iPhone 6 + review from a long time Android user

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by valdigre, Apr 30, 2015.

  1. valdigre macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2007
    Location:
    Dublin, Ireland
    #1
    This might be a bit long but I like writing and sharing my opinions on things I really like, especially to people who had the same question as I did - Is this finally a good moment to switch platform?

    But, first things first...

    My background

    Software developer, likes gadgets however smartphones are my most favourite.

    I have used Symbian keypad phones (Nokia e51), Symbian touch phones (Samsung i8910), Android phones (Samsung Galaxy S, S2, HTC One M7, Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and my last one until now - Sony Xperia Z2). I have also had a short romance with Windows Phone 8 (Nokia Lumia 920) but it turned out to be a very short and unsatisfactory adventure... Also, I had Samsung Wave "smartphone" which was Samsung's attempt to compete with iOS and Android.

    I currently use Mac mini 2012 and iPad Air 2 so I am not new to Os X or IOS.

    Most important things for me in my current phone

    1) Good camera. I love taking photos and I need to have a decent phone camera to provide me as realistic and detailed photos as possible.
    2) Battery life. All my previous phones, aside from Htc One and Lumia 920 had a decent battery life. I started to become spoiled with great battery life when switched to Samsung Note 3 but Sony Xperia Z2 is the first touchscreen smartphone that allowed me to have 2-3 days of usage (I'd say light/medium usage)
    3) Stable platform, good choice of apps. iOS and Android have comparable choice however later on that.

    My Experience with Android and path from Android to IOS

    I have always liked Android. Even in the old days, when it was not really fluid and was crashing from time to time (especially good old Touchwiz on Galaxy S/S2), I always had a feeling of having a small computer in my pocket. I could use it as a normal phone to call and message my friends and family, but I could also use applications that would expand it's functionality. My phone allowed me to store whatever files I liked (my pendrive), I could play and watch almost any media file on it. I even ditched my small pocket digital camera because back then photos were decent enough for my use. I had a car navigation with online and offline apps, I used it as a basic hand console for games. I could even run a web server on the phone if I wanted and I had a big choice of many free apps. Endless possibilities.

    I felt unrestricted!

    This era was really started by Galaxy S2 for me. It was a work horse, indestructable, an icon and even today thought as one of the best phones. Needless to say, I still have it as my backup phone. Galaxy S2 I had the longest, I loved being able to heavily use the battery and replace it once it became used and no longer as efficient as at the start. It was also the time when I bought my first iOS product - iPad 2. I loved iPad for reading, browsing and general media consumption, but hated it for not being able to freely feed media to it like with Android.

    I was disapointed with Galaxy S3 unveiling and decided to try something new - I went for Lumia and Windows Phone OS. Lack of apps made me get rid of the phone quite quickly but experiences with it and my iPad made me to revisit my requirements, needs and approach to portable devices. I wanted something that is more responsive, more reliable at work and offers nicer overal experience. So later I went for HTC One M7. This was the phone that I loved for its UI skin on top of stock Android - it was really responsive, nice for the eye but was lacking good camera and battery life. This was the first Android phone that I had and did not need to flash any firmware. It just worked great, but still, was not ideal. In the mean time I have my iPad to parents and bought iPad 3 retina and was just amazed by the screen clarity and more and more polished iOS experience.

    I sold M7 and went back to Samsung - bought Note 3. I liked battery life, great camera but the device was too big for my hand and I could not use it comfortably. It looked big, felt big and with time it was getting slow and battery life quickly was deteriorating. I sold it and bought Sony Xperia Z2.

    Best Android phone I have ever had... Camera was just great for me, it was waterproof (Even recently I was making photos in downpour in Rome without any fear for it), it had double tap to wake up functionality which I find really convenient! Android experience was not as great as HTC M7 but still really good. The phone has fantastic battery life and could easily last me 2-3 days with my light to medium usage. But... Speakers, even two of them, are really quiet and it annoys me. I realised how unrealistic the color reproduction is in the camera and even though images look great, they are not realistic often times. There are flaps covering micro usb port which are annoying, because every time you want to access this port you have to open and close the flap and the more you touch it, the less protection they give against water (seals deteriorate). Screen has a visible digitizer on the glass and in the sun it reflects light significantly and is just plain annoying. Other than that hardware is great, but... Android... I thing I got tired of it.

    In the mean time I have my iPad 3 to parents again, they gave iPad 2 to my grandma (!) and I bought iPad Air 2. Other than worse or comparable battery life to my iPad 3 - everything is great with it!

    Comparing my Android experience with iPad experience, I started to miss this iOS experience in my phone.

    When I started with Android I had passion, time and patience to tune up my phone as much as I could, custom firmware flashing, custom kernels etc. Time was passing by and my attitude started evolving from "tinkerer" to "I want something that works great out of the box". This has been happening over a period of around 4 years with every next phone.

    Well, 6 months after 6 plus showed up - now polished with most of software and hardware problems - so I decided to try it out. I decided to try move the iPad experience from my home use to every day use, on my daily phone...

    The iPhone 6 +

    So I bought it and have been using it for the past 3 days and I know enough already to give my personal, detailed opinion - from Android user perspective.

    My first impression when I picked the phone was: "****, it's beautiful..." Then I thought it is a bit heavy... Next thought was, that it feels tough and solid... And I had a smile on my face. I don't know why. I had confidence, that if I don't like it I can return it in 14 days but I just could not see a reason why I should consider it...

    After setting it up, installing the same apps that I had on Android - I started playing with it. Well, it looks and feels really premium, unlike any other phone I have had before. Everything looks well thought out, every minor detail, curve... The phone is big but unlike Galaxy Note 3, it feels really manageble. I don't know why is that, but 6 plus seems easier to operate and hold for me, than Note 3. I would not be able to use either of them freely with just one hand, but I have not been doing it for years and don't need to.

    The screen is fantastic, seems to be brighter than my previous Sony and a has a better visibility outdoors. The image is really crisp, color representation great.
    Touch ID I knew from Air 2 but in your personal phone, it is just much more convenient for day to day life. I no longer need to use some silly lockscreen techniques like pattern drawing or others. Mind you it wasn't really inconvenient but a bit annoying if you want to quikcly unlock your phone and in your rush, you make a mistake in drawing a correct pattern... Once... Twice...

    iOS is still plain simple, screens of application icons/folders and nothing more... But I don't need any fancy widgets any more. For me is enought that iOS now supports basic widgets in notification panel and I can see a full week weather forecast along with other relevant to me notifications.

    The more I use iPhone the more satisfaction I have... It may sound silly but it is true. Every app that I am using are consitant. Consistant in experience, consistant in performance, consistant in look and feel. And they just work! Skype notifications finally work without problems! All notifications show up on time, no delays, no problems! In Z2 Skype would fail in background and after a while I would not get notifications. Some apps would have delayed notifications. Most apps would look ok but not as polished as on IOS. This is huge for me! Everything works and works quickly!

    This brings another point, how specs don't matter that much!!! There is this constant spec war Android vs Apple and I never understood it. So what that Galaxy S6, this year flagship, has 2.6 ghZ CPU, 3 gb of ram if it is still inferior to iPhone, last year's technology, with almost half the CPU speed and only 1 gb RAM!
    Software optimization, design - this is what matters.

    IOS was designed to work on touchscreen devices and Android? You may not know this but Android was not designed for touch screen devices!!! They designed it for keyboard phones but when iPhone showed up, Google was caught of guard and had to implement touch screen support to be able to compete. The problem is, that this is not in the core design of the system. You can see it and feel it even know, years after. Android devices are not so responsive as WIndows Phone 7/8 or iOS devices.

    I started playing with camera. Immediately I noticed that the colors are much more natural on iPhone and dynamic range is much better.
    Night shots turned out to be more grainy on iPhone but its actually good, I realised that much lower noise on Z2 was due to heave post processing. Pictures looked unnatural in colours and brightness.
    I have not had the chance to fully compare the cameras but I don't even intend to because differences are visible immediately.

    Sure, I could shot 20 megapixel photos on Sony and had lots of manual options on it, but with time I realised I need a quick point and shoot with great auto and this is where iPhone 6 plus wins hands down.

    Speaker? Well, just one on iPhone 6 plus but surprisingly - as lound as two speakers on Z2. Sure, they are front facing and iPhone has one on the edge, but I don't think I will mind that. Why? Because it is plenty enough of the power it offers. Notifications are much louder on iPhone, I can finally hear my notifications on street and volume is not cranked to the full! Great!

    Call quality? Well, call quality seems to be a little bit better on iPhone but there is one area where Z2 smashes any other phone I had. VOIP call quality. When I called my parents they thought I was calling from my mac mini (I have a great web cam with really solid microphones)! The clarity of my voice, details were apparently in a different league than the rest of my previous phones. This is a great news for me because often times I had to call from iPad because using skype on phones in loudspeaker mode was out of question - echo, too silent voice or other problems.

    GPS seems to be solid, hard to tell if more or less precise reading than Z2 so unable to judge this. Have not had a chance to use gps while driving but in the city jungle, while walking amongh buildings, it was doing fine.

    Battery... Well, at the end of each day, on my Z2, I would have anywhere between 85%-70% of battery left. It is still early to say but Yesterday I had 80%, as I am typing it, I have 80% again but what is most important - battery usage is consistant. In Android it can be inconsistant, depending if there is some rogue app in memory constantly draining juice. iOS does not have so many system services running in background, everything just works great. My usage has not changed dramatically but I get the same if not better battery life then Z2. This is maybe my imagination and time will verify this, but so far everything indicates this as a fact.
    Why do I care about battery life if I am such a light user? Well, many reasons. I have lots of juice to spare and a potential I can use, if I needed a bit more from my phone or I was without power supply for a longer time. Also, being able to charge my phone at 50-70% means my battery health will be good for longer. If you drain your phone to 0-30% every day, your battery life will deteriorate much quicker then in my case. It is quite important because in the era of built in batteries, we do not have the flexibility of previous Galaxy S devices, where if battery failed, you could buy a new one for 20 dollars.
    I do not play games on my phone, try not to drain and strain battery with hours of wifi video streaming.

    Surprisingly, though, iPhone does not get too warm. I presume it is the size and aluminum that it is built, low cpu seed and good software, but it is refreshing to keep a cool phone. It it cold all the time even when I charged it from 0-100, at no point was it warm to touch... Incredible!

    Another thing to keep in mind for battery health. iPhone slow charges its battery, it uses I think a 1amp charger. Nowadays there is a fashion for Super fast charging phones, like S6 which is supposed to charge in full in 70 minutes or something. Oh, and the wireless charging? It all sounds nice and great, but this will have dramatic impact on battery health of those phones! So what that you can quickly charge those phones from 0%, if your battery health will deteriorate noticibly only after a couple of months. I always slow charge my phones and really recommend doing the same to you guys!

    That reminds me, I love the fact that I can control background/multitasking in iOS per each app - this has a huge impact on battery life. I could do the same with Android, but there is now dedicated settings page as it is in Android. It is easy to do and I can control the way each app behaves and how it notifies me about changes.
    This really lets you customize only the necessary things to be able to refresh in the background.

    What else can I say? I probably forgot to mention a couple of things and may add to it later on....

    Did I say I really love the overall experience???? :)

    You people know iOS, what can I say more - it just works!

    Things I will miss or am not so happy about

    I bought this phone knowing all the limitations that iOS has. I decided to make the jump anyway, because those limitations became less significant than in the old days. Now I have a 4g internet connection, 120 mbit internet at home with a NAS server serving my multimedia in home network and outside world. I have dropbox as well as onedrive, synced even to my nas. I am not limited by storage. My Qnap NAS file browser app allows me to locally download media to a local app folder and in combination with a third party app, I can view non mp4 movies on my ipad and iphone :)

    Unfortunately I cannot download pictures and music to my iPhone/iPad library, but oh well... I upload my pictures to NAS, create online galleries and I am able to view them and share online.

    In many other aspects IOS is still very limited. Overall, customization is very limited but I have grown out of it. I do not need to set custom ringtones, animated wallpapers, million of options so that my phones screen looks unique etc. I just want something that works, notifies me of things I care about and to be honest, can be minimalistic as it iOS is.

    I hate the fact that I have so many micro usb cables lying around that are not compatible with iPhone, but I guess I can buy microusb to lightning adapter and that is that.

    I have a couple of android headsets with mics, which will now not work with iphone, at least the mic part in conversations but oh well...

    Other than that, I don't see more problems.

    I am confident in the product quality and support and that is very important for me as well!
    No other manufacturer warrants their product like this, no other supports their phones with firmware updates for so many years.

    Sheesh, enough of this...
     
  2. TL24 macrumors 6502a

    TL24

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2011
    #2
    Felt the same way when I made the jump from my old HTC G2 to an iPhone 4S, I've never looked back up until the S6 was released so we'll see how that goes lol...

    Great in-depth comparison though, thanks for sharing!
     
  3. kargurin macrumors regular

    kargurin

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2015
    #3
    Also came from the Note 3. Which for some unknown reason DL'd data at around 1-4 Mbps a few months ago. Verizon sent me an S5 to replace it. Sent it back because you don't go backwards from 32 gb of storage. And that was the end of my relationship with Verizon.

    You wrote this which pretty much summarizes my view of migrating from Android to the 6 +........

    'iOS is still plain simple, screens of application icons/folders and nothing more... But I don't need any fancy widgets any more. For me is enought that iOS now supports basic widgets in notification panel and I can see a full week weather forecast along with other relevant to me notifications.'

    It was important that iOS evolved into this because otherwise it is simply an app launcher. I don't want to be launching CBS Sports/Weather/Calendar/up coming bills, etc. all the time. It's a great solution to put it all in the pull down bar.

    I'll add that I think the 6 + has outstanding battery life. Far better than any Android I owned. Then again, I manage my 6+ a bit differently with less syncing in the background which I'm sure helps.

    I think I could have gone for a 5 to 5.25 inch phone but 4.7 was too small. I can guess why Apple chose to go with the two sizes as they are now. Eventually I believe people will want 5 inches as a minimum size.
     
  4. coldjeanzzz macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2012
    #4
    What I've realized is that android will never operate with the same smoothness and consistency as iOS which is why I abandoned it.
     
  5. zone23 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    May 10, 2012
    #5
    If you're like me you will always have that need to tinker with android so keep one of those phones handy. I play with a nexus 5 then go back to my 6+. Its fun to play with but doesn't feel as mature as iOS. I do miss a file system and wish Apple would implement iCloud as a drive on the iPhone. I ask people why they need an 8 core processor in a phone and they never really have an answer. Apple will get to 8 core when the time comes, way down the road. Just my 2 cents.
     
  6. Truefan31 macrumors 68040

    Truefan31

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2012
    #6
    The 6 plus is really turning out to be a great addition. I held off last year instead getting a 6 which I enjoy but I think this year I'll go 6plus. Everything is nice and if they put more ram inside they'll be little to complain about.
     

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