Inner Turmoil: iPhone vs. Galaxy S3

A few months ago, I had an upgrade. Okay I stole Andy’s upgrade.

But, my iPhone 4S was a hot mess. It wouldn’t update, it wouldn’t upload to cloud, and it generally hated my guts. So, I could go get another one of those…. orrrr I could get one of those fancy-schmancy Samsung Galaxy S3’s that’s gotten all those OMG IT’S BETTER THAN ALL THE “I” THINGS IN THE WORLD reviews.

So, I got one. A white one. 32gb.

Oh my God guys, it was so pretty. It was big and bright and fast and smart. I loved him.

See, I had a Droid X a few years back, before switching over to the iPhone, so the Android platform wasn’t entirely foreign to me. In fact, I remember when I first made the switch over to an iPhone, I cursed it’s existence for an entire week before it became a necessary appendage.

Weeks flew by, and some of the growing pains that come with owning a new phone didn’t entirely pass. Namely. THE FUCKING GALAXY KEYBOARD. God, it was horrific. The autocorrect was belligerent (Yes, I shut it off). And Swype? Yeah yeah, I downloaded Swype beta, I did all the right things, never in my life was something so un-user friendly (Yes, I shut that off, too). I tried tons of other keyboard apps, I even downloaded a $5 iPhone keyboard, and while that was the most lucid of the bunch, it was still an irritating endeavor.

I loved the phone…you know…until I had to type coherent words on it. So, I did the most rational thing ever, had my 4S fixed, cleaned off and updated, and spent a week using both phones.

And now, I’ve decided to lay out a pros and cons list of each, in a completely uneducated, non-tech savvy fashion. More like, I own a phone and I want it to magically do shit the way God intended.

iphone vs galaxy s3

iPhone 4S

Pros: It’s an iPhone, everyone has one. Great camera, great apps, tons of phone cover options. Flows seamlessly in our household network of iPhones and iPads. It’s familiar. Free messaging between iPhones, plus group messaging which I happen to use a lot.

Cons: Small and heavy. Sure, the iPhone 5 is longer, but who the hell wants a longer phone? Facebook runs like shit. You can’t get more storage, and the higher storage phones are out of my Taco Bell price range, plus I don’t like that you can’t take the battery out.

Galaxy S3

Pros: Very light and thin. Amazing screen, bright and awesome. Lots of phone color options. Hands down, this sucker is pretty, and super fast. You can do the whole phone bump to transfer files thing, but no one I knew had one… so I never got to do it. The screen layout is more customizable, making your phone more personal. The app store is catching up to Apple, so a lot of my favorites were available to me.

Cons: Obviously, the whole keyboard/Swype situation, and before Android lovers get upset, word on the street is it’s an entirely different version of Swype than featured on past phones, aka, way more assy. Battery drainage? HUGE ISSUE. This thing sucks battery. It has the forward/backward camera thing like an iPhone, but it felt like the Galaxy pictures weren’t as crisp. The Galaxy self updates, and does this fun thing where when it turns itself back on, it restores some default settings… like the keyboard. No more free iPhone to iPhone messaging, which I learned the hard way after going over my text limit for the first time ever last month. Apparently all my friends own iPhones.

So, it’s been a week, and I adore different things about both phones, honestly, it’s a first world problem, and both of them are bad ass, but what did I end up using? My iPhone 4S. Familiarity, ease and free texting wins out…. for now.


Facebook Comments



  1. says

    I use SwiftKeys on my Galaxy and love it. I wouldn’t go back to my iPhone, unless you told me that it was plated is so much gold I could hock it and retire to a beach with a pool boy making me pina coladas.

  2. Kim says

    You’re the 3rd person I “know” who has gone from iPhone to Galaxy back to the iPhone again. My husband just got the 5 which, while oddly longer, is also much lighter than my 4S, if that helps any.

  3. says

    I hate the new Swype dictionary. It gets roughly 1 out of every 3 words wrong and won’t pull the right word up in the list. E.g. if I want to type “word” it defaults to “weird” and gives me the options of “work;” “does;” “wire;” “ord;” etc BUT NO “WORD.” Total asshole.

    Don’t even get me starting on attempting to write “out.”

  4. AnonLOL says

    I have a Samsung Galaxy S…that’s right, the first bitch that came out…lol! I love Swype on its keyboard and the vibrant screen resolution. What’s even better? I’m on no plan but I can still access wifi AND email on it…woohoo! Free phone junk! If I want minutes for texting/calling, I just buy ’em at walmart Email works just fine as long as I have wifi. Wait…is this illegal? A “friend” of mine has the Samsung Galaxy S…just passing along “their” story. LMAO

  5. says

    Hooray! My iPhone4 is about to die and I’ve been struggling with this decision. I want to be cool enough to own a GS3, but my research tells me the iPhone5 has the edge on this one, especially as more friends are iPhone users and we have other apple devices to share apps, etc. I guess I’ll do “just one more” iPhone and make the switch in 2 more years!

    • Brittany says

      This was really hard, I really loved the GS3, a lot. But when I sat down and thought about it, I felt like I was always just wishing it would function exactly like my iPhone in a faster way… and it didn’t, it was different. So, I took wishing for iPhone functionality as a sign.

  6. Jamie says

    My husband had iphone 4 and now has 5. I hate both of them. I had a previous samsung (the fascinate) and upgraded to the S3. I love the new keyboard on the S3, it’s way easier to me than the previous samsung versions. I don’t use swype on this one so much because it seems to guess my words for me. I am still working on the battery drain issue on my S3 and I turned off much of the auto update stuff because I’ll let it know when I want FB to see a picture, not the other way around.

    But I swear the whole mac vs non-mac thing must come down to how everyone’s brains are wired since I find you either Love mac products or you LOATHE them. My husband LOVES them but he’s super creative with video/music/blah blah and hates regular old computers. I’m the opposite, but I’m also an analyst by day.. so there you go, I swear one is set up for us Left brainers and the other for the righty’s.

    • Adria says

      Regarding either loving or hating Apple products, I was on team anti-Apple. I refused switching to an iPhone forever (even though all my friends had one) for this reason. When I finally switched…angels singing. I still have not and will not switch to or recommend a Mac computer, but in the phone market, I think Apple wins, hands down. That may not always be the case, but I think it is right now.

      • Brittany says

        SAME! I don’t have a Mac, I use a PC, desktop and laptop. In fact, I find macs maddening. The phones though, I get.

    • says

      That mac vs. non-mac logic seems to check out as far as what I’ve noticed. I used to work at a technology company, and all the designer types were Mac lovers, but my husband the network guy HAAATTTTES Apple products…besides his ancient ipod.

  7. Kyle says

    I was hesitant about the whole iPhone 5 is an inch taller thing, but I gotta tell you – when I go to use the 4 we have as a dedicated iPod/kids’ toy it feels like a toy. That inch makes all the difference…

  8. Meli Peli says

    Swype is seriously the bomb. Read the directions and do the tutorial. It’s the best 5 minutes you’ll spend. Once you go Swype you never go back…. and yes, now it’s out of beta and supposed to have a dictionary sourced from real usage so it understands things like WTF and OMG and HASHTAG.

  9. says

    traded my iphone 4 in on a gs3 when we switched carriers and lasted three days. i had a love-hate relationship with that thing. mostly it was the extreme issue of making it talk to the two computers in my house. android and apple do not play well together, and because we have two ipad and two mac computers, it was a major nightmare to have anything other than iphones. Traded them back in on 4s iphones. So much happier.

  10. says

    I just upgraded from the iPhone 4S to the iPhone 5 and I like it much better. Though it is longer, it is way lighter, which is odd. It’s so light it’s almost disturbing. I put a case on it to add some heft. I know, I’m weird. But I need to know my phone is there…not some phantom whisper of a phone.

  11. says

    We have all the “i” products (except for Mac computers) and I just couldn’t imagine switching for that reason alone. Everything we do is all synchronized up together. Makes it so much easier as a family.

  12. says

    Yeah, so I have a Galaxy myself, and I’ve also noticed that some of the default settings come back after updates. Also the Swype feature did make me violent. However, my biggest problem with it (biggest being the operative word) is that it’s WAY TOO HUGE. I kinda have big man hands, and it’s still too big. On my old phone, which was a Droid something-or-other, I could do everything with one hand if I needed to. Now I have to stretch my thumb awkwardly and whatnot. I don’t know. I’ve had my phone for over 2 years now, and I’m pretty over it, but my husband is very anti Apple for some reason. So maybe I’ll go back to a Droid phone.

    • Brittany says

      It’s funny you bring up the size being weird on your hand, because dude, yes. For the first week it was like entry stage carpal tunnel, but I DID get used to it. I loved the big screen, but it didn’t fit in my back pocket…which I guess form a safety perspective was smart, I’m just a back pocket stuffer.

  13. Ashley_M says

    I traded my old droid for an iPhone 5 and I hate it. I really feel like I have tried but it is so different and uncustomizable. If the screen on my droid hadn’t started to go bad, I would switch back in a heartbeat. All that being said in your situation, I say go back to your iPhone.

  14. says

    I’ve been having the same issue. I’ve been thinking a lot lately that Apple is coasting along on brand loyalty, but really, I think it’s more than that. I think your list hits on the most important issues, being ease of use and practicality. I’m attracted to the Galaxy but it’s all on the surface. I lust for it, whereas I have a deep, slow burning love for the iPhone. I can’t marry lust. I need to have some romance and a phone that’ll love me even when I’m sloppy drunk or bleary eyed with awful morning breath at 5 am.

    • Brittany says

      Yeah, I have exactly zero brand loyalty to Apple, I guess I’m just used to the functionality of the iPhone, and I couldn’t get into the groove of another platform.

  15. Angela says

    I’m just floored that someone still has a limited texting plan. I love my android (Droid 4) but then again I wouldn’t own iAnything even if Steve Jobs came back from the dead and asked me to.

    • Brittany says

      I guess it all comes down to what we’re used to. And I never had a text issue before, I’m assuming because I never came close to hitting any sort of ceiling on account of iphone messaging being free and unlimited. It wasn’t on my radar until I switched over to the GS3 for two months.

  16. says

    Interesting…. the keyboard thing, I mean.
    I found it irritating and hard to use in the beginning, but I assumed it was because I came from the land of archaic blackberry.
    But it was so bad that you didn’t even want to use the phone anymore at all?? The rest of the awesomeness of the phone couldn’t make up for that part at all?
    I have never had my settings revert back to anything after it updated, so maybe yours was (is) a lemon??
    Also, I have heard that the iphone5 battery is equally as drainy as the S3, I can go 12-14 hours if I use it a normal amount, (not say, like, in the car as a passenger and use it for hours straight, with no breaks). (not that you care, since yours isnt the 5, but just saying) there is going to be a new, bigger battery pack coming out for the S3 in the (near?) future, apparently. It IS a problem that needs to be fixed, for sure.

  17. Johanna says

    I have the Galaxy S2 and love it. My only beef with it is the battery drainage. I have never gotten on the “i” products train. I had an ipod for about 5 minutes before it broke and I have avoided Apple products ever since.

  18. says

    So, I previously had the original Galaxy S, and several months ago, I upgraded to the S3 because, well, it was time. So, a couple of thoughts:

    1. Yes, the keyboard kind of sucks. The Swype on the original Galaxy was better – but I think that was because I had used it for a long time. the old keyboard was adaptive, but I’m not sure this new one is. But if you type something in wrong, it gets added to your dictionary – but you can delete it. There are other things you can do, as well. Like Meli Peli said above, the tutorial will make a big difference. Alternately, I know people who swear by SwiftKey (I hate it, but I know other people who love it).

    2. The battery drainage seemed to be an issue for me at first, but when I did some tweeks, I was able to sort it out, and now I only have fast drainage when I’m playing a lot of video. There are a number of tutorials for battery as well, and a lot of it is really simple stuff. (Make sure your GPS/blue tooth are always off, unless you’re using them. These two things KILL your battery, and depending on your settings, some apps will turn them on w/o notifying you but then don’t turn them off when you close the app. Also, make sure that your apps actually turn off, and check your sync settings. Continual, unnecessary syncing kills your battery as well.)

    3. That whole syncing/updating/restores to the default settings can be changed. My S3 doesn’t do that – I probably disabled something as soon as I got the phone that prevents the restore to default, but I can’t remember what. Check with the store – they can probably tell you.

    4. I think there are apps for free texting. I’ve never used one, but it’s worth checking out.

    Hope this helps!

  19. Cass says

    Thanks so much for this! I’ve been sitting on the fence for a couple months now. We are a mac family (I’m a designer), but my older son just got the Samsung and has been raving about it. Thus the hemming and hawing. Gonna go order my iphone now.

  20. says

    I got the Galaxy SIII this last time I had an upgrade, and I’ve really enjoyed it thus far. Had it for about a month. It’s pretty awesome. (My husband has an iPhone 4, and he’s finally just stopped saying, “The screen is so BIG…” when he walks past me as I’m using my phone…)

    I hate all things Apple, so this was a great way to transition from my Blackberry way of life I’ve been living for the past 4 years or so. Love it!

  21. DeltaJuliet says

    This is making me alternately weepy and stressed. I’ll most likely be switching from my iPhone 4 to …something else when my contract runs out in June. It’s just too much money each month for me at this point (loooong story). I have no idea WHAT to switch to. None. I’m a techno-idiot. As long as what I have is working, I’m fine. But when it comes to changing or fixing, I’m a big dope.
    I guess I’m weepy because reading this makes me want to keep my iPhone. Waaaaah!

  22. says

    I was all meh iPhone 5 and then I played with one in the store and I love mine! It is super thin and the bit of length on it makes it fit a bit better in your hand. When I mess with the girls’s 4s’s they seem like really large shiny paper weights.

  23. Emma says

    I love reading your blog. Every night, on my bus ride home, I check your blog. I was stoked to hear you went android. just download a keypad program you like. I guarantee that you will like it.

  24. katrina says

    I recently ditched my iPhone 4S for a GS3 and I’m really easing into the switch. I hated the GS3 at first, but now that I get the hang of it I’m in LOVE. It’s so big, fast and vibrant. It’s been a pretty seamless transition for me now that I think about it. I have it set up pretty much exactly as I did my iPhone just for familiarity’s sake, but I love all of the ways I can make it MINE. I use my iPhone as an iTouch now and it seems so small. IDK, Apple will seriously have to set up it’s game if it ever wants me to come running back.

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