iSwitched – One Month Later

Oh boy, it happened. I joined the Apple crowd. Never thought I would be caught dead using an iPhone after advocating for Windows Phone for so long, but here we are, a month after I choked on my own words and bit the bullet.

Following Microsoft’s announcement that they are stopping development of Windows Mobile I found myself with two options: ride out my Lumia 640 until it died out completely (be it hardware of end of software support) or switch ahead of time and get used to the idea.

Having decided to switch from Windows Phone, the big question haunted me for a good week or so: Android or iOS? Bloat v Brand? Cheap and (albeit at times) infuriating or expensive and stupid simple? Crackable v closed?

Since I’m not what you’d call a mobile enthusiast (or, to put it in blunt terms, I’m not really all that interested in spending countless hours fucking about with custom ROMs and other non-aftermarket shenanigans), I was looking at either having the option to “free” my phone from bloatware, operator-locked updates and other inconveniences or go with a more mainstream, optimized and locked system that doesn’t offer the same flexibility.

I’ve had Android phones before and they felt pretty cheap and dated. That doesn’t mean they’re all cheap and built to last just a few years until the new generations popped up. We’ve long suspected that Apple messes with iOS at some point in an iPhone’s life cycle and with the recent performance reduction fiasco we were proven right (however, Apple DID drop the price for battery replacement by quite a significant margin, which is uncharacteristic, to say the least).

Having not reached a definitive conclusion in my search just by way of pro-con, I set out to fix a budget and see what my options were within said budget.

A few bank statements later, the limit was set (roughly 300EUR) and it was time to get my research cap on.

After talking to a few people and looking on the usual suspects (usual retailers I purchase from), I found that I had a bit of variety.

On the Android side I was clearly way underbudgeted for flagships, so the Pixel and most Galaxy phones were out. My two best options were the P9 lite or a P10, followed by Samsung’s lower end Galaxy J-series. I obviously could have just picked up something cheap, but what’s the point in trading a very capable phone for a cheap potato? No thanks.

On the iPhone side, my options were, limited, to say the least. I had two options: either an SE, which is old at this point and doesn’t receive further updates, or the iPhone 6, which is also quite an older model, but does benefit from updates, at least for the time being.

 

Being somewhat disappointed in the market, I switched my search on the other usual suspects: the second-hand market.

Long story short, sifting through the plethora of “for parts” iPhones, I finally found a couple potential leads that only ended up in disappointment. At that point I called on a former workmate that buys and sells phones quite frequently. Fortunately he pointed me to another seller that had not one, but TWO iPhone 6 16GB for sale.

The very next day I was the proud (yet skeptical) owner of a brand new second-hand iPhone 6 16GB Gold (tacky, innit?).

500-something words into this post and it’s finally time to get to the point.

How does it feel, one month after switching?

I’m… at ease. Mostly.

I’m a follower of the KISS principle of design (Keep it simple, stupid) and iOS isn’t known for it’s high degree of moddability, so that works out just fine for me. I’ve easily found most, if not all the apps I need/want/use, and others that I never knew I needed, which shouldn’t be such a surprise. I am, after all, coming from a platform that is highly criticized for its lack of apps (although that doesn’t seem to be the case for the most part, since developers have take it onto themselves to create alternatives where an official app is unavailable).

Even the iOS-Windows 10 integration works pretty well and the experience is fairly streamlined, with little to no issues once you learn where things are.

I do, however, have a laundry list of complaints, which I’ll just list with little to no further explanation (most of them are pretty straightforward):

  • battery life (the battery isn’t new, so it’s somewhat understandable. I am currently sitting at 17.13% wear level. Once it hits 25% I am changing it)
  • turning off wi-fi and bluetooth requires accessing the settings app. I would have liked to be able to disable them faster
  • expensive accessories: cheapest Lightning cable I could find was 5 EUR, while you can buy micro USB cables for 1 EUR (or less!). Cases and screen protectors are also more expesive than usual, but there is a HUGE variety to chose from
  • thin and light: before I bought a case I always felt as if the phone wasn’t in my pocket (even when I was listening to music off of it)
  • App Store: apps that are free on Android, Windows Phone and even Steam (where it applies) have a pricetag on iOS. That’s a bit disappointing.
  • Camera app lacks features I would have liked
  • settings aren’t always intuitively placed
  • 16gb isn’t 16gb once updates happen. Currently using about 5gb for system files
  • no storage expansion. Shame. Shame.
  • no comprehensive device information (although Aida64 is available, some info would have been nice to have natively)
  • widgets aren’t exploited to their full potential
  • calculator app lacks unit conversion. Yes, this might be nitpicky but it IS something I personally use and care about
  • iTunes required and it’s quite the pain in the neck to figure out how syncing works
  • high service costs
  • mail app is finicky
  • the list goes on with nitpicky items not worth mentioning

I know it may seem as though I’m complaining even though I’ve said that I was pleased with my decision. The alternative would have sprouted more grey hairs on my head than I already have.

I know I am quite a few generations behind, with the iPhone 6s, 7, 7s, 8 and X already being out, but I’m not know for being a trend follower. For now, my iPhone 6 is exactly what I need (even though it comes with the actual¬†need for a powerbank in my backpack) and when it comes to getting a new phone, I’ll probably stick to iOS and Apple, even though it comes with a hefty pricetag. The second hand market is pretty big around here and I’m fairly sure I’ll find a suitable replacement and someone to sell my 6 to.

Now, for the tl;dr version: am I happy? Mostly. Would I have made the same decision now, knowing all of this? Most likely. Was it worth spending quite a chunk of cash? Eh-eh. It wasn’t cheap but I never expected it to be. Am I an Apple fanboi now? No, but I have gained some respect towards Apple (not necessarily towards the fanbois and their propaganda).

Well, now that I own an iPhone and a “vintage” MacBook (2007), it’s time to hang around in coffee shops and write a novel, I suppose.

Until next time, have a good one,

reV

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