Second, guess the iPhone…Android? (Yes, another one of these)

Hello fellow rumors,

Hope you are all doing well and safe!

First, let me say that I’ve been an avid reader of this forum for years, but have never really felt the need to bother creating an account and participate, mainly because I really didn’t have anything to add to the discussions. So far I think.

I’ve been using the iPhone since the iPhone 4 came out. I might have had a few interactions with Android in between, mostly when I lost my iPhone and/or when it got repaired or similar, and always with pretty cheap phones, so it’s a very soft example of platform. My parents both use Android phones, so I mostly know my way around (at least the basics).

I have upgraded from iPhone 4 to 4S – 5S – 7 – XR – 11 – 12 – 13 Pro Max – 14 Pro – 13 base which I am currently using for the past few months.

I bet you’re wondering what happened to the last part of this iPhone chain and I’ll tell you: I lost my iPhone 12 at the time, which I loved very much, and I decided to give it my all and get the 13 Pro to get Max. I only had it for 3 months before finally selling it. I had two big complaints about it: the size and the camera. The camera had some weird focusing issues where it kept focusing around the subject. This wasn’t normal at all but honestly could just be my unit. The size: I have nothing against big phones at all. What really bothered me was the lack of usability from that big screen. They just didn’t seem to care. It was an iPhone on steroids, but with a bad sense of opportunity.

After that the 14 series was just released and I decided to go back to the full size iPhone and get the 14 Pro. size was wonderful. I felt that the phone was poorly balanced overall with those huge cameras on the back. So far Apple has done little to make the dynamic island useful, I think you can all agree. I really thought we were going to see a lot of different integrations and uses quickly, but it was mainly a music controller and a Timers & Calls big rectangle on the screen.

But even putting that aside…this little beast of a phone cost me no more and no less than 1350 euros (yes, I’m in Europe – it’s shocking indeed). And after a few days I had a significant purchase regret and after a week and a half I sent it back to Apple.

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The 14 Pro was great, but in general I just felt that there was no tangible way to justify the price hike from my iPhone 12. Yes, the camera was better, the 120Hz felt smooth and fast, but other than that… what else? So I took a barely used 13 base model that I’ve been using for the past few months.

No wonder it feels the same as my 12. The battery is slightly better. The 60hz take some getting used to again, but manageable. I would argue that the camera is … almost the same? Now that I think about it…this iPhone 13, much like my 12…feels about the same as my 11. Maybe my XR, apart from the fact that the screen is much better.

After all this I started to feel a little stupid. Yes, they work well (although iOS 16 was a bit of a messy update), but overall how outdated has the iPhone become? It’s 2023 and we’ve yet to see things people have been asking for ages: Multitasking? No. Free arrangement of the app icons on the start screen? No. USB-C? No. Load faster? No. Gosh we have this “innovative” lock screen customization and now I almost have to solve world hunger to change my home screen wallpaper.

Of course, this got me thinking about Android in general and as I’ve recently seen how advanced and stable it has become over the last few years. I’ve been watching the launch of the Pixel 7 Pro closely, and while it appealed to me a bit, I just feel like Google phones are trimmed in certain ways that don’t really translate to flagship quality. It’s the materials, the bugs, the fact that my land isn’t part of their store so I can’t shop from them etc. I guess we’re not even getting 5G on it…

Finally, last month the S23 range was released and this time I was very, very curious about it, especially the S23 Ultra.

In terms of design, I think it’s a beautiful phone that’s very different from the iPhone, but not in a bad way. I had already really enjoyed the design of the S21 Ultra and S22 Ultra, but being in Europe with all the Exynos toys I would never consider buying a phone that is a capped version of the one sold in other countries . What is that? leftovers?

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But this time Samsung has brought out the big guns and the reviews are indeed unanimous: it’s one (if not the best) of the best phones available right now. The competition is the iPhone 14 Pro/Pro Max.

So putting them side by side…why does the 14 Pro feel like an old iPhone with a bit of steroids?

I was considering switching to the S23 Ultra, you may or may not have already figured it out. Apart from a few things that really worry me, I don’t suffer from the same problems as our US friends:

– Nobody, and I mean nobody used iMessage here. Damn, my sister turned it off. My girlfriend sent me an Animojy 1 year and that was it. We are all deeply involved in Whatsapp. And if one day this country starts switching platforms, it would probably be something like Telegram (always something cross-platform and universal). So iMessage is not an issue for me.

– In my case, the word ecosystem doesn’t exist at all:

I don’t own a PC (Mac/Windows) because I work all day + extra hours in front of a PC and when I get home the last thing I want is to look at another one. I don’t think I’ve owned a personal computer in the last 5/6 years.

I don’t own iPads/tablets either, I much prefer to sit on the couch in front of a fairly modern 55 inch OLED TV and watch a good movie or some episodes of Last of Us

I’ve never been a fan of watches in general. When Apple released the Apple Watch, it didn’t even cross my mind to get one, and to this day I remain determined. I like my wrists free like a bird. I see a lot of people entangled with the iPhone mainly because of the Apple Watch, so this (like the iMessage deal) isn’t an issue for me either.

I don’t own Airpods, Airtags, Apple TVs, nothing… the iPhone is my only Apple device. And actually my only device – period.

Well… what I use: Airdrop. My friend takes photos of our dogs and she airdrops them to me and vice versa. My sister the same. Sending photos via WhatsApp sucks because even if you have higher quality enabled in the settings, they always compress it to a point where it sucks. I really need a good alternative to Airdrop.

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Notes… We use a lot of common notes. I honestly don’t love the iPhone notes app, but my girlfriend does like it. I think I could convince them to use a third party, but it would have to be cross-platform, free, and pretty good.

Find My… I already fixed this with Life360 about a year ago. Has a lot more functionality and circles are great too.

Facetime… that’s what I use. Not every day, but occasionally. While I’ve tried Whatsapp video calling – it’s not bad, but it’s not great either.

And I guess those are my ties that I have to break in order to move. Everything else I use is cross-platform and I’ve never been inclined to use Apple stuff like iCloud… I’ve been using Google Photos for years to pay for the premium storage. Gmail instead of the iOS Mail app; I use Safari, but switching browsers is fine with me…

I need to solve the problem that all my passwords are stored in iCloud keychain. Is there a replacement for Android?

I’ve been quite impressed with the camera feedback for the S23 Ultra, I have two major concerns:
– Video quality… how far is it from the iPhone in the video?
– Shutter lag… does it still exist? I take photos of my dogs daily and they have 5000mAh batteries!

I don’t really use social media to take photos or videos, maybe I’ll share some stuff on Instagram or Tiktok someday, but I don’t see the point of recording in the apps. And I have consistently reduced social networks to my life.

Finally, the idea behind this lengthy post is that you guys “convince” me to make the jump. I need a culprit going south

Can you please give me your feedback and user experience when you switched from iPhone to S23 Ultra? What do you miss and don’t miss? What are the positive things you felt? what are the negatives

Also, I should note that my employer has a partnership with Samsung, so I have 15% off everything. According to my research, I can purchase an unlocked S23 Ultra with 512GB of storage for $1100.

For comparison, if I wanted to snag an iPhone 14 Pro with 512GB it would tear my wallet at 1740 euros, or for the 14 Pro Max an insane 1900 euros lmao. Almost 2k for a phone.