iPhone SE's 4.7-inch screen is.

The phone feels fantastic in hand. It has a premium feel, and the back (textured aluminum) feels fine as well. I truly don't understand why some reviewers have made an issue of the look and feel. It does not have a shiny glass back, nor is it polished aluminum, so what do they expect? Anyway, my Pixel 5 is now resides in a Spigen case.

The sound is not as terrible as some reviewers have suggested, although it's not as good as the iPhone's SE. I have not had a chance to try the speakerphone, but I have the feeling it will work for my needs. It's loud enough that I had to turn the volume down for a radio station, but the overall quality of the audio could be improved. Still, I don't think it's all that bad. Had I not been specifically been looking to test the sound, I might not have given it a second thought.

That aside, I'm thrilled beyond words to be back on Android. I had no idea I would miss it so much. Overall I feel I made the perfect choice and I already kicked iOS to the curb. Lol

Bill


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Great news, I'm glad it worked out so far. Have to test on a bike ride now.

Actually I was sorry the 4a was such a disappointment, but for my needs the SE is head and shoulders above it.  The only thing I'm waiting on is the release of the iPhone 12 mini...but I'm thinking it's going to be too small.

Edit: I didn't realize the the screen on the 12 mini is 5.4 vs 4.7 on the SE. And apple upped the cpu to the A14. The mini is also a $700 phone.  Maybe next year.......
Fractal Design R5 | Asus  Z170 Pro | Intel i5 6600k | 16 GB G.Skill Ripjaws  DDR4 2133 | Seasonic 650w PSU | eVGA GTX 550 TI | Samsung 960 M2 500 GB | Samsung 850 EVO 500 GB | ASUS Burner | Windows 7 64-bit

scuzzy


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  • In an emergency, 9-1-1 calls me.

I had my first Pixel 5 phone call while riding as passenger in my daughter's car this morning. The Pixel's under display speaker is flat-out lousy for phone calls. There was a complete lack of tonal clarity, and with road noise I had a lot of difficulty following the conversation. Switching to speakerphone as we arrived home helped, but obviously that's not always appropriate. Had I been in a noisier environment, I would not have been able to follow the conversation whatsoever.

I may have to live with this problem, as no other phone currently out there meets my needs. Most any other decent Android phone is way too big. I may consider the slightly smaller Pixel 4a just to have a normal earpiece speaker, but the lack of an IP rating is concerning. While wireless charging is convenient, I could do without it.

Were I to look at another iPhone, it would likely be the standard iPhone 12 (6.1" screen?). I'm sort of shy about trying anything smaller than a 5.8" screen again. But the 12's lack of a fingerprint reader is a major setback for me, and I have qualms about returning to iOS.

I don't know what to do, as the Pixel 5 is otherwise an excellent phone. I spoke with my sister a few times, who has the Pixel 4a. She assures me that the speaker port for phone calls works great. I may order a Pixel 4a off of Amazon, then keep either the 4a or the 5 and send the other back. I'm simply at a loss.

Bill


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Is there not a water-proof cover for the 4a? Wouldn't that cover your concerns?
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scuzzy


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  • In an emergency, 9-1-1 calls me.

Nice pun there. Lol. Yes, I have considered that possibility. I have also considered that the 4a is not going to melt just because some raindrops hit it, as long as it doesn't get soaked. I could always take it off of the Harley's phone mount and place it in my pocket during inclement weather.

I took the Harley out today, and the Pixel 5 functioned fine for my needs. Bluetooth connected well, and the phone's GPS functioned as expected. There were no unpleasant surprises, but I noticed that the screen was not as bright as what I am accustomed to. I went checking and found that the Pixel 5's maximum manual brightness is 475 nits, and 699 nits when set to adaptive brightness. The Pixel 4a has a maximum manual brightness of 456 nits, but a much brighter 803 nits when set to adaptive brightness.

EDIT: After continued struggles with phone calls today, I went ahead and placed a late night order for a Pixel 4a. The order should arrive Wednesday.

Scuzzy; wish me luck.

Bill


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OK, luck.  Life shouldn't be this hard.......
Fractal Design R5 | Asus  Z170 Pro | Intel i5 6600k | 16 GB G.Skill Ripjaws  DDR4 2133 | Seasonic 650w PSU | eVGA GTX 550 TI | Samsung 960 M2 500 GB | Samsung 850 EVO 500 GB | ASUS Burner | Windows 7 64-bit

scuzzy


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scuzzy


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I received the Pixel 4a earlier today. I got it setup enough to try some music files, as well as phone calls. Overall there is no doubt that the 4a sounds much better than the 5.

I tried several phone calls with my wife. Each time the 4a's earpiece sounded loud and clear, whereas the 5's earpiece sounded anemic. I also switched phones with my wife so that she could compare both Pixels. She agreed that the 4a clearly sounded better, and she was dismayed on just how bad the 5 sounded for phone calls. The speakerphone on the 4a sounded perfectly fine, although it was quiet in the house.

I also tried some music files, using the same song for both. I would not say that the 4a is significantly better, but it was a little louder and had better tonal quality than the 5. This is not as significant, as I would use Bluetooth on the Harley anyway.

Everything else with the 4a is fine, and side-by-side with the 5 it's hard to tell which is which. Both have nearly identical physical dimensions, with the 4a being just a hair shorter. The 4a has a 5.8-inch screen, compared to the 6-inch screen on the 5, but unless I'm paying attention the difference is minor. The 4a is a bit lighter than the 5, but it's not something you'd notice unless you make the effort.

As already mentioned, the 4a does not support water & dust protection as does the 5. There's also no wireless charging on the 4a, and there is no support for 5G, but neither of those two are a concern for my needs. I'll finish setting up the 4a to my liking and then make a decision in the next day or two.

scuzzy


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The Pixel 5 will be on its way back today. BTW, I got burned with a Google $35 restocking fee. Live and learn. As Dave Ramsey calls it, "Stupid tax."

I would have preferred to keep the Pixel 5, but with the speakers being such a massive failure it would not make sense. Reality is that for my needs, the 4a will work fine. I took a call from my daughter yesterday on the 4a, and we talked for quite some time. The 4a's volume was more than sufficient, including speakerphone. I later took another call from a friend and had the same results.

As for the lack of an IP rating, I'll just use common sense. I watched a YouTube video yesterday in which a reviewer soaked a Pixel 4a in water for nearly 10 minutes with a timer running on the phone. The 4a continued working all the way through the end of the video. It wasn't anything scientific or defining, but it confirmed my theory that the phone isn't going to melt just because it gets a little wet.

EDIT: I've been putting the Pixel 4a through the ringer, to include on the Harley, Bluetooth, GPS, phone calls & messaging, etc. So far I'm very satisfied and I'm convinced I made the right choice.

Bill


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At least you have a workable solution.  Give it a little time and you'll forget all about the 5.
Fractal Design R5 | Asus  Z170 Pro | Intel i5 6600k | 16 GB G.Skill Ripjaws  DDR4 2133 | Seasonic 650w PSU | eVGA GTX 550 TI | Samsung 960 M2 500 GB | Samsung 850 EVO 500 GB | ASUS Burner | Windows 7 64-bit