Wednesday, May 4, 2011

PRODUCT REVIEW: the iPhone 4 ...aka the review I never thought I'd be doing

So after Sprint screwed most if not all of their customers, especially long-time customers who were with them over a decade, by taking away their upgrades and credits and employee discounts for some asanine reason they thought was good customer service, I decided I was done. They haven't put out an exciting phone out in years, and I don't see that changing anytime soon. They also cannot seem to figure out when I really joined Sprint, despite being repeatedly provided with a copy of my receipt from when I first switched in 1999, New Years Eve to be exact.  I have been told and read several different dates and years, not one is correct.  They wouldn't correct it, even with proof, and of COURSE after repeatedly losing the copy they wanted the original (why, so you can lose that too? No.)

Despite my deep disgust for ATT, and because my husband no longer works for another telecom company and works to support ATT, I figured I might as well start looking around. My entire family and all my coworkers recently had gotten iPhones, simply for lack of any better phone options. None of us were all that excited about Android, and it seems awfully unstable in the times I have played with it, not to mention a battery destroyer.  The folks at the ATT store out by my Boss's house were very helpful with all the guys at work, so I began to harass them about contract buyouts, options, etc.  Because our Sprint Contracts were almost up, they were willing to buy us out, which really was a credit on the bill and I covered the payout to Sprint on my final bill. Easy enough.  We started the port, ironically when there was an outage after a software update for ATT, though I would probably have waited had I talked to the husband first....

Anyway...About the PHONE:

It's fine. I don't get the hype. I don't particularly like how I cannot arrange icons how I want, and totally hack with it without jailbreaking it, something I am not really interested in doing, frankly. I put a lot of time into doing that to my Pre and several phones prior, and it's a bigger time sucker than Facebook. So I left this alone.  I got both of us the 32GB option, just in case we wanted to load it with movies and stuff.  He hasn't loaded his with ANYTHING, despite my prodding.  I have a bunch of music and several movies on mine. I might buy a few more later. 

I HATE the lack of REAL tactile keyboard, and as any who text me can attest, I SUCK at this screen keyboard. And AutoCorrect is hilariously bad, and tho without it I am still completely impossible to understand.  So far though I have not offended anyone with it, or had any majorly DYAC moments. 

I was concerned about the size going in, since I came from the Pre which was wonderful, and had the same size screen on a littler body. Even with the hard case it isn't ridiculous. Ill be curious how the iPhone 5 turns out.

It has tons of space and is generally a snappy OS, though I hate that sometimes I have to connect my phone to the computer to do app updates. But the apps a-plenty is nice. Having so many options of Fart Apps is definitely a vital part of my life.  And to be able to order my Outback Steaks through my phone for pickup is also sweet. I haven't actually gotten too involved with many apps. I see all these people with hundreds of apps, and I don't know if I need all that many. I would love a full on CreativeSuite app though. I'd be an Illustrator whackadoo with that.  Being the anal retentive freak that I am, all my apps are sectioned and foldered, and I don't like more than 8 icons per "page". Probably bec I like the photo I have on my background. I wish that I could make them smaller so I can get 5 to a row instead of 4, and that I can arrange them how I want to, like say at the bottom, or even conceal them into a menu like the Pre had (webOS still rules the world), but maybe someday they will allow that.

The Camera is fantastic, and hopefully on the iPhone5 will be even better. I might have to upgrade us to those and Ebay these if that's the case.  The Pre's camera was horrific. Any detail was lost, text was a joke. But this thing is super clear, and fairly decent resolution. I know my husband hates that a phone's camera quality is so big of a deal to me, but sometimes dammit, you need to snap a pic and don't have or want your actual DSLR on you.

Call quality is OK. I have had a few dropped calls, and especially lately a LOT of very static-ey calls that make me wonder if that's ATT or the phone. I am pretty sure the former.

The biggest annoyance I have is the inability to totally change the sounds of the alerts. My whole family has iPhones. My whole office. Damn near half the city even. So when one person gets a text or email, EVERYONE checks the phone.  Now I bet that was a Steve Job's special there, to get everyone to have their phones out at once to show them off, but it's obnoxious.

It's FINE, but it's not worth the fawning.  And this is coming from someone who LOVES Macs. I don't think it's worth the $299 subsidized price (contract price) and surely not worth the standard price of $699 or whatever asanine amount it is if you need one out of contract.  I am glad that so far I have not had any billing issues, which was the key reason I left ATT to begin with, and so far other than a few random drops and static heavy calls, it's been better service than I ever had in the past.

Something to definitely invest in: a screen protector (I used Invisible Shields on ours), a hard case (Speck Candyshell) and a 3rd party warranty (we have SquareTrade).

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