How one iPhone 5 user reacted to the Galaxy Note 2

It’s always interesting to hear about folks’ experiences when migrating from one platform to another. It’s a tough transition to make when considering the vast differences in the ecosystems, the way the devices work, and having to start anew on a platform that is far from anything you’ve used.

I personally tried to halfway migrate to iOS by getting an iPad, justifying the move with the lack of native tablet apps for Android. It was a fine device, but I’d only lasted about 5 months before crawling back to Android — no amount of apps in the world could replace the powerful multitasking and customization features Android has to offer, and that’s before even thinking about custom ROMs.

That’s why I was fascinated by this article over at sister site iSource.com. Brad — an iPhone 5 user — was enticed by the unique features and powerful hardware of the Samsung Galaxy Note 2, and decided to give it a real spin. It’s an interesting switch as the devices are polar opposites: one prides itself on being bigger, while the other prides itself on being smaller. Android with TouchWiz, despite what Apple might have you think, is a much different experience than iOS 5.

I could go on and on, but you already know the deal. He talks about his two-week experience with the device, giving us his impressions on whether or not the bigger display is all it’s cracked up to be, Samsung’s unique multi-tasking features with multi-view and S Pen, and more.

I won’t spoil it for you so you’ll just have to get on over to iSource to read it for yourself. After doing that, why not swing back here and let us know about a time you tried to jump from one platform to another. We’ve all thought about it before, and continue to do so as new platforms are introduced and old ones evolve. Don’t be ashamed!

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  • camelsnot

    As long as he still writes for iSource, we know he didn’t like it enough to switch sides. :) He should go Guy Kawasaki over there.

  • lawrence mcatee

    If anyone is interested in reading the full article, scroll down to the comments. I was shocked to see how un hateful the iphone guys were. especially against ol’ sammy.

    • AndroidProfit

      LOL! You must not read Phandroid much to see the vehemence that Phandroid followers have for Apple. Some of them act as if the Cook came over to their homes and crapped on their rug. It’s rather disturbing that one takes an inanimate object so personally. Of course the mental defects I am referring to will slam me but that is ok I have thick skin.

      • https://plus.google.com/108596272537415356460/posts Jason Farrell

        He didn’t crap on my rug, man – he peed on it!

        And that rug really tied the room together!

        • http://warrencbennett.wordpress.com/ Warren C. Bennett

          I just want to get a rug out of the deal, man.

      • https://plus.google.com/u/0/107214144202094295079/posts James

        You’re absolutely right, and of course you’re being downvoted for it. This is why I’ve moved over to the Verge forums to discuss technology, this place has become a circlejerk.

    • DWAYNE GRAY

      Couldnt agree more loved reading the comments just lets you know most people in both camps just talk to talk, because those comments had nothing negative to say abt android. Wonderfully written article…

      • uzo ufondu

        You put the “sexy” in dyslexic —-> wonderfyllu

        Lol jk

        • DWAYNE GRAY

          Lol just saw that

    • DroidDoesnt_2

      Right….and you guys are soooooo loving towards iPhone users (O_o)

  • Vyrlokar

    Personally, I lusted over iDevices back when they were released, but the dependence on iTunes was always the thing that kept me back from getting into the ecosystem. I can’t stand iTunes. This meant that I eventually came into the Android fold, and I must say, I love it on this side of the fence. Never actually had an iDevice (I had an iPod Shuffle, and that was enough iTunes for me, for my whole life), so again, I may be lacking some info to make a truly fair decision, but again, I use Linux (and only keep Windows on dual boot because I need to to fill my tax reports), and having to use iTunes would be such a pain that I would let my device rot in a corner…

    • xmichaelx

      “but the dependence on iTunes was always the thing that kept me back from getting into the ecosystem.”

      Agree 100%. I even got an Apple TV for Christmas in 2011 and it’s still in the box (want to hack it one of these days but haven’t gotten around to it). I’ve tried to like iTunes several times over the years, but it remains the bloated mess it’s always been, even on my MacBook Pro.

    • scoter man1

      I had a 3Gs back when iPhone was kinda the only big thing around. I have to admit, you’re right on with itunes. I couldn’t stand how I’d have to do a major update every time I opened it up (at least thats what it felt like). Jailbreaking did almost nothing for opening up the closed ecosystem. My buddy had an android phone and… the rest is history. I only had hear about rooting and roming and I was sold. Plus, I kinda just hate Apple =D.

    • MK2

      Yup, me too. I used to use itunes and the first time it wouldn’t let me transfer MY songs to a different devise due to DRM, I bailed. I was on BB at the time and happily went to Android with the original Incredible.

      • Knobskin

        I was so p**sed when I got my Note1 and couldn’t rip the DRM!!! I bought the music, I should be able to put it on whatever I see fit! Anyone know of any DRM ripping programs? I have one for videos and music can be done, just very tasking and time consuming! If I would have known I would have been locked into itunes like that, I would have kept buying CD’S! :(

        • ttubergen

          I always got around iTunes DRM by burning songs onto a CD and then importing them back into iTunes as an mp3. Strips the DRM from it. Still a pain and the main reason I haven’t used iTunes in years.

      • No_Nickname90

        Hmm… Weird. I have songs I’ve gotten from iTunes on my Android. I just copied them. Like literally copy and paste. The same thing with a movie. I bought Hot Fuzz from iTunes and I play it back on my phone. Like I said, copy and paste. I guess you can’t “sync” it, but you can still put your music on it. I mean, I never did get used to syncing on Android, or non-apple devices, so I guess it didn’t bother me to copy and paste. Hmm…?

  • http://twitter.com/Defenestratus Defenestratus

    I try to use my wife’s iphone5 all the time.

    First of all, my fat fingers can’t make the damn thing work.

    I end up wanting to throw the thing against a wall.

    • Big_EZ

      I tried using one for the first time this past weekend and it constantly registered my touch input incorrectly. I had to quit using it after only a minute it was so frustrating.

      • https://plus.google.com/u/0/107214144202094295079/posts James

        Maybe you guys should get in shape, my 5 works flawlessly.

        • TheScientists

          I’ve no doubt your ip5 works ‘flawlessly’, but that’s not the point is it. My fiancee is constantly ‘fat-fingering’ her ip5, and gets frustrated when trying to type, and trying to hit small targets on websites, even though she has small, skinny little fingers. The point is that trying to hit those small targets can be frustrating (for anyone of any size). Especially when compared to the roominess offered by larger screens available on many Android devices.

        • lawrence mcatee

          Do you even swype?

          • https://plus.google.com/u/0/107214144202094295079/posts James

            Actually, I do.

  • http://www.facebook.com/scott.hastings.37 Scott Hastings

    Having used an iPhone for the last 4 years and thought is was the best thing I ever owned, I found it was refreshing to update to a new phone and operating system. I have had the G note 2 for 3 weeks now and would’t go back. It is by far the best phone and with the best software I have used by a long shot. What made me change was I was sick of the small screened on the iPhone.

    I said to my wife prior to getting the GN2 I would go back to Apple if they increased the screen size. But as I said i won’t be going back it really is that good! The problem I see for Apple now is they need to increase the screen size, but now they need to update there IOS software too. Now if they do a major software upgrade people are going to be in of a shock, which at the end of the day people may choose to upgrade to a new system altogether. And for me it will make no difference, and unfortunately for Apple others may feel the same.

    Just for the record.

    I have a iPad and a Mac and found it very easy to transfer all that I needed for the GN2. Looking forward to the Galaxy note 10.2 coming out whenever that might be……

  • Unorthodox

    Yesterday’s update to MX Player brought Note’s multi-window support to my 10.1. What a different experience! I can watch a movie, while writing an email, or a G+ post about that movie. I would like to see an iPad match that! I bet same thing is with YouTube, haven’t had a chance to check.

  • Ken Bosse

    good non bias article on a iphone site.
    Since screen size was a big topic i thought I would give my input.
    When I got the OG Droid i couldn’t see my self getting a bigger phone. My cousin got the original EVO and i remember saying how dumb the big screen was, eventually I got over it and got the Thunderbolt, which was a pretty big screen at the time, and thought this was the perfect screen size.
    Now I feel like my GS3 screen is to small, I’m not sure I could handle the Note 2′s (right now) screen size, but would love a 5 inch phone right now. A kid I see on the bus every day has the DNA and the screen looks awesome, makes my screen feel small, even though its just a minor difference.

  • Marsg

    “the iPhone 5 now feels like a miniaturized child’s toy” .> they finally see it

    • simpleas

      lets be real here.. i will never buy an iphone because android phones straight own it for the most part but ip5 is not a bad phone. I personally own the GN2 and iP3

      • Marsg

        Im not saying it sucks either, the build quality is amazing but as the writer of that article admitted, the iPhone 5 does seem like a child’s toy after you have used an Android device simply because it does feel more like a portable computer with its true multitasking capabilities. It doesn’t matter how powerful of a processor or how fast the iPhone is because you are stuck only being able to perform one task at a time while on Android you can be searching 3 different web browsers while listening to music while watching a movie in the background while downloading a song or a file from the browser(No limit on size where on the iPhone you are limited) while texting or in a conference call. Its like moving to a new house and needing to transport a ton of furniture and your choices are a Truck and lets say a Ferrari to get the job done. the Ferrari is fast and great build quality but only has a 300 lb weight capacity while the truck can carry that ton. with the Ferrari you are going to have to make 14 trips back and forth while with the truck you make just one trip, for the Ferrari to get the job done in the same time as the truck you would need to be going as fast as a jet in other words break the sound barrier. Android gets the Job done better but the build quality on the iPhone is still one of the best although OEM’s are improving the quality of their device’s, take the Motorola Droid Razr hD/Maxx or the Sony Xperia Z for reference. But build quality also depends on preference, plastic to some might be a better choice than glass or extremely soft aluminum as it is more durable.

        • Josh Flowers

          before i read to the end, i was really hoping this entire paragraph was a run on sentence involving the 90 action conclusion to the “searching 3 different web browsers while listening to music while watching a movie in the background while downloading a song or a file from the browser(No limit on size where on the iPhone you are limited) while texting or in a conference call” thought.

          • Marsg

            lol I was studying for a physics test, I kept it short.

    • https://plus.google.com/u/0/107214144202094295079/posts James

      Not really, I just went from an HTC One X to an iPhone 5 and there’s not much difference. The iPhone is more narrow, but that’s not very significant for mobile optimized content.

      • Marsg

        not much difference? floating apps, split screen, widgets, larger file downloads through browser not limited to only 10 or less mb documents, and the biggest difference of all is the multitasking capabilities. the iPhone is limited to running one app at a time unless its the music player in the background or a phone call. try downloading a 200-300 mb from the browser while watching tv and texting at the same time on an iPhone, The download if it were possible would be canceled after leaving the browser, the show you are watching will be gone after you leave the app you are using and all you would be doing is texting, you can choose one but not all 3. The reason why the iPhone runs smoother than Android and doesn’t need a powerful processor is because it has less background processes running at a single time over Android which is constantly overloaded with fetching data for widgets, cloud, and all the apps you have running at that time not to mention all the system processes.

      • Marsg

        To the average smartphone user like my mom which happens to own a iPhone 5 as well, it doesn’t make much of a difference considering she only uses her phone to make calls, to text or read the news, but for techies like me who care about the specs or software and use their devices like they would their actual laptops, these capabilities are a huge plus. Another feature i dint list is being able to access my internal storage directly on the phone and browse though my system files or external storage if your phone has an Sd slot.

        • https://plus.google.com/u/0/107214144202094295079/posts James

          I’m not an average smartphone user. I’ve had an Android phone for the last 4 years. All my phones were rooted, unlocked, modded, etc. It’s nice to have something that just works though. My iPhone can do everything any of my Androids could do now that a jailbreak has been released.

          No, the reason the iPhone runs smoother than Android is because of the way it handles touch events. When you touch the iPhones screen, it immediately stops loading whatever it was loading and allocates all of its resources to scrolling.

          As far as the multitasking goes, I could care less. I have Skype, Mail, App Store, Music, weather, Facebook, and Twitter running in the background and that’s just fine. Even on Android I never had more than that running. Everything else running in the background on iOS gets frozen and resumes when I need to.

          As far as accessing the internal storage goes, I haven’t actually needed to do that yet. The only thing I ever needed to do that for on Android was putting music on.

          I’m not trying to downtalk Android, as I said I’ve used Android for the last 4 years and it’s a wonderful OS.

          I’m simply trying to say that iOS is nowhere near as horrible as many of the people on this site have made it out to be.

          • OptimusL

            iPhones can’t do everything that Androids can do, even with jailbreak lol

          • https://plus.google.com/u/0/107214144202094295079/posts James

            I never said they could. That being said. my iPhone does everything I need it to.

          • Marsg

            I switched form a IPhone 4 to a GNex and my GNex has worked fine right out of the box, and even though it was released during the same time as the 4s it now runs faster and smoother than the 4s, i had a friend i was trying to send a large lab report to through dropbox, it took her 4 min to download dropbox from the app store >.>. the iPhone 4s was on my list of phones i was going to get at that time but im glad i went with the Nexus . Android is a subject to a lot of criticism because there are so many manufacturers that sell devices running on it, And you cant hold their shortcomings against Android the OS because most of the problems on these individual phones are mostly due to the OEM’s, Nexus devices operate great even though they aren’t as flashy in specs as a Galaxy note 2 or Droid DNA. So your HTC One X not working as flawlessly as you wanted it to right out of the box isn’t Google or Androids fault its HTC’s.

          • https://plus.google.com/u/0/107214144202094295079/posts James

            I know it’s not Google’s fault. I was pretty happy with the One X, if it wasn’t for Sense. Stock Android is great, unfortunately after installing CM10 my Wifi stopped working half the time. I’m not trying to criticize Android, I’m simply saying that iOS isn’t as bad as everyone makes it out to be.

            One of the things that really bugged me was lag. I’m sorry, my Gnex lagged, even my One X lagged with a dual core S4 in it. It’s not noticeable most of the time, but scrolling lists are often choppy if not done right and a lot of apps simply aren’t optimized for more modern versions of Android. I know it’s not Google’s fault.

      • No_Nickname90

        It’s the gimmicks that make it different. Everything that the Marsg person is saying is what makes it different. I haven’t seen anything on iPhone that I couldn’t do on Android. But of course there are Android things that you can’t do on iPhone. Like have as many apps running in the background as possible.

    • Roshan

      Yes, very nice article. I felt same as I was reading through.

      I myself switched from iPhone 4 to Galaxy S3 last September. Although I originally planned for buy Note 2 but I could not convince myself to use such a huge device considering I was used to have a iPhone 4. But after using my brother’s Note 2, I regret my decision every day. Note 2 is one of the best device in terms of performance, user experience and battery life.

      Now sometimes when I use my older iphone 4, it sure do looks like a small toy.

      • No_Nickname90

        Grr!! I guess I will be getting the Note 3. I was thinking that the Note 2 is a big phone and I could never use that. I used to think the HTC HD2 was a big phone. LoL!! I’m sure I could migrate to that phone.

        Now I can’t wait!! =.D

        • Marsg

          same reason why i passed on the Note 2, than i used one and now just waiting for the Note 3 to be released.

      • Blake

        Hey – how was it in terms of porting over all your contacts/calendar stuff from your iphone to the Galaxy? I have an iphone (and I’m a Mac user) and I’m considering switching to a Note 2, so this is my biggest concern. My contacts/calendar are synched with icloud but from my understanding, to switch platforms, the best course of action is to sync your iphone with Google contacts/Calendar before making the switch, and then pulling everything into the Droid that way. Is this what you did? Also, do you use a mac or PC?

        • Marsg

          Connect your iPhone to iTunes, highlight your iPhone on the side bar-> click info up top-> and you can sync all your info to your Gmail account, then all you have to do is login to an Android Phone with that account and everything is automatically synced. (i added screen shots if you are having trouble.)

      • Marsg

        I switched from an iPhone 4 to a galaxy Nexus in 2011, haven’t looked back, have my sights on a GNote 3 this year.

  • Mcboy Lopez

    I have a note and and an ipad 2. Love my note but android tablets cannot do what ipads do. I dont mean surfing,netflixing,etc..they all can do that. But as a musicain the ipad music apps kill android. All the major music industry companies are represented with useful creative apps and now with something called audiobus all these apps can communicate with each other. i f want to “f “around with widgets and whatnot android is great. If I want to create music with sophisticated apps its an ipad all the way. As an example here is Sweetwater a large music company, it has an iOS page for musical offerings fror the Ios devices…. nothing for android.
    http://www.sweetwater.com/shop/ios/

    • harold

      That’s not a limitation of the device it’s the apps

  • maximillion82

    For me the switch from an iPhone 3G to the Nexus One was very easy. Right from the get go I liked the Nexus more than the iPhone.

  • androidscales

    i had iPhone 3gs loved it then but after my evo4g i stopped squinting my eyes and loved the freedom. now on evo3d custom ROM jb. hoping to jump on S4 or note3 in summer..damn sprint

  • MrMLK

    I’m an all around Apple user (laptop, desktop, iPad, formerly iPhone) who moved to a Galaxy Note 2 about three months ago. My conclusion is that while I think iOS is somewhat more polished and I think Google needs to address the issue backing up the device, I could never go back. Once you get used to that giant screen, its hard to use anything smaller.

  • pego99

    Apple jumped the shark when jobs jony and cook decided to stay with a small form factor.for the iphone 5. Like the one carrier approach in the usa. These approaches created the larger screen and multicarrier model. Apple has cooked there own goose.

  • phinn

    I was blown away by the iPhone in 2007, it seemed like the technology I always dreamed of (besides running Linux). It was my first Apple product. After 2 years of enjoying my jailbroken iPhone, I bought the 3GS and jailbroke that too. It was so fast and 3G was great at the time. During this time I started noticing Android coming together as a good looking mobile OS, in addition to it being open source, running linux, etc.

    It was time to move away from AT&T with there being no cell service in my new NYC office and that brought me to the HTC Incredible 2 on Verizon. I LOVE Android, despite it’s many quirks (lack of ever getting updates, laggy compared to iOS prior to Jelly Bean, iMessage, etc).

    Now, 2 years later, I’ve been strongly considering going back to Apple for the iPhone 5/5S. I am beyond frustrated at Google for not making a SKU of the Nexus 4 with CDMA/LTE support and would have happily paid the $350 (although I think that’s ridiculous and would rather a phone cost less than $200 on contract). If Google’s competition can release a cutting edge product that will receive updates for life AND support the carrier I must use, then I feel I should go with them.

    I haven’t decided yet, maybe by the time I do the Nexus 5 will come out and finally support CDMA/LTE. I simply can’t get another Android phone besides the Nexus again because it’ll never get updates and almost always has some horrible interface replacing the stock Android I love.

    • Jwhap

      Have you rooted and romed the inc 2? I agree with the lack of late on the nex4, but we met eventually get another nexus on Verizon. Honestly though even if Verizon has it the update situation won’t change by too much, unless you are running custom rom’s

  • TechGuy22

    i wanted one too late now. note 3 is gonna come soon. most likely going to buy the S4 instead of the note 3

    • kev2684

      note III is like 9 months away o.O

      • https://plus.google.com/108596272537415356460/posts Jason Farrell

        And what a beeeyoootiful (big) baby it will be.

  • REVS

    people (iphone users) laughed at me and y G1in 2008 look at us now android …..whos laughing now

  • Christopher Robert

    @Quentyn if you know this guy and he is still having problems with using the Note2 with one hand tell him to check out PIE software button controls (LMT) (http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1330150) If you haven’t check them out yourself hop on it. It is the future of Android UI.

  • Kyle Muehl

    I actually want to switch to the Iphone because all the android hardware makes seem to think that EVERYONE wants a large phone, and that only people who are poorer would want to buy a smaller phone. Seriously like the closes thing to a smaller android phone that isn’t a budget phone is like a razr m and that’s 4.3 inches. I use a galaxy victory right now as I really like the 4 inch size. I’ve used a galaxy s III for a week also so I have tried to compare it.

  • OptimusL

    I onced switched over to iOS for about 5 months, luckily I woke up from my horrible nightmare and realised that it was just a dream :)

  • barondebxl

    Im saying this in all honesty, Galaxy Note 2 = Greatest smartphone of all time.

  • Tom

    I considered an iPhone when the choices were between ios, Blackberry and Windows mobile …. Once I got my Nexus One I never looked back

  • jd_from_da_80s

    The only reason I’ve ever considered an iPad is to use my digital copies that come with my bluray purchases. It’s a shame that a majority of studios don’t make the DC available for Android

  • Jroc869, Nexus-Life

    Very good article. The note 2 is such a great device I traded out my nexus 4 and havent looked back. My favorite thing about the phone is battery life hands down.

  • Becks Madden

    Phone-mobile users are like auto-mobile buyers. There are basically two groups.

    One is like your mum&dad, the average man in the street, the non-techies, the no-frills users, etc who just wants a vehicle that is well set-up, optimized, safe, reliable, has high-mileage, simple to use & less of the bells & whistles,etc….To provide such a car, manufacturers must adopt a ‘walled-garden’ approach for their factory-optimized products and ensure users cant easily tweak or modify (read compromise) its parts & features. This has always been Apple’s philosophy since the first Mac.
    Then there’s another group….the auto-geeks, the sports nerds, etc who likes to tweak, modify, upgrade, customize, etc a vehicle’s different parts & innards in order to have a unique-looking car & maximize its performance….nitro-engines, big tyres, big exhausts, etc. But this will be at expense of less safety, reliability, predictability, less mileage, etc. This is like the Android camp.

    There’s a fairly big market in the first group who’s willing to pay a premium….thats why Apple still makes far more profit than Samsung & why they’re still the most valuable company in the world.

  • Hrethgir

    My first smartphone was the iPhone 3Gs. Second was a Motorola Droid X. Current is a Samsung Galaxy S3. Next one will be Android. Only tablet I’ve owned is the Nook Tablet I’m typing this on, all rooted and running a much more stock Android than B&N planned, lol! Next tablet will absolutely be Android. Can’t stand iOS, too boring and locked down, I have no plans to ever go back.

  • Megacharge

    iTunes is basically Malware junk.

  • torikul

    good post and site thanks to http://www.google.com

  • Knobskin

    I used to enjoy ios in the early days, but Apple just got too comfy with the design, see everything I could do with Android made me always tempted to swich; what the consumer can change/make relevant to them! Its been almost exactly one year since I jumped ship to the Note from the iphone 4s and while the first maybe 48 hrs weren’t the best (getting used to the OS and what I could do) once I got the hang of it over the first weekend I was in love!! I can’t see going back to the iphone unless they really do a 5″ version of it, I liked the simplicity, and how fortunately and unfortunately I got locked into itunes, etc but a 5″ retna would be tempting. I can’t see ever dropping $1300 again on a laptop, my macbook has lasted over 5 yrs, with no issues, I just upgraded the memory last yr! Yet, with the way technology changes everyday, its not worth it! However, the one product I do LOVE is Apple TV shockingly!! Ah ha

  • kwaping

    I have a personal Galaxy S3 and an iPhone 5 provided by work. Even disregarding my history with Android, it is very clear and obvious that Android is the superior OS. The voice-to-text in Android is far superior to that in iOS, which is something I use frequently. Widgets and Google Now are extremely useful features. I also prefer the hardware of the S3 specifically (screen size, rounded form factor).

    The only “plus” I can think of for iOS is developer support, an area in which Android is making strong gains.

    While I don’t begrudge someone for their choice of products, I do feel like iOS users are missing out on a lot of great Android features.

  • Blake

    Has anyone here been a loyal iphone user and switched over to Android? I’m thinking about going from iphone to Note 2, and my main concern is whether it’s going to be a headache in terms of porting over all my contacts and calendar entries from my iphone to the Note 2. My contacts/calendar are synched with iCloud. From my understanding, to switch platforms, the best course of action is to sync the iphone with Google contacts/Calendar before making the switch, and then pulling everything into the Droid that way. Does anyone have any thoughts on this? Also, are Androids easy to use when you have a mac computer? All my past experiences using Android have been kinda negative, to be honest, but everything I’ve heard and read about the latest stuff, esp with Jelly Bean, has been pretty great sounding…

  • http://twitter.com/besttechsetup KJ