I made the leap to 4G last week on the iPhone 5 and am feeling absolutely, well, ok about it. Not thrilled. Not ecstatic. Just ok and feeling like I could have gotten by with my iPhone 4 for another year.
Before I get into that, a few words about a 4G Motorola Droid Razr M, which is on loan to me from Verizon Wireless (VW). Introduced in September, the M is a fine smart phone running Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, which is latest version of the ubiquitous operating system. For 50 bucks, it’s a smartphone deal that’s hard to beat. It sports a 4.3 inch brilliant display and has a wonderful speaker phone (the iPhone 4’s stunk…the iPhone 5’s is a bit better).
So if not having the latest HD display (the M’s is 960×540 pixels) or the even better Retina in the iPhone 5 (1136 x 640 pixels), the M is a great deal. To be honest, it’s hard to tell the difference with small smartphone displays. Fact is most are brilliant and crisp.
Of course, like most phones, it’ll be obsolete in a few months. Frankly, I can’t see huge differences between the M and the iPhone 5 except in price. The iPhone 5 starts at $200.
So why did I pay three times more (four times less $114 trade in for my iPhone 4) as much for the lowest memory iPhone? Well, I am an iPhone guy, hence my decision to go that route and commit for another two years (gulp). My son swears by his Droid Razr Maxx…he’s an Android bigot. I am an iPhone bigot because I find it more polished amid all the bloatware on Android phones. You say tomahhto. I say tomayyto.
We argue can Android versus iPhone all day, but my son likes the Razr’s battery life, which lasts several days if he’s not using it for video. Otherwise, it’ll need a charge the next day, which is always the case with the iPhone 5.
Has 4G been everything I expected? Well, it’s far from life changing and my iPhone 5 feels and works like, well, er, my iPhone 4. Yes, the data downloading is noticeably faster, but I am still underwhelmed because I refrain from watching videos or fear I will exceed my data limit (10GB shared by four members of my family).
[Update, Jan. 2: 4G coverage is my town is spotty to say the least. The Razr M only operated at 3G speeds at my house initially and then would lapse in and out of 4G. Two miles away at friend's house on my iPhone 5, it was all 3G even though Verizon Wireless claims the community I live has full 4G coverage. Also, at times, the browser would freeze and not download anything. 4G seems to be work in progress.]
It’s ironic that Verizon Wireless talks about the terrific 4G LTE video speeds, but then penalizes consumers if they exceed their data limit. Indeed, these shared plans can create a lot of tension (see my related post). I wonder if any families have been wrecked.
Well, the iPhone 5 display is bigger, but the difference between a 3.5 and 4 inch display doesn’t exactly overwhelm, but the 4-inch display works fine for me. The processor is faster, but not by that much and I have yet to connect with Siri beyond the flirtation stage, i.e. it seems like a novelty.
To be fair, I really should be writing this in a month when some of the iPhone’s and 4G’s refinements have sunk in with me. I like the iPhone 5, but have a hard just seeing how it’s $150 better than the Droid Razr M. The fact is they are comparable phones in features and quality.
Follow me on Twitter.