So my Smartphone experience dates back to the Palm Kyocera and the original BlackBerry devices with built in phones. As most of you know I have also been involved with enterprise mobility apps before they were called “apps”. But I have been using the iPhone 5 since it hit the market a few months ago and I am ready to say that although it is not perfect the iPhone 5 is the best Smartphone I have ever used. Here is my detailed analysis.
Overall Appearance – 10/10 – The screen and resolution is fantastic – the body of the device is beautiful. It looks like a work of art.
Screen Size – 6/10 – I like the longer screen but I wish it were a bit wider – it actually seems disproportional to some degree. I especially wish the screen were wider because I have big hands and typing on the virtual keyboard would be less cramped.
Typing / Keyboard – 5/10 – As mentioned above I wish the screen were wider so the virtual keyboard were bigger. Also many apps (even some built by Apple) don’t allow you to type in landscape mode where the keyboard is bigger. I have used the Siri voice input from time to time and it is good but not great.
Social Integration – 8/10 – The integration with Facebook and Twitter is good. The ability to easily share pictures, movies and other content from native iOS applications is quite convenient. I wish there was even more integration across applications. For instance when you want to accept a friend request from inside of email it launches the web browser instead of the Facebook or LinkedIn apps that are loaded on the device. This type of interoperability would be nice but overall the social integration is very good.
Battery – 7/10 – Battery life is good enough – I can poll for email every 15 minutes and have Skype running all the time and still make it through the day with heavy usage. But I wish it had a removable battery so I could carry an extra one. I have solved that by buying an external battery pack – http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B007HUTXV8/ref=oh_details_o03_s00_i00
Built in Apps / Mail / Calendar / Text… – 9/10 – The built in apps (except for maps) are excellent. I can easily sync multiple calendars and manage multiple email accounts with ease. They are very good.
Camera / Video – 9/10 – The camera and video capture is very good. I don’t use it as my main camera yet but who knows.
Notifications – 10/10 – The notification system is excellent and almost BlackBerry like. It is able to keep you informed of important information as the day goes by including email, text, calendar events, weather… In my opinion BlackBerry was always ahead here but iOS6 brings the notification system on par with BlackBerry – it is really excellent.
Siri – 6/10 – Although Siri is limited it is the first voice controlled system that I have found useful for basic tasks. Like setting reminders, set alarm clock and other basic functions. It has a long way to go but it is useful.
Apps – 10/10 – There are an unfathomable amount of apps available. The device does an excellent job of sandboxing the apps so they don’t interfere with other apps of affect performance and battery life. It is really well done!
Performance 10/10 – Performance is always excellent. I never need to wait for anything – the device is incredibly fast.
Durability – 3/10 –I have not broken it yet it seems very fragile. You absolutely need a case that extends over the sides to protect the screen and screen guards or you will have a scratched screen and device in a few hours I believe. I use this case and it does a good job of protecting the phone without adding bulk – http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008OG89VE/ref=oh_details_o08_s00_i00
Phone – 10/10 – The phone has great quality when talking and the voicemail and other supporting apps are fantastic.
Maps / GPS – 5/10 – The built in maps app is poor in that it is not very accurate but the integration of the maps with Siri is very useful in my opinion. I have loaded Waze and Google Maps from the app store and I use Waze or Google for voice guided GPS on long trips to my kids various sporting events. But I have found the integration of Siri with the built in maps app very useful. If I am lost and trying to find something I can just tell Siri “navigate to 1 main street in mytown New Jersey” and it launches the built in maps and starts voice guidance. So when you are in a jam Siri and the built in Maps app is great.
Data Usage / Controls 5/10 – The device uses massive amounts of data and I would give it a 1/10 for data usage but the controls they have implemented over data usage are very good. It can seamlessly switch to WIFI from cellular and you can explicitly control what apps are allowed to use cell data. In my opinion these controls mitigate the data hog issues the device has.
Lightning Cable / Charging – 6/10 – So I hate that this is a proprietary cable (micro USB would have been better) but I like that the cable can be inserted either way and it is very easy to plug in. Also you don’t need the cable to sync with iTunes as it can be done over wifi so you really only need to mess with it for charging.
New Innovation – 4/10 – The iPhone itself is highly innovative. But I feel it has been quite some time since there were game changing innovations provided in the iPhone platform. An obvious innovation would have been NFC (near field communication) to provide the ability for the phone to act as a digital wallet / credit card. Let’s hope for this in the next release. But Apple needs to “upset the apple cart” soon or devices like this will be a commoditized and in my opinion the Apple premium pricing will not hold up. Let’s see what the future brings!
Overall Rating 9/10 – It is the best Smartphone I have ever used. It is a beautiful device with snappy performance and a fantastic notification system. Siri is usable and there are no showstoppers that would make me dislike the device. I wish it had some more innovative features like NFC but in my opinion it has achieved the holy grail of being the one and only device you need for everything including phone, mail, calendar, music, GPS and much more. In addition the abundance of third party apps easily overcome any shortcomings the device has thus making it a fantastic overall device.