I stood in line with the rest of the Apple fanboys yesterday, and at 9 a.m., I got my hands on the new iPhone 5s. I wanted the silver version, but like the gold one, they were all gone before the doors even opened at the Bayshore Apple Store. Instead, I bought the 32 GB Verizon Space Gray model, which is mostly just a black iPhone. I picked up the new $39 brown leather case with it, and it looks and feels really nice.
After one day playing it with, I’m yet to be blown away.
Granted, I wanted this new iPhone for only a few reasons: a better camera, the fingerprint unlock scanner and a fresh, larger battery that won’t die by early afternoon.
Yes, it’s apparently faster, but no, I can’t tell the difference yet. In use of my daily apps, it’s unnoticeable so far.
The most obvious improvement after just one day of experimenting is the fingerprint scanner. I spent an awful lot of time spend manually unlocking my iPhone, and I wasn’t fond of it. With minimal set up, the phone has now identified four of my fingers, and it just works. Every single time. The only oddity is that when you receive a notification on the lock screen, like a text is waiting, for example, unlocking the screen with your fingerprint doesn’t take you right to the task at hand like swiping to unlock does. Kinda clumsy.
The camera is certainly improved, too, although I haven’t had much time to test it in low light. The slow-motion feature is certainly cool, and I like the burst mode for action shots. The flash is an upgrade from its prior, totally useless version.
Battery life seems better, too, although it’s tough to tell when I spent all day and all night playing with my new toy. Call quality sounds clearer, too.
I found one huge problem with the new phone, but it’s only partially Apple’s fault. Its default Mail app has never supported Gmail’s labels feature, which means you can’t see how many unread messages are sitting inside folders. A workaround existed by using Microsoft Exchange, but Google ended support for that earlier this year, and when you set up a new phone, that’s not an option. Because of this, I had to ditch Apple’s default Mail app and instead use the Gmail app. This is only a problem because you can’t select a default mail client on the iPhone, so some of the time, I am using the Gmail app, and other times, the Apple version. It’s very clumsy for such a mature product.
The rest of the kudos go to the new iOS7, which certainly takes some getting used to, especially in the handling of photos and photo streams. But any iPhone gets most of this upgrade.
Should you buy this new phone? It depends. If you have the iPhone 5, you won’t see a big difference, unless those three features I mentioned matter to you. Also, your existing iPhone 5 will never be worth as much as it is now to sell, so it might be worth cashing in on Gazelle or eBay for more than $300.
If you have an older iPhone, definitely upgrade. Even with its incremental improvements, it’s the best iPhone ever, and there’s no reason not to. How does it compare to Android? I don’t know; I’m firmly in the Apple ecosystem and that’s not going to change. Many others can weigh on that topic.
Am I completely wowed by the new iPhone 5s? No, not really, but I’m happy I bought it. For something that’s become my mobile office and my go-to camera, it makes sense to have the best of the best at a mere $300. The amortized cost of a brand new phone is just pennies a day. Don’t overthink it. Just buy it.
No Talkbacks for this article.
Post your comment/review now
Disclaimer: Please note that Facebook comments are posted through Facebook and cannot be approved, edited or declined by OnMilwaukee.com. The opinions expressed in Facebook comments do not necessarily reflect those of OnMilwaukee.com or its staff.
Recent Articles & Blogs by Andy Tarnoff
Published Jan. 12, 2017
I'm very concerned about the problem of "fake news" and what it means for journalists, politicians and the media-consuming public. But, really, this isn't a new concern of mine. For many years, I've battled with the concept that the internet is always right.
Published Jan. 9, 2017
On Dec. 8, Larry Hansen was injured in a horrendous and freak accident by a presumed drunk driver. While working on his car in his Okauchee garage. Five surgeries and 42 pints of blood later, Hansen has lost a leg, has a broken back and faces more surgeries.
Published Dec. 20, 2016
Last week, I was bragging about the airfare deal of a century: a $66 round-trip ticket from Milwaukee to Ft. Myers. Yesterday, I was eating my words, since my flight home was delayed from Saturday to Monday, then cancelled completely on Monday, with no reasonable option on how to get home.
Published Dec. 8, 2016
Every few years, we remind you about Chief, the hard-rocking Milwaukee band that you should check out. Why? Not because frontman Chris Tischler compares Chief to Van Halen and Judas Priest, although that's a pretty good reason to give them a listen, since they're excellent musicians.
Published Dec. 5, 2016
I wasn't really in the market for a new TV, but like so many others, I got suckered into buying a huge one on Black Friday. I was lured by the low, low prices, but also the idea of having a super-sharp 65-inch television that would be ready for 4K.
Published Nov. 30, 2016
Margaret Gintoft knew there was a chance she'd run into a Clinton after jogging near her daughter's home in Chappaqua, N.Y. Last Sunday, Gintoft and her family were hiking in Rockefeller State Park when she saw the former president and former Secretary of State.
Published Nov. 28, 2016
With almost everything available on-demand online, cable and satellite TV are pretty archaic. Today, AT&T acknowledged this by unveiling DIRECTV Now, a streaming service that will go head-to-head with cable (and its own soon-to-be-discontinued U-Verse), for $35 a month.
Published Nov. 16, 2016
Even though Cedarburg is so close to Milwaukee, when you're in its little downtown, you feel far away. And, while plenty of Milwaukeeans visit the Stagecoach Inn Bed & Breakfast for a staycation, this charming old hotel attracts plenty of people from out of town, too.
Published Nov. 15, 2016
House of Harley-Davidson announced today the expansion of its territory with the purchase of Racine Harley-Davidson.
Published Nov. 9, 2016
In this darkest moment in modern U.S. history, I'm looking for a silver lining. This is the best I've got: The president is not a king. Donald Trump cannot tear up the Constitution and keep his job.