My contract is up and it is finally time for me to upgrade from my Samsung Galaxy S2. I’ve been looking at the Samsung Galaxy S3 for sometime now and before making the plunge, I thought I would check out the options. The obvious other choice was the iPhone 5, the biggest threat to the Galaxy S3. So I gave the iPhone 5 a whirl. Here’s my review.
iPhone 5 review by an S2 user
Many people wondered if the iPhone 5 would be able to live up to all the hype that surrounded its launch. However when you get it in your hands, it is a big improvement over the Samsung Galaxy S2.
Moving from a Samsung Galaxy S2 to an S3 was a big move when I reviewed the S3 back in July. However, going from the S2 to an iPhone 5 is bigger mainly because of the OS. The new iPhone 5 is a lot lighter and thinner than the S2 and it is amazing how much tech Apple have managed to put into such a thin device.
One of the best changes is the size of the display, the iPhone 5 now has a display of 4 inches. Now moving down from a 4.3-inch display you won’t notice the difference. It feels about the same size. However the screen resolution is huge step up and immediately the 4-inch screen on the iPhone 5 is vastly superior to the Samsung Galaxy S2. There is a lot of difference when you look at the two handsets side by side and browsing the web and watching movies is a great experience with the iPhone 5. Another thing that has been improved is the speaker. The iPhone 5 provides better sound playback than the S2 which could either be attributed to speaker placement or hardware quality.
The new processor inside the iPhone 5 is fast. It blows the Samsung Galaxy S2 away. Apps load quicker as is multi-tasking. Photos are easier to take on the iPhone 5 as the camera app opens faster. Data connectivity is fast too, thanks to the inclusion of 4G LTE. 4G will make you realise how slow your Wi-Fi connection is at home.
Battery life on the iPhone 5 has improved a lot. Apple have managed to boost the battery even with adding LTE and now you can get a day from the battery, even with heavy use. The battery on the iPhone 5 also does not get hot, as the one of the Samsung Galaxy S2 does. The speed of the processor and the better battery life is worth the upgrade alone.
Of course there is a downside and Apple maps are nowhere as near as good as Google Maps. However turn by turn directions are good and load fast and the POI data does seem to be accurate. Apple maps also seem to use less data than Google maps did.
With iOS 6 comes a host of new features, 200 according to Apple. There is a panorama mode for the camera, Siri is now faster than ever and there is Facebook integration. It seems that iOS just gets better and better.
The bottom line is that after using the iPhone 5 you will wonder how you managed with the Samsung Galaxy S2 for so long. However in regards to the whether I will pick the iPhone 5 over the Samsung Galaxy S3 is a different ballgame. The iPhone 5 looks better, has a camera that perform better in low-light, and just feels like a newer toy to an S2 user compared to the S3. But at the same time I had a couple of annoyances when it came to accessing certain settings like WiFi, Bluetooth, Data and more as Apple had them tucked away inside the Setting with no easy access. The lack of widgets and a non- customizable homescreen were another drawback. As for the keyboard, I was so used to Swype that I didn’t think I could live without it, but the iPhone 5 keyboard performed great and I was tapping again in no time.
Bottom line: If you have a smartphone from 2011 or older, both the iPhone 5 and the Samsung Galaxy S3 will seem like huge upgrades. The deciding factor will solely come down to you OS preference.