Three Years with an iPhone

Three years ago, I started using an iPhone 5 as my mobile phone, my first smartphone. I remember drooling for hours over the leaks in the year before it released, then reading each review with my undivided attention, and re-watching the iPhone 5 launch event with a wide grin on my face, each time. I waited for it, for a long, long time.

Today, three years later, it still is among my most favorite pieces of technology.

It is not the fastest phone with the best camera (hey, iPhone 6S Plus and LG V10) anymore. It is not pristine but scuffed (I’m never forgiving you for this, mom) and scratched. The battery runs out after 5-6 hours of usage, even in low battery mode. It freezes at least once a day and has a hard time keeping up with the way I’ve gotten accustomed to using it. But, despite it all, I love it the way I loved it when it first landed in my hands and I shivered to hold it. Oh, I do.

There have have been fewer gadgets I’ve been so proud and happy to own. And, there have been even fewer that I’ve wanted a new version of. Least of it is because I am so invested in the iOS ecosystem. Sometime before I made the final decision to actually purchase it, I was in double minds if I should switch and purchase an HTC 8X, the Windows Phone 8 flagship from HTC, instead. I never considered Android for I think it is too complicated for the user and for simple tasks (not to forget the shoddy cameras they have had, until recently) and I find the OEM skins too gaudy to use. And not for a single day have I regretted my decision to go with the iPhone instead.

The joy of using an iPhone is in the little things, like not having to press a button when you’ve entered your 4-digit passcode, the way the speaker and earphones volumes always is controlled separately, the way you see the brightness slider slides subtly to low or high when the light in the room changes. The small ways in which when you use it, you know someone at Apple has spent their time making it just right. You can’t always put your finger on it, but you realize you’re accustomed to that care, so much that may be even pampered, even when you  temporarily use someone else’s phone.

I had once read somewhere that you don’t know what using an Apple device is like until you use it as your own device. Not a parents’ or siblings’ device, not a demo device in a store, not a review device you’ve received on a loaner; a device you own and use, every single day. And 7 years of Apple products later, I thoroughly concur. I have a first generation iPod Touch that I rarely use anymore. Using that first gadget convinced me to buy the iPhone 5, a few years later, and today, I know that I want my next laptop to be a MacBook and my next phone to be another iPhone.

This is a heartfelt, personal ode to my experience of using my iPhone, my first iPhone, my primary computer for the last three years and counting…

The all mighty, Apple iPhone 5.

iPhone 5
The all new, Apple iPhone 5.

One of the most awaited handsets in product history, and the handset which is expected to break all consumer smartphone sales records, the iPhone 5.

The first thing you say, when you see it is how beautiful the device is. And, it undoubtedly is. The neat edges, the crisp retina display screen, it’s an engineering marvel.

But, isn’t it just a longer iPhone 4S? Yes, in most ways. Most, not all.

The increased 1136×640 screen resolution, the new A6 chip, the HD 1.2MP front FaceTime camera, the sapphire crystal lens, new Lightning dock connector, are all in all the changes of the iPhone 5 from the iPhone 4S.

This isn’t the best smartphone in the market. Neither is it an innovation from Apple, or a revolutionary phone. This is the evolution of an already mature product that Apple Inc. manufactures, the iPhone.

As an analyst praised it, ‘The iPhone 5 is a Rolex among a sea of Timexes.’ Enough said, ain’t it?