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Technology 101: Android 14 – Moving On To Latest & Powerful OS

Investment Smartphone Apps Android

Starting with Android 4, I moved to Android 9 and continued using it until in early 2024, I started getting notices that the OS was outdated and I needed to move on to at least Android 11 if still wanted to use some of the apps. Based on my experience thus far, it takes about five years before my smartphone no longer supports the latest software updates or starts experiencing hardware malfunctions. Image source: Unsplash/TechDaily

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symbian nokia OS game nn8 N8 Android

The Nokia N8’s design remains a standout in the smartphone market, even years after its release. Its anodized aluminum monocoque case not only provides a robust and durable exterior but also offers a premium feel that many users appreciate. The material choice contributes to the phone’s solid build quality, making it resistant to the wear and tear of daily use. Image source: Mobile Mega Mall

History of Smartphones

When it comes to smartphones, I started off quite late with the Nokia N8 smartphone running on Symbian 3 OS in 2011 as I used Nokia legacy phones and I was happy with the built quality & functions. More impressive was its 12 MP primary camera with Carl Zeiss optics which was the best in the market back in 2011.

Back then, Google’s Android and Apple’s IOS were still in their infancy and their smartphones were not cheap. Nokia on the other hand was a market leader and has a good range of smartphones available at a budget range.

Barely two years down the line, Symbian OS was dead and did not have further updates whilst Android and IOS have started to evolve many folds further. Then in 2013, I finally moved to Android smartphones with Sony Xperia SP running Android 4.1 which continued to be updated till Android 4.3.  Sony Xperia SP had a 1.7 GHz dual-core processor, 1 GB RAM, an 8-megapixel camera, a sturdy aluminum frame, internal storage of almost 6GB, a slot for microSD up to 32GB, and a 4.6-inch Gorilla Glass display

Then sometime in 2014 (if not mistaken), I finally decided to move on to Samsung’s excellent Note series with Samsung Note 4 which lasted me a good 5 years before I started to have hardware problems & outdated OS. Samsung Galaxy Note 4 has a 5.7-inch Super AMOLED display and comes with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage, expandable via microSDXC. It also had a 16MP main camera, a 3.7MP front camera, and a 3220mAh removable battery.

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Samsung Galaxy Note FE

In 2019, I finally moved on to Samsung Galaxy Note FE (Fan Edition) (aka Samsung Note 7 which was previously famous for battery problems).  

The Samsung Galaxy Note FE, is a special iteration of the Galaxy Note series. Released in July 2017, it features a 5.7-inch Super AMOLED display with a resolution of 1440×2560 pixels, providing a sharp and vibrant visual experience. Under the hood, the device is powered by the Exynos 8890 Octa chipset, coupled with 4GB of RAM, ensuring smooth performance across applications. It offers 64GB of internal storage, expandable via microSDXC, giving users ample space for their files and media.

Photography is handled by a 12MP rear camera with optical image stabilization (OIS) and phase detection autofocus (PDAF), capable of capturing high-quality images and 4K video. The front-facing camera is a 5MP shooter, suitable for selfies and video calls. The Note FE runs on Android 7.1.1 Nougat, upgradable to Android 9.0 Pie, with Samsung’s One UI overlay, which includes features like an always-on display and an edge screen.

One of the notable features is the heart rate sensor, which works in conjunction with the Samsung Health app to monitor heart rate and stress levels. Additionally, the device includes a SpO2 sensor to measure blood oxygen saturation, a useful indicator during the COVID19 pandemic.

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Android 9 vs Android 14

The evolution from Android 9 (Pie) to Android 14 has seen significant advancements in the operating system’s capabilities, user interface, and security measures. Android 9 introduced features like adaptive battery and brightness, which used machine learning to conserve power and improve visibility.

In contrast, Android 14 has focused on enhancing user privacy with per-image access rights and multiuser mode with guest mode, alongside minor changes to battery life improvements and the ability to use the phone as a webcam on connected computers. Moreover, Android 14 has blocked apps built for Android 6 and below, pushing developers towards newer API levels for increased security and performance.

Android 9 was pivotal in refining the gesture navigation system and introducing the concept of digital wellbeing, helping users understand and control their screen time. Android 14, however, has taken user experience to new heights with more fluid animations, refined design elements, and deeper accessibility options, such as 200% font scaling for low-vision users and customizable lock screens.

Security has also seen a boost, with Android 14 enhancing PIN security by encouraging users to set a six-digit PIN and allowing the device to unlock automatically after the correct PIN is entered, without the need to press enter. This focus on security is coupled with features for low-vision and hard-of-hearing users, ensuring inclusivity and accessibility remain at the forefront of Android’s development philosophy.

Samsung Android A55 Smartphone Technology 2024 Communication

When it comes to the flagship range, the Samsung Note is no longer available although the S-Pen is still available in some of the S series which is the premium range. It was too expensive for my budget so I decided on the Samsung Galaxy A55, the top of their medium-range A-series which was more affordable, had good specifications, and running on the latest Android 14. Image source: Samsung

Samsung Galaxy A55 5G

One can say that the Samsung Galaxy A55 5G is a balance between cost and performance. It boasts a 6.6-inch Super AMOLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate, offering a smooth and immersive viewing experience.

The camera system features a 50-megapixel main sensor complemented by a 12-megapixel ultrawide and a 5-megapixel macro camera. Notably, the A55 introduces advanced AI image signal processing, enhancing low-light photography—a feature typically reserved for flagship models.

Some of the key differences between my old Samsung Galaxy Note FE and the Samsung Galaxy A55 are:-

Samsung Galaxy Note FESamsung Galaxy A55
Launch Month2017, July2024, March
Weight167 g (5.89 oz)213 g (7.51 oz)
Size5.7 inches, 89.6 cm2 (~79.0% screen-to-body ratio)6.6 inches, 106.9 cm2 (~85.8% screen-to-body ratio)
Resolution1440 x 2560 pixels, 16:9 ratio (~515 ppi density)1080 x 2340 pixels, 19.5:9 ratio (~390 ppi density)
ProtectionCorning Gorilla Glass 5Corning Gorilla Glass Victus+
OSAndroid 9.0 (Pie), One UIAndroid 14, One UI 6.1
CPUOcta-core (4x2.3 GHz Mongoose & 4x1.6 GHz Cortex-A53)Octa-core (4x2.75 GHz Cortex-A78 & 4x2.0 GHz Cortex-A55)
Internal Storage & RAM64GB 4GB RAM256GB 12GB RAM
Main Camera12 MP, f/1.7, 26mm (wide), 1/2.55", 1.4µm, dual pixel PDAF, OIS50 MP, f/1.8, (wide), 1/1.56", 1.0µm, PDAF, OIS

12 MP, f/2.2, 123˚ (ultrawide), 1/3.06", 1.12µm

5 MP, f/2.4, (macro)
Front Camera5 MP, f/1.7, 22mm (wide)
2 MP (dedicated iris scanner camera)
32 MP, f/2.2, 26mm (wide), 1/2.74", 0.8µm
Video4K@30fps, 1080p@30/60fps, 720p@240fps, stereo sound rec., HDR, gyro-EIS4K@30fps, 1080p@30/60fps, gyro-EIS
LoudspeakerYesYes, with stereo speakers
3.5mm jackYesNo
WLANWi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, Wi-Fi DirectWi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/6, dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct
Bluetooth4.2, A2DP, EDR, LE5.3, A2DP, LE
USBUSB Type-C 3.1USB Type-C 2.0, OTG
SensorsIris scanner, fingerprint (front-mounted), accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass, barometer, heart rate, SpO2Fingerprint (under display, optical), accelerometer, gyro, compass
BatteryLi-Ion 3200 mAh, non-removableLi-Ion 5000 mAh, non-removable

While the Samsung Galaxy A55 is superior to the Samsung Galaxy Note FE namely in battery size, and camera resolutions, I will miss the audio aux & health-related sensors that are available in Samsung Galaxy Note FE but are not available in Samsung Galaxy A55.

Final Say

The last Samsung Note phone released is the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra. Launched in August 2020, the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra runs on Android 10 out of the box and has received updates up to Android 13, One UI 5. There has been no more Samsung Note released since 2020 till now as Samsung now lined up its smartphone range into 4 main categories namely S, Z, A & M series:-

  • The Galaxy S series, including the latest Galaxy S24 Ultra, represents Samsung’s flagship models known for their high-end specifications and innovative features.
  • The Galaxy Z series includes the Galaxy Z Fold5 and Galaxy Z Flip5, which are foldable smartphones that combine the convenience of a compact phone with the benefits of a larger screen.
  • The Galaxy A series, such as the new Galaxy A55 5G, offers mid-range options that provide a balance of performance and price.
  • The Galaxy M series is tailored for budget-conscious consumers looking for reliable performance at an affordable price point. 

The Samsung Galaxy A55 emerges as a prudent selection for those seeking longevity in device support, especially when juxtaposed with older models like the Samsung Note FE, which has reached the end of its support cycle. The Galaxy A55, equipped with the latest Android operating system, is slated to receive four major OS upgrades and five years of security updates.

This commitment to extended support ensures that the device remains compatible with new applications and security standards, thereby providing a seamless user experience over time. In contrast, the Samsung Note FE’s support has concluded, rendering it incompatible with newer applications that require more recent operating systems. Consequently, for users prioritizing up-to-date software and prolonged support, the Galaxy A55 stands out as a superior alternative.

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