So, let me take a minute to unpack this: Modern smartphones are pretty much magical devices by this point. I am still lightly flabbergasted at the notion that you can cram a battery-powered computer into a six-inch slab of aluminum and then carry it around in your pocket, subjecting it to all manner of abuse, until you decide that it is not quite shiny enough and discard it for a newer and shinier one.
I would like to say things about having the entirety of human knowledge and understanding at my fingertips, but then I load up twitter and it’s 75% cat pictures so I really am not doing much with the whole entirety of human knowledge thing.
Anyway. I bought a new phone, though not really because my old one wasn’t shiny enough. I had been using an iPhone 6s+ for the last three years, and had zero complaints with anything about it. It didn’t feel particularly slow, it let me take photos and browse the web and play Love Live! School Idol Festival when I felt like a rhythm game and so on.
On the other hand, it developed a CHARMING little quirk where, as soon as the battery dropped to 49%, the phone would immediately turn itself off until connected to power, at which point it would say that it actually had 10% power left… but then that number would climb back up to 50% far more quickly than a phone could actually charge. Normally I would deal with this, but I have a trip coming up in a few weeks and didn’t want to be in a situation where I was constantly checking my battery level.
So it was off to the Apple store, where they gave me a very generous trade-in and I walked out with a new iPhone XR. They don’t make pink phones any more – cowards – but they do make the XR in Product (Red) which means that I can feel a little good about contributing towards AIDS eradication in Africa at the same time as I buy an electronic device that probably relies on conflict minerals mined in Africa. I think those two balance out a little, making this a Guilt Free purchase.
Pardon the kinda blurry picture, I am not in the business of taking product glamour shots.
While I’d prefer not to have needed a new phone, I have to give Apple some credit for the ease of the backup and restore process when moving from one iPhone to the next.
I powered up this phone for the first time, it asked me if I would like to get the stuff from my old phone out of iCloud, and then it went and did all of that more-or-less without any interaction on my part. It even handled the fact that I had stuff from two different iTunes Store regions, and iOS used to be really bad about that. I did have to hook it up to a computer to sync music over from iTunes, and I’ve had to reenter some passwords, but otherwise it’s like I have the same phone as I did last week, just with no headphone jack and with facial recognition instead of a fingerprint sensor and hopefully 100% less crashing.
Also Love Live! has a little border on it now instead of filling the entire screen, presumably so it wouldn’t have to deal with the screen notch. I don’t particularly care about the border or the notch, I am just happy that all of my stuff came over to the new phone properly. I had JUST collected all 18 of the birthday titles, and I would have been quite gutted to lose those. Bushiroad lets you set a passcode to transfer your progress from one phone to the next via their servers, but I am just as glad to have it copy over without needing to go through their process.
The biggest game-changer so far is that it supports wireless charging, which lets me take advantage of the Qi chargers that are left over from my flirtation with Windows phones a few years back. I have missed that.
So this blog post is pretty much 700 words of “I spent some money on a new gadget and it is generally OK in every way” which makes me feel genuine sympathy towards tech bloggers who need to find a way to be excited about the Newest Shiniest Phone every year. 🙂
They probably take better product shots than me, though.