The long and short of it is that I have been an Android user trapped in an iPhone owner’s body for a long time. I loved Android and its customisation and was a full time user of Android for many years.. going back to the HTC G1, the first Nexus and all the Galaxy devices up to the S4 which I loved.
But after that, I went back to Apple because it just felt that the quirks were too much to deal with (poor battery on Galaxy devices and the fact that the iPhones had Siri.) Then the Apple Watch came along and it was game over.
For the last run of devices (S6 Edge, S6 Edge Plus, S7 Edge, S8, S10 and S20), each time I’ve gone out and convinced myself I was going back to Android. I’ve bought the device but ALWAYS returned it because the quirks just drove me crazy and there was no Apple watch substitute in the same league.
Last year, I grabbed the S20 Ultra which went back because of the focusing issue and that thing was SO heavy. I swapped it for an S21 Plus which was beautiful and paired it with a Watch Active 2 but the awful sensors (notoriously off key) drove me crazy. I’m a real fitness buff and I use the app for fitness tracking at quite a granular level (including weight training with specific apps) and the WA2 just couldn’t do it. Sure, there are options like Fitbit or Garmin, but where they excel at one thing (fitness tracking), they fall back on others I use (like being able to reply to messages with non-canned responses.) The Apple Watch just is unmatched at doing all of these things well and so I went back to the iPhone 11 Pro and then upgraded to the 12 Pro in October (this was via a brief dalliance with the Note 20 Ultra in August but I found the shape uncomfortable one-handed and the same issue with the watch.)
I upgraded to the 12 Pro half-heartedly though. Tech is my passion so I always like to have the cutting edge device but I hated the new design. Apple messed it up in my opinion going back to the old industrial iPhone 4/5 style. It’s just not nice to hold.
Anyway, fast forward to last month and I couldn’t have cared less about the S21 Ultra. I didn’t pay much attention. But then I started watching YT reviews and they were almost unanimous in their praise. And so I decided to order it and give the Galaxy Watch 3 a go too since it was only going to cost me $80 with the trade in.
But this time, I’ve been blown away. Not just by that screen, but the speed, the cameras and all the other stuff. This is the first time I haven’t felt that buyer’s remorse a few days later and put the sim back in the iPhone. I’m loving everything about the S21 Ultra. And the GW3 seems to be spot on with the sensor much improved (which I read Samsung had done.) So much so that the iPhone is going up for sale this afternoon.
It’s not perfect. There are a few niggles. For example an issue with Spotify where if you’re connected to the GW3 (only the GW3, not Tizen), it mucks up playback and gets Spotify stuck on one song and makes it unusable. That’s a gripe but I can get around that with YT Music. Also, not being able to place a Whatsapp audio call on Android Auto is annoying (easily done by just invoking Google Assistant on the phone but still one extra step) but these are not massive problems. And Google Assistant is WAY improved. Last year, I found its voice dictation to be trash compared to Siri. Now, it’s way better in my experience. And of course, GA is way more functional than Siri anyway as we all know.
Things like losing iMessage don’t bother me so much as I use WhatsApp. Loss of Airdrop is annoying but by using apps like Crono, I’m synced fully with my Mac anyway. And there are easy workarounds for sending pics and videos to iPhone users without losing quality through compression.
In short: Samsung seems to have nailed it and I love it.
(Oh and let’s not forget battery – yesterday I spent ALL day installing apps and customizing it. And I got EIGHT hours SOT!)
Attached a few pics of my setup too.
Any other iPhone users, don’t hesitate. You’ll love it.