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
  • micro-USB
  • 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.