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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > iPhone, iPad & iPod > I need new fone today, is iPhone still best? REVIEW: Samsung Galaxy S4 Active vs 5C

I need new fone today, is iPhone still best? REVIEW: Samsung Galaxy S4 Active vs 5C
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Sep 10, 2013, 04:50 PM
 
Accidentally took my iphone snorkeling... the end...
Anyway I like iphones battery life but dislike its maps and small screen. Has anyone switched from one phone to another and liked one better than iphone?

Im gonna try and get a new one today.
     
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Sep 10, 2013, 04:54 PM
 
sad sad swimmy iphone!

husband has a samsung he's not displeased with.
     
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Sep 10, 2013, 06:57 PM
 
sad sad swimmy iphone!
yeah, if only it had been not salt water. Being as it was in a case only a very small amount got in; it was still on when I took it out of my pocket.
     
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Sep 11, 2013, 01:26 PM
 
I love my S4.

Get an S4. You will not be disappointed.
     
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Sep 13, 2013, 01:40 AM
 
S4 looks real nice. Once I get over the sticker shock I recently experienced of phone replacement, I think Ill get the s4.
     
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Sep 13, 2013, 04:16 AM
 
Shouldn't that one be about due for replacement, though? Sammy generally updates theirs in the fall, and the S4 is almost a year old.

If performance matters to you, you should be aware that Samsung got caught cheating on benchmarks with the S4. It is not as fast as some tests make it out to be.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
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Sep 13, 2013, 11:55 AM
 
Thats ok. I figure the kinks will be worked out of the older models anyway. I was looking for a refurbished one out of contract hoping to get a discount. My iphone was originally refurbished and it worked fine but came with a sizable discount. Yesterday when I went to AT&T's site it said the refurbish S4s would be available at 2am for $29 w/contract. Well I got up today to see how much they'd be without contract and they're sold out... As is the refurb iphone 4s.
     
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Sep 13, 2013, 06:40 PM
 
I imagine that was like waiting for a Woot Bag of Crap...either get it within the first nanosecond it goes online, or miss out entirely.

That being said, if you're interested in switching carriers, I know that Sprint has it for $99 for new contracts - plus the Sprint version is considerably less locked-down than the Verizon and AT&T versions.
     
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Sep 26, 2013, 03:43 PM
 
Thanks for y'alls help and here's my story.

I decided to do a short review comparison on the Samsung Galaxy Active here since the blog/news reviews I've seen on this subject seem to be biased; or based on a tech's 20 minute tinkering of different phone models rather than real life/ business application. Many of you guys will already know many of these comparisons so hopefully I don't bore you. In short I tried the Galaxy S4 Active for a little over a week, heavily researching its tips and tricks even beyond my usual activities... and exchanged it for iPhone 5c in the end.

I read that the Galaxy S4 Active was life proof, and water proof. As it turns out, neither is remotely true or backed by warranty, just Samsung ATT false marketing ( not that this was big deal to me, I was fine with water resistant).

I went to ATT store and picked up the S4 Active for $410 plus some $35 phone switch replacement ripoff fee or whatever. Had to start a new contract and do early upgrade to get that discount.

I was immediately in love with the S4. Its user interface was easy to learn and navigate. It had a large amazing screen; better for browsing through photos, maps, and in theory typing. The larger screen allows the keyboard to fit the numbers and most commonly used symbols on 1 screen. So unlike the iPhone you don't have to page to a different keyboard to use these characters. For the most part that's a plus, but it comes at a cost.

The S4 had more features than my iphone 4s, such as contact grouping, good navigation that doesn't use data if you do it right, so I was impressed. ( I had never updated the iOS since purchasing it, I never felt I needed too, everything worked perfect except for lack of turn by turn navigation).

The cons
1st thing I noticed was the keyboard problems. I was able to type really fast without error on iPhone, yet typing on s4 active produced a lot of gibberish. At 1st I though it was a personal problem. Upon researching and talking with friends this just how Samsung keyboard software is and people just adapt by typing slower.

Even though it's nice to have more characters on 1 screen it makes the keyboard take up too much space so you cant see other things, such as previous texts while your typing.

The browsers are glitchy. Many sites don't work right. I'm barely able to scroll when reading Hotmail and many times the keyboard doesn't pop up when trying to type a message. I read you need to download a separate android app for it. I don't want to have to download extra apps for all these pages. With iPhone it works perfect without extra apps.

Yup P, it has performance issues. I didn't think this would be a problem because I don't watch much video or play games - But simply pushing buttons on the screen has lag time, and scrolling is rough.

There is no note app, you must find a 3rd party note app, which isn't a huge deal but it was one of my most vital iOS apps so it's nice to have one out of the box rather than have to spend time researching which ones are the best or which even work.

I couldn't get spell check to work, it underlines misspellings but I couldn't get it to fix them. Upon googling this is a common problem.

Gesture control, occasionally it works, most the the time it doesn't. This could be a very useful feature if it worked; you could control it when your hands are foody/dirty without touching it.

The worst problems of Galaxy Active
While talking the microphone cuts in and out so you can hear them but they can't hear you. When I asked some people I know about it they said theirs did it too and didn't know why it was a big deal to me. You can't be having a phone meeting and have it cut out for 15 secs at a time. Upon googling this has been a problem since day one of the S4 Active... and they haven't fixed it...

Selecting text is near impossible. The feature is too buggy to be used on a consistent basis. Especially when trying to select text in a field; very difficult to select or go back and edit what you already typed; it just jumps all over the screen and doesn't know what your trying to do. I didn't even have to read how to do this with iPhone, it's just intuitive and works on iPhone.

When I tried to sync with Gmail contacts it sloppily imported every person I ever sent mail to into contacts. I entered another bunch of contacts manually. When I tried to sync to Gmail contacts again, most were imported, some it didn't. It took me a while to realize this. The contact list is large and I didn't want to go through each one find out which it decided not to sync. Upon googling, this is a common glitch and no one has a decent work around for it. I also couldn't get my calender to sync, which I am dependent on.

I guess I was wrong in thinking the kinks would be worked out by now. I should have thought back to my Samsung smart TV, of which the only things they update are the information gathering and add features. None of the severe bugs have been addressed over a year later.
I decided if Samsung was going to fix some of these common problems they already would have. So I went back to ATT and paid another $35 to exchange it for iPhone 5c; which as I expected does everything it says it does and it does it flawlessly right out the box. I do wish it had contact grouping like the S4.

I didn't make this decision lightly, the S4's big screen was like crack to me, 5 days in and I dreaded the idea of going back to that tiny iphone screen. I really tried to make the whole thing work out.
In the end I'm glad I tried S4 out. Some people on the net are saying that most the problems are not Android's fault - but Samsung's fault and their crappy UI overlay.
     
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Sep 30, 2013, 12:44 PM
 
Thanks for the great review!
     
   
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