Apathy and ecstasy for the iPhone 5

Mat Honan, writing at Wired’s Gadget Lab blog:

It is an amazing triumph of technology that gets better and better, year after year, and yet somehow is every bit as exciting as a 25 mph drive through a sensible neighborhood at a reasonable time of day.

I am still waiting for Verizon to push Jelly Bean to my Galaxy Nexus. Meanwhile, the damn thing throws a force-close dialogue every couple of hours, stutters whenever I try to switch between apps, and occasionally reboots itself just for fun.

My fiancée has had an iPhone 4 for a little over a year, so I’ve had a lot of time to sit on the couch late at night and compare the two phones (like the unashamed geek one has to be to do such things…). The verdict is clear, quick, and simple: go Android for customization and Gmail (a far bigger point in Android’s favor than non-Gmail users might imagine…) but go iPhone for stability and app availability.

That has been the state of things for some time, and it’s no different with the introduction of the iPhone 5, iOS 6, or Android Jelly Bean.

Maybe it’s because I’m 29 this year, but my desire to customize the hell out of my phone is fading fast, especially at the high cost of stability. I’ll always keep an Android phone or two around for playing with custom ROMs, but I need something more refined for my primary phone.

Also, I’ve found on other Android devices that the four-inch display is my preference. The older iPhone displays were too small, and the Galaxy Nexus, at 4.6 inches, is a bit too large. Some people are complaining that iPhone 5 looks the same, just as the 4S looked the same. But it doesn’t: it has a bigger display and a thinner depth, without sacrificing anything in the spec department. That’s change enough for me.

Honan nailed it: iPhone 5 is great and it’s whatever. But it’s stable, app-rich, uniformly-updated whatever. And unless my first experience with it in a store or from a friend’s unit is surprisingly negative, it’s what I’m getting the next time I need a new phone.