iPhone: My mini-micro review

iphone4Our move to Apple’s iPhone is complete. My phone arrived and activating it was not horrible, but I still had to call Sprint as the online activation refused to complete the process for me.

So, how’s the phone?

Well, simply, it is a very impressive piece of gear.  It feels solid, not too light, not too heavy. The ‘retina’ display is superb and performance is snappy. Plus, it just looks nice.  While I don’t think it is the most beautiful phone out there, it sure is nice looking.

iOS 6 Upgrade

My phone came with iOS 6 already installed (the other two we got had to be upgraded) which was a pleasant surprise and cut about an hour off of setting it up.  iOS 6 feels very responsive, more than my HTC Android phone and the iPad as well. 

Setup

Setup was pretty easy.  Once activated, I connected the phone to iTunes and I was able to install the iPhone compatible apps that I had on the iPad. I was surprised at how many there were.  The ones I really wanted were OneNote, EverNote, Netflix and Angry Birds. The other thing I was concerned about were my contacts. However, thanks to Google, that was a non-issue. I setup my GMail account in mail and the Comcast mail account as well. My contacts synced with no problem, though I see there is some cleanup as there are a ton of dupes.

Use

Using the phone was fairly intuitive and pretty easy to use.  Making a call was much more pleasant than on my Android and the sound quality is excellent.  I find the spearker phone option especially nice as you can hear easily and the receiver can understand you. A nice change from our previous phones. Since I already have an iPad, I pretty knew what to do, but if I were totally new to iOS, I think I might have a problem with some of aspects, like the god-awful Settings app. While I understand the desire to put all options in one place, I find it difficult to navigate that app. The networking options are the worst, buried way too deep. But, these do not detract from the overall experience and, once set, there should be little reason to change them. Perhaps my favorite new feature, and one that is easy to use is Facetime. While Facetime on the iPhone 4 does not work over the cell network, it will work when connected to WiFi. (Which brings up a complaint: no where on the screen does it say this feature does not work on the iPhone 4 over cellular. Apple should notate this.)

iTunes

Why hasn’t Apple dumped this turkey yet? iTunes is bloated, broken, slow and crashes. A lot. Yet, we are still forced to tether our devices to this behemoth to accomplish certain things. On my Windows 7 computer, it also looks terribly out of date and I can only imagine that getting worse on Windows 8.

Summary

Overall, I am impressed with the phone and the build quality is just superb. I’m sure, as time goes on, I will find things I don’t like but, for now, I find myself really liking this phone. And, that, my friends, is something I had not expected. Afterall, I’m a Windows/Microsoft guy. I guess it might be time to finally retire my Zune.

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