Cake
  • Log In
  • Sign Up
    • Jazli Aziz

      Google recently posted an article to celebrate 10 years of Android, which looks back at the previous versions of the world's most popular operating system. In conjunction with this, I thought I'd share my Android journey as well. Let's take a trip down memory lane.

      My first Android phone was the HTC One X, which I got in mid-2012. This was a special moment for me, not only because this was the start of my Android journey, but because it was the first time I had ever bought a phone with my own money. Understandably then, I took a long time to decide which phone I should buy. In the end, the choice was between this phone, and the Samsung Galaxy S3. It was a "Dog Fight" between the two by Aaron Baker on Phonedog (those were the days) which ultimately led me to my decision to purchase this phone. Having previously come from an iPhone 4, the HTC One X showed me what Android was capable of, and I was hooked. I could take an mp3 file and convert it into a ringtone directly on the phone itself! This was not possible on the iPhone. And so, my love for Android began.

      Over time, I started tinkering a little deeper, which led me to XDA. I started playing with custom ROMs, and my interest in Android grew deeper and deeper. After one and a half years, it was time for an upgrade. I wanted a phone which would allow me even greater flexibility with regards to tinkering. Something built for custom ROMs, mods, and kernels. Something, like the Nexus 5.

      The Nexus 5 is regarded by many as the best Nexus device ever made, and I agree. Granted, I never actually used any of the Nexus models prior to the 5, but even to this day, my time with the Nexus 5 remains my favourite smartphone period. So much so, that even after it was snatched from my hand by a snatch thief on a motorcycle, I bought another one without a second thought. My Nexus 5 may not have been the best phone in the market during that time, but it still had something which made it, special. After a year, I wrote a long-term review of the device on Google+ and it garnered 2300 +1's, 114 reshares, and 271 comments (this was during the Golden Age of Google+). Clearly, others thought it was special too. Alas, all good things must come to an end. In September 2015, I upgraded to my custom designed Moto X Pure Edition.

      I was super excited to get my hands on this device. I had spent weeks on Moto Maker trying to decide on a design, before finally settling on a black front and dark grey frame, walnut wood back, and champagne gold accents. It was so cool to know that no other phone in the world looked like mine, as each wood back had a unique design, with different wood grains from one another. However, it was at this point in time when fingerprint scanners started becoming common on smartphones. As amazing as my phone looked, it was lacking a core feature that many newer phones had, and I was missing out. Looks can only get you so far, so after almost 5 months I switched to a phone with a fingerprint scanner, the Nexus 6P.

      Getting the Nexus 6P didn't only mean getting a phone with a fingerprint scanner, it also marked my return to the Nexus line after a brief hiatus. This time though, things were different. While My Nexus 5 was almost always on a custom ROM, mod, or kernel, I don't think my Nexus 6P ever saw a custom ROM at all. Android had grown and flourished to a point where I felt that I didn't need to tinker with the software to get a better experience. I was happy with Google's version of Android, so I used my Nexus 6P as is. I had never switched phones so quickly before, but I was happy I switched to the 6P from my Moto X.

      And then, disaster struck (cue dramatic music). Google announced that the Nexus 6P (and 5X) were to be the last Nexus phones the company made. The Pixel line replaced the Nexus line, but it wasn't just a replacement. It was a complete re-imagining, a complete change in direction for Google. While the Nexus was relatively affordable, the Pixel was downright expensive. While the Nexus was aimed at enthusiasts, the Pixel was aimed at the mainstream consumer. While Google made Nexus devices in an obvious partnership with another OEM, the Pixel was made in house. It was clear, the Nexus line was dead. The Pixel brand never appealed to me, and it still doesn't, but I'm no longer using my Nexus 6P. So, what phone am I using now?

      Enter the OnePlus 5T, my current smartphone of choice. It's much more affordable than many other flagships on the market, but still houses some high-end specs. The software isn't bloated with heavy skins, but is instead enhanced by Oxygen OS. In fact, Oxygen OS is the main reason I chose a OnePlus device. So many useful features that contribute to an incredible user experience. I've been using this phone for nine months now and I'm enjoying it a lot. I'm interested to see what the OnePlus 6T brings, but not enough to want to upgrade. This phone will continue to serve me well into 2019.

      That's my Android journey so far. Not exactly 10 years, but it's been a very exciting 6 years nonetheless. Looking forward to seeing what the future holds for the platform.

    • My journey is actually pretty similar to yours.

      I started with the original Galaxy S, specifically the T-Mobile variant, the Vibrant. Then it was on to an HTC One S because it had one of the best cameras available at the time. Then I jumped on the Nexus band wagon with the Nexus 5, followed by a Nexus 5X and my current phone is a OnePlus 5.

    • Hi Jazli,

      Wow, what a journey! Fantastic writeup & great pics. You've really figured out how to get the most out of posting on Cake. I cringe when I think that Android is the one platform we don't support rich text editing on. I can't wait until we can fix that.

      My own journey came when I abandoned my iPhone for a Samsung Galaxy Note and then Note II. I bought it because I am a photography enthusiast and wanted the larger form factor. At the time, people in my company were mostly using iPhones but the ones who were using Android had smaller form factors. People would laugh as I held it to my ear for phone calls, or pulled it from my pocket and texted.

      But a few short years later and Apple came out with the large form factor. They stopped laughing then and most of them joined me with big phones in their faces. 😁

      It all seemed to amazing because I know Andy Rubin well and he used to be a software engineer who wrote modem drivers for us. Little could I imagine then that he would go on to invent Android. 😲

    • Oxygen OS is the main reason I chose a OnePlus device. So many useful features that contribute to an incredible user experience. I've been using this phone for nine months now and I'm enjoying it a lot. I'm interested to see what the OnePlus 6T brings, but not enough to want to upgrade. This phone will continue to serve me well into 2019.

      I've two similar phones as yours - Nexus 5 β–Ά Nexus 6P. Now on a hunt for a new phone. Mind to share your experience on the OnePlus camera and how well is Google Assistant integrated (if you use it)?

    • Wow, what a journey! Fantastic writeup & great pics. You've really figured out how to get the most out of posting on Cake. I cringe when I think that Android is the one platform we don't support rich text editing on. I can't wait until we can fix that.

      Thanks! When it's something I'm passionate about, writing about it isn't difficult at all.

      I'm glad I figured out a workaround to be able to post images throughout my post, rather than only at the end. Hope this is something your team is looking to improve as well.

      I actually have a lot of suggestions for Cake. I'll write up another post maybe in a few days.

      But a few short years later and Apple came out with the large form factor. They stopped laughing then and most of them joined me with big phones in their faces.Β 

      Apple typically is a little behind the curve with market trends. This is the first year they actually support dual-sims for example.

      Sidenote, how do you add emoji to your post? On mobile?

      It all seemed to amazing because I know Andy Rubin well and he used to be a software engineer who wrote modem drivers for us. Little could I imagine then that he would go on to invent Android.

      You knew Andy Rubin? That's crazy!

    • OnePlus' camera is decent. Definitely not the best, there are times when I'm not happy with the images it takes, but in most situations with good lighting you can get a good shot. The 6T will definitely have a better camera than my 5T.

      As for Google Assistant, the integration is standard for all Android (non-Pixel) phones. Long press the home button to launch or use your voice to trigger. However, voice only works if the display is on, won't work if the display is off. As for the home button, I use gestures, so that method is gone. As a workaround, I use a Nova Launcher shortcut (double tap) to launch Assistant if I don't want to use my voice. Only caveat is that it only works on the home screen. OnePlus has a solution though, they'll soon allow you to long press the power button to launch Assistant.

    • Yes, Andy is just a quiet, regular guy. We had a company reunion at someone's house when he was still a senior VP of Google, and we had set up maybe 100 chairs and had hors d'oeuvres. When we stood up, he pitched in to help stack chairs and clean up the dining room table mess like everyone else.

      On desktop, we haven't added a UI for emojis yet, but you can just use a keyboard shortcut. On a Mac it's just control-command-space and up comes the emoji selector. πŸŽ‚

    • I know about the emoji shortcut, but I've tried it before and it didn't work.

      There should be a thumbs up emoji above this text.

      EDIT: After posting the reply, there was no emoji in my reply (on desktop). Now I'm editing the comment, and there's no emoji there either.

    • Very cool story. I tried to recall my own android history and I'm a little surprised how many Android phone I've used in the past.

      My very first android phone was the Samsung Galaxy S2. I originally wanted to buy the iPhone, but it was too darn expensive. My joy with it was short lived because shortly after I bought, Google announced the Galaxy Nexus with the new android version Ice Cream Sandwich. I watched the keynote and was excited about the update. Little did I know I will not be getting the update immediately. I was extremely disappointed because I spend so much money on this phone. My frustration led me to XDA forums. I found out about CyanogenMod and I was so happy to find a way to get on the latest android ICS. But within a week the honeymoon feeling was gone because the phone is laden with horrible bugs. I ended up using some sort of custom samsung rom. I still remember some names like GadgetCheck and WanamLite rom.

      Some time later, my aunt decided to buy a new phone and she's selling off her Samsung Galaxy S3. I bought it for a good price and I'm very happy with it since it's practically a better phone in every single way. But after few months, the phone started to get really slow. I spend most of the time switching between cyanogenmod and AOKP rom. Although the camera was slightly crippled by not using the stock rom, it was worth it for the speed improvements.

      I spend almost a year with this phone, until the battery gotten really weak. My sister had the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and I'm impress with the overall quality. Even on stock Touchwiz rom, it is faster and smoother than the S3 on custom roms. At that time I'm really sick and tired of spending time in XDA chasing the latest roms and bug fixes. I just want something reliable and so I bought myself the Galaxy Note 3. It was a great experience and unlike my previous 2 phones, I actually enjoyed using it out of the box.

      Several months later the oneplus one was announced and it gathered a lot of hype. But I didn't have any urge to switch to it since I was still satisfied with my phone. Around that time, my mom's phone broke. I gave it some thought and gave her my Note 3 while I bought the Oneplus One. That phone was awesome while it was on android Kitkat. The battery life was incredible! The only major complain I had was the camera. Autofocus was inaccurate and the video recording is unusable. Overall it was still a good phone until it received the Lollipop update. That update totally wrecked the battery life due to the "mobile radio active bug". I searched high and low but there is no fix for it. I simply cannot accept a phone where it goes under 20% battery before 6pm daily.

      I desperately wanted a new phone but flagships are not cheap. I started looking into used phones. I found a good deal for a Samsung Galaxy Note 4. I'm extremely happy with this phone. No complains about it at all. The battery life started to deteriorate when it was almost 1 year old. I bought an original battery and replaced it and everything was great again. So glad that it had a removable battery.

      The reason I changed to a new phone is because I just finished my PhD thesis defense and decided to reward myself with a Samsung Galaxy S7 edge. This is the best android phone that I've used in terms of battery life, screen and camera quality. I thought I can use it for at least 2 years. But sadly my screen was defective (horizontal white stripes) and I had to replace it twice. I don't really mind since it was under warranty and both times the repair was free. Everything was great until the android nougat arrive. For some reason the battery life went from great to downright terrible. Reminds me of the Oneplus One where it would easily go under 30% by 6pm even without me doing anything. The standby battery drain was awful. The s7 edge had a 3600mAh battery with 5.5inch screen, the highest battery to screen ratio at that time. If this is the crappy performance I get from it, I can't even imagine how other phones with smaller battery perform.

      At this point I totally lost hope for android and considered getting an iPhone. I was on the fence for a long time until one day I tested the standby drain my S7 edge and my wife's iPhone 7 plus. After leaving both phones on the table overnight, the iPhone 7 plus was 100% in the morning while my S7 edge was 89%. That was the last straw, I went ahead and bought the iPhone 7 plus, at a discounted price because the iPhone 8 just started to go on sale.

      Been using the iPhone 7 plus for almost a full year now. It's going to celebrate its 1 year old birthday in 2 days. There are lots of small quirks about it but nothing really major. Overall it's the most satisfying phone I had so far. Battery life is still solid (91% capacity) after a year and one major OS update. The same can't be said for ANY of my previous android phones. I'm going to get the Apple battery replacement program to swap a new battery. Hopefully I can use it for another 1-2 years. Apple has a good track record of supporting phones for around 4 years. This phone changed me from an Android fanboy into a somewhat more "neutral" person.

      My next phone (hopefully many years later) may be an Android again, since I'm not really liking the newer iPhone X and XR series.

    • There should be a thumbs up emoji above this text.

      So you managed to open the emoji selection box but when you posted it, it was gone? I've encountered this (using Win10 on a laptop). Then I noticed emojis are kinda like Japanese / Chinese characters. Once you finish selecting the emoji you want, you need to X (close) the emoji selection box; else it'll dismiss it as "unfinished typing" (shown as underline) πŸ˜…

    You've been invited!