I upgraded many of my electronics this holiday season. It’s only been a few days, but here are my initial reactions.
iPad Pro 2018
I use my iPad for games, movies, light email, and reading news. I don’t want to draw with it or use it as a laptop replacement. It’s basically a big version of my phone, but games and movies are much better. I’ve been using the iPad Pro 2016 edition for a while and loved it. The new version is not making me very happy. Here are the problems:
- I miss the button. REALLY MISS THE BUTTON. I loved the fingerprint scanner and I hate the Face ID. I constantly cover the camera with my left hand. I have no easy way to get back to the home screen. 5 finger pinch is a poor substitute. I hate it, I hate it, I hate it.
- It’s not thinner, the screen is not better, not bigger. It’s basically the same size without the button. I MISS THE BUTTON.
- It’s less tapered. I think that is a bad decision here. It just feels bad in my hand. It feels old, not new. The edges feel uncomfortable in my hands.
- There are no decent cases. I bought one and it doesn’t fit perfectly. I want to protect this thing from accidental drops. None of the cases I saw do this well.
- It’s a little faster. A very little.
Overall Grade: Meh. D+
Google Pixel XL 3
I had the original Pixel XL and liked it for 2 years. Recently, it started acting a little weird. Things stopped working properly. Texts would not send. Maps would not open. Verizon changed their pricing incentives so there is no real incentive for early upgrades. You are basically financing a phone over 24 months. It’s fine, I can do that. It’s just like my car. It was a little expensive, but I wanted the original Google experience rather than the Samsung or OnePlus varieties. Some thoughts:
- It’s the same phone. Just a little faster. I don’t see any substantive difference, honestly.
- Cases are too expensive. I ordered the google fabric one, but I haven’t received it yet. I have a cheap plastic one for now.
- It’s very slippery without a case. Like REALLY slippery. I thought for sure it was going to slip out of my hands and break. I need to buy a screen protector right away. They are also too expensive. Wtf, this is ridiculous.
- Flip to shh is a good idea. I’m going to use that.
- No more headphones jack. I need to buy Bluetooth or USB C headphones. I have the adapter, I guess. Also too expensive for these. Ugh.
Overall Grade: Meh. C+
Samsung Galaxy Watch
I needed an upgrade for my Asus Zenwatch that I’ve had for 2 years. I really couldn’t make up my mind. I wanted the new Snapdragon 3100 processor, so I would get better battery life, but there just weren’t that many options. I pulled the trigger and just went with the best reviewed. Here are my initial reactions to the Samsung:
- It’s a tiny bit big and thick for me, I’d be so much happier with a slimmer watch. However, I get that the battery takes space so choices are limited.
- The rotating bezel is nice. I have used it and it works. I even answered the phone on it and talked to my wrist like Dick Tracy.
- It goes black too quickly and often. I want it to show the time longer. It’s like “the time is 9:16pm, 1, 2, 3…Black. I can’t find the setting for this.
- This isn’t WearOS. I feel that I should have waited for a better WearOS watch. I don’t like the OS at all. Google had a smoother interface. This one is too busy. Well, maybe it is just new. I should give it more time.
- It’s got Samsung Pay. This means I can buy groceries from my watch. I’m excited to give that a try. I love paying electronically that way. Much faster than the credit card chip.
- The band is made of rubber, not leather. I’ll have to see how much I like it. If I replace it, I hope that it is easy.
Overall Grade: Jury is still out, but B+.
Well, that’s it. Only a few devices and I think I broke the bank. I’m not miserable, but I wish these devices had more of an upside to them. Usually upgrades came with more joy for me. It’s just been a few days, so maybe much of the hardware is still untapped by the software. We shall see.
Thank you to all of you. Happy Holidays!