The scenario was set, as a long time Android user, I was finally moving into an iPhone. Some friends cheered, others complained in utter disgust as I transitioned from one mobile OS to the other. After a long run with Android devices, I felt it was time to give myself a break from the platform and try something else.
This isn’t going to be your typical gadget review, this is going to be my personal view on how this phone works for me, no prerecorded thoughts, no benchmarks, no sample photos of staged scenes, just honest opinion. Let’s rewind a few months ago to May, when Microsoft/Nokia launched the Lumia 928, I purchased this thinking this was going to be my savior and I wouldn’t have to settle with an iPhone. Well, I was wrong, very wrong.
As a social media manager, constant checker of all things online, I needed the apps to support what I do for a living, and for one reason or another, Microsoft has next to nothing. This shouldn’t be the end all for most of you, because you’re not like me, the phone itself was very sleek, the camera was gorgeous and the hardware worked flawlessly with it’s OS. The battery on this thing was amazing too, but that might be in part to me never using it, because you know, no apps. Even with the credit given by Microsoft for purchasing the phone, I still couldn’t find any apps I was looking for. Facebook was a beta (and very ugly one at that) and while some of the other apps worked OK, there was still no official app from Instagram and a few others. Needless to say, there was nothing on the time table, and I could return the phone without consequence for a full refund. So I did, and the Verizon store employees weren’t the least surprised by it.
I decided to continue using my limped Galaxy Nexus, hardware two years old. It was a great phone at first but you can tell when hardware and software start to fight each other. I would check sites like Rootzwiki daily to see if there updates to my custom ROM and Kernel, hoping the next upgrade would bring better battery life and performance. Some did, some didn’t and I just knew it was time for a change. It was late July into August that I realized that I needed something new and that I couldn’t continue to limp by. Verizon FINALLY announced the HTC One, but by this time was almost outdated. I passed on the HTC One, although I like it’s design, is too big and lets be honest, paying full price for that phone when it’s already 6 months behind the curve wasn’t going to happen. My only next option worth exploring would be the Moto X, which is built on yesterdays parts with today’s OS (ummm, just like my GNex?) but you can customize it! Only if you’re an AT&T customer. Verizon fail #2.
Realizing that I wasn’t going to get either Android offering worth looking at (because let’s be honest, the Droid lineup is dried up and all the new offers from the Ultra to the Max, to the Max Ultra or Ultra Maxx are going to be crap in 3 months). By this point, I’m just tired of dealing with Android and it’s annoyances that are different from each phone on the market. Each phone has it’s own OS developed from source by the carrier and then completely ruined, I just didn’t want to deal with it anymore.
Enter iOS7 and the iPhone 5s. The performance specs on this phone were good, good enough for me to consider it over just buying an iPhone 5 and with iOS7, a completely different take on the OS, I knew this could be something I could get into. I’m not new to iOS, my wife has used it for years, my 4 year old son is a master at it, and I have an iPad, so I’m already established with apps, log ins, contacts, etc. The switch was natural, figured it was time to give it a shot.
Waiting in line at the Verizon store, felt oddly similar to the news stories you see online and laugh about. Crazy idiot standing in line with a bunch of other idiots just to get a phone. That was sort of the case, as me waiting in line was just a way of blending in, as I had already purchased and paid for my phone through a friend at Verizon and was just there to pick it up. 8am came by, doors opened, he walked out with my bag and I was on my way (Thanks Mike!).
I would say that a month is enough time to give this phone a fair review. The difference between Android and iPhone is that the iPhone is both an OS and Hardware in one, while Android lends itself to hundreds of variations spread across multiple networks and carriers. OS was build just for the iPhone. What does this mean for the iPhone? Better consistency, more apps and more accessories. What’s the point of developing an accessory that might get replaced by the next version of the phone 3 months down the line? It’s simple, you don’t unless it comes from the manufacturer.
One thing to note, I’m a power user only during certain times of the year, usually for work at events, so I don’t require a beast of a battery to get me through each day, but I picked up a Mophie Power Plus case just to make sure that if I ever found myself in need of more power, I won’t be stranded like Marty McFly on a hover board over water. I took a risk and bought the case before Mophie approved it for the 5s and before the 5s was even released, but a month in and I haven’t had any issues with the case and it has provided with multiple full charges without having to find an outlet.
The OS is completely different than what you would expect from Apple these days. The “Flat” design as they call it is very polished and borrows many likenesses from Android, in which I like. All the apps under the world are there for me to use from all my social media tools, to photo editing, email, car alarm (Compustar Drone Mobile), managing my online store, etc. The list can go on, but I’ll stop there.
Do I miss Android? Sure, there is a sense of feeling when you own an Android that you’re not buying into someone’s vision of how an OS should operate for you, more like the OS molds around who you are. However I think with the progress that Apple has made, I’m excited to see new things be implemented and get a similar feeling. It’s not quite there yet, but eventually you’ll be able to do more with the OS. There are several things I miss, like Swype and LED notifications, but those are small items that I can get over.
Will I ever get another Android phone? Yea, Probably at some point I will, but for now, my iPhone 5s just works.