7 years with an iPhone. And now? Samsung S4 or my iPhone 5?
While strolling around in a mall, waiting for my wife to finish her shopping experience in a bookstore, I spotted a Samsung Galaxy S4 in the DTAC shop. Without hesitating I took out my credit card and told the girl at the counter that I want it. 10 minutes later my wife came out from the bookstore and to her surprise I was standing there with a plastic bag from DTAC. She already smelled I spent quite some money but she was even more irritated to find an Android phone when inspecting the contents of the bag.
To understand her a bit, I owned any iPhone ever released, I currently own an iPhone 5, iPad, iMac, 3 Apple TV, Time Capsule and whatsoever. In other words, I live In an “All Apple World.
I thought I am going to play with it for a few days so I know how it feels and works and then I will get rid of it.
And to understand me a bit, I like gadgets and I am an IT Expert so I felt the need to see what the other side offers.
Back home I unpacked it. What a screen size. A bit big but I really like that screen. My eyesight isn’t getting any better anymore and here I could clearly read everything. I went ahead and installed my most common used apps. Spotify and Songza for music, Catch for my notes, Social Networks. Then setup my personal and corporate mail account, synced my Google contacts, Gdrive etc. and that’s it.
By then my wife called me and asked to send her the photos from the kids room which we saw in IKEA some time ago. I store those photos in Catch as I also added some notes to it.
Without hesitating I took out my iPhone, opened Catch and …… well, I couldn’t send it to her.
Sending by email uses the Mail app by default and this can’t be changed on any Apple device.
But I am using the Gmail app.
I thought I’ll send it by Line or Whatsapp, but no way. I couldn’t send it to her.
I grabbed my new S4 and checked there. I opened Catch, selected the note with the photos, clicked the “share” button and was amazed to see multiple ways to send it to her. Mail, Line, Whatsapp, Facebook, Dropbox and many more. I clicked on Gmail and within seconds the mail with the note was out.
I was a bit upset why my 30,000 Baht iPhone 5 doesn’t let me do the same.
On my iPhone 5 I hardly replied to chat messages, too small is the screen for me, too difficult to write a few words. Voice recognition works awesome though. But since I am a native german speaker, the voice dictation barley could recognize my english, probably because of the german accent.
On the Samsung typing was easier due to the big screen. But after changing to a Swiftkey keyboard (you swipe over the keyboard instead of typing) I realized how easy it is and how fast I suddenly could write even long mails or messages.
Next I went to the camera and oh boy, awesome features.
Further to the notification center, unbeatable. I can even archive messages right from there.
I discovered “lock screen widgets”. Oh my god, that is so useful. I was wondering how I could get along without it before.
It doesn’t mean all is good with the Samsung phone.
What I do not like on the Samsung S4
– Voice dictation -and this is hard to believe- doesn’t know punctuation marks, rendering it useless for me. Imagine I send an email to a client without punctuation marks or paragraphs.
– Many apps look better on the iPhone or at least have a more intuitive user interface. But Android is catching up fast. The last time I tested about a year ago and the experience was terrible.
– Built quality feels cheap. If you ever held an iPhone in your hand you’ll know what I’m talking about.
What I like on the Samsung and Android
– I can change default apps like browser, mail program and more, something I truly missed on my iPhone.
– The “share” feature which works pretty much from every app is extremely convenient.
– Basically no limitations and everything is customizable.
– Lockscreen Widget for quick access to favorite apps without having to unlock the phone first
– Notification center is ways ahead of its iOS counterpart. It even works from lock screen.
– Free choice of input methods, keyboard.
– Plug in a headset and you are offered a choice of apps, mainly your music apps to select right away what you want to listen too.
– The Samsung S4 is cheaper than the cheapest iPhone 5
– Last but not least, visual notifications. Kinda like on a BlackBerry.
Another major decision maker for me is the Google Play return policy.
In the Google Play store you can get a refund on any app you buy within 15 minutes after the purchase. I spent a few hundred Dollars on the Apple Store for apps which turned out not to be what either was promised or what I believed it to be. That won’t happen anymore now.
I am aware that iOS is also more secure towards malware and viruses but I think I can live with that. After all I can install a Virus protection software if I feel the need.
The Samsung is extremely convenient in many ways and I found myself using it more often than I used my iPhone 5.
Galaxy S4 or iPhone 5? Android or iOS?
The decision was not hard at all. I had no doubt that the Samsung is the better phone for me and Android the OS which suits my needs better than iOS.
Without repeating myself, three things made my decision easy.
1. The 5″ screen
2. Choice of input methods.
3. Built-in sharing feature
I am much more productive on my Samsung compared to my iPhone.
Syncing your stuff across devices, even different platforms, isn’t an issue anymore nowadays as long as you don’t use iCloud. Google, Dropbox, Amazon, SugarSync and others are all cross platform.
Now that I got the taste I ordered a Samsung Galaxy Note 8. I will soon let you know my experience with it and if it could make me switch away from my beloved iPad 3.