3 months with the OnePlus Android Device
So, the other day I bought an Android device, the OnePlus One. This after 5 years of using an iOS device and using primaraly a mac since 2001 was a big step for me.
The goal was to get to know the ecosystem and to discover that it would be of course shit and that I would be running back to my trusty, small iPhone5s.
It turned out that I liked the phone quite a bit for the first time but after 3 months I really longed back to my iPhone. I still use it sometimes, that’s already more then I thought I would.
Oneplus One depth
Below you can find the top 3 things I really liked on the OnePlus One and then the 3 reasons why I still stick to the iPhone.
The top 3 things I really like on the OnePlus One.
Screen size: I thought this would be the first reasons why I would dislike the Android experience. After years of making fun of colleagues and friends for their use of a refrigerator mobile phone I wanted to try it. This would be the first slamdunk for me to burn the OnePlus One. Holy shit, how wrong was I.
I really like to have that big screen (5.5 inch) and use it to read or type. And it’s now one of the main reasons why i’m contemplating to use the device more and more. Indeed, it’s almost impossible to use with one hand, but it’s actually a good thing, as I tend to do less now at the same time.
Furthermore I read a lot on the phone and so the extra screen estate really helps me with that.
The only thing I honestly don’t understand, why does Instagram show the same amount of information on the screen on my iPhone5s and on the big screen. This is very much a missed opportunity.
Battery: the battery is way better and keeps on going for a lot more time. It could be that my iPhone is already a bit older, but still, it’s awesome to not to worry about the battery during the day. Normally on the iPhone I use it for bluetooth Spotify streaming while using the GPS system. This totally destroys the battery while the OnePlus goes on and on and on. Just like the Duracell rabbit.
Notifications: The notifications seems to be less intrusive, when they show up on the screen and I like that you can see from the top in once glance the different apps.
Furthermore if you pull the notification drawer down to see them, they’re very interactive and informative. For example showing directly the avatars in the Twitter notifications or showing images of a house from the Real estate app.
This is information what is very interesting and makes it easier to make a decision at that moment to open the app or not. Furthermore the light notifications on the phone really helps to identify if there’s an important notification or not. This without switching on the phone. A very handy feature and makes it directly actionable.
The 3 things which keeps me using my iPhone5s for now
TouchID: I really did miss the Touch ID to unlock the phone, unlock apps and to buy the apps. I never thought I used it so much and that it becomes quiet a pain in the butt when you have to type every time your password.
Especially for example for a longer password like the one of 1Password. Next to the fact that it’s more secure, it’s actually quicker in my use as well. I don’t need to swipe to the right, draw the line between the dots and then get access to the phone. It’s just my thumb on the home button and off you go.
Apps: This is a fairly personal preference for me. As told before I’m already a long time Mac and iOS user and so I have my workflows to get things done on the phone. This integration between various apps or apps not existing really messed up my workflows. A few apps I really missed are:
- Omnifocus (Mac and iOS only): Powerful to do manager. I use it as my go to to do manager for everything.
- ScanPlus (Mac and iOS only): Taking a picture, OCR it and saving it as a PDF. The future for a paperless office 😀
- Overcast: A very nice podcast player. I’ve found a few podcast players on Android but they where to complicated for me. Way to much buttons and options.
- Nuzzel: A hidden gem on the iPhone. New curation on basis of your Twitter and Facebook stream. Ease but oh so powerful.
- Hyperlapse: I tend to use this app fairly regularly and a big surprise to me that it doesn’t exist on Android. It’s part of Instagram and Facebook.
There are similar apps but not one is so good in the integration and polish as these apps for their purposes in my view. Again this is a really personal point but I suppose as well fairly common if you build a workflow on your mobile devices, be it on a iPhone or an Android device. And I started on an Apple device.
Camera: The camera is still so much better, maybe not in megapixels but in startup speed and the time to focus. As I’ve been playing around, it have been a long time that I was every time to late to capture a moment of my kids.
Furthermore I’ve had a lot of moved photographs because they didn’t want to stay still. This is fairly common of course for young kids, so this was a hands down victory for the iPhone. Even though it’s not anymore the best camera in the iOS ecosystem, it still beats the OnePlus One.
One of the most irritating things from the OnePlus camera is that the EXIF data is not always preserved. I’m not sure if it’s due to the App I’ve been using (Google Camera and Cyanogen Stock Camera), but it’s ruining my Lightroom library.
In general I liked the Oneplus One and it’s certainly a great phone. The build quality is fine and apart from some very strange screen issues with Android 5.02, it’s a great phone for version 1 (Hence the one).
At the end the main reason I went back to the iPhone is not due to the hardware but to the software.
Although Android is almost at the same level as iOS, I still miss the polish and the consistency of iOS in the Android.
One more thing what I really didn’t understand for the OnePlus was the missing consistency in swipes.
I use it a lot, as far I even choose my phone case that it doesn’t have a large border.
With the iOS 8 extensions and today screen it does seem to me that it’s even more extensible regarding inter app communication but on the other side Android has more options to customize the looks of your phone and system.
I haven’t done this as it’s not really my cup of tea. In short, I didn’t mind to use it and if I needed it to, I wouldn’t mind.
But for me the pleasure of using the phone was gone and I got very irritated with a few glitches. Especially there is a lot of small things which are coming all together after a while.
What about the price difference of about a few hundred euros? I bought the iPhone for 699 euros while the OnePlus costs 299 euros. This is less then half of the price of a new iPhone. And if you want to get the 5,5 inch 64gb (899 euros) the difference has increased to 600 euros or about 1/3 of the price.
From a rationale perspective, it’s a slam dunk, the OnePlus is the winner. There are only 2 things which might be of sufficient value, TouchID and the camera. For me the 3rd would be the apps, as discussed previous. This next to general ease of use of iOS and the fluidity of the operating system makes me very happy to be back on iOS again.
Is this worth the extra 600 euros? For me it’s a yes, but it’s not a resounding yes. And that means a lot.