Updated: Oct 27, 2022
It's that time of the year. Where it seems every few weeks we are hearing about the latest devices hitting the market right in time for the holiday season. Either that or the IceUniverse's of the world are doubling down on their rumors for the awaited phones coming at the beginning of the new year.
Since the first iPhone debuted in 2007, I was convinced Apple was the way to go. That was until the HTC G1 by Google came out. Then the iPhone 4 came out. Then the HTC One+. Then Samsung's S line was ramping up. Then Apple dropped the iPhone 7 Plus. Point is, I just love tech! I could never commit to any one brand or operating system.
In today's age - that's a blessing and a curse! Why a blessing? With various interpretations of features and styles, you can really make whatever phone you're rocking, your own. At the same time, many of the coolest features require you to spend the big bucks into their respective ecosystems. We'll get to my hybrid solution for the best of all worlds in another post - but here's a hint. I daily carry an iPhone 13 Pro and a Samsung Galaxy S 22.
Samsung vs. Google
Since I don't see myself getting the next iPhone until Apple decides to put a type-c port on it, the only real conundrum I'm having is choosing between the two Android Super Powers in the market. This isn't an actual comparison, but I'm really weighing my options to have the Pixel Experience.
Google released its second iteration of the Tensor Chip (G2) with the new Pixel 7 and 7 Pro line up on Oct. 6 of this year. I've always been a fan of Google, and have almost made the jump to a Pixel device twice so far before this one. Well, I think it might actually be the time now! Finally, the Android operating system, the hardware, and the chipset were developed for each other. You could argue that Samsungs Exynos chip is designed specifically for their devices. However, the One UI is really a heavily modded version of Android. We've also seen that the Snapdragon variants of the Galaxy line up tend to be better overall in performance and battery life.
What does this mean? Well, you know how IOS user experience is so great even when Apple devices tend to have mediocre hardware specs? That is made possible with the end to end control and software integration. Apple is known to have an advantage in how efficient RAM and battery usage will be for their devices and now the neural engines that drive photo rendering. That's what we are all hoping the Google Tensor chipset will bring to the Android world. I've used Samsung's flagship devices since the Galaxy S3 missing only a few generations along the way. Today I have a 12 GB RAM S22 Ultra with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset. While it beats the Tensor chip in benchmarks, in every day use, I still feel some sluggish moments - especially when multitasking or waking from sleep to perform a quick action. Even though my S22 Ultra takes the better picture, I find my self having to pull out my iPhone 13 Pro in cases where I might miss the moment if I wait for the camera to get ready. With the Google Pixel devices, however, the software experience is supposedly buttery smooth. This is due in part of the RAM management and much lighter software on Pixel devices. While having fancy, showy features is cool, I think its also important that a phone does exactly what you want it to do when you need for it to do it.
What I Would Miss by Making the Change
Being a long time Samsung user, I have the Tab S7 and Galaxy Pixel Buds Pro. As you may know, Samsung has their own ecosystem and it works rather well. I find the automatic audio switching from Tab S7 to S22 Ultra to be more consistent than even Apple's audio switching from my 14' MacBook Pro and iPhone 13 Pro. I like the option to use the Samsung Notes app and edit the same document with ease. I enjoy having the robust Samsung Reminders integration with both of my devices. Taking calls and texts on both devices is also pain free. It seems like a lot to give up for much of a similar Android experience.
Which do you prefer? I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments! Is Google making great strides? Or, is Google 'closing' the system - effectively tarnishing the 'open source' experience that Android has always provided?