Ditching My iPhone For The Samsung Galaxy S6

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...And In The End

At this point I have happily wielded Samsung’s sparkling new Galaxy S6 for two weeks, though the feeling of “new” has somewhat subsided. I continue to experience regular instances of discovery and delight — a great many of them tied to learning the Android file system, and subsequently getting “under the hood” of my GS6 to “sideload” apps and customize ringtones and notifications and base settings (something I greatly enjoyed prior to iPhone-ing it in) — but in coming to know my new digital pocket pal there have been some hiccups too.

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I seldom use my Galaxy S6 to make or take phone calls — believe it — and I haven’t yet set it up to play music or video, yet the GS6 burns through a full battery charge in less than two days. Reading, Internet use, light text messaging, social media, and perhaps the odd game of Sodoku comprise most of my usage pattern (oh, and tinkering), and yet at day’s end I usually need to plug the Galaxy S6 in else I take a chance on not having a wake-up alarm the next morning. On the positive side, though, I have never owned a rechargeable device of any type that topped back up as fast of the Galaxy S6, so the math is just about six-of-one-a-half-dozen-of-the-other. 

Another facet of the Galaxy S6 that has drawn my ire over the past two weeks is the device’s fingerprint recognition system. When Apple first introduced fingerprint security for their iPhones I thought the concept good fodder for a snicker or two. Soon enough, though, I came to understand the anti-theft (and anti-child) appeal of such a feature, and soon considered it an essential item, one that my next cell phone would have to offer. And, of course, the Galaxy S6 does offer this oh-so-personal technology, it just doesn’t work very well…or at least it didn’t at the start. What once required 4-5 thumbing attempts each time I went to engage with my GS6, however, eventually reduced down to 2-3 — Was the GS6 learning me, or was I learning the GS6? — and now after a recently issued software update my thumbings have been reduced to a near-flawless 1-2.

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My foundation set, I am now boldly going where I have not gone before with my Galaxy S6. The Google Play store is fun to poke around in, and already I have loaded numerous apps and widgets that drew my interest (and subsequently unloaded a few, too). The GS6 is not relegated to taking its content from a single "Big Brother", though (nor is it just getting by in a stark, poorly supplied and organized outlaw ‘jailbreak’ community). It is an Android phone thriving in a vast digital technology universe that I mean to explore. Already, with Google's input and guided by friends who have spent time in Android’s far reaches, I have succeeded in finding an Android application package (apk) for an app whose installation is geo-restricted from my Europe location (for no discernible reason) and gotten it up and running. And with alternative launchers and homebrew apps easily available, I cannot help but believe my adventures with the Galaxy S6 and Android Lollipop are just leaving dry-dock.

Lots of words, just to say that the Galaxy S6 is a terrific smartphone. A lightning-fast beast with a searing display and unassailable camera function, the GS6 can stand right beside the best phones Apple (and HTC and LG and Microsoft, etc.) has to offer, and I recommend it unequivocally to any iPhone user looking to make the journey from iOS to Android.

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