Android Switch & The Galaxy Note 8

On the 14th of September I took a leap of faith and ordered the Samsung Galaxy Note 8. Having smashed up my iPhone 6 a number of times over the past few years and witnessing Miss TimFord.co.uk’s iPhone carry out the same tasks as mine but much faster, I recognised that after three years, my trusty 128gb phone was going to need replacing.

The iPhone X and iPhone 8 presentation left me both excited and underwhelmed. In fact from the presentation, I was most impressed with the new Apple Watch. The iPhone X would have been the one for me but I’m not fussed on the notch and fancied a bit of a change anyway. Also, as someone who enjoys doodling and watching videos a large screen and a stylus appealed to me. With that I placed my order and for the past 6 days I have been enjoying using the Galaxy Note 8.

My first impressions were a little underwhelming because I was more or less carrying out the tasks I always had on my phone but with a slightly bigger screen. Then I got deeper into it and began to start understanding the Android operating system and some of the more complex features I could use. I’m not going to use this post to do hate on Apple because I loved my iPhone, iPad and Macbooks in the past. I like Windows computers and I like Linux too. How boring it is to be just a fan of technology rather than a fan boy.

Initially my biggest take from the ecosystem differences is that because of its open nature, some of the apps that I used with my iPhone seem to integrate a better than on iOS. An example might be Amazon’s Prime Photos app, which with Android seamlessly backs up all my photos to the cloud and can then more or less be used as your standard gallery app. On iOS this would be the case if I opted for icloud but alternative offerings integrate less well. It’s common knowledge by this pin that that if you sign up to all Apple offerings and go fully into it, the platform can be seemless. If you are out of the ecosystem for one or two things it can become less smooth.

I’m impressed with OK Google and less so with bixby. Google services work pretty well these days and I haven’t encountered the issues I’ve heard from early android adopters that it offers a second rate service compared to competing platforms. Voice control is certainly better than my iPhone for my accent and much more responsive, as it should be, this phone is three years more modern.

Battery life is still not full day. I use my phone for Spotify, podcasts, reading, gaming, blogging, video editing, Animating, working and social media. It’s never going to last a day. That said it’s not as bad as the iPhone. I get through a full working day without a charge where as my old phone would make mid day.

I will miss FaceTime. Apple’s seamless integration of video chat to the iOS platform is second to none and I’ve not used a tool as simple and effective. Google Duo and Skype may work for those who can be bothered to login but for the majority of people that’s an inconvenience.

Overall I’m really happy with the move. It’s been fairly smooth as I’m not overly invested in the Apple ecosystem. My contacts and things came over from Google. WhatsApp is much more common than imessage and texts in the United Kingdom so that wasn’t an issue and I’m subscribed to Spotify so music is more or less cloud based. I was very worried about losing out on the Apple podcasts app as it is brilliant and it’s content far reaching. I’ve replaced that with cast box and so far so good. The kindle app has books covered and film will be covered by Netflix and Prime Video. 

The screen is truly magnificent and makes watching video on a mobile truly a joy. The size of the device hasn’t caused me any headaches yet although some of my accessories will need replacing. Namely my running band and windscreen mount. 


Experimenting with Caffiene: Week 2 ResultsĀ 

Monday:
I arose on the sofa at my Dad’s having had a solid five and a half hours sleep. Having been “in da club” the night before, I was devastated to realise that today was going to be a day without a single cup of tea.
The majority of the day I spent feeling ropey and tired and actually fell asleep when I came home after cleaning the house. 
Headaches throughout the day but likely due to the previous nights antics. Tuesday will be the real test as it’s a full work day with a normal early start.

Tuesday
:

 

Not having a cup of coffee with breakfast or tea in work felt utterly weird. Come 10am I felt numb and had a dull ache in my head.
Having come home and continued to have a dull headache it had subsided when I popped into Cardiff for dinner. 
Overall a day of dull headaches. Didn’t feel particularly tired. Should be back to exercise the following day.

Wednesday

Hands down the most painful day yet. Started ok. I’m definitely not sleeping much better without. Or at least I’m not falling to sleep easier. My fitbit seems to be saying I get 6-7 cycles of deep sleep on any given night now but apparently the metrics aren’t that accurate on fitbit. 
By about 5pm I felt tired and sick. Whether this was related to the lunchtime meal deal and run or because of Caffiene withdrawal I’m not sure. 
A lot of people don’t really understand the point of this experiment. I’m intrigued to see how the first coffee or tea feels after. 

Thursday
:
Day four is supposedly the hardest but I actually felt pretty good in the morning. Almost managed 8 hours sleep.
Come the afternoon I was starting to lag again and by 7pm the headaches came again. It was pretty hard not to accept a brew when visiting family and I’d started to really miss drinking tea.

Friday

OK so Friday started with weird dreams about cups of tea. It was honestly weird but I’m guessing my body is thinking what happened to that beverage you used to love! 
Nothing. I still love it and I will drink a cup of tea again in the near future.
In work the headaches were more or less absent and I even had a 1 hour mindfulness session with a Buddhist Monk where I was carefully thinking about my feelings and there was nothing noticeably bad about my head. 
I spent the evening at a wedding (Congrats Ryan and Angharad!) and had come to decide the worst of it is over. Because coffee, tea and sodas are off the cards, the majority of drink choices end up being water. Still or sparkling. With beer on the odd occasion. 

Saturday
:
Early rise for a flight. The morning I thought I would really want a coffee and so far so good. The rest of the day in Paris where cafe culture is at its best would be a test though. 

This never actually became a bother. The whole day I had mild headaches but nothing that stopped me enjoying Paris. The night want particularly late but we’d done a lot of walking so I’ll put my tiredness down to that.

Sunday:



And so that’s a week of Caffiene free and a week of Caffiene reduction complete. The first week wasn’t too hard. The second week really was. I felt terrible throughout. 
I was at the cabaret in Paris until the early hours and felt pretty tired but again likely to be to do with the lack of sleep and bottles of wine. 
Uber home at about 2am and then off to bed ready for an early morning run.

Monday and Conclusion
:
I only had 5 hours sleep. A quick 7km run around Paris just to get in the strava pictures and try and gather some kudos. 
I returned to the hotel to enjoy breakfast. This was going to be my first Coffee in a week. How was it? Meh. I didn’t feel any buzz. The headaches seem to have stopped so it didn’t mitigate them. If anything it just made me a bit hot and bothered. 
Going forward, I intend to drink a lot less caffiene but not give up completely. It is unlikely I will revert to the days of cups of coffee followed by cups of tea. I will probably continue to avoid caffiene after lunch in order to try and sleep better.
Did this experiment prove anything? No not really. Experiments like this are difficult because it’s extremely hard to have complete control over your body. There are too many variables in day to day life to draw cause and effect from any one thing. The headaches could have been from lack of hydration, or nutrient depletion elsewhere. 
When anyone makes a dramatic change to their diet, they tend to report massive benefits almost instantly. I tend to find the people who make the most drastic changes are the ones thinking more about how they feel. For example, your mate who went from eating fast food every day to Vegan and now feels great. That’s obvious but it’s not necessarily the lack of animal products  that’s made him feel better, it’s the dramatic change from prepared meals and fast food to home cooked and fresh produce. 
All in all I think the experiment was worthwhile, I’ve identified I was perhaps over doing it and that I might have a reliance on it to an extent. I hope to reduce that reliance and try more similar experiments in the future.