It’s all well and good to bang on about all the great phones out there at various price points, but just how big a leap is it for someone to go from something they know so well (like iPhone) to something they’ve never even used (Android). So we thought we’d put that to the test.
Loyal EFTM reader Rob expressed an interest in Android – asking “how hard would it be to switch from iPhone to Android”? Our answer – “why don’t you tell us?”
So we sent him a brand new Samsung Galaxy A7 – the upper mid-range Samsung with a large screen, released just weeks ago. Rob is going to let us know how it goes over the next few months, but before all that, we need to hear his initial thoughts:
I have always been an iPhone user. In fact, I have been using an iPhone since the 3GS model was released. I came to the iPhone because I wanted a smartphone that simply worked. There was no complication with the iPhone and I have remained staunch with the brand ever since.
There was this completely different operating system out there called Android. The Android system just looked hard to use but I came to that conclusion without having actually ever used an Android phone.
So when I was given the opportunity to give the Samsung A7, running Android a go, I was apprehensive but also intrigued as to what I might have been missing out on. Surely an operating system that has 88% market share must be as good, if not better than iOS, right? The Samsung A7 is a mid priced smartphone with a RRP of $799. The question I wanted to answer myself is, can a mid priced phone do everything I need without the high price tag of the iPhone? That question will be answered over time.
I unboxed the Samsung A7 and there is always something exciting about unboxing a new phone, especially when I compare it to my fairly tired looking iPhone 6. But, I love my iPhone, for no other reason, for the iMessaging feature. I really think I am going to miss this feature above all else and has been the single reason, I have encouraged family and friends to move to the iPhone.
The changeover was relatively seamless but this was because my contacts and photos were already backed up within Google. This is the one area that I have been all over Google for a long time. Their cloud storage apps are still streaks ahead of anything Apple has been able to do with iCloud, despite the recent improvements.
My first impressions of the Samsung A7 phone was that it was a pretty good looking phone. Sure, it’s missing the metal feel of the higher end phones but it didn’t seem to matter. It feels nice in the hand despite the added weight that I haven’t been used to.
There are a few of things that have been driving me nuts on my first day of using the phone. I just can’t get my head around the notification centre. It doesn’t seem to be very user friendly. I have found it difficult to organise the notifications how I want to see them. When I view all my notifications, they remain on my screen until I physically clear them all but if I want to go back and look later what I may have missed, they are all gone. It’s a task that I shouldn’t need to do and typical of the Android system that there seems to be two or three steps to what Apple can do in one. This is no more evident than the three separate buttons on the bottom of the phone. Why there needs to be three buttons to do what the single button on the iPhone can do, I’ll never quite understand.
The biggest thing I have been struggling with is the keyboard. I just can’t work out why the auto-correct can’t change the incorrectly spelt words or the punctuation as I’m typing. It already knows the word I was trying to spell, it comes up in the suggested words, just change it automatically! I have already written the next word before I realise, which forces me to go back and fix the spelling or punctuation.
In saying that, I have been very happy with the battery, getting around 30 hours of battery life. That blew my iPhone 6 battery out of the park. It wouldn’t be uncommon that I would need to charge my iPhone twice a day. I am also loving the bigger screen size.
So, despite these challenges on day 1, I will keep persisting with the Samsung A7 and hopefully the features that I have so far found frustrating will become easier and I will learn new features as I continue to use it.
Trev is a Technology Commentator, Dad, Speaker and Rev Head.
He produces and hosts two popular podcasts, EFTM and Two Blokes Talking Tech. He also appears on over 50 radio stations across Australia weekly, and is the resident Tech Expert on Channel 9’s Today Show each day and appears regularly on A Current Affair.
Father of three, he is often found down in his Man Cave.