Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Gadget dilemmas

Generally I'm a happy iPhone 4 user. Since the mad rush of blood to the head when I stood in the opening day queue for 5 hours for my "4"  to replace my iPhone 3G I've enjoyed using the phone. When the 4S cam along, there was little in there to persuade me to upgrade, and since then - almost two and a half years now, I've been content.

The arrival of the Samsung Galaxy SIII earlier this year did peek my interest. It's a great phone, with a fantastic screen, and great specs, and over the summer I started to waver just slightly, but have always held back because I still liked the iPhone 4, and I have a Macbook Pro, and I'm getting an iPad, and Apple stuff, well...'just works'.

The other thing I was holding off for, was the arrival of the iPhone 5. I was keen to see what Apple would do to counter the charge of the SIII as one of the flagship smartphones. Well by the time Apple announced it, we all knew anyway because of the leaks. And I have to say, I'm a little disappointed. I was most hoping for a bigger screen. What we've got is a 'taller' screen. Other than that, and a few inevitable tweaks in processor/camera it's much the same as the 4S and arguably 4 before it.

Those in praise say it's all because it's evolutionary rather than revolutionary and why change a winning formula? The critics say Apple are running out of ideas. I'm largely with the former camp, but I was hoping for a bigger (i.e. taller AND wider) screen. My eyes aren't what they used to be, even with glasses. The SIII screen is very appealing.

Additionally, having played with a 5 a couple of times, it's newfound thinness and loss of weight makes it feel....let's not beat about the bush. Cheaper. Although clearly it's not with the cheapest unlocked version (the way I prefer to buy) weighing in at a very hefty £529.

And more worrying, one of the 5's I've played with, and reports from more than one person I know who's got one, have suggested build quality isn't quite what it once was - despite Apple's reinforcement of matching parts. One of the units I saw had a distinct rattle if you tapped the rear plate. The user had been told it was the vibrate unit in the phone. Sounds very dodgy to me.

The synchronicity I have with my Apple devices is re-creatable on Android & the SIII with Google and Dropbox - and I already use Gmail as my default mail anyway. I can get an unlocked SIII for under £450.  So what's stopping me shunning the iPhone 5 and going with the SIII or keeping the faith and upgrading to an iPhone 5?

Well firstly, either way it's a lot of money. £450 - £529's worth to be precise. I can do a lot with that sort of dosh. Secondly, and perhaps most importantly (and sensibly), at the moment, my iPhone 4 is still performing admirably. Arguably it does all I need from a smartphone. I won't be doing anything differently, or new if I had a 5 or an SIII. I'd just have a newer device, and be lighter of pocket.

It's inevitable that I will upgrade at some point. And it's probably inevitable that it will be a 5 as I do like Apple devices and the Apple 'ecosystem'. But it's not guaranteed - yet.

I'm off to count my money.....

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