Why I chose the iPhone 8 Plus as my next phone.

It's that time of the year again where I'm undecided about what new phone to buy that will get me through the next year or year and a half until this cycle repeats, and it's a cycle that has repeated over and over for me since the spring of 2007 when the first iPhone was released.

I just just took the plunge and upgraded my iPhone 7 to an iPhone 8 Plus. I'll explain why in a second but I need to provide a bit of history perhaps


I've owned the two main types of phones on the market: Android and iOS based, and throughout the years, they've each have had their good points and not so good points. I have literally hundreds of paid apps (and thousands of free apps of course) on both platforms, so jumping between either is simple for me.  It comes down to more of which phone do I want as my main day to day phone, and which "device" will be the WiFi only device that stays home during the day.

One type excels for one generation, then the next type excels for the next year and generation. Or I simply get pissed off with one Manufacture or OS and need a switch for my main device.

There's no question however that the iPhones are superior when it comes to editing movies & video and creating and writing music or processing audio. Some of this is hardware, some of this is Software. I just never found any decent all out, multi-track music editor, creator, like Garageband, on the Android platform. It simply doesn't exist. Magix music studio is close, but it's not free really, and you can't actually play anything. It's just samples. There's Fruity loops and others but they all fall very short of Apple's own Garageband. And then there's iMovie, which is not perfect, and it's not multi track, but it's so damn fast and easy to use that it blows away anything on Android.

So I always knew this about Apple. But I also knew they can be a pain in the butt too. Android phones for awhile (since about the iPhone 4s) had outperformed and out megapixeled Apple's camera up until this past year.

My Switch Last Year From Android To iOS.

My most recent switch of OS's and Hardware came about a year ago. First off let me say that for me, switching between an Iphone and an Android phone is farily seamless. I use google for my mail and photos and things like storing contacts, so jumping from one to the other, or using both at the same time, is very easy.

As of last November, I had been an android user for several generations. Nearly 6 years actually. Since the iPhone 4s. I loved Android and it's freedom, it's file system like a PC, and it's customization. But in 2016 I went through a series of hardware issues, first with a new LGG4 dying within 6 months, then it's replacement from Tmobile also lasting only 6 months before it too didn't boot up. I bought a brand new Note 4 and that too lasted only about 6 months as well before it's too starting glitching out.

Now before you think it's the way I treat my phones or something like that, well let me say I treat my phones like they are my pets. In fact, my two original iPhones from 2007, first generation, are in mint condition and still charge up and are 100% usable.

But these last few Android phones were pissing me off as they kept dying on me, and I also noticed a trend with the Samsung phones specifically in that the camera app and process of opening the camera, taking a shot, and viewing the preview would start to grind to a crawl. Even the fairly speedy Note 4 (at the time), about 3 weeks in, taking a photo with the stock app, and waiting for the preview of the image to show up, could take, 3, 4, 5, sometimes 10 seconds on the first shot sometimes. It wasn't just the Note 4. My Note 3 did the same thing over time as did my Galaxy S3 and my Wife's S3. So it wasn't a coincidence.

So last November I said, "Let me give iOS another shot, the time is right." Remember too, the Android Market was going through a meltdown with the whole Note 7 Battery issue.

So last November, my Note 4 had just died and I had to get a new phone. Samsung was a mess. The LG brand now spooked me, and to be honest there were really no other Android phones that seemed appealing, So I bought an iphone 7 to just kind of feel out if I really want to get back into the Apple world again.

A Year Later With The iPhone 7

After approximately 1 year now with the smaller iPhone 7, I've been impressed on several levels, and I now regret getting the smaller size.

Compared to my recent Android phones then here are some things that impressed me:
  • Consistent battery drain. If I put the phone down at 11pm with 100% charge, I'll wake up and the battery will be between 97% and 99%. Without special "deep sleep" apps on my Android Phones I'd typically be around 75% after just sitting idle overnight. On the iPhone, useage throughout the day shows no spikes, even when taking photos or using Siri.  First phone where I can get through a full day from 8am until around 4:30pm without feeling pressure to even bring a charging cable to work, even when streaming music or TuneIn radio all morning. My Android phones were all over the place. Nearly impossible to know what was really killing the battery. I could drive to work and see battery drain go from 100% to 85% for no obvious reason.
  • Siri's Always on feature is truly impressive and always responsive to listening to my voice. My Note 4 came closest with the always on "OK Google" but it was inconsistent. A good 30% of the time didn't work and it got worse with each google update to Google Now/ Google Voice.
  • Fingerprint reader is flawless
  • Performance over the course of the year is exactly the same as on Day one. With the exception of the LG/G4, my android phones got significantly sluggish just a few weeks in. The iPhone just flies open any app, all the time every time. Opening the camera and taking a photo and viewing the photo is instantaneous. The Android Phones, notably the Note 3 and Note 4 became an effort on the first time you'd open the camera after a few minutes, then could take several seconds to view the shot you just took. 
  • Water resistance. As the year went on, I have to admit I felt more and more relaxed if the phone got wet, to the point were I'd routinely be in the pool, surfing the web or taking photos. Occasionally I'd rinse it off under the sink. I never worried about rain. 
  • Apps like Garageband, iHealth, iMovie, have no comparison in the Android ecosystem. 
  • My Garmin Vivoactive HR works flawlessly  (my Android watches were a total joke and Android Wear is god awful). Google Fit is so flawed it's not even funny. 
  • The camera, while lower resolution than my LG/G4 and not as great manual controls as that phone, takes photos that are almost always in focus, nearly flawless, shoots great in low-light (better than the G4) and shoots photos that look nearly exactly like what you see in the scene in front of you. No weird colors or tints. You take a photo with it, you KNOW the photo will be good.
Things I'm not as happy about:
  • A bit hard to see in very bright sunlight
  • Gets warm too easily in sunlight and forces the screen, ironically, to get even darker, to save battery. 
  • Inconsistency between apps and not really knowing how each app will implement sharing or saving.
  • The lack of a headphone jack and the fact that I bought dongle to charge and listen at the same time and then Apple decided in an update to disable these dongles. Stupid. Put the headphone jack back.
  • That I began to like my iphone 7 so much that I didn't get the larger Plus version. It was getting a bit hard on my eyes, especially late at night. I missed my big Note 4 sized screen.

 IPhone X, Note 8, iPhone 8 Plus

The iPhone X initially looked kinda cool some new hardware tech in the camera and stuff, but I worried first by the lack of home button, and then more importantly as i read more and more (and this is kind of hard information to find) is that the X is actually a rather smallish phone. The screen is no wider than my smaller iPhone 7!

The iPhone 8 Plus screen is much wider across, and therefore text is actually a bit larger, things just look bigger. The X is taller, yes, but the phone won't feel dramatically bigger than my current iPhone 7. This turned me off almost immediately.

So then I zeroed in on the Note 8 and iPhone 8 plus. I did some reading on the other recent android phones out there but none of them really sounded all that great and all would feel slower and have worse cameras than my 7.

I was tempted with the Note 8. I miss expandable storage, and all the weird customization you can do with Android and it's open file system. It's intuitive and well though out system settings compared to the mess that is iOS's system settings.

But what really kept me away was I was afraid of getting burned again. Sure, if the phone died in 6 months, Tmobile or Samsung would replace it, but that's a hassle. I wanted a phone that was proven, that was reliable, and that would be just as fast on day one as on day 400.

The iPhone 7 experience has been pretty much flawless. Yeah, the lack of headphone jack is a pain but overall that's such a minor issue.

Yesterday I bought the Iphone 8 Plus and couldn't be happier. Same thing as my smalelr 7, but now just super sized and a few new tricks with the camera.

 Smart Phone History

These are the phones I've owned since smartphone time began, in the best order that I can remember:

  1. iPhone 2g (the first iPhone).
    I still have two of these in working condition. At the time of it's release, the App store didn't exist. You were limited to what was installed on the device by Apple.
  2. iPhone 3G
  3. iPhone 3GS
  4. iPhone 4S.
    This was the last iPhone I owned for awhile. I was currently using AT&T as my provider and their bills were getting ridiculously high and for very little as it relates to DATA and Text Message use. I want to say it was 200 text messages per month (what I do now in a day!) and 500 megs of Data at 3G speeds. Sprint had an offer for unlimited Data, I decided to jump ship to Android.
  5. HTC Evo. Compared to the iPhone, this was a much larger screen, was customizable, and I fell in love with Android phones for several generations. The freaking phone was heavy as heck though, and the battery was awful. I put a batter case on it which made it weigh about 1 point
  6. Samsung Galaxy 3
  7. Samsung Note 3
  8. LG G4 - Died in 6 months and Tmobile replaced it for Free.
  9. LG G4 - Replacement died in 4 months and I decided I'd had enough LG
  10. Samsung Note 4. This too died in about 6 months.
  11. iPhone 7
  12. iPhone 8 Plus