The COVID-19 pandemic is close to its end, or at least it has gotten to a stage where many people just don’t care enough to be concerned about it (whether because they took a vaccine, got infected by the virus and are now depending on natural immunity, masking up, or any of those combinations).
I don’t care all that much, either. Well, I still wear a mask to the movies or to any place where I’m bound to run into strangers, but I’m okay with others roaming around without their faces covered (although any cough or sneeze from people nearby is still akin to a jump scare).
But the effects of the pandemic are still being felt by many. For me, the pandemic pretty much killed outdoor travel. Not that I used to go out much anyway (I work from home, and seeing and experiencing new places isn’t exactly my thing), but even after virtually all pandemic-related restrictions have been lifted in my country, I find myself sitting at home most of the time (my adorable and epileptic “pandemic dog” is part of the reason) or, at best, going out to the movies.
And, as travel outside of my home or my community has been reduced to a bare minimum since 2020, I’ve realized that I’ve lost appreciation for two of the best features we find on Samsung’s flagship smartphones.
The zoom camera on my phone was the first casualty
I’ve said before how dog photos are the primary reason why I can’t really do without a phone that has at least a 3x zoom camera, but before the pandemic sent this world into a tizzy for nearly three years, I often used the zoom camera on my phone to take pictures of other stuff. Now, though (in fact, as far back as mid-2021), my gallery is literally filled with photos and videos of my dog.
I’m not exaggerating. If anyone were to look at my phone’s gallery, the amount of photos and videos of my dog in there is insane. I have some photos taken with the Galaxy S21 Ultra’s zoom camera from my Dubai trip late last year, but that’s mostly it. Whichever phone I’ve used since early 2020, its cameras have spent the majority of their time as paparazzi cameras for my dog.
That might sound sad to some, and I would agree. But I do have friends. It’s just that by now everyone I know has grown out of their “let us take selfies all day long” phase, and without a reason to capture beautiful vistas and non-living things, dog photos are all I have left.
That said, I still want a zoom camera on my smartphone, preferably something as good as the one(s) on the Galaxy S Ultra smartphones. It’s better to have one that’s used sparingly than not having it at all.
Just because the pandemic may have ruined any travel plans I might have otherwise made, I don’t suddenly think it’s good for flagship phones, or anything costing a thousand bucks or more, to not have both an ultra-wide and a zoom camera accompanying the main shooter.
Samsung DeX is the other casualty, though a more minor one
Samsung DeX is the other feature that I’ve more or less forgotten over the last couple of years. I’ve never been a heavy DeX user in any sense (the title for that achievement goes to my colleague Mihai, who dumped his Windows PC for Samsung DeX months ago).
But before the pandemic hit, when I was going out on trips, Samsung events, and what not, DeX came in handy more than once, especially when I had one of Samsung’s tablet review samples with the official keyboard cover, which meant I could leave my heavy laptop behind.
Again, I wasn’t a heavy DeX user even before the pandemic hit, but I’ve almost completely forgotten about it now, despite it being one of the best features you find on Samsung’s flagship phones and tablets (and some mid-range tablets, as well).
I might try it again at some point, but with almost all of my time spent at home sitting at a computer desk, I don’t see a high chance of me using DeX regularly until life becomes a bit more sorted (yes, I know COVID is not that big a deal anymore, but there’s no harm in being cautious).
Are there any features on your Samsung Galaxy smartphone or tablet that took a backseat because of the pandemic these last couple of years, or did you find yourself appreciating some features more? Sound off down in the comments and in our social media channels!