Disclaimer: PV from a guy who has been using iDevices for the last 4 years: from the iPod Touch to iPhone 3GS to iPhone 4, plus an iPad (the original model), after using the Samsung Galaxy S III (GT-I9300) for a couple of weeks.
- First impression: The device feels very light, even though it weighs the same as the iPhone 4 (133g, vs. the iPhone’s 137g). I guess it’s because it’s a larger device, so even though it has the same weight, it «feels lighter».
- The bigger, AMOLED, higher resolution screen (4.8 inch, 1280×720 vs. the iPhone 4’s 3.5 inch, 960×640) makes a difference: I’ll risk stating the obvious here, but you can see more stuff on the screen, and the colours are livelier
- The hardware (tactile) Back button is a huge contribution to usability, both for when browsing and inside/between applications
- Update 03.09.2012: How could I forget the most awesome advantage of Android over iOS: Google Maps and Navigation! With offline maps, free navigation, vector graphics etc
- Face recognition: it will not change your life, but the coolness factor is there! It can be used to unlock the home screen (you can train it with multiple photos), but Android warns you it’s not the safest of mechanisms. Instead, I use the Smart Stay feature: when the screen is on but you’re not interacting with it, the front camera will briefly switch on regularly and, if it sees you looking at it, it will keep the screen on. This is actually not just cool but also quite useful when you’re reading something.
- You can add widgets to the various home screens, which is a big evolutionary step from iOS’s application shortcuts-only approach.
- You have certain things that you could only have on iOS through jailbreaking, such as application notifications on the status bar or a pull-down list of toggles.
- Apps update automatically when a new version is available (can be configured per app)
- The two cameras are much better, not only resolution-wise but also in features
- It has integrated SIP support for IP telephony
- You can have awesome animated wallpapers
- The task manager is way superior to the iPhone’s, with app previews, swipe to terminate, memory usage, etc
- Contrary to iOS, the entire Bluetooth stack is implemented in Android, which means e.g. that you can exchange files over Bluetooth
- The back button is too easily pressed by mistake; the same is true for the power button. They should have left it on the top rather than on the side
- You can add a camera shortcut to the lock screen, but it still requires you to add a pin (if you have that enabled), which might cause you to miss the shot you were going for
- To remove/change the SIM, you must remove the battery, i.e. switch the phone off. On the other hand, on the iPhone you can never remove the battery…
- The camera‘s image quality is not good. It’s 8 megapixels, but if you zoom in, it’s grainy! The camera app is awesome, though!