There are plenty of reviews out there that compare the new iPhone to every other phone. Without a doubt a lot of people love the iPhone and the eco system it brings with it. The Apple eco system is a juggernaut that brings applications, services and even custom hardware.
What happens when you take someone who has been using Nokia phone since day zero into the Apple world? I am used to Nokia since the day they brought coloured phones, internet access, mobile sites, coloured displays, digital cameras, video recording, even a portable hard drive into the phone. Whatever you can imagine it was already done by Nokia.
That was the old world, what about the current world? The new world, is going to be different, Nokia will no longer make mobile devices as we know it. Nokia sold the entire division to Microsoft for nearly seven billion dollars.
Wow. The first feeling you get from the iPhone 5s box is premium. Compare that to the packaging for the Lumia 920 or Lumia 925, it shows that it is a class above. It is the first interaction as soon as you own the product and it is a great start. There is a clear distinction here.
There are “Recyclable” symbols everywhere on the Nokia packages and includes a lot of cardboard, Apple have definitely gone for a more premium feel and look.
After using the Lumia 920 for a while, I am used to a heavy phone. There has been a lot of praise for the iPhone being able to deliver a brilliant weight reduction while adding technology over the generations. This is a definite win for the iPhone 5s against the Lumia 920, however when comparing to the new Lumia 925 the weight problem just doesn’t exist.
The iPhone 5s is built well, great use of glass, metal and polycarbonate. And there is a problem. The materials used are now the same on the Lumia 925, glass, metal and polycarbonate. When compared to the Lumia 925, iPhone 5s offers a smaller screen with a lower resolution and lower PPI.
Lumia 925/920 also claim to have a higher refresh rates however using the devices I am unable to get the sense of one being smoother, both are butter smooth.
One big shock with the iPhone 5s is the actual shape, after years of smooth edged phones such as the N8, N9, Lumia 800, Lumia 820, Lumia 920 and now Lumia 925. The iPhone 5s is harsh, the design of the metal band and glass panel on the front leave a lot to be desired. It feels out of place and uncomfortable. At the same time, the iPhone 5s does a much better job with the buttons compared to the Lumia 925, the buttons are more flush to the side and do not feel uncomfortable.
As mentioned before the iPhone 5s does have a smaller screen with lower resolution and PPI. It also lacks customisations to make it look perfect for your tastes. Technically the Lumia also has PureMotion HD which is giving you a higher refresh rate and thus better movement on screen. The iPhone 5s screen rates better in colour accuracy with Lab tests.
Unfortunately the iPhone is again let down with not having an option to make audio suit your tastes. It does a good job (and technically better quality output in lab tests) but just can’t match the Lumia as I tweak the equaliser. The Lumia also has the Dolby Headphone Enhancements.
Yes, everyone’s favourite application. Windows Phone has had Instagram access for a while now through brilliant third party applications such as 6Tag.
With Nokia World just a few days ago, the official application will also be launched on WP8. Overall the Instagram experience seems better on WP than iPhone.
6Tag allows you to have live tiles for many things, including your account so that you can see your latest news updates. It also allows you to pin other accounts to your start page, if you use Instagram a lot this pinning save times, increases ease of use and provides a better user experience. On top of this 6Tag also allows for custom sound notifications for events.
Once again, it’s strange for me to see that there are no live notifications on the screen with iPhone. If the phone is on your desk you have no idea what has happened while you were away or busy with other things.
The Lumia 925 is shipping with Glance Screen, this shows you without any touches or actions what has happened. Currently it shows the time, your batter status and your volume/vibrate/silent status. At Nokia World an updated version was talked about which seems to show pretty much everything. Again focus on the user experience and getting more out of your phone.
There was a lot of talk about iTunes Radio and sadly it just isn’t here in Australia. Compared to the options already available in the Lumia range, iTunes Radio looks like it may fall short. The Xbox Music application is available on the iPhone which is great. This makes it easy to move from one platform to the next. The thing missing was Nokia Music and Mix Radio. Mix Radio is bundled in with the Lumia 925 allowing custom or ready-made playlist streaming and also an option to save up to 4 mixes completely offline. A nice touch of entertainment.
The iPhone is a cool device; it has an absolute lead in application count and third party options. The iPhone App Store has now hit a million applications while WP is at 160,000. Microsoft also states that it has 80% of the top 25 Paid and Free applications in WP store.
At a hardware level, the iPhone 5s fails to keep up with the options available in the Lumia range, thinking of newer full HD screen resolutions, bigger screens with even better PPI. Boasting newer screen technologies for better outdoor usability as well. The Lumia 920 and 925 already surpass the iPhone 5s screen.
The ease of use with the Lightning cable is a second best compared to wireless charging and wireless backup of your content daily. Why plug in when you don’t have to?
The Camera question still remains; OIS gives the Lumia range and edge in Low Light and Video. This leaves the typical daylights shots up for review. Depending on your tastes you will prefer one over the other. If you were camera focused a Lumia 1020 would be a better choice but it reintroduces the problems of bulk and weight.
For my use, the iPhone 5s fails to offer enough value that would cause me to change. Maybe next time Apple.