From iPhone to Galaxy S4

Discussion in 'Alternatives to iOS and iOS Devices' started by kasakka, Jul 5, 2013.

  1. kasakka macrumors 68020

    Oct 25, 2008
    So I recently got a decent deal on a new Galaxy S4 and jumped on it since there doesn't seem to be anything decent coming out in the next month or so. I was initially after the HTC One Mini but considering I got the S4 for only slightly more than what the One Mini will most likely cost, I decided to hop on Samsung's ship. My previous phone was the iPhone 4 so this is mostly a comparison to that.

    First off, I'm not an expert Android user. I used them at my previous workplace but mostly just for website testing so I don't know all the ins and outs of the settings and whatnot. This is my first own Android phone.

    First impressions:

    • It is not as bad in the hand as I thought it would be. I have tried the S4 and S3 previously and didn't particularly like them but I did get used to the S4 in a day. I still occasionally touch the home button with my palm and it's far from perfect for one handed use, especially reaching for the buttons on the bottom is awkward. If I had a say in it, the S5 would drop back a bit to about 4.3-4.5 inches while retaining the same almost bezel-free display.
    • The S4 looks and feels noticeably less like plastic than the S3. Kudos to Samsung for that. I really don't mind it despite being used to the aluminum/glass of iPhones and iPads.
    • The phone gets surprisingly hot. The only times I've felt heat on my iPhone 4 was when gaming but this was just downloading updates etc and got noticeably warm.
    • There's issues with the S4 when used with D-Link Wi-Fi routers. I have a DIR-655 and the connection would often drop after a minute or so but the S4 didn't show that in any way other than nothing being downloaded. As I write this I'm updating the router firmware to a brand new one and see if that fixes the issue. Just something people should know.
    • Personally not sold on the replaceable battery etc. The way I see it, if I drop it the phone just goes to several pieces even if no permanent damage is done. I much prefer the portable USB battery chargers that are easy and more convenient than replacing the whole battery when on the go.
    • Touchwiz/Android is messy. It is truly awful that every program has its own settings window rather than there being just one single place to access any program settings like on iOS. Many options are also littered in several places (like some sound options not being under sound because they pertain to keyboard sounds for example). What Android really needs is some Advanced settings menus for the truly esoteric stuff. I hate that I often have to guess what a function does because it's just branded or obscure and I consider myself very tech savvy.
    • Editing the home screens is kinda annoying as you can't just turn on an edit mode and drag icon after icon to where you want but have to hold, drag, hold, drag all the time. Not being able to organise the apps screen is annoying too.
    • Samsung really went to town on the bloatware. I have to figure out how to get rid of some of the unnecessary crap. At least they made it easy to toggle all the gesture stuff. While technically impressive, they're mostly just not useful in the real world.
    • Some of the shortcuts just don't make any logical sense. Why would holding back toggle the sidebar thingy? I guess Samsung just thought "well there's a button without a function, let's cram something in there". Learnable, but bad UI design.
    • Not being able to turn off some sounds is really infuriating. No, I don't want the (rather excellent) speak to search feature to make beeps and boops when it's done.
    • Some widgets are a bit silly. If someone can recommend me a weather widget that is smaller than the stock one and a Google Now/Search widget that doesn't have the search bar (that you can't type in), please enlighten me.
    • Having to long press the center button to activate multitasking is not to my liking. I prefer the iOS double tap. The multitasking view works better on Android tablets, on the phone I'd rather see a grid of programs with smaller thumbnails. Maybe this is customizable somehow?
    • It's really nice that I'm actually able to choose what program opens what on this thing. What I don't like is that I've had the "open this in" popup multiple times with the same help messages too. I hope the system soon learns these things and doesn't bug me anymore.
    • The phone does run really smoothly. I did tweak the (developer options) window transitions etc when I got it as well as updating to 4.2.2. The only time I've gotten it to struggle was when I was trying to have my IRC bouncer load hundreds of message log messages into AndroIRC. I really need to find a better IRC client for this thing as I haven't seen similar behavior on iOS in anything but Skype.

    Overall there has just been way too much to customize and lots of not-so-intuitive guesswork for editing stuff but I'm starting to get the hang of it. Android software also looks pretty nice these days and I was able to find suitable replacements for nearly all the apps I used on my iPhone on a regular basis. I really hope that for the S5 Samsung decides to improve the user experience of both Touchwiz and the hardware by making it fit better in the hand and also more intuitive with much less focus on S-whatthe**** software that nobody truly wants. Smaller things like using the camera to check if you are watching the screen are good features but I don't want separate app stores or Google Now alternatives. They should augment the stuff around what Google is doing rather than trying to do their version of the same things.
  2. jcpb macrumors 6502a

    Jun 5, 2012
    When I received my S4 last week, I skipped all the S-stuff and went directly into flashing CM10.1 on it.
  3. maxosx macrumors 68020

    Dec 13, 2012
    Southern California
    My S4 has been absolutely stellar.

    Doesn't run hot
    Has great wifi connectivity
    Zero lag
    Terrific battery life
    No problems

    I'd sure be nice if Apple built an iPhone with a 5.0" display. That's the ideal size for my purposes.
  4. thehustleman macrumors 65816

    Jan 3, 2013
    Buy a fully featured phone then remove features from it..... Yeah that makes sense!
  5. maxosx macrumors 68020

    Dec 13, 2012
    Southern California
    It's called freedom to do as you wish. :D
  6. jcpb macrumors 6502a

    Jun 5, 2012
    I've seen all the S-stuff in action on a demo S4 at a local Best Buy (coupled with obligatory Rogers carrier bloatware) the afternoon before I bought it. And I ******* hated all that crap.

    Your post makes no sense.
  7. sentinelsx macrumors 68010

    Feb 28, 2011
    Just like I always repartition and re-install clean windows on all of my pcs since I started using them...

    I don't see the big deal. It's called being able to configure your device as you see fit. And by flashing cm he did exactly that for his uses.
  8. JeffiJers macrumors 6502a

    Sep 12, 2012
    yeah umm....... the fully featured hardware is still there

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