Comprehensive post of how I made the switch from the iPhone 5s to the Note 3.

Discussion in 'Alternatives to iOS and iOS Devices' started by easy-peasy, May 21, 2014.

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  1. easy-peasy macrumors regular

    Jan 31, 2014
    It was always so crystal clear before. I've had an iPhone 3gs, 4s, and 5s. I always appeared content. The phone was quick, worked well, had good resale value, and great synergy with my mac book air... but there were cracks in the armor.

    The main reason that started my path to the dark side was a price mistake by AT&T. I ended up getting a contract free Note 3 for $249! :eek:

    I couldn't pass that deal up. I figured I would just sell the Note 3 on Craigslist for a $200+ profit and keep my iPhone 5s, right? But once I started playing with the Note 3 I saw the limitations of the iPhone that weren't as visible to me before I got a taste of the other side.

    Of course there were some differences that caused me hesitation to switch at first. The first and obviously biggest reason had to do with the size of the Note 3. Every smartphone I've ever had before the Note 3 was a one handed device. It was a huge transition to mentally retrain my brain and phone habits to 'need' 2 hands to use my phone. For example, with the iPhone I could reach pretty much every part of the screen with my thumb, yet with the Note 3 it's am uncomfortable struggle to reach the bottom back button while holding the phone in my left hand. Now as for solutions to this problem I found an application called 'pie controls' which allows you to slide your thumb in from the edge of the screen to bring up a variety of control buttons you program (such as back, home, multi-task, etc). This helped out immensely when it comes to things like browsing the Web and almost as convenient as the iPhones swipe to go back gesture.

    Another 'solution' was simply getting used to the fact that I didn't really need a one-handed device. It's nice to have in a way but for the physical limitations it places on so many other parts of the phone (i.e. screen size, battery size, etc) the trade-off is more that worth it to me once I got used to a two-handed device.

    Another thing I really missed was the touch ID sensor on the 5s. I always lock my phone with a pin or password for security purposes but the 5s made the process of unlocking the most convenient I've ever experienced. Simply press the home button and your password protected phone unlocks immediately and you don't have to waste time inputting a less secure 4-digit pin every single time you want to unlock your phone like you do with the Note 3. Again though this loss was mitigated by simply retaining my brain to get used to quickly putting in a pin code plus the other beneficial factors the Note 3 offers over the iPhone that I will detail further below.

    That pretty much it for iPhone advantages: the smaller size, for those that want it, and touch id. Everything else (the battery life, respective app stores, camera, price sales, security, etc) are all pretty much on par with or better than the iPhones.

    Let's start with the most important: battery life. The battery life on my Note 3 destroys the battery life I got on the 5s. De-Stroys. I can get anywhere up to 5-7 hours of the screen being on with my Note 3. I would be lucky to get 3.5 hours of screen on time with my iPhone. The Note 3 is the very first smartphone Ive owned where even as a super heavy user I dont have to worry about bringing a charger with me. And yes, I already know other people's experiences are different and that Anandtech says the iPhone gets something ludicrous like an 11 hour Web browsing battery life, but from my personal experience the 3200mAh battery of the Note 3 runs circles around the 1560mAh battery on the 5s.

    While we are on the subject of batteries let's talk about another major advantage of the Note 3 over the iPhone: a user replaceable battery. This makes me happy since if I want I can simply buy a spare for $20 and have it tucked away in my wallet in case I want to double my battery life. With the iPhone I would either need a really thick expensive battery case or bring a charger and pray for an open outlet nearby. Not only that but every year lithium ion batteries wear down where you use them or not (it's a chemical process), so in two years the battery is only holding 70% of the charge that it used to when I first got it I can easily buy a new battery and pop it in. With the iPhone I would need to drive out far away to an Apple store and pay them a rip-off amount of $80 to replace my battery. So with the Note 3 it's much easier to keep it running at peak battery performance long term compared to the iPhone.

    Another huge thing the Note 3 (or any Android phone for that matter) has over the iPhone is an operating system that provides more freedom. The iPhone is pretty well locked down. Let's say I want to get music on my iPhone, how would I do it outside of being forced to use iTunes sync? Let's say I'm at my friends house and I hear a tune that I want to put on my phone but they don't have iTunes? I'm stuck. I don't like my phone trying to dumb things down for the mass of idiot consumers out there who would get confused by a file system with Android I simply plug in my phone to my friends computer and drag-n-drop the songs (or whatever other files I like. Let's say I make a voice memo on my iPhone and want to upload it to my dropbox? Nope. Not allowed. Let's say I want to reply to an email on my iPhone with an attachment? Nope. Not allowed. You see the theme here? With android you have your whole computer at your fingertips, whereas the limitations of the iPhone make it feel like a dumbphone by comparison.

    Another thing the Note 3 has over the iPhone is a bigger screen. And my god is it gorgeous! Now while I am at the gym I can be on the treadmill and watch a movie or TV show without straining my eyes like I do with the iPhone. I'm not the healthiest guy atm but I'm trying to change that and this makes a huge difference for me when it comes to going for hours on the treadmill a day and getting healthy again. Once you get used to a bigger screen like this its hard to go back to something smaller. Imagine as iPhone owners trying to use something as small as the 2.6 inch screen size of the Palm Pixi? Ludicrous right?

    Another thing that I didn't like about the iPhone, or Apple, is how greedy they are when it comes to memory. An extra $100 for a measly 16gb bump of storage to 32gb with no way to expand it in the future if I need to? With the Note 3 it has 32gb standard + a micro sd card slot if i need more in the future.

    Another thing that the Note 3 blows the iPhone out of the water with is in the gaming department (specifically emulators). Apple doesn't allow any gaming emulators on the iPhone. It wouldn't be that big of a deal if you could simply install apps outside of the app store but the iPhone is simply locked down tighter than a virgin. With Android you can have entire game systems on your phone and play all the old classics. Real games. Not those short and lame mobile games which are all going to shift to the in app purchase model to try and scam more and more money from gullible users. Yes I know if you were OK with jailbreaking you could install gaming emulators on the iPhone from the Cydia store, but jailbreaking is highly fought against by Apple since once you do so you can't get restore your phone if needed or get warranty service without losing your jailbreak forever. With Android you can simply be stock and all the gaming emulators are right on the play store (many free). I purchased a Moga bluetooth controller (same layout as an x-box controller) and have 4 - 5 different game systems with me wherever I go.

    Pretty much everything else is a wash in my opinion. The cameras on both are excellent, both app stores have the essential apps needed, resale value is good on both, security is fine for either one as long as you aren't stupid with the apps you download. Besides, this post is probably already getting too long as it is but I just wanted to share my experience with making the transition from iPhone to the Note 3 for others who might be wondering about making the switch themselves. If you are on the fence I would say do it, but to give yourself a clean slate from the start and don't compare the two devices until you have gotten used to Android or a bigger sized phone.

    For the condensed TLDR list of reasons for going with the Note 3 or Android

    1) Much better battery life
    2) User replaceable battery
    3) User accessible file system
    4) Bigger screen for better experience
    5) User expandable storage
    6) Gaming emulators freely available

    1) iPhones smaller size better for one handed use
    2) Touch ID

    I still have a macbook air that I am more than happy with and plan to keep for years to come but as far as phones are concerned it looks like Apple has lost a longtime customer to a more hungry, and appealing competitor.
  2. spinedoc77 macrumors G3


    Jun 11, 2009
    Wow, didn't read the entire wall of text. I'm also a convert, 5s to a note 3. Love it, love it, love it. I miss the 5s at times, primarily when I want to work one handed or when I want to give it a voice command and don't want the ambiguity of Android messing it up. But the other 99% of the time it's amazing to have such a huge screen and also to have the pen features.

    I don't think I'll go to the ip6 as I like the stylus. I would probably move to a Nokia windows phone if they ever release one with a stylus, otherwise it's the Note 4 for me.
  3. nickchallis92 macrumors 6502a


    Mar 4, 2012
    Good post OP. Like many others, I am eagerly anticipating the note 4 but i'm struggling to see how it could be any better than the note 3 is!
  4. Mr Rabbit macrumors 6502a

    Mr Rabbit

    May 13, 2013
    I was hoping this would be more of a guide on how you switched over to Android, moving content & whatnot, rather than a review showing what you like/dislike about the two. Still a good post though!

    A few things I have to chime in on though...

    Not necessarily true. The price is correct if you choose to have Apple replace the battery, and you're outside of AppleCare coverage, but AppleCare will ship you a replacement phone at the same cost rather than forcing you to drive a long distance, assuming the battery is the ONLY issue with the device. Also, iPhone batteries (starting with the iPhone 4) are fairly easily to replace. The process does involve some disassembly, so it's definitely not as easy as alternate devices, but for those handy with a screwdriver it's $30~ procedure that will take all of 15 minutes or so.

    I definitely get what you're saying but this is more of a legal issue. When Apple first introduced iTunes they made a big deal of the hoops they had to jump through to get the recording industry on board, and this was one of the major ones. DRM was baked into the files, iTunes was engineered in a way that only allowed syncing to and not from devices, etc all in the name of anti-piracy. Obviously over the years many easy workarounds have popped up to bypass these measures but the measures are still in place to appease the music industry. With that said, I can't imagine actually syncing from iTunes these days. For a couple years now I've been using streaming services. First Grooveshark and now Spotify, both of which have proven to be faaaaar more useful than actually lots of content locally on the device.

    Again, this is more of a legal issue. I'm pretty shocked that Google allows emulators in their Play store but at the same time they don't tout reviewing each submission and total control over the ecosystem in the same way that Apple does. Simply put it appears that they just turn a blind eye to legally gray areas. Can we really blame Apple for that though? Look at how often they get sued by small time developers. Just imagine if tomorrow the number one app in the app store, and it would definitely be number one almost instantly, was an NES emulator with ROMs included or available as an in app purchase... Nintendo would be taking a huge bite out of Apple.

    Just food for thought. It's not like Apple does these things to be jerks, in the grand scheme they do make sense even if it's not what all consumers want. Same thing as Google. I'm buying a Nexus 5 in the next day or so and I'm sure I'll find lots of areas where I disagree with Google and think that Apple did it better. Simply put, there's no way to please everyone.
  5. Shuri macrumors 6502

    Nov 23, 2011
    Funny post considering your avatar. ;)
  6. spinedoc77 macrumors G3


    Jun 11, 2009
    Yeah, I like to poke fun at myself at times. If anyone has ever seen the Trigger Happy TV episodes where he has the huge phone, well you get over that feeling eventually.
  7. The Game 161 macrumors P6

    The Game 161

    Dec 15, 2010
    Welcome to the note family

    Can't see myself ever leaving it.
  8. Switchback666 macrumors 68000


    Nov 16, 2012
    Note 3 have been a fantastic device, I will soon leave for iPhone 5s again, got a pretty good deal for a 64gb model and I want to get my hands on ios8 hoping for good changes, I'm sure I'm going to get the Note 4.
  9. Dontazemebro macrumors 68020


    Jul 23, 2010
    I dunno, somewhere in West Texas
    Love the Note 3 but also love my 5s as well. Do you also plan on keeping your iPhone or selling?
  10. jonAppleSeed macrumors regular

    Mar 21, 2013
    I hate typing my pin in every time I unlock the phone too but I found an app called SkipLock that disables the lock screen after you've unlocked the phone while being connected to either a WiFi hotspot or a Bluetooth device.

    I have it setup so when I get home/work/parents/car I only need to unlock it once until I disconnect from those hotspots
  11. apolloa macrumors G4

    Oct 21, 2008
    Time, because it rules EVERYTHING!

    Yeas, great shows, it does highlight phablets before their time haha. Interesting post OP, the other advantage with Android is that you can choose other makes of devices and still use the same apps.
  12. brainga macrumors newbie

    Nov 3, 2013
    Anything for the podcast listeners?

    Probably the only thing keeping me tethered to my iphone is the podcast functionality and syncing. However, the latest apple updates have broken this process for me with weird syncing behavior and unexplained behavior.
  13. hungx macrumors 6502


    May 8, 2012
    Davis, CA
    I refuse to use any Samsung device with AMOLED screens. The green tint found in almost all AMOLED displays (due to RGBG sub pixels) gives me a headache after using it for just a few minutes.

    I don't see any value for file systems on a phone. I'm almost always out of space on my phone and would definitely not want to use it as a "flash drive". I can see the benefits on a tablet, since tablets are computer replacements in a lot of households.
  14. slu macrumors 68000


    Sep 15, 2004
    I use Pocket Casts on Android. Great app.
  15. jimbo1mcm macrumors 68000

    Mar 21, 2010
    Another convert to Android: Had the usual assortment of iphones, plus some Galaxy S3, and 4. Went from the Iphone 5S to the LG G2. Big Screen in a small format. Love it. Buttery smooth. Android has come a long way. Won't be switching back.
  16. henry2 macrumors regular


    Dec 9, 2010
    Same here I'm going to a Samsung mega 6.3"inch screen phone because of the basic fact you have listed in the post about dealing with some of the so called issues with iTunes .

    Plus I'm tired of having to carry both a phone and tablet with me when I'm working and want one single device to make calls and do my web vexing on .
  17. Savor Suspended


    Jun 18, 2010
    I just got a 5s recently to help compliment my M7 but getting a Note 3 sounds wonderful to me right now.

    I have relatives who went with iPhone for a few years. Went to Note and never looked back. Not into Samsung but they nailed it right usually with the Note, S-Pen, and its specs.
  18. nfl46 macrumors 604

    Oct 5, 2008
    I am in the process of converting from an iPhone to Note 3. I probably won't get time to play with iOS 8. I may hold up selling my iPhone just to play with Beta 1. I'll be back to the iPhone in early 2015, though...once the prices of an off contract iPhone 6 drop.
  19. KillaMac Suspended

    May 25, 2013
    I went to a Note 2, Iphone 5, Note 3, to M8, back to Iphone 5. Sorry Android still doesn't have the refinement that IOS does. I want a phone to work without the massive lag. The screen is also hard to read on the Note 3 in the daylight.
  20. bOFFE1968 macrumors member


    Oct 4, 2013
    Totaly agree!! I helped my father set up his new xperia z1 compact and got to "play" with it for a day or two. The experience just confirmed my feelings about android OS. It's just a mess!! And i'm not a apple fanboy. I've own note2, note3, htc one, lumia920 and lumia1020. The CLEAR winner of the "OS war" is Apple - second place WP and android is as i said before - a total mess.
  21. mib1800 macrumors 68030

    Sep 16, 2012
    Massive B.S I would say. :p
  22. KillaMac Suspended

    May 25, 2013
    I only wish it was. I really wanted to be a Android person. But I couldn't get over the issues with lag I kept on dealing with. I have had so many Android phones. I didn't include the RAZR MAXX, S3, and S4 I also owned. IOS works well. I can make a phone call really fast with the iphone vs my Android, it had delay, and then multiple screens or questions would pop up when all I wanted to do is dial one number.

    Also I notice my cars work much better with the Iphone vs my Android devices.
  23. Fanaticalism macrumors 6502a

    Apr 16, 2013
    I always take every post into account as opinions always have some form of validity to them, but after your posts in the iPhone forum regarding android with things like Malware with irrelevant links to dissuade others from considering android, I have to take all of your future posts re: android with a heaping mound of salt.

    Your experience with the dialers in your examples above sound like experiences with demo models as the help features are only enabled on the first interaction with a new device, or a constant with demo models to help a user navigate through the features and create familiarity with the design language.
  24. Hey Apple! macrumors member

    Apr 18, 2007
    I'm glad that you're enjoying your Note 3. I switched from an iPhone 4S to the Note 3 a couple of months ago and have enjoyed it also. It took me a while to get used to the size of the device, but after I got used to that, I really loved the battery life and the more open nature of the device.
  25. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
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