My experience switching from iPhone (iOS) to Galaxy Note 9 (Android)

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It’s been a couple of years since I thoroughly tested Android (the last version I reviewed was Android 5, I think – recently Android 9 was released).

I’ve been a very happy iPhone user since the first one was released (I had a friend bring me one from the USA), and there’s a good reason the iPhones win consumer awards for friendliness and usability every year.

But, I wanted to try something new, and some of the features of Android (and the Note 9 specifically) were very enticing: better photo quality than the iPhone, more flexibility in the software, expandable memory (up to 1Tb!), double the battery size of the iPhone X, a built-in stylus, and so on.

Also, it’s about time I get up to speed on Android again – people always ask me questions about it that I can’t answer. So, a few weeks ago I went ahead and ordered a Samsung Galaxy Note 9 (one of the flagship Android phones – my first choice was a Google Pixel 3 but that isn’t available in South Africa) instead of the iPhone X.

In this video I highlight some of my likes & dislikes after a week of using the Note 9. In particular:

– Dislike: A lack of multitouch gestures for rotating things, navigating left or right, etc.
– Dislike: Notification centre is messy and “do not disturb” mode still lets message & call notifications appear on-screen, they just don’t make sounds.
– Dislike: The Photo Gallery doesn’t indicate which items you’ve marked as favourites.
– Dislike: Google Dictation doesn’t let you insert punctuation (probably the only thing Siri does better than Google Assistant).
– Dislike: You can’t save photos from WhatsApp, to your photo gallery one-by-one. It’s either save everything automatically, or save nothing.
– Dislike: Deleted photos are immediately deleted forever, there’s no “Deleted Items” folder that automatically removes them 30 days later like on iPhone.
– Dislike: Copying & Pasting as well as text editing in general feels very “clunky”.
– Dislike: No physical “mute” button.

– Like: Larger, higher quality screen than my old iPhone 7+.
– Like: A huge battery, 4000mAh.
– Like: Splitscreen apps, slices of apps, and the ability to concurrently run multiple apps on-screen in windows (not stripped-down “background” versions like the iPhone does).
– Like: Better Google Assistant integration.
– Like: Phone calls that appear as notifications and don’t fill the whole screen, leaving you to continue doing what you were doing if you don’t want to answer.
– Like: Better file management & sharing features.
– Like: Samsung Dex, which allows you to connect the phone to a computer screen and run a desktop operating system.
– Like: A built-in stylus, which is a killer feature for someone like me who takes a lot of notes and often have to explain things on screenshots / photos to people.

Overall, I’m very happy with the Note 9. In my opinion, if you like the extra features, extra flexibility, and better camera that this phone has, it’s worth getting it rather than the iPhone X.

Whether I will get an iPhone again next time my contract renews remains to be seen – it’ll depend on whether Apple innovates with some new features I really need, and how the next two years of using the Note 9 goes. (Worst case I can always just sell the Note 9 and my old iPhone 7+ and get the iPhone X earlier if I have to).

But, I still wouldn’t recommend that you have your parents / grandparents / non-techy friends get Android phones – iPhones are simpler to use, have less things that can go wrong, and will work just fine for them.

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12 Comments

  1. Use the SPen for copying and pasting. The pen can literally can capture any text from anywhere from any spot. Just press hold the pen button and that will detect the text. Look for tutorials about this on YouTube

  2. Hard press the notifications then details and that will show what options to turn off. Also I highly recommend using the built in email app rather than gmail. Email app supports rich text and other features.

  3. You talk about iOS vs Android, but most of the things you mention are Samsung – not Android. And many (all?) of the things you miss are possible with 3rd party apps. Thats the beauty with Android. For gestures I really like the app Fluid Navigation Gestures 🙂

  4. Apple also saves your whatsapp media but never shows you and give you access in contrast Android says its your device I will give you all customization enabled its you who will decide how you want it to be. By the way in share option you can share your images from whatsapp to you gallery too.

  5. Hi! This is such a cool video because i really can tel lthat you are indeed super new to android and it is fascinating to watch your perspective on it. If i may help a little bit when it comes to saving the whatsup pictures i would try long pressing the image as usually (before enlarging it with one click) doing that gives you options like right clicking a mouse and hopefully that way you can save images. Sorry if it does not work, i don't use that app so maybe it really is just not possible. And when it came to your messaging struggles you dont actually have to long press it for 3 seconds until you find the clip board, right there in top of your keyboard you will see the last thing you copied, just press that and it pastes it there. Specifically at minute 14:28 just press the "blah blah…' that is in top of your keyboard and it will paste itself. And at 20:06 the app is inside the bublle at the top so you can open it at any time, i am not a samsung galaxy user but i watch many youtube videos on phones so i more or less know alot about the galaxy phones. In addition my sister and brother have galaxy phones while i have the LG V30, but just like apple many things are universal while others are different. I hope you are able to learn more about the phones since the system really is different from apple and even within android phones note phones are known to have a ton of extra little features so it will probably take a while for you to learn all the features. If you wish to learn them in order to maximize your expirience i suggest videos like "flossy carter – galaxy note 9 real review" which is long but it is also done by someone who has had galaxy phones for a long time so it will teach alot about how to use them.