Friday, July 7, 2017

Everything Everywhere's slide to oblivion

A couple of years ago I was at the press launch of EE's exciting launch of their 4G network. Things were starting to look up. Now I am posting one final blog post about this dreadful company to warn you against them.

For the past 3-4 weeks, EE (also known as Everything Everywhere) has been down for a lot of people, including me and my partner. They have made no attempts at fixing the issues that has plagued this dreaded network.

Whenever connected to EE's network, we could not use Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram and many other apps to upload and view images. In addition to that Twitter and Foursquare apps are not working altogether. Some websites has been blocked as well. Reddit for example does not load, at all. These apps only works while on wifi. This issue can be replicated on two separate EE sim cards, both on PAYG data allowances, and on two separate factory unlocked phones (one iPhone 6S with the latest iOS update, another a Samsung Galaxy S6 with the latest OS update), and in different areas (South London, North London, Central London, Leeds, Heathrow Airport etc.). Network connection has also gotten worse, with frequent drop outs.

This is an ongoing problem with many EE customers reporting the same issue on Twitter. Attempts to reach EE for help has so far been useless as the social media front of EE does not pass on reports to their engineering team and the live chat does not work for PAYG customers! Now we have two sim cards which are essentially useless. We can use apps for basic messaging but nothing more, and anything more we have to hunt for free wifi to use whenever out and about! What use is it to have a mobile data plan then?

Everything Everywhere? More like Nothing Nowhere.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Samsung Galaxy S6 camera resolution defaults to 6MP

If you own a flagship Samsung Galaxy phone and like to take pictures, then you better check that your phone isn't crapping on your images.

While we were away in Greece for two weeks, I noticed while on one of the day that the pictures I have been taking on the Galaxy S6 were of low quality. They looked fine on the screen, but as I was editing and cropping I noticed that it lacked plenty of details. Now, the S6's camera isn't that great to begin with, but images produced were at least usable. These were just crappy. Okay for Facebook and Instagram, but unusable for anything - especially printing.

What happened? Well the S6 is equipped with a 16MP sensor but for whatever reason Samsung likes to have it take pictures at 6MP - a full 10MP less than what the sensor is capable of capturing. Why? Who knows. Best answer is the developers at Samsung are lazy and their managers harbors pure contempt for their customers. As this bug, or feature, has existed since Lollipop, Marshmallow and continue to exist on the latest Nougat firmware, this answer wouldn't surprise me.

Now I always make sure to check that the resolution is 16MP every day, but on one of the day (I believe it was the sixth day), the camera just defaults to 6MP and I forgot to check. So of the hundreds of images I took that day, everything was captured in 6MP. Luckily my holidays aren't defined by the pictures I take, but I was still super annoyed. I paid for a phone that was capable of capturing 16MP of glorious pixels and 10MP was missing from hundreds of them.

Samsung obviously won't fix the bug as it was been known to exist since Lollipop, and also on the Samsung Galaxy S5 phone. For all I know it continues to exist on the S7 and S8 phones as well, not to mention their Galaxy Note and hundred generic Galaxy Prime, Alpha, J7, J3, Max, Grand, On5 etc. phones they have.

So next time check that your Samsung Galaxy phone isn't crapping on your picture. There is nothing you can do except checking in the settings each and every time. No amount of soft, hard reset, cache clearing, cache partition clearing, OS reinstalls etc. will fix this crap.

What can I do? Nothing really. Apart from writing this snarky blog post about how crappy Samsung is and how crappy their phones are. What I do know is that I know which phone brand I will be avoiding the next time I upgrade my phone.