12-28-11 08:16 AM
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  1. mikos's Avatar
    I made the jump to the iPhone world on Friday and have spent the better part of the weekend setting it up, testing it out, and well...using it. So far, so good but it isn't perfect.

    I was a loyal Blackberry user, since 2000. I started on the pager style and have owned almost every type of device, with my last being a 9650 Bold on Verizon. I have always been satisfied with BB but the past few years have been frustrating i.e. lack of apps, media support, hardware design, etc. Still I have always felt that BB was the best email and phone out there, but we all know our phones are more than that these days.

    So here is my take on the iPhone 4S since making the switch on Friday. I'm going to not try and focus on the hardware differences, we know what they are, iPhone fast, BB has a QWERTY, blah, blah, blah...

    The Good
    The apps - a huge leap forward, more to choose from, better support. A ton of junk of course, but there are some solid, must have apps that are a big help. Might be the main advantage.

    Media - this thing plays everything and looks good doing it. Netflix, HBO GO, not to mention how well it looks on the screen. I used my BB only for music in the past.

    Call quality - calls are nice and clear. Better than my Bold.

    Integration - iOS is well thought out putting things where you expect them across features. Contacts, maps, search, reminders, notification, voice, gps, all tie together quite well and across external apps too. This might be one of the best features.

    Attachments - the iPhone behaves more like a laptop than a phone, so you can manage docs better, edit them easier, and sync with your pc easier.

    Wifi Sync - once you get everything loaded, you can just make updates over wifi for your media, apps, etc. via iTunes. Works nicely.

    Camera - amazing. Lots of functionality built in and the quality is mid range point and shoot.

    Browsing - pages render fast and better than my old BB, no checkerboarding.

    Auto-correct - works very well and will get most misspellings on the fly.

    The not so good
    Contact sync - for whatever reason, you can't easily eliminate duplicates. I have work and gmail set up on my iPhone, so I had duplicate contacts, so many that I turned off sync via iphone to gmail. I used to use exchange on my bb for work and then google sync for bb to gmail contacts, worked out very well, changes were seen in all three places. You can't do that on the iPhone, no way to have a two way sync between the iPhone and each place from a single contact folder on the iPhone. I have a workaround but it's clunky.

    Email & Calendar - both devices have their benefits but overall the iPhone is no great leap here. Individual items render better on the iPhone, but it was easier to scan email and calendar on the BB.

    Notifications - iOS is moving in the right direction but needs to steal a page from BB (and Andriod) and put some small icons in the top nav. The little email, txt, and missed call icons on my BB were perfect. iOS uses the notifications that flip up, the drop down tray, and the badge updates on the individual application. The problem is that I have to drag the tray down to check them or go to the app to see the badge. There is no quick summary, big miss here. They are getting there with the tray, but need a summary of all notifications somehow.

    The keyboard - some BB users would expect me to rip on this but it's a touch screen, so I will work with it. That said it is better than I thought, I was expecting the worse. I am getting faster on it. Nothing compares to a QWERTY on a BB.

    Siri - it needs a central server and many times can't connect or sends back an error. When it does work, it does for small tasks but you aren't going to be writing your autobiography on it. I'm sure it will improve but it's overhyped at the moment.

    The Bad
    No sound profiles - huge miss here. You can customize sounds and alerts to the max, but you can't set up a profile. This is big for the business user who might need to go silent for a meeting or a quiet mode for bedside. Changing the setting each time or hammering the volume down button as your phone rings in the theater is plain silly. And I think there is no "vibrate only" for the phone on the iPhone, huh?

    LED light - sure your phone can buzz and flash a notification on the screen but what if you are out of the room for a minute? You come back and your phone is still a blank screen with no clue that something changed. That iconic LED light on the BB is a huge loss.

    Separate email signatures - why can't you do this on the iPhone? Seems silly that you can't set up separate ones for each email account you have, you could on the BB for years. Poor execution here.

    No longpress caps - wtf? This one should be a no-brainer, how you simply press a key down longer on the BB and blam! caps! Not on the iPhone, you need to hit a shift key every time. It will place a cap at the start of a sentence and recognized many proper nouns but try writing "ID" or "StartUpCompany". Of course it auto corrects "iPhone".

    Wrap-up
    So would I go back to a Blackberry? Maybe but not now. RIM needs to think about what a smartphone is. Most of what I like about the iPhone is all the non-business stuff, apps, media, etc., and that is what a lot of people use their phones for. And the business stuff, there isn't enough stuff missing or the experience so poor on the iPhone that I would go back.

    And the apps are a huge game changer for me. A ton of useful business ones, a lots of good ones for every day, and of course good games. If I could name one reason to get an iPhone, it would be the apps. Everyone makes an iPhone app, but only some make a BB version.

    If you only carry one device, the iPhone does most of what you need it to. It's hardly perfect but for me, it is better than the Blackberry. But not by a huge margin. Come on RIM, you CAN do this. You have two years from Friday, when my upgrade comes due
    10-16-11 02:59 PM
  2. ADGrant's Avatar
    Good review. Two points though:

    1) The iPhone has a hardware mute switch on the side. This is effectively a "vibrate only" switch.

    2) I have found Google contacts sync (via EAS) to work much better on iOS devices than Blackberries. The BIS Google contacts sync would mangle my contacts addresses and duplicate the contacts. It was unusable so I switched back to a USB cable for contacts. I may dump Google contacts for iCloud though.
    10-16-11 03:17 PM
  3. sj-performance's Avatar
    Awesome review. I'm a blackberry guy too. 8310/8330/9630/9650 and now the best 9930. When I heard iPhone on sprint I per-ordered immediately. I added a 3rd line to my sprint family plan. Ok so Friday I received my iPhone and I love it. Im leaving my 9930 as my main work line for work emails etc bbm. iPhone for personal twitter Facebook and play. Now do I see myself totally ditching blackberry and stay with my iPhone 4s? Yes I do. I can do so much more on this thing. But hey since I need 2 phones why not have the best of both worlds =] for now I'm keepin my 9930 and white iPhone 4s
    ThePinkChameleon likes this.
    10-16-11 03:18 PM
  4. TGR1's Avatar
    No sound profiles - huge miss here. You can customize sounds and alerts to the max, but you can't set up a profile. This is big for the business user who might need to go silent for a meeting or a quiet mode for bedside.
    Agree, this would be nice.

    LED light - sure your phone can buzz and flash a notification on the screen but what if you are out of the room for a minute? You come back and your phone is still a blank screen with no clue that something changed. That iconic LED light on the BB is a huge loss.
    I believe this is tied into Apple's very intense fixation with low power consumption. Way back when I had my BB I really liked the coloured lights but had to turn the feature off because it was killing my battery. Apple tweaks like crazy to squeeze as much battery life as possible because that is one of the most important consumer concerns.

    No longpress caps - wtf? This one should be a no-brainer, how you simply press a key down longer on the BB and blam! caps! Not on the iPhone, you need to hit a shift key every time. It will place a cap at the start of a sentence and recognized many proper nouns but try writing "ID" or "StartUpCompany". Of course it auto corrects "iPhone".
    Different design philosophy. If you notice, a long press on certain keys brings up options for accented characters, etc. More useful globally (and I believe a throwback to MacOS historical behaviour).

    BTW, in case you are not aware you can turn caps lock on under Settings. A double tap on the shift key locks the caps.
    lssanjose likes this.
    10-16-11 04:31 PM
  5. Spencerdl's Avatar
    Good review mikos, it gives me something to measure and think about
    10-16-11 05:06 PM
  6. moiselles's Avatar
    To make your phone Vibrate Only you just flip the switch on the left side of the device by the volume buttons. Easy to make it quiet without having to manually turn your volume all the way down.
    lssanjose likes this.
    10-16-11 06:19 PM
  7. boldman4's Avatar
    LED light - sure your phone can buzz and flash a notification on the screen but what if you are out of the room for a minute? You come back and your phone is still a blank screen with no clue that something changed. That iconic LED light on the BB is a huge loss.
    the iPhone 4S sort of has LED Flash Alert. Go to settings, accessibility, and turn on LED Flash for Alerts. Even works on the iPhone 4.
    10-16-11 10:47 PM
  8. i7guy's Avatar
    Just in general I'm not sure I agree with all that was said:

    - call quality is okay to bad. I have three viphones in the family. I can't believe the 4s was a quantum leap although I could be wrong

    Everything else is subjective and to me email after call qualities most important. Email handling is much better on the bb, IMO.

    Is the 4s that much of a leap to give up my s2? Not a chance.
    10-16-11 11:01 PM
  9. voyager01's Avatar
    double tap the caps key for all caps, newb (lol jk)
    10-17-11 12:12 AM
  10. WarrenRSV's Avatar
    Consider jailbreaking when it's available. Then it's a different phone alltogether
    10-17-11 01:24 AM
  11. moiselles's Avatar
    Is the 4s that much of a leap to give up my s2? Not a chance.
    I came from a 1 year old Torch. It looks 4 years old compared to the 4S. It's absolutely an upgrade from any BlackBerry device, except maybe the 9900, but I haven't used the new Bold so I can't comment on it, but even some diehard BlackBerry fans will tell you the new devices are what should've been put out last year.
    ThePinkChameleon likes this.
    10-17-11 05:31 AM
  12. ThePinkChameleon's Avatar
    I came from a 1 year old Torch. It looks 4 years old compared to the 4S. It's absolutely an upgrade from any BlackBerry device, except maybe the 9900, but I haven't used the new Bold so I can't comment on it, but even some diehard BlackBerry fans will tell you the new devices are what should've been put out last year.
    i spent almost an hour or so at a VzW store checking out the 9900/9930. Now, like i've stated before, i'm not a hater to any platform. BUT, when i checked this device out (i'm on a 9650 OS6 now) it was not much different to ME from what i use now. The browser may have been a tad faster, the screen is bigger, but overall-it functioned the same as my 9650 does. Also, using it, the trackpad was super wonky !! the stock OS that VzW dropped into it-from my opinion-would have to be loaded up with leak OS7.353 & poking around that forum, alot of people have done this and reported a better device function

    I don't mind swapping os's-i've done plenty with my bold & have grown tired of-oh lemme try this one, etc. SO to have to purchase a brand new device and load a leak right off the bat, just not into it and feel i shouldn't have to either BUT thats just how i view it. Someone else with this device may have a different perspective, and that good too

    i just wasn't that impressed with the new OS7 devices.
    10-17-11 07:41 AM
  13. periwinklemoon's Avatar
    the iPhone 4S sort of has LED Flash Alert. Go to settings, accessibility, and turn on LED Flash for Alerts. Even works on the iPhone 4.
    I'd love this but it didn't work for me. I called my 4S but didn't answer. The red 1 indicating one missed call above the phone icon is there, but no LED flashing. I turned off vibrate on the chance that alert might override LED. Called back, didn't answer, still no LED. Any thoughts on something I might have missed?
    10-17-11 08:19 AM
  14. pri79269's Avatar
    If your phone was face up you wouldn't have seen it as it uses the flash on the back of the device. Not very subtle and you can tell its actually meant for people with visual impairments. I believe the next version of the iPhone will have a dedicated LED. For now, this one won't work for me.
    10-17-11 08:35 AM
  15. ADGrant's Avatar
    Just in general I'm not sure I agree with all that was said:

    - call quality is okay to bad. I have three viphones in the family. I can't believe the 4s was a quantum leap although I could be wrong

    Everything else is subjective and to me email after call qualities most important. Email handling is much better on the bb, IMO.

    Is the 4s that much of a leap to give up my s2? Not a chance.
    I just switched to the 4S from a 9700 (on AT&T) and I am finding the call quality to be much better than the 9700. I was quite surprised.

    I find email handling much better on the iPhone because I can use EAS to access my gmail instead of BIS and don't get truncated emails as a result (I also get 2way sync that works properly).

    Calendar and contacts sync works much better too (I couldn't get contacts sync to work at all on my BB) and iCloud gives me task syncing.
    10-17-11 08:53 AM
  16. D2TSHR1439's Avatar
    Just in general I'm not sure I agree with all that was said:

    - call quality is okay to bad. I have three viphones in the family. I can't believe the 4s was a quantum leap although I could be wrong

    Everything else is subjective and to me email after call qualities most important. Email handling is much better on the bb, IMO.

    Is the 4s that much of a leap to give up my s2? Not a chance.

    And a 2011 Tahoe isnt an upgrade from a 1986 LaBaron ......
    10-17-11 08:59 AM
  17. mikos's Avatar
    Thanks for the heads up on the mute key, still learning I guess
    10-17-11 09:01 AM
  18. Accidental Post's Avatar
    Good honest review. The irony is if this review was in a BB thread the OP would have beaten and flogged by now.....
    10-17-11 09:23 AM
  19. Crisdean's Avatar
    That's one reason why I plan to get two SIMs under one contract. I love both systems and would even get an Android if I wouldn't be called a phone freak. I love all systems. the iPhone 4s really has some sweet hardware. Very good read and so true in many aspects. The call quality on my Bold 9780 and iPhone 3GS are about the same. VF UK is having a solid network.
    10-17-11 09:45 AM
  20. i7guy's Avatar
    And a 2011 Tahoe isnt an upgrade from a 1986 LaBaron ......
    I don't doubt the 4s is a 'great' phone. For what I use the phone for it will not my work life better, more efficient, or productive.

    And there may still be some situations where a 1986 Lebanon has it all over a tahoe.
    10-17-11 10:54 AM
  21. ADGrant's Avatar
    I don't doubt the 4s is a 'great' phone. For what I use the phone for it will not my work life better, more efficient, or productive.

    And there may still be some situations where a 1986 Lebanon has it all over a tahoe.
    With a Storm 2 and an iPad and 3 iPhones already in the family, its hard for me to believe that a 4s would not make you more productive. The 4s has iCloud to sync PIM data, geo fenced reminders, Exchange Active Sync (push email and PIM data sync), iMessage a very fast web browser.

    The Storm does have that flashing light though.
    10-17-11 11:03 AM
  22. D2TSHR1439's Avatar
    I don't doubt the 4s is a 'great' phone. For what I use the phone for it will not my work life better, more efficient, or productive.

    And there may still be some situations where a 1986 Lebanon has it all over a tahoe.
    Burning Oil????
    10-17-11 11:29 AM
  23. dalton4L's Avatar
    Settings > General > Keyboard > Enable Caps Lock. Now you can double-click the shift and it will caps lock.
    10-17-11 12:51 PM
  24. i7guy's Avatar
    With a Storm 2 and an iPad and 3 iPhones already in the family, its hard for me to believe that a 4s would not make you more productive. The 4s has iCloud to sync PIM data, geo fenced reminders, Exchange Active Sync (push email and PIM data sync), iMessage a very fast web browser.

    The Storm does have that flashing light though.
    I don't like active sync therefore I don't use it on the iPad. I don't use the native email client. I use the bb for pim data, on bes it's awesome. IMessage is disabled on ipad and doesn't help with my bb friends. I don't know what geo fenced reminders are, but it doesn't sound like it would be relevant to me. Fast web browser, yes I can agree on that, but that is why I have the iPad 2.

    The camera is better on the iPhone and 4s with regards to my storm.
    10-17-11 01:29 PM
  25. lssanjose's Avatar
    I don't doubt the 4s is a 'great' phone. For what I use the phone for it will not my work life better, more efficient, or productive.

    And there may still be some situations where a 1986 Lebanon has it all over a tahoe.
    I'm going to check for such things when my unit arrives, and I've a good week to "get to know it." I'm usually a half full kind of guy, so we'll see.
    10-17-11 01:38 PM
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