One week with iPhone 5

5 days ago (not even a full week), I got an iPhone 5. If I have to describe these first 5 days of using it in one sentence, the sentence will be “It’s freaking FAST!” And since this description is too simplistic, here’s a more detailed version of my experience.

Before I say anything, please note that I’m coming from an Android background, and more specifically the shitty HTC-version-of-Android background. Before this phone I had an HTC Desire HD. Well, in the last days before the iPhone I had to force myself not to throw it away. My Android story is that I bought the HTC a little over 2 years ago to replace my… wait for it… Windows Mobile phone. This is Windows Mobile, not Windows Phone… you know… the archaic stylus-based version with 5×5 pixel buttons. It was again an HTC (Touch Diamond 2) and it was my first encounter with smartphones. The HTC Desire HD was my first encounter with Android and although I loved it in the beginning, after 2 years I started to experience THE issue with Android, which is lack of updates. HTC decided that my hardware was too incapable to run their Icecream Sandwich and stopped providing updates. While newer and better versions of Android were released, I was patient with my 2.3.5 Gingerbread and quietly wept every night. This all made me switch to Apple. And before you ask “Why didn’t you just root and use Cyanogen?”, I will say: Why do I have to? I paid a big pile of cash for a phone, I don’t want to waste another night of my life redoing everything from scratch. Having the ability to root your phone is one thing, having the necessity to do it is another. I don’t want to be forced to root. Plus, Cyanogen with Android 4+ is still not officially available at the time I write this.

If you haven’t realized it until now, I’m not a fan boy, I just like technology and base my choices on facts and experience. Now, on to the iPhone.

This thing is great. Even though I’m comparing it to a very old HTC, I cannot help but wonder how awesome the display is. Once I look at the iPhone, looking back at my 22″ monitor feels like the right half of this (in other words, painful):

Retina Compare

Retina has spoiled me. The iPhone is also super-fast. iOS is very good in terms of user experience. I haven’t had a dealbreaker issue until now. Did I mention that the iPhone is very fast? Here is the list of my top pros and cons:

Good

Bad

FAST! No ability to arrange homescreen icons (no widgets)
Good ecosystem (many apps) No FM Radio app
Very good looking Turning WiFi on/off is harder than it shoud be
Very light Setting a custom ringtone requires Googling and iTunes

Although there are some things I don’t like, I wouldn’t go back to Android. For me, the huge Apple ecosystem and the very good user experience are the two most important factors in a phone, and I would trade the ability to do some customization for them. After a while you get used to the iOS way of doing things and you form habits. That’s a good thing, because most apps try to conform to those habits, and you know how to use them before you’ve tried them. While Android also have some UI Guidelines for developers, in reality the marketplace (Play Store) is one big mess, where each application introduces its own UI, and there is so much diversity, that at some point you just give up.

I am very happy with my first week with the iPhone. There are definitely things that can be fixed, but I’d bet Apple will do that at some point. My hopes for cleaning up the Google Play Store are just not helping. Oh and here’s the answer your other hypothetical question about why I didn’t get a Windows Phone: I like shadows and rounded corners more than single-color squares and sharp edges.

(Photo credits: http://www.apple.com/pr/products/iphone/iphone.html, http://www.theverge.com/2012/3/7/2851127/new-ipad-hands-on-preview)