Android Switch & The Galaxy Note 8

On the 14th of September I took a leap of faith and ordered the Samsung Galaxy Note 8. Having smashed up my iPhone 6 a number of times over the past few years and witnessing Miss’s iPhone carry out the same tasks as mine but much faster, I recognised that after three years, my trusty 128gb phone was going to need replacing.

The iPhone X and iPhone 8 presentation left me both excited and underwhelmed. In fact from the presentation, I was most impressed with the new Apple Watch. The iPhone X would have been the one for me but I’m not fussed on the notch and fancied a bit of a change anyway. Also, as someone who enjoys doodling and watching videos a large screen and a stylus appealed to me. With that I placed my order and for the past 6 days I have been enjoying using the Galaxy Note 8.

My first impressions were a little underwhelming because I was more or less carrying out the tasks I always had on my phone but with a slightly bigger screen. Then I got deeper into it and began to start understanding the Android operating system and some of the more complex features I could use. I’m not going to use this post to do hate on Apple because I loved my iPhone, iPad and Macbooks in the past. I like Windows computers and I like Linux too. How boring it is to be just a fan of technology rather than a fan boy.

Initially my biggest take from the ecosystem differences is that because of its open nature, some of the apps that I used with my iPhone seem to integrate a better than on iOS. An example might be Amazon’s Prime Photos app, which with Android seamlessly backs up all my photos to the cloud and can then more or less be used as your standard gallery app. On iOS this would be the case if I opted for icloud but alternative offerings integrate less well. It’s common knowledge by this pin that that if you sign up to all Apple offerings and go fully into it, the platform can be seemless. If you are out of the ecosystem for one or two things it can become less smooth.

I’m impressed with OK Google and less so with bixby. Google services work pretty well these days and I haven’t encountered the issues I’ve heard from early android adopters that it offers a second rate service compared to competing platforms. Voice control is certainly better than my iPhone for my accent and much more responsive, as it should be, this phone is three years more modern.

Battery life is still not full day. I use my phone for Spotify, podcasts, reading, gaming, blogging, video editing, Animating, working and social media. It’s never going to last a day. That said it’s not as bad as the iPhone. I get through a full working day without a charge where as my old phone would make mid day.

I will miss FaceTime. Apple’s seamless integration of video chat to the iOS platform is second to none and I’ve not used a tool as simple and effective. Google Duo and Skype may work for those who can be bothered to login but for the majority of people that’s an inconvenience.

Overall I’m really happy with the move. It’s been fairly smooth as I’m not overly invested in the Apple ecosystem. My contacts and things came over from Google. WhatsApp is much more common than imessage and texts in the United Kingdom so that wasn’t an issue and I’m subscribed to Spotify so music is more or less cloud based. I was very worried about losing out on the Apple podcasts app as it is brilliant and it’s content far reaching. I’ve replaced that with cast box and so far so good. The kindle app has books covered and film will be covered by Netflix and Prime Video. 

The screen is truly magnificent and makes watching video on a mobile truly a joy. The size of the device hasn’t caused me any headaches yet although some of my accessories will need replacing. Namely my running band and windscreen mount. 

Tim Ford

Tim Ford - Member of Public. Member of Staff. Constantly reviewing passions, somehow still running this website years on.