We are here today to celebrate the life of a dear friend, my Samsung Galaxy Note 4.
A phone is more than just a tool. It becomes part of you. It is the first thing you see in the morning, and the last thing you see at night. It keeps you company when you are bored, and keeps you connected to the outside world. It provides a window into your future, and a reminder of past accomplishments. Your phone is a hub of great knowledge, and you never take it for granted.
We customize our phones, dressing it up with wallpapers and cases. Our phones take on a personality, and we experience high levels of distress when our phones go missing, or the battery is near empty. It is a lifeline, a part of our being. Throughout our day, we continuously feel our pockets to be reminded that our phones are still there, and take great comfort when we hear a simple ding or a small vibration. Our phones are essential to our daily lives, and we couldn’t imagine a world without them.
My Galaxy Note 4 was very special to me.
I remember the day when I first heard it was coming. Samsung and Oculus announced an amazing new mobile virtual reality experience via the Gear VR headset, and a new phone, named the Galaxy Note 4.
Up to this point in my life, I had never owned a Samsung mobile device. Over the years, I owned a wide range of phones, created by companies like HTC, Motorola, Google, and LG. My relationship with each device was special, and each upgrade felt like I was leaving behind a small part of myself.
It was the morning of October 17, 2014 when I got the call. My Galaxy Note 4 was waiting for me at the local Best Buy. I raced to the store where I had reserved my new phone, and anxiously approached the front desk. My inquiry was met with disappointment.
My reserved Galaxy Note 4 had mistakenly been given to another customer. They appologized and sent me to another store where my reservation could be fulfilled. Upon arriving at the other store, I was met with more disappointment. While they did have a phone for me, it was not the right color.
I stood at the front desk of an unfamiliar, distant Best Buy, holding a white Galaxy Note 4 in my hand. This is not the color I wanted, but once I held the device in my hands, I suddenly didn’t care. It wasn’t the sleek black model, yet I didn’t feel the need to complain. This was my new phone, and I was going to love it no matter what color it was. It wasn’t aesthetics that was important to me. Its what was inside that counted.
I slid in my SIM card, and a new bond was forged. This Galaxy Note 4 was my new friend. No… It was my new partner.
Over the years, we had so many amazing experiences together. Watching 360 videos in my Gear VR, developing my first mobile VR app, and participating in an Oculus sponsored Game Jam. We didn’t win, but I could tell that my Galaxy Note 4 was proud of what we accomplished together.
The next few years with my Galaxy Note 4 were amazing. We took pictures and videos of the children’s birthdays, Christmases, trips to the zoo, and so much more. We posted on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and connected with the world through so many ways. We kept in touch with friends and family, and my Galaxy Note 4 even guided me through an exciting journey that took me thousands of miles across the U.S. I trusted my Galaxy Note 4 for many years, and we had a good life together.
Like all electronic devices, my phone slowly began showing it’s age. Updates came slower now, and the battery wasn’t quite holding charge like it used to. I even had to do a few hard resets during our time together, just to squeeze a bit more life out of it.
I watched as my friends left behind their own Galaxy Note 4s, and upgraded to newer and better models. Every time I considered trading up, I found myself clutching my phone and promising to never leave it behind. I was in this relationship for the long haul.
Unfortunately, my Galaxy Note 4 didn’t feel the same way.
I should have seen the signs earlier. My phone was forgetting to remind me about calendar events. Wifi connections would randomly drop, and random reboots became part of the daily routine. I was in denial, and I should have seen how unhappy my phone had become.
It was a beautiful Sunday evening. We were finishing the day at the Marina, overlooking Puget Sound. We had spent the whole day together, taking photos with family and friends. My Galaxy Note 4 had already rebooted twice today, and froze once while taking a short video. I didn’t know it at the time, but my phone had lost it’s data connection, and none of the day’s photos had made their way to the cloud.
The sun was setting, and I was taking the time to appreciate a tiny school of fish when it happened.
My Galaxy Note 4 took advantage of my slight lean over the railing, lept from my breast pocket, and dove gracefully into Puget Sound. I watched as it slowly sank, screen up, into the darkness of the murky water. Before I could say anything… it was gone.
I lost a decent amount of pictures that day, but more importantly, I lost a good friend. I fully respect my Galaxy Note 4’s decision to end it’s own life that day. Our relationship was special, and I need to accept that the time had come to let go.
I will never forget you, my dear friend. We had some good times together, and your contribution to my life is priceless. From now on, when I stare out into Puget Sound, I will grasp my pocket, and think fondly of our time together.
Rest in peace, sweet Galaxy Note 4. I will get a new phone, but you can never be replaced.