12 Days With The iPhone 4S (from an Android user)

Alas, my time as an Android owner has ended. I want to get this post out while my brain is still fresh with Android usage and learning the ways of the iPhone.

Well…there’s not much to learn…in true Apple fashion everything is pretty damn simple. Here’s what I see.

  1. Email Setup – Holy crap that was easy! Seriously…I’ve got numerous email accounts, some GMail, a .mac, a Mindspring (yeah, I keep it old school) and some other accounts from my hosting company. When I got my Samsung Moment, it was loads of configuring to set up every account, configure, blah blah blah. Then switching to the HTC Evo this summer and I had to do the same damn thing. Got my iPhone and was getting ready to set up all my email accounts and was completely surprised (in a good way) that they were already set up as they were matched up to all my accounts on my MacBook Air at home. This goes way beyond a score of an A+.
  2. Apps – Two years ago when I got my first Android phone (Samsung Moment) I was a bit discouraged as there were so many apps for the iPhone that weren’t available for my Android. However I learned to live with it and by the time I got to the point I’m downloading apps for my iPhone I found everything I wanted except for three or four apps. (if anyone knows of a good PicSay, PDANet, or Hide It Pro substitute let me know)
  3.  Camera – Wow. Just wow. Yeah, I love the fact it’s a great camera, but the speed to fire that thing up is amazing. It’s what makes me want to take pictures while I’m out and about. I can’t tell you how many pics I’ve missed because it took forever for my Evo to get the camera up. By the time it was ready, my picture opportunity was gone. On the iPhone 4S you’re up and ready to shoot in no time. A favorite “feature” of mine.
  4. Hardware Speed – With the dual-core A5 chip you can imagine it’s pretty damn fast. And it is. Not much else to say there except it’s fast.
  5. Siri – Another favorite of mine. I haven’t fully explored all its features but sending a text message while my hands are full is awesome. Sending an email or a Twitter update with my voice is handy too. I’m looking forward to seeing what else I can do with it…especially as more apps start taking advantage of it.
  6. Openness – I’m still on the fence about this one. I enjoyed some of the openness of my Evo, specifically the ability to tether to my laptop and use it as a modem when there was no wifi as well as installing some apps by bypassing the Android Market. However, I didn’t have the need to do either of those too often I doubt I’ll miss it too much. Time will tell.
  7. Interface – Sweet mother it’s intuitive, easy, and beautiful. Yes, I’m a fan of that.
  8. Data Speeds – I’m not sure who to blame for my slow-as-molasses data speeds. It’s a well-documented issue already (http://technolog.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2011/10/26/8493848-sprint-trying-to-fix-iphone-4s-speed-issue) that it’s terribly slow. Since I don’t have my Evo anymore I can’t see if it’s just the phone or if Sprint’s network is being crushed by all the new iPhone users.
  9. Form Factor – It’s smaller than my Evo. The screen is much smaller than my Evo. As I stood in the Sprint store comparing my soon-to-be iPhone with my Evo I thought “damn, that screen is tiny! Will I be able to see on it?” The answer? A resounding yes. The retina display makes everything quite easy to see (as well as a great interface). So now that the small screen “issue” is done, I can say I love the fact this smaller phone doesn’t fill my entire pocket with this giant mass of plastic and glass.
  10. Accessories – I haven’t bought many yet but I know from experience by looking for accessories for my Moment and Evo that there are much more accessories available for the iPhone than there are for the various Android phones. That was something that always annoyed me about owning an Android and I’m looking forward to seeing what iPhone accessories I’ll end up snagging.
  11. OS – As an ex-Android user I can quite easily say I was quite frustrated with the massive OS fragmentation amongst devices. “Great, Android 2.2 is out and I’m still running 1.6” was something I was saying for a while. Not only that, there’s no guarantee that the next Android OS will actually be good for your phone. When the Moment was upgraded from 1.6 to 2.1 it in reality made my phone useless, slow, and horrifically frustrating (hence the urge to buy a used Evo on craigslist while waiting for my contract to run out so I could get a new phone).
  12. Miscellaneous – I hated the fact carriers always installed their own apps on Android phones (with a few exceptions) that I really didn’t want and was not able to uninstall. I found myself unable to keep all the pics I wanted or download all the apps I wanted because I couldn’t get rid of NASCAR and a bunch of pre-installed uninstallable game demos. Thanks for keeping my phone clean Apple.
  13. (bonus…wanted to leave this at 12 for my 12 days) Battery Life – I don’t have the actual numbers but I can say that the battery life is damn long. I tried to kill my battery last night after a day of use and nothing. Left wifi on all night, it still had power this morning. Fired up streaming radio and listened to that all morning while getting ready for work and then used GPS navigation on the way to work. It FINALLY died later in the morning. Gotta give it to Apple as they know how to optimize their hardware and software.

So, after 12 days with my iPhone I’m very pleased. The slow network annoys the crap out of me right now but I don’t know if that’s Apple’s fault or not. I love the integration with my Mac. I love the fact I’ll continue to get OS updates (unlike Android where you usually get one update per phone) to keep my phone on the cutting edge. I was a happy Android user for all these years (with a few gripes like when my Moment became useless or the non-smoothness of integrating with the rest of my Mac stuff) but I’m already in love with my iPhone and am glad I got it.

One final note…I have no idea why people would stay with AT&T or Verizon and spend so much more money for their plans when Sprint is so much cheaper. I’m just sayin’…

Quick addition to my Sprint plan note…One thing to note when comparing plan prices between the three major carriers is that Sprint’s non-peak hours are longer (start at 7pm instead of 9pm) and mobile-to-mobile is actually mobile to ANY mobile and not just same-carrier mobile. Thus I have a mere 500 mins/month plan and still have a hard time burning through them all.

UPDATE 1: (Oct 28 evening) So here are my data speed numbers. I knew it seemed slow, but this is ridiculous. Funny that I posted such a glowing review of the iPhone, and I generally love Sprint, but sadly the combination of the two (hm, two positives make a negative) suck donkey nards. Tomorrow is day 14 of “you have 14 days to return the phone” so I’ll be heading back to the Sprint store to see what they say and may be heading back to my Evo. I’ll keep you updated!

They abysmal speed of the iPhone on Sprint


Update 2: (Oct 29 morning) Returned from the Sprint store about an hour ago. I had some great discussions with the Assistant Manager there about various issues (the main one being the sluggish speed I’m experiencing). I even had my receipt and box in hand if I needed to go back to my Evo (why? I don’t really utilize streaming THAT often). Apple is working on a software update to help Sprint’s iPhone utilize Sprint’s network more efficiently and quickly. Also, while I was there I was pointed out a discount I’m eligible for and also worked up a plan to save a friend $25/month. Now that’s customer service! Yet another reason I’ve never wanted to leave Sprint.

So…I’ve got my iPhone, will deal with slow data for a couple weeks and will still be supremely pleased with my new toy.