Vote Charlie!

Switching to Samsung Galaxy S8

Posted at age 29.
Edited .

I recently pieced together a list of my mobile phones from journal entries and emails, which I have going back only to 2006 when I switched to Gmail. That could have been easier had I written a journal entry each time I switched phones, but better late than never. So, Thursday, June 22, I switched phones. To the Samsung Galaxy S8.

Miscellaneous items related to switching from the Huawei/Google Nexus 6P to the Samsung Galaxy S8

Reason for switch

I definitely wanted a smaller phone, and liked the small Pixel phone. I figured I would get the smaller Pixel 2 whenever that came out, but it was not meant to be.

My Nexus 6P battery got atrociously bad. I could no longer complete a two hour run without the phone dying despite starting with a full charge. I attempted to take T-Mobile up on their “Smartphone Equality” offer of a new phone for $0 down with financing over 24 months, assuming you have made 12 on time payments on a prepaid plan. I have a prepaid plan since it’s easier to deal with unexpectedly leaving the country, etc., and at $30 per month, I pay less than any other standard plan option. When I tried to use the offer online Tuesday, June 13, a message said the plan must be redeemed in a store. The next day, I ran more than 3 miles to the T-Mobile near me that had better than 2 of 5 stars on Google Maps. Well, it turned out I could not use the offer unless I converted my $30 per month plan to a $75 per month plan. Hah! I will be following up on that as soon as I can.

So I reverted to my previous plan and bought the following supplies to replace the battery myself:

The battery was not on Prime, so I was going to need to deal with the horrible battery life another week or two. Since I am training for a marathon, I needed a plan for tracking. I could not find my smaller USB battery pack, so I ordered a AUKEY 5000mAh USB-C Universal Power Bank ($19.99) but ended up only using its included USB Type C cable (with two attached adapters) with the RAVPower Luster Mini 3350mAh Portable Charger External Battery Pack ($12.59) I also ordered, since the latter is physically smaller and easier to take running. I shoved it in the phone section of my cheapo water bottle with smartphone pouch along with my Nexus 6P.

Then Monday, June 19, I saw an offer from Samsung to buy the unlocked Galaxy S8 for $100 off and another $200 off for any trade in. I have an old Nexus 5 that I haven’t gotten around to selling on Ebay yet, so this seemed worthwhile. I probably would not have gotten even $100 for it, plus selling things on Ebay always takes way more time than I hope it will. So the total price would be $425 plus tax. I thought it was still somewhat expensive, but after compiling that list of my past phones, I see I have paid more before!

So the phone shipped Tuesday, and I received it Thursday.


I ordered the following items in preparation for the Galaxy S8’s arrival:


As noted in my entry about S8 root, I ordered the phone after confirming online the S8 could be rooted, but when I received it, I found the model number is actually not on the root list, and there is no “OEM Unlock” option in the developer menu. I decided to forge ahead setting up the phone despite knowing I would likely need to start over once I could root the thing. In the meantime, my file syncing workflow is broken.

Secure folder, missing apps

I initially enabled a Samsung feature called “secure folder”, not knowing what it was. Later I was glad to see I could installed the Google Now Launcher and set up my app icons how I had them on the Nexus 6P, and get my feed back. Then after restarting, most of my apps were gone. I found a forum post mentioning it was due to the secure folder feature. I disabled it, but did not get the instant relief others described. I restarted, and still the icons were gone. Then after five minutes or so, I saw a message that secure folder was disabled. And the icons were back. So apparently the folder was still being disabled in the background before. It’s pretty nice it was able to continue being disabled despite my restarting the phone impatiently while that was in progress!


Overall the phone feels very nice, and still feels rather nice with the screen protector and case. My main goal in choosing this phone was to have something smaller, or at least narrower, to prevent my thumb pain that I think is due to the large Nexus 6P and how I text. It seems the S8 will help, but I will still aim to text with my hands in a different position and avoid use of my right thumb.

I am not using most of the Samsung apps, but I am trying some of the features and settings that are new to me and will report back, I hope.

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