Over the past few months I've followed the iPhone 5 hype with trepidation. I've never owned an iPhone myself - I've always felt more at home with an Android device. But this time, things were a bit different. Apple claims that the iPhone 5 is "the biggest thing to happen to iPhone since iPhone." With all the hype and speculation as to the new device's capabilities, my interest was piqued. So on the 21st of September, I picked up my new handset from the Apple store. But was it the right decision?
Here's my experience with the iPhone 5 so far:
I have to admit, the iPhone 5 doesn't lack finesse when it comes to its hardware. With the new A6 processor, apps are snappier, games are more responsive and as a result, the entire operating system just feels much sleeker. While the iPhone 5 benefits from a larger screen than its predecessor, it still isn't enormous compared to other smartphones - not even as large as my old Sony Xperia.
The iPhone 5 sports Apple's latest operating system (iOS 6) and promises more than 200 new features. Quite what all of those features are remains to be seen, but the most prominent aren't really all that exciting:
- New Siri Features - Apple claims that Siri "understands more questions, knows more answers, and gives you a lot more to talk about." From what I've seen so far, that mostly consists of new restaurant ratings, cinema listings and sports results. Useful, but not particularly mind-blowing.
- Social-media Integration - A must-have for social-media fans, sharing via twitter and Facebook now comes as standard… a feature that's been available on Android's 'share menu' for quite some time (as long as you have the twitter and facebook apps installed).
- Reply with Message - Now, whenever you receive a phonecall but you're too busy to answer, you can reply with a standard text message. A welcome addition and one that I've used a few times already, but which was implemented some months ago in Android's Ice Cream Sandwich.
It seems, to me at least, that a lot of these 'new' features are simply Apple's way of catching up with Android. While this is definitely an improvement on previous versions, iOS 6 doesn't exactly bring much new to the table... and it's nowhere near as exciting as Apple wanted us to believe.
Then there's the whole Google Maps fiasco. On testing this myself, I found that Google Maps certainly showed more local landmarks and much more detail of the surrounding areas than the all-new Maps app. I'm just surprised that Apple are still listing this abominable change in the iPhone 5 features page.
After a week or so of playing with my shiny new iPhone, I'm not entirely sure it was worth 'upgrading'. Yes it's stylish. Yes it's sleek. But I can't help feeling I'd have been better off buying an Android phone. For now, I'll persevere with my iPhone 5 but to be honest, I might soon be in the market for a Galaxy S3.
Have you upgraded to an iPhone 5 from an Android device? What do you think of it so far?