iPhone 4S after 1 week gets a thumbs up from me
I previously had a 24 month contract so the HTC was getting on a bit so I fully expected a much newer phone to perform better in pretty much every way. The Desire was just so poor at the end with “no memory” notifications constantly preventing me from installing/upgrading apps and processor delays constantly for pretty much everything the phone was supposed to do. Even Facebook in the end took an eternity to load. All this meant I fully expected the new phone to excel in every way – but would it be worth the extra £££. Apple have “very rigid pricing structures” according to Vodafone and a bit of searching across the providers does confirm similar packages and handset costs. (I did get a heavy discount off my handset though as a “show of loyalty” once pushed a wee bit so take the rigidity with a pinch of salt). I was offered the Samsung Galaxy S3 also as an alternative at a slightly better price but just couldn’t get past the near tablet-sized device. It’s just too big for me I’m afraid so wasn’t up for consideration very long. Had it been smaller I’d have perhaps gone for it instead.
What I Like
It’s lightning fast but perhaps my previous tortoise-paced device is blurring my judgement here a wee bit. Turns on within seconds and apps connect and begin immediately. I can’t fault the processor any at all. The apps available are a huge improvement too. I thought Android apps were effectively copies across a different platform but after using a few similar ones it’s clear Apple development comes first for some of the developers and Android just updates as quickly as they can after successfuly Apple updates. The battery so far seems to be acceptable. I was never expecting it to last 24hrs+ without a full charge but it does seem to cope exceptionally well with average use throughout a normal day. We’ll see how that new battery holds up over time and if degradation sets in quickly or not. The aggregating mail client is superb. One mail app easily pulls in all my personal email accounts and integrates with my work email so easily and took seconds to configure.
What I Don’t Like
It’s not all a bed of roses though. I really don’t like the keyboard much. I’ve got so used to a “swype” interface and Apple (from what I can see so far) have the QWERTY keyboard interface locked down. I don’t even see an option to convert it to a traditional telephone 1-9 layout. I’ll get used to it but may take a while longer I think. It’s a huge palava to get an MP3 ringtone or notification alert which I just find bizarre. They have to be changed to AAC format in iTunes and then converted to “.mpr” file extensions manually THEN transferred onto the phone to be selectable tone options. Where’s the harm in allowing MP3s to be chosen from the music library? As I said – bizarre. While we’re on the topic of music I found the Android music player excellent especially the music controls being enabled from the lock screen. Maybe I’ve not found it yet but seems you have to unlock the screen to get access to the skip/pause/etc player options which is awkward. I realise iPhones are Apple products and of course they’re going to push Apple products but the default Safari browser is a pain. I much prefer the recently launched Google Chrome mobile browser but cannot tell the phone to stop launching Safari when I click a link. Finally I really miss the ability to control Android settings from one-touch apps on the home screens such as silent, vibrate, wifi on/off, bluetooth on/off, etc. It’s just a few extra clicks to get to these options but just means I can’t be bothered and leave the options running to unecessarily drain the battery quicker.
It’s a great phone and I would recommend it to others if you utilised full smart phone functionality to make the cost worthwhile and don’t let the “yuppy” tag that goes with all Apple products put you off. If it works and does the job well that it’s supposed to why give those who use it a bad name?