I switched from an iPhone 4S (and an iPhone 2G before that) to a Samsung S5 a month and a half ago and it's probably time to summarize what that change meant to me from both hardware and software points of view.
I loved my iPhone 4S's hardware for the following reasons:
- metal and glass, feels and is robust
- side button to mute it or block rotation
- excellent control of iTunes through the headphones' chord: one click to pause, two clicks to move to next song, three clicks to move to previous song
- lots and lots of accessories
- battery charging really fast!
I started disliking my iPhone 4S for the following reasons:
- screen too small and I thought the iPhone 5S was a too expensive and not interesting enough upgrade
- rather bad sound quality of the too fragile headphones
- the buttons on the headphones' chord don't work well when it's very cold outside
- battery is not removable
- impossible to add a microSD card
- rear camera too far behind state of art
- screen quality too far behind state of art
- loudspeaker not loud enough
- rather poor 3G reception and no 4G
- all covers and case add too much to phone's thickness
I love the S5's hardware for the following reasons:
- laaaaarger and much higher quality screen
- removable battery and better battery life than the 4S
- microSD card slot
- the View Cover of the S5 is very, very nice
- the induction-charging View Cover is even nicer...
- dust- and water-proof
- very good rear camera
- loudspeaker is loud
- excellent WiFi, Bluetooth and 4G
- IR to control my TV and set-top box
- fingerprint reader
What I don't really like in S5's hardware:
- plastic... When you come from the iPhone 4S, the S5 feels a bit like a toy
- less accessories
- it's easy to scratch the metal-like plastic border of the phone
- no button to mute or block the rotation; I know this can be done easily with a few clicks but, unlike the 4S, I need to remove the phone from my pocket for that
- the heartbeat sensor is not precise enough and it's rather hard to make it work properly
- the + and - volume buttons are not separated
- apparently, three clicks on the headphone's chord does not move to previous song; or it does not work here.
- the wonderful temperature sensor of the S4 is gone in the S5
I really appreciated my iPhone 4S for the following reasons:
- iTunes worked well on my Mac; the UX of iTunes seems to me almost unbeatable despite of a few flaws.
- simplicity and intuitiveness of the whole iOS UI
- homogeneous UI/UX of almost all apps in the iOS ecosystem, making them in general very intuitive to use
- iOS preferences are easy to deal with even if they lack a few things
- trivial Airplay
- I used a lot an application called "Notes de Frais" for my expense reports. Superbly done and maintained.
- new OS releases are announced
- I loved the keyboard and some of its features like switching back automatically to regulars chars after the insertion of an apostrophe, something important when you write in french
- kinetic scrolling has always been superb
- worked beautifully with my car's infotainment system.
I was increasingly fed up with the following things in my 4S:
- my 4S was having a lot, really a lot of trouble, finding a network provider abroad in less than 15 minutes. I often had to shut it down and reboot it for that. Very annoying. Let me put that in the software section as a bug.
- not enough options in the floating panel of the home screen.
- no widgets on the home screen
- too slow to add new features
- no other browser than Safari; I should say no other rendering engine
S5 and its Android stack won me with:
- no more roaming issues
- widgets on home screen
- lot of options on the home screen's floating panel
- still lots of apps
- Smart Booster to use WiFi and 4G together
- Eco Mode making the battery last days and days
- private mode
- Smart Stay, my phone does not go to standby if it can see my eyes...
- I can use Firefox...
- I don't use NFC yet but I'm glad it's in
But there are things I am still not used to:
- I need a replacement for Kies, that I don't like. Any recommendation?
- no rotation of the home screen?
- the home screen's floating panel can contain 10 shortcuts and only ten. WHY ONLY TEN?
- Google, google, google everywhere
- Contacts offer by default only one Name field. Not two FirstName and Name fields.
- Android preferences are just a true PITA. It's a mess of epic magnitude, some prefs being completely impossible to understand or sometimes hidden in an unexpected section of the preferences. Geekiness maxima.
- why the hell is Calendar named S Planner? Seriously?
- no native DLNA, I add to install the Samsung Link app
- rotation is sometimes too slow
- keyboard is not predictive enough and has too small keys; I too often hit the wrong key
- I still have not figured how to reproduce the apostrophe behaviour of the iOS keyboard described above. Help!
- bloatware I never used and will almost certainly never use
- apps UI is too heterogeneous. Not enough intuitiveness. Some apps offer a back button between screens, some rely on the back hardware button, some allow both.
- all my attempts to find a decent equivalent to my iOS expense report app, with a very good currency management, failed
- the weather widget takes 1/3rd of the screen! Seriously? I don't need it to show time, I only want local weather. Could be just an icon. In general, widgets eat far too much screen space.
- works some times weirdly with my car's infotainment system. From time to time, I can't reach my contacts list from the car.
- some issues with kinetic scrolling and zooming.
All in all, I am a happy S5/Android user. I am pretty sure the UI issues of Android will fade away with new releases. It feels like I'm back in 2014 again.
Update: comments closed, thanks to trolls.