A Week With iPhone 5 After Using the Galaxy Note 2 for a Month
I guess we should start with a little context. I have been an iPhone user since the iPhone 4 came out. The original iPhone without 3G was not an option and the 3G/3Gs never did it for me. In those days, I was still using a BlackBerry.
Then came the iPhone 4 with its sleek design and I gave into the global peer pressure. I loved my iPhone 4 and 4S even more.
Over the years, as a blogger, I tried many other phones, mostly Android devices, but nothing ever came close to the level of polish of the iPhone. And if you had asked me a year ago whether I think Android will ever offer a level of experience iPhone users have, I would probably have laughed at the very thought. I would have been wrong.
I have been using the Galaxy Note 2 with Jellybean for a month now and all in all, I am loving the phone and the latest iteration of Android.
Then the shiny new iPhone 5 showed up last week and I figured, I have to see if Apple still maintained its wow factor that many consumers experience when unboxing and using an Apple product.
Well, I can now report that for the first time ever, opening and using the iPhone 5 lacked any sort of excitement I was used to from past Apple products. But we are getting ahead of ourselves here.
Let’s start with the basics. Objectively speaking, the iPhone 5 is an engineering piece of art. It is, and if you cannot acknowledge that, there is something lacking in your objectivity.
The phone is almost unbelievably light. No, I do not mean “Unbelievable” the way everyone uses the word. When you pick up the iPhone 5, you literally find it hard to believe that this is a real phone, let alone a device with an 8 megapixel camera, a dual core processor, and tens of gigabytes of onboard storage. “How did they make it so light” is the reaction you, and everyone you show the phone to, will have.
Then you turn the phone on and the bewilderment ceases. If you are a geek, then I am not going to tell you anything new here, but to most of the people that asked to see my iPhone 5 and then proceeded to oooh and ahhh, it was shocking to them, that there was nothing new here besides a longer and lighter phone.
iOS is just plain yawn-worthy. Nothing new here except for a new row of icons. Yipee. Oh yes, and Panorama functionality in the camera. Yawn.
Yes, the camera is still fantastic, probably the best out there, but not by much. The OS just works and will rarely, if ever, crash on you. But this is stuff we have had from Apple since way back when.
In fact, lets put all that aside. Apple made the iPhone longer, which means there was more room for a bigger battery. Yet in my tests, the battery life of the iPhone 5 is no better than that of the 4S. Why, Apple. Why?!
All it would have taken for Apple to bring me back into its world would have been a battery that lasts me two days. Is that too much to ask?
Well, in a Note 2 world, I don’t have to compromise on that. And while I intend on using the iPhone 5 for a few more weeks to thoroughly test it, I only see myself using this device in the long run for iMessage.
Android Jellybean has worked out all the kinks that are and have been associated with Google’s mobile offering for years. The Note 2 is a fantabulous device with a screen that will blow you away and a battery that just keeps going.
The “app gap” between iOS and Android has officially been closed both in terms of quantity, and more importantly, quality, with very few exceptions.
So, at least for me, it has gotten to the point where I have to choose between full customization, crazy long-lasting battery life, an unparalleled media consumption experience, text input using multi-finger swipe gestures, and a top-notch Gmail experience on the one hand, and an additional row of icons, on the other.
Am I missing something?