Moving from the Motorola Moto X to the Samsung Galaxy S5

s5_blackA short time ago I was an unwilling participant in my Moto X being dropped on a concrete floor.

Over the past year or so I’ve been working with a colleague on a book about the state of automation and technology in pharmacy IV rooms. During this time I’ve made several site visits to acute care pharmacies to look at the technology, workflow, etc in their IV rooms. As part of the data collection process I not only take a lot of notes, but snap lots of photos and record video of technicians working with the technology. I find the photos and video invaluable when reviewing my notes.

Prior to entering the cleanroom at one large hospital back east, the pharmacist in charge insisted that he wipe down my Moto X with alcohol. I wasn’t thrilled with the idea, but it was either let him do it or not take it in. I opted to let him wipe it down. During the process he dropped my Moto X. It hit the concrete floor pretty hard and bounced. The back popped halfway off. Not good. Since that time my Moto X has been acting weird, freezing up, not taking voice commands, and so on. I finally decided to replace it through the insurance I carry on the device.

The insurance company was great. They were polite and efficient, but they couldn’t offer me a Moto X. Apparently the phone “is no longer being made“. Huh? Whatever. So instead of offering me a Moto X, they offered me a Samsung Galaxy S5. I really liked my Moto X and wanted the same device, but I had no choice. I finally relented and went with the S5.

I’ve had the S5 for less than a week. It’s a very nice device.

Things I like about the S5:

  • The screen is great. Sharp and bright.
  • It’s snappy, which I’d expect from any new flagship device
  • The camera is incredible. There’s no comparison between the S5 and the Moto X. The Moto X camera was just “ok”. The S5 camera is truly great.
  • The battery life is crazy good. I work my phone hard during the day. It’s often my primary device for calls, text messages, social media, photos and video on the go, email, and so on. My Moto X didn’t usually make it through an entire day on a single charge. I have not been able to drain the battery on the S5 during a full day of use. I often end the day with more than 20% battery remaining. May not sound like much, but it’s an accomplishment.
  • Ultra power saving mode. I haven’t had to use it, but I’ve played with it. Amazing little feature.
  • Removable battery. I like the option of being able to pop in another battery should my phone get low while traveling. I couldn’t do that with my Moto X so I started carrying a portable Motorola battery charger. That worked fine, but it was clumsy. With the S5 I can carry a spare battery, although I’m not sure I’ll need to.
  • Quick charging. The S5 charges fast. I do not know anything about the technology, but the S5 uses a double pronged charger for the phone. I can still use one of my older micro USB chargers, but it’s slower. With the dual pronged Samsung charger the phone can go from 20% to greater than 90% pretty quickly.
  • Heart rate monitor and pedometer. Novelties at the moment, but I’ve enjoyed playing with these tools.
  • Multi-window feature. Very handy. I wish all Android devices could do this.

What I miss about the Moto X:

  • The Moto X was a solid device. The build quality was excellent, and the shape “felt right”. It felt better in my hands than the S5.
  • The size. I’m not a fan of large smartphones. The Moto X has a 4.7-inch screen while the S5 has a 5.1-inch screen. This is more personal preference than anything else. It’s all about how well it fits in the left front pocket of my jeans.
  • Active Screen on the Moto X. I love the Active Screen feature and I miss it dearly. I can’t tell you the number of times I’d simply look over at my phone to check the time or to see how many notifications I had pending. And being able to preview the notification by simply placing my finger on the screen is awesome.
  • “OK Google”. The Moto X was responsible for getting me to use voice commands. I spoke to that phone all the time when I was at home or driving. Need directions? No problem. Perform a search? No problem. Make a call? No problem. Reply to a text? Yes, but not always smoothly. Set a reminder? All the time! The S5 doesn’t offer the same functionality, or at least not as well as the Moto X. In theory the S5 should handle these tasks via S-Voice, but it’s not nearly as good. Either that or I haven’t figured out how to properly use it, which is possible. I understand that there are some potential fixes for this. I’ve tried a couple, but so far I haven’t been happy with the outcome.
  • Google Now integration. Accessing and using Google Now on the Moto X was simple, easy, and a pleasure. The S5 does a fine job with Google Now, but it’s just not as good as the Moto X.
  • Lack of bloatware. The Moto X didn’t have a bunch of garbage software on it, the S5 does. I understand that Samsung would like you to use their software, but I prefer using the Google standards.

Things neither good nor bad, just different:

  • Physical home button on the S5. I’m used to having soft buttons along the bottom of the phone. I keep hitting the home button on the S5 as if it’s activated by touch. It’s not. It’s a physical button. It will take some getting used to.
  • Reverse placement of the back and multi-tasking buttons. Yes, they are on opposite sides on the bottom edge of the screen. This will take some getting used to as well. I keep backing out of applications instead of bringing up the multi-tasking window.
  • Both the On/Off and volume rocker were on the same side of the Moto X. On the S5 the On/Off button is on the right and the volume rocker is on the left. It’s a small thing, but I’m having trouble getting used to the difference.
  • I wanted a Moto 360 smartwatch because I liked the round face and I was using a Moto X. Now I’m second guessing myself and thinking about going with the new Samsung Gear Live. Crazy I know, but it just feels like the right thing to do.

Overall the S5 is a great device. Give me a couple of weeks with it and I’m sure the minor differences won’t matter nearly as much.

3 thoughts on “Moving from the Motorola Moto X to the Samsung Galaxy S5”

  1. Jerry, I recently ended up becoming a Moto X user, so I really appreciate your comments. I was about 20 months into my 2-year contract with my Motorola Droid Razr Maxx. After upgrading to KitKat, I was having a lot of problems with the device overheating and with extremely poor battery life (which is not supposed to happen with the 3300 mAh battery in the device). I learned from level 2 Verizon tech support that many devices were having issues with the KitKat upgrade, but there was no fix on the horizon and you cannot go back. They suggested that I talk with Motorola about my issue. After spending a little time expressing my product dissatisfaction with the Motorola tech, I was offered a new Moto X phone in return for my bad Droid. Given what I had previously heard about the Moto X, I was happy. Your comments make me feel even better.

    I’m pretty happy with my Moto X. Prior to the Moto X, I had convinced myself that it was time to move to one of new iPhone 6’s with iOS 8 when they are released later this year (that coincides with my expiring contract). While I love the flexibility of the Android operating system, the lack of tight integration between hardware and operating system ultimately seem to cause more issues than a phone with a singular hardware/OS platform. Up until iOS 8, one of detractors was the lack of Sywpe keyboard connectivity that only worked with Android. Now, that will no longer be an issue. Plus, the larger screen sizes are a big plus for me.

    When will you be moving over to an iPhone…? If not, why not…?

  2. Good to hear, Ray. I think you’ll like the Moto X.

    As for me getting an iPhone? Not likely to happen. I don’t think most people realize that I started with an iPhone; actually I was a “Mac guy” for a while. I always felt that the iPhone was behind Android devices. In my opinion that holds true to this day. I ran into several problems moving information around in the Apple ecosystem. They’d prefer that you let them make your decision for you. I didn’t care for that. I haven’t found anything in the iOS ecosystem that I can’t do with an Android device. With Android I gain choice of manufacturer, screen size/resolution, better integration with Google, customization options galore, and so on. Throw in the fact that I have a very low opinion of Apple as a company and it’s highly unlikely that there’s an iPhone in my future.

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