6 MINUTE READ | May 18, 2015
OnePlus One and Done: iPhone to Android and Back
I really wanted this to work out, truly. I have to admit when I first unwrapped my new OnePlus One, it was very exciting: Shiny. New. Bigger. All this for $350. I said, “why not?”
Three weeks later I felt like trading for an original iPhone.
Let’s back up a bit first though. Before I cheated on her, I’d been with the iPhone for a while. Our relationship dates back to the 3G era when, as a college senior, I jumped into the smartphone game for the first time. There has always been a comfort and affinity with the iPhone for me, but by no means do I pledge full allegiance to Apple. Maybe that’s beginning to change.
It is also important to know that I’ve never claimed to be super techy or up to date on the latest trends and this blog post will serve as full admission of that. Some may say that I’m not smart enough to truly realize the greatness of Android or the OnePlus One. This is definitely not a bash of the OnePlus either. It just so happened that the OnePlus was my first foray into the Android family.
I’m not going to get into the weeds on comparing the iPhone 6 to the OnePlus One; there are plenty of other posts and reviews that will do a better job of this than me. This is just one man’s experience when he decided to make the switch one fateful spring day.
Probably the simplest feature that I enjoy with my iPhone is text messaging. Specifically group messaging. As stupid as this sounds, I loved being able to scroll back through a text message history to find information or just review stupid pictures that were sent in a group text between friends.
Therefore, when making the switch, I paid close attention to setting this up. Not only did I switch off iMessaging from my old iPhone, but I also went a step further and deregistered for good measure. Much to my dismay, I faced the same fate as many others before me.
Message after message just never showed up. I can only imagine the number of hilarious jokes, well timed emojis, and lunch invites that I missed out on for those three weeks! I tried and I tried (and tried) to fix this. I found some limited success with third party messaging apps, but I longed for days of my properly-functioning native messenger.
Truth be told, I pretty much gave up on Android after this.
Messaging wasn’t the only thing that I was hung up on. Several apps that I had grown reliant on just didn’t translate as seamlessly on the OnePlus. Spotify, for example, was a big pain point for me. Quick starting and stopping music was quite laughable. One tap, two tap, three. Most of the time, I just gave up and unlocked the phone.
Notifications, although very plentiful for many useless apps, really seem nonexistent for many important items. When I did receive texts, I’d often find myself discovering them several hours later because I missed the brief notification. This was even worse for missed calls or voicemails.
As I spent a little more time with the phone and added apps, I also started to experience some lag on a consistent basis. Seeking advice from other OnePlus owners and continuing my research, there seemed to be a number of workarounds. Let’s put it in developer mode. Let’s change from Kit-Kat to Lollipop to Ding Dong (okay, made that one up). While all of those sound delicious, each just frustrated me even further.
This brings up a good point for Android. There is a work around for EVERYTHING. But again, give me the phone that works out of the box, not something that I need to spend hours tweaking.
Another key feature that the OnePlus is missing is fingerprint recognition. The average person checks their phone 110 times per day. Just based on productivity alone, the iPhone dominates the One here. Not to mention, the ability to make purchases just with the press of a finger.
There are going to be a few things that I miss about my little Android buddy. First off is the camera. Okay, I said I wouldn’t get too far into the details, but 13 megapixels for the OnePlus One vs 8 megapixels for the iPhone 6 is a pretty big difference. While megapixels aren’t everything, it was pretty clear to me that the OnePlus camera outperformed the iPhone 6. Even some of my iPhone friends were forced to admit this when they saw the clarity of my pictures.
Although I feel like the iPhone 6 is the perfect size (I need a phone that can fit in my pocket), I’m going to miss that big beautiful screen. Video looked better on the OnePlus One than any phone that I have ever had and it virtually replaced any need for a tablet.
Last but not least is the price. The iPhone 6 is a considerable price increase from the affordable OnePlus One. Especially considering that the Android phone offers very similar (if not more) features than the iPhone 6, at nearly half the cost. Fair warning that the OnePlus Two, launching later this year, likely will see a bump in price, rumored between $400-500.
It really is great to be back. I love the perfectly round iPhone emoji smiley faces that greet me in my texts compared to the awkward gumdrop looking Android characters. But most of all, the iPhone has been a big part of my life for the past 6 years and it was really difficult to let that go.
I found one of the best features of the One upon my last few minutes with it – the incredible resale value. This may be due in part to the misconception that the OnePlus is still very difficult to get your hands on. While they still send me “exclusive” invites to distribute, the One is open for purchase to anyone on their website.
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So, all in all, I was out about $15 for shipping. Do I regret it? Not at all. At least now I have an opinion on Android and know that I’m content as an iPhone user. If you do make the switch and need any advice, just shoot me a text. Just make sure to unregister your iMessage account first and then download a third party app… And then pray.