broken gear End User phones

Day 5 without the SGS4 – big screen/little screen/responsive screen

sgs4Almost sounds as if I’m someone talking about being in rehab when I say it’s day 5 without the phone. I still find myself picking up the temporary replacement, the Galaxy Mini, as if I’m about to use it to access twitter and my other regular internet haunts. I don’t use it for anything other than voice and sms.

Kid4, whose phone the Mini is, has now adopted Kid3’s old but cracked GalaxyS3. Kid3 in turn is using my Nokia Lumia 920 which he seems happy with (must get it from his mum – I never got on with Windows Phone). Kid4 walks around clutching the S3 in a way that he never did with the Galaxy Mini.

I asked him what was better about the S3 compared with the Mini and the answer was “bigger screen and more responsive”. I think that, in a nutshell, is also my perception. Although for me the S3 is old tech it is still better than a small fistful of a phone because it is more usable. Handset manufacturers have been pushing the boundaries of screen size because clearly the punters prefer bigger.

The limitation is the size of people’s hands and their thumbspan, if such a term exists (if it doesn’t it does now). The responsiveness of the phone is a combination of the design, processor and software, and its speed of access to the outside world, ie the internet. Using the SGS4 over 4G as opposed to 3G is generally a much better experience.

I am informed, via email channels, that my S4 is now in the hands of the repairers and expect it to be dispatched within three working days. That must mean I get it next Wednesday which will be good timing because I’m off to London on Thursday and won’t want to carry any baggage aka Chromebook – lightweight baggage though that may be.

S4_thumbI have generally tended to have three sorts of problems with my phones: something wrong with the USBport/charging mechanism, broken screen and recently a software issue that destroys the micro SD card. One assumes that the latter will get fixed with revisions of software. The USB issue would go away if I used contactless charging. I don’t know where that tech is at. Does anyone use it?

The broken screen could be solved by using cheap disposable screens that don’t necessarily have to be part of the actual phone itself. I assume Bluetooth has the bandwidth to manage the interaction between screen and processor. I’ve discussed this before and the more I think about it the more obvious it is.

Why do we need to bother taking the phone out of our pocket or bag? It would be much safer there. Less likely to get left on the table at the cafe and less likely to get smashed or dropped into a bucket of water.

The one scenario where this probably doesn’t work is when I’m using the phone as a camera. In this case I’ll need a bit screen on the handset. There has to be a way to make it work. I use the camera a lot.

Come next Wednesday I doubt Kid4 will want his Galaxy Mini back. It looks destined for a drawer. I will hopefully have a perfectly serviceable S4 back from the menders and move forward with a nagging doubt that what I really want is a native Android phone without Samsung software clutter but with a detachable disposable screen and a great camera with at least 10x optical zoom, though 20x would be better.

There ya go…

Trefor Davies

By Trefor Davies

Liver of life, father of four, CTO of, writer, poet,

3 replies on “Day 5 without the SGS4 – big screen/little screen/responsive screen”

Sounds like you might be a prefect consumer for Google’s new Project Ara, which is a project to develop a phone using interchangeable parts; so if you break the screen, buy a new one, if you want a better camera, swap it out for a different module… and

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