"Almost perfect. Two-tone back is a little ugly."4.5 starson by VitaPrimo
Pros: Excellent screen, OS, build, cloud integration and accessory ecosystem. The easiest phone to use. Premium phone, resells at a premium price—in case you ever want to get rid of it, I doubt it.
Cons: The design could be cleaner, it's not very Apple-like.
Summary: First some background. [...]
[ Having had all the iPhones but the original, it feels good to upgrade. Recently I had lost an iPhone 4S in one of my lines so I got stuck using two iPhone 4s, which are not bad phones, I actually can accomplish so much in the two-generations old phones and the feel speedy even though the OS (iOS 6) has so much features this time around.
I have two phone lines with different carriers, I'm always switching phones in one of them and in the other line I always have the latest iPhone available in my country. I switch phone because I like to experiment and try out new stuff, I'm always looking for the latest Android & Windows Phone devices, I don't like to be told they're bad, I want to see it myself. First I tried out Android, 2.3.something, Gingerbread, I don't remember the number, it was fun for a while as I feel I was escaping from iOS... Eventually it became a very frustrating experience, search was a very complicated affair, this was before Siri, and usually used my iPhone for everything that actually would get something done.
Contact sync was made via Google Contacts of HTC Sense Sync [or whatever it's called] no integraton with iCloud which is a real problem because I rely on iCloud heavily. Later I got a Nokia Lumia 900 and even though I could play as much with the OS as with Android, the experience was much more refined, Windows Phone is a fantastic OS it just needed some tweaks here and there. I read somewhere that one month before I got the phone, universal search was disabled as it infringed some Apple patents--no surprise there. Not two months later got rid again of the phone. I gave away both this phones to my nephew and niece. I came back to an iPhone 4 until Android 4 was released, against all my better judgement I got a Galaxy Nexus, I hate Samsung cellphones but I wanted a clean Android experience. The phone lasted me three weeks and a couple of days, not even a month. Gave it away too.
Then I lost my iPhone 4S and got an old iPhone 4 out of storage and just waited for the sixth-generation iPhone; ] the design, the two-tone back is a little ugly for my taste, specially in the silver one, in the black one is not as noticeable and, if they clearly have move the antennas to the top and bottom, as the glass RF windows tell, why on earth they insist on keeping those stupid lines at the sides that have looked awful on the iPhone since the 4th generation iPhone. What made the phone beautiful were the glass covers, more specifically, the rear one because in the white front one the huge black turned off display doesn't look that pretty. Same goes for the holes above it—camera and sensors.
Now with this iteration they took away all of this and stuck us [those who like the iPhone] with those horrible miniature glasses on the back that break the cleanliness of the phone. And if that wasn't enough, they at least didn't remove the lines at the sides that clearly serve no purpose this time.
Aside from that, the larger screen, even it wasn't necessary, is a welcome addition—any iPhone owner can assure you this. When I had phones with almost 5 inches for a screen I didn't feel any advantage, because the OS is a mess. Also, I suspect that aside from the logical explanation that the phone wouldn't fit in your hands there is also the practical explanation that it would break compatibility with all dock accessories by making it wider; well yes, but they went away and broke it anyway by changing the port from the 30-pin dock connector the the Lightning one. Even it's still possible to dock your iPhone 5 with existing accessories, it looks ridiculous and let's face it, Apple is about design (I was gonna say looks but I felt like a would be backstabbing myself.)
Let's move on from the bad.
The OS is rock solid, it's known that Android becomes unresponsive and you can't even answer a call if too much memory is being used. Not everyone is a geek and know how to manage memory and most people don't like to read manuals. My last Android device came with a very thick User's Manual, since I was already familiar with Android, I didn't care for it.
Although everything you can do on iOS you can do on Android, there is always a workaround and thing to setup, this is a pain in the butt. My favorite browser is Safari, it has Reader, Reading Lists, a beautiful minimal interface and it syncs with all my devices, be them Windows, Mac or iOS. I use all these features because they make my life easier. I can do the same with Chrome or Firefox, but there something extra to setup and besides, iOS defaults to Safari unless jailbroken. Also, pretty much where you can select a word, you can define it right there without leaving the app. Siri can also do this but I won't touch Siri here. No workarounds. To find your phone is also easy, you just set it up when setting up your phone and you never worry for it again, no third parties. Notes and Reminders also sync with all your devices. Again no workarounds or third parties.
I'd love for, say, Viber or WhatsApp to integrate natively with the phone like on Android but iOS is not there yet, and besides that'd open tons of security holes.
You won't need a manual when using your iPhone, everything is intuitive, just skim the Finger Tips booklet that comes with it and instantly you're an iPhone pro. My mother has the accessibility options turned on for a slightly bigger text and before the iPhone she didn't even read SMSs. Now just juste asks Siri for everything she doesn't understand or know how to do; "the girl in the phone" would do it for her.
Even though they like to rub in your face over and over that iOS has the most apps, you only need a handful, for me those are the apps that save you airtime and texting, since in my country there isn't unlimited text & calling, but there is unlimited data and tethering, no extra charge. So, what's the difference then? Quality; iOS apps are among the most beautifully designed and with the most support. Sure there apps that are utter crap, fermium apps, but I stay away from those.
I may not like the design that much of this iPhone but it really isn't ugly. It has those little details that I hate but overall it is a good design, and it's solid construction, and as with earlier versions, it feels premium. Research may say that more than 70% of the market is Android, but let's remind ourselves that Android phones come in all prices, they ridiculously cheap and someone who just wants to communicate will buy a 100USD cheap Android prepaid phone in any convenience store in a hurry and later dispose it. Most phones come in there pieces, the phone itself, the battery and the battery cover, whilst the iPhone is just one piece, when you drop it--if it survives--you don't have to go digging around in for them. People would argue that there is no replaceable battery, but have never gotten to meet someone that has replaced his or her battery or even knows where these are sold. Which brings me to my next point:
Carriers will only sell you the phone in most countries and the manufacturer support for your phone is via your carrier. So if you lose accessories that came with your phone and your brand doesn't have direct customer support for your country, you're screwed. This scenario is true IN MOST COUNTRIES. Life outside the US is different. On the other hand, in every country that they sell the iPhone, there is Apple support. No third parties, no in-betweens.
Yes, newer Android and Windows Phones have a million cores processors, but that takes me back way to the beginning of this, Android is a heavier OS, much like Windows Vista back then, it requires more power to run smoothly, while iOS doesn't need as much. Since the first iPhone—which my country never got—graphics have been fluid. Apple has had a tendency to slow down older models, many times I though this was on purpose to get you to upgrade, I guess I will never know if this is true, but what I do know is that with iOS 6 they stopped that. The three generations-old iPhone 3GS still runs normal and didn't slow down with the OS upgrade from 5 to 6. And, I don't know how they do these tests, but the iPhone has been proven to be faster than the supposedly faster Android phones. I don't know why Android people are in so much need of higher specifications. If the OS (any OS, not just Android) sucks, what's the point?
When I mentioned the Apple ecosystem earlier I was referring that everything works tighter, like magic. You're watching something here, you move it or mirror it to your TV, to the speakers downstairs, in the next room, in your home theater but not on the guest room or if you want it, so be it. Play counts are updated. You are reading this here, you continue there. You are in your care Bluetooth-streaming music and ask Siri for a song special mix you have at home that is not on the iTunes Store or your phone, no biggie, Siri will download it from iTunes Match and starts playing it almost immediately.
Most manufacturers and content providers prefer iOS over Android or Windows Phone; my home is automated and I control it with my iPhone while I never found the apps for the automation servers at the Google Play Store or the whatever 7/8 marketplace.
And finally the number one reason I think the iPhone is the better choice for me and for everyone, it is a feature that is not new. In fact it's been around for more than two years and was compatible with the 2nd gen. iPhone, the iPhone 3G; Spotlight.
Spotlight is the universal search that was taken away from Windows Phone. I'm so used to Spotlight that is the feature that keeps me coming back to the iPhone every time, even when I'm using the iPhone alongside another phone. Spotlight gets things done. Siri or not. When I need to find some fact I just swipe right from the main home screen and search Wikipedia, I need the photo of something or some new, well, web search, I can't remember what I told some friend, type a fragment of a conversation or a friend's name and it'll search for anything on my phone and won't show me web results UNLESS I TOLD IT TO. In other OS the search starts populating with web results and I have to select what I'm searching for, most of the times I don't know what I'm searching for, I search for AN IDEA that's why I'm searching in the first place.
If you are the type of persons that loves to download apps but aren't that much of an organized person, you can just Spotlight your app. It'll show everything on your phone related to the search term. You can also start typing a phone number and it will match it. Of course you can do this on the phone app, Spotlight is much more comprehensive and shows you all the result, not just the one.
It's almost the perfect phone, there is so much more I'd like to say about this phone, but is probably stuff you already know. This I said, is usually not mention in the reviews at any website. They just looks at mostly gimmicks and features, features, features, nothing that is really useful.
There is one more thing. Whenever Apple introduces a feature, IT STICKS WITH IT. You know for sure it'll be included in the next iteration, so all the work done in that feature or the accustomed you've grown to it, won't be just ditched just like that. And, it usually it is easy to use and well implemented. You cannot say that about other manufactures, even Microsoft that is involved in the releases of Windows Phone phones has loosened up its requirements.
I always buy the phones unlocked directly from Apple, but in my country most people are used to buy phones unsubsidized so that's not an issue, then I just choose whatever carrier I see fit. If you are going to commit with a carrier, 200 to 400 USD is not much, but the contract is. And I'm guessing you don't want to expend several thousand dollars in a plastic phone just because it has more bells and whistles but really does nothing good.
Do you really are going to use NFC? Are there really millions of people with Galaxy SIIIs you can S Beam info to as there are iPhone users? What's the point of these technologies if you can't ever use them? iPhones are ubiquitous, SIIIs, or insert_random_phone_here not so much.
Sorry I first rambled on for so much but I'm trying to show you that I'm not an Android or Windows Phone hater, probably when there's something good I'll fall it again, temptation waits; but I sincerely hopes this helps.
I didn't spell/grammar check, sorry again.