After a couple of days with the iPhone 5, I come away feeling mixed emotions. On one hand, it is a great phone - it's fast, the screen is gorgeous, it has an amazing camera and LTE is truly mind-blowing on the iPhone 5.
But, and there's a few I'll address here - it's not the phone to end all phones. I expected the iPhone 5 with all of its rumors, and teases, and a year from the iPhone 4S to really excel, but it does not. With increased competition explained in this review, I expected Apple to burst out of the gate with something they could truly call "revolutionary" and "magical", but those words should not be used near the iPhone 5.
Sure, it's the best iPhone yet - but the iPhone is no longer the only great phone on the market - those days are over for Apple. I feel that from now on in, we're going to see Apple really struggle impressing not just reviewers like myself, but consumers and the general market. They really had the market with the original iPhone, and the first couple of successors in the iPhone 3G and 3GS, the iPhone 4 cemented the company as the smartphone leader.
But, between the iPhone 4 release and now, we have some utterly strong competition in Samsung and its Galaxy range, and we have Nokia, HTC and LG releasing some amazing phones over the coming months. Android has come into its own, and Ice Cream Sandwich really offers so much more than what iOS can seem to even dream of right now.
iOS 6 on the iPhone 5 feels great, for an iPhone lover. You really have to be stuck in Apple's world to enjoy the constant fences they put up for customers on its mobile OS. Coming from using ICS for nearly a year now, iOS feels so restrictive. Having to go back to the home screen, then Settings, Wi-Fi, and then enable and select a Wi-Fi network is just not simple - iOS should be simple. On Android a simple flick down of the notification bar, and tap Wi-Fi, done. That is simple, folks.
Apple really does have an amazing phone in the iPhone 5, but it just doesn't cut it. Not anymore. I've read so many glowing reviews from other sites, and I can't help but think they're biased. I know that's a biased thing of me to say, but the iPhone 5, after using an iPhone 4 or 4S can't be claimed as the best smartphone on the market. Sure, it's the best iPhone, but it's not hard to trump the iPhone 4S when you make the new iPhone 5 thinner, faster, and lighter. I know I'm going to come off as sounding pro-Google here, and I get enough of it from my friends all the time.
As I stated in my introduction, I was positively obsessed with the original iPhone when it came out, I had it on release and loved it. I then owned the iPhone 3G for two years until I became bored with the "same ol', same ol'" that was quickly becoming iOS. This has transitioned into iOS 5, and now iOS 6 with the new iPhone 5. There's nothing that the iPhone 5 does that truly stands out and makes me say "BUY ONE NOW". There's no killer feature, no killer app, no killer anything with the iPhone 5. But, I really wanted to let the iPhone 5 impress me - I really did.
I came away thinking it is a great device, but it's too late. We won't see another iPhone this side of 12 months, and in that time we should see another huge release from Samsung, maybe more, we should see another Nexus-branded device, a next-generation OS from Google (Key Lime Pie), HTC and LG's numerous phones, as well as Windows Phone 8 right around the corner.
Apple are no longer the leaders of the smartphone industry. Sure, they dominate the stock market and sell the most devices, but we're already seeing the crumbling of its empire in my opinion. Cook has come out and apologized over the mess of Maps, Apple didn't get close to analysts' expectations of iPhone 5 sales in the first week, and people are finding it hard to even tell the difference between the iPhone 4, 4S and the iPhone 5.
What I would like to see in the new iPhone - new offerings. Maybe an iPhone with a bigger screen, with the same timed release of a new 4-inch iPhone. We could see an iPhone 5S, slightly better specs than the iPhone 5, and an iPhone 6 sporting a 4.5-inch (or so) screen, with some better options included.
I'd like to see iOS completely revamped, iOS' UI is old and really feels dated. It needs to be updated, big time. iOS is the biggest problem with the iPhone 5, and it needs to be addressed before Android starts making huge gains on the market. In short, Apple has a lot of work they need to do - they aren't in a market where they're a dominant player anymore.
Should you get an iPhone 5? That's simple - do you have a lot invested in iTunes and enjoy the iPhone 4/4S and the iPad? Yes - get one. If you want to be impressed even more, and enjoy a much more open, much more personal experience - go Android, and specifically, the Galaxy S III would be my recommendation.