I agree with Alan Shimel: The Samsung Galaxy S4 is junk

I gave it a month. Now I reluctantly turn to the iPhone, because at least I know it works.

For some time, I had been on a quest to retire my iPhone 4s, for no reason other than that the puny screen was too small for my fat fingers. I looked at beautiful large screens like the Lumia and Galaxy S3 with just a little envy.

The iPhone 5 was a massive disappointment in that they only stretched it in one dimension but not the other, elongating but not widening the screen. So the hunt was on. I originally tried the Lumia 920 and, while I like Windows Phone 8 a lot, the Lumia's battery life left a lot to be desired. When I put a phone in my pocket, drive for 15 minutes then pull the phone out and see I'm down to 95% battery, well, that's just not going to work.

ALAN'S TAKE: Samsung Galaxy S4 may be the worst phone I have ever owned

I'd tried several Android phones, but the OS never clicked with me. Then one day my sister was visiting and I played around with her Galaxy S4 for a while. I liked it enough to give it a try. My contract was up and I was ready to move from AT&T to Verizon.

A month later, I'm ditching the S4 and adding a second line to my contract as I buy an iPhone 5C, shuffling the phone lines in the process so my number moves over to the 5C. How did I get here?

  • The Galaxy keyboard is beyond imprecise. Texts and emails looked like gibberish. I spent more time fixing mistakes than writing.
  • Text messages failed to go through almost half the time.
  • The screen is incredibly slow to respond. Swipe, wait, wait, wait, then it responds.
  • The screen is also tremendously imprecise. This was more of a hassle with games than anything else, but I just could not make small, subtle movements.
  • The browser was barely responsive. Swipe up to scroll down and wait five seconds. It might respond. Pinch to zoom and, again, wait a good five seconds to see if it worked. If I pinched two or three times out of impatience, guess what? I was zoomed in too much.
  • Tap on a link in the browser. It might open. It might not. Tap on it again. And again. Next thing I know I have three identical windows open.
  • Many apps that sell for $0.99 on the iPhone are $2.99 or even $4.99 on Android. This did not please me at all.
  • The iPhone would pair with my Camry's Bluetooth system for hands-free calls while driving every time without a hitch. The Galaxy might pair, it might not. It might load all the contacts into the car's system, and it might not.
  • Email synchronizing was ridiculous. It kept downloading the old mail over and over. When I'd do a manual sync, it would pull down 25 messages period. If there were no new messages, it pulled down 25 old ones. Even if I'd deleted those off the phone four or five times, it kept re-downloading. The iPhone never did this.
  • The iPhone tells you when updates are available to the OS or apps. On the Galaxy, I had to check manually.

The iPhone 5C does not fill me with confidence. If this is what Johnny Ive has been doing for the last two years now that Steve is gone and Scott Forstall has been banished to the wilderness, then Apple is in deep trouble.

Perhaps I should have been patient and waited for the HTC Harmony. Then again, it's still a rumor and I wanted to be rid of the Galaxy. Should I have waited? Absolutely. There was nothing wrong with my old iPhone 4s, it was just very small.

My point now is that I felt compelled to take Alan's side because of some of the nasty attacks on him by Samsung/Android fanboys. Samsung is the unqualified leader of the Android market, but there has to be a better phone out there than this.

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