Apple vs. Samsung: Week 3 of 8

For the next few weeks I will be posting one #ApplevsSamsung review from my perspective. I’m not a tech blogger but I am a writer and blogger who relies heavily on tech and my connections to social media. With that in mind, I’ll be focusing on things like one-handed typing to photo, editing, and sharing quality to battery-life and, of course, the snazzy Penny from Inspector Gadget like Galaxy Gear Watch, itself. Check out my previous posts here and here.

When I’m done, I will confidently climb to the top of the highest mountain and declare my loyalty to one. Or maybe the other. Or maybe I’ll just write a blog post and post it on Twitter because that’s easier.

 

I'm a bit behind on my Samsung series, but life (and mostly Latina Magazine deadlines) tend to get in the way sometimes. Now that I'm in the clear for a bit, it's back to business as usual.

Before I say more, though, I want to make one thing clear in the purpose of these reviews. I am a long-time Apple user and happens to be married to an Android Devotee. I like to call it an InterTech marriage. He hates Apple with a passion and cannot wait for me to cross over to the Other Side. While I love my little iPhone and all it allows me to do in my work with social media, I am not blind to the fact that Team Android has a thing or two up it's sleeve. Namely, picture quality (and that's something I can't ignore.)

I am not a tech blogger. I am a writer and a blogger who lives through social media. I sit down at the laptop to write. Everything else doesn't tend to happen unless I've got a phone in my bra.

That being said, this series may make the Actual Tech Blogger's eyes roll, but they aren't my audience. I'm writing this for the social media user with the iPhone who might be wondering if the humongous Note 3 may be worth dumping Apple over. And I know there's a few of us out there.

It's been a few weeks now since I started shocking the locals here in Northern Maine while I trek around town with two phones in hand. I'll be honest in saying that while the size of the Note 3 is a bit on the crazy side when compared to my iPhone 5 S, I recognize how much I've come to depend on it since FedEx showed up on my porch. I'm not ready to break it off with Apple quite yet, but I am able to say that I'm seriously considering it.

Here are my favorite Samsung Note 3 features right now:

*The Samsung Action Memo: Think of it as the Post-It Notes you can't lose. You can access the app then removing the S-Pen from the Note 3. I use ot to manage my Daily To-Do list and for handwriting a new name and phone number, which alone is fabulous because I'm famous for never remembering to add a new contact (which means I'm still getting texts from phone numbers I don't recognize until I can place the ongoing conversation on the iPhone.) Even better is that my ADHD brain doesn't have the chance to blink and be distracted by something shiny before adding the information to my phone's contact list. All I have to do is highlight the name and number with the S-Pen and tap "contact" and boom: I now know who the hell is texting or calling me me.

*The S-Pen: I admit to being terrified of losing this little pen within moments of taking the Note 3 out of the box. But Samsung seems to have thought of everything. If the S-Pen is disconnected for too long, a message pops up reminding you to reconnect it before leaving wherever you happen to be at the time. There's even a safeguard built in alerting you to if the S-Pen somehow ends up out of range from the Note 3. It works, too. The fact that I haven't had to drop $30 on a replacement yet is pretty solid proof.

*The Galaxy Gear Watch: There's a lot more this fancy little watch offers than I am going to mention today, and I'll touch on some of my favorite features in the coming weeks. For now, I want to thank Samsung for saving my ass and both of my phones by once again paying attention to how the average person uses their smartphone. Even if you happen to keep both the iPhone you still own and the Note 3 on silent because the constant notifications would drive a saint to swear, it's entirely possible to find your Note 3 remotely with the Galaxy Gear. How? Go to the aptly named "Find Your Gear" option on the Gear and when you tap that little lifesaver, your phone gets its volume turned on for you and won't stop ringing until you find it and tell the Gear that you found it. I'm eternally grateful to Samsung for helping me not donate the iPhone and the Note 3 to the Salvation Army (along with the pile of old clothes they got bagged up with.)

Oh and one more thing: I refuse to call the Note 3 a phablet. And you can't make me.

 

Not-So-Fine Print: While I was supplied with the Samsung Note 3, a case for the phone, and the Galaxy Gear Watch, I am in no way obligated to provide anything other than my own opinion on this blog, any of my social media channels, or in any words attached to my name anywhere, ever. But I think you already knew that.

Apple Vs. Samsung: Bring on the Note 3

Let's get the transparency thing out of the way, shall we? I did, in fact, take a photo of the new Samsung Note 3 and Galaxy Gear watch I'm reviewing with my iPhone 5s. Everything looked so shiny and pretty before I even opened it all up that I couldn't resist. I realize this is probably the equivalent of Crossing the Streams in Ghostbusters-speak, but sometimes it's just necessary.

I'm still an Apple girl. I'm typing on my Mac and my iPhone is sitting next to it. But I'm Tech-Curious, if we must be technical. I came to the iPhone game kinda late with the 4s being my first. After drooling over them for years, The (Android-loving) Husband finally relented his ban on bashing Apple products for the sake of our marriage. The iPods may have worked their way into the household a while back, but that's different with the focus (at least for me) being music. With the dawn of the iPhone, I found myself bored with needing to ask The Husband to change or fix or think for me when anything needed to be done to the Android phones we were using. From the theme to arranging my windows to ring tones, he was my built in tech-support and I'll be honest...I wanted to be able to just call Apple Care cuz it sounded cool.

And I was happy with the 4s. Until Blogher 13 when I sat next to bloggers with Samsungs during the fashion show. It was dark, the stage was brightly lit, and we were waaaay far back from the stage. Picture for picture, I was able to compare the images on my tiny iPhone screen to the ones captured on their massive Samsungs. Every single one they took kicked ass. I only got two worth instagramming. The photo-bug in me was not pleased.

The next day I bee-lined for the Samsung booth at the Expo and made friends. I pleaded my case which leaned heavily on the fact that, while I couldn't commit to parting ways with my iPhone just yet, I was curious enough to try a few models out from Team Samsung just to see what I might be missing (Read: photos that don't suck.) Luckily, they liked me back and I started out with the Samsung Active.

Truth? I hated it. The only reason the Active had appealed to me was because I'm accident prone and it was billed as being accident proof. Then I read the reviews which all told me to not be a dumbass and get a case on that bad boy lest I break it or drop it in water for longer than a nano-second. So I went back to my trusty iPhone in the Ottherbox case. Until the Note 3 came out, that is.

Yes, it's massive. Yes, the sheer size of the Note 3 makes things rather awkward for the Shoving the Phone in My Bra Thing. But in the same time it took me to decide the Active wasn't for me, the Note 3 has at least convinced me to give it a shot for the long haul.

For the next 8 weeks I will be posting one Apple vs. Samsung review from my perspective. I'm not a tech blogger but I am a writer and blogger who relies heavily on tech and my connections to social media. With that in mind, I'll be focusing on things like one-handed typing to photo, editing, and sharing quality to battery-life and, of course, the snazzy Penny from Inspector Gadget like Galaxy Gear Watch, itself.

When I'm done, I will confidently climb to the top of the highest mountain and declare my loyalty to one. Or maybe I'll just write a blog post and post it on Twitter because that's easier.

Either way, let the games begin.

 

Not-So-Fine Print: While I was supplied with the Samung Note 3, a case for the phone, and the Galaxy Gear Watch, I am in no way obligated to provide anything other than my own opinion on this blog, any of my social media channels, or in any words attached to my name anywhere, ever. But I think you already knew that.

 

Apples & Oranges (If Samsung was made of Oranges, Anyway)

 

I'm in an Inter-Tech marriage.

I'm Apple. He's Android.

I keep thinking we're lucky we were already married when the iPhone became a Thing and Android wasn't just a reference to Data from Star Trek: The Next Generation because that's when we chose our respective camps. He went Android because he likes the freedom of customizing his smartphone as he likes it, which makes sense since he's a PC guy who builds his own computers from scratch just because he can. I went Android because I was on a contracted phone and dealt with it until 1) the contract was up and 2) Instagram was born.

I just couldn't take all the twitter updates linking to an Apple only app or be patient enough to see it eventually become available for Android. And there you have it: The only reason I jumped ship and never looked back -- my burning desire to share pictures of food with the internet.

I've grown comfortable with my iPhone. With it I can manage my social media, text people I'd rather not talk to holding the phone in my right hand with only my thumb flying across the screen, and keep my music and apps happily available between the Macbook, the iPhone, the iPod Touch, and my kid's iPad mini and this makes me happy. It's comfortable. But lately, I've found myself eying the Android camp again.

I take a crazy amount of pictures for both public and personal use. That much is obvious, and until recently, I wasn't even considering anything other than when I could upgrade to the next iPhone. But then I found myself grumbling at the BlogHer fashion show because the pictures on the phone screens of those sitting next to me showed actual detail on the models walking the brightly lit catwalk while my own pictures were instantly trashed because the camera on the iPhone 4s kind of sucks for that kind of thing. That's how I found myself at the Samsung Mobile USA booth the next day in the expo hall. I wanted info and specs on the Galaxy s4 Active and with good reason: I've shattered 2 iPhone screens and broken 3 supposedly "durable" cases meant for accident prone people like me. After seeing commercials showing the Active being beaten up (and surviving) in every day situations, I wanted to try it for myself.

And lo- the heavens parted and Samsung sent me an s4 Active.

I still have my iPhone. I'm still learning to use the Active and trying to incorporate it more into my daily life. And The Husband is waiting to pounce should I decide I'd rather hunker back down in the Apple camp. For now though, I'm getting to work.

I'll be posting here and on my social media feeds about my experience comparing and contrasting my experience with the iPhone vs the Samsung from the Apple-brained point of view. My goal is to give an honest and no-holds barred account of what I consider to be the pros and cons of each with regards to ease of use as they pertain to photography and social media sharing, as well as social media use relating to writing and blogging. I'll be sure to touch on the basics like apps and which phone I can hand to my kid to keep her busy while I'm deciding on how many spaghetti squash to bring home from the grocery store, which phone best fits in my bra without looking like a rectangular growth, and which is easier to type on one-handed.

I might not be Leo LaPorte on Tech TV, but I've got your back.

Let the games begin.

 

** Fine Print = Full Disclosure: Samsung Mobile has provided me with a Samung Galaxy s4 Active and a phone line with the understanding that I will be doing exactly as I stated above. While the device has been provided to me free of charge, my opinion is always my own. Which is good, because I suck at lying and would make a pretty shitty used car salesman. I also don't play poker because The Husband says I'm not allowed. The iPhone is mine and I'll let you know if Apple decides I'm Important Enough to send me the new one when it's released because really, they totally should because my therapist says I am a nice person. Also I like apples and taking really good pictures of them to post in Instagram and right now? The Samung is WINNING which makes my iPhone a little sad. The End.