My Infatuation with Samsung and Why it's Fading
First and foremost, I have always been a Samsung fanboy. My last 3 phones have been Samsung products, including a Blackjack 2, Jack, and now, the Samsung Focus. When i left for college, I got a TV/monitor combo device that was Samsung (still running as my kitchen TV!). When my desktop hard drive crashed (already a samsung), i replaced it with another Samsung drive. Samsung surround sound system. Samsung plasma screen. I've got as much Samsung as I can have, at this point.
But, over time, my love of their phones is really trailing off. I think Vlad hit the nail right on the head in his Galaxy S3 post today.
All of my Samsung devices have struggled at the end of their life cycle. The blackjack 2 could barely make a call in the waning months of its life, and my friends and family begged me to upgrade. I opted to move on to the Samsung Jack, which was similarly struggling placing calls, crashed commonly, and was slower than molasses.
I enjoyed the devices thoroughly for about the first year of their life, then the experience really started to lag behind. Little nagging hardware issues started to collect, and the software wasn't quite where it needed to be (not all Samsung's fault, of course). When I heard that Samsung was going to be a launch partner of WP7, I knew I had to hop on the Samsung train again. Honestly, they put out the best looking and feeling handset of the WP7 launch devices. The screen was top-notch compared to all the others, and I was excited to move on to my first touchscreen device.
I finally got a Focus around June of 2011. I was so happy to take the device home and get it up and running. The OS was beautiful, and that screen... oh boy. I was in heaven. But, not long after... NoDo drops. I plug my brand new phone into my desktop and look for updates. Hmm. Nothing. That's odd. I was about to experience my first frustrations with Samsung and updates.
I called ATT and asked what was going on. I was told that I had the latest version of software available. "Bullshit," I thought. I knew that there was an update out there. I started scouring the internet for answers. I quickly found that there were 2 versions of the Focus, which was causing all kinds of headaches for updates. The rev 1.3 Focus ran just the same as my rev 1.4 Focus, but used a different memory chip. I was a little blown away that Samsung would do something like this. I was beyond frustrated, constantly checking the "Where's My Update?" page to see when I would finally get NoDo. Months later, it finally dropped.
Thank God. Finally got a little update love. Simultaneously, there was an increasing number of stories about this new "Mango" software I had heard so much about. Wonder if that will be a problem.
For any Focus rev 1.4 owners, you know quite well that it was. Mango was a disaster, with updates delivering to some Focus devices months before I ever got it. Finally, Mango dropped, and all was well again. Kind of. All of the update issues were starting to bug me. I had seen a lot of problems with Samsung and their android devices getting updated, and suddenly, I was in the same boat as the android users. Not a boat I wanted to be on.
Then, Nokia happened. News of the partnership with Microsoft started to drop, and I was kind of interested. I had never owned a Nokia, as I started with a flip Moto handset, a Sony Ericsson, and then 3 Samsungs. My girlfriend had always loved Nokias, but had run out of options and had to opt for a Samsung Galaxy S on ATT. She couldn't say enough about how much she loved the Nokias she had owned, and I was intrigued to see what they came out with. Not long after...
Yes. And. Please. Nokia put out some unique hardware running Windows Phone in the Lumia 800. The only question was how they would do with updates. Not long to get that answer at all. Issues with the 800 were quickly corrected as quickly as they had appeared. Unfortunately, the 800 wasn't on any US carriers, and was only available with a $1000 bundle at Microsoft stores. Not quite that compelling, if you ask me. Not long after...
The lumia 900. Coming to ATT. I collected all the news I could about the device. My girlfriend was instantly in love. She finally picked it up during the launch week, and was in love with everything it had to offer over her old Galaxy S. Holding the device in my hand at the ATT store, I knew it was in another league. Seeing an update promised for a week after launch and delivered ahead of schedule was pretty much the icing on the cake.
Beautiful hardware. Updates. How can I argue with that? How can I support buying another Samsung phone when this is what the competition looks like? Taking a look at the GS3...
Hmm. I mean, it looks ok, I guess. Not my favorite design of all time. Same with the One X. The design on the Android sign is looking kind of subpar lately. I may have to hold a GS3 to change my mind... but do I really want to at this point? Is Samsung bought into the ecosystem at this point? Will they ever be?
I think the choice of a phone is pretty obvious at this point. Nokia is putting out the best hardware and pushing updates before they even should be. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy my Samsung devices, but when it comes to phones, it seems just like Vlad said, we're on our own. I want to see what's around when I have my upgrade around June 2013, but I think it's going to look like a Nokia unless whatever turns out to be our GS3 variant blows me away and gets some updates on time. I know that's muddled with carrier issues as well, but it doesn't seem to bother Nokia. Not one bit.
Nokia. This is my next.
UPDATE: I updated the first photo, which was actually the Blackjack I, and the 900 photo, which was actually an 800 render.