Thursday, October 16, 2014

After almost 4 years on Android, I switched back to iPhone (for now)

I was a big iPhone fan. I got the original iPhone a month or so after it was released (I still have it) and I continued to upgrade through each and every revision. AT&T allowed this upgrading behaviour by simply extending my 2 year contract each time a new iPhone was released. At the time, iPhone was an AT&T exclusive and with so many iPhones pounding on their wireless network, service suffered in my area (Boston, MA). Service got so bad for me that I had to switch to another carrier. I ended up moving to Sprint in early 2011. They had great 4g (WiMAX) coverage all around my travel area and had very competitively priced plans. Just... No iPhone.

Original iPhone next to the iPhone 6 Plus!

I had to switch to Android and specifically to the HTC Evo 4G. This was Sprint's best Android offering at that time and imo was mostly a huge downgrade coming from an iPhone 4. It was sluggish and the camera was just not good (I was very disappointed with the camera). On the bright side, I did have a lot of fun customizing Android OS and I did enjoy the bigger screen. Another big bonus to moving to Sprint and Android was complete Google Voice integration. This meant I could use my actual mobile number with Google Voice and take full advantage of all it had to offer. I loved GV features like being able to dial directly from the default dialer, seamless international calling at really good rates, awesome voice mail customization, but mostly being able to both make calls/text, and get my voice messages from any web browser. I use Google Apps for my business email and this just all worked so well together!

Fast forward almost four years and I have never really looked back at the iPhone during this time. I went through five Android phones in these 4ish years. Each time my experience improved with both hardware and software. My Android phone upgrade path was as follows: HTC Evo > Samsung Galaxy SII > Note II > Note 3 > Nexus 5 > HTC One m8. I really like the HTC One m8 the best. The Galaxy SII was the first Android phone I owned that I thought finally competed with iPhones. I had the Note II for the longest out of all these and generally enjoyed the huge screen experience.

Sprint began to very slowly upgrade to LTE. Too slowly. I eventually moved to T-Mobile but couldn't bring my Sprint Note II with me. I figured upgrading to the Note 3 was the logical move and though it was indeed an upgrade to the Note II, I was ready to try something new. I returned the Note 3 for a Nexus 5 after only a few days. I absolutely loved the Nexus 5. It was all screen, thin, had good specs, felt great in the hand, had pure Android and was fairly inexpensive. But for me it had this fatal flaw of randomly not receiving calls and at times, not alerting of missed calls or voice messages! I really tried everything to fix the problem short of exchanging it for another (refurbished) Nexus 5. I wasn't the only one with this issue. I found several Google support forum threads with thousands of replies regarding the issue with the Nexus 5 not exclusive to T-Mobile. I am an original Jump! customer so I get to upgrade 2 times a year. I jumped to the HTC One m8 and it really is a well made device. The phone was fast, had a great screen, and the best speakers on any phone out there! The one thing I was very disappointed in was the camera. The 4MP ultra pixel camera wasn't doing it for me. It was capable of taking some decent shots and really brightened up low light scenes but it was so inconsistent. My wife has an iPhone 5s and we would many times be taking photos of the same events. Her iPhone consistently took better pictures and video.

So far, I'm enjoying my experience back on iPhone. The apps are high quality, and both the camera and screen are great. There are some things I miss on Android but nothing I can't go 6 months or year without (until I Jump! again perhaps back to Android!). Have you seen the Google Nexus 6? Looks niiiice :)