My telephone is a telephone. It's a 13 year old Nokia 5185. It makes and receives calls, even in the Sonoma and Napa Valleys infamous "dead zones".
Sometimes, it's more important for a telephone to be a telephone than a toy.
Apple has a weird problem. Way back in 2008 when it launched the iPhone 3G it just about nailed the spec of a great smartphone. The iPhone may have grown, acquired an extra camera and sped up in the years since, but its hardware and software user interfaces remain essentially unchanged. Each new model therefore feels …
Unfortunately some of us have work to do so need something with more than just telephony. My phone tells me when my next meeting is, where it will be and then guides me to it in places I've never been before. I can take photos and send them to customers and I can respond to my emails from anywhere which although may not make me more productive than you, it does make me look quite a bit more efficient while you have to travel back from Napa Valley before even being aware of the mail. I can read the latest news or learn new skills on the commute to work, making it easier to keep my skills up to date while also leaving more of my own time for my hobbies or family.
I can also make phone calls and have found the reception to be at least as good as my old Nokia. Even ones with fake aerials like yours...
"Quite a bland and unemotional review.
Inject a bit of excitement or controversy please, it is after all an iPhone not a whitewashed wall."
The review is valid!
Only the sad and feebleminded get excited about iFolly.
It doe not bring anything new, it never has. All of its tech is a copy of someone elses ideas, rejiged to appeal to the sub-set of people about.
So, how can I get excited? 5 years later only said sub-set are starting to realise that its all smoke and mirrors.
And you can bet major iOS7 bugs are being found on the first day of release.
The enthusiasm of this sub-set is tiresome and weak.
"Nokia released this ages ago. Maybe because your sooo stuck on your legacy tech you fail to reliase what is actually happening in the mobile market today?"
weird, I Googled it and despite finding a bunch of people moaning that white balance was off when using their flash on a Nokia I found no mention of Nokia having a dual colour flash for white balance. Perhaps you could help us out with a model number or link to where Nokia used this technology before Apple?
See, that's fine and all, but I use my smartphone for things other than calls, which I find extremely important.
No, not Facebook or Twitter, I don't even have accounts with either of those websites.
I mean things like navigation (standalone units with out of date maps are hopeless), email (which I use to contact people abroad instead of getting charged stupid text fees), camera (which is actually useful for capturing things I wouldn't have my normal, bulky camera for), web browser (extremely useful for discovering information - especially when on holiday - locating places to eat - finding out basic information such as opening times, etc.).
Just because telephony is a major part of the device, does not mean the ancillaries are useless. Far, far from it.
If you could live with your phone 'without being able to make or receive calls' then you never needed a phone, you just needed something to 'do work on' presumably email, facebook and angry birds which many people seem to think is what constitutes Getting Things Done these days.
If, however Being Contactable is more important than having an awkward mobile SSH client (at least JuiceSSH has relieved some of the pain since its arrival on the scene, nice app), email and other basic officey tasks in your pocket then you primarily need a phone.
I could happily just go with my old Nokia 6230 if I had to, as the work I need to do certainly needs a shedload more than a phone in my pocket and Being Contactable is far more important than anything else on my S4, nice as the extra stuff certainly is.
"My telephone is a telephone. It's a 13 year old Nokia 5185. It makes and receives calls, even in the Sonoma and Napa Valleys infamous "dead zones".
Sometimes, it's more important for a telephone to be a telephone than a toy"
Bang on the money!
To your downvoters, thanks for accepting the fact that your iFolly is a toy!
"thanks for accepting the fact that your iFolly is a toy!"
Yours may be a toy, mine is a business tool used every day for much more than phone calls. Just because your job doesn't require you to travel or be productive on the move doesn't mean that nobody has a job that does. It does, however, imply that your company and colleagues can happily do without your input. You may want to look into that...
Read Jake's earlier postings on various threads. He has been everywhere, done everything, worn EVERY tee shirt, met everyone, advised on world issues, solved ever problem. No surprised his Nokia is still working but if the thread was about Nokia, I suspect his vintage model would be a Mototola...
Someone listed his life's work elsewhere, gathered from his previous posts. Interesting reading. But he never seems to follow up his opening salvos when challenged.
It is very difficult to perfect something that works almost to perfection. It is no wonder that it is upgraded incrementally. All well and good stuffing it full of mediocre features like some phones I could mention, but the over all package is what counts with an operating system that disappears into the background. The balance and Khama of the phone can only be bettered when new technology and hardware is developed and not gimmicky add ons............
Are the endless number articles saying how the biggest problem is the changes are incremental. We have had a good 20 years of highly incremental changes to notebook computers and we have been able to read about our tech yet haven't had to suffer endless articles published for each new model telling us how the improvements are only incremental. There has always been category changing breakthroughs followed by incremental change. Why should it be any different for phone tech ? I suggest the problem is more to do with the growth of an online tech news cycle shorter than a gold-fish's memory leading to tech websites who get tetchy because a company isn't working for them to deliver buzz-worthy new product categories, on a yearly basis, feeding their livelihoods. Fancy that, Apple are working to improve their own business through improving the products they already have and working to their own timetable when it comes to products which might define new product categories. What a bunch of failures eh Reg ? 64 bit computing in a phone, 120 FPS video, biometric security, pah. WE WANT MORE NEWS ARSE-HOLES AND WE'LL BEAT ON YOU UNTIL WE GET IT.
Any new phone is going to be incremental - you could argue the first iPhone was incremental but what do you expect. What do people really expect on their new phone - let's see it's significantly faster, got a M7 co-pro, 64-bit (a first), updated OS, better camera, better flash, fingerprint sensor - but it already was a great phone - so what else?
I'm sure some people would like their phones like the Homer Simpson designed car and someone would probably consider a geiger counter as a useful thing to build in - but for the vast majority of people what else does it need?
"I'm sure some people would like their phones like the Homer Simpson designed car."
Yep agreed. For that section of the market, there's Samsung. I'm slightly miffed the Galaxy Gear smart watch didn't include an integrated can and bottle opener though, they missed a trick there. Fortunately they got everything else though.
I dunno about Geiger counters, but there are some extra bits of hardware that can be clipped onto an iDevice - or indeed some Android devices.
High quality microphones have been available for some iDevices since the iPod, and someone has started a Kickstarter campaign for a 3D scanner that clips onto iPads (or Android devices that support USB Host mode).
A bolt-on Geiger counter? Why not? It would would log its readings and use the phones GPS and radios to allow the mission HQ to build up a map... though it might be a job for a drone.
Given that Apple hasn't added NFC yet, the odds that they ever will continue to drop. Especially given that there isn't much momentum behind the standard even on the phones that have it. I've never seen a NFC payment terminal, I've never been anywhere that used NFC tags for anything (or if they did they didn't make it known well enough for me to know about it, so if my phone had NFC I wouldn't know to try it) You see QR codes all over the place, you see places here and there where it is possible to pay for stuff with your phone.
If NFC was so great, given that so many Android phones now have it, you'd see massive uptake despite Apple not having it. Even if Apple got behind it, I don't think it would help much. Maybe they believe this also and don't want to back a failure.
What problems does NFC solve that only NFC is a solution for, and Bluetooth or Wifi are not solutions for?
I completely agree, it's not any different for phone tech.
But it is different for Apple products.
Apple products don't sell purely (or, it could be argued, even mainly) because of performance, features and functionality - they also sell based on hype. It gets harder and harder to create that hype, even amongst the hardcore fanbois, when there is less and less noticable difference between each new version.
The only vaguely interesting new thing about the Galaxy S 4 is that it has temperature and humidity sensors (or was it barometer?). Personally I find these to be of very questionable usefulness but I can imagine myself using them every once in a while, not for any very practical purpose, but mostly just because I could.
That's an incremental change.
Apple has added a fingerprint scanner which will likely be used dozens of times PER DAY by its millions of owners, saving them the time and tedium of entering PIN codes each time. The technology to do this is completely different from any previous fingerprint scanner that I'm aware of. So let's see, we have a completely new and novel piece of hardware that will be used frequently and provides very material benefits to its users and this is being slagged off as "incremental."
I'm not sure what Apple would have to add to an iPhone to make you think it's not incremental.
If the thing works well (and is accepted as being secure), then I want a fingerprint scanner on my next phone.
AAll manner of clever stuff could be added. E.g. upload a hash of your fingerprint onto the cloud with the rest of your data and then.. oh I dunno. You touch your friends scanner and it adds your contact details to their phone. You touch the scanner, and it syncs your entire iphone onto it? Your child touches it, and they get launched into a safe/non-microtransaction/educational game only account etc etc.
"You can buy gloves with a smartphone finger tip on."
This AC has really been sucked in!
The fingerprint scanner is yet another useless rip of others innovations. And sorry, Apple are not able to designe a scanner that will work with gloves on.
Its just another gimmick to sucker in the suckers.
And it worked again!
"I've been using pattern swipe to unlock my Android phone for years, and it takes less than two seconds.
Serious question: how long does the iPhone fingerprint scanner take?"
I've seen videos where it seems to take between a quarter of a second and half a second.
A few points. Obviously a fingerprint scanner is going to be more secure than a pattern swipe. Second, even if it's not much faster, it does take less effort, and that might be the difference between you using your phone for something you want to do but isn't necessary, or you just not bothering. So using the phone might become a significantly more convenient/enjoyable experience. Third, even if you can unlock your phone in 2 seconds, that adds up. Maybe only a minute per day, but how much do you value your time, that you're content to waste a minute per day doing something that this scanner renders obsolete?
A few things.
Sony (possibly others) do make phones that work with gloves, and not just those smartphone gloves. The SP is one such phone, and is not a top of the range device.
As for fingerprint security, it's been said before, if you're asleep, your phone is less secure than with a PIN or swipe pattern. It may only be friends or family with access to your phone, but, it is still vulnerable. Fall asleep on the train and your phone could be taken and unlocked without a problem.
Does the scanner work with dirty hands? So far all the comments have been about seeing it being used by nice clean office hands. Does it work for mechanics with greasy fingers? Painters? Plasterers? If not, then it must have a PIN fallback. If so, then it is no more than a quick unlock tool, and offers no more security than a phone with just a PIN or swipe gesture, If there is no fallback, and the sensor won't work with dirty fingers, then there will be a lot of complaints about phones that cannot be used.
I'd rather have a waterproof phone than a gimmick. Of course, Apple will never do that, they'd not be able to refuse warranty repairs if they removed the water sensors.
"Fall asleep on the train and your phone could be taken and unlocked without a problem"
Are you serious! Most folks would wake up as soon as someone moved their hand, let alone pressed it on the scanner. Perhaps some might not notice, but everyone else in the carriage sits back and watches such a careful theft?
You're clutching at straws there @AC
Most folks would wake up as soon as someone moved their hand, let alone pressed it on the scanner. Perhaps some might not notice, but everyone else in the carriage sits back and watches such a careful theft?
Never been on the last train out of a city centre station on a Friday or Saturday night then?
"Does the scanner work with dirty hands? So far all the comments have been about seeing it being used by nice clean office hands. Does it work for mechanics with greasy fingers? Painters? Plasterers? If not, then it must have a PIN fallback. If so, then it is no more than a quick unlock tool, and offers no more security than a phone with just a PIN or swipe gesture, If there is no fallback, and the sensor won't work with dirty fingers, then there will be a lot of complaints about phones that cannot be used."
What's wrong with you that you think there might not be a fallback method to unlock the phone? I understand that some people have a very low opinion of Apple, but do you really, seriously think they might have the IQ of a toddler?
Also, please remind me, what's wrong with convenience?
Well it takes 2 seconds.
But that's not the point. Finger scanner is strategically much more than pattern swipe on Android:
1. Nobody but you can unlock your phone. No one can copy your finger print, unlike pattern swipe, which can be gazed upon over the shoulder.
2. Touch ID can be used to purchase iTunes content, potentially used later by 3rd party apps to purchase items from their own e-store front. e-Wallet, is the big idea.
Pattern swipe? Google will copy Apple on this one in no time.
Putting a thermometer on a phone that spends most of it's time in a pocket or itself gets warm when in use - yeah really useful. As for a barometer - yes it can be used to tell changes in pressure / altitude - but for most people it is of little use. Barometers need to be calibrated against a known altitude to be accurate (for altitude) - this is often done manually or in conjunction with GPS. But... GPS itself can calculate altitude / vertical position - not as accurately as it can do your horizontal position - but probably accurately enough for most uses. If you are one of those people who needs more accuracy (pilot, climbers, mountain guides etc.) I doubt you would rely on the device built into your smartphone.
So barometer - pretty useless. Thermometer - useless. What else?
Fingerprint sensor is genuinely useful - I read half of people do not even set a code on their phones = no security. Instantly you make it easy and give them no reason no to. Plus fingerprint is more secure than a 4 digit PIN - people can guess / know / see your PIN and gain access to your device - so a fingerprint is more secure.
I'm too idle to find it and check; but I think my old, Nokia sports 'phone had a thermometer (temperature monitor to those who like longer names). One had to leave the mobile exposed for several minutes to adapt to the ambient temperature, especially with that excellent shock absorbing and insulating case it had. So its usefulness was limited. My Suunto running watch has got one too. However, on one's wrist, it is an interesting guide to the air temperature within your sleeve; otherwise not that fascinating.
Just lately Apple have released a new iPhone every year (the 4, 4S, 5 and now the 5S), yet in the UK I think a lot of people are on 2-year contract, which means one tends to skip a generation. If you do, then the changes to one's new iPhone seem a bit more exciting if you go from a 4 to a 5, a 4S to a 5S etc.
So whilst the 5S is a nice phone, I don't see the need to upgrade my 5. Next year however, I might be more interested in upgrading to a 6, especially if my last few experiences of only having to fork out a small amount after selling or trading-in my old iPhone are repeated.
But it would be nice to see something with 'Wow!' factor again...
Most people I know do not even feel the need to upgrade their iPhones every 18-24 months - I know people still happily using their 3GS (around 4 years old) and now thinking it's about time to change to get a better camera, better screen and new iOS etc.
OTOH most Android users I know can't wait to upgrade every 15-18 months when their contract renewal is due - so the iPhone users are typically paying less in the long run as they go on SIM only contracts paying £8-15 per month for calls + data.
Such as? What would make you go 'wow' - seriously? I'm struggling to see what they can really add now unless they managed a 3D holographic display, laser projector, 5G subsubspace quantum communications... what?
Guess they could add a second camera on the back for 3D - but do many people actually care about that?
>Guess they could add a second camera on the back for 3D - but do many people actually care about that?
Not enough people care to build it into the phone. Those people who want that feature can add some extra hardware to the phone - there are plans for a Kinect-style 3D scanner for Apple and Android devices. Similarly, not everyone cares about being able to record high quality audio (though journalists and musicians might), but there are clip-on condenser-microphones available for those who want them.
They look like nicely designed, well built machines, which in this day and age is about all you're going to get.
A phone's a phone for a' that, we may get a step change with things like Google Glass, the various smart watches, but it will take a while for something to do this.
For now, just let's enjoy that things are getting better.
"benchmarks...Fastest phone you can buy right now"
And a few days/weeks/months later when they're shown to not be the fastest phones out there?
"Specs are for Android geeks living in their parents' basement. iPhones are about usability and build quality and stuff!"
....of panting fanbois/gals who've queued up for the last week outside Apple stores for the latest shiny-shiny?
Would've added more weight to your article and arguments to justify how great and revolutionary this I-things are, in that they are able to mug these punters every 12 months with a "s" at the back?
I'm sure there are people who upgrade their iPhone every 12 months - I'm sure there are Android users who do as well. The reality is actually quite different from what I have seen - I see lots of 3GS still in use (4 years old?) and the typical upgrade interval is much longer and when they do upgrade the iPhone gets traded in / sold (as it still has significant value) or passed on to someone else - I don't see the same with Android as the handsets just do not have the longevity.
"The new home button does, however, seem somehow less usable now that it lacks the square within the circle. The blank where the square used to be looks like a void, not a welcoming space into which one's finger naturally nestles."
What the fuck were you smoking when you wrote that? The rest of the review was fine, but that? I've never read such drivel.
I am beginning to like apple products....I know, I'm a total fandroid so this comes as a shock.
However, I don't want to spend that much money. Even the 4s has held onto a commanding price. With Android you still get the full user experience on a cheap phone.
If Apple didn't hold it's price so well then it's a no brainer. I'd have one in a heartbeat. What's that I hear you say? Get a second user unit. Or you're a clever bod, get a broken one and mend it.
Even second hand units go for more than they should, as do broken ones thanks to the way insurance fraud works.
I think you've just answered your own question. You're absolutely right that second hand iPhones are still expensive. So, buy a new 5S, use it for ~3 years, and sell it for half of what you paid.
As long as you don't break it and it doesn't get stolen, you end up using a newish iPhone for the same amount of money per year as you would have paid for a cheaper Android phone.
This is why I now only buy Macs. Sure, they're more expensive up front, but when I want to get rid of them I can sell them for a pretty penny. In the past, I literally haven't been able to sell some of my used PCs for any amount of money and end up just giving them to charity.
They don't go for more than they should - they go for what they are worth. Android depreciates as it is less desirable or useable second hand. An iPhone 3GS still runs iOS 6 which until 2 days ago was the current version - with Android some run 2.x, some 3.x and some 4.x - from a consumer point of view it's fragmented and a bit of a mess.
iOS 7 runs on the iPhone 4 onwards and the 4S is still a current model they are selling - so buying a 2nd hand 4S today is likely to be a a phone still useable, secure etc. for years to come. I've bought Android handsets locked down that cannot be upgraded or do not receive updates that are junk within months.
I remember when my colleague got their HTC desire. At the time I had a Sony Ericcson Satio. There were many features that I liked and wished my phone had. Email/social network integration, capacitive touchscreen, decent browser and that weather background that had a windscreen wiper come across the screen when it was forcast to rain.
My current phone (GS2) is over 2 years old in design but does almost anything the newest handsets can do. Where is the innovation? The "wow, I wish mine could do that!" factor?
Sorry El Reg but I'd wager a 500 quid on a fisher price toy phone vs an iPhone any day of the week.
What to take up the challenge? We could even have a playmobil umpire and he'd beat the iPhone in a destruction test too.
"If that appraisal appears churlish, it is self-consciously so because all smartphones are miraculous. And that's the problem. Apple's template has now been applied so widely that premium smartphones like its new offerings remain remarkable yet appear mundane."
Beautifully put, in the voice of Jonny "pretentious wank" Ive.
It really takes an iPhone story to realise what a massive group of weirdbeards and furfoots Reg commentards are.
Well you can normally call it on anything about Social Media as well, when you just think "do all these people live in a small house in a village, saw wood in their shed and drink homebrew with the same 3 people every single Friday, while tutting about the state of the world today?"
Do you remember when there used to be some GOOD greens in industrial use? Nice blue-greens, deep greens, sea greens etc. But now from M&S to Apple, all they seem to know about is a pale, wishy washy yellow-green single version of the colour. Presumably some international standard. It's very sad.
"One of the 5's flaws was its sharp edges that just weren't much fun to hold and sometimes wore down to bare metal. The 5S' “chamfered” edge fixes that problem and makes the phone more pleasant to hold."
Eh? The body of the 5S is identical to the 5, they both have chamfered edges (and arguably they're both slightly less comfortable in the hand than the rounded plastic 5C). Still an improvement over the square edges of the 4 and 4S though.
Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019