I switched phones recently, from an iPhone SE 2020 to a Samsung A54.
There are multiple reasons: the biggest one is price – the A54 cost me under 400 euro, about half the price of an iPhone that would make sense. The second is fingerprint scanning: iPhones don’t have these any more, meaning I’d look like a clown multiple times a day (when paying or 2FA’ing). The third is battery life: I needed something that I don’t need to charge every 6 hours.
So what’s it like to use Android after iOS, Gergo?
Well, I’ll tell you.
Hot take 1: it’s good enough.
We live in the good enough economy, and this product is good enough. I’m also in the age now when I give more shits about my sports gadgets than my smart ones, so that helps.
The first thing I bought for the A54 was a Quad Lock phone case (here is a referral link, in case you want to buy one with a discount – it’s really the best bike phone mount system out there) so I could seamlessly switch from iOS to Android on my bikes too, bringing me to my next point.
Hot take 2: switching platforms is now very easy.
As long as you didn’t use apple’s federated login capability and you have a password manager, migrating personal services is frictionless, and for the most part the UX is the same regardless of platform.
Migrating work related access on the other hand… Oh my god,
It’s like all focus is going towards making the user experience as shit as possible. I have this long going theory that companies without exception at a certain size create the role of “unusability architect” (maybe there’s regulation about it or something) that has to review all internal ux and pour misery dust all over it. As a result, setting up work stuff on any device is a pain, transferring accounts even a bigger one. And if you want to use multiple devices regularly, you might as well quit your job because hey, you’ll spend half of your time reauthenticating/reverifying on basically every step you take (and also, indeed, every move you make). But it’s fine because who, in 2023, would use muLtipLe deViCeS, am I right?
Hot take 3: screen big.
I no like screen big. (Even though the colours on this one are ✨g✨o✨r✨g✨e✨o✨u✨s✨.)
But I like proper sized but very expensive phones with no fingerprint scanner even less so that’s that.
Still, why don’t Samsung make the same phone with a 4″ screen?
Hot take 4: that battery life, omg that battery life.
2 days, and I’m not even kidding. While I really had to charge my iPhone literally twice a day (or: constantly), the same use gives me an easy 2 days on the A54. It’s awesome. I now switched on “Battery protection” that will always stop charge at 85%, because even with that I comfortably last for more than a day. I can even have my mobile network switched on inside my apartment, which would drain the iPhone like there’s no tomorrow. I can hop in my car, put on the navigation, and not plug in my phone, and it will take me all the way there, and back! I can even use it to navigate on my bike!
Observation: Android is (still) good because of the same reasons people dislike it.
That reason is
There are so many settings, so many ways to do stuff, you gotta love it.
Also, and particularly: my Garmin sport watch has actually gained functionality via this switch, as the vendor does not want to lock me in to their own crappy smartwatch platform.
Cold take: unclouding.
Yeah. It’s one of those moments in my life when there’s really a lot of other shit in my life to care about my own privacy enough (such an uphill battle on iOS too, to be honest), so for now I opted out from Google’s (and Samsung’s) tracking as much as I could, I uninstalled or disabled their apps as much as I could, and I installed F-Droid and rely on it for my app / private cloud / etc. needs. (Except for work stuff, where I need MDM enrollment and that good Microsoft stack, see above…)
I feel I’m not taking steps back, but certainly don’t take steps forward with this.
Unsure take: camera.
I’m not sure yet how I feel about the camera in this. It should be better than a 3 year old lowend iPhone, right? I took these 2 actual photos so far:
Look a bit oversaturated, don’t they? But it’s hard to test it out yet with that aforementioned other shit in my life combined with the exceptionally dutch summer we get this year…
I switched, and I stand by it. It was a good (enough) decision.