Thursday, 15 November 2012

Utterly Biased iPhone 5 Review

I am highly qualified as a reviewer of mobile phones and Internet devices, having used hundre... doze... many... some over the last 10 or so years.

Okay, I chose iPhone 5 over a Galaxy S III because I didn't want to lose my beloved dictionaries and the hand full of Androids I've used (including fiddling with an S III) all seem to have this tiny lag when using the touch screen that burns my soul.  Not exactly a careful, scientific study of the scene but probably more in line with the average consumer choice.

So ignoring that there may be better or more feature filled phones than the iPhone out there, how is the iPhone 5, from an iPhone owner's viewpoint?

My first smartphone was an iPhone 3G.  Before then I couldn't stand anything but the most basic kind of phone.  Why?  Because all the "features" on so called "feature phones" sucked.  My first mobile phone was a Nokia 3210 and as far as I was concerned, despite several free "upgrades" (on contract) since then, it was the best of all the phones I had pre-iPhone.

The problem with all the other phones at the time was that any extra feature they had was poorly designed, and the interface lagged.  Now I can't speak for everyone else, but for me an eternity passes in those hundredths of a second I wait for a button I press to have an effect.  If I press a menu button and the menu isn't instantly there, I mentally travel across the universe, have a coffee and cake, bash a wall down with a sledge hammer, come back, contemplate the meaning of life and then rue the day I ever got a phone that has a poor input response time.  So using those laggy phones after the instant response of the 3210 was unbearable for me.

Then the iPhone 3G came out.  It was still more laggy than the 3210, but it was as good or better than whatever toy I had at the time.  And it played music, well.  Apparently my old phone played music too, but you had to recalibrate the warp cells and align the left ventricle every time you wanted to play one of the three tunes that would fit on it, so that was a moot point.

And that is ALL I could use the iPhone 3G for.  Apparently it had Internet access, but I can't really vouch for this.  Okay, truth be told I did once use it to book a last minute airline ticket, but I almost died of old age in the process.  I am an impatient man.

Regardless, that made it a good purchase as far as I was concerned.  I finally had a phone that played music well so I could ditch my old iPod.  And I put some dictionaries on it.

Then when the iPhone 4 came out (about 2 weeks after my contract ended), I upgraded.  Now I finally had an actual smart phone.  Immediately I started using the Internet endlessly on it, connected my emails, got a satnav program, I could actually use the features of the phone!

And now we have the iPhone 5 and another contract renewal/new phone.  So, how is the iPhone 5?

Bad points:
All phone cameras are awful and this is no exception.  Unless you carry a portable star to light the room you are in, you won't be able to take a decent photo.  Outdoors on a sunny day it is passable.  But all the talk about good camera phones is ostensibly nonsense.

Also the new dock connector, the plus point is that it plugs in both ways, which is nice.  But why a new port unless they are going to make it USB3 and thus faster?  Evil!

4G.  4G is really fast, at least in terms of how quickly it eats battery life.  On my first day with the phone I was up at 6:30am and on 40% by 10:30am, with admittedly reasonably heavy use.  Turn off 4G and the various system location service thingies and its on par with the 4.

Good points:
It's fast!!  Finally a smart phone that actually works as fast as a 10 (15?) year old Nokia 3210.  Frankly I don't care about much else, I touch the screen, an app is open.  I go to contacts, contacts opens.  This is magic to me and enough to enable my forgiveness of just about anything.

An interesting thing I noticed about the improved speed over the 4 is that webpages load vastly quicker even on 3G, so it appears if you have a decent 3G network (I'm with Telstra) browsing speed is more benefited by a faster processor than by moving up to 4G.  I've also noticed that the random dropouts of the data connection that often happened on my 4 don't occur on the 5.

Also the bigger screen is real purdy like.

That pretty much covers every aspect of the phone that is important to me.  So was it worth the upgrade?  I'd have to say yes based on the fact that I'd hate going back to using a slow iPhone 4 with a smaller screen.  Though I expect if I'd had a 4S I'd probably have said the upgrade is a waste.

Overall I'm happy with the 5.  Here endeth the review.

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