When you’re with a platform, your general stance is to stick with it if you’re satisfied. I stuck with BlackBerry until a few years ago and then migrated to the iPhone since the original model launched in 2007. I never looked back.
When I was on my iPhone right until the iPhone 4 two years ago, I never looked at Android. Why would I? I’d become attached to Apple, to the extent that I had bought a MacBook Air last year when it came time to retire my Windows 7 Acer laptop.
So What happened? The Samsung Galaxy S3 happened.
I’d fiddle with my friends’ Android phones, then hand them back smugly, as I was certain that Apple was the best because I knew my way around it blindfolded and it did tasks more streamlined, more polishly. Then came the Samsung Galaxy S3. Now I’ve seen hot Android phones in the past but none with the reception or sales figures that the third-gen Galaxy S phone brought to the arena.
Yeah, it’s a great phone – but it’s MASSIVE. Even Apple execs couldn’t resist having a go about this! But the Samsung Galaxy S3 ground me down – it’s an amazing phone and I’m sorry to have to give it up and the end of my review last month.
But it doesn’t end there. While the Samsung Galaxy S3 has been out since May, it continues to receive positive reviews despite the sea of new Android smartphones popping up.
Last month, I got my hands on the iPhone 5. I just had to give up my iPhone 4 because after playing with the S3, my iPhone started to feel clumsy and old. The iPhone 5 is of course the fairest rival to the Samsung Galaxy S3.
After upgrading I was certain that my ‘sleeping with the enemy’ was long forgotten and I would be all googly eyed over what my shiny new iPhone 5 is capable of. But that was exactly the case.
The first thing to hit me was the iPhone 5 display. It felt small. Yes, the 4-inch screen was too small after getting hooked on watching videos on the expansive Samsung Galaxy S3 screen. To be honest, I never watched videos on my phone before this but because the S3 had LTE unlike my iPhone 4, I couldn’t help but sit back and relax at my desk whenever I caught a break. The 4-inch iPhone 5 screen just didn’t cut it.
The next epiphany came with the OS. Beyond the mere physical (yes the iPhone 5 is sexy and I know it), Android OS and the way Samsung is using it on the Samsung Galaxy S3 is gorgeous – more so that iOS. I’ve got iOS 6 on my iPhone 5, but so what? The S3 graphics swirl around in a happy greeting and the apps look great. Many folks complain that the deep blacks and vibrant colors of AMOLED look unrealistic compared to an LCD display. However when it comes to apps things are different. Having a small screen that close to your face means that you want the objects to pop on your screen and not just higher levels of brightness. That is at least the case for me.
Both phones are great, no doubt about that. But after using Android for a while, I have to agree with the critics who say that Apple is slowing down in the innovation race. Many of iOS 6 features are just catching up with, rather than overtaking, Android.
Short term this might not matter, with Apple’s legions of fans remaining loyal. For a while. One day, though, they’re going to wonder if this loyalty is worth it. Obviously there’s a lot of legal huffing and puffing going on, but this is just a distraction from the real battle for innovation.
I still love Apple, but the Samsung Galaxy S3 has caught my attention more than I imagined. It certainly explains why it isn’t a pushover for the iPhone 5 like other devices have been until today. Whether Apple dropped the ball or Samsung just got the right mix with their latest S3, I have now started telling my fellow Apple users to try and pick up an S3 for more than just a fondle. Learn your way around Android (will take you a day or two) and then you will see what the “other half” of the world has been raving about all this while.