raspy's Adventures with the Galaxy S10+ and Galaxy Watch

Discussion in 'General Smartphone/Handheld/Wearable Discussion' started by raspabalsa, Jan 6, 2020.

  1. scjjtt

    scjjtt A Former Palm User

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    Yes - we tried it out the other day on Mrs scjjtt & although her phone was on vibrate - it rang. It didn't ring as fast as it does when I use my Pebble but I bet it is because she was not connected to her phone by BT but instead LTE - it is pretty cool that it does that.

    Sent from my moto g stylus using Tapatalk
     
  2. raspabalsa

    raspabalsa Brain stuck BogoMipping

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    Scott, it seems this will soon no longer be an issue. According to this page on XDA, the original Galaxy Watch will (is?) receiving an update to allow showing images in incoming messages. I haven't received it yet, but rest assured that I'll be tapping the "download and install" button in the Galaxy Wearable app several times a day for the foreseeable future or until I get the update :)
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2021
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  3. raspabalsa

    raspabalsa Brain stuck BogoMipping

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    I feel it's time for another round of technoranting :).

    As I've said -or more properly, babbled- before, I'm an aspiring audiophile. Aspiring, because my ears aren't properly trained or sensitive enough for a true audiophile. Still, I'm trying to improve my portable audio equipment, and a DAC is always at the top of the list. I have the Fiio Q1 Mk2, which I've shown here before. It's a nice DAC, an improvement over my first one, the Fiio Q1. But it has a small quirk: it's designed for Apple devices, and for some reason this means that when connected to an Android phone it will always recharge its battery from the phone. So I built a custom cable (I also talked about it some time ago) that prevents the DAC from charging from the phone:

    dac cables.jpg

    Left is the original USB cable from Fiio, right is the custom one, made by modifying and splicing a USB C OTG adapter (bottom end) with a micro USB cable. Works nicely, the DAC doesn't drain the phone battery at all.

    Still, I started to feel the itch to get a new DAC some time ago, so I started watching the Fiio Q3, which is another significant improvement over the one I have. The Q3 brings back the charge / no charge button that the original Q1 had, meaning I'd no longer need my custom cable. I decided to look for options and the ifi hip-dac quickly caught my eye. Both have similar features, but the hip-dac has a higher power output than the Q3, and seems to have better audio quality according to some (subjective) reviews. Both DACs even look similar and cost the same. The main difference between the hip-dac and the Fiio DACs (Q1 through Q3) is that the former is a pure DAC (it doesn't have analog input) while the Fiio ones can work either as DAC or analog amp. But I rarely use my DAC's analog input so I decided to eliminate this requirement, and was about ready to buy the hip-dac, until something unexpected happened: I misplaced my custom USB cable. I decided to drown my grumblings with music, so I grudgingly connected the Q1 Mk2 to my phone's USB port, expecting it to drain the phone's battery in short time. This is when things got interesting. Before, whenever I connected the DAC with the OEM cable, a persistent notification appeared on the phone informing that a USB device was connected and charging, the DAC's charging LED turned on, and the phone's battery would rapidly discharge. None of that happened this time. I take this to mean that Android 11 (which my phone received a few weeks ago) improved connectivity with USB devices, taking it all the way up to Apple's standards. Remember that this DAC by design doesn't drain Apple devices' battery. So now the DAC can "talk" properly to an Android phone, and declares itself as an audio device that doesn't require charging from the phone. Now the connection is totally transparent, there is no notification, and even Bixby Routines detects the DAC as "wired headphones" and triggers its magic. This is great.

    Of course, my custom USB cable decided to become unmisplaced in time for the above pic :D. Poor little thing, it's no longer needed, so off my EDC pouch and into the spares drawer it went.

    The DAC looks quite good stacked with the phone, and I must admit that the OEM cable is better looking than mine:

    stack.jpg

    That's the rubber web from one of my phone holders. It's become very handy: can hold the phone in the action camera head harness, or it can hold a battery charger or DAC against the phone. I think I'll buy another to have a spare in case this one breaks.

    BTW, if you notice a silvery shine under the DAC in the above pic, that's an addition I made to my phone's case: I shaped a thin sheet of stainless steel and glued it to the back of the case so it can mate with the magnets of my phone stand:

    phone.jpg

    The cutting is somewhat uneven in some parts, but that's just because this is Test Article # 1 :D. I plan to try next using one of the black plates that came with the stand. It will surely look much better than the one above.

    This is how the phone looks now in the stand:

    stand.jpg

    The plate mates with the magnets very well, there's a large area so the phone is securely held in place, and the plate doesn't interfere with wireless charging.

    Back to DACs, I was feeling very happy that Android 11 learned to play with my DAC. Then I realized that this meant I no longer had a valid excuse to get a new DAC, so I grudgingly removed the hip-dac from my Amazon cart. Thank you, Android 11 :rolleyes:. This is not great.

    But I kept the hip-dac in my wishlist. It's only a matter of time :newpalm:.
     
  4. raspabalsa

    raspabalsa Brain stuck BogoMipping

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    After I mentioned Battlestar Galactica yesterday in the "out of context quotes" thread I decided it was time to watch the whole series again. But first, I ran through the best parts (especially the battlestar vs basestar combat scenes), and I remembered a scene where Gaius Baltar is with his imaginary Number Six on Kobol, and the Six shows him their future son, which she says is "the face of the shape of things to come". Gaius reverently holds the baby in his hands:

    300px-KobolHallu.jpg

    So what does this have to do with the price of potatoes in Spain?, you may ask. Nothing at all, but this morning I remembered that scene as I assembled my Dex/audio rig at work:

    raspys Dex audio rig.jpg

    That's my S10+ in the Dex dock, with a four-port USB hub connected to it, with my Fiio Q1 Mk2 DAC/amp plugged to the hub, and my Sennheiser Momentum 2 BT/wired headset connected to the DAC. I've been listening to my favorite tunes most of the morning, which might explain why I've done so little work today.

    In the pic I'm using Samsung Music, but to get the best quality I use Neutron Player, an excellent if somewhat hard to use app (the UI is awful, cluttered, and confusing). Neutron has "profiles" that include every audio tweak you make to equalizer, filters, replay gain, etc. I have two profiles, one with my custom equalizer and gain settings, and the other is "bit perfect". The latter means that no effects are applied to the audio signal by Neutron, and instead the original, unaltered signal is sent in digital form to the DAC. This means the sound is as close to the original source as possible.

    My Sennheiser headset also helps getting the audio as close to source as possible. This headset has three modes of operation. The first, and surely most used one, is active and wireless. Active means the headset is powered on and uses its own built-in DAC which includes active noise cancellation. (ANC) In this mode the headset gets audio via BT, meaning a lossy BT codec (AptX, SBC, etc) is applied, which also alters the audio, and then Sennheiser's ANC logic kicks in, further altering stuff. It's the best mode when in noisy environments, but it's also the one that most alters the audio signal. The second mode is active and wired, where the heaset is turned on but the audio cable is plugged in. This bypasses the headset's DAC (the headset is designed to turn its DAC off when cable is detected), but keeps ANC on. This gives better audio quality than the first mode, but it's still not the best. That would be the third mode, passive and wired. Here, the headset is turned off and connected to the source with the 3.5mm cable. In this mode, the headset's DAC and ANC are turned off, meaning zero alteration to the audio signal.

    When using Neutron Player (or other similar high quality audio apps like UAPP) in bit perfect mode, going through an external DAC, and ending with passive headphones, the only constrains to audio quality are the DAC and headset itself. This is why audiophiles look for "neutral" or "uncolored" DACs, which will deliver audio as close to source as possible. Both the Fiio Q3 and the ifi hip-dac are rated close to the top in their price range (USD 100 to USD 300), and that's why I was considering buying one of them. Of course, you can get exquisitely designed and incredibly expensive DACs costing thousands upon thousands of dollars, but I'm not even dreaming about that. I'll keep trying to get the best for less than USD 500. For now, the Q1 Mk2 seems good enough, but I wish I could get some hands-on time with the Q3 or hip-dac.

    As for the headphones, my Momentum headset isn't audiophile quality, but again, I'm not ready to spend a few hundred (or thousands!) dollars on another set. Besides, once I set the rig as said above (bit perfect, passive wired headset) the audio quality improved considerably. I ran several Pink Floyd tracks encoded in FLAC (lossless format) and I was able to hear details that had been hidden in the noise before. The beginnings of One of These Days, Shine on You Crazy Diamond, and Signs of Life now sound like I've never heard them before. On One of These Days I could even hear faint "clicks" as some audio equipment was plugged in or turned on in the studio where it was recorded decades ago.

    My headset sounds good enough for me, or maybe it's just that I haven't tried a better sounding set yet. I may have to stay away from audio stores, lest temptation wins over my weak resolve :D
     
  5. Hook

    Hook Caught Watching Prawn

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    I received the big update to my Galaxy Smarwatch. Has anyone else noticed a difference in how it calculates difference. It has added consistently a half city block to each mile I speedwalk (2 city blocks for the 4 miles I do every day). I walk the same course every day, so I know where the mile points used to be. I suspect maybe they got better fine tuning with gps, but I don't know. But it's day to day consistent, so I have my new "milestones." :vbwink:
     
  6. EdmundDantes

    EdmundDantes Mobile Deity

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    Raspy, what streaming service is Galactica on? I'm embarrassed to say, but I never watched the whole thing. The releases were kind of choppy as I recall, plus movies, etc. I prefer to watch something like that all at once.

    Also, what kind of audio files do you typically play? Flac?

    I used to be somewhat serious about audio (years ago there was a thread here about various formats, etc. as I recall); but have fallen off somewhat on it. I don't have a DAC for mobile audio and doubt that I'd invest in one. I think it's kind of a hassle for diminishing returns; but I'm eager to hear your reasoning and results.
     
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  7. raspabalsa

    raspabalsa Brain stuck BogoMipping

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    No luck with the Watch update so far. Just checked again, and the Wearable app insists my system is up to date.

    I've noticed some inconsistencies in the distances tracked by the watch when riding my bike. It's slight, no more than about +- 500m over a 10km distance (5% difference) , so I think this is no big deal. In fact, maybe it's not a GPS error, but my snaking around rocks and mud puddles, which have multiplied in the rainy season.

    Edmund, I don't know what services stream Galactica. It's not on Netflix for my region. I purchased the Blu-Ray set years ago, and this includes the 4 seasons plus the movie The Plan. Later I purchased the movie Razor. I ripped everything to full HD mkv files, and saved them on my NAS, from where I pull the episodes as needed. I haven't seen the Caprica spin-off series yet. If I do watch the whole series again this time, I may then watch Caprica.

    Yes, I usually play FLAC files for higher quality. I ripped my Pink Floyd collection using this codec. Files are large, each track anywhere from 50MB to 100MB, but playing over my DAC the quality is noticeably better than, for example, 320kbps MP3s. Better than streaming from Spotify (which I think is 320kbps). I read that Spotify is about to launch a Hi-Fi streaming plan, which supossedly is "CD quality". It may be interesting to compare this to FLAC.

    The bulk of my music collection is MP3s. Most are 256kbps ripped literally decades ago. I can't even rip them again to higher quality because I gave most of my CDs away years ago. Including my full Pink Floyd collection, which went to my then-teenage nephew. But it was for a good cause: for every youth one introduces to Pink Floyd, an extra two hours in heaven are added to one's ultimate retirement plan :newpalm: :D

    I've considered playing with other high quality formats, such as DSD, but I too think there are diminishing returns, which is why the DACs I've purchased or considered purchasing are below USD 200. There's another thing to consider: most of the music I listen to is not heavily nuanced, so IMO there's little point in trying to squeeze more detail from it. Again, Pink Floyd is an exception. I can and have spent hours repeating the same tracks or even parts of a single track over and over again, enjoying the tiniest details.
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2021
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  8. Hook

    Hook Caught Watching Prawn

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    For those in the US, it appears to be the new Peacock Network including the pilot (as a two-part mini-series) and all 4 seasons. They are available on the free version (I signed up just to check), but I suspect you'll get ads (Haven't watched yet to test, but I've been thinking of watching again, so I may test). I suspect they have it because NBC Universal owns Scifi channel.

    For those that have DroidTV, it is available there too, minus the Pilot "miniseries."
     
  9. raspabalsa

    raspabalsa Brain stuck BogoMipping

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    I just went to DroidTV's web page and Chrome displayed a huge red fullscreen warning saying that "The site ahead contains harmful apps" and that attackers there could install deceptive apps and collect my data. Scary, no idea why it tags DrodTV as such. Seems like a harmless, if somewhat shady, concept.
     
  10. Hook

    Hook Caught Watching Prawn

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    Hahahaa "A harmless, if somewhat shady concept" is pretty on the mark. I've had DroidTV for years. In the days before streaming when there was a lot more to recommend broadcast TV, it was great. Even now, it has a nice library of older shows. It uses, as far as I can tell, a strange quirk in the laws (I have no real knowledge here) to provide the shows, but they are out in the open and no one has tried to shut them down. It's great because it requires no internet connection after the shows download, so it was perfect when I was commuting an hour on a train, going and coming, to work. I have a lifetime account, but now, I rarely use them as I'm home and most of what I want is available via streaming.

    It wouldn't surprise me if their server security is not up to par, but I have never encountered problems with their site (not that I go there very often).
     
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