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  1. #601
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mitsu3000gt View Post
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    In the case of the Pixel 5, they re-positioned the phone mid-market rather than a flagship like the 4XL was, so if you had a 4XL you weren't really gaining anything in the Pixel 5 except for 5G which doesn't really matter yet in Canada, and you were losing a few significant features like face unlock, Soli, and an 8 series CPU/GPU. There was no reason to buy a Pixel 5 as an 'upgrade' if you had a 4XL as you lose more than you gain. I skipped it too.

    Compared to the Pixel 4XL the S21 Ultra improves every area except Soli and Face Unlock (Google's implementation was the best/fastest by far but sadly now it's no longer available). Bigger/better/brighter screen, 10-120Hz dynamic refresh rate, enormous battery, under-display fingerprint reader (nice now that we all wear masks), easily the best camera setup on any mainstream flagship for both stills & video (see earlier post for details), Gorilla Glass Victus front & back, faster charging (both wired & wireless), reverse wireless charging, 2-generations faster CPU/GPU, double the RAM (6gb vs 12gb, 16gb available on 512GB model), faster RAM (GDDR4X vs 5), much faster internal storage (UFS 2.1 vs 3.1, ~2.5x faster read, ~5x faster write), arguably better design/build, WiFi 6/E, bluetooth 5.2, etc.

    Whether any of that is important to you will obviously determine if it does anything your 4XL doesn't for your personal usage, but it's objectively a better phone than pretty much anything else out there right now. Early reviews are very positive but the full embargo will lift later this week.

    If you are looking at the S21 Ultra, until the 28th you get Free Galaxy Buds Pro ($265), a free bluetooth tracker thingy, 500 airmiles, and $200 off the base price. They are also only charging $70 to double the storage to 256GB this year which is unusually cheap.

    Also, now Google Messages is the default texting app and Google News Feed is built-in for the far left screen instead of Samsung's version, so with a few more default app changes you can essentially turn it into a Pixel phone with very little effort.
    Sold!

    Is the trade in thing hard? I have an old pixel2 that I could use as a trade-in. Slight crack on the corner of a screen, not sure if that matters. I never sell my old phones, too lazy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Buster View Post
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    Sold!

    Is the trade in thing hard? I have an old pixel2 that I could use as a trade-in. Slight crack on the corner of a screen, not sure if that matters. I never sell my old phones, too lazy.
    Nope, you just have to select the phone type, condition, and enter an IMEI. To my knowledge they don't even ask you to send it to them if the value is $0 on top of the $200 base discount. If the phone has an assigned value above $0, it goes to a third party company, not Samsung.

    You don't actually have to send anything as a trade-in, you can select "Other-Other" as the phone type, and enter 15 zeros for the IMEI and you get the same $200 off at checkout. The Pixel 2 is probably valued at $0 for a trade-in so you likely won't be any further ahead if you send it to them, but you can use it's IMEI for the same discount if you don't want to use 15 zeros. It's basically just a way to give you a deal, since I'm sure Samsung doesn't want a pile of people's 20 year old flip phones haha (you can use literally any phone for the discount).

    If you like the special colors, note that they take an extra 4-5 weeks to deliver as they are made to order.
    Last edited by Mitsu3000gt; 01-19-2021 at 11:02 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mitsu3000gt View Post
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    Nope, you just have to select the phone type, condition, and enter an IMEI. To my knowledge they don't even ask you to send it to them if the value is $0 on top of the $200 base discount. If the phone has an assigned value above $0, it goes to a third party company, not Samsung.

    You don't actually have to send anything as a trade-in, you can select "Other-Other" as the phone type, and enter 15 zeros for the IMEI and you get the same $200 off at checkout. The Pixel 2 is probably valued at $0 for a trade-in so you likely won't be any further ahead if you send it to them, but you can use it's IMEI for the same discount if you don't want to use 15 zeros. It's basically just a way to give you a deal, since I'm sure Samsung doesn't want a pile of people's 20 year old flip phones haha (you can use literally any phone for the discount).

    If you like the special colors, note that they take an extra 4-5 weeks to deliver as they are made to order.
    nice. thanks. I have a Pixel3 XL as well, any idea if that has any value obove $200? I doubt it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Buster View Post
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    nice. thanks. I have a Pixel3 XL as well, any idea if that has any value obove $200? I doubt it.
    A Pixel 2 with a cracked screen is valued at a whopping $7.36.

    A Pixel 3XL in good condition gets $128.80

    My Pixel 4XL 128GB said $317.

    Those values would be on top of the $200 discount, but in each case you can do better selling your phone on Kijiji so you're better off just selecting "Other-Other" and 15 zeros for the IMEI for the same $200 off.

    They are basically using the $200 off you get anyway to make it look like you are getting a good trade-in value for the phone, because their trade-in values plus $200 are pretty close to used market.

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    It's been so long since I've had a non-google phone, I'm not even sure how it works for migration. Does Samsung force me to use a Samsung account for things? When I setup a new pixel, I just plug in my google account and basically immediately I'm up and running just like I was. How does it work with my contacts, passwords, etc?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Buster View Post
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    It's been so long since I've had a non-google phone, I'm not even sure how it works for migration. Does Samsung force me to use a Samsung account for things? When I setup a new pixel, I just plug in my google account and basically immediately I'm up and running just like I was. How does it work with my contacts, passwords, etc?
    Smoother if you do but you don't need one.

    Contacts all comes thru your Google account.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Xtrema View Post
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    Smoother if you do but you don't need one.

    Contacts all comes thru your Google account.
    I basically don't want anything to do with samsung accounts or software or whatever. I'm really just after the hardware here.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Buster View Post
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    It's been so long since I've had a non-google phone, I'm not even sure how it works for migration. Does Samsung force me to use a Samsung account for things? When I setup a new pixel, I just plug in my google account and basically immediately I'm up and running just like I was. How does it work with my contacts, passwords, etc?
    I'll be doing it too for the first time in a while, but Samsung has an app called Smart Switch which can wirelessly (or wired) transfer everything from the Pixel to the S21. You install it on both devices. You get a list of checkboxes and you can choose what you want to bring over. There are some third party apps that do the same thing if you end up having issues.

    If you use WhatsApp, make sure you go in there and do a cloud backup of all your conversations so you can get them all back on the new phone if that is important to you.

    You will need to make a Samsung account to get complete backups of the new phone with Samsung Cloud, and I think you need one anyway to buy the phone. Nobody likes yet another account, but I think it's unavoidable in this case if you want access to every feature. On the actual phone though you can use your Google account for everything Google, you can choose the Google News Feed as your default far-left screen, and Google Messages is now the default messaging app. You can also change the assistant from Bixby to Google Assistant, and your default apps to Chrome, Google Photos, etc. Samsung's latest UI is far less intrusive than in the past and you can get it pretty close to a Pixel while taking advantage of the extra features Samsung's UI brings.

    Not 100% sure on your passwords but those should follow your Google account once you're logged in. For example if you're logged into your google account and open Chrome on the S21, your auto-fill passwords should still be there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mitsu3000gt View Post
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    Nope, you just have to select the phone type, condition, and enter an IMEI. To my knowledge they don't even ask you to send it to them if the value is $0 on top of the $200 base discount. If the phone has an assigned value above $0, it goes to a third party company, not Samsung.
    I'm trying this, but it's coming up as $0 discount. Not even the $200.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tik-Tok View Post
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    I'm trying this, but it's coming up as $0 discount. Not even the $200.
    You need to go all the way to the checkout to see it - I just tried it again and it works. The $0 cashback it shows is referring to your "trade in" rather than the $200 base discount you are getting. I don't think it matters, but I also entered the condition as cracked screen, doesn't turn on, and no accounts removed.
    Last edited by Mitsu3000gt; 01-19-2021 at 01:00 PM.

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    Reviews are out.

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    Had a chuckle reading a review of the s21 ultra, same author for both reviews.

    iPhone 12 Pro Max - $1100 usd - "The iPhone 12’s blend of design, performance and price make it as close to a no-brainer as possible"
    Samsung S21 Ultra - $1200 usd - "A capable but costly flagship", "but let’s be clear: this is still a very expensive smartphone."

    Written by same author, who from the looks of things actually liked the S21 Ultra.

    iPhone probably provides better long term value, but just funny there is such a double standard regarding price points.
    ---

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    The fruit sticker is worth 30 percent
    Quote Originally Posted by killramos View Post
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    If there is one thing I know for sure. ES has no Aspen goals

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    Quote Originally Posted by ExtraSlow View Post
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    The fruit sticker is worth 30 percent
    So the Android is even more overpriced than it seems?
    Originally posted by Thales of Miletus

    If you think I have been trying to present myself as intellectually superior, then you truly are a dimwit.
    Originally posted by Toma
    fact.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Xtrema View Post
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    Reviews are out.
    My order for the ultra goes in tomorrow

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    Quote Originally Posted by kenny View Post
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    Had a chuckle reading a review of the s21 ultra, same author for both reviews.

    iPhone 12 Pro Max - $1100 usd - "The iPhone 12’s blend of design, performance and price make it as close to a no-brainer as possible"
    Samsung S21 Ultra - $1200 usd - "A capable but costly flagship", "but let’s be clear: this is still a very expensive smartphone."

    Written by same author, who from the looks of things actually liked the S21 Ultra.

    iPhone probably provides better long term value, but just funny there is such a double standard regarding price points.
    And size, and pretty much everything else depending on who the author is haha. This one is a classic from iVerge:




    ---------------------

    The S21U looks pretty impressive though, I haven't had a chance to watch all the reviews but the few I've been able to see and the blind tests vs the iPhone 12 Pro Max really start to highlight how far Apple needs to come to catch up in some key areas. It also looks like they addressed pretty well every complaint from the S20U which was a bit underwhelming for the price IMO (S20+ was probably the better buy last year). The lack of a microSD card might bother some die-hards but the phone is a lot cheaper than last year and storage happens to be the same price as a fast microSD card of the same size ($70 to go from 128GB base to 256GB), so it's an easy decision if you need it. The way they incorporated macro is pretty clever too, without the need for another entire camera that would only see occasional use for most people. Nice to see Samsung making it much easier to "Googleify" the phone now too, and get it pretty close to a Pixel software-wise but along with the best hardware. Battery life seems to be an easy 2days with normal usage as well. One thing I'd like to see them do is enable portrait mode on the 3X camera, I suspect that will come in a software update on the production models as it's an odd omission.
    Last edited by Mitsu3000gt; 01-22-2021 at 12:48 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mitsu3000gt View Post
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    One thing I'd like to see them do is enable portrait mode on the 3X camera, I suspect that will come in a software update on the production models as it's an odd omission.
    That one stands out but not a deal breaker. But looks like 108MP sensor is noisy in low light. But the 12MP wide looks excellent.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Mitsu3000gt View Post
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    And size, and pretty much everything else depending on who the author is haha. This one is a classic from iVerge:




    ---------------------

    The S21U looks pretty impressive though, I haven't had a chance to watch all the reviews but the few I've been able to see and the blind tests vs the iPhone 12 Pro Max really start to highlight how far Apple needs to come to catch up in some key areas. It also looks like they addressed pretty well every complaint from the S20U which was a bit underwhelming for the price IMO (S20+ was probably the better buy last year). The lack of a microSD card might bother some die-hards but the phone is a lot cheaper than last year and storage happens to be the same price as a fast microSD card of the same size ($70 to go from 128GB base to 256GB), so it's an easy decision if you need it. The way they incorporated macro is pretty clever too, without the need for another entire camera that would only see occasional use for most people. Nice to see Samsung making it much easier to "Googleify" the phone now too, and get it pretty close to a Pixel software-wise but along with the best hardware. Battery life seems to be an easy 2days with normal usage as well. One thing I'd like to see them do is enable portrait mode on the 3X camera, I suspect that will come in a software update on the production models as it's an odd omission.
    I've never owned an Apple product, so I dont know how they compare...but this seems a leap over the current gen Apples doesnt it?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Buster View Post
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    I've never owned an Apple product, so I dont know how they compare...but this seems a leap over the current gen Apples doesnt it?
    Photos, if you like the punchy Samsung boost, yes. When I compare my S10 photos vs my sister's iPhone 11, I always prefer mine.

    Video, sorta a mixed bag but footage from Apple still looks better.

    Night and low light, Apple wins.

    Zoom and Macro, Samsung wins.

    Battery, Samsung wins because it carry 1000mah over Apple and the dynamic refresh rate seems to do wonders while giving you 120hz experience.

    Screen, Samsung too.


    But Apple is never about the tech, but the ecosystem. They will always a few years behind in term of tech but they do it their way and doesn't need commodity parts.
    Last edited by Xtrema; 01-22-2021 at 12:01 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Buster View Post
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    I've never owned an Apple product, so I dont know how they compare...but this seems a leap over the current gen Apples doesn't it?
    Apple has been behind from a feature standpoint for quite a while now, but their value proposition has never been based around performance or features, but rather their inclusive ecosystem and brand image.

    Just looking at the main features compared to the 12 Pro MAX:

    CPU: Apple wins synthetic benchmarks but they are completely different designs running on completely different operating systems so it's difficult to compare them directly. Real world speed of both is overall pretty much identical as they trade blows over a wide range of tests. Phone CPUs just don't really matter that much anymore for 99% of users as they are all so fast.

    GPU: Similar to above, Samsung's Adreno 660 is faster in synthetic benchmarks but both phones can play any game on max settings so it doesn't really matter. Samsung has a screen that can take advantage of higher FPS though with the 120Hz refresh rate.

    Screen: Samsung by a mile, they always put their best in their own product. It's brighter, has double the refresh rate, and is more efficient with a variable refresh rate from 10-120Hz.

    RAM: Samsung has double or more depending on the model (12/16gb vs 6gb). Not sure if Apple uses GDDR5 or not but Samsung does for sure.

    Storage: Samsung's UFS 3.1 storage is roughly twice as fast for both read & write, but I doubt either is a performance bottleneck

    Battery: Samsung wins with capacity and more battery-saving features like the LTPO variable refresh display. Dark modes & turning off 5G help even more but that isn't unique to Samsung.

    Cameras: Easy win for Samsung, the iPhone can't compete in resolution, sensor size, zoom, macro, or UWA. Image processing between the two is more subjective however you can choose your processing on the Samsung if you prefer a more flat look. Samsung has a much more robust camera app for both photo and video. Samsung also has a close-up macro option, Apple doesn't offer anything like that.

    Portrait Mode - Apple wins here as they use the zoom lens for portraits which gives a more pleasing look, at least in my opinion. Samsung is getting a bunch of criticism on the pre-release models for not allowing portrait mode with the 3X zoom camera, so I suspect they will add that with a software update.

    Video: It's closer here, Samsung gives you many more options in terms of focal lengths, resolutions, and frame rates. Apple seems to do better with video in very low light but stabilization tests favor the Samsung if using the UWA. Depending on the lens used, they trade blows in terms of how the video looks. The UWA in particular is excellent on the Samsung and stabilization is much better. Telephoto lens video is better on the iPhone in low light due to wider apertures, but the iPhone barely has any zoom capability, so it's a bit of a trade off. Samsung has better audio recording in video mode.

    Design - Apple is looking pretty dated with huge bezels, huge notch, and most reviewers complain about the sharp corners being uncomfortable. The Samsung is almost all screen and has just a hole punch for a front camera. Both have ridiculous camera bumps, but that is somewhat unavoidable on flagships these days and I imagine both would be in a case anyway. Some of this is obviously subjective.

    Charging - Samsung charges faster and uses an industry standard USB-C connection. I believe both have reverse wireless charging, Samsung for sure does.

    Biometrics - Apple only has face-ID which I believe still requires a second swipe to unlock, Samsung has both face unlock and an under-screen fingerprint reader so you don't have to enter a passcode or lower your mask and you can unlock to the home screen without a second input.

    Connectivity - Samsung has more recent versions of Bluetooth and WiFi. Most people don't have hardware that can take advantage but if you keep your phone for a long time it's a bonus.

    Speakers - richer and louder on the Samsung, iPhone 12 Pro Max isn't bad but sounds tinny in the A/B comparisons

    Samsung works with a stylus, but I don't think that will be very popular as it's not built in like the Note.

    That seems to be the consensus after watching/reading a bunch more reviews and comparisons, YMMV of course and there is definitely an element of subjectivity with photo/video processing.


    Quote Originally Posted by Xtrema View Post
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    Photos, if you like the punchy Samsung boost, yes. When I compare my S10 photos vs my sister's iPhone 11, I always prefer mine.

    Video, sorta a mixed bag but footage from Apple still looks better.

    Night and low light, Apple wins.
    For photos, you can choose whether or not to use Samsung's scene recognition which give you the punchier colors. Not sure if this has always been a feature or new for the S21, but you have control over it now if you prefer a flatter look. You can also choose your portrait mode processing (skin smoothing vs none, etc.).

    For video, it depends on the lens being used. Samsung has better UWA video in low light, iPhone 12 has better telephoto low light video albeit with much shorter focal lengths. Stabilization is better on Samsung's UWA, but Apple has better Telephoto stabilization for video if you're running with your phone. Stationary zoom stabilization is better on the Samsung. Resolutions, frame rates, and focal lengths all heavily favor Samsung. Processing is more subjective in terms of color and contrast, Apple goes for the flatter look, Samsung chooses a punchier look.

    Night & low light - Samsung wins UWA, Apple wins Telephoto due to wider apertures and shorter focal lengths
    Last edited by Mitsu3000gt; 01-22-2021 at 01:02 PM.

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