Yikes! iPhone 5 Review By An Android User

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My contract with my Samsung Galaxy S2 is almost over. The obvious choice for my upgrade was to be the Samsung Galaxy S3, but the iPhone 5 and its hype got me going, so I thought I’d give it a day in court (sorry – I couldn’t resist that) before parting with cash. I have had an iPhone before – from 2008 to 2010, and my tablet daily driver is an iPad 2, so there was nothing new that would stump me in terms of using iOS again.

iPhone 5 review by a Samsung Galaxy S2 user

The iPhone 5 is a huge improvement on the Samsung Galaxy S2. The iPhone 5 is lighter and thinner than the S2, and Apple has stuffed loads of features into that slim chassis that were only on Android before such as LTE and a larger display with 16:9 aspect ratio.

The iPhone 5 has a 4” screen, the Samsung Galaxy S2 has 4.3”, so there’s not a lot of difference in size. The iPhone 5 display is much better. It’s sharper, clearer and easier to see in direct sunlight, and the resolution is way better (S2 has 800×480). You’ll also notice better sound quality in media.

The chip in the iPhone 5 is faster than the S2, so apps load much faster. You’ll also see the camera does its stuff much faster. Data speeds are better now, thanks to 4G LTE, thus resolving my one big concern for this upgrade. The iPhone 5 gives a full day from one charge, and the battery doesn’t get hot like on my S2. The faster chips, strong battery and data speeds make the iPhone 5 worth the move.

Apple Maps is a bit rubbish, so the S2 and its Google Maps gives it an advantage. On the bright side, when you are getting correct results, the turn-by-turn directions are really good, they work fast and their POI facts are sufficient. Apple Maps also uses less data than Google Maps.

The new iOS 6 has 200 new features, like a panorama mode. Siri has been sped up and the new OS has Facebook integration – something I’d got used to since Gingerbread. iOS 6 is a real leap forward for this platform and does settle a lot of gripes I’ve had with the platform since its early beginnings.

If you’re thinking about moving from the Samsung Galaxy S2 to the iPhone 5 you’re going to love it! If you’re wavering between the S3 and the iPhone 5, think carefully. The iPhone 5 has the looks and the low light camera pics prowess, but it’s a pain to get to toggles like Wi-Fi and Bluetooth because they’re lodged deep inside the Settings. You also have to remember that the iPhone 5 doesn’t have much room for customization – I liked being able to hide less popular apps and showboating the ones I use a lot. And don’t get me started on widgets either. Basically you have a wealth of information from the moment you unlock the screen as compared to a row of icons.

In terms of hardware the Samsung Galaxy S3 and the iPhone 5 are equal apart from the screen size, so for me it came down to customization and easy access to Settings since I didn’t need a display bigger than the 4.3-inch on my S2. If you’re not too bothered about these customization and accessibility factors, then a move to the grid based iOS 6 will be painless. It’s actually just that simple.

If your phone is pre-2011, then the iPhone 5 and the Samsung Galaxy S3 will be a massive improvement, so pick your preferred OS and go for it.

Mike is the man who reviews gadgets that aren’t mainstream or products that can’t exactly be classified as consumer electronics e.g. portable talking toilets. It’s always interesting to read about the crazy products we have here in Asia that just don’t get as much publicity as they warrant.