So, yeah... I'm switching from Android to iPhone. I kind of thought I'd keep a little journal of what the switch is like and whether I'm likely to stick with it.
As of this writing in late July 2012, there are some super-powerful Android phones out there, and just one top-of-the-line iPhone. I'm a power-user. While I'm not as "power" a user as some out there among you internet readers, among my friends and acquaintances, I'm a major one, and for some of my friends, I'm the power-user. I'm not going to settle for anything less than top-of-the-line to buy on contract, as using up an upgrade is a two-year decision in most cases.
The long and the short of it is this: Android phones are too damn big. I need to be able to dial comfortably one-handed. I don't text-and-drive, but I do talk-and-drive sometimes. If I can't dial one-handed, the unit fails as a phone. I'm a very average-sized 5'10" with medium hands. The Samsung Galaxy S III and HTC One X are just too big. Their 4.8" screens do not fit properly in my hands. If I could get the HTC One S from T-Mobile with its 4.3" screen, I might be in business, but that's as big as I'll go.
Of course, I also need storage, and Android has suddenly gotten weird with it. I get by with the smallest data plan I can (I'm currently doing 200MB a month!), so streaming all sorts of stuff on HSPA+ just isn't in the cards. 32GB is the minimum. The SGS3 has a microSD card slot, so that solves that problem, but it's too big. The HTC One X is too big AND is limited to a strict 16GB. Sorry.
The Android phones that are smaller and expandable are too old at this point. I'm not going to stick myself on Gingerbread for another two years, so goodbye SGS2 and all variants. I don't have much Motorola to go with, as they've been pretty much exclusive to Big Red all along.
So, if I want a current phone with a smooth and responsive OS that's under 4.3" and will be kept reasonably updated over the next two years, what's my option? iPhone 4S.
Now, I know what some of you are saying: "Wait for iPhone 5! It's only two or three months away at this point! It'll be a major upgrade!" And you're right. However, there are two reasons this doesn't convince me to wait:
First, I want an iOS device with the traditional dock-connector. I have several iOS-compatible devices--soundbars, etc.--that I want to be able to use. Buying a 4S gets me something that will work with those for years to come.
Second, contract-wise, I'm in a unique situation: I was able to use another line's upgrade on my account to get my iPhone 4S. I, personally, can upgrade again any time, so I can switch away from the 4S at any time: today, tomorrow, or in October. This is really important for me and (in this one case) for Apple, because here's the deal:
iOS has until Christmas to convince me to stay before I sell the 4S for a little profit and switch back to Android. Some of the ICS updates will have actually happened by the end of the year, so I suppose it's possible that the Galaxy S2 Skyrocket, for example, will have been upgraded to ICS. Maybe one of the manufacturers will come to its senses and realize that screens significantly larger than 4" are just too damned big for many people and that by not offering a top-of-the-line model in a smaller form-factor they're throwing customers away.
With all that in mind, I purchased an iPhone 4S tonight.