Observations after almost four weeks with the Note 8
Here are a few observations so far regarding my experiment (going on four weeks) of moving to a Note 8 and Gear 3 after 10 yrs with an iPhone and having NEVER touched Android or a Samsung product before:
- The learning curve entailed watching about three hours of tutorials on YouTube and reading many blogs to catch tips and hints.
- The Note 8 / Android beats iOS hands down for functionality and ease of customization for my work flow (exec at an engineering consulting firm). The S-Pen on the Note is an amazing tool that use all the time.
- Sound quality (speakers, headphones, Bluetooth) is very noticeably better on the iPhone. I do miss the sound quality, but productivity trumps that for me since I love music but am not an audiophile.
- Bluetooth reliability seems a bit better on the Note. On my iPhone 7p, I was frequently having to re-pair my Bose headset. Have not had to do that at all on the Note (yet).
- Cameras are very close to being the same. I mean, unless you are a professional, how much better can cameras get?
- The Note 8 screen is better for me. The extra length and real estate means I reach for my iPad a little less frequently. Both have scheduled blue light filters, both have adaptive displays, and both are very clear.
- I have managed to work myself out of the Apple ecosystem with little pain.
- Bixby (Samsung's Siri) is just a touch better at answering questions appropriately. But I still feel Siri and Bixby have a very long way to go before they are not just novelties that work once in a while.
- Samsung Pay works more places and works very well. But it does require a swipe to activate, unlike Apple Pay which works without the user having to prompt it.
- Unlocking the Note 8 has been less of a pain than with the iPhone 7p. I use the proximity functionality a lot. I do not miss having to re-do my fingerprint every week or two on the iPhone.
- Most apps I use have an equivalent, quality app on Android. The exception to this is Things and the quality Readdle apps, which seem to have no equal in Droid.
- Overall, flow of the app screens, responsiveness to touch, etc. are just as good (if not a little better) on the Note 8.
- The Gear 3 watch is easier to use and looks nicer, IMHO. I have not yet missed my Apple Watch. LTE calls are clear and the watch fun & intuitive to use.
- I still have my iPad, but when I go back to it, I feel more constrained; almost like it is simply an app repository with little functionality of its own. Not sure if that makes sense?
My conclusion so far: The iPhone is gorgeous, but less functional. It wins, no contest, on sound quality. But the Note 8 wins big time for me for flexibility, customization, and just general usefulness during my hectic work day.