First impressions of the iPhone 5

Review of the Upcoming iPhone 6 and my Tired iPhone 5

It’s all I wanted in a phone, plus a girlfriend named Siri.

MicroUpdate 8-1-14: I was talking to my daughter today about her iPhone C. She really wants a 5 or 5s, because… Just because. Well, she had a 5 and went with the C, because… And I joked with her, “I’ll sell you my 5 for $200. And then I’ll use the old 3s in the drawer.” And then it hit me. I would, except the 3s uses the older, larger sim-card, and I couldn’t just pull my sim out and use the 3s. Of course it sounds a bit radical, but I’m working on this less-tech thing. I’ve dropped Facebook for 99 days and it’s good. What if my phone was just a little bit dumber and a lot slower. I’d use it less. I’d use it as a phone. And that would be enough. Just a flavor of the, I’m-not-needing-a-new-phone vibe I’m feeling. Well, maybe I’ll crave the 3d-holographic display when it comes out, but for now, I’m cooler and cooler with my phone just being a phone and texting device.

UPDATE 7-31-14: My iPhone 5 (non-S) is holding up just fine. I didn’t crave the faster S, although Siri could use a performance boost from time to time, I don’t use her very much. So what is important about a phone these days? Is the iPhone 6 or the next Galaxy S+ going to make things “that much better” on our mobile devices? Sadly, I’d say, unless they invent teleportation, teledildonics, or holographic facetime, I’m not all that hungry for the shiny new car… eh, iPhone 6.

You see, no body really cares about the hardware, it’s how it works that makes the iPhone such a beast. Take several friends recently who lept to the Android world, to prove their independent thinking and non-Apple allegiance. One person has come back to the iPhone saying, “I’d had enough of ‘the people’s phone.'” That was unsolicited, though I was happy to welcome them back to the iCloud where mobile messages can jump easily from my iPhone to my tablet and even to my desktop. I tell you, writing a text message with a friend, using my full keyboard rather than the phone or Siri, will it might be my favorite innovation. And it’s only going to get better in iOS 8 where you’ll be able to pass whole tasks back and forth like something from Avatar. (Hey, when is Avatar 2 coming out?)

Unless some revolutionary tech comes out on some non-Apple platform, I’m fairly happy running Windows as an app and not an OS. As for Android, it’s good to have another platform, and anything that gives Microsoft fits is okay by me, but… The Apple iOS just works. The phone and hardware specs get out of the way when the software and technology integration work. Yes, Android-ies can point at new features on the iPhone and say, “We’ve had these on Android for years…” but it’s not a very interesting point.

I’m not sure the iPhone 6, for me personally is going to make a hugely dramatic difference. 1. I don’t need more speed on my phone; 2. I don’t need a phablet, I have an iPad mini; and 3. until the iPhone can fully replace my maxed-out MacBookPro, I’m not all that interested in what’s next in phones. I know the market is, and I’m sure Apple will see 3X as many iPhone 6s as they did iPhone 5s units. So if you own stocks, it’d be a good time to look at Apple again. Not to mention the iWatch, that I don’t really want either. I love my Nike Fuelband ™.

Bottom line: I’m hopeful on the holographic display, eventually, but until then my current, and plenty-speedy, iPhone 5 will suffice as a phone.

UPDATE 12-7-12: Teathered to my own iPhone 5 at the Dallas FW Airport. Those speeds make the ATT hotspot in this airport ridiculous  So slow, in fact, that I’d rather pay for the service. The question now will be, how much data does tethering take when you’re checking email and surfing? I’ll report my data flow and cost later.

ATT's LTE with iPhone 5 tethering

UPDATE: SIRI blows my mind. She’s the best note taker in the world. And though she occasionally hears “guacamole” as “what ahole” she’s the best thing about this phone. It’s sleek beyond compare, and I do love playing with it as a fetish object. The usability of SIRI, however, as dialer, texter, and emailer, is the killer feature. How’s the Google equivalent working for ya?

++

I didn’t need a new phone. My iPhone 4 (siri-less non-S) was working just fine. And then there was the $200 upgrade fee. And then a friend showed me (taunted me) this:

Blazing speed of the AT&T LTE network on the iPhone 5

And his MacBook Air tethered was just as impressive. WOW. That’s A LOT faster than my wired cable modem from Time-Warner.

UPDATE: here are my Time-Warner (RoadRunner) results.

Speed results of RoadRunner from Time-Warner

So, my initial reaction to the phone on the first day varied between:

  1. This thing is almost too thin.
  2. (Drop) Dang, why didn’t AT&T ship the case in the same box.
  3. Siri is amazing for text entry into ANY app or ANY field.
  4. This think really lights up fast. I can imagine missing a lot fewer photos.
  5. Man, this thing is thin and strong. I like the feel of it. Where’s my protective case?

Of course that’s just me. I know the video is going to be a lot better with the added processing power (providing image stabilization) and the higher resolution. And a bit of ego at having the coolest phone on the planet. And maybe that’s part of why Apple sells so dang many of these things every time there is a new model. $200 is pretty cheap for bringing your tech cred to the top of the heap. Even if only for a few months.

First impressions of the iPhone 5

Cute enough to PIN, right?

It’s all I wanted in a phone, plus a girlfriend named Siri.

@jmacofearth (also seen on Google+: jmacofearth)
permalink: http://uber.la/2014/07/iphone-5-review/

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