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#1 Posted by Mushir (2389 posts) -

I've had my iPhone 4S for a few years now and I've decided it's time for a change. The battery has become terrible, the phone randomly turns off even though I have a lot of battery and sometimes the touchscreen doesn't work when trying to receive calls.

I'm thinking of switching to Android because I'm getting bored of iOS. Right now I'm looking at the Samsung Galaxy S5, the HTC One M8 and the Sony Xperia Z2. Not entirely sure which one I want. Anyone got any experiences they would like to share? I've also heard good things about the Nokia Lumia, so it doesn't necessarily have to be Android.

Basically what I'm wondering is if you're a smartphone user, which phone do you use and why should I buy that one?

#2 Posted by CorruptedEvil (3260 posts) -

I've been using an S3 for a while and it's great, so the S5 should be even better. Basically the only bad thing about it is that it gets updates slow, but if you root it that doesn't even matter. If you have the cash for an S5 I would highly recommend it.

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#3 Posted by Unilad (561 posts) -

As stupid as this sounds, I would never change from IOS as I'm so comfortable with everything. I know that even if I was drunk as a skunk, injured etc I could still type a text make a call (and have done in the past).

Sounds strange, but that is reassuring to me. I wouldn't want to change as I'd have to learn this all over again. Change is good, but no matter how bored I am of IOS, the confidence i have in my ability to use it no matter the circumstances keeps me attached.

#4 Posted by wewantsthering (1565 posts) -

I suggest you go try out some of the phones in person because they each have slightly different UI, even though they're all Android.

#5 Posted by fatalbanana (188 posts) -

@unilad: At this point smart phones aren't that different from each other, interface wise anyway. Some options may be tucked away in different places but basic functionality is more or less interchangeable.

I feel the same way about IOS these days. It's just plain boring, I cant do have the stuff I would like to and I just don't care about apps like I use to. Android is definitely the way to go at least for me at this point. I wont be able to upgrade until February but I'm counting down the days. I've been eyeing the HTC One for a while now mainly because its just a sexy looking device. Though all other signs seem to be pointing towards the Galaxy S models for overall performance.

#6 Posted by dudeglove (7841 posts) -

Ideally none of them because they're all out to get your data. Do note that most (but not all) smartphones that aren't Apple allow you to put whatever operating system you want onto them, like Jolla's open source Sailfish. This factor is worth looking into if you decide you don't even like the Android platform for whatever reason (because it's Google, because of dodgy store practices, because of gaping security holes, etc.), as some manufacturers - I forget which - only allow Android on their devices.

#7 Edited by CorruptedEvil (3260 posts) -

@dudeglove: Even if they technically only allow Android on their devices you can still force flash a custom rom on it. And Google is not worse than Apple, they both collect tons of data and want a monopoly.

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#8 Posted by Kidavenger (3548 posts) -

I've had a s4 since it came out, it's a decent phone, but I have been very disappointed in the camera, other than that it's a great phone.

I'm probably going to take a look at the sony one next time I go phone hunting as they seem to have the best camera.

#9 Edited by Rorie (2896 posts) -

My Nexus 5 has been great, and it's super cheap compared to other flagship models.

Staff
#10 Edited by RonGalaxy (3166 posts) -
It can also be used to bludgeon an attacker

#11 Edited by ftrevelin (73 posts) -

Got myself a low end Moto G (well, medium now that there is the Moto E), never been happier with a phone :P I quite like the Android environment, seems more open than IOS, and the Moto G packs quite a punch for its price, I don't think there's anything I would do on a phone that it can't handle.

#12 Edited by ChrisHarris (279 posts) -

I wouldn't recommend a Samsung Galaxy phone until they stop piling a bunch of useless crap on them and locking the bootloader... especially if you're on Verizon (slowest with updates). Also, putting the speaker on the back of the phone is stupid.

#13 Posted by expensiveham (291 posts) -

@rorie said:

My Nexus 5 has been great, and it's super cheap compared to other flagship models.

QFT. OP you should really take a look at the Nexus 5, hardware is about as good as the HTC One and you can get it for half the price. If you want you could wait for the inevitable Nexus 6 coming later this year.

#14 Posted by clarkj1981 (39 posts) -

I have the Lumina 1020 (the one with the 41mp camera) and it's been fantastic. The windows phone OS is really outstanding. Good combo of hardware and software. The camera also lives up to the hype.

#15 Posted by notnert427 (229 posts) -

I was a former iPhone user. I now have the Samsung Galaxy S3. I haven't felt the need to upgrade to the S4 or S5 because mine still works great, and I sure as shit don't miss crApple and their b.s. I'd highly recommend the Samsungs. My only complaint is battery life. Literally everything else is a massive improvement over the iPhone (even compared with their new ones for the most part). The wife has an iPhone 5s and I wouldn't trade my two-generations-old phone for it. She asks me to use my phone if she wants to take or view a picture because even she thinks the camera/screen is better. (I don't think the camera is, but the screen absolutely is). And she's already shattered the screen on one 5s by dropping it one time, while I've beat the shit out of my non-screen-protected S3 for years now with zero issues and nary a scratch on the screen. If I were getting a phone right now, I'd get a Galaxy S5 because the capabilities are on par with pretty much any phone out there, and the water resistance is a huge plus. I hear good things about the HTC as well. Definitely give the Galaxy S5 a hard look, though.

#16 Edited by Gaff (1748 posts) -

If you're going for Android, wait until Google makes an announcement regarding their next flagship Android phone. There have been persistent rumours of Google killing off the Nexus line of phones and doing something else, but similar. Otherwise, follow Rorie's suggestion about the Nexus 5.

#17 Edited by KingSpeedy (34 posts) -

Moto X user here. The phone is admittedly a bit older, but if it died today I'd almost certainly get another (or try to wait for the rumored X+1 around the corner). It has party tricks (active display, always-on voice activation, and double-twist to open straight to the camera) that I actually use, holds a full-days charge, is plenty fast, and feels incredible to hold in the hand. Depending on your carrier or if you go for the developer edition, the bootloader is fully unlockable letting you root the phone or mess around with non-stock roms to your heart's content (The S5 is still locked with the "bounty" on a crack nearing $20k).

Quite simply, it does everything I need from a phone and it does it well. Motorola is easily the fastest to update their phones, and it isn't laden down with crap that you don't need, unlike something like the Galaxy S5 whose biggest complaint seems to be "there's no reason this phone should be this slow".

#18 Edited by Blu3V3nom07 (4207 posts) -

There's a Sony Windows Phone that's supposed to be coming out in July, and another in October. HTC, LG, and Lenovo all have Windows Phone coming out soon too.

Verizon has the 6-month exclusive with the Lumia 930, so February + 6 months = like August or so for T-Mobile, ATT etc.

I'm mostly holding out for the Sony Windows Phone. I just bought another case for my older HTC radar, so now I can definitely wait it out, as it won't break any now. Tech 21 does fantastic cases for all phones, btw.

WPCentral and WMPowerUser are awesome to catch up on that stuff, and forums.

#19 Posted by DarkShaper (1333 posts) -

Moto X user here. The phone is admittedly a bit older, but if it died today I'd almost certainly get another (or try to wait for the rumored X+1 around the corner). It has party tricks (active display, always-on voice activation, and double-twist to open straight to the camera) that I actually use, holds a full-days charge, is plenty fast, and feels incredible to hold in the hand. Depending on your carrier or if you go for the developer edition, the bootloader is fully unlockable letting you root the phone or mess around with non-stock roms to your heart's content (The S5 is still locked with the "bounty" on a crack nearing $20k).

Quite simply, it does everything I need from a phone and it does it well. Motorola is easily the fastest to update their phones, and it isn't laden down with crap that you don't need, unlike something like the Galaxy S5 whose biggest complaint seems to be "there's no reason this phone should be this slow".

I don't have much to add but I love the Moto X. Switched to it from an iPhone 5 earlier this year and never looked back.

#20 Edited by xMP44x (2193 posts) -

I use an iPhone 4S at the moment. I had a Sony Xperia Z previously.

Sony Xperia Z

Big. Very, very big. That said the phone is really nice to use. The stock Sony keyboard did nothing for me; I much prefer Google Keyboard on the Play Store. The layout is still different from that of the iPhone but it is intuitive enough that you'll still get onto it quickly. The benefit of Google Keyboard is that it's available on all handsets, meaning the layout is the same across all devices provided you have it installed. I don't use many apps, but one that really stands out in my head is Flow, for Reddit. I'm of the belief that even the 'Holy Grail' of iOS Reddit apps, Alien Blue, is far surpassed by Flow. Battery was another great thing on the Xperia Z. Simply put, you'll make it through a day even with a good bit of usage. Even on a day starting at about 7AM and ending at roughly midnight, I would have 50-60% of the battery left. I had the phone run out once, and that was after I tried to get it to run out of battery.

You might wonder why I don't have the Z anymore. I gave it to my mum on account of her poor eyesight - I figured a massive 5" display would beat the S3 Mini she had been using beforehand. The screen is not perfect, I'll admit, but apparently the Z1 and Z2 screens are better. The viewing angles for the original Z are fairly weak and some colors don't really 'pop' the way you expect them to. I remember the Twitter blue didn't have the same visual punch that it did on other phones, even those with inferior specifications.

The camera on the Z seemed decent, but was wasted on me. I don't need 13MP because I am not a great photographer. I'm not even a good photographer though it's something I want to improve upon. I never really gave it much of a work-out, whether the front or rear camera.

iPhone 4S

It's a black 64GB model, the two requirements I had for an iPhone. The Xperia Z came with 16GB internal and a MicroSD slot, which I liked. The iPhone has 56GB of usable storage at any one time, so is more than sufficient for a phone. I can store most of my music on it, and for me that's a big deal. I'm one of those people who will decide they want to hear a certain song right at that moment in time... and naturally, it's not normally on the device. There's no point in me telling you stuff about the apps for the simple reason you've been on the platform longer than I have, and likely know more apps than I do. Tweetbot, though... man it's nice. It costs a bit of money but it makes Twitter a joy to use. Alien Blue exists, so that's good, even if Flow does a better job in my opinion.

Battery is an interesting point on the 4S. It has a lower capacity battery than the Xperia Z did, but I feel like iOS is more optimized to take advantage of the battery. The iPhone comes back from a similar length day with about the same amount of battery as the Xperia Z. I have to assume this is due to optimization that has been done rather than a change in my usage patterns, since they're about the same. Bottom line is that I like the iPhone, but I also like the larger screen size of the Xperia Z.

Operating Systems

No longer matter beyond the ecosystem you like more. Android can do everything a normal user wants, as can iOS. You can do more to mess around with an Android device but not everyone wants to go that far. Rooting, ROMs, etc. are definitely a minority interest but if you have the desire to tweak a device then they can be fun to work with, to find the one offering the best of everything you want. If you don't want that you don't have to get it either, but I disabled all the animations on every Android device I've ever owned. I find them extraneous; on iOS I feel the same way, but I can't really get rid of some of them since I believe they're needed to mask the loading the device is doing.

Yes, you'll notice lag when you're on an Android phone. You've likely also noted lag on the iOS device. I know I have, and it doesn't bother me in the slightest. As long as I can get where I want to be quickly, I'm content.

Choice

If you felt the 4S would continue to function, it's possible to replace parts. That's one thing in the iPhone's favor. There are so many of them sold that you can always get replacement parts, and they're mostly modular, meaning you can rip one apart and replacements if they go wrong. The battery is a particularly simple swap, and all you need are a set of fingers and screwdrivers. I'm surprised by the battery in the phone I have but I'm not sure what the actual condition is like, since the phone was second-hand when I got it.

I'd be tempted to suggest a low-end Android device like the Moto G, just so you can keep the 4S and decide which one you prefer from a usage standpoint. After all, you're asking before the release of a new iPhone and if you suddenly decide you want to stick to the Apple system, you're going to have made a fair dent in your wallet by buying a flagship you don't like. Plus, Motorola's phone is close to stock. Sony's build of Android are also relatively stock - there are changes, but they're not as extensive as HTC's or Samsung's. Samsung has a skin over Android called TouchWiz, and most people hate it. If you fancy the Galaxy line of phones, apparently a ROM will completely overhaul them. But if TouchWiz feels fine to you, you may as well stick with it.

Either system is pretty fantastic nowadays. Have fun making a choice.

#21 Posted by mlarrabee (2951 posts) -

I'm very happy with my Motorola Moto X. It's run smoothly everything I've thrown at it, it feels great in the hand, and Touchless Control with Active Notifications are ideas that everyone will be copying as soon as they figure out how to do so without infringing on patents.

Also, it came with literally only five or so apps by Motorola, I've found only three of those five useless, and two of those three are Help and Migrate. It's the closest thing to stock Android on any device from any major manufacturer.

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#22 Edited by Sanj (2387 posts) -

I've been rocking the 4S for a few years now. I'm comfortable with the iOS, but I agree that I'm getting kinda tired looking at it. Mostly I'm getting tired looking at that comparatively tiny screen. I'm due for an upgrade, but I'm waiting to see what the iPhone 6 will be. I haven't been that impressed with iPhone iterations since the 4S (while Android phones have continued to look appealing), so unless the iPhone 6 impresses the shit out me, then I'll be jumping ship later this year.

#23 Edited by Lunnington (183 posts) -

If you want a flagship Android OS phone that gets the newest updates and support directly from Google then go with the Nexus 5. I bought mine from the play store and got a $45 plan through Straight Talk AT&T and I'm happy as can be. It's a pretty awesome phone.

I used to work for Verizon Wireless (I quit in January for a better job) and I know quite a bit about all sorts of phones. Trust me, your best deal is to go with something directly from Google. Most phones you buy through a carrier are $500+ (high-end phones are like $700) and you get them cheap by signing a contract. From Google you can get the Nexus 5 for $350 with no contract from the Play Store and keep the carrier's bloatware out of your phone.

And if that's too expensive you can get a Moto G for $179 from the Play Store as well. The Moto G will do everything you want an android phone to do.

#24 Edited by Robiin (294 posts) -

I've just switched from an iPhone 5 (and an iPhone 4 before that) to the Galaxy S5, and it's been great. All the apps that I needed were still just a search away, and I don't miss any function (except from "tap to go to top of page" in the browser!!) yet. The battery life I feel is the biggest difference, it's just a massive upgrade. It's a big phone, especially coming from iphones, and takes a little while getting used to. The phone feels sturdier - even with the plastic exterior - especially knowing it's dust and water resistant.

I would definitely recommend an S5 if you're tired of iOS like I was.

#25 Posted by Sagalla (217 posts) -

Nokia 925 user here - best in class camera on Nokia, great battery life, performs really well. There are a few quirks to Windows phone, for example there is no official instagram app but 6tag is so good it doesn't matter. Running the developer preview of 8.1, makes much needed improvements to the OS. There are a few apps missing but there are some things it does way better than other phones. Taking any page on the internet, and pinning it to your live screen so it's there with it's own tile and a screenshot is a good example of this.

#26 Posted by bemusedchunk (692 posts) -

Symbian is a really popular mobile platform.

#27 Edited by Toxeia (729 posts) -
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#28 Edited by OtakuGamer (1235 posts) -

I have similar problems with my iPhone 4S. I'm not a knowledgeable person when it comes to mobile devices but I’m planning to buy the Nokia 930, which is due for release in Europe around June.

See what you think.

#29 Posted by xyzygy (9988 posts) -

You should go try a new Windows Phone. They're really snappy, reliable, beautiful phones.

#30 Posted by Yesiamaduck (1069 posts) -

I really like my HTC One a lot, best phone I've owned by a long way... and I've owned a lot of of the blighters... assume the new HTC one is better or something I dunno.

#31 Posted by ripelivejam (3947 posts) -

can't wait for october when i can upgrayyedd. iphone 4 has a miniscule screen and mine's even missing the fucking back, not to mention it's slow and laggy/freezing all the time. probably will go for an htc.

#32 Posted by BeefyGrandmole (349 posts) -

I changed from a 4s to a galaxy s4 a few months ago and I like it a lot more now. The bigger screen and longer battery great. It took a few weeks to get used to it and find apps I like though.

#33 Posted by horseman6 (393 posts) -

Samsung phones are cheap and awful. I had a Note 2, and while I liked it initially, the horrible Touchwiz UI ruined the experience very quickly. I switched to a Nexus 5 and I will never look back. The only non-Google phone I would be interested in would be the HTC M8 at the moment.

#34 Posted by slyspider (1226 posts) -

I have a Note 3 and its awesome. I love the screen and could give a rats ass about anything else

#35 Posted by LiquidPrince (15947 posts) -

The HTC One M8 is currently the best phone in every respect except maybe camera. Don't get me wrong, it's camera is pretty great, and the bokeh effects that you can get from the Duo Camera are quite beautiful, but it is comparatively lower resolution then the 16 megapixel camera found on the S5. If camera isn't important to you, then the HTC is the best phone by far. Great build quality, the loudest and most crisp front facing stereo speakers on any phone by far and a beautiful screen. Plus you can always remove sense and make it a stock Google phone with OTA updates, which is even better.

#36 Posted by TehBuLL (609 posts) -

Yeah. Still on a 4s here and I am done with it. Got a Nexus 7 for Xmas and love that interface so I'm just waiting for Google to announce a new Nexus 5 equivalent so I can switch.

#37 Posted by musclerider (589 posts) -

If you're tired of being able to get the apps or games that everyone is talking about, a Windows phone is a great way to go.

#38 Posted by CABBAGES (526 posts) -

Android is a lot better than ios.

I have a xperia z and only bad thing about them is the usb charging port, which can break easily but I believe that's been sorted in the new one.

Best thing about the xperia z is its waterproof !

use it anywhere and don't worry about dropping it in the bath or down the toilet or out in the rain.

If you spill something on it or get it dirty just run it under the tap to clean it !

#39 Edited by xyzygy (9988 posts) -

@musclerider said:

If you're tired of being able to get the apps or games that everyone is talking about, a Windows phone is a great way to go.

This argument is pretty tired out by now. It's getting more and more "big name" apps by the week and already has the major ones. I haven't heard this argument in a while because it's pretty much been shot down now. And, if something official doesn't exist, there are perfectly fine unofficial apps that work 100% just as well.

#40 Posted by Sagalla (217 posts) -

If you're tired of being able to get the apps or games that everyone is talking about, a Windows phone is a great way to go.

If you want a crypto currency wallet or something else relatively obscure then Android has you covered, as for games on Windows phone... I've got Bejeweled, Uno, Microsoft's Solitaire suite, Civilization Revolution, Wordament... These are all really good and some are exclusive

#41 Posted by jsnyder82 (733 posts) -

If you're expecting anything different out of Android at this point in the game, trust me, as somebody who owns an iPad AND an Android phone, they're basically exactly the same. Don't waste your money.

#42 Posted by TheKing (834 posts) -

I switched from ios to a Galaxy S5 about a month ago. I regret it everyday, can't wait to switch back.

#43 Posted by jsnyder82 (733 posts) -

@theking said:

I switched from ios to a Galaxy S5 about a month ago. I regret it everyday, can't wait to switch back.

Well, honestly, that might have something to do with the fact that you switched to a Galaxy phone. The TouchWiz UI on Samsung phones are always terribly optimized. If somebody were to switch to Android, I would recommend a phone with stock UI (Nexus) or something fairly close (HTC). I wouldn't recommend switching, but if someone just has to, that would be the way to go.

But honestly, yeah, don't know why people love Android so much and shit on iOS. Everything runs so much smoother on iOS. Provided you're keeping up to date with your hardware. Older hardware, like the 4 and 4S, are going to be slower and not as optimized for newer iOS versions as the 5 and 5S. But Android has the exact same problem.

#44 Posted by Familyguy1 (75 posts) -

Ive heard good things about the HTC One M8. I've had HTC phones before and they have lasted for quite a while. Have an Iphone5 right now. Once two years are up, I'll be heading back to Android.

#45 Posted by subyman (621 posts) -

Bored with an OS? They are supposed to just work, not be entertaining.

#46 Edited by horseman6 (393 posts) -

@jsnyder82 said:

@theking said:

I switched from ios to a Galaxy S5 about a month ago. I regret it everyday, can't wait to switch back.

But honestly, yeah, don't know why people love Android so much and shit on iOS. Everything runs so much smoother on iOS. Provided you're keeping up to date with your hardware. Older hardware, like the 4 and 4S, are going to be slower and not as optimized for newer iOS versions as the 5 and 5S. But Android has the exact same problem.

Depends on the phone, with new phones like the Nexus 5, they run just as smooth as an iPhone 5. The reason why I love Android is because of three things, customization (widgets, keyboards, messaging apps, etc), notifications (which are awful in iOS), and Google Now integration.

#47 Posted by Corvak (1072 posts) -

The annoying thing about phones is getting stuck in a contract :X Been stuck on 3G for three years thanks to canada's old rules. They've since been changed, so my next one will only be two years.

#48 Posted by climax (68 posts) -

I was in the exact same boat as you. Had a 4s since it was released and just recently picked up a Samsung Galaxy S5. I love it to death. I don't think I can go back to iOS (not that I would want to at this point). Another phone I would recommend its HTC M8. Its pretty amazing too.

#49 Posted by Jthom252 (7 posts) -

The disappointing thing about the Nexus phones is that you can't get them with Verizon, I loved my Galaxy Nexus to death but it eventually got to the point where the battery life was killing it for me, iOS is fine but it's bland and I hate having to jailbreak just for simple features (like using Google Maps by default so that I can use the voice controls usefully while driving). I've been considering getting the S5 or waiting for the Note 4 or something, but are either of those as customizable or rootable as a Nexus phone and do they have good battery lives these days? Also as a caveat, is there a good solution to getting full USB audio out of an Android phone?

#50 Edited by Evilsbane (4618 posts) -

@horseman6 said:

Samsung phones are cheap and awful. I had a Note 2, and while I liked it initially, the horrible Touchwiz UI ruined the experience very quickly. I switched to a Nexus 5 and I will never look back. The only non-Google phone I would be interested in would be the HTC M8 at the moment.

I currently have a Note 2 I don't know what you mean by cheap but Touchwiz is not really a valid complaint when it is OK for what it does, you have TONS of different interfaces to choose from it is a android phone.

Point is Samsung phones are extremely nice phones and should totally be considered as one of your options if the extra features seem like something you would use aka I use my S Pen every single day.