1. SquireSCA's Avatar
    Forgive any rambling, I am just putting my thoughts and experiences down on virtual paper in the order that I was thinking them. Hopefully it will make sense and give insight as to an Android fanboy's perspective on the newer iPads and tablet scene in general... Make sure to read to the end where there are updates that I added weeks after getting the device, with some additional observations.

    When the iPhone first hit the scene, it was ground-breaking. Small improvements were made over time, but by the time of the iphone 3G S, I was getting tired of the lack of features... no copy and paste, no sending pics via MMS instead of email, no multitasking, little tiny screen, having to rely on iTunes, no expansion of storage, no using it like a thumb drive, no ability to set default apps, the list goes on... There was also the issue of it being on AT&T and getting 8-10 dropped calls per day(tried 3 different iPhones), regardless of where I was or signal strength...

    I am used to PC's, not Macs. I am used to getting whatever hardware I want and doing what I want with it. I couldn't stand being dictated to in how I would be allowed to use it, and seeing competitors offering the features I wanted, while Apple stuck their fingers in their ears and kept pushing the status quo... Apple seemed more like a lifestyle brand... like what Harley Davidson is to the motorcycle world... They cater (mostly) to people that put image and status over quality and performance, etc...* And while nobody can claim that you can't make money hand over fist doing business that way, it just wasn't for me. I don't care about the lifestyle, I want cutting edge performance and functions for my money, not a status symbol.

    The iPhone seemed more like a toaster... It's made to do a few specific things, but you can't use it for something else, it will always be a toaster... I felt like Apple knows that they have a core of cult-like followers that will shell out top dollar for anything with an Apple logo on it, even if it is barely different than the product that they already own...

    So I finally moved to Verizon and went to Android. First couple phones were decent, but from 2012 on, Apple couldn't hold a candle to what was available with Android. More options, better phones with nicer screens and useful features that Apple fans wanted, but Mr Jobs decided that they should have to wait a couple years for... And each generation, the gap widened. Android phones now are so far ahead of anything Apple has on the table. Nicer screens, better cameras, expansion, better battery life, IR blasters, HDMI ports, the ability to access from any USB port like a thumb drive, etc... The QHD Super AMOLED screens blow the Retina out of the water. But today, with with Android having 82% of the global market, and Apple now going to larger screens and adopting most of the Android features from 2 years ago, they obviously see the light and are trying to catch up.

    That said, I assumed that the same was true for the tablet world. I had an original Nexus 7, and then decided to get a Windows Tablet, a Dell Venue 11 Pro 64GB... Nice enough, ran full windows and I could plug it into my Ducati's ECU to program and diagnose the bike, etc... But even with the Win 8.1 update, you just never feel like it was really meant for touch screens. It's this weird in between feel that doesn't cater to either mode of use as well as it could or should.

    So this time around I read up a lot, went and played with different devices and decided to leave Windows and go back to an Android tablet. I considered the Galaxy S series and I was also intrigued by the NVidia Shield tablet running their crazy Tegra K1 SoC... The fastest mobile graphics processor that you can buy in a tablet. Plays near desktop quality games, lots of cool features, console mode, front facing speakers... a solid tablet and for gaming, nothing can touch it. You aren't playing Half Life 2 on another other tab, that's for sure, but the Shield Tablet can handle it without breaking a sweat...

    So I went back and forth between the Galaxy S 8.4 and the Shield. The Galaxy has the best screen I have ever seen on a tablet. It's amazing. But the battery life wasn't stellar and the Shield was faster and $100 cheaper, and offers more in the way of accessories and options, HDMI port, console mode, game pad controller, built in stylus, etc...

    Got it home, and it was ok. It is certainly fast, but in upgrading to Lollipop it made the tablet buggy and there is no way to roll it back unless you want to void the warranty and root it, etc... To have to do that on a brand new $300 tablet, just to get it to work properly, seemed like BS to me. Tried tons of things to fix it, but just couldn't get it to not be laggy at times. I upgraded my Note 4 to Lollipop, and it made one of the best phones ever made, even better. But not so on the tablet... I considered the Galaxy Tab S again, but I already have the Note 4, so that just seemed like a slightly larger version of what I have, without the phone built in.

    So I went back and looked at the iPad Mini 2 Retina... I really thought hard about it... you know, going back to the “dark side”... It was a couple bucks more for the 32gb version, and you are giving up some things, make no mistake... 4:3 screen less ideal for movies... no front speakers... Limited storage, having to deal with iTunes, so not as easy as an Android tablet that can just plug into any USB port and drag and drop whatever you want to it or the SD card like a thumb drive... No HDMI port, non-standard proprietary plug that Apple insists on using just to increase revenue streams... No widgets or true interactive UI...

    The desktop of the OS is just a slab with icons scattered about, no real multitasking or real time data widgets...

    So in a lot of ways, the iPad is way behind the times, mainly because iOS is a couple years behind the curve. Having it next to my Note 4, it really does draw a stark contrast in just how dated iOS is(even with the update to 8.3), but it does work well enough. I do miss having widgets, as they are very useful.

    However, the iPad looks amazing. The built quality is probably the best out there. Besides the crude UI and lack of widgets, it is simple and elegant. It is fast, smooth and seamless... It just plain WORKS for all of your basic browsing, email, media consumption and lite gaming needs. It's a fantastic tablet.

    Super screen and performance, and about as big as you want while still being able to palm it in one hand. Despite the lack of front facing stereo speakers, the sound is loud and excellent quality. Yeah, it doesn't have an HDMI port, but there's an iPad version of Chromecast...

    The iOS version of Microsoft Office is actually much better than the Android one currently...

    As for the selection of apps, both platforms have so many apps that it's pretty much irrelevant. With Android dominating the planet, there really isn't anything on iOS than there isn't an Android version of.

    I wouldn't trade my Android phones for anything from Apple. Apple still has a lot of catching up to do in several areas... But as far as tablets go, I don't feel that Android is as far along in maturity as their phones are.

    Here I feel, Apple still has the edge. They are not perfect or without limitations, but for general purpose work, I don't regret returning my Shield tablet and picking up a Mini2 Retina. Yeah, it isn't as feature packed as the Android tablets, but in this price range, it's a higher quality, more refined product...

    One thing that I notice, is that the Mini2 Retina's graphics performance is nowhere near the Tab S or Shield. It looks great and is smooth in the UI, but when you run a video benchmark... take Antutu or something and look at the 3D game portions of the test and watch the screen's FPS on the bottom left corner, they are typically in the mid 20's...*

    To compare, both my Note 4 and the Shield Tablet I had, are typically hitting 59-60fps, which I think is the limit of what the display itself can show, so it may be faster, but it is capped at 60fps to match the 60hz frequency of the display...

    That's a huge difference!*

    The overall score in Antutu on my Mini2 Retina, is 27,757... My Note 4 is over 52,000 and the NVidia tablet was almost 57,000. So, a huge difference. I think that the Tab S is in the mid 40,000 range...

    Not that benchmarks are the end all be all of anything, but there is a pretty pronounced difference in graphics performance... And the Note 4 is running a much higher resolution than the iPad... 2560x1440 or something whacky... At almost double the PPI...

    So if you want to do gaming, that could be a deciding factor.*

    In lite games, watching movies and everyday normal tablet duties, the iPad is buttery smooth and fluid. But in a higher end game with lots of eye candy, the Android tablets and even phones bring a lot more muscle to the table...

    From a hardware perspective, the iPad has the quality and style. But Android has the muscle, options and is way more cutting edge. What holds the Apple devices back, is the OS.

    The Android OS has a huge advantage over iOS. iOS has added some pull down menus and notifications, but overall it isn't much different than it was in 2007. It's a desktop with icons laying all about that you can thumb through and launch one at a time...

    Android has the ability to have more than one app actually running and on the screen at the same time... so have a word processor open or email, while watching a YouTube video... At the same time. Seeing things as they happen, rather than launching apps one at a time... Its so much easier to get things done on Android for power users, because you have true multitasking abilities.

    With iOS, no interactive UI and desktop with true multitasking and real-time widgets displaying data that matters to you... The experience on my Note 4 is light years ahead of the iPhone 6... It knows when it is in my pocket as opposed to being on the desk or table, so it doesn't lock when it is in my pocket. It knows if I am in my car, so it unlocks there as well. I have widgets displaying my calendar or flight info, updates from news feeds, weather, anything really... all on the desktop, all in real-time... no having to launch each app one at a time to see what is going on...

    Google Now is the tool that Siri should have been. It is faster and actually works. Siri is a gimmick for the most part, to entertain you and to amuse your friends, but when you want a tool that WORKS, you use Google Now.

    Apple Maps? LOL It's a joke. Every time someone gets lost on the way to my house, I tell them to turn off Apple Maps and use Google Maps and so far I have never been wrong. I can tell what phone they have by how many dropped calls they get or whether they get lost on the way here. haha

    I think that Apple is still 2 years behind Android in the phone area, but they still have the edge in the tablet area.

    It does lack features... no MicroSD... no HDMI... Speakers on bottom instead of front... The iPad uses the same 4:3 aspect ratio as a 1950's television... Still relies on iTunes(which sucks), and no real ability to use it as a portable USB drive...

    But the build quality is top notch, it is simple, elegant, and it works very well. I think that for a general purpose tablet, Apple has the better product, for now at least.

    I got the 32GB version, which obviously limits what I can do with it, but it will suffice. I think that I made the right choice going back to Apple for my tablet needs.

    As a general media consumption platform, the iPad is a fantastic product. Clean, stable, more mature and more refined than any Android tablet that I have sampled. If you have to have the latest cutting edge platform, with customization and a host of hardware options to pick from, Android is going to be the better route, especially if you have a Steam account and want to use it as a mobile gaming platform.

    If you are like most folks and just want a media consumption appliance, that while limited, does what it does very well, in a really slick and intuitive fashion, then the iPad is the clear winner, in this Andoid fanboy's humble opionion. If you are a power user and want customization, more control over the device and the best performance and list of features, then Android, or even the Windows Surface line of tablets is the clear winner.

    Apple/iPad final opinions:

    Pro's:

    Elegant, premium build quality
    Simple to use
    Good performance
    Amazing battery life
    Excellent screen and image quality
    Stable
    Tons of aftermarket accessories

    Cons:

    More expensive
    Slower Performance
    UI is very outdated and lacks industry standard widgets and features, customization, etc...
    No Micro SD slot for expansion, if you want more space you have to buy a new tablet
    No HDMI port
    No ability to seamlessly function with any USB port for easy file transfer
    Heavy reliance on iTunes
    Screen quality, while good, is not as good as Samsung's Super AMOLED displays
    4:3 screen aspect ratio isn't up to par with industry standard 16:9 movie formats
    Speakers, while decent quality, are not stereo(in landscape mode) or front facing for watching movies

    Update #1, it is 5pm on Friday, and the iPad has been off the charger since 8am on Monday. I have used it every day... not all day, but an hour or two each day, and it has been off the charger for almost 5 days, and I still have 28% batter left. And I don't have the brightness turned way down, or even on auto setting. It's at about 45% brightness which is perfect for anything but direct sunlight... nice and bright, clear... That's phenomenal... My phone gets better battery life than the iPhone, but I have never owned a tablet that would go 5 days with a fair amount of use, and still have another day's worth of battery left. Now I realize that if I was watching videos for hours on end, but I hope that this paints the picture that the battery life is still pretty amazing.

    Update #2 Another week has gone by, and I am noticing that the iPad is not as fast and smooth as I was expecting, particularly in web browsing, both in Safari and Chrome. . I think that the new iOS 8.3 was supposed to fix some of the performance issues that people have been complaining about, but some are still present.

    A major difference that I see between the two platforms, is that with iOS with each new version, while it may run on the last generation hardware, it tends to slow it down. Many think that this is because they want you to buy the new model. I have seen it time and time again with the iPhone... You get the new update, and people like it, but it usually makes the phone slower, and not long after people feel the need to upgrade to the new iPhone. You have to drive revenue somehow I guess, and when the differences from each iPhone to the next are typically minimal, it's a good way to keep the product update cycle humming along, right?

    With Android, the opposite is true. Each major release boosts performance and features on older devices, and typically breaths new life into the older hardware. It's weird, because iOS acts more like Windows in that regard... Yes, the new version has better visuals and does new things, but it does so with a performance hit. With Android, you get all the new features and improved visuals, but the device also tends to run better, faster, etc... It's much more optimized...
    Last edited by SquireSCA; 04-27-2015 at 01:01 PM.
    04-27-2015 08:52 AM
  2. Just_Me_D's Avatar
    04-27-2015 10:41 AM
  3. SquireSCA's Avatar
    Welcome. Both sides have their strengths and advantages, and just blindly following "your brand" not only keeps you from having the best tool for the job, it removes the incentives for your brand to push the envelop and earn your business going forward.

    It is the main problem that I have with Apple, Harley Davidson, and similar "Status" or "Lifestyle" brands.

    They know that they have a legion of core fans that camp out on a cold street for a week for whatever item they slap their label on. And for that reason, I don't think that they try as hard as they could to make their products better.

    I understand that the Airpad 2 is VERY nice. But to be blunt, how hard would it be to add a microSD slot? Or just use the standard Micro USB port that every other device on the planet uses? Or migrate to the standard widescreen format that every laptop, TV, desktop flat panel or tablet in the past 10 years has used?

    Things like that irk me.

    But the truth is that it isn't all rosey on the Android side either. Their phones, are. They are better than what Apple has to offer in almost every way measurable, other than the "lifestyle" thing... However, their tablets, still have a lot of catching up to do. They have the performance and the features that make them really ideal, but most of them have not gotten the build quality(although some are very nice) to where Apple is, and they often have glitches.

    There needs to be some in between sort of ecosystem... Not locked down and lacking key industry standard features like Apple does, but not so open and so varied that there is no standardization and every company has so many models to pick from that it gets confusing and harder to support, update, etc... Something in between would be nice, no?

    So, I use Windows for my main PC and gaming needs, I use the iPad 2 Mini for just basic tablet stuff, and I have my Note 4 which is a powerhouse for work and everything else...
    04-27-2015 12:48 PM
  4. knotsure's Avatar
    I liked android till iPhone 6 plus came out. Now I have a huge screened iPhone! It is great. There are things I miss about android but overall the iPhone is my favorite. As far as some of your android pros go, looks like you can scratch the micro sd card slot off the list, no hdmi on Galaxy s6, no removable battery....
    Maybe they will bring them back next year. Either way you are right about the mini with retina. It is great. My wife's had like 7 days standby time and was at 21 or 22 hours usage. I know that wasn't all screen on time, but it was for at least half of that. I couldn't get more than 4-6 hours screen on time on my galaxy note 10.1 2014 edition, and that was with screen brightness turned down low and all connections off. And it was only wifi version. My only issue is my wife's mini 2 has 128 gb storage. Meaning I won't need to upgrade for a while. And I like the new stuff! I told her she isn't getting the mini 3 and only way she gets a mini 4 is if they are exactly the same dimensions so my daughters Fischer price case still works. iPad mini with retina-👍🏻👍🏻
    05-08-2015 10:29 AM
  5. SquireSCA's Avatar
    I liked android till iPhone 6 plus came out. Now I have a huge screened iPhone! It is great. There are things I miss about android but overall the iPhone is my favorite. As far as some of your android pros go, looks like you can scratch the micro sd card slot off the list, no hdmi on Galaxy s6, no removable battery....
    Maybe they will bring them back next year. Either way you are right about the mini with retina. It is great. My wife's had like 7 days standby time and was at 21 or 22 hours usage. I know that wasn't all screen on time, but it was for at least half of that. I couldn't get more than 4-6 hours screen on time on my galaxy note 10.1 2014 edition, and that was with screen brightness turned down low and all connections off. And it was only wifi version. My only issue is my wife's mini 2 has 128 gb storage. Meaning I won't need to upgrade for a while. And I like the new stuff! I told her she isn't getting the mini 3 and only way she gets a mini 4 is if they are exactly the same dimensions so my daughters Fischer price case still works. iPad mini with retina-
    Well, the Galaxy S6 not having a MicroSD card is no big deal, because other phones with comparable specs do still have them. That's one beauty of the Android ecosystem... You have more choices than what color, or 32gb/64gb configurations.

    What color? What screen size and resolution? You want a slide out keyboard or on screen? Removable battery or MicroSD? Native HDMI port? What price point? Etc...

    And yeah, the large screen is definitely helping Apple sales now. Small screens were all the rage 5 years ago when people pretty much just used a phone for calls and texting. In that context, smaller is better. But as people are wanting to bang out emails, work on spreadsheets on the go, watch video and play games, edit and touch up photos they took, etc... You need a bigger screen for that and Apple really dropped the ball putting form over function...

    I see my iPhone friends claiming the iPhone 5's long oddball screen was just fine for doing actual work, but then you see them with their phone a foot from their face, squinting, constantly pinching and zooming and sliding... And it is clear that for work or multimedia, you simply need a larger screen. Apple may be 3 years late to the party, but at least they got there and it was a good move on their part. The iPhone 6 looks pretty slick.

    As far as tablets go, despite a few limitations, Apple does seem to have the better product. I think that the OS is still dated and archaic. but it works well. I just wish that they would open it up a bit and let you customize it and let you put widgets and things on the screens rather than just groups of icons. And I wish that it would incorporate true multitasking the way Android does.

    Hardware, I have no real gripes with other than no SD slot. The OS needs to get with the times. Despite it performing well, why can't I have a news feed scrolling by on one of the screens, without having to launch it each time?

    Why does it auto arrange the icons? Maybe I want to place the icons around the border, so that it doesn't obscure whatever picture I am using for a wallpaper?

    Little things like that, I don't get why Apple has to be so adamant that they know better how you should use the device. I'm a big boy, let me decide how I want the screens laid out for the way that I prefer to work.
    05-08-2015 10:41 AM
  6. pappy53's Avatar
    Your title states an iPad review, but over half of your post is your opinion of Android phones over iOS. As far as that goes, you should preface your statements with "imo", as it is only your opinion and not fact. "But the truth is that it isn't all rosey on the Android side either. Their phones, are. They are better than what Apple has to offer in almost every way measurable".Lol! iPhones are 2 years behind Android? Yeah, right..........
    05-08-2015 11:09 AM
  7. SquireSCA's Avatar
    It is IMHO. I could draw up a list of all of the things that Android does that Apple still can't do. That list is shrinking, because each new version of iOS incorporates more and more Android features from last year.

    The point of a review is to contrast it to the competition. I pointed out where I think it does better, and where it does worse.

    That said, I did return the Android tablet and got the iPad and am happy with it, despite where it falls short.

    And I will likely be picking up an iPad Air for my fiance at the end of the month...

    But I would like to see iOS get more up to date. It really isn't all that different than it was 5 years ago, apart from adopting the Android Notification Panel...
    05-08-2015 11:17 AM
  8. Devhux's Avatar
    After trying various Android tablets, I decided to give the iPad Mini 2 a try. It's the first iOS device I've owned, so it'll be nice to get an idea of just how the platform is..

    It'll take time to get used to the "slab of icons" and such, but so far so good

    Sent from my LG-D852 using Tapatalk
    07-10-2015 09:42 PM
  9. alicepattinson's Avatar
    Thanks for sharing this review.
    07-10-2015 10:47 PM
  10. SquireSCA's Avatar
    Welcome, but in the end, I had to return it for an iPad Air 2. The paltry 1GB of RAM really does slow the thing down when you have multiple apps open at once, or even multiple tabs in Safari.

    This is one area where the 2GB Apple tabs, or the Android Tabs really have an advantage...
    07-11-2015 07:25 AM

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