Why Would I Ditch The Best Smartphone I've Ever Owned?

I planned to write a review of my iPhone 5, but with volumes already being written on the subject, along with the recent release of the new iPhone 5S, it seemed rather pointless.

I still stand by my initial observations in the post I wrote a few months back: the iPhone 5 is the best smartphone I've ever owned. It's been rock-solid reliable, easy to use, fast, and still looks as new as the day I bought it. I upgraded to iOS 7 and I really like the new look and features of the OS. And the overall app selection and quality is still second to none.

I thought this fantastic device would keep me happy for at least as long as my Galaxy Nexus did (a year), yet I find myself itching to try something different. And I'll just cut to the chase. By "different" I mean a BlackBerry 10 device.

Here's why:

  • I still haven't invested a lot in the Apple ecosystem. I've only actually spent money on a couple of apps, none of which are absolutely essential to what I need from a smartphone. I've bought very little iTunes content. I've actually bought more BlackBerry apps (for my PlayBook) than iOS apps.
  • Speaking of apps, I find I only use a handful on a regular basis. These include Facebook, Weather Channel, Netflix, maps, LDS church apps, and a few games. I've got many, many more apps, but their icons mainly just take up space on my iPhone home screen. With the latest release of BlackBerry 10, it's easier than ever to install Android apps. So app selection should really become a non-issue.
  • I don't use AirPlay. I prefer my Roku over my Apple TV. I bought a refurb Apple TV straight from the Apple Store and tried it out. The idea was that it could replace my Roku and would allow me to use all the nifty AirPlay features with my iPhone and access iTunes content. AirPlay was one of the things that actually drew me to the iPhone. But I tried it a couple of times and found I didn't really have a compelling use for it. And after having access to all the great Roku channels, the slim offerings on Apple TV made it sit there unused. I like the idea of Apple TV and AirPlay, I just didn't find a way to integrate it with the products and services I prefer to use on a regular basis. AirPlay is a great feature, but I just don't use it.
  • I'm cautiously optimistic about BlackBerry's future. I don't think they've hit rock-bottom yet, but I think they're close. After recently failing to find a buyer for the company, they got an infusion of cash and a new CEO who has a proven record of turning around failing companies. I like what I've heard and seen from him so far, and I think if he can't right the ship, nobody can.
  • I miss a physical QWERTY keyboard! Touch screen keyboards provide no tactile feedback, so it's impossible to type accurately by feel. And I am constantly frustrated with the amount of back spacing and re-typing I have to do on my iPhone. It's probably the single most frustrating thing about the device for me, as it was with my Galaxy Nexus.
  • I've never tried a BB10 device and I will forever wonder if I am missing out on a better smartphone experience (for me) until I do.
  • I like to be different. Everybody has an iPhone. Those who don't have an iPhone have an Android device. A few have Windows Phones. Very few have BlackBerrys. I like people asking me about my PlayBook all the time. Why not compliment it with a BB phone? :)
  • My wife's iPhone 4 has been great, but is showing its age, and she often remarks at how slow it is and how finicky the home button has become. This just might be a perfect opportunity to give her my iPhone 5 and try out another device!!
  • I am a fickle techie and have an insatiable desire to try new gadgets and technology. There likely will never be a "perfect" smartphone for me, because I can see the unique benefits of all of them and want to try them all.
2 things that might convince me to keep it:
  • FaceTime. Such an amazing service. It's been an absolute joy to be able to do FaceTime calls with family. So easy to use, great quality video and sound, and complete integration with the device. A huge plus of owning an iPhone.
  • BlackBerry could completely tank after all and I wouldn't want to be caught in the middle of that with an unsupported device.

As the reader may have deduced, this blog is mostly just me thinking out loud and trying to convince myself that ditching my shiny new iPhone 5 - the best smartphone I've ever owned - is a good thing to do.

I'll keep you posted on what happens!


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