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Why I ditched my iPhone 15 Pro for the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra

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Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra and iPhone 15 Pro in hand.

Prakhar Khanna / Digital Trends

This is not another “lifelong iPhone user tries Android” story. I use and review all kinds of phones, and I prefer the flexibility of Android. That said, I’ve been on the iPhone 15 Pro since its launch — for two reasons. First, I had been getting the iPhone 14 Pro Max-level battery life on it. Second, I like the stability of social media apps like Instagram and X (formerly Twitter). But the experience has been downgrading for a while now.

Samsung’s “AI phone,” the Galaxy S24 Ultra, tackles these two issues and gives me some extra features that I didn’t think would be important for me. It’s been a surprisingly fun experience. Here’s why I shifted to the Galaxy S24 Ultra from the iPhone 15 Pro and decided to stay on it. And no, it has nothing to do with AI.

Updates have ruined the iPhone 15 Pro

Blue Titanium iPhone 15 Pro leaning on park lamp post.
Christine Romero-Chan / Digital Trends

I’ve used the last four iPhones for at least three months each. The iPhone 13 Pro Max set a new standard for iPhone battery life. Then I switched to the iPhone 14 Pro Max the following year, which, unfortunately, didn’t deliver. I decided to go for the regular iPhone 15 Pro this year, and at first, I was surprised to find it delivering Pro Max-like battery life in a smaller size.

However, the joy didn’t last for long. Since the previous few iOS updates, my iPhone’s battery life has degraded quite a bit. And the drain is even worse on mobile data. I’m on 5G while commuting, browsing social media apps, navigating for around 10 minutes, and running YouTube Music in the background. With this type of use, it depletes up to 30% of the battery within 30 minutes.

The battery drain on 5G is horrendous on the iPhone 15 Pro. If I step out of my apartment at 10 a.m. at 95% battery, there’s a good chance that I’ll be at 70% or less by the time I reach my location in 45 minutes. I’ve had instances where it was at 10% when reaching back home around 3 p.m. It makes my power bank a necessity instead of a backup, which defies the whole purpose of having a smaller, lighter iPhone. I’ve had days when I charged the iPhone 15 Pro to at least 90% twice, and it died by 9 p.m.

It’s not just the iOS updates, but also third-party app updates that have played a part in ruining the iPhone experience. One of the reasons I enjoy using the iPhone whenever I’m on it is the app’s stability. The apps don’t crash out of nowhere – at least they didn’t use to – and the social media apps experience is (umm … was) better than on Android.

Instagram running on iPhone 15 Pro.
Prakhar Khanna / Digital Trends

However, this has also gone downhill. I’ve had my banking apps crash after logging in via Face ID. That’s been the case for a month now. I open the app, get through Face ID, and it crashes. Or I reach the main menu before it ends up crashing. What should be a seamless experience now takes me three tries to see my account statement.

Similarly, X and Instagram have been poor. X has image loading issues, where if I open an image on a post and go back, it hangs – leaving me no choice but to force close the app. There’s no other way to get back to browsing on the app. As for Instagram, it randomly shows me blank spaces for posts that I share with my friends in DMs. When reposting a video from a friend’s story, the upload hangs and uploads the video stuck on a single frame. It doesn’t notify me of all the DMs that come in when I’ve had my internet off for a couple of hours.

The battery life and app stability with better social media integration are what made me use the iPhone instead of an Android phone in the first place. But the iOS and third-party app updates have ruined the experience. And so, I shifted to the Galaxy S24 Ultra.

The Galaxy S24 Ultra has been so much better

Galaxy S24 Ultra and iPhone 15 Pro in hands.
Prakhar Khanna / Digital Trends

I’ve had the Galaxy S24 Ultra last me an entire day on 5G. That’s with navigation, social media browsing, and the usual replying to messages on various apps. Coming back to the bigger form factor was a slight inconvenience at first, but if I’m getting great battery life, I’m fine with it. I’ve also used the iPhone 15 Pro Max for two weeks, and the Galaxy S24 Ultra’s battery life has been better than the best of the iPhone.

Secondly, I don’t face app crashes with my banking apps on the S24 Ultra – making it a less irritating experience. Now I can reach the unsolicited loan pop-ups (absolutely pathetic UI) immediately. I haven’t had an X photo hang for me or had Instagram not notifying me of DMs after I turn on the internet in the morning. Both of these apps seem more stable for me on the Galaxy S24 Ultra.

I also didn’t realize how much of a better experience I could have with a less reflective display until I used the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra. The new Corning Gorilla Armor surprised me in day-to-day use. It’s one of the better upgrades that you’d not notice on the spec sheet. The lesser reflectivity has enhanced my content consumption experience. The Ceramic Shield on the iPhone 15 Pro also attracts more smudges, which are more visible and uncomfortable in sunlight. The Galaxy S24 Ultra solves this problem.

Pair these benefits with a smooth user experience, versatile camera setup, and great performance, and you have a winner. I haven’t been using all the Galaxy AI features on the Samsung phone in day-to-day life. However, two of them have made my life easier. First, the Circle to Search feature is great when I’m looking for a pair of shoes or an accessory that someone wore on Instagram or X.

Circle to Search on Galaxy S24 Ultra.
Prakhar Khanna / Digital Trends

Second, Photo Assist comes in handy when I want to delete reflections or make unusual stickers of my friends (I capture a lot of random photos). It’s more immersive than the Pixel 8 Pro if you are using the S Pen. I also found it to be slightly faster and better at filling in background details when deleting objects compared to the Pixel. Both of these are fun add-on features that I can do without, but they make the Galaxy S24 Ultra experience more enjoyable.

I also like the photos clicked at night better on the Galaxy S24 Ultra than on the iPhone 15 Pro. However, not all is good on the Galaxy S24 Ultra. For instance, the 10MP telephoto sensor in 3x optical zoom captures noisy images in lowlight. It bothers me because it’s one of the things I use the camera for. After all, I go out with friends in the evening, and I click a lot of pictures in 3x. But that’s the only time when I miss my iPhone. The iPhone 15 Pro captures better 3x shots, but turn to 5x, and you have a clear winner in the Galaxy S24 Ultra.

The poor battery life and app stability on the iPhone have led me back to using an Android phone as my primary device. I’ll probably shift to the Honor Magic V2 soon because I want the sleek foldable form factor, but for now, I’m staying on the Galaxy S24 Ultra for the all-day battery life with virtually no compromises elsewhere. And I’m loving it.

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