The Galaxy Note 20. The first few days.

I didn’t make it totally obvious but I got a new phone on Tuesday. A Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra.

Initial reactions?

The most obvious change from the Note 10 is the total 180 flip of the design. The buttons move from the left hand side of the chassis across to the right hand side. It didn’t take much getting used to and actually feels more natural. They aren’t as easy to catch for a start.

The s-pen moving to the left on the other hand is a really awkward change. As a right handed person I want to grab my pen with my right hand, but I have to twist awkwardly to do this. I’m sure I’ll adapt, but bad Samsung. Lefties will be loving it though.

One UI 2.5 is sweet. I never had much love for Samsung’s old UI (Touchwiz) but I adore how smooth One UI is, and with 2.5 we gain some really nice improvements. Samsung have stopped loading it down with useless clutter and now make meaningful changes to how it works.

Wireless DeX seems interesting. I’ve played with it a couple of times (I do use DeX a hell of a lot) and whilst it’s not great on our TV as the lag is about half a second (a 2014 Samsung model) it works much better on my Microsoft wireless display adaptor and has hardly any delay. I think it’ll come in most useful for my presentations. If I ever do any again with the current situation!

Now let’s get to the camera.

With COVID I’m not traveling and photographing in the same way so I’ve not really had chance to do much with the camera, but it does seem better than the old one. I did take a photo of woods yesterday with the 108mp mode turned on and it was “interesting”. From a distance the level of detail looks really good, but not amazing.

Zoomed in however the software has turned it into something slightly trippy and as if Google Dream has had a bit of influence.

I’m going to have a few more tries with the 108mp mode but I’m not exactly blown away with it.

On the other hand the general photography has yielded good results in both good and poor light.

Let me know in the comments your thoughts.

The final issue that a few people have noticed is battery life. I don’t have many anxieties myself, but I am a very battery anxious person. I keep my life on my phone and if the battery runs low I panic.

That said, the Note 20 even with the Exynos processor isn’t faring too badly. I know you could say we don’t get a good a deal in Europe as the USA gets, but we do get a base storage of 256 gig in place of the 128 base the USA gets.

The phone definitely runs warmer, and on my initial setup the phone wouldn’t charge because the processor was fully throttled up – the charger merely maintained the battery percentage – but other than that I haven’t really noticed much difference between the Note 10 and Note 20 in real world use.

So final thoughts?

Well it’s a nice little upgrade, and certainly with the cameras feels less iterative, but if you don’t care for the cameras and you like your note 10, stay where you are.

I got a new phone.

I was rather surprised to receive a notification on my phone saying I was entitled to an upgrade. It surprised me as I’ve only had my phone for 12 months!

Upon contacting my provider it was indeed correct! I can only assume that with the size of my monthly bills they want to keep me.

The decision was already made up – upgrading my Galaxy Note 10 to the Galaxy Note 20. Not much changed in the device, but being as much of a photography fan as I am I really fancied getting something with a real zoom lens and the increased size sensor (108 megapixel! Seriously).

Sure enough, the deal was done on Monday, I collected the new phone yesterday, and I’m now using it!

As for the photos? They’re amazing! This was my first night mode photo and it’s almost like daylight.

I also took a photo of Pip this morning. I asked him if he wanted a sosig.

And Bilbo.

So I’ve hardly done any photography yet, and with the current situation photography isn’t something I can really go out and do; but perhaps soon…

Alton Towers next week… or is it?

I’m booked into Alton Towers next week for an overnight stay. Two days riding roller-coasters should see me right, but I now have concerns.

According to the government scientific advisers a two week national lockdown is being touted, with all theme parks closing for the duration of this. If this announcement happens it is likely to be this week when we find out.

Thankfully we managed the camping trip at the beginning of the month or I wouldn’t have had a break this year.

Three hours wasted…

Today I have been working at a customer’s house trying to find a problem with his intruder alarm. A wireless fault with some Texecom Ricochet devices. An intermittent “wireless signal jamming” error.

After three hours and much hair tearing out I finally realised what it was!

The customer had some old wireless fobs for the system. The batteries had gone flat so he’d just put them on a shelf. As the batteries had finally got to the point of total failure one of the fobs had begun transmitting constantly on the same frequency as the Ricochet hub.

We moved the fobs well out of the way and the fault immediately disappeared, only to return when we put them back.

Three. Whole. Hours.

At least now next week I can continue where I left off.

Clueless fuckwits!

I was called to have a look at my in-laws house. They moved in a few months ago and the light at the top of the stairs has never been very bright. Also, there has always been a set of mystery switches on the stairs which they couldn’t figure out.

Upon further investigation I found the problem, and fixed it.

It turned out the slave wire to the top of the stairs from the bottom went via the back of an intermediate switch. In the intermediate switch the red and yellow wires were carrying the two lives, whilst the blue was a neutral up to the light.

What the people changing the switch had done is put both the live and the neural through the intermediate, and left the other live in a chocolate block connector. So all the intermediate switch was doing was switching live and neutral around.

Worse still, the neutral was then slaved onto the switched live of the downstairs fitting – so, both sides of the bulb were getting 230V. There was essentially no return feed! This showed because neutral had 230V present at it when it was on downstairs.

I rectified this, and sure enough one set of switches now turns on the upstairs light and one set now works the downstairs light. As a bonus the outside light also now works too – previously it only worked when the hall light was on.

Ironically, two electricians had already looked at this and suggested “major repair works”. Because two wires were in the wrong place.

My in laws now have a bright house and all are happy.