I don’t believe in the multiverse, but let’s pretend for the sake of narrative. In one reality, my wife and I continue to use the iPhone 13 Pro pair purchased in early autumn 2021. In another, we upgraded to the 14 models released this year. Along another path, we bought Google Pixel 7 for her and Pro for me. But in this here and now, we are unexpected owners of Samsung Galaxy S22 and its, considerably larger, Ultra sibling.
The saga starts with an insane crisis beleaguering our daughter, where, because of incompetence and mischief, she got locked out of her iPad, iPhone, and MacBook Air—and iCloud account! About a month later, and many Apple support calls or Genius Bar visits, she has regained use of the handset and notebook; iCloud is irrevocably lost, or so seems situation as I write. Someone, and she doesn’t recall being that person, activated recovery key, which my daughter does not have. Without it, Apple Support agents continually say she cannot regain access to her iCloud identity. Ah, yeah.
Our story continues with my increasing dissatisfaction regarding my Apple satisfaction. The 16.2-inch MacBook Pro M1 is simply satisfying—best computer experience ever. All the fruit-logo devices and services seamlessly and smoothly work well together. But the entire experience is very controlled. An analogy: Apartment living—or condominium, if you prefer. Sarcastically, and somewhat more appropriate: Managed care residence; if that’s too harsh for you then Florida’s whacky The Villages. Laugh, if you like, but I am being serious here.
Additionally, for the longest time, some Apple business practices have bothered me. Among them: The (outsourced) manufacturing operations in China.
Returning to my daughter’s dilemma and the living situation analogy, she lost the apartment keys and the landlord refuses to provide another set or any other means of access. Stated differently: Swift eviction, without forenotice, left all her belongings on the curb and they are gone!
That said, I nevertheless considered buying iPhone 14 Pro during all the drama but lead times to get one are perennially weeks away. The circumstance created opportunity for Annie and I to consider Android alternatives, as a change of computing lifestyle and leaving managed residence for home ownership, so to speak.
We initially decided to buy the aforementioned Pixels, and I actually ordered them—only to cancel a few hours later. Two reasons: 1) After watching numerous review videos on YouTube, I became convinced (rightly or wrongly) that the cameras wouldn’t be better than our iPhone 13 Pros—and maybe not as good. 2) Even the standard Pixel would be too large for my wife.
So I looked at the S22 series, which cameras consistently are well-regarded. Meanwhile, the entry model is nearly identical size of Annie’s Apple smartphone and somewhat lighter; perfect for her. Then there was the Samsung sale underway for the holidays. With trade-in of one iPhone and other discounts, I paid less for both S22 models—and charging bricks—than what one 14 Pro would cost me.
Something else wooed me, and this has to do with corporate retail store policies. To my absolute surprise, Samsung included discount for the trade-in up front. When we last did something similar with Apple, the company charged full purchase price at time of sale and refunded the difference after receiving the devices. Samsung already has given us the benefit. If we decide not to send in the 13 Pro, the manufacturer will then collect the difference. But our intention is to follow through, tomorrow; trade-in value remains.
Samsung manufactures the phones but tweaks software developed by Google. So seamless integration is in out past. There are decisions to be made everywhere, like who has permission to access what—stuff Apple managed for us. Returning to the housing analogy: We are suddenly thrust into the responsibilities (and freedom) of home ownership on a crowded, chaotic street where kids constantly loudly play, neighbors incessantly mow their lawns, and teenagers wheely around their parents’ cars. The chaos is rather refreshing.
Leaving the old residence proved to be easier for my wife than me. Samsung’s Switch app latched onto almost all the meaningful data from her iPhone 13 Pro. I wasn’t so lucky. For the second time in six months, my handset’s Lightning port stopped charging, compelling slower wireless option as remedy. That affliction also prevented connecting one phone to another to transfer apps, data, and settings. As alternative, Samsung can pull some stuff from iCloud, and I had no other choice on Friday night (I write on Sunday). The process failed twice before succeeding the third time over the course of six hours.
Soon as that process finished, I rushed off to the local Mac sales and repair shop, which performed some magic (perhaps, lint removable) to restore the Lightning port and my ability to cord connect one phone to another and start a proper transfer.
Galaxy S22 Ultra is gigantic but barely larger than iPhone 14 Pro Max. Respectively: 77.9 x 163.3 x 8.9mm versus 77.6 x 160.7 x 7.8mm. I am not a fan of big phones, but the camera system and sale price, which was lower than the smaller sibling, wooed.
So far, I am satisfied enough. I expect that to increase whenever I complete the transition, which means more data spread out among online services rather than everything beholden to one company. My daughter’s crisis is a reminder about the risks of relying on something that can be compromised by a single point of failure.
That’s all for tonight. I used iPhone 13 Pro, which my daughter will inherit for Christmas, to shoot the Featured Image. Vitals: f/1.5, ISO 40, 1/250 sec, 26mm; 12:35 p.m. PST.