Let me start things off by saying – I am not a diehard fan of either Apple Inc. or Samsung. I’ve had my iPhone 4 for a couple of years now, and I’m happy with it. I also went through various incarnations of iPods over the years. Never have I had a Mac or MacBook, but either way, I’d say I’d like Apple, even if I am not necessarily one of its devotees.

But still – after trying out the Samsung Galaxy S4, it’s safe to say I’ll be thinking of dropping my iPhone pretty soon. Earlier this summer, I had the Samsung Galaxy S4 for a little over a month, thanks to Telus Corp., and I really enjoyed playing with it.

To be fair, my iPhone 4 is not up to par with the iPhone 5, but the next time I pick up a new phone, I suspect it won’t be an Apple product.

Samsung Knox

The bring-your-own-device (BYOD) trend shows no signs of slowing, and that’s as true for reporters as for anyone else. Gone are the days when I could avoid checking email until I reached a computer – now, as long as I have Wi-Fi, data, and my phone, I can check from anywhere, including my bed. Actually, I have to admit that’s pretty much the first thing I do when I wake up in the morning.

But in my case, as my email links directly to my phone, I can’t help but feel I am not only carrying the burden of an expensive smartphone around, but also the worry that I might lose corporate data. If I were to lose my phone and someone were to gain access to my passcode, they would also be able to check all my emails, including ones from work.

Enter Samsung Knox, the Android-based mobile solution for employees concerned about BYOD, but who also want to preserve the sense of fun that comes with having a phone they enjoy. It uses a “container technology” to create a separate, secure password-protected zone for corporate data and applications on an employee device. Not only does that ensure data is a little safer, but it means that by flipping back and forth between personal mode and work mode, my personal data stays private.

Samsung Knox.
Samsung Knox.

While Apple does have similar offerings from companies like Ingram Micro Inc. heavyweight Cisco Systems, Inc., it’s somehow reassuring to use a native program. If something goes awry, it’d be easier to deal with just one company, rather than both Apple and a third-party service provider.

Apple is too proprietary

There’s something frustrating about not being able to charge my iPhone with anything except an iPhone cable. By contrast, the S4 charged with a couple of things – an HTC charger, a car USB charger – but when I leave the iPhone charger at home, I’m stuck.

And it’s not just charging that’s an issue. Not being able to access my music, photos, and videos was a pain. On my old iPod, I had 1,600 songs I have stored on my iPhone 4 are currently stuck on an older version of iTunes in an ancient desktop at my parents’ house.

While iCloud marks a huge improvement in that area as it backs up data and shares media, apps, and documents across iOS devices, that isn’t as helpful when you only own one Apple device and don’t intend on purchasing more.

Apple iCloud.
Apple iCloud.

And finally, short of unlocking my iPhone, I feel like I don’t have enough control over the appearance of my phone. That may not matter to everyone, but I do like the idea of using Android themes. With a Samsung Galaxy S4, I can pick and choose which themes I like and play around with what works best with the OS.

What this all really boils down to is personal choice. At one point, as a consumer who likes picking simple solutions, I might have favoured an iPhone over all else simply because I loved the iOS platform. So it’s completely possible I may want to switch back to an iPhone if I find I like iOS7 enough, when it comes out in the fall.

But in the meantime, I think I’ll be shopping around – and I’ll be ready to move on to something new.

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