Upgrading old Android phone, notification concerns

Lady Grinning Soul

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Jun 2, 2014
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My old Android phone, a Samsung Note 4, had an LED on the front that was very useful for showing notifications and other status indications even when the screen was turned off. New texts would flash green, mail would flash blue, charging would show steady red, fully charged would show steady green, and low battery would flash red.

All the newer phones I've seen have no LEDs on the front and by default require that you actually handle and turn on the phone just to see these status markers. Alternatives seem to require that the screen be on all the time which displays more info than is wanted, and also drains the battery. The Pixel 5a I'm currently trying falls into this category.

What am I missing? Am I just just holding out for an old fashioned design?

Are there any 5G phones that have not sacrificed basic usability in favor of a minimal design aesthetic that makes the phone less useful for basic functions?

Any recommendations for a Verizon user?
 

joeldf

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Dec 19, 2011
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The Always On Display is what you're talking about and is not as bad as you think. Most phone screens are OLED of some kind, so only the pixels that you see lit up are the ones making light.

It's not like the old LED screens that always had a full back-light on the whole time that would eat up the battery.

Plus the AOD can dim automatically so its using even less power for just the few pixels that are lit up.

My AOD only shows the time and a smaller date to the side of it.

Then, just the icons of any notifications I have waiting. My email app shows the color of the account of any waiting emails. Green for work and blue for home.

I find it's actually better than an LED because the LED only flashed the color of the most recent notification. The AOD will line them up in a row under the time. Up to 5, though beyond that it adds a "+" for older notifications.
 

joeldf

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As an example:

This is from a year ago, and the time/date thing is a different variation today, but still similar. I have several home emails waiting - blue layered email icon. And one work email - non-layered green email icon. The down arrow is showing it's downloading an update at the time of the screen shot.

Calendar reminders are also in the account colors, and texts are in colors I give to the contacts in the text app I use. I think it shows up to 5 in a row then adds a "+" for older notifications that haven't been checked if it goes that long.

I still get well over a day on a charge on my S20 FE, so I don't think battery life is noticably affected.
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Lady Grinning Soul

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Jun 2, 2014
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Thanks all for these replies. Thanks B. Diddy for reply in another similar thread I started.

I had tried "Notification light for Pixel." But I decided I didn't care for the Pixel itself and so wouldn't bother to customize it.

Now I'm thinking about Samsungs, maybe something older from the S20 line. But I want to make sure that notifications and other basic system functions aren't constant irritants.

Having to install an app to get something that basic seems off to me. But I held on to my two Note 4s for as long as I could. I need to replace both of them, and don't need (or want) a current flagship.

I thought I'd go with a Pixel and see what a vanilla android device was like. But it feels unfinished, just like Google's web apps. And Samsung seems the most likely alternative. iPhone is a no go.

I will check out "Notification light for Pixel" again.
 

joeldf

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Now I'm thinking about Samsungs, maybe something older from the S20 line. But I want to make sure that notifications and other basic system functions aren't constant irritants.

That's not specific to Samsung. Notifications and how they work is part of the Android OS.

But it's quite easy to tame. Go through all the apps under Notifications in Settings, and turn off the notifications from apps you don't want to hear from.

Kind of how it's always been dealt with.

Easy-peasy.
 

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