Somewhere in 2009 or 2010, I decided to buy a new phone — at that point, I had narrowed it down to either a top of the line Android model or an iPhone. In July 2010, I finally took the plunge and bought a Samsung Galaxy S. This model would later become among the most popular models ever sold, but it was plagued with its own issues.
So, why did I choose Android over iOS?
I was coming from Windows Mobile at the time. I was used to being able to tweak everything from my Today screen, all the way down to actually having a Today screen. iOS would have taken all of that away. All I’d have is a list of apps. At the time, it would have been workflow breaking. I was used to having my appointments, tasks and other things the moment I unlocked my phone.
However, at that point in time, the trend had changed. Even Android, which had the customizable home screens, was still vastly different from what I was used to. However, iOS would’ve required me to lose it entirely. Having to open apps just to look at my calendar and tasks would have been terrible, so I chose the safer path and went with Android.
Maxis, my provider of choice at the time was subsidizing RM1000 off a new Samsung Galaxy S handset. This was a massive amount in Malaysia, besides the iPhone, subsidies of this size off the RRP of a phone were rare. Needless to say, I took it.
Given the history of iPhone plans in Malaysia, the iPhone 4 (which would not be available for another 2 months after I made my decision), would’ve cost me more, for a phone that I would probably not like.
The Galaxy S on the other hand, would be cheaper, cost me the same amount per month on a shorter contract. It also came with 16GB of internal storage space, which was unprecedented among Android phones, and changed how Android phones worked from then on. The much anticipated FroYo update which would have made applications movable to the SD card was no longer needed — the Galaxy S would be able to handle many more apps before succumbing to the limits of data storage.
Specifications wise, the Galaxy S was slightly superior in the graphics department. I would be getting a slightly better graphics chip for my money (this would sadly, not see much use), the phone would take a normal sized SIM card and it would serve me well for my day-to-day use.
The biggest factor for me choosing to go with the Galaxy S over the iPhone 4 (which was announced in June that year) was availability. I was patiently awaiting for it to arrive in Malaysia before the Galaxy S even came over. To be honest, I didn’t even think of the Galaxy S as an option until soon after release. At the time, I was busy browsing through listings on the LowYat.Net forums, looking for either a new or preowned HTC Desire or Google Nexus One at the time.
The Galaxy S was available in July. I was also patiently waiting for the iPhone 4 to see if Malaysian carriers would be offering it with a more competitive contract. (For the record, they did — although not that much at the price ranges I was looking to spend a month.)
Merely several days after it was available in Malaysia and I was informed by my friend, @zybler about it being available in Malaysia, I went down to ‘e @ the curve’ and grabbed one of the last few units available at the Maxis store there.
In retrospect, I should’ve gone for the iPhone 4. However, I do not regret my decision to purchase the Samsung Galaxy S at the time. My basis for the decision was good, and my main gripes with it were the battery life and GPS reception. These two problems were mostly fixed in the next iteration, being the Samsung Galaxy S 2.
Later on, the Galaxy S also gained a powerful boon in the release of the very similar Google Nexus S. The release of the Nexus S meant that the Galaxy S would rarely be left behind in the unofficial ROM arena. This benefit is particularly clear today — Samsung decided against releasing an Ice Cream Sandwich ROM for the Samsung Galaxy S, and there are tons of custom ROMs for Ice Cream Sandwich which functioned very well very quickly thanks to the existence of the Nexus S.
And to say that the correct decision was the iPhone 4 isn’t entirely correct either. It would’ve been the correct decision because it would have been the better phone. Nothing more than that.