As said back in March, the guys at Samsung CTC gave me a brand new Samsung Galaxy S5 after I complained about my iPhone’s dying battery while tweeting at ArabNet. About a month later, my white S5 arrived and I began to discover how the other half lives.
Let me start with a massive disclaimer: I love my iPhone. I love Apple products because of their sleek appearance and their intuitive interface design. I use a Macbook, an iPod, and have been an iPhone user since 2012. That’s not a long time but, once I made the switch, that was it. I must also say that I feel it makes sense to use products of the same family because all devices are compatible & easy to sync. I recently upgraded to the 5S so getting an S5 (this is going to get confusing) was the chance to experience what my Android friends always use as ammo in the Apple vs Android debate. What I’m saying is, I’m incredibly biased and a very loyal customer of Apple but I tried to have an open mind about it. The overall use of the phone was not easy to figure out but I assume that that was because I’m used to the iPhone interface so navigating wasn’t simple. BUT, due to this, I saw how efficient Apple is when it comes to creating a system that is designed to mirror how you think it should work.
Swipe Keyboard: All Samsung devices have this keyboard option. It allows you to swipe one finger over the letters used to spell a word in one movement. The phone will translate your swipe automatically into the word you’re spelling. It’s pretty accurate too – it even got commandments right.
Beauty Face: This is a camera feature that allows you to adjust the level of airbrushing on the faces in your photos. It’s like it was made for taking perfect selfies. It goes from 1 to 5, 5 being most “beautiful.”
Removable Battery: Upon receiving the phone, I couldn’t figure out why it wasn’t turning on until I realized I hadn’t inserted the battery. Yup, bimbo moment. iPhone batteries are built in so when you get the phone, you turn it on and you’re good to go. Samsungs’ are removable which helps when your phone freezes and you need to reset or when you need to replace a fried battery.
Battery life: The battery life is slightly better than the iPhone but, in all fairness, it also takes longer to charge. There’s an app in the Play Store called “Juice Defender” which gives you some options that help you save battery life and reduce use of data networks when the phone is at rest. As my Android friend said, anything that’s missing has an app to make up for it.
Green Packaging: The box the S5 is in is made of 100% recycled material and the printing is with soy ink.
GTalk: Since it’s an Android, having all of Google’s products built into the device is a plus. Besides Gmail and Chrome, GTalk and Hangout is also there. It’s a plus but not a deal breaker since there are so many messenger apps (texting and video) already available on all devices.
Data Network Options: The fact that I can’t choose Edge (or any slower connection) means that my data network must be either all or nothing. This isn’t the end of the world but it can be inconvenient when you’re buying a smartphone. The iPhone still has Edge connection when you turn off your 3G so you can still use Whatsapp – this is my method for prolonging my iPhone’s life and reducing my phone bill. When you turn off your data network on any phone, it will prolong battery life so this could also contribute to your Samsung’s battery lasting longer than an iPhone’s, generally speaking.
Sim Card Size: Shifting from the 5S to the S5 took an extra week because I had to find the right sim card adapter. The 5S uses a sim smaller than the nano and the S5 is still at the nano-sim stage. Besides that, the sim’s slot is too tight. You need tweezers to remove the sim card unless there’s a hidden button I missed.
Screen Size: Some appreciate that the Samsung screens are larger and easier to read but I found that the size of the screen made the entire phone too bulky. It’s difficult to use with one hand and my thumb doesn’t reach across the entire screen with ease. I feel the phone’s size is too cumbersome (and that was without a cover), not pocket-friendly, and barely hand-friendly. Perhaps you get used to it or I have small hands. TWSS.
Water-resistant: I wanted to dump the phone in a cup of water to put it to the test but I didn’t have the heart. This may be the only feature that beats the iPhone. In my opinion, this is the best feature since, in the presence of my electronics, my klutzy self and I have become a hydrophobic mess. However, this feature’s not enough to make me switch teams. I will say that a shield of this sort would make the iPhone king of its domain.
Well, that and a better battery life. Apple, are you listening?