The obsession with privacy is becoming a bit too much…

Ok, you’re probably starting to think that the only topics I talk about are veganism and Apple. Or something like that. Well, that might very well be true, but what am I supposed to do with such a messed up brain that I have? I have to write a bit more about this privacy shit, but hopefully after this, everything will cool down and I’ll try and continue living my life like nothing has happened. Or maybe it will end with an iPhone, who the hell knows?! I certainly do not.

access black and white blur cage
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

During these past months or so, all back to when the obsession with iOS, Apple, OnePlus and the creeping privacy issues started to emerge, everything (as always) has escalated, and especially with the latest Google I/O. I wrote about that in my last post. Since that post I’ve been doing my best to “de-googlify” my life to no avail. I’ve tried looking for a new e-mail service and created a few accounts with outlook.com, protonmail and I’ve started to use my poorly created iCloud mail as well that I made at the ending phase of my Apple obsession I had in the fall of 2017. With poorly I’m referring to me creating the wrong email address. If I’d created a better one I might have only used that one for now, even though I’m not a complete Apple user yet. If I’d been an Apple user, I could easily transfer everything to my iCloud mail, but since I’m not I won’t do that. At least not today.

I even created a g suite account, but that only lasted less than 24 hours and it was a huge mistake. It might have been worth it if I could just transfer everything from my personal Google account, but no. It is not that easy. Unfortunately. The reason why I tried out the G suite is because I read that Google does not need to “spy” on those users, since they pay for the service and do not get it for free. I found that very compelling since i really do like using Google services. But it did not work, so now I’m stuck right back at the beginning.

My feelings regarding Microsoft are also very mixed. It might be a better service overall regarding email, but I do not know. Outlook as an email service feels better, but it’s a pure roller coaster where I love it one minute and dislike it like hell the next. That’s because I am not sure if they read my emails or not and want to sell me stuff because of what I write. Microsoft themselves say they do not do that, but I am not sure if I trust that. Google does this, but personally and usually I rarely email people about stuff I talk or search with my Google account, so in that regard I also do not know if I should care so much about this either. I basically have used my Gmail account for work for the past 3½ years, and I’ve only written a fraction of those thousands of emails to friends, government or family so why is this privacy thing such a huge deal now?

Before I got my job, I used my Gmail mainly to get accounts somewhere else and notifications from all of the other social media accounts and other types of accounts I’ve created during the years. I rarely (or perhaps never) email people and that’s because of message clients, social media and phone calls. The biggest deal I have with Gmail is the self-completing email feature that they mentioned at the latest I/O and all the AI and machine learning crap Google wants to implement all over their services. Everything else is no biggie, I guess, since it hasn’t been before. My Google account in itself is primarily used for Google+, YouTube and Google Drive outside of Gmail. Not necessarily in that order, though…

Basically I’d like a service that is not that personalized if all I see are stupid ads and an OS that follows my every move, predicts everything etc. If I have to “do everything myself”, than I’d guess I’d be happy with that because it will only take me like 3 seconds longer to find the app I’d like to use on my phone next and I can completely decide myself on who to call etc. I basically do that already and it works fine. What I dislike is what I’ve mentioned before, being haunted from searches and watch history and seeing uninteresting shit I can’t/won’t buy or do. It’s that simple, or something. I’d also feel freaked out if every time I take a walk by myself I get suggestions (or notifications in the future, who knows if that will even be a thing?!) to call my family, because that is when I mainly do call them. I do that because it’s boring to just walk by yourself. I want company while I’m walking outside. I also want to decide myself who and when to call somebody, ok?!

Regarding the OnePlus 6…😥

I won’t be buying it after all. This I say after I’ve watched the launch and seen the amazing specs and price. I say this for two reasons. Number one is that I probably won’t afford it and it’s useless as of now to spend money on a phone I don’t really need. The other reason is because it will have Android P. Starting with the beta and then the full version when it’s released. I really do not want Android P. Actually I do not want Android any more, but I’m stuck with it because I can’t afford to do anything about it. On the plus side, my old and current phone does make me feel a little bit safer regarding these terrible AI and machine learning changes that are becoming a bigger part of Android with every new version.

With an older phone I do not and will not have all these new creepy features that new phones will have, but Android in general right now makes me feel sick. Still, that doesn’t make my Android experience reliable or exciting. Or anything. I just have a smartphone that works somewhat as it is needed to. I mean, it is a laggy phone, the camera is crap (yeah, I admit to that now) and some other shit I can’t remember now. The only thing I like is the battery life. That alone makes my phone worth having as of now.

But I also feel like if my next phone will have a smaller/shorter battery life, I’d learn to live and deal with that as well, so that doesn’t matter in itself. I’d rather have a phone that is fast, does not lag, has all the apps I need, with better reception for phone calls and maybe even type-c and/or wireless charging. And of course one hell of a camera so I can start taking photos with pride again. I could probably get all that with the OnePlus 6, but then I’d only get more and more AI crap and that I do not want. That is not OnePlus fault, I blame Google for that. They are the ones who pushes the AI crap even further than they need to. And that makes me so sad…

To simply put it short. I feel trapped. No other email service can currently match Gmail. If they can, it means you have to pay for them. That in itself I don’t really mind. However, I might get terminated from my job any day now because lack of things to do. If that happens I’d probably get a lot poorer and then it would be stupid to start paying for stuff if I can’t afford. Even if I’ll get accepted to a college in the fall, I’ll get less money than I have today, but at least then I’d be able to use all the student discounts. If that happen it means that like $10 will be a lot of money for me yet again. That’s fine however while I’m a student, but if I’m unemployed for a longer period of time it will be a bit worse. At least if I get less money than I have today. It’s a good thing I have a BF with a high paying job! 😉 The money issues are really just in my head for now. And I feel like Scrooge McDuck regarding my money no matter what!

The last talk about iPhone. For a while at least…

After Google I/O, me and the BF are totally creeped out regarding Google and we want to leave it or something like that. I wrote in my last post that my BF does not want to “sponsor” any other phone maker out there. But he’s actually said that he’d have to switch to iPhone if worse comes to worse. This is because there is no other OS out there that is better than all of them. It will hurt both the wallet and the mind, since he really dislikes Apple as a company and their “narrow minded” software, but it’s worth it to be sure that our privacy remains safe. I do not know when or even if this will happen.

Since Google I/O, his Blackberry has started to work a lot weirder than before and because of that I do not know what he’d wanna do about it. He does however believe that it’s not the Blackberry’s fault – it’s android itself with all the AI crap that Google recently has turned on for all Android users. We both feel that we do not want to spend money on new phones when the ones we have sort of work already. Even though they stutter and lag and act crazy as fudge sometimes because of some software issue. I myself have not noticed anything special since Google I/O with my phone, but that could be because I do not use my phone like my BF does. Also since I’ve turned off as many things as possible within my Google account, that may also be an explanation as to why I have not noticed anything special yet. The only strange thing I’ve seen is that all of a sudden the Google Assistant was in the app drawer, which it has not been before. At least not right where it was, but it disappeared as soon as it got there basically and I have not seen it since.

Also, I have to mention the obvious here. If I can’t afford a OnePlus 6, why will I afford a “doubled priced” iPhone, if I’d ever decide to get one? Well, that’s because if I get an iPhone I know it will most likely be worth the money. If I buy one, it will be a phone that has to last me at least 2 years, preferably even longer than that. From what I’ve come to learn, an iOS device easily lasts that long. A OP6 will probably be a better buy in general, but because of the huge privacy issues with Google that are only getting worse – I do not want to spend my money on that. I also do not really feel like another OS is of interest either. There’s Lineage OS, that sucks and barely works from what I’ve heard and there’s also Eelo or something like that as well. Both are of no interest to me. Both are also in a sort of startup mode.  Then I’d rather be stuck and trapped within Android to be honest, or spend my money on something that will last and keep me safe for years while I enjoy being online as usual. Maybe other OS’s will be of interest in like 5 years or so, when Google already will control the world and know everything about everybody? Not to mention how they’ll predict everybody’s daily actions and activities…

The conclusion is that whatever my BF decides to go, so will I. If he buys an iPhone, I’ll do it too and not before then. If he stays with Android – so will I. If he stays with Gmail and Google itself – so will I etc. I’ll do this because I feel safest that way. My BF is usually right about things and since I don’t want to think about this any more than I should, I will go back, or at least do everything I can to not think about this and when he makes up his mind about what he wants to do, I’ll stand right there with him. Why?

Because it’s most likely the best solution for me right now. That’s why.

Oh, god this was a long post…😅

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Even if the OnePlus 6 has a notch, I’ll probably buy it…

It’s been a while since I blogged here again, and for now, we’re gonna let go of the veganism styled posts and talk a little bit more about phones and other technologies. Or just phones. Either way it’s good, right?

My “review” of the Lenovo P2

I’ve had the Lenovo P2 for about 5 months or so now. In the beginning I loved it. Then, as per usual it started to lag, just like all Android smartphones tend to do after a certain amount of time. And all of a sudden, it sort of stopped lagging as well and it has been a pretty reliable experience so far. Now I’m just waiting for something better.

The downsides.

It’s a cheap phone, so as always, you’ll get what you pay for. The camera is not good. It’s maybe marginally ok or something like that, but definitely not good. It basically always have trouble focusing, the background tends to get pixelated, it has no OIS or EIS, so videos are shaky (see evidence of it below). In the video where I filmed my cat Maja using the Litter Robot for the first time, I held it in my hand and when I watched it later on I noticed how shaky it was. Next time I’ll record something, I’d have to use a gimble or a stand for it. Also I’ve noticed that Google Photos only works if I manually go into the app to upload my photos and videos to the cloud. When I first got the phone and set it up as well, it did not remember my apps at all or my launcher settings, so I had to import them manually as well. My BF had the same problems as well when he first started using it. I use the Google now Launcher, in case you’re wondering. Love it!

I’ve also noticed that it is pretty bad in bright situations. Normally when I’m indoors, I rarely have the brightness (on any phone) set to higher than like 10 or 15%, but that’s really noticeable when the sun is shining. Then I can’t see shit. Even with the brightness well up towards 100% is not enough sometimes, so that’s pretty shitty. The only reason why I mention this is because during the wintertime I rarely go outdoors and it’s also really dark here during this part of the year so I haven’t noticed it that much. It’s only after spring is coming closer that I’ve noticed the huge problem with it.

Also the phone is filled with garbage, a custom launcher and some apps I do not care for.

The battery life.

The phone’s battery is the main reason why we have this phone in our possession in the first place. Personally I love that I don’t have to worry about battery life any more, but it does not mean it’s a perfect phone. During the days when I do basic stuff and do not play my favorite games as much, then the phone could probably easily last me 3-4 days. The thing is I basically never go below 40%. If a phone has a battery under 50% or getting close to it, I start to panic and decide I have to charge it. It’s been like that with all my phones. So, on a normal, basic day I get about 2-3 hours of SOT (Screen on Time) and have about 80-75% battery left. If I play a lot, the battery is more likely close to 60% or so. Some days I’ve left it uncharged when the battery is to low and that’s when I end up with less or around 40% battery life. I basically have to charge this phone every other night, so that’s good. Another downside, though with the charging is that it has a red light shining in the right top corner. Aka the notification light. It turns green when it has finished charging. The problem with the light is that I can’t turn it off and when it turns green, it lights up the whole bedroom, so I have had to put the phone front facing down when I charge it overnight, otherwise my darling has trouble sleeping because the light will wake him up. It’s not such a big deal, but still big enough to be a “not likable” feature with the phone. This is also why I really prefer stock android and I hate the fact that it’s basically impossible for me to buy an affordable stock android phone nowadays, since the Pixel is really expensive and does not sell officially in Sweden. I really miss the Nexus line…

About the OnePlus 6…

Like I’ve said in an earlier post, I really hope and plan that my next phone will be the OP6. No matter when it comes out, I’ll probably buy it, but it’s generally no rush. My wish list of that phone has remained the same, with OIS, EIS and front facing stereo speakers and I also hope that it will be made in a bunch of cool colors. With the recent rumors going on, and a leak of a OP6 with a iPhone X like notch at the top, I’m personally really hoping that this is just another one of their prototypes and that it will nog be the final result of the OP6. Either way, I’m probably gonna buy it. I’ve never tried using a OP device before and I hope it will be awesome.

What will be your next smartphone? Let me know in the comments!

My wishlist for my next phone (OnePlus6)

Yeah, I’ve talked a lot about phones lately, but I have a very short wish list regarding my next phone, that’ll probably be the OnePlus 6, and not 5T, since I’ve decided to keep the Lenovo P2 for a bit longer. It’s a decision I feel somewhat comfortable with, since the Lenovo P2 is slowly growing on me.

Another macro shot of some sushi. Taken with a Lenovo P2. The images keep getting better!

Specs & shit…

Like I said in an earlier post, I’d like to have smooth and reliable phone that I don’t want to upgrade soon after I’ve gotten it. It has to last me like 2 years or so before I feel I want another phone. It’s pretty much always been like that for me before and I like to continue that trend. Of course it has to be as close to (if not actually) stock android as possible. The only choices I have there are the Pixel phones (which do not sell officially in Sweden, and probably never will do), maybe the Essential phone or the OnePlus phones. From what I’ve learned, I would really like to try out the OP family and hope it will be to my satisfaction. OP phones are not expensive either, so that’s good. In Swedish money, the current OP5T is like at just the right price point I think. It’s about a $100 more expensive in Europe than in the U.S, but for me it really is an ok price for the specs you get.

I really do not care that much about chipsets, RAM or storage, but it would be nice to try OP’s gigantic 6 or 8 GB RAM models, just to see if it makes a difference in the android experience. Some have said that more RAM helps with typing, and apps not reloading if you leave it. Like if you click on an article you’d like to read in your Facebook feed, and when you return to Facebook, you’ll have to start at the beginning again, because FB has very much conveniently forgotten where it was that you left. I hate that! One huge minus on the Lenovo is that it keeps happening over and over again, so reading articles on FB is something I take huge risks on every time I’d like to read something that has been linked to a blog or website.

The only two things I’d like.

Let’s play and say that the OP5T is the perfect phone. Or at least almost the perfect phone. At least we have something to start with here… Without having to tried it, held it or played around with it, the only thing I’d like to add to the OP5T’s features are OIS (with EIS also) and stereo front speakers. At least that is what I’d like to have right now. Huge bonuses would also be if the phone would come in more really colorful colors. The Lava Red version will soon be released in China. That gave me an idea that I’d like the OP phones to come (even if it’s limited edition versions) in a lot more colors – or if it was a lot easier to find colorful cases for the phones. I’m talking Hot Pink, Midnight Blue, Really Green, Purple Poison etc. Not my choice of names. They’re just to give you an idea on what type of colors I’d like the OP line of future phones to have. I’d love to have a truly pink phone, or a really pink/Magenta case, but if I’d have a Samsung or an iPhone – that problem would be solved ages ago. Unfortunately, OP or the Lenovo are not that big, so finding the perfect cases for those phones is pretty hard. I’d also would love to be able to print my own case. There are a lot of places that offer that service, but only to Samsung or Apple products, and that also sucks.

The camera question

Lots of people say that the only thing letting the OP family of phones down is the camera. I don’t know what I think about that. I’ve probably seen every available video about the 5T these past few weeks, and I’ve seen my share of photos and videos. Sometimes the photos look bland, terrible, blurry and oily. Other times they look absolutely stunning! Same for the video. Then I saw this video (seen below) of the OnePlus 5 (not the 5T!) and my mind was blown. It probably has a perfect camera, at least for me. When I take photos I basically take macro shots of my food or selfies. When I record video, at least videos that are meant to be shared, I use a tripod or something like that. In the future, when I actually have a Great Dane, I might buy a Gimble or something to go along with it. I basically never take photos in HDR mode. Some people in the OP forums have mentioned that if you turn of HDR, the photos will improve a whole lot and that’s good news. I really do hope that in time I’ll buy my next phone, whether it will be the OP6 or perhaps even OP6T (if I really can last that long), that the camera will be absolutely amazing. If the camera is basically anything like the video below, it is really good enough for me.

Conclusion.

Well, only time will tell when I’ll get my next phone and hopefully it will be sometime next year. I like the Lenovo P2. It’s a good phone. The battery is the nicest feature about it. The performance is ok, but I do not hate the phone. I would never go back to the Blackberry, unless the Lenovo really breaks really bad in the future long before I can get a OP phone.

Let’s just say that 2017 has been a really strange year… Smartphones included.