About six months ago, I got bored of my iPhone 6S+ and sold it. Unfortunately, I was never impressed with the iphone 7 or 8 models. I pondered with the thought of buying an iPhone X but after insurance costs and tax, I could also easily buy two brand new surfboards. I ended up getting one new surfboard and buying a lightly used Samsung S8+. This blog post is about my journey, joys and frustrations with each device.
Starting with the obvious. The Samsung Galaxy S8+ is slimmer, slightly longer and has an AMOLED screen to die for. Neither one of these devices is very pocket friendly but I think wide is better than long in most of my pockets. It is not very friendly out of the box with it's default settings like Apple. I hated the Samsung keyboard but love Google's G-Board which is a free download. I also like the fact that I have a whole team of virtual assistants. If one is not responding properly, I call on the others. Google Assistant, Alexa, Cortana and Bixby are all there for my beckoning. SIRI used to be very moody with me. If I didn't have great signal, she was totally useless.
While I loved the stability and security of Apple's iOS, I was getting angry with their imperious attitude and fact that they often made things far more difficult than needed. This was before they got busted for covertly throttling processor speeds with a software upgrade. For people like me that enjoy creating and using their own ringtones, Apple even hid the tones option in one of their recent software upgrades. Fortunately, a little know trick with Apple's GarageBand application makes it easy to make your own ringtones.
Technologically speaking, the S8+ is years ahead of the iPhone 6S+ or even the X for that matter in my opinion. I particularly like the Retina Scanner for ID unlocking. That's not the problem. With the exception of my RipCurl Search GPS watch application, most of the Applications are the same for me on both Apple and Android. The cameras are outstanding on both but I would say the S8+ is better.
Last week, I took the Samsung S8+ with me on an international trip and bought another iPhone 6S+ because I missed my GPS watch application and the simplicity of the device and iOS. Information technology services is my calling in life so if I find the S8+ to be extremely complex to set up and optimize, it's no walk in the park. Like a dummy, I intentionally left the iPhone home so I could get the full international experience on the Samsung device.
The first problem I encountered was after arriving in Mexico. My T-Mobile plan is 100% local and unlimited there but my phone did not now that. I kept getting an annoying data roaming costs may occur and to either press cancel or settings to turn data roaming off. The problem is I could not find where to turn of this annoying message which haunted me every 5 minutes.
I thought my iphone was a nuisance everytime I butt dialed the last person I called from my pocket. The Android would launch Apps I didn't even know I had. It would regularly turn off Bluetooth, wifi, and everything else. Once I hit under 10% battery life, the screen would go so dark, I couldn't see it making the phone useless. What really sealed the deal and convinced me to dump this thing and go back to the iPhone 6S+ happened on the last day. I left for the 45 minute airport drive to Zihuatanejo with a full battery. I closed every application and slipped the phone in my shorts pocked...without locking it. Once I arrived at the airport, I looked down at my pocket and noticed the flash light turned on by itself and 6 applications had opened resulting in a totally dead battery. I had taken my wireless charger and inserted it in my checked luggage. I assumed the Micro USB cable that plugged into the charger would also plug into the phone directly. Wrong! The phone has a micro C model, making it impossible for me to charge my phone on the plane. The bottom line is when you get used to taking LYFT and have to take a cab and pay double because your phone let you down, it's time to find another. Anyone looking for a good deal on a Samsung S8+? I've gone back to my iPhone 6S+ and will live with it's shortcomings until the new X series debuts.
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Joel Saltzman has over twenty years of wireless industry experience. He is currently CEO and Chief Wireless Analyst for Dr Wireless.