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Poll

How do you usually connect to the world?

  • I shout.
    2 (22.2%)
  • In a pub.:beer:
    0 (0%)
  • Mail, telegraph...
    3 (33.3%)
  • I don't -- they come to me...:cool:
    0 (0%)
  • I have a secretary.:verycool:
    0 (0%)
  • I have a landline phone.
    0 (0%)
  • Trunking, CB, Morse flashlight.
    0 (0%)
  • Cellphone or that sort...
    3 (33.3%)
  • Internet apps.
    1 (11.1%)
  • A sat. phone.
    0 (0%)
  • Something you can't ever imagine. :)
    0 (0%)

Total Members Voted: 6

Topic: Phones! phones! phones!  (Read 14132 times)

  • Banned Member
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Phones! phones! phones!
Here in this thread we'll cover every phone :yikes: except maybe those funny things with a wheel. Cellphones, DECT phones, satellite phones... Slightly outdated trunking radio phones...
Military radiophones. NASA/ISS "phones". Skype-like apps... 

So, what sort of a phone have you had/do you have? Brand?

  • ersi
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Re: Phones! phones! phones!
Reply #75
Is wanting to lock the device in landscape mode occasionally really such a niche thing?
On a Lenovo tablet I spotted this feature: When on landscape mode, you can lock it to landscape. Quite common sense, because when on portrait you can lock any Android to portrait.

Such obvious features should indeed be included everywhere. Really, I don't like this "there's an app for everything attitude". It's as bad as FF's "there's an extension for everything". Well, maybe there should be more apps to do desktop environment features like home screens, apptrays, system menus,  and window management.

  • Frenzie
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Re: Phones! phones! phones!
Reply #76
Quote
either auto-rotate of rotate
That was of course supposed to read "either auto-rotate or portrait".

In CyanogenMod <13 the rotation quicksetting used to have at least three taps: portrait, landscape, and auto. I don't recall if it had one for reverse landscape, but it almost certainly didn't have a reverse portrait, at least without diving into the advanced settings.

On cm13 you can (at least in theory) choose which auto-rotation angles you allow. So if you only allow 90 degrees or 270 degrees, you would be able to lock it in landscape. Except then you'd have to go into the settings every time instead of quickly toggling it. Although... it just occurred to me that by locking auto-rotate to landscape, you could actually get a proper toggle between portrait and landscape ("auto-rotate"). Annoyingly, I often like auto-rotate, so the previous three-tap setting was much preferred. I would suggest what you said (lock to current rotation) to the Tap 'n' Turn devs but I don't want to seem ungrateful. :P

It's as bad as FF's "there's an extension for everything".
It's pretty bizarre too. I had to install an app to do something as simple as transferring text messages or contacts from one phone to the next. This is something that could always be done via Bluetooth no trouble with an open standard, implemented not just by Sony Ericsson but also by real smartphone operating systems such as Windows Mobile.[1] On Windows Mobile it was also trivial to export all kinds of things onto the SD card.
iOS and Android not included.

  • ersi
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Kid without iPhone
Reply #77


  • Frenzie
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Re: Phones! phones! phones!
Reply #78

  • ersi
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Re: Phones! phones! phones!
Reply #79
Lenovo A5 has roughly the same specs as Galaxy Note 4, except lesser screen and Android version updated to 8. And sells for less than a 100 e on Aliexpress. I just might try it out.

  • ersi
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Re: Phones! phones! phones!
Reply #80
Apple invented the notch for the iPhones (quickly copied by several stupids) but Galaxy manages to stay clear https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZHCIpX7ms1c

Still, this "true fullscreen" display is an entirely misdirected craze. Galaxy's earlier "edge" screens in S6 and S7 have already gone the way of the dodo for a valid reason: They do not allow the user to hold the phone without affecting the screen. "True fullscreen" suffers from the same problem.

Even on my Note 4 it occasionally happens that I have to fiddle something on the side or at the back of the phone and the homescreen gets accidentally messed up so that it takes a half an hour to get things back to their places. This problem is exponentially exacerbated on "edge" and "true fullscreen" displays.

Human users physically need neutral space around the display for just holding the device without random things happening. How hard is it for engineers to understand?

For a little while some may have imagined that they can live with the notch. Maybe Steve Jobs could have brainwashed people into having faith in the notch a little longer, but no, it's over rather sooner than later.

Bezelless computer monitors though, that's another matter (as long as they have good arms/legs/VESA mounts). I wonder why there aren't any already by now.

  • Frenzie
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Re: Phones! phones! phones!
Reply #81
Bezelless computer monitors though, that's another matter (as long as they have good arms/legs/VESA mounts). I wonder why there aren't any already by now.
There are these new HP monitors at work that have a bezel of just a mm or so. I much prefer my older, bigger, big bezeled 16:10 over one of those smaller 16:9 things though. Plus they can't even sit at a proper height. Now if they were almost indistinguishable from one of the monitor I use, except with slightly better color accuracy and tiny bezels, then we'd be talking a no-brainer...[1]

Should they want to replace them and the opportunity presented itself, I'd definitely consider taking one or more of those 16:10s home with me.[2]
Well, except the boss wouldn't approve a new monitor just 'cause it has tiny bezels. ;)
My wife's current 16:10 monitor is a decade old, so while obviously I hope otherwise I'm inclined to think it'll probably die of natural causes within the next five years.

  • jax
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Re: Phones! phones! phones!
Reply #82
There is one use for debezelled displays: they could be tiled with sufficiently clever hardware and drivers.

If you had 160 (or 40) square displays, you could make a 16:10 display of your own, just by tiling them yourself on some serviceable frame.

  • ersi
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Re: Phones! phones! phones!
Reply #83
Is this idea applicable to phone displays too?

  • Frenzie
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Re: Phones! phones! phones!
Reply #84
There is one use for debezelled displays: they could be tiled with sufficiently clever hardware and drivers.
Well yes, that is the only reason I half care about the bezels at work. For example, you might want one application on about half of one monitor with a big Excel document stretching across one and a half so you can see more of the information within at once.

But given how Windows (or any other WM afaik) doesn't conveniently support doing that kind of thing it's a moot point regardless. I'm curious actually how people with those ultrawide monitors handle window management, because theoretically that might be the ideal version of my work setup. It seems like it would completely break the regular half maximized (Win+left/right), full maximized (Win+up) workflow.

Unfortunately my second monitor is an inferior model that doesn't even align properly. ;)

Is this idea applicable to phone displays too?
You'd still see the cracks, so I don't think it's really applicable to anything except if you're only supposed to view it from several meters away.

  • ersi
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Re: Phones! phones! phones!
Reply #85
Dev kits for Purism's ultra-private Librem 5 smartphone are now shipping https://thenextweb.com/plugged/2018/12/19/dev-kits-for-purisms-ultra-private-librem-5-smartphone-are-now-shipping/

Looks like everybody can build their own modular custom smartphone now. Great.

As far as I can glean, the concept is similar to the Pyra-Pandora handheld-portable mini-computer https://pyra-handheld.com/boards/pages/pyra/

  • Frenzie
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Re: Phones! phones! phones!
Reply #86
I wonder if they considered Sailfish OS and if so, why they rejected it.

  • ersi
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Re: Phones! phones! phones!
Reply #87
Or the other way: Have Sailfish makers (Jolla) noticed Librem and are they considering a version for it? They did something for Xperia X a year ago.

  • Frenzie
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Re: Phones! phones! phones!
Reply #88
In fact I just bought an XA2 to replace my Zenfone 2. Sailfish is definitely nice. I probably won't switch to it as my phone until the paid version with Android support is ready.

Annoyingly, I can't just test it a little as a phone and put my SIM right back in my current main phone because of this idiotic nano-SIM concept. Micro made some kind of sense, but what's the point of nano?

  • ersi
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Re: Phones! phones! phones!
Reply #89
Ubuntu phone is a thing again when you have Samsung Note 9.
Here is how it works. You need to install the Linux on DeX app on your Galaxy Note9 or Tab S4, once the application is installed a secure container will be created and you can add an Ubuntu Linux image on this container to run it.

[...]

Linux on DeX runs only on Samsung DeX and you may need peripherals such as monitor, keyboard and mouse to have a full experience. Terminal mode can be run outside of Samsung DeX mode.
So it's like the Termux app with more Linux beef around it, apparently up to the desktop environment!

Wait, there already is such thing.
AnLinux : Run Linux On Android Without Root Access

This application will allow you to run Linux on Android, by using Termux and PRoot technology, you can even run SSH and Xfce4 Desktop Environment!!!
For me, the plain terminal mode of Termux is quite sufficient for everything.

  • Frenzie
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Re: Phones! phones! phones!
Reply #90
If it's built into the system it might have some chance of working reasonably well, whereas the regular on-Android stuff is a collection of horrible hacks.

  • ersi
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Re: Phones! phones! phones!
Reply #91
In my blissful ignorance I simply consider software in terms of what it does, without thinking much about what amount of hacking and experimenting and workaround went into making it do what it does. If that's what you mean.

The fact that the Ubuntu image (and whatever it is that underlies Termux, perhaps Debian) has to be tacked on to Android instead of having the ability to be sort of naturally integrated, speaks of Android's closedness and inflexibility. Because, you see, Android kernel basically *is* Linux kernel, so why is there a need to download a whole new real Linux kernel alongside with it and all the rest of that stuff? The procedure kind of implies that Linux would run in a virtual machine sandbox environment or the like.

Well, I am happy enough that Termux works. I do not worry myself too much over how it was achieved - as long as the internal drive still has space.

  • ersi
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Re: Phones! phones! phones!
Reply #92
In my opinion, this year is about as bad for Samsung Galaxy as the year of exploding Note 7's.
Apple invented the notch for the iPhones (quickly copied by several stupids) but Galaxy manages to stay clear
Well, not anymore. Galaxy S10* succumbed to the notch craze and now Galaxy Note 10*[1] lost the headphone jack. The next step is losing the microSD slot... 

Luckily I still have my Note 4 with all the goodies:
- headphone jack
- no notch
- bezels (thumbspace!)
- microSD slot
- removable battery

Dual SIM and it would be perfect, but a separate backup device is also a good idea.
Seriously, why did they have to make several variations of Note this time? When there are several, there is no flagship. There are several flies in the soup instead.

  • Frenzie
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Re: Phones! phones! phones!
Reply #93
- headphone jack
I understand why manufacturers want to sell junk with a built-in expiration date,[1] but I don't comprehend people who defend having yet another thing to charge. Most of the reason my phone has usurped various other mostly superior dedicated devices[2] is precisely because it means I don't have to worry about their batteries anymore. The remainder mainly being that I have to plug in my mp3 player to update my podcasts while my phone has wifi, that I have to manually transfer pictures from my old P&S and even my much superior DSLR camera while my phone has wifi + auto-backup, plus of course I always have my phone on me for phone reasons.

The next step is losing the microSD slot...
I maintain that a phone that requires the Internet to access all of Wikipedia, for instance, is a dumb terminal, not "smart."

- removable battery
I bought an XA2 and Sailfish. The battery replacement procedure is... somewhat reasonable.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OL3QkIbWvRM

I have an ASUS laptop where the battery is quite easy to replace. It's not the traditional quick swap which seems like a stupid feature to lose,[3] but pretty much all it takes is a few screws. Okay, a lot of screws, and you need one of those special Torx screwdrivers to take off the back of the laptop, but provided you have those (and they are genuinely better, none of that destroying the head or losing grip nonsense) you can do it in a couple of minutes.

Unfortunately it has soldered on RAM, something I wasn't really aware was even a thing when I bought it,[4] so I suspect that by the time it'd make sense to replace the battery I'll still want to get a new one because 4 GB is already starting to feel a lot more inadequate than back in 2016.

Right now I'm thinking I might look into used business laptops when the time comes.
I just looked it up and Apple is apparently willing to replace your AirPod batteries for about 70. That would pay for some top of the line wired earbuds...
Except for my old defunct '09 GPS. It's slower with a slightly smaller, less sharp screen.
I have two batteries with my DSLR for a reason. It's like carrying around an extra roll of film or two in the old days.
I know it's something Apple did, but I didn't realize manufacturers followed suit.

  • ersi
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Why Oh Why Samsung
Reply #94
In addition to ruining Note with the camera notch, removing headphone jack from it, and splitting the phone into multiple versions as if it were a salad, also the Fold is a misstep in my opinion. Not only because its screen simply cracked at first (and will definitely still crack in the middle - this foldable screen technology continues to be crap, cheap-looking in real life while ultra-expensive to acquire) but also because of the camera placement again. Come on guys, you got multiple screens, yet you still manage to disfigure the huge internal screen with the camera notch! I hate the camera notch!



There are many cameras on the Fold because no thinking went into how to place them reasonably, economically. There are cameras on every side, and the worst one is on the smaller-screen side. But the smaller-screen side is exactly where ALL the cameras should be! From the pic above it is easy to tell that the cameras would fit just fine together with the secondary screen.

My logic is as follows: We want good pics, i.e. we want to shoot with the best camera only. For selfies or outside-world pics, only the best camera is good enough. At the same time, we want to see what the pic would look like before shooting, whichever way the phone is facing. The solution to this selfie vs outside-world problem is the secondary screen on the best-camera side. Given a secondary screen on the best-camera side, there is no need for any other cameras on any other side, because other cameras are lesser and we do not want to take lesser pics. Removal of secondary cameras liberates the big-screen side for the screen only, no need for notch, and enables the users to take all pics with the best camera(s).

Fold has two screens, yet it still manages to have the notch on its primary screen. Big fail. Not to mention all other failures, such as lack of dustproofness, possible inability to have a cover, etc.

  • Frenzie
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Re: Phones! phones! phones!
Reply #95
there is no need for any other cameras on any other side
I disagree. The secondary camera on my phone is good enough for video calling (albeit obviously worse than the "good" camera in low-light conditions) and it enables you to more easily switch between showing someone something in the room and regular video calling. And it easily beats the expensive Logitech webcam I bought a decade ago.[1]

I think it would be great if we could easily reuse old Android devices as touchpads or webcams. You can kind of do that with regular Android, but that's slow and cumbersome. I mean more like a plugin USB device, where instead of slow Android booting you have a minimal quick boot.[2]

Of course as a selfie camera it's a lot worse than just taking a classic P&S selfie where you turn the camera around.

My Sony Ericsson T630 came with a mirror just below the camera for selfie purposes. It's a lot cheaper than even the cheapest secondary screen and almost just as effective. Possibly more so because cheap screens may not be visible in bright lighting conditions. You just can't see if it's focusing correctly.

When a device actually already has a secondary screen, it's pure madness not being able to use that for selfie/video calling purposes. That missed chance seems like it could be a killer feature with the Instagram audience.
Depending on your definition of expensive. It's not like we're talking more than € 100 here but it was something like 60 - 80 because the cheaper models were just plain bad.
Actually my new phone boots Sailfish/Android in seconds, quite unlike the minutes from my older devices. I'm not sure how that can be because it's only very marginally better, and CPU speed may not even be one in which it is (as opposed to CPU performance vs power usage).

  • ersi
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Re: Phones! phones! phones!
Reply #96
there is no need for any other cameras on any other side
I disagree. The secondary camera on my phone is good enough for video calling...
Maybe, but the better camera would be even better, wouldn't it? Therefore, if you want good video calling, you are actually agreeing with me :) Or, if you do not want video calling to be too good, then you actually do not like video calling much.

I have probably made just two video calls on my phone. They were Skype calls. And about two Skype video calls on the computer too. So few calls partly because the cameras are crap and also the sound is not too good, and often there are ambient disturbers. The chat feature is enough. Well, at work we need to do Skype conferences. There are often glitches that will never endear me to this form of communication. I will forever prefer writing.

I think it would be great if we could easily reuse old Android devices as touchpads or webcams. You can kind of do that with regular Android, but that's slow and cumbersome. I mean more like a plugin USB device, where instead of slow Android booting you have a minimal quick boot.
Isn't the hardware capacity there, so it is just a software issue? What you need is some community hacking the appropriate os/platform/app. I would very much like to use handhelds as displays for different inputs too, e.g. from my computer over bluetooth or wifi maybe. Surely there are apps for that, and if you want quick bootup, there should be a way to make that particular app the only app...

My Sony Ericsson T630 came with a mirror just below the camera for selfie purposes. It's a lot cheaper than even the cheapest secondary screen and almost just as effective.
Yes, that was ingenious.



  • Frenzie
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Re: Phones! phones! phones!
Reply #97
Maybe, but the better camera would be even better, wouldn't it? Therefore, if you want good video calling, you are actually agreeing with me  :)  Or, if you do not want video calling to be too good, then you actually do not like video calling much.
The way video calling works is you have a good picture on the front and a better picture on the back for when you want to show something. But the thing is, except for putting in either two good cameras or two good screens I can't think of a better compromise than the one that exists, with a fairly decent front and a "good" rear camera.

On the Sony Xperia XA2 they implemented an interesting twist on the compromise. The front cam is basically a good wide angle cam, not unlike how on more expensive phones there are now multiple cameras on the rear. Quite inconvenient when you might want to take a non-selfie wide angle picture, but it does take the compromise to a whole new level.

Unfortunately the camera is worse without proprietary Sony stuff, quite possibly the biggest disadvantage of Sailfish. Or more accurately, custom anything; unlocking the bootloader removes their special camera sauce. If you like the phone for its camera you'll be forced to do some serious soul searching.

However, I've done some minor experiments with shooting in RAW (DNG) and using Darktable for processing. It does seem to result in somewhat better quality pictures. Once you've got a profile figured out you don't need to individually look at pictures, basically you'd just tell Darktable to do its thing to your pics.
  • Last Edit: 2019-09-30, 09:30:00 by Frenzie

  • Frenzie
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Re: Phones! phones! phones!
Reply #98
Isn't the hardware capacity there, so it is just a software issue? What you need is some community hacking the appropriate os/platform/app. I would very much like to use handhelds as displays for different inputs too, e.g. from my computer over bluetooth or wifi maybe. Surely there are apps for that, and if you want quick bootup, there should be a way to make that particular app the only app...
In part. My XA2 boots in about 15-20 seconds. Quite speedy for a phone. But a regular drawing tablet/touchpad is just plug & play. Same for a webcam. A couple of apps difference only makes a few seconds difference at the tail end of booting.

I think a lot of the boot process is just hardware initialization, same as on older particularly computers. The speed of booting into Linux/Windows hasn't really changed that much between my '06/'07 hardware PC and my current '14/'15 hardware PC. Or at least not compared to the SSD I put in back in 2010. The real difference is that now it gets started actually starting the OS within 5-10 seconds, which used to take probably more than twice as long. So now I've got a fully operational PC within about half a minute, which used to be closer to a minute.

The above is provided I disable fastboot in Windows. I used to think Windows 10 took a small eternity to boot -- several minutes. Then I found out that disabling "fast"boot made it boot almost as fast as Linux.

Anyway, I have no doubt that a purer Linux that only exposed certain hardware over USB would boot faster. I just wonder by how much. I suppose that once I fully retire my Zenfone 2 I'll go ahead and find out. The Google Play services may well add some 5-10 seconds.

  • Frenzie
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Re: Phones! phones! phones!
Reply #99
Okay, I decided to create a few quick sample pictures.

This is the Sailfish stock camera, afaict all set to auto. It's oddly awful. Perhaps the JPEG quality or resolution defaults to low (the output is only 1.6 MB) but that's obviously not the whole story. Using a lower resolution doesn't make a picture shitty except for specific use cases like print. (And forgoing on print to save some space would be absurdly stupid, but that aside.)



This is a picture in auto-mode in Open Camera (saved as JPEG+RAW):



And this is the same picture with minimal processing in DarkTable, of the type that could be auto-applied by default to all pictures from this device. It's using a Sony Alpha-like base curve, which is pretty neutral, plus the default shadows & highlights and filmic filters:



For comparison, here's a Nokia-like base curve, which adds inaccurate but possibly pleasant saturation:



As you can see the results from simple off-device processing can be significantly superior.

The downside is that these RAW images are some 40 MB. By itself that's not too significant, but apparently on my phone that takes a few seconds to write/process, which confuses me. Perhaps it'd be less of an issue in pure RAW.

Of course more or less requiring RAW is a definite downside, but it could be worse. My Zenfone 2 doesn't do RAW.

My Sony Alpha 200 (real DSLR) from 2008 can do RAW or JPEG+RAW, but I don't typically use it because it creates nice JPEGs. But it sure doesn't have any issues writing those 40 MB files. Of course it uses nice, speedy CompactFlash but I'd expect a 2018 phone to match or exceed those speeds. It's just that it has a comparatively shitty lens and sensor, a simple insurmountable matter of physics. No small phone camera will ever be able to beat a proper camera. But they come disturbingly/excitingly close these days (i.e., you can actually take pictures for print), and for many situations that's all that matters.