First Time Smartphone Buyer Needs Advice! Galaxy S6 or...?

Discussion in 'Alternatives to iOS and iOS Devices' started by RynotheDyno, Apr 2, 2015.

  1. RynotheDyno, Apr 2, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2015

    RynotheDyno macrumors newbie

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    Apr 2, 2015
    #1
    Hello!

    I recently decided that it was time to upgrade to a smartphone, after stubbornly holding out for as long as I could. I am wondering if anyone could give me some recommendations on what a good phone to buy in the next month or so. I would primarily use the phone for texting, phone calls, managing my workflow, taking pictures and a little video, and listening to music and podcasts. I want a phone that will have a professional appearance in the workplace (I am finishing my engineering degree shortly). A main reason for the switch is that my flip phone no longer reliably and promptly receives texts.

    I was initially leaning towards the iPhone 6 plus (regular iPhone seemed a *tad* small for me), but I am not in love with iOS (I have an iPod Touch, so I am somewhat familiar), and the price is a little on the high end for me (although if I was absolutely sold on it I might pull the trigger).

    After looking at the Android phones out there, I am leaning towards the Galaxy S6 at the moment, since it seems to have the best hardware and improved software, and I like the screen size (or the idea of it, anyways...). However, even if I decide to go that route, is it a bad idea to preorder it or buy it within the first few days of release? Am I more likely to have issues with the phone if I do that? I would probably buy it at Costco, if that makes any difference. As for style, I like the way it looks, although I also really like the appearance of the Nexus 6 (probably too big though).

    Anyways, I would appreciate any suggestions on choice of phone, as well as whether it is an ok idea to buy a phone near the release date. Thanks!

    Ryan
     
  2. MRU, Apr 3, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2015

    MRU macrumors demi-god

    MRU

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    #2
    First Time Smartphone Buyer Needs Advice! Galaxy S6 or...?

    Hi Ryan, your chances of getting a faulty device are much the same no matter when you but it. What's important is the availability of warranty replacement or repair. So I wouldn't concern myself with that.

    I will say that as a first time smartphone user my thoughts would be iOS can be less problematic compared to android with easier learning curve.

    However if you are willing to dive feet first Android land isn't too scary.

    The S6 and the iPhone 6 are both stellar phones and would serve you well.

    There are a couple of things to bare in mind. If you like having the latest software on your device as soon as it's released, the iPhone will deliver that. Samsung updates to their handsets can be painfully protracted affairs, with customers finally receiving updates at times months & months after the update initially began rolling out.

    That's pretty much the only negative between the two and really only you can decide if that will bother you.

    Otherwise both are pretty much running mature OS's and offer great performance and cameras are fantastic on both handsets.

    To be blunt, I would recommend you simply pop to a store and have a try at both and see which you prefer yourself both in the hand ergonomically, aesthetically, and Os wise.

    Then simply choose your preference. Either is not a bad choice.

    People can argue specs till they are blue in the face, the reality is both are great handsets fit for purpose. Just go for the one you like the look of the most and rest safe in the knowledge either is good :)
     
  3. tbayrgs macrumors 603

    tbayrgs

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    #3
    What MRU said. :D

    Nothing will help you decide better than trying them out for yourself to see what best fits your need.
     
  4. stevelam macrumors 65816

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    Nov 4, 2010
    #4
    if the 6+ is too big, why not the iphone 6 then?

    as for the s6, i got to try both edge and non-edge versions of the phone. spec-wise it is a monster. performance-wise? it lags. no idea why. scrolling through websites using the default browser shows some very obvious repainting. scrolling through twitter app lags. some people arent bothered by this. unfortunately, i am.

    the s6 was gonna be my upgrade from my iphone 5, but now im just gonna wait for the iphone 6s.
     
  5. RynotheDyno thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Apr 2, 2015
    #5
    Thanks for the replies! I appreciate it.

    I think I would be fine switching to Android, as while I have never had a smartphone, I have to constantly use computers and learn new technology at school. So I don't anticipate the switch being a problem.

    I like the idea of trying them out side by side, seeing which phone fells better to me, etc. I will try to do that this weekend.

    stevelam, I don't necessarily think the 6+ would be too big (although the Nexus might be...), but I did feel like the standard 6 was ever so slightly small for my taste (even when not side by side to the 6+ I feel that way). That is a bummer about lag on the S6 though... I will have to try it out to see if it bugs me.

    As a side note, are all of these phones suitable in a professional environment? For example, is the 6+ be seen as more of a toy and less of a tool?

    Again, thanks for the feedback!
     
  6. nviz22 macrumors 68040

    nviz22

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    #6
    The iPhone isn't really a toy. A lot of people I have worked with in offices have Galaxy Notes and iPhones. A lot of Android nerds like to throw around the word "toy" because they find the idea of paying extra $ to get similar features on a cheaper device that "does more" as childish.

    Both OSes have their perks. iOS provides an unmatched core experience that keeps everything to a functional minimum. There are things that make me enjoy it like their "Today" widgets w/ ESPN, iMessage, having the GPS show up on the lock screen when you're using your iPhone for navigation, app selection is much better, faster updates, Facetime, etc.

    As for the negatives, battery life is pretty bad especially with the lack of a power saving option; no predictive dialing meaning I cannot spell someone's name using the keypad to find their numbers which takes up a little more time looking through contacts, the UI isn't really customizable which keeps things very generic aka your phone isn't really distinct from other iPhones; the iPhone also is very prone towards dinks and damages, quick charge isn't an option at this time nor is wireless charging, the camera isn't capable of 4k display or going beyond 8 MP, Siri isn't as good as Google Now, only one Smartwatch works with iPhone efficiently.

    But there are issues with Android as well. I have a Note 4 and it hasn't lived up to the hype I had for it in October 2014. The stock Samsung messenger app was laggy for me, battery life suffers badly with signal issues and Airplane mode makes it worse, I cannot use Ultra-Power Saving mode because I use Google Messenger for SMS, untimely software updates through T-Mobile which is behind THREE OTHER CARRIERS for updates :mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad:. The phone uses so much system resources just to run Touchwiz. Wi-Fi calling is glitchy at times. I got multiple defect hardware fuctions on my phone like a loose speaker grill, a bad fingerprint scanner, and a bad heart rate monitor. The Note 4 is a speed demon and has a good screen and camera and will cooperate when it's not glitching or casing battery issues do a weak signal.

    I suggest the HTC One M9 for a starting Android phone. A lot of people buy the Galaxy and resent it because of the headaches of ownership. The M9 has the latest tech on the market plus a cool design, good speakers, simple and pleasurable software experience but at the cost for okay battery life and an underperforming camera. If you can get past the camera and battery life, the M9 provides a more intuitive Android experience. I consider the HTC One the iPhone of Android since it has such a good user experience for core functions and the same build quality. I only use Galaxies because of my experience with Touchwiz and the features. I have owned a Nexus 4, GS3, GN2-GN4, LG G3, HTC One M7, HTC One M8, GS5, LG G2X, HTC Sensation, HTC G1/Dream. The best phone I owned was the GS3. The worst was the G2X. I say HTC has been the most consistent performing company from my user experience. The S5 and N4 brought me nothing but utter disappointment.
     
  7. MRU macrumors demi-god

    MRU

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    #7
    First Time Smartphone Buyer Needs Advice! Galaxy S6 or...?


    Yes they are suitable for a professional environment. In a professional environment your unlikely to be judged by what phone you are using (more your capability of doing the job) - doing so would be unprofessional ;). Just avoid downloading a ton of games and playing them at your job and you'll be fine.

    Can I ask what profession - we may be able to recommend apps for both platforms that may prove useful in that particular environment.

    There are many fantastic production apps on both platforms that you can usually find apps that will enhance your workflow in that environment.
     
  8. RynotheDyno thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Apr 2, 2015
    #8
    I am finishing up an engineering degree (EE) in the next year, and will be doing an internship this summer. Part of the reason I decided to upgrade was not wanting to carry around an old beat up flip phone that only receives texts some of the time, etc...

    Obviously I agree about actual job performance and conduct having a much greater impact than choice of phone, but I wanted to check nonetheless. I don't even know the last time I played a "computer" game of any sort haha.

    Right now, I use Workflowy on my laptop and iPod Touch (although I don't really care for the app, honestly) to keep track of tasks, as well as other relevant lists of information. I have been looking for a better solution though, one that would work better with a mobile device.

    Another question: are the apps really worse on Android? All of the same things seem to be available in the Google Play store (plus cool stuff to customize things, obviously), but are they really more glitchy and less nice to look at?
     
  9. MRU, Apr 3, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2015

    MRU macrumors demi-god

    MRU

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    #9
    First Time Smartphone Buyer Needs Advice! Galaxy S6 or...?

    There is a tendency for apps to be slightly better optimised on iPhone simply because it's a set hardware. Android apps can be poorer on occasion due to incompatibilities due to huge amount of variations of hardware that Android apps have to run upon.

    That being said the last few years there has been much parity between the two.

    Are you using AutoDesk in your workflow? If so there are apps which will allow you to open and view projects. such as AutoCad 360 etc.

    If you need to keep control of tasks then apps like Wunderlist or Evernote which are multi platform will allow you to keep your device (android or iOS) synced and up-to date with PC/Mac .

    I would suggest for productivity use Id recommend the 6+ over the regular iPhone 6 if your are comparing with the S6. That extra screen estate does pay off in Apps allowing for more content to be seen and especially in the main productivity apps. Also battery life of the 6+ is vastly superior to the regular 6, so even after a busy day on your phone you will still be good for battery compared to the regular model which I found only OK.
     
  10. RynotheDyno thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Apr 2, 2015
    #10
    So basically the optimization of apps in iOS is something to consider, but not a big deal?

    Not using AutoDesk at this point, although I may at some point once I enter industry. Right now it is mostly school stuff. I keep a general to do list, but like how Workflowy allows me to have other lists (interesting quotes, long term goals, books I have read, etc...) that I can nest for organization. Maybe Evernote?

    I really like the idea of Android's home screen, and being able to have the time, weather, my score of my favorite team's game, etc, all right there. That just seems like a really basic functionality to me, as opposed to just having a screenful of apps staring back at you when you unlock the phone. Although having prompt access to iOS updates, and app developers more concerned about iOS is nice too...
     
  11. Fernandez21, Apr 3, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2015

    Fernandez21 macrumors 601

    Fernandez21

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    #11
    Whether the optimization of apps is a big deal or not depends on the app. Some developers will give equal resources to both, so there really isn't a big difference, just maybe slightly smoother or faster on iOS, however others still give more resources to the iOS side, so you'll see a bigger difference there. The Hulu app is one example where on iOS it has been redesigned and has a more polished look and feel, while the android version still has an older style that while it still works, it doesn't look or feel as good as the iphone's.

    As for the time, weather, sports scores, you can have those in your notification panel on the today screen. Not sure if its better or worse, I like how those widgets make my homescreen look, but on iOS those widgets are available without having to leave your app, just swipe down and its there. You do get more options on widgets with android though.

    Also, since your looking at the 6plus, have you thought about the Note 4? The spen might actually be of use to you for drawing and writing notes. Also in black its pretty "business" like.
     
  12. MRU macrumors demi-god

    MRU

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    #12

    Agreed... Note 4 maybe better suited for the needs you describe OP. More so than either IPhone or S6.
     
  13. RynotheDyno thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #13
    Haha, well those are the 3 phones I have been trying to make up my mind between for the last week. I think I just really need to spend some time playing with each of them to see which I prefer. Otherwise I just keep cycling my opinion from one to the other...
     
  14. Fernandez21 macrumors 601

    Fernandez21

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    #14
    Ha, well all three are great phones and will do all the things you mentioned in your op equally, with the exception of work flow, since that depends on what your work flow is like. The differentiators for each phone are:

    S6 is the fastest and probably has the best camera. Its also the most pocketable and has the best "in hand" feel, and has wireless charging. Its also the least expensive of the 3. Downside is that is has the smallest screen and shortest battery life of the 3.

    6plus will give you more apps optimized for the screen size, so you get a lot more on screen info. It will get fast updates and gets a lot of apps first. You also get all the apple things (face time, iCloud, imessage, etc.) It is the most expensive of the 3, and it will limit you if you have to upload files for class.

    Note 4 has the largest screen, removable battery, and expandable memory. You get the spen, which could come in handy for you. You also get multiwindow. Downside is that it will lag further behind updates than the other 2 and apps generally don't take advantage of the extra screen size. Touchwiz is also pretty bloated and you get worse performance when compared to the other 2.
     
  15. RynotheDyno thread starter macrumors newbie

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  16. MRU macrumors demi-god

    MRU

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    #16

    Good summary - Though Note 4 could likely be picked up cheaper than the other two at this stage ;)
     
  17. soulsyphon macrumors regular

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    May 3, 2014
    #17
    the only phones you should consider are...

    nexus 6 or iphone 6 plus.

    why nexus 6? because it has "stock" android, which means it doesn't have a bloated skin/software installed in it taking up ram and crashing all your apps or lagging them all. htc uses "sense" and samsung uses "touchwiz"

    nexus 6 uses android, and android only. since you don't care about gaming, you don't need the latest phone aka galaxy s6... nexus 6 will be good enough.

    if you are using apple products... imac or macbooks, get the iphone, it works together like imessage where you can text other iphones from your mac... if you use windows you'll probably like android better (iphone still works with windows but will lack osx features)

    get the iphone if you like quality, think of the iphone as a console device... there is only two iphones... the 6 and 6 plus (and the older versions) which is why apps run better and why it lags less. apple is turning out to be a luxury company...

    think of the iphone as a bmw or mercedes... you feel good inside it, everything works and its superb quality... but then think of an android as a suit up honda civic... which is fully customized to your liking and has more options and works with more products.

    the android you can plug into your pc and browse whats inside your phone... you can't really do that on iphone... you have to use itunes... which can get annoying. the honda civic suit up can have crazier specs than the bmw/mercedes... better lights and better paint job, but the bmw/mercedes doesn't require anything besides a purchase and its good to go and works with no issues.

    when you buy an iphone... you buy a furnished condo, nothing needs to removed or added... you can rent the place instead of buying it and it would be the same thing... as for android its like buying a house, you decide entirely how you want it to look and function.

    do you like furnished condos/bmws or suit up cars/houses?

    its really simple when you look at it that way. its much easier to understand... and i've had 3 android phones and 4 iphones... i prefer iphones... i'm a furnished condo/bmw guy.
     
  18. RynotheDyno thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #18
    Ok, so I went into Best Buy and Verizon today and played around with a bunch of the phones...

    Nexus 6: Too big for me. I liked the screen, but it was just uncomfortable to hold. I do love the simple design of it though.

    iPhone 6+: Love the screen. The size, the quality, all of it. Super smooth when navigating around through apps. Remarkable really. But it too was awkward to use one handed (especially with no back button on the lower right portion of the screen). I was also reminded while using it how I really don't care for the layout of iOS.

    Galaxy S6: Loved it. Has a really nice feel in my hand... can easily use it with one hand. Screen still seems to be amply sized for my needs (although that extra size on the 6+ was pretty sweet). Very fast and responsive. The only issue was when I was scrolling through Flipboard, there were a few hitches. Not sure if that was the internet though (all devices needed extra time to download video...). Any thoughts on that? I didn't really notice a problem with the Touchwiz interface (not that I know Android well though), and it seemed like I could hide pretty much anything I didn't want to see.

    So, barring some unforeseen event or new information, I think I will go with the S6. Seems to me it will be the most functional everyday phone for what I need of it.
     
  19. soulsyphon macrumors regular

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    #19
    the iphone doesn't really have a back button but if you press the big button at the bottom of the phone you go back to the main screen. the apps themselves should have back buttons inside of them.

    as for the nexus 6 and iphone 6 plus, when put them side by side they are almost exactly the same in terms of height and width... except iphone6 is 5.5 inch screen and nexus 6 is 6 inch screen. you could of tried the regular iphone 6 which is 4.7 inch screen.

    anyways, it doesn't really matter all that much unless you become a phone addict. have fun

    check out this app on android
    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.todoist

    it also works in chrome.
     
  20. cracksoup macrumors 6502

    cracksoup

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    #20
    You seem to like the S6 which sounds like a nice choice.

    Some people here make the iPhone sound like it has no lag. I will guarantee you that it has. It's simply just a matter of what type of lag you are used to. People who use iPhones all the time think that it's frustrating when occasionally a Galaxy device lags when scrolling. A Galaxy owner think that it's very annoying when webpages and apps constantly reload themselves in iOS. Some times I go back to my iPhone 5 for a couple of days to see if I could live with it, but it's really hard when I've gotten used to the completely flawless multitasking on my Note 3. The phone has gotten much smoother and less laggy since I got it with android 4.1.

    When I discover a common lag in my Note, it's usually sorted out in a matter of months. However Samsung had some problems with their default gallery app, it is slow to open on my sisters S3 and only a little better on my Note 3, so test that out if you get the chance. However Samsung has gotten so much better in a very short notice so I wouldn't worry about slowdowns or lag on either the S6 nor the Note 4.

    Another myth that I would like to bust is that people still say that Galaxy devices or Android in general get slow after a year or so... Those people simply just don't know what they're talking about. As I said, if anything, my Note 3 is faster and more responsive with Kit Kat than it was with Jelly Bean when I bought it in February 2014. If the Note 5 doesn't catch my interest all too much, I plan on keeping my current phone for at least one more year.
     
  21. mrex macrumors 68020

    mrex

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    #21
    First Time Smartphone Buyer Needs Advice! Galaxy S6 or...?

    if i was in your pants, i would take Note4. Much more fun (=use). and if you dont need usefull stuff like spen, i would pickup OPO (if it is working with your carrier) a cheap but excellent device.

    Some android devices came slower after some time, mostly because of the poor trim support or not support at all. But not nowadays.. Google added the trim support to android 4.3... My galaxy note10.1. became always slow (android 4.1) after some time but now running kitkat (android 4.4) it works fine...
     
  22. soulsyphon macrumors regular

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