When your phone dies at 36 percent battery remaining, you replace the battery. When the second battery does the same thing, and re-calibrating the battery doesn’t work, you get a new phone.
Or at least that’s what I did.
I loved my Samsung Galaxy Note 4 from the time I got it until the time it started being a liability. I liked the big screen, the quick processor, and the 4 gigs of RAM. I liked that I could replace the battery, and that I could add additional storage via a micro SD card.
But those features only work when the phone has charge.
I’m not a “heavy” user. Most of my phone calls are done via the office phone. I check my email through Outlook on the computer. I was primarily using my phone for Google Maps, and reddit.
But even leaving the phone idle in my pocket would leave me with a 50 percent charge by the end of the day. I had to be cognizant of my battery charge at all times. In short – if I wanted to use my phone when I really needed it, I couldn’t use it for anything fun.
And my cell phone didn’t get service at my house after one of the over the air updates. Which meant getting a Sprint femtocell and leaving my phone on 3g. 3g sucks in 2016.
My wife’s phone was worse. She had a Galaxy S5 – and the screen would flash all night when left on the charger. It was slow from day one and only got slower. A less patient person would have thrown that phone in a river a while ago.
Which leads to us to today. We chose to go back to what we knew worked well. We had been iPhone users back in the iPhone 4 era. We had apps already purchased that we knew we liked. Our contact lists were mostly intact.
Also, the new Android devices aren’t that appealing.
Android’s big claim to fame is that there is no “one” hardware spec. Tons of manufacturers can make tons of different phones with different hardware and different user experiences. The manufacturers add their bloatware, and so do the carriers. The out of the box phone has a bunch of stuff you can’t remove and uses too much RAM and storage. And unless you “root” the phone, you can’t change any of that.
Due to the diversity of hardware and software, some apps on your phone will not work or will crash constantly.
Google even acknowledged that these issues exist, and made their own line of phones to fight it. And then, as Google does, they killed the Nexus brand and made a new phone which is closer to the Samsung philosophy – load the phone with a bunch of stuff you won’t use.
My frustration with Android guided me to the Tacoma Mall last Saturday, into the shiny aluminum walled Apple Store. I picked up an iPhone, pressed the home button and felt a nice click. I pressed the Safari icon. Instantly, Safari opened. I chose a website to test and it too loaded instantly.
I love speed. I do not like slow anything. I will not accept a slow phone since I want to use it frequently, and I do not want to be frustrated every time I take the phone out of my pocket.
Fast is sexy. The iPhone seduced me with speed.
Eventually we made it out of the Apple Store with two new iPhone 7 Pluses.
Then the real testing began. The first test was transferring my data off my old phone to my new phone. Apple makes an app for Android called “Move to iOS.” This apparently only works on the initial phone setup screen – which I had left far behind. There is no other way to use this app.
So then I had to do it the old fashioned way. I saved all my contacts to Google, and then imported the to my iPhone. I copied the contents of my SD card to my computer, setup iTunes, and let auto-sync take care of moving my data.
My wife used Google Drive to achieve the data transfer. I showed her how to move the contacts via saving to Google.
Then I started downloading all of the apps I wanted again. A few times, the app store would crash when searching after downloading an app. A recent software update seems to have fixed this. This has been the only time an app has crashed on my phone so far – which is a great improvement over my Note.
The battery test came Saturday when I was streaming NFL football for about 5 hours. The phone made it through two football games. In normal usage, I end a work day with 75 to 85 percent battery remaining.
The iPhone also has great integration with other Apple devices. I was surprised one day when my phone and my iPad were both ringing at the same time. I can’t really think of a time when I would want to call someone from my iPad, but it was still really cool. I bought an Apple TV to replace my Chromecast. Setting up the Apple TV by holding the iPhone near the Apple TV was really cool. Less cool was the integration with the apps on the phone and the Apple TV. Apps still run on the phone when sent via AirPlay Mirroring – which means you can’t browse the internet and watch Netflix at the same time if you start Netflix from the phone. You can launch Netflix with the included remote for the Apple TV, but this is an area where Android is ahead.
Texting is much better on the iPhone. You can send memes to your friends using your own stash, or using a bunch that Apple provides via built in integration. Apple also provides handwritten notes that you can send via iMessage when you really want to send something more personal.
The camera is so good that it makes me want to actually take pictures. This is something new for me, since I usually never take pictures unless I don’t want to write down a serial number or need to send a picture to someone.
I know that I skipped over the lack of a headphone port. But the truth is that I really don’t care about it. Apple includes an adapter if you still have something to hook a 3.5 mm to – in my case, my car stereo. And they include a decent pair of headphones. Overall, the loss of the headphone jack did not impact my purchasing decision.
In closing, I asked my wife to rate her new phone on a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being the best thing since the invention of chocolate. She gave it an 8.
Here’s how I break my score down:
Battery life: 9/10
Integration with other devices: 8/10
Total score: 9.2/10