An iPhone love story: Why I ditched iPhone 7+ for Galaxy Note 8 and why I came crawling back.
So here is my story. Sitting in a coffee house in Boston, I am writing this piece as my new iPhone 8+ charges and updates to iOS 11.1.2. Three hours ago, I traded in my Note 8 at a local AT&T.
I am a late bloomer in terms of my love affair with Apple products, considering that I didn’t take my first bite of apple until the iPhone 5. Before that, I had a long running and passionate relationship with a string of Android phones. I will admit thought that Android phones in those days were simply and sinfully awful–slow, unsightly, and buggy.
My Android fling included Sony-Ericsson Xperia X10, HTC Desire, and Galaxy S2. I finally gave in and bought my first iPhone, the 5. After then, Android and I have had a on-again-off-again relationship that resembled that between me and my college “study date.” After the iPhone 5, I continued to own a 5s. However, I am the sort of person that gets bored easily, and I switched to Galaxy Note 4 afterwards. It was a good phone, smooth and speedy for Andriods (which is an important qualification). I kept my Note 4 for a year, which is how long my smart phone upgrade cycle usually is. I moved on to an iPhone 6s+ and then the 7+, which had a camera so good that I took most of my album-worthy vacation photos with it during my trips and voyages in the past year. Somehow, I got bored of iOS again. I wanted a change. I decided to give the Note series another shot. I read reviews and watched hands-on videos and thought I had made an informed decision when I bought the Note 7. I liked it quite a lot. It was everything I never got from an iPhone: a sleek form factor, a large vibrant AMOLED display, a stylus that glides smoothly on the display like a feather sweeping a infant’s cheeks. It also fixed, I thought, all the major downfalls of Android. It was fast. If you go and watch the speed test videos on YouTube comparing the Note 8 to iPhone 8+, the Note 8, bucking the trend of Android always losing to iPhones by a significant margin, actually ties or beats the iPhone in these tests thanks to its larger RAM and the enhanced multi-tasking prowess that comes with it. I can see and do appreciate Samsung’s ongoing effort to simplify the user interface. Compared to my old Note 4, the 8’s native UI is leaps and bounds ahead. The Settings menu and the Camera app are some of the most prominent examples of such effort. Another perk with the Note 8 is that I no longer shared the same mobile device with literally everyone I meet, from 13-year-old middle school girls desperate for social media likes to 80-year-old grandpas dying to learn how to phone 911 (sorry for my dark sense of humor).
However, the honeymoon period did not last. I started to get frustrated with Note 8 very soon. The applications, though similar-looking, are simply not as optimized as their iOS counterparts. Netflix, my bank’s mobile banking app, and my alma mater’s mobile news app all had frequent crashing problems that persisted even after reinstallations and system updates. I admit that I should blame the app developers not phone, but the flaws of the Android ecosystem only added to the growing pain. The Samsung keyboard, which had been a sore point since the Note 4 days, was horrible for both English and foreign language typing. And of course, as I switched to Android, I lost my membership to the not-so-exclusive club of iMessage. My friends all expressed their vehement disapproval and sheer incredibility for this change as if I had just sold my yacht, betrayed my Hampton friends, and decided to host the summer party on Staten Island instead.
I started regretting and second guessing my decision, and most importantly, missing my old iPhone 7+. I wished I had never switched. Today, I finally got up the courage to face my deepest and most well kept secret — I was not happy with the Note 8. In spite of my defending the Note 8 to my iMessaging friends and attempting to convince myself of what a grand time I must be having with the phone, I was not happy. I was Jackie and the Note 8 was my Onassis.
The bill to end my contract with Note 8 was $450+, and I was more than happy to oblige in order to get out the unhappy matrimony between me and the phone. I felt like a person trapped in an abusive marriage, and either I could take the easy route and stick it out for another 10 months and avoid the hefty divorce fee, or I could cut my losses and move on. I chose the latter. At the AT&T store, I felt free. I had the option for an iPhone X, but since I missed my iPhone 7+ so much, I decided on the iPhone 8+. I am now typing swiftly on its keyboard, quickly falling back in love…