After years with iPhone, here is why I am sticking with Samsung Galaxy Note 2 and Android (For now)

“Oh man, another iOS vs Android post? Can’t you think of anything more original to write about?” The answer is yes, there are many topics one can write about in the ever-evolving world of modern technology. However, I am writing about this for two main reasons.

The Equation is Changing

 You see, if you had asked me a year ago whether I prefer iOS or Android for daily use, there really would have been no hesitation as I answered in favor of the world’s most valuable company. It was a clear decision. I want a phone that will work, work fast, and wont unnecessarily complicate things. And so, back then, Android was not an option, irrelevant of the actual device I chose.

Today, all that has changed. I think the turning point was Android 4.1Jellybean, with what Google is calling Project Butter (I would so love to have the job of the guy who comes up with these names, then sits back and laughs as serious people use them in daily conversations.). Android, as I write these words, and assuming you are on a high end and powerful device, is just as fluid as iOS.

In fact, if I am going to take one example, a practical one, comparing Flipboard on my Nexus 7 or Note 2 to Flipboard on my iPhone, I am going to go out on a limb and say, the iPhone is actually slower and less responsive.

The Note 2, no matter what I throw at it, is super fast and responsive. Something tells me its quad core 1.6 CPU has something to do with that, but truth be told, I don’t care, I just want a good experience, and the Note 2 provides it.

Now, there are other elements that have to be taken into account such as comparing the experience of viewing a video on a 5.5” stunning display like the one on the Note 2 to the experience on a 4” display, Retina or not.  Well, I think I can sum this topic up by saying, there is no comparison.

What else is there? The multitasking. No no, I don’t mean double pressing on a home button to show me what apps were recently running so I can start them again. I am referring to someone sending me a full HD video, watching it at the top of the screen while I check my Gmail or Twitter. Or both. Yes, on the Note 2, there is the much-talked-about multitasking bar that enables me to choose multiple apps and run them simultaneously on the screen.

“Wow, that must take its toll on the processor and make the phone stutter, right?” Wrong. Not only can I run Gmail and Facebook at the same time on the screen, but I can move the two windows around, resize them, and a whole lot more, all without the slightest hiccup.

The bottom line is this. Once upon a time, Android users, the hardcore kind would say the following sentence: “If you want a phone that is a toy, use the iPhone and if you want a work horse, Android is for you”. That was not completely true, as Android had its issues, but with the Note 2’s performance, that statement is spot on!

Still Trying to Decide on a Phone

 As I wrote previously, I am in the process of choosing a phone. As I wait for my iPhone 5, Nokia Lumia 920, HTC 8X, BlackBerry 10, and Nexus 4 to make their way to my doorstep, I found myself struggling between my iPhone 4S and my Note 2 on a daily basis.

Truth be told, I was and am not willing to completely abandon my investment in iOS (apps) or my dependency on iMessage, but the Note 2 has become my primary device over the past month. Oh, and I am not alone. Far from it.

Yes, I had to work out some kinks, but at the end of the day, as I said to someone yesterday, the Note 2 redefines the word “Smartphone”. This thing is beyond smart, it is freakin brilliant.

Of course, one cannot talk about the Galaxy Note 2 without mentioning what I believe is its most important feature, the 3100 mAh battery. I come home after a day of heavy usage including web, video, email, and others to a battery that stands at 60%. How is that possible?! I will tell you how. The phone has a 5.5” screen, which means there is more room for a bigger battery.

You know what else there is more room for? Better wireless radios. In my home where my iPhone 4S has close to no reception at all, the Note 2 gives me perfect call quality. Same goes for Wifi range. This phone is a beast in every sense of the word.

So at the end of the day, between the genius S Pen integration with handwriting recognition the likes of which I have never seen before, video quality at a level I have never experienced on any mobile device, and complete personalization abilities, this is not about iOS vs Android. It is about what Apple wants your phone to look like and what YOU want your phone to look like.

As much as I like Apple products, I will choose me over them, thank you very much. So for now, Galaxy Note 2 and Android it is. Don’t worry, Apple (I know you must be worried), I still love my iPad and iPod Touch, but time to refresh that iOS operating system that was innovative in, what was it? 2007? Exactly.

Author: Hillel Fuld

"Hillel is a tech blogger who manages multiple sites such as Technmarketing, Appboy, and inneractive. In addition, Hillel has written on many leading online publications such as Mashable, Gigaom, and others. In addition to his blogger hat, Hillel is an active Twitter personality who defines himself as a "Social media addict". When Hillel is not blogging or tweeting, he is the Head of Marketing for inneractive, a mobile startup that deals with app monetization across all mobile platforms."

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  • bibleverse1

    The Note 2 is competent device.

  • riceryder

    Well said..

  • Dreamer

    it’s really true. but hopefully apple would make sth out with similar experience they used to have but with latest hardware… near …. not soon within half year…
    Android is nice, just somehow several handsets makers haven’t balanced well with hardware config and user experience….and good design….
    Note 2 is nice in hardware and user experience…just the outlook design …personally i think there would be much room to improve still….
    if one day there is a phone with camera from Nokia 920, superb hardware from GS3 or note 2, using windows 8 pro as the OS (coz can use Word and Excel) and combined with nice design by Apple………..I will buy it

  • thedarkknight80

    I happen to be in the exact situation as you are (its a happy situation indeed), and switched from apple 4s to Note 2.

    What you wrote pretty much sums up everything I wanted to say about the device.

    Great article.

  • SAM

    Great article! I felt like this since last year when I switched my iPhone 4S for the Galaxy Nexus. I could do more with my android phone then I could with my iPhone unless I jail broke it. I used google wallet, customized my phone my way, free tethering, super fast, although the only problem I had was that the battery would last me at least 1/2 a day with moderate use but I didn’t have too root for all this features. Now with my Galaxy Note 2, I can’t even compare it to my brothers iphone 5. The screen is amazing, it’s super fast, NFC, etc etc. back in the days I used a phone for calls and texting but now I’m always browsing, watching videos on YouTube, if I’m on the phone and I need to write down a conformation number # I just pull out the s-pen and I write away. I love Galaxy note 2 and its replaced my ipad for the most part.

  • samagon

    I’m guessing with your battery life you got the verizon nexus. the radio in that version of the phone killed the battery horribly.

    NFC isn’t given as much credit as it really deserves. I went to a thanksgiving christmas light thingy back on thanksgiving night and my friends with iphones were taking pictures of each other and trying for all they could to email them to each other, but due to high traffic on the cell networks, data was very slow. If they had NFC they could have just bumped the phones together and sent pictures back and forth without worry for the cell network. Of course, when I mentioned this, they started joking about rubbing the tips together. it’s silly, but it works phenomenally well.

    Just as I grew to really see the full potential of a smartphone only after I started using it, I’m only now really seeing the potential of NFC after using it, I really can’t wait for it to be more prolific.

  • AvidGardener3

    I agree with everything you’ve said about
    the Galaxy Note 2. I’m envious, I still have the original Galaxy Note and can’t
    upgrade until next year some time. In the meantime, I can multi-task, etc. with
    my Galaxy Note 10.1 tablet! I love it, think of the
    Note tablet as your Note 2, just supersized without a phone. I paired it with a
    full size bluetooth keyboard and it’s like having a
    laptop that does many things my pc can’t! The S-notes on both the
    Note phone and the tablet have become second nature to me. I couldn’t even find
    a pen in my purse the other day, so I handed my Note phone to my friend with a
    new s-note ready for him. He couldn’t believe how
    easy it was to write everything down, and then I emailed it to him. In
    multi-tasking mode, have you found out how easy it is to take a piece of the
    web, for instance a quote from your great review, and slide it to the other
    side where you have an email or S note waiting. Enjoy
    your Note 2, and if you have a chance, try out the Note 10.1!

  • GalaxyNoteTaker

    I enjoyed the Note while I had it. Eventually dumped it for the G-Nex (which is just wonderful, by the way). Note was a great phone, just too big. No other real gripes though (except it had Gingerbread at the time.. no clue what it has now).

  • SAM

    That’s true. One thing that was very annoying to me was the network switching from 3G to 4g. It would disrupt the Internet for a couple of minutes. Two blocks from where I live the network would change to 3G and I just got tired of it switching that I just changed my connection to 3G and my battery did improve. I blame Verizon for the network so now I am a happy camper with AT&T and their LTE is flawless.

    About the NFC, my friend connected his Galaxy Nexus with a charger that had its end wet. It damaged The phone and couldn’t charge his phone but it still worked. So he couldn’t connect his phone to his computer to transfer his pictures but luckily my phone also had NFC and he just tapped his albums and bumped our phone and voila! Just like that we transferred his albums to my phone.

  • Aditya Iyer

    thank you for a honest unbiased review. Always tired of the one sided fanboyish arguments, your last line “I’ll choose me over..” nailed it. Even i’m considering to buy a new phone (and since i’m not at all rich like you to consider even more than 1 lol) I’m thinking of the S3 or Note 2.

  • reverend_house

    Bravo! Now, if only that awful Brian fellow could write articles with such honesty and frankness…

  • Hillel Fuld

    Thanks everyone for the great feedback. I have a feeling my next post about the downsides of Android and the Note 2 might bring on some more mixed comments. 🙂

  • BuddhaBandit

    I am a mobile app developer and I have been back and forth from iPhone to android 3 times, every time hoping my android experience would hold me there. This time I had the new Nexus 4 for 5 days and returned it and flipped my number back to my iPhone 4S. Regardless of Apple’s arrogance and control, their platform (iOS) is eminently more consistent and user-friendly and productive than android. I found myself also trying to figure out how to get a text to show up on the lock screen of my Nexus 4. If I hear a sound that means someone texted me, then I want to know if I have to bother with that now, or if I can ignore it. The only quick way of determining that is to do as apple has done and to display the actual text right on the lock screen. There were at least a dozen other useability issues I ran into that made me realize that a) google just doesn’t get it and b) I want the company with the patents that make the user experience the best. There’s a reason everyone builds for the iPhone and iPad first. Because most people in positions of power use the device that gets their work done the fastest and has the most consistent, user-friendly interface. I am back to the iPhone for now, and I say this after having developed on Android for Intuit for the past two years.

  • enyibinakata

    Nice to see an Unwired article that does not fawn on Apple for a change. My faith is restored.

  • enyibinakata

    I was surprised to see so many Samsung galaxy phones while in London Underground train. I guess the Olympics advertising has helped,

  • enyibinakata

    How do you cope with the stares you get whenever you use the Note as a phone ? lol

  • Herman Van Der Blom

    unbiased he has an note ii up in his ass ha ha……

  • Willy

    Where ever I pull out this beast of a galaxy note 2, everyone is like “WOW it’s so big”. Especially the ladies. When my friends saw my phone they felt embarrassed to pull out their little iPhone 5. There’s things like the notifications that the note 2 lacks but that’s just one I can think of. However I can think of many the iPhone 5 doesn’t have that the Galaxy Note 2. For example the s-pen, useful notification bar, big huge screen so you don’t have to be squinting or pinching a million times to see something, when messaging you just bring the phone to your ear and dials the number you were texting, and a very useful one that I can’t imagine living with out it, MULTI WINDOW. If I’m watching a video I can open my email or texts while watching my video. Now that is true multi tasking.

  • Troll

    all smrtphones iz 4 tech geeks. norml ppl use nokia flip phones.

  • The truth hurts

    I am also a developer and what you have just posted is not a accurate. The issues you had with the nexus 4 I’m having quite the opposite experience. My I phone 4 is collecting dust. The ios platform is not superior to android. Your comment is purely speculation and bias by your favoritism towards apple. The reason why most developers developed apps for Apple devices before android is because of apples potent buying customer base. Apple devices are more reliant on apps then android devices. So apple customers are more likely to buy apps than a highly customizable side loading android device. Please state facts not your bias opinions. People make apps for Apple for first because apple users are more likely to buy apps. It’s about money not the Os.

  • BellyJean

    I’d be very interested in your comparison of Lumia 920 vs Note II. iPhone 5, HTC 8X, BlackBerry 10, and Nexus 4… don’t waste your time on these. Thanks.

  • Emanuel Burgos

    My wife and I recently upgraded our phones. She got the Lumia 920 and I got the Note 2. Between the two, I would still take the Note 2 over the 920. The Note 2 seems more responsive and smoother than the 920. There are also more apps and Facebook, for example, runs better on Android than Windows 8. It also has a better battery life than the 920. The only thing the Lumia 920 beats the Note 2 is in its camera. The 920 truly has a great camera. However, other than that, Note 2 takes it!

  • wlmeng11

    Fortunately, you’re honest with your username., so hopefully no one will get mad.

  • AvidGardener3

    I agree with everything you’ve said about
    the Galaxy Note 2. Most of it pertains to my original Galaxy Note phone or
    my Galaxy Note 10.1 tablet! I love it, think of the
    Note tablet as your Note 2, just supersized without a phone. I paired it with a
    full size bluetooth keyboard and it’s like having a
    laptop that does many things my pc can’t! In
    multi-tasking mode, have you found out how easy it is to take a piece of the
    web, for instance a quote from your great review, and slide it to the other
    side where you have an email or S note waiting. Have you found how fast it is to hand write a quick text or answer an email? Enjoy
    your Note 2, and if you have a chance, try out the Note 10.1!

  • Ginger Grigsby

    I am in a similar situation: upgrading from nearly 4 years with an iphone3 to this Samsung note 2. I’m very happy! However, I have read and seen many reviews discussing is long lasting, super heavy duty battery -yet this is not my experience at all. My battery lasts 4 hrs at the longest with medium to heavy usage! I have to charge several times a day! I have owned my note 2 just over a week -so you think I have a bad battery? Have u heard of this happening to anyone else?

  • Dindinoe

    “As much as I like Apple products, I will choose me over them, thank you very much.”
    Awesome quote.