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We are what we think & my blog entries reflect how I think. Have a sip of the poison of my mind.. It's not always lethal.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Galaxy Note 4 In The House

After holding on to my 12gb monthly mobile data plan with my telco for around 4 and a half years or so, I finally made a recontract, ditched my now obsolete 12gb plan for a much deflated 4G network 3gb monthly data plan (ugh!) and got a charcoal black Galaxy Note 4.

Maybe I'm missing something here but I consider 3gb of monthly data plan a rip-off because, despite it being only a quarter of what I used to enjoy every month, the monthly bill associated with it has a difference of only about 2 bucks or so from my former 12gb plan. Granted, 4G network is supposed to be faster but still, paying for more or less the same amount for data consumption slashed by 75%? Hmm.

Sure, the old 12gb plan was running on 3G network and the 3gb plan is running on 4G, so one may argue that a higher upkeep and upgraded network operating costs necessitate sacrificing the monthly data as a trade-off to prevent grossly inflated monthly bills for the telco's customers but is that really the case? I'm not entirely sure but even if it is, I still feel ripped-off somehow when I think about the data-to-cost ratio differences between the 12gb and 3gb plans.

My Galaxy Note 2 is a HSPA+ export set I bought off-contract but the time has come when I have no choice but to convert over to the 4G network plan, since there wouldn't have been any point to choking and nerfing my new 4G-capable Note 4 on old 3G network. I'll just have to make adjustments to my off-WiFi online surfing habits when I'm out and about and monitor my data consumption with my telco's app while setting up my phone to notify me with a warning if and when my mobile data usage hits 2.7gb on a monthly basis. Sayonara, carefree 12gb peace of mind.

On a brighter note, the salesgirl who attended to me (when it was finally my turn in the queue after around 2 hours or so of waiting) gave me an original charcoal black Samsung S View flip case for free bundled with the phone. When I saw her walking out of the store room with my Note 4 and the brand new S View cover in hand, I was pleasantly amused since my Lioness didn't receive any bundled gifts when she recontracted and got her pink Note 4 during December.

Speaking of the S View case, it feels and looks really well-made and premium to my hands and eyes and if you are curious about its functionalities (yup, it's not just a dumb flip case without any functions), you can check out the following video:

I was supposed to pay more than SGD $600 for my Note 4 with contract subsidy but because I happened to have accumulated two $50 vouchers from my telco, $100 was slashed off the bill. If I'm not mistaken, an additional small rebate could be applied by the bank too since I paid with one of my credit cards. (Update: when my credit card bill arrived, a total of SGD $532.21 was charged for the phone).

Now that I have the Note 4, my Note 2 has become my backup phone which I refuse to sell because of not just sentimental reasons (it was the very first Note device which I've always wanted and I'll never forget how happy I felt the moment I bought it) but also because it's been my old faithful that has served my mobile needs most capably for almost 2 and a half years; it has become an old reliable friend that I've come to know really well and we had a lot of mobile fun together with ROMs, hacks and a whole load of software experimentations. It's also my very first phone I willingly paid a off-contract retail price for.

I named my Note 2 'Niche' back in late 2012. From the look of things now in 2015 though, the Note has already become mainstream. No offense meant to other Note users but personally, I don't enjoy finding myself in situations where everyone else around me in the crowd is also holding a Note device but such a scenario has become rather common, bah bah black sheep. The Note's unique factor is eroding fast if it's not gone already.

Anyhoos, I consider the Note 4 to be a very much worthwhile upgrade from the Note 2 much more so than the Note 3. The differences in hardware specs and things like the Note 4 camera's optical image stabilisation and absolutely gorgeous 2k screen display (retina display who?) and adaptive fast charging tech are chasm-wide leaps forward from the Note 2, so here I am with my brand new powerhouse in hand. And oh, I'm finding the Note 4's butt-kicking camera's photo-taking and video recording qualities to be just plain sick for a smartphone. Great job with the shooter, Uncle Sammy.

And boy, am I glad they got rid of the Note 3's Pen Window that you have to draw manually and replaced it with the much more sensible and efficient Pop Up Window instead. Having to draw rectangles to launch apps is not only childish and a redundant unnecessary step in my book but it also means out-of-whack windowed app aspect ratios more often than not, since it's drawn out manually without an aspect ratio lock.

Pop Up Window, on the other hand, launches and resizes apps in proportional aspect ratios without the need to draw redundant rectangles, so that's definitely a much-needed necessary corrective step and refined improvement that I'm very pleased with.

Of course, I'm gonna go root my Note 4 first thing and install my favourite root apps and Xposed modules on it. Out of the box, my Note 4 is running on KitKat 4.4.4 (which means I can use Xposed on it) with a Lollipop update on the horizon. Hopefully, by the time the Lollipop update arrives for my Note 4, Xposed will be fully ready and functional for it.. Doubt that would be the case though, but hey, I can still hope. Even if that should finally come to fruition after Lollipop hits, better late than never.

What about the Galaxy Note Edge that I happen to like as well? Why didn't I choose the Edge over the standard non-edgy Note 4? I very much wanna write about that but it's gonna have to be another blog post for another day, since I'll be really busy with my new toy for the next few days starting from now.

Man, cradling my new Note 4 in my hands makes me feel all hyped up and nerdgasmic all over. Feels like Christmas and it's only March :)

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