My First Impressions of being a Smart Phone Owner

Okay, so I’ve had my Samsung Galaxy S™ II Epic™ 4G Touch since Wednesday evening and I’ve played around with it enough to have formed some early opinions.

When the phone was first handed to me I was amazed at how large the screen was. It’s like 4.5 inches, which is just about twice as large as my previous phone. That was awesome.

The battery was nearly dead out of the box and I was only able to download one app (the Logos app) before leaving the church to go home. Once home I plugged it in to charge and was very pleasantly surprised to find that it fit my charger for the old phone.

I played around with it while it was charging and downloaded apps for Netflix, Gmail, and Twitter the first night. Super easy to do and they downloaded quick.

But the batter took forever to charge. Probably 6-7 hours that first night since I played around with with it for 3-4 hours while it was charging and then slept another 3.

In the days following I’ve noticed that the batter drains quick, even when I’m not doing anything crazy with the phone. For example, I used it for a few hours today and did some light tweeting, check my email a few times, sent a text or two, and made a couple of calls. When I got home I was down to 35% power. Not cool.

Also, because I’ve been put on the church’s phone plan, I’m now with Sprint. I’ve been with Verizon for nearly a decade and I never had network issues. With Sprint I’ve already had several. It seems like I’m roaming no matter where I go. This isn’t the phone’s fault but Sprint as a carrier sucks.

I’ve discovered that I’m not in love with browsing the internet on a phone. For Twitter and email it’s cool, but I need a large screen to really read stuff.

Same goes with PDFs. Reading PDFs on such a small screen (and 4.5″, while huge for a phone, is still small) is a pain in the neck.

I also don’t like using it for blogging. I suppose if I need to say something that’s longer than a tweet while I’m away from my computer I can do it; but I wouldn’t count on that being so often.

Watching Netflix is pretty good though. Listening to music is good too.

At first I wasn’t happy with how I had to set up the ring tones but I’ve since figured out how to make it do what I want. That’s cool.

I like how loud the phone is. I also like that I can set music for my alarms. On my old phone you could only use the stock sounds.

I’ve been composing my tweets and text messages using Swype and I’m getting the hang of it. I still texted faster with the keyboard on my old phone but I’m catching up.

I still don’t have a ton of apps but I like the ones I have for the most part. But I don’t like the Adobe Reader app. The Polaris Office app is way better for PDFs. Bryan L. had recommended another one but I didn’t feel like paying for it, especially since I don’t like reading PDFs on the phone.

So those are my initial impressions. I’m sure I’ll have tons more.



2 thoughts on “My First Impressions of being a Smart Phone Owner

  1. Battery life on smartphones is something that is a bit of a shock at first. Some have better battery life than others but there not as good as “dumb” phones. You’re basically using a little computer and it drains a lot of battery. You get use to charging it over night and whenever you can. Some things that help are turning the brightness down on the screen, turning off wifi when not connected to a wifi network (you’re out and about), turning off gps when not using it as well as bluetooth, and disabling background sync of apps or making them not as frequent. The touch screen keyboard also takes some getting use to. I hate it for typing anytging long.

    Regarding paying for apps, its hard to avoid since the best ones are for pay usually. You could try using your Amazon credits in the Amazon apps store for some of those apps. Amazon has an app store app for Android.

    I really like Repligo though. It’s the reflow mode and the ability to annotate in reflow mode that is so great. I haven’t seen anything on Android or iOS that can do those things.

  2. Bryan: I hear that Samsungs are notorious for taking forever to charge and draining quick. I’m definitely going to have to get a car charger.

    Thanks for the tips!

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