Why I might trade my iPhone for a Galaxy S8



Commentary: Every time a new Samsung Galaxy comes out, I think about making the switch — and this year it’s more tempting than ever.

Every year Samsung announces its new hero Galaxy phone in the spring, half a year before the new iPhone comes out in the fall. And every year, a few pundits write articles about how it might be the right time to switch from iPhone to Galaxy — or really from iOS to Android.

The problem with writing this article is that every year Samsung brings out a phone that’s arguably better than the iPhone, but then six months later, Apple counters with something new, improved and just innovative enough to keep its legions of fans — Android fanboys invariably call them sheeple — from bolting from the iOS herd.

In fact, a relatively small percentage of users end up switching from iOS to Android and vice versa each year. In a recent article, the Wall Street Journal cited stats from market researcher Consumer Intelligence Research Partners, which reported that 11 percent of former Android users bought an iPhone in 2016 while 15 percent of former iPhone users switched to Android. Of course, iPhone users aren’t all switching from an iPhone to a Samsung phone; they’re moving to several different Android vendors (LG and ZTE also picked up market share last year, according to the same WSJ story).

So, will the Galaxy S8 move the needle on those “switch” numbers? The biggest variable is the battery question. But the black cloud of the Note 7 fires doesn’t appear to have damaged the wider Galaxy brand: S8 preorders are said to be outpacing last year’s model, and Samsung’s brand reputation has already bounced back from its post-Note 7 low, at least according to one survey.

Is the turnaround in Samsung’s fortunes because of its extreme safety precautions in the new model or just the short memory of modern consumers? I don’t know, but I’m willing to give the S8 a try myself. I’ll likely be upgrading my iPhone 6S this year — it’s my primary phone — and after playing around with the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus after the big Galaxy S8 launch event a few weeks ago, I was smitten.

Here are a few reason I might switch:

Apple’s truly new iPhone will likely cost a bundle

Rumor has it that Apple is going to release three new iPhones this fall. Two of them will be refreshes of the current iPhones — basically, the iPhone 7S and 7S Plus — while the “new” flagship model with all the new bells and whistles and rumored curved screen will cost upwards of $1,000. (When you consider that the 256 GB iPhone 7 Plus already costs $969, £919 or AU$1,569, it’s really no stretch.)

I’m willing to bet that phone will be very similar to the Galaxy S8 Plus in that it will have a high screen-to-phone-size ratio (translation: it will be an iPhone 7 Plus screen in an iPhone 7 body). But I’m not sure I want to pay $1,000 for a phone. By September we should see some discounts on the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus, which currently list for about $750 (£689, AU$1,200) and $850 (£779, AU$1,350) respectively, depending on which carrier you buy from.

I’m tired of paying such a premium for additional memory

In the US, the base models for the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus have 64 GB of memory and feature a microSD expansion slot for adding more memory. You can add a 128 GB microSD for about $40 (the phones support up to a whopping 2 TB). If Apple follows its current lineup, new iPhones will come in 32 GB, 128 GB and 256 GB flavors. But you pay an extra $100 for each step up, which feels like highway robbery compared to those microSD card prices.


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