Recently, Sprint terminated my account after four years of continued service, without warning, and, after several calls across two totally wasted days, it was revealed that my account was closed because I was using too much data on the Unlimited Everything Plan. That’s seriously how it happened.
After spending another day shopping around, I went with Verizon, who offered the most liberal data plans, and opened a two year contract while getting a Samsung Galaxy S7. I’ve long been a fan of the Galaxy S phones, and my old S3 was the best phone I’ve ever had, particularly with Slimkat on it. Running Cyanogen, my S5 was… decent, but it never came close to being as efficient and quick as the S3.
I skipped the S6 partially because I was content but mostly because its lack of an external SD card slot made it trash in my eyes. The slot returned with the S7, but with the default internal memory upped to 32 gigabytes, it’s not as much of an issue as it could be. Let’s be honest, though: removing SD card slots is a blatant ploy to sell more expensive phones.
Of course, it has to be said that Verizon is much stricter on their users than Sprint, as far as phone firmware goes. Even rooting the Verizon s7 isn’t easy, and runs a relatively high risk of soft-bricking. Running a custom OS isn’t feasible yet, though I have one downloaded that I haven’t tried. Once rooted, I did run a few scripts to remove the horrible bloatware and spyware, and to fix miscellaneous issues. This put my phone in a state that is sort of between stock and a custom rom, though it’s still technically stock.
I’ve been waiting for a very long time for Slimroms to release a rom for the Sprint S5. I can’t say enough about Slimroms. They’re fantastic, and their sleek operating system wildly increases a phone’s usability.
Other than these factors I can’t really control (not being an OS programmer), the setup across my S5 and S7 are basically identical. Nova Launcher Prime is my default launcher, Swype + Dragon is my text entry preference, GoSMS Pro is my preferred texting app, Firefox my default browser, and so on.
Yet this brand new S7, even with bloat removed, is noticeably slower than my two-year-old s5, to an absurd degree. I can’t ascertain yet whether the hardware, firmware, software, or OS version is to blame, but it’s unacceptable. Is this the experience most users have with their phones?
Time to wake and launch Firefox
S5: 7.5 seconds (i have a complex pattern)
S7: 10.73 seconds (same pattern)
That’s nearly 50% longer.
And that’s just waking the phone and opening Firefox. Let’s try waking the phone to enter a new contact, which is something I have to do about once a week.
S5: 10.19 seconds
S7: 13.48 seconds
The S7 actually should have won this, because my S5 contains an additional step wherein it asks where I’d like to save the contact–to the phone or a Google account. The S7 doesn’t ask that at all, and yet still came out three and a half seconds slower.
How about minimizing Firefox, opening my Anarchist Shemale email, and beginning a new message using the widget I have on one of the wallpapers (present on both phones)?
S5: 9.33 seconds
S7: 10.09 seconds
To make matters worse, I’m typing this directly into Firefox using the S7, and it is completely impossible to move the cursor to go back and edit things. Just nothing happens when I click elsewhere in the text entry field.
On that note, the screen requires much harder touches to register anything. This is especially weird, because my S5 has a hard plastic screen protector, while the S7 has a softer, thinner, rubber one. And this is no fault of the phone, but the dude at Verizon put on a screen protector that doesn’t quite fit, making using the phone at its edges especially difficult. If he did sell me an s7 screen protector (again, I don’t believe he did), then it’s a problem with the phone and its raised edges.
The entire thing is like a goddamn joke. My S5 was much slower than my S3, but I wrote it off as being because the s3 used Slimkat, which is specifically designed to be light.
Is there anything positive to say about the s7?
Thank the fucking lord, it’s smaller than the S5. I can’t tell you how glad I am that phones have not only stopped getting larger but have started shrinking again. The S3 could easily and comfortably be used with one hand. The S5 could not be, and I’ve got pretty long fingers. The s7 is still just slightly too large, though. It helps when I remove it from the case, but it’s still just slightly too big for comfort.
The camera is a huge improvement over the S5’s, and I no longer have to use ad-ridden Power Cam just to overcome the deficiencies. This is just a neat perk, though, and not of much consequence, even with all the selfies I take.
Verizon’s network is substantially slower than Sprint’s, and, in my experience, Sprint has better coverage. However, Sprint will close your account without warning for using the Unlimited data plan like it’s an unlimited data plan, so that’s a huge mark against them. They did ultimately release my phone number, which is good since it’s a business number, but it took three days of speaking to supervisors, managers, and managers’ supervisors, including legal threats and having to involve an attorney client.
Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be a way to make my s5 compatible with Verizon. I’ve tried flashing the Verizon S5 Cyanogen, but it doesn’t install for some reason.
So don’t get an S7. I’ll update this in a year or so, when custom roms are more widely available and I’ve been able to determine what, exactly, makes the S7 so goddamn slow. Moving from one app to another takes twice as long as it should. You know? When you get a new phone, it should be fucking faster than your two year old phone with a cracked screen. You should be happy and excited, not disappointed and angry.