In my last write up on my Android experience, I was using the HTC Vivid as a test subject. It’s was a good device with decent hardware and it was up against an iPhone 4. Now I have switched over to the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 and it is up against the iPhone 5.
Previously I noted the pros and cons of the two operating systems and they both had their strong points and weakness. The iPhone suffered from an aging iOS that hasn’t seen many changes in structure since introduced in 2007 other than multi-tasking, pull down notification, iMessage, and Facetime. There was/is little room for customization (with out jailbreaking the device) versus the Android OS which offers virtually free reign over your devices appearance and functions.
Enter Part 2
With the latest hardware from Apple and Samsung this time, the Android system is far more impressive. The first thing I noticed was the smoothness of the touchscreen and its intuitiveness. The Samsung Galaxy Note 2 on Jelly Bean 4.1.1, comes with a stylus which is very handy for scribbling notes and navigating the screen. The amount of things you are able to do with the stylus is deserving of it’s own post and I may do so in the future as I continue to use the device.
I found that the learning curve when going from iOS on the iPhone to Androids Jelly Bean OS is not as challenging as one would think. I overcame my “iPhone Cripple” mentality and actually took on the challenge to learn how to do things I regularly do with my iPhone 5 on the Samsung Galaxy Note II.
The first thing I learned was to navigate the email and internet. The refreshing thing about using the Android versus the iPhone 5 was the ability to have 2 apps running on the same screen. This was awesome as I could check email in one window and surf the links in my email on the web browser in the other window. That makes things really convenient when doing research on new product offers from my vendors on their websites. I could also pop-up a feature called “S-note” which gives you the ability to scribble down notes on a separate little pop-up, as I was reviewing certain things that I wanted to remember. This is a feature specifically for the Note II.
S-voice, Google’s “Siri”and Gesturing
S-voice, which is Googles version of Siri, was very impressive. I was able to open apps, talk to text, and also given the ability to wake up the Note II by voice command using the customized command I had given it for this task. I can also take a glance at my notifications on the Note II by waving my hand across the screen without entering my pass code when the phone is in sleep mode.There are also a variety of other gestures that are available and you have the ability to turn them on and off. I rolled with the minimum. I don’t want people to think I’m attack my phone using Kung-Fu….
Also one should be aware the voice recognition software is not yet perfect on any mobile device. That being said, S-voice is far better than Siri in my honest opinion. It made very few errors and the ones it did make were due to loud background noise are my southern drawl, which causes my words to sound different LOL! Other than that I was happy with S-Voice performance overall.
Video Playback and Music
The Android OS worked well on video playback and I was able to view HD movies in stunning quality. AMOLED display is very nice and the 5.5″ screen on the Note 2 made for awesome viewing. I will admit that the size of the Note 2 takes some time to get use to but when you watch a movie on the device, it makes it worth the effort.
Listening to music on the device was great as well. I attribute this to the Note 2′s hardware rather than the Android OS. I’m sure the software is key as well, but without the proper hardware it doesn’t matter how good the software is.
If you are looking for a fresh new experience on your mobile device, the Android OS does not disappoint. The iPhone is still a super device but Android and Samsung are on equal ground with the originator of the touch screen revolution. It all comes down to personal preference. Either way, just make sure you get what works well for you and don’t be bias or scared to try something new. You might like it!