I have a big decision to make.
One day soon, in the next few months, maybe by Christmas (and depending on the launch of iOS 10), I will require a new tablet. But that’s not the whole story… the biggest decision is whether to stick with Apple and the iPad family or jump ship to Samsung and Android.
To even consider breaking away from Apple, there is just one real first question… Can Samsung really compare?
There are also a couple more:
- Is jumping ship a good thing?
- Is transitioning easy?
So, given those questions – and unspoken other ones – I wonder just what kind of arguments each side could make:
On the side of Apple, I give you the lovely iPad Air 2 (unless your job is a graphics designer or similar, there is no need to even think of considering iPad Pro):
16GB + 4G – 449.99
64GB + 4G – £529.00
- A8X chip with 64-bit architecture (three cores clocked at 1.5 GHz)
- M8 motion coprocessor
- Depth: 6.1 mm (0.24 inches)
- Weight: 444 g
– Available in: 16GB – 64GB (No external memory)
– Camera: 8MP iSight camera
– Video: 1080p HD video recording (30 fps)
– Audio formats supported: AAC (8 to 320 Kbps), Protected AAC (from iTunes Store), HE-AAC, MP3 (8 to 320 Kbps), MP3 VBR, Audible (formats 2, 3, 4, Audible Enhanced Audio, AAX and AAX+), Apple Lossless, AIFF and WAV
- 9.7-inch (diagonal) LED-backlit widescreen Multi-Touch display with IPS technology
- 2048 x 1536 pixel resolution
- 264 ppi
On the side of Samsung, I give you the Galaxy Tab S2, and at the lower end, the Galaxy Tab A:
Galaxy Tab S2 9.7″ 4G – £449.99
– Samsung Exynos 5433 Processor
– Quad-core x 2 (“Octa-Core”
– 1.9 GHz / 1.3 GHz
– 3GB RAM
– 32 GB eMMC (Memory)
– 8″ Super AMOLED Screen
– 2048 x 1536 (QXGA)
– microSD card (up to 128 GB)
– 8 MP camera
– 2.1 MP webcam
– MP3/WAV/eAAC+/WMA/Flac player
– Depth: 5.6mm
– Weight: 392g
Galaxy Tab A 9.7″ 4G – £239.99
– 1.2GHz Quad-Core
– 1024 x 768 (XGA) resolution
– 2 GB RAM
– 16 GB memory (10.8GB available)
– MicroSD (Up to 128GB)
– Depth: 7.5mm
– Weight: 456g
Like vs Like:
There is one key issue here that will be a very big deciding factor: Weight. I can no longer hold my iPad (4) Retina for more than fairly short periods – I have a condition that means I can no longer hold much weight – and therefore to really use and enjoy the product
The other key issue that is just as important is: Space: My strict 16GB (shrunk to 12GB thanks to the constantly inflating sizes of iOS) space is not even half as big as what I really require to make the most of my hefty investment.
Weight and Space might be Key- but functionality is also a must. Android and iOS are as night and day in how they do things, but they’re fairly neck-and-neck when it comes to what they do. Most apps are written and available for both platforms. Both have the ability to do a heck of a lot. There’s not a lot in it when it comes to what products are available.
However, when it comes to the functionality of the two operating systems there’s much to consider… Apple is talking about bringing out iOS 10 soon, as is Android about Marshmallow 6.0. Both offer more and better functions, in very different ways.
I admit I am a fan of the clean and smart layout of iOS. I like the way it functions – and it doesn’t hurt that it is what I have been using for the last 4+ years. I also admittedly do not have a soft spot for the Android layout, and it’s more like an average desktop with far more options for customisation… something most other people really like, but I’m not much of a fan of.
Apple Positive vs Negatives
||Apple – Not the same company now
|iOS Layout & GUI
||iOS – system is now flawed
||Unreliable future for excellence
|Excellent Quality Hardware
||Weight – S2 slightly lighter
|Simpler Setup, Migration of Data etc.
||Size – S2 slightly thinner
|Ease, beauty & functionality of entire package
||Processor – S2 has slightly faster speed, more cores & RAM
|Excellent specs & more than enough space (64GB)
Whilst thinking about this list, I came to realise that trying to process the negatives were difficult – it was actually hard to think of bad things against the iPad Air 2… apart from the price and memory options. The clear £79 difference between the two, along with the option of expanding the memory by an extra 128GB does swing a lot in the S2’s favour.
If it weren’t for these contentions, I do not think I would hesitate or think of looking elsewhere. I love my iPad and I would prefer to make a like-for-like change… but the fact nevertheless remains that Samsung is offering far more value for money. A 128GB micro SD card can be as little as £25 – add that to the 32GB of on-board memory that the S2 has and for as little as £474.98 you have a device with 163GB of on-board memory and 3GB of RAM with an eight-core processor. It is a difficult offer to pass up when Apple is not offering a product that’s not quite on that level for an extra £55.
Tablet Specs: Table 1
|iPad Air 2
||1.5GHz x3 Cores
||2048 x 1536
|iPad Pro 9.7″
||2.16GHz – 2.26GHz
||2048 x 1536
|Galaxy Tab S2
||1.9GHz / 1.3Ghz
||2048 x 1536
|Galaxy Tab A 9.7″
||1024 x 768
Tablet Specs: Table 2
||iPad Air 2
||iPad Pro 9.7″
||Galaxy Tab S2 9.7″
||Galaxy Tab A
||Quad-Core x 2
||2.16GHz – 2.26GHz
||1.9GHz / 1.3GHz
||2048 x 1536 Retina
||2048 x 1536 Retina
||2048 x 1536 S-AMOLED
||1024 x 768 (XGA)
~ All prices are for the 4G (network) editions ~
It’s a difficult decision to make… with the fundamentals resting on whether Apple s offering enough to justify an extra £80 for less processor power, less memory [options], and more weight (even if it isn’t all that much).
I can’t really justify the iPad Pro – I do not require such power in a tablet. The iPad S2 certainly covers my needs quite easily…but put up against the Galaxy Tab S2, it seems lacking and wanting. One of those things where you are simply paying for the name. Samsung is the company trailblazing and experimenting with new tech, trying new ideas, bringing out the best things… everything Apple used to do. All Apple seems to be doing is bringing out yet another near-identical products with better processors, which are required for their new mighty and clumsy incarnations of iOS.
The swings and roundabouts will continue to move until a final decision is made… but to me it says a lot about how far Samsung has come – never before have I ever considered trading in my Apple for anything else. Or maybe it shows how the Apple has fallen. They are not the company they used to be. They used to trailblaze and try new things… and we haven’t seen anything genuinely new from them since the mighty Steve Jobs passed from us. His vision, passion, and constant search for something new is sorely missing, but it is Samsung who is taking inspiration, and they are the ones trying new things now. Will I be the one to try something new in Samsung?
I do not yet know.