The end of this week marks a whole two weeks forgoing Apple’s iOS ecosystem, and jumping feet first into the world of Android. I had considered both the HTC One and the Samsung Galaxy S4. I liked the build and finish on the HTC One, but the camera wasn’t anywhere near the quality that I wanted in a primary source of photos for me, and that’s ultimately what drove me to the S4.
My thoughts and impressions so far of the move to Android and the S3, in no particular order:
- I like the large 5″ HD AMOLED screen. That’s a nice plus.
- It’s obviously not a feature of Android, but through my upgrade of phone, I’ve also migrated over to AT&T’s 4G LTE network. The speed and coverage is much better than their taxed 3G GSM network.
- I like the opportunity to explore a new mobile operating system. iOS was certainly boring me after two years.
- I like using the Chrome mobile browser. I didn’t realize that the Safari browser is lacking until now.
- I like the camera, but the auto focus isn’t all that smart. If I don’t remember to specifically pick out the key object in the frame, I get blurry pictures.
- The battery life is atrocious. It charges fast enough with the wall charger, but I can use it sparingly, and the battery will still run down significantly.
- My hands sometime struggle to hit all the keys on the larger screen. Do I have small hands?
- I have yet to successfully synchronize my Outlook Contacts information to my phone. I’m only working off what I had transferred from the iPhone and what else has showed up from my Gmail address book by default. As a result, I have duplicate address book entries, and merging or joining duplicate contacts doesn’t work.
- Similarly, my music library is sitting on my home PC, as I can’t transfer about 300+ songs, as I had purchased these back in the days of Fairplay DRM. I haven’t found a working solution to strip out the DRM yet, short of paying Apple money for iTunes Match or burning and re-ripping these songs all over again. Until then, I am not transferring anything over.
- On a related note, the Samsung Galaxy S4 uses MTP (Media Transfer Protocol) instead of USB Mass Storage when I connect the phone to my PC. Instead if simply dragging and dropping music and video between phone and PC, I am required to use the slow as shit Samsung Kies desktop software. It’s not good. Hey Samsung, sometimes the older methods are still the simplest and easiest.
It seems that I wrote out more items in the bad category vs the good category. I still like the phone, and I’m glad I switched. There are just some growing pains to work through.
The battery life is atrocious. – I just got mine last week and the first thing I did after I turned it on is turn off all that extra samsung crapware they put on there. That helped me a lot. After light use, i got more than 37 hours and still had 25% left. This coming week will be a good way for me to judge the battery. I normally stream pandora the entire day, yes entire, and watch a show or two on netflix during lunchtime.
Music – Use amazon mp3 app. It works on the same premise as itunes match. not sure how it handles DRM though. you can then download your music to your phone after. Give it a try. Their free version lets you upload 200 songs I believe.