Ever since Apple released the first iPhone in 2007, it’s the only smartphone I’ve ever used. Whenever my telco contract ran out, I would renew it with a new version. Until this year.
Yes, I decided not to wait for the next iPhone even though its release is just around the corner and the thing that got me thinking of changing camp was actually because Samsung was offering a free upgrade for pre-orders of its new Galaxy Note 9 device. For the price of the 128GB version, you get bumped up to the top-of-the-range 512GB.
That was the hook as I’ve been using a 32GB iPhone 7+ for about two years and I found constantly deleting photos, documents and apps because I was constantly running out of space. This despite the fact that I also had a paid iCloud subscription.
Long story short, I finally made the switch from iOS to Android and these are the things that surprised me along the way:
1. Data transfer was pretty easy and less painful than I thought it’d be
I hate transferring data from an old phone to a new one. Inevitably, some things get lost along the way though Apple has made the process easier over the years.
I was slightly apprehensive as I’ve heard horror stories of people trying to move from iOS to Android but Samsung made it very easy with Smart Switch.
It took me less than 15 minutes to transfer everything from my iPhone 7+ to the new Note 9. I had everything I needed out of the box and Samsung even supplies a dongle if you prefer to do it via a USB cable instead of wi-fi.
2. But it wasn’t perfect
Not everything got transferred though. I had to download some apps again but all the essentials – namely my contacts, calendars, notes and photos – were there.
The other thing was I had to re-enter passwords for all my social media accounts again and struggled with some. I don’t recall having to do that with my iPhones and remember the process being more seamless.
3. It’s difficult to use with one hand
The Note 9 not only looks sleek but feels good when I hold it in my hand because of its tall and slim profile. But i also found it was next to impossible to use with just one hand. No matter how I held it, my fingers couldn’t reach certain areas of the screen. Maybe I just need more practise.
4. That Bixby button is annoying
The Note 9 has a button on the left which summons Bixby, Samsung’s artificial intelligence assistant, and I keep accidentally pressing it because of where it’s located. Bixby also shows up whenever you swipe right on the screen so there seems like an aggressive push for Samsung to get phone owners to use it even if you’re not a fan. (For the record, I rarely use Siri though I use Google Assistant at home for my wireless speakers.)
5. The S Pen is fantastic
None of the iPhones come with a stylus and the S Pen wasn’t something that attracted me very much. But the more I played around with – like taking notes even when the screen is off, clicking it as a remote for the camera – the more I found myself liking it and using it.
6. I now have too much storage space
So I’ve gone from a 32GB phone to a 512GB phone and suddenly I have hundreds of gigabytes of storage space and nothing to fill it with. Yet.
The Note 9 is optimised for gaming and I now have more than enough storage space to download apps and mobile games. Speaking of, Fortnite looks and works great on the phone. And I don’t need to delete anything to make space for it.
7. The battery never runs out
Portable power banks are almost a necessity these days but the Note 9’s 4000 mAh battery is more than enough to power it for a whole day.
I’m a fairly light user and I leave home every morning with it on a full charge. By lunch, I would be at about 70-80%; and by the end of the work day, I usually have about 50-60% left. That is more than enough for a night out and even when I do return late, my charge remains at double-digit. Impressive.
8. No more restrictions on apps to download
With an iPhone, you can only download apps from Apple’s iTunes store. But with an Android phone, there are no restrictions and I enjoy the freedom of being able to put any app I want on my Note 9. The downside is you also risk accidentally downloading malicious software so approach with caution.
9. I might have become an Android convert
Initially when I first started using the Note 9, I couldn’t shake off my old iPhone habits and frankly, I struggled. There were times I asked myself why I even made the switch but as the days went by, I started liking it more and more for the above reasons.
Does it mean I will never go back to an iPhone? Who knows. But for now, I’m pretty convinced Samsung’s Galaxy Note 9 is the smartphone of the moment.