Using an iPhone for the first time ever

Switching to the dark side temporarily

I recently took advantage of an opportunity given to me to place my one and only sim card in an iPhone, for good. This is something I would have never done if it was not free, as I am avid Android and Google user. But being an tech geek overall, I have always had my eye on Apple’s ecosystem.

Background

This opportunity was given to me thanks to Samsung, my personal OEM of choice when picking an Android phone. I recently was an early adopter of their new flagship phablet, the Note 7. With this phone being widely received as the best phone money can buy, I don’t think I need to go into major details as to why I chose this phone. Although just days after receiving it, I start reading headlines stating that a certain number of phones were exploding during charging. This at first didn’t faze me much, as I am very careful with my phones and I am always conscious of when I charge my phone and for how long (I don’t charge my phone overnight). It was only when Samsung officially recalled all 2.4 million phones sold just days later when I started to worry.

Samsung stated in the email given to me along with several annoying text messages from AT&T that I can return the phone for a loaner for now until the new Note 7’s are released. The Samsung email stated that I can trade in my phone for any other Samsung phone. I didn’t hold off any longer and headed over to my nearest AT&T retail store.

On the drive there I was wondering if there was a possibility to have any phone be my loaner, not just a Samsung phone. I told myself to remember to ask the representative helping me if this was something I could do. After spending a few minutes talking to the friendly representative at the store he explained to me that I could technically use any phone as my loaner as long as it was less than or equal to the price of my Note. Being that the Note is one of the most expensive phones on the market currently, I really could choose any phone. From there I told him that I wanted the iPhone. The representative was pretty shocked at my choice after I had just been talking to him about how much I love Android, but also understood that I had a pretty golden opportunity on my hands. I could “test drive” the iPhone for a couple weeks as my loaner for no charge while I wait for my new Note. On one end it could possibly convince me to switch, and on the other end it could simply give my confidence in my decision for choosing the Note and Android as a whole.

My experience

I chose the iPhone 6s 128GB in space grey as my loaner. I opted to not use the plus as I feel it’s too big and doesn’t take advantage of it’s added screen real estate. My very first impressions holding it in my hand where that it’s small, like really small. I quickly adjusted to the screen size though and I found myself enjoying the fact that I could reach about 95% of the screen with one hand without having to do any hand gymnastics. I disabled every Apple app I could and installed 15 of the 20 or so Google apps instead. Some may frown at this decision but being heavily invested in Google services I wanted to make sure I didn’t loose any functionality moving to the iPhone. And that I didn’t; all of my contacts synced instantly, I had all my photos thanks to Google Photos, and I had all of my music thanks to Google Music. So far so good. A couple days in and I just can’t get over how fast the iPhone really is. The 6s I had was just a week from being replaced by it’s newer sibling the iPhone 7 and wouldn’t know it by using it. The way Apple manages RAM made multitasking through almost 10 apps at one time a breeze, something my Note would only dream of doing. All of this being done with half the amount of RAM as my Note, btw. But as the buzz of the fast and shiny new phone faded, the downfalls of the iPhone started to rise. The first one being the screen. At 720p my Note had over 5x the amount of pretty pixels as this iPhone. Did I notice? Sort of. The biggest difference was the brightness in direct sunlight. My Note could be at 75% brightness in direct sunlight and I could still clearly see the screen even with polarized sunglasses on. Even with the brightness cranked on the iPhone I struggled to see the screen at times. Next is the camera. I loved the camera on my Note. Never had an issue getting a good photo with minimal effort on my part (which is very important). The iPhone on the other hand just seemed slower to gain focus and struggled to keep it at times. I am no camera freak so I will leave it at that. I mainly post all of my pics through different social media platforms that process my photo to crap so grandma with her iPhone 4 can load it quickly anyways. I will also note (lol) again that the 6s I had was a year old and camera tech has been evolving pretty rapidly over the years lately. Although early reviews of the iPhone 7’s camera tell me that there is not much of an improvement over the 6s, but we will just have to wait and see. From there it’s just little things that I don’t bother me much but are things I took for granted with my Note. Fast charging. Why isn’t this a feature in every phone? I could top off at a rate of about a percent every 50 seconds with the Note. The iPhone on the other hand was slower than molasses when charging. Now I am pretty anal when it comes to keeping my phone charged, so I made it work. No wireless charging. Didn’t use it much but it’s nice to have for convenience sake. No water resistance. This is huge. As much as I see tests of the iPhone lasting through some decent levels of water, the certification means that Apple can’t screw you when it comes to replacing it if the phone was exposed to water. Last is the design. This one is a real personal preference. I’ve seen this design in the iPhone now for that past two years, and with the iPhone 7 being the same it’s going to be 3 years the with the same overall design. It’s boring, simple as that. The Note 7 is sexy. When I carry the iPhone around campus I feel like every other person. Whereas with my Note I know that I have a better looking phone that stands out on a coffee table. I’m weird when it comes to this, I don’t like fitting into the regular crowd. I bought the LG V10 last year simply because I knew I would be the only one with that phone (among other reasons).

Conclusion

My time with the iPhone makes me miss my Note. I miss the hardware overall. The better screen, camera, charging, and water proofing. I really enjoyed the software experience I had with the iPhone, though. The speedy performance will be something I miss when going back to my Note. I can no longer give anyone crap for buying into the iPhone. I lived with it and I didn’t mind most of it, and that’s me. Most people just want a phone that works. A phone that doesn’t slow down after a year and one that easily takes good photos. And for those needs, I don’t know a phone that does it better than the iPhone.