In September, Apple's latest model iPhones went on sale. And after having an iPhone since it debuted in 2007, I decided not to get one. I made the switch to Samsung on Sept. 11 — the day before Apple announced its new iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max and iPhone XR. After using the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 for more than a week, I agreed with many of the critics: it's a better smartphone.
It wasn't an easy decision to give up my iPhone. I had an 11-year history with Apple and felt committed. I own a MacBook Pro and an iPad, so I couldn't imagine a world where all my devices were not compatible with iCloud and iOS. But when I originally heard rumors of new iPhone models, I didn't get excited the way I had in the past.
I admire Apple, but lately my iPhone had also disappointed me. It began when the company admitted to slowing down my phone after software updates in December. Not only did my phone become painfully slow (even after the company promised to fix it), but the battery started lasting only a couple of hours before fully dying, so I was forced to buy an external charger.
When it came down to it, the main reason I wanted to break the iPhone relationship was this: I believed there were better phones out there.
I knew I was ready to move on. And I'm not the only one: 72 percent of 480 consumers surveyed by WalletHub in August said they would not buy the new iPhone this year (47 percent of respondents were Android users and 46 percent iPhone users).
My brother, a Samsung owner for almost a decade, was always pointing out iPhone's flaws compared to his Galaxy. So after the screen of my iPhone 7 cracked, I went to the Verizon Wireless store and simply traded it in for the new Samsung Galaxy Note 9, which debuted August. I could have upgraded to the iPhone X, which is the same price as Samsung Galaxy Note 9 ($999), meaning my monthly payments would have remained around $44 a month. Or I could have waited for the new iPhones — iPhone XR for $749, iPhone XS for $999 or iPhone XS Max for $1,099.
But I went for the Samsung and felt relieved; I wanted a reliable phone with new innovations.
Samsung Galaxy Note 9 was being praised by CNBC's tech product editor Todd Haselton and by sites from CNet to Tech Radar for its more exciting features, like the improved S Pen (to write on the phone's screen), which now has remote control capabilities via BlueTooth; flaw-detect camera (which detects flaws in photos, like if someone blinked or the result is blurry and allows you to retake them); and fun tech innovations like the video display, which allows you to play a video as the phone's main display rather than using just a photo.
I have to admit, the transition from iPhone to Samsung was rough for the first few days and a small part of me was hoping to find flaws in the Galaxy (I have 30 days from purchase to return the phone). But now I've adjusted and after using my new Galaxy for more than a week, I've discovered features that I had wished my iPhone possessed, and I'm impressed.
Many Samsung Galaxy Note 9 features and specs trump iPhone, including the battery (it's 4,000mAh, which reportedly means it can last days without charging and I went a good 31-hour stretch; no specs have been released on the new iPhones' batteries, though the iPhone XS Max lasts 1.5 hours longer than the current iPhone X, according to Apple's website); the headphone port (I did not like the fact Apple got rid of this on the iPhone); a fast charger is included (all iPhones come with standard); internal storage starts at 128 GB (as opposed to all new iPhones and iPhone X starting at 64 GB); and there is a fingerprint scanner and an Iris scanner.
I also like the Galaxy's unique features. A favorite is that you can split the screen to run two apps at a time — to have email running at the top of the screen and Google Maps running at the bottom, for example. I also love that phone calls pop up on your screen as a banner, so you can decide whether to take the call. For YouTube, you can continue to watch a video, which shrinks to a small view on your screen, while using your phone, the way videos do on Facebook.