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#1 Edited by liquiddragon (2332 posts) -

My 1st smart phone was an iPhone 4S and I made it last nearly 4 years. I upgraded to a 6S when it came out and it feels like it still has plenty of life in it, definitely enough to make it last another 2 years no problem. However, not too long ago, I had to switch the computer I was plugging my phone into which caused a major flaw of iPhones and iTunes to be exposed. I was able to backup the important stuff but there was no way around it, all my music and media was going to be erased. I never want to deal with that again and I don't play phone games so I'm thinking, I'm definitely going to jump ship to a Galaxy S in the next round.

Have you jumped ship before? Phones aren't as a big deal as they were a few years ago but we still use them everyday and they're quite a hefty investment so it'd still be good to get some perspective. Is the grass really greener on the other side?

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#2 Posted by VierasTalo (1412 posts) -

As someone who jumps ship rather frequently (three times in the last decade and that's not counting the plethora of work-related phones), I'd say they all have their gripes - Windows, iOS, Android. Windows is probably not in the cards for you so I'll skip that. Android is excellent for accessibility from other devices and is generally far less rigid in every conceivable way than any of Apple's systems. What Apple has against that is consistency. Using an Android phone can sometimes feel like eating a Whopper doused in Big Mac sauce served with a side of biscuits, as the types of notifications, iconography and control schemes between different apps vary wildly – especially because Android phones provide you with two extra buttons to do things with. The iPhone's constrained user interface brings in some amount of uniformity and the rest is dealt with by Apple's occasionally-successful quality control on their app store. Having currently used Android phones at work and an iPhone outside of it, I'd say Android is worth it if you can stand the occasionally jumbled existence of it all, as it just gives you more to work with and you can do what you want with it with whatever device you want to use with it.

I would warn against just buying a Galaxy S though, unless you really like that specific phone, as there are qualitatively basically equal alternatives at cheaper prices, such as the OnePlus 5. I've also found non-Samsung Android phones to be more... stable experiences, in a sense. For whatever reason most Samsung phones I have start acting very funny 2-3 years in.

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#3 Posted by ottoman673 (1148 posts) -

It's easier to leave an Android ecosystem and join Apple's than it is to do the reverse.

When i switched from a 4S to a Note 4 I forgot to turn off Find my iPhone, iMessage and all of those services. Others with iPhones weren't able to SMS me properly because their phones (and by proxy Apple) still thought I was on iOS.

That was a minor nightmare. Not sure if they've done anything about that now.

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#4 Posted by forteexe21 (1797 posts) -

I used to use a 3GS back when jailbreak is a necessity if you want to do thing with it. I ditched it immediately when OS updates made it unusable. Not to mention iTunes is a nightmare to use. Transferring my messages, photos, etc. were easy since there are programs to help with that. There are also fewer OS exclusive apps compared to before so those arent a problem. I'm still using a Oneplus One which is still strong and its still supported by the community despite coming out more than 3 years ago.

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#5 Posted by GunslingerPanda (5241 posts) -

I had an iPhone once and I'll never have one again.

I do, however, have to work with the bloody things. The amount of extra steps it takes to get anything done, if you even can get it done, is a frustrating nightmare. I would never recommend anyone get an iOS phone over an android; the "it's simpler" thing is absolute nonsense.

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#6 Posted by BigSocrates (1904 posts) -

I used to have an iphone, then I switched to Windows Phone for a couple of years (the app store was pretty barren but it was fine in terms of basic functionality) and now I've had an android phone for the last ~3 years or so. I am probably going to get the new iPhone when it comes out because my job offers better IOS email access than through Android, and I want to take advantage of that.

There's never been a huge adjustment for me, and all were usable. Each has their positive and negative quirks. If I had to rank them I would go:

Android: Probably my favorite just because of the number of phone options and software tweaks you can do. Fine as an OS. That being said, a lot of phone manufacturers (Samsung I am DEFINITELY looking at you) put extra crap on top of the base OS that offers no value but makes it worse to use, displacing good default apps with crappy custom versions. This can be fixed but is a pain. In addition there's just a higher level of jank with Android, because it's a more open system and there's more variety in hardware. IOS runs pretty smoothly IMO but Android has more errors and issues to get around. Finally, and this is true for all the systems, as you keep your version of Android upgraded your phone gets worse and worse. My battery life is terrible now and I replaced the battery like a year ago. It's a combination of adding new power draining features and trying to push you to upgrade your phone.

IOS: This is a smoother, cleaner, experience than Android but also much more limited in terms of customizability. You also are much more limited in hardware choices. It feels kind of sterile in comparison to Android and Apple puts more controls and limitations on your experiences, but it can be nice not to worry about jank. It's a bit like the PC vs Console experience in comparison to Android. If you still use local music (as opposed to streaming) on your phone then iTunes is complete crap at this point (it used to be so much better in comparison to the competition) and iPhones charge a ridiculous amount for extra storage space (my Android phone let me slot in a 128gb SD card.) Like with Android, Apple will try to force you to upgrade through OS upgrades that make your phone slower and (especially) have lower battery life.

Windows Phone: It works for basic functions but doesn't get the big games or the moderately popular apps (it does get the biggest apps). It's fine for someone who just wants to call, text, search the web, email and have a GPS. I didn't hate using a Windows Phone, but it's impossible to recommend.

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#8 Posted by ShaggE (8672 posts) -

I've owned exactly one smartphone (I know, I know... as tech-interested as I am, I'm weirdly a luddite when it comes to phones) and it was a Windows phone. So yeah, when I get another, I'm jumping ship to Android. I have an Android tablet, and I love how open it is. It feels like a little PC, almost. Nothing against Apple, but you'll probably never catch me with an iPhone. That's a slippery slope of spending that I can't afford to go down.

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#9 Edited by TuxedoCruise (150 posts) -
@ottoman673 said:

It's easier to leave an Android ecosystem and join Apple's than it is to do the reverse.

When i switched from a 4S to a Note 4 I forgot to turn off Find my iPhone, iMessage and all of those services. Others with iPhones weren't able to SMS me properly because their phones (and by proxy Apple) still thought I was on iOS.

That was a minor nightmare. Not sure if they've done anything about that now.

Nope, they haven't. Apple continues to confuse people into thinking that iMessage is SMS/MMS, when it's mainly an instant messaging app tied to your Apple ID, not your phone number or cellular service.

Yes, it does support SMS since it merged with the Messages app, but it defaults to using IM instead of SMS. The only way to tell if you're sending an SMS rather than an IM, is by the color of your message. Green messages = you're using SMS, blue messages = you're using iMessage IM.

I worked in an IT department, and would get dozens upon dozens of complaints per month about why their iMessage texts don't work on their Android phone. Thanks for that Apple.

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#10 Posted by Hamst3r (5347 posts) -

Nah, I've been getting along fine with iPhones. I've had a 3G, a 4, and currently have a 5s. But I also don't jailbreak them or avoid using the cloud.

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#11 Posted by DanishingAct (293 posts) -

I jumped to a galaxy s5 and still love it. Probably upgrade again later this year, but not for any huge reason.

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#12 Posted by TheRookie727 (182 posts) -

iPhone user for a couple years, then when apple decided to remove the headphone jack I switched to Android. The headphone jack situation wasn't the main reason I switched but it finally pushed me to switch to Android.

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#13 Posted by plop1920 (557 posts) -

My first smartphone was a 3GS and I loved it. I switched to the Galaxy Nexus two years later and also found a lot to love about Android. I've stayed on Android ever since, upgrading to every other Nexus until my latest phone, the Pixel XL.

The only reason I switched from the iPhone was because I wanted a bigger screen, and back then Steve Jobs was still running Apple and insisted people did not want 5+ inch phones. I think both are great though

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#14 Posted by Justin258 (14883 posts) -

I had an iPhone 4 for a few years. I probably would have kept it, too, but Apple automatically updated it to the next iteration of their OS and from then on its performance went more and more down the gutter. I used to play Doom and Peggle on it all the time, but after the update neither game would run correctly. Everything else was super sluggish and slow. That and I also don't have to have iTunes installed on my computer, which is a huge plus in my book. Man, that program's UI is such a fucking mess.

Then I got a Note 4 and I loved that phone. I still have it and I would still be using it if the battery hadn't started going kaput. Even before then, the phone was starting to randomly freeze and shut down on me, though that didn't happen particularly often. There are several things I could have done to try and get it back up to working order, but some part of my brain thought "excuse to get a new toy!" and now I have an S8. I like it a whole hell of a lot but I'm probably going to go for something that doesn't have a curved screen whenever I switch phones next - which hopefully won't be until 2020 or so. iPhone 4 lasted for about three years for me, Note 4 lasted three years, so I hope that pattern continues.

Side note: I think it's kind of impressive how long a good smartphone can last. I use and abuse these things more than my kid self did the same to his Game Boys, which is saying a hell of a lot, and they still keep on ticking.

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#15 Posted by cannoli (34 posts) -

I had to switch the computer I was plugging my phone into which caused a major flaw of iPhones and iTunes to be exposed. I was able to backup the important stuff but there was no way around it, all my music and media was going to be erased.

I'm just curious, but were you plugging your iPhone in specifically to back up or just to power it while using the computer? iCloud backup has kind of made the iPhone its own independent thing for me.

I've been thinking about switching to a Google Pixel with Project Fi because of how much less expensive it would be over iPhone with Verizon, and I can't think of what I'd lose other than Safari history and my iTunes library, which was all Apple Music stuff I didn't "own" anyway.

If there's one positive thing about third party cloud-based subscription apps, it's that they make platform switching pretty simple. The only stuff I'd really really want to bring over would be stuff like my bank app and Runkeeper history, both of which are on the Google Play Store.

I think the real pain in switching would be getting use to Android. I got an Android phone for my mom for Christmas two years ago, and the two operating systems are different enough that it just feels off to me.

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#16 Posted by liquiddragon (2332 posts) -

@cannoli: I don't pay for any music streaming services so I think the only music apps I can really use are the Pandora style ones, of which, I use 8tracks. I'm not a heavy music person but I do need to load music on to my phone here and there. I also rip interviews and audio only stuff from Youtube sometimes. I've been avoiding iCloud for whatever reason. I'm sure it's cool and easy and all that but I'm halfway out the door of Apple's ecosystem so I just didn't want to go further down it.

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#17 Posted by liquiddragon (2332 posts) -

@vierastalo: Thanks for the heads up on the Galaxy S series. I'll need to do more research when the time actually comes. That's the only thing that seems a bit daunting about boarding the Android train, the variety of products out there is really intimidating. I kinda assumed I'd get a Galaxy S 'cause of the amount of phones Google has to support, some of them get left in the dust faster than others and I thought Galaxy S would be the safest bet as the most popular on the platform. Still, I have a Nexus 7 tablet so I at least have an idea about what I'd be getting myself into and looking forward to it.

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#18 Edited by OurSin_360 (5507 posts) -

I am thinking of switching from galaxy since i realize i cant stop this thing from updating. Also reading i cant jailbreak it since i am on att(not 100% sure on that). Last update dropped the quality of my phone a bunch with a pointless ui "update" and loss of features(such as adaptive power saving mode). Only a matter of time before an Android update makes my phone useless in hopes to force me to upgrade.

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#19 Posted by Blu3V3nom07 (4476 posts) -

Got this LG V20, can't wait for that Galaxy Note 8. :)

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#20 Posted by VierasTalo (1412 posts) -

@liquiddragon said:

@vierastalo: Thanks for the heads up on the Galaxy S series. I'll need to do more research when the time actually comes. That's the only thing that seems a bit daunting about boarding the Android train, the variety of products out there is really intimidating. I kinda assumed I'd get a Galaxy S 'cause of the amount of phones Google has to support, some of them get left in the dust faster than others and I thought Galaxy S would be the safest bet as the most popular on the platform. Still, I have a Nexus 7 tablet so I at least have an idea about what I'd be getting myself into and looking forward to it.

Well, if you want to go the safe route, there's no other way but the Pixel, seeing as how that's literally the Google-phone. It's a hell of a price tag though. Android phones getting updates rarely have much to do with Google though, as Samsung and several others use their own, if only slightly modified versions of the Android OS on their phones, leaving them effectively with the responsibility of making updates that parallel the actual Android-updates as they come.

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#21 Posted by liquiddragon (2332 posts) -

@vierastalo: I gotta look at the landscape when I'm in the market. For now, Pixel isn't really in my view as it's such a new product. If the line is still alive and strong when I'm looking, I'll definitely consider it 'cause I do like what I see but I'm interested phones that have survived and been iterated on for at least a couple cycles. The tablet I mentioned, Nexus 7, was THE Google tablet and it was extremely well received but got killed off only after 2 generations. You just never know, especially in these super competitive markets with a ton of competition. It's even a bigger question when it comes to any official Google products. They're so cavalier about all their shit, just puts it out there and if it works, great, if it doesn't, whatever, we got like a million products lined up and an bottomless pit of money. lol They seemed to have a software attitude about physical products, which is cool in a way but doesn't work for someone like me that really tries to make it last as long as possible.

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#22 Edited by gundogan (753 posts) -

Went from a Nokia N900 to a Galaxy Nexus to a Nokia 735 and LG G2 to a LG V20.

The N900 still runs after years of hardware (dropping it and such and running it with a 100% overclock) and software abuse (the OS is super easy to tweak at every level). Real shame Nokia never made a real mainstream phone with Maemo OS.

Windows Phone is good for low and midrange phones since it's super snappy even on low end hardware but the lack of apps steered me away from it.

Recently got the V20 since it was cheap for a high end phone and it has a lot of useful features like a normal screen (18:9 screens and especially the S8 screen look terrible to me), dual sim or SD card slot, removable battery and a headphone jack with a good sound quality. Android is fine if I replace as many of the LG apps with Google/Pixel ones.

Iphone was never really interesting because of the limitations in the software and lack of variety in the phones.

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#23 Posted by ALavaPenguin (912 posts) -

I went from an Android that eventually pretty much died to an Iphone 5 when that came out [5 years ago?].

My iphone 5 still runs great, and I like the build of this more than the newer models. So as long as this one keeps working sticking with it and not upgrading it or changing brands.