From the iPhone 4 to the Samsung Galaxy S II

I have always been accused of being late to many parties relating to phones. I only moved from the iPhone 3GS to the iPhone 4 in September, almost a year since the iPhone 4 was launched. For those who think I owe them an explanation, well, these phones are not cheap. You do not want to rush and buy something only to realise that if you have waited a few weeks, you would have made a different choice. There is a very close relationship between rushed decisions and regret. If you are going to spend more than 50k on a phone, or anything for that matter, it is important to take time to prayerfully consider your options. I would rather any day be in a situation where I wish I had made the choice sooner than in one where I wish I had not rushed into something.

One also need not rush to be on the very bleeding edge of technology and remain perpetually the prey of manufacturers who will everyday have yet another “revolutionary” product that you will wonder how you have survived for so long without. That is why I am not changing my iPad 1 yet. But that’s a whole other story.

Having been locked and glued onto the world of Steve Jobs products for close to four years, I was getting a bit bored and just wanted to see what else is out there. I just wanted to play outside the walled garden for a while. There has been a lot of buzz around the android platform and how it is the way of the future. Having been in this world for just over a month I agree fully. I read a lot of articles about the Galaxy S II vs the iPhone 4 (even 4S) and even though I took each review with a pinch of salt, it has always convinced me that this Samsung phone was worth a second look.

I had also seen several local reviews but for some reason I was not too convinced as it seemed that they were just extolling the virtues of the Samsung without enough information or experience about the iPhone or iOS for that matter. Of course if you are coming from the kabambe or ideos, the Samsung will look like heaven. Anyway, here are my first few things I can now speak from experience about the shift from the iPhone to the Samsung Galaxy S II. Of course I decided to keep both for a while before deciding which one to keep.

1. Samsung’s Larger Screen

This may be a subtle difference but after you get used to the Samsung’s 4.3 inch display, the iPhone 4’s 3.5 inch display looks tiny. Though I think the iPhone retina display outshines the Super AMOLED Plus display on the Samsung, it feels like a small price to pay to move. The browser or should I say browsers for the Samsung since the Android world has many options is more responsive and easier to read on the Samsung. Another very small but amazing difference on the Android platform is the “back” button. It is really hard to do without this on these days.

2. Apps shmapps!

The biggest issue I have heard people raising as the reason for sticking to iOS has been the perception that there are so many apps they have gotten used to and they wouldn’t want to do without if they were to move to Android. From my experience, the majority of the apps you have on iOS have an Android equivalent. The only one I miss is Flipboard which I still have on my iPad. There is one thing that is important to note here. There are by far more Android smartphones now than iOS ones. According to this article Android is winning this battle too. iOS is restricted to Apple products while Android is now the platform of choice by very many manufacturers of smartphones worldwide. So there are actually now more smartphones running Android than iOS. iOS may also have more apps, but that gap has been reduced to about 100,000 apps and is closing fast. Android is now leading in the number of downloads already.

So in this case, the Samsung is ahead simply because it is running Android. This is going to get even better this week when the next version of Android, 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) is released for the Galaxy S II.

3. Android is more customisable

I can choose to have my sms look like this today, and like something else tomorrow. I can have live wallpapers as a background for my apps. A live picture that changes depending on the time of day, dark at night and bright during the day. Even Siri is no longer a big deal as there are even so many options for Android equivalents.

4. I can change/remove my battery and add storage space

The day after I bought my Samsung, I bought an extra battery and also got a 32GB mini SD card. When you buy an iPhone, you are stuck with as much space Steve Jobs and his guys have decided you should have. It was a pleasant surprise to be able to do this for the first time in a long time.

I could talk of so many things that are easier, better on the Samsung than on the iPhone but I think you already know I am sold out on this phone. At this point I may also sneak in the fact that the Samsung has an 8 MP camera compared to the iPhone 4 5 MP one.

5. But what do I miss about my iPhone?

To be absolutely fair, there are several things I miss since I moved. I don’t miss them enough to go back, but I miss them all the same.

I miss iTunes. The iTunes ecosystem is much better than the android market. Music management is very very simple on the iTunes environment. I miss live updating smart playlists. The plus side is that the Samsung has built in FM radio which the iPhone doesn’t.

The Samsung’s battery life sucks. Of course it is easier now that I carry a spare battery and this means I can survive a busy day. There are very many apps that claim to handle battery issues of the android platform but I still think these have a long way to go. I hear Ice Cream Sandwich will deal with this but until then, I miss the iPhone’s battery life.

One of the things I thanks God for is that I still have the iPad and so I am not completely cut off from the Apple world.

Tuendelee kuongea

Francesca Battistelli: “Be Born In Me (MARY)” – Official Lyric Video

I heard this song on Sunday in church this week. A young lady called Roseanne (I think!) delivered it so powerfully. You feel the passion with which Mary sang the Magnificat and it is easy to find yourself asking the same of the Lord for yourself, that He may be born in you. At least that’s what happened to me!

Enjoy.

See you Monday

Tuendelee kuongea

I hate spending money

This is not a frivolous, un-thought-out, statement. It is the result of a lot of thinking and frustrating moments trying to understand how come it feels so painful to be parted with my cash. I think the major supermarkets should have a ‘Money separation counselling desk’ outside each outlet to provide help (free of charge of course!) to customers who have just left the till. Then maybe they will be given something for free just to provide relief, gimmicks like going through your receipt to ‘discover’ that you have been undercharged for some things, but you do not have to pay more now that it has been discovered, maybe a list showing how the prices were to go up tomorrow and you have bought these things just in time, anything to make one feel better. I can bet the majority of the people queuing to receive such services would be men.

Why do I, and I am sure countless other men have problems with spending.

1. Spending reminds me of how hard I worked to earn the money

There is a mechanic friend of mine who was once arrested and taken to the Lang’ata Police Station about six or seven years ago. He had been arrested together with two or three of his colleagues. But his colleagues were quick to bribe their way out so they were out a few minutes after the arrest. My friend refused to bribe. It was not because he had no money, or because of principles of patriotism, being a christian or any of that. He just refused. He told the cops to “do their worst”, he would still not bribe them, even if he spent a week in jail. “You can even take me to the torture chambers…” he taunted them. “None of you will get even a cent of my money”. After a night in the cell, the cops just gave up on him and let him go home. When I met him several days after his ordeal, I asked him why he was so resolved not to bribe the cops, he did not even pause to think about it. “Dan, you know the kind of work I do, I cannot spend my day in overalls, rolling under cars, checking exhaust pipes, getting myself so dirty to earn this money, then just give it to someone who has not helped me work for it.” “My money comes from far and I will not just dish it out like a politician!”.

I feel him. I work hard to earn my money and it is painful to spend it unnecessarily. Most politicians and celebs spend their money lavishly because they possibly did not sweat too much to get it. Easy come, easy go.

2. Product placement, in supermarkets especially

A friend of mine once told me that in the big supermarkets, it really matters where on the shelves things are placed. There is even a premium charged by the supermarkets for products that are placed at eye-level. They are the most likely to be bought. As you walk on the aisles of supermarkets, you will hardly look too high or too low, unless there is something specific you are looking for. I believe that the supermarkets feel we will not pass something that we have seen without processing in our minds whether we need it or not. There are so many things we end up picking simply because we have seen them. I really insist on a shopping list before I enter the supermarket. That way, I will pick only what I came to pick and not just something that I only want after seeing it.

As I walk the aisles I am just holding on tighter and tighter to my wallet knowing that it is only a matter of time and I will manage to get out of there with not too much damage.

3. It is easier to spend money that you have planned in advance to spend

When I have saved for something for a while, prayed about it and even worked out the exact time in the future I will have the money for that thing, Like was the case with my Samsung Galaxy S2 recently, it is easier. Not easy, just easier. I think psychologically, you have had enough time to prepare yourself to be separated from your cash.

I’m sure it would be easier to be robbed if the thugs made you promise, even by signing an agreement that you will be sending them money for the next 36 months in easy affordable installments. The suddenness of the separation makes it more difficult.

4. I prefer spending money on something that changes my life significantly

I like to be able to analyse my life before and after the expenditure. If there is a significant difference, then it doesn’t feel as bad. That is why many men hate spending money on car repairs. If you are only spending and you don’t feel the car is ‘reciprocating’ or ‘appreciating’ your spending money on it, you will start thinking about getting rid of it.

I also do not mind spending money on assets. Robert Kiyosaki defines an asset as something that puts money in your pocket and a liability is something that takes money out of your pocket. So if I spend money on something that I perceive will generate returns and eventually give me back my money, it is not as difficult.

5. Many times I spend money based on my projections

I found out recently that there are people in two different schools of thought regarding spending. Each does what they do and believe they are completely justified in so doing. Let me start with myself.

If you were to give me, say, 10k (by the way feel free to do so!), I would probably spend it slower and slower and probably will not finish it until I see the next 10k in the horizon. The first 2-3k can disappear fast and in mysterious ways. The next 2-3k will be spent slower and on things that I can show for it. Chances are that I will not spend the last 3k at all, until I see where the next 10k is coming from. For me at this point, 3 is the new zero!

The other school of thought is of those people who say things like, “Life is short, enjoy it while you can”, “Why do I work hard for this money if I can’t enjoy it anyway?”, “I do not want to die and leave all this to people who will not appreciate it” etc. These people spend the money simply because it is there. Which category are you in?

Tuendelee kuongea