Why this loyal Nexus user is buying the iPhone 6s Plus

As a long time Android user, I am dipping my feet in freezing cold waters of iOS. Here's why...

nexus 6
Credit: Swapnil Bhartiya

First, some background.

I am a hardcore Linux and open source guy. I run two Debian servers: One powers my site Linux Veda and the other takes care of my cloud needs, thanks to ownCloud (and soon it will also host my Kolab server).

At home I run a file and media server powered by Ubuntu 14.04 that serves me media through Plex and Emby and also works as the central repository for all my files and data. My main system runs Arch Linux and I also run Kubuntu, openSUSE and Linux Mint on secondary machines. All of my ‘consumer’ devices are powered by Linux, including two Chromebooks, two Android phones and two tablets, a Chromecast and Amazon Fire TV stick.

But…

I also run a heterogeneous environment. I have a Macbook Pro and an iPad. I do a lot of photography and video editing and these two things still remain weaknesses, not of Linux, per se, but of the software. I prefer Mac OS X over Windows because OS X’s UNIX base lets me use the Terminal; I can install Homebrew to access many free software tools. And I am not comfortable with Microsoft’s unwarranted invasion of the desktop with Windows 10.

My first smartphone was the Nokia N 70, which came before the iPhone, and when Google announced Android, I quickly made a move to Nexus devices and those have been my primary phones ever since.

I currently own a Nexus 6 and am quite happy with it. So, why – despite all the Linux around me – am I going over to the dark side?

There are many reasons:

  • T-Mobile’s Jump on Demand will allows me to switch phones up to three times a year, so I can always switch back to Nexus or other devices.
  • I am less and less tied to any particular ecosystem. I keep my data free from any vendor locks so OS and apps don’t really matter to me.
  • I am an enthusiast. I love to learn about new technologies; I love to use them.
  • I am a tech journalist and it’s extremely important for me to be well versed with all technologies around me for a holistic view. I don’t do myself any favors by living under a rock – no matter how much I might like that particular rock.
  • The Nexus used to be a device that was targeted at developers or enthusiasts who wanted the stock Android experience at affordable cost. I paid over $700 for my Nexus 6; that’s not an inexpensive device.

    At the price point, Nexus 6 hardware leaves a lot to be desired -- most notably the camera. I love to shoot, and although I recently bought the Nikon D750 there are times when I don’t have my DSLR around and I want to take few snaps or videos from my phone. My Nexus 6 fails miserably at taking pictures. The lag is painful.
  • The biggest reason that I’m buying the iPhone is customer care. Though I have been extremely happy with Google’s customer care, I have had mixed experience when I compared it with Apple. My 3 year-old son recently dropped my Nexus 6 in a shopping cart and there was a minor crack on the screen. I called Google and I was forwarded to Motorola. Motorola was charging $175 to replace the screen (or basically give me another phone in exchange). If I wanted the replacement to be sent before I ship my device, then the cost went up to $200, plus tax.

    I have Apple Care for all my Apple devices. I have had them change the battery and display on my Macbook for zero cost. (I’m not aware of any such program for Nexus devices.) If it was an iPhone 6 Plus that needed repair, it would have cost a mere $79 and the express replacement is free of cost. Without AppleCare, I could have got the screen replaced for just $129.

    So I chose to leave the Nexus with minor crack, which will also makes it impossible for me to resell it, if I wanted to.

I ordered the iPhone 6s Plus within an hour after T-Mobile started taking orders, so I will be getting mine on September 25th, and I’ll follow up with a detailed review soon after.

All this said: I am ‘not’ switching away from Android. I am keeping my Nexus 6, and, who knows, I may swap my iPhone 6s Plus with the next Nexus device under the On Demand Jump Up program. What matters most to me is that I’m not locked into any ecosystem and can continue to use my data, my services and my communication on any platform or device.

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