Thursday, 27 September 2012

Ditching Apple iPhone 5 for Samsung Galaxy Note: It does not take a Genius

It is with no doubt that with the growing computing capability of smartphone, the smartphone market will still be experiencing stellar market growth at least for the next few years to come. It is no wonder that every top executives at phone maker companies are betting their future on this growing consumer market segment. Few years back, it was true that Apple had blown our imagination away. The introduction of iPhone revolutionized the way we use and rely on our mobile phone.

Gone were the painful days of Internet Browsing. Did you still remember how browsing from the old 'smartphone' (such as Nokia E71 and E63) was such a horrendous experience? The introduction of iPhone changed the entire browsing experience and set new standards on how we use our phone to look up for information on the Internet while on the move. Gone were the substandard picture quality taken using your phone. It was such a shame. Even with their multi-megapixels camera, none of the phone makers were able to produce a phone camera that was of acceptable standard. What I meant by acceptable standard is a camera that you can use to snap a picture to capture momentary moments that are important in your life and worth sharing with the world when you upload them. iPhone camera was the game changer. While picture quality is not as superior as those SLR cameras, pictures taken using iPhone are of decent quality. By applying simple photo filtering, we end up with pictures that we are not ashamed of when sharing with the world. (This flaw is the reason why Instagram can skyrocket to become a $1B company)

There are many other areas where iPhone has changed the rules of the games, brought market incumbents to their knees and set new industry benchmarks. I was a fan of the iPhone before Apple turned into a consumer sucking monster. 2010 was the year of the iPhone 4. 2011 was supposed to be the year of the iPhone 5 until they decided that dumping consumers with iPhone 4S was more than sufficient. It remains unclear to me why iPhone 4S was ever released in the first place. Compared to the upgrade introduced in iPhone 4 (compared to 3GS), iPhone 4S was clearly a huge disappointment. Other than the retina display upgrade, does any one remember what significant feature came with 4S? There was almost none, other than the overly marketed Siri. But Siri was no other than just another 'dumb' assistant who still needed to grow up from its U.S. home. Siri could only understand English and it more than occasionally misunderstood English sentences spoken in accents other than American accent. To iPhone fans in Singapore, Siri was totally unusable other than just a past-time 'fun' assistant. (If only Siri was as good as 'Simi'. Watch the hilarious video below)

Even though I was disappointed with iPhone 4S, I decided to give them another chance. Early this year, they pounded my disappointment by introducing the New iPad. It was absurd and total disrespect to the Apple fans, I felt. It confirmed my thinking that they have become such a behemoth that they have become either overly complacent or see their consumers as merely cash cow. That was when I decided to open myself to a whole new world, the Android world.

The first generation of Samsung Galaxy Note stood out of the ordinary. Instead of the usual 3.5inches screen size, they decided to offer something different. It came with 5.3 inches screen. Due to its considerably big size to fit into a pocket, it was natural that many people (including myself) were sceptical about it and could not imagine how it could fit to be used as a mobile phone. Like many others in Singapore, I decided to give it a try. I came out impressed and was happy with my decision to ditch my iPhone upgrade plan. Have I decided to upgrade to iPhone 4S, I guess I would still be stuck in misery that many Apple fans found themselves in. The screen size of the Samsung Galaxy Note made the browsing experience much more pleasant. In addition, it makes watching my Korean serial drama much more pleasurable while commuting on the bus or train. Every time I see some one watching a movie on their iPhone, I have deep pity for them.

This year, every one was again abuzz about iPhone 5. Weeks before their official release, rumours and speculations about what to expect from iPhone 5. Almost every tech blog and tech writer is responsible for this. Being an Apple fans 'alumni', I did not totally wrote them off. After all, during the Steve Jobs era, Apple had always been able to match all pre-release hype expectations. Apple is known to always delight their fans with their game changing products. Fortunately this year, Samsung was not quietly sitting on their fence while Apple was expected to unveil their new generation iPhone. Samsung promised to surprise us with their Unpacked Event, held barely two weeks before the date that Apple was expected to announce their new iPhone.

Being a big fan of the Samsung Galaxy Note, I was delighted by what was announced during the event. Samsung delivered features and improvements that are much expected from their fans. The new Samsung Galaxy Note II features a slightly bigger 5.5 inch screen which is sure to make movie viewing experience even more pleasant. It packs more powerful 1.6GHz Quad-core processor and more powerful battery to make sure that new battery time is not degraded. The Galaxy Note 2 is LTE-enabled and promised much faster data speed. (But in Singapore, do not expect too much from the local telcos here to avoid any disappointment. Just see how far the quality of the 3G network here has been deteriorating. You can expect the same thing when they roll out 4G networks) Another thing that I love about the Galaxy Note II is their new multi-tasking capability. To me, it is an approach in the right direction towards a truly multi-tasking. It allows you to open multiple app windows that are running concurrently. The improved S-Pen is also something that I am eagerly waiting to get my hands on.

One disappointment that I have with Samsung is that they are not fast enough in making their newly launched product available. iPhone 5 was announced on September 12 and hit the stores 9 days later. This logistic superiority is something that no other company than Apple, has managed to excel in. For the new Galaxy Note, Samsung has only announced the availability date two weeks after they unveiled their products.

But having said that, late does not always mean all bad. This year, it is sad to say that Apple has not been able to meet the hypes surrounding the iPhone 5. With the availability of the new iPhone, the world finally had a chance to try out the new 3D map app that has been included in place of the Google maps app. The new app is a huge let down. Complains of the new app range from inaccurate address mapping to illegal traffic routing. If only Steve Jobs were still around, I guess he would not let such low quality app to even be released on the AppStore. Apple is on a path of self-destruction, some says. After years of building up expectation and intense competition, the iPhone 5 has just received a screen size upgrade from 3.5 to 4 inch. That is pathetic by today's standard. Their 'thumb' ads may claim that the size is optimal for the palm, but it is purely an excuse. (Remember how the 3.5 inch screen size was championed as the optimum size for mobile phone?) What other new features in the iPhone 5 that is worthy of a celebration? Slimmer dimension? Lighter weight? Come on. They think every one is a fool.

Samsung recently stoke fire to what is already an intense battle to win the hearts and minds of smartphone users. The ads shown in the left is a tit-for-tat ads from Samsung that was released just days after the iPhone 5 specification was revealed. The ads probably best summarizes the difference between iPhone 5 and Galaxy Note 2. To me, I would agree with them. Ditching Apple iPhone 5 for Samsung Galaxy Note? It does not take a genius. Do you? Leave your comments below.

No comments:

Post a Comment