You may have seen the news over the past week that for the first time ever, Q3 results show that the Samsung Galaxy S3 is outselling the iPhone 4S. This is specific to Q3, so pre-iPhone 5, which may skew the results back, but in my opinion, I can see why.

We were on holiday in the states during the iPhone 5 launch, including San Fran, which was fun, and while we were there Samsung launched their The Next Big Thing is Already Here ad (above), and as a agnostic device user from the age of five, but an at home Apple user for the past 10 or so years, my ears perked up & my eyes widened. At the Samsung. I had been toying with the idea in my head of getting an Android through work, just to have a go. I felt it would better help me understand the technology used in my line of work and I could use it for multi-device testing and hey, it’s paid for. This ad sealed the deal and I ordered one as soon as I got back to work.

About six weeks ago I wrote about how after four years of using a version of the iPhone, I was taking on a new work phone, that not only wasn’t Apple, but wasn’t iOS (yes, they obviously do go hand in hand). The reason I point this out is because when you are switching to an Android phone, you aren’t just switching to Android, you’re switching to whatever brand – in this case Samsung – and whatever software version it chooses to run.

So what have I learned about the Samsung Galaxy S3 and using and Android device… well I think I’ll have to break it down into to review sections.

Samsung Galaxy S3 vs iPhone 4

  • While I find the phone is almost too large to be held in one hand, I am in love with the screen. It makes for much better viewing than even my retina display iPhone 4.
  • However, I find the ability to dim the brightness frustrating.
  • The camera is superior to the iPhone 4 and much quicker – I’m sure the 4S & 5 are up there, but I was really taken aback. And the flash isn’t too bright in any dim situations.
  • The battery kills me. The phone basically needs to be charged every single day and I pick it up to a dead phone on more than one occasion, which is a shame. I have the same apps pushing on my iPhone and it lasts much longer – or at least it feels that way. I rarely pick it up dead.
  • It’s sleek. While it may be a bit large for my wee hands, it’s thinner  and lighter – even if ever so slightly – than the iPhone and can easily slip into your back pocket (and out!).
  • It doesn’t like to find wifi or connect to 3G very easily. I had this problem on several occasions and resorted to my iPhone, that worked automatically.
  • It takes some getting used to having all my photos since my blogger days synced to phone via Picasa/Google – rather than what I choose synced through iOS.

Android vs iOS

  • The keyboard. This could be an device or OS issue, but I found trying to type on the keyboard to be infuriating at times, not easily editable and when I discussed this amongst droid advocates, I was told to install a swipe keyboard. First off, this was installed and it’s difficult to use as well and secondly, why should I have to install something to have a good user experience?
  • All the apps I wanted were there & accounted for, which made me happy, as this was one of my concerns.
  • Finding things, figuring out how to work the settings, how apps go where, again the whole UX of the device, in my opinion, was confusing – and I did try to give it a good amount of time before I reviewed because of this.
  • The device connects to my work emails etc – which ads a whole other level of confusion! I can send text messages from my email apparently – and they show up in my email as well.
  • Computers. I’ve not figured out, or tried, to see how it would work with my Mac – if I can get iTunes on it or sync across devices, so it would be unfair for me to outright judge. I would miss having my music on me if this were my main device – that’s a big pro in the apple column.

Okay, so those aren’t exactly sticking to the categories… In conclusion (it’s been years since I’ve used that line!), my iPhone is sluggish, which is frustrating and I don’t get the site real-estate, however I am used to the UI, I have my music/books synced, and the feel the keyboard is far superior. Am I going to continue with the S3 – yes. I am also going to force myself to use it more as it does have it’s superior features as well. I never wanted to carry around two phones, and I do want to kind of merge them together, but I’m sure that just means buying a new phone and I’m not there at the moment, especially not without having two to play with!

Which would I recommend? I would like to say if you want a bigger screen and great camera, go for the Samsung – unless this is for someone older, as trying to get the apps, make calls etc can be more confusing. If you are a something more sturdy, if you run everything off apple products or want the latest app – an iPhone is the more user friendly and popular route.

Have you switched from an iOS to an Android or vice versa? Maybe more than once? I would love to hear your thoughts ont he transition – and the outcome.