The iPhone 5s reviews are out and overall the device is a solid update to the successful iPhone 5, but I am personally skipping this model as there are many compelling Android devices that personally meet my needs better. In the past, Apple has taken existing technology and features and offered a better experience, but with Ice Cream Sandwich and later Android has stepped up to the plate. As we read through all of the reviews, we see there are a few things seen in Android and Windows Phone that we don't see even in the high end iPhone 5s.
Some of these technologies, design features, and functions are still in early development and as we all know Apple is rarely first in launching new technologies. Remember how they were last to launch a a 3G smartphone and also one of the last to include LTE? Apple also seems to hold back aspects they could have launched with to make sure there are reasons for upgrading again next year.
Here are five things missing from the iPhone 5s that Android and Windows Phone 8 smartphones offer consumers.
- OIS: Nokia leads the smartphone industry with optical image stabilization, but we also now see it present in the HTC One, LG G2, and Sony Xperia Z. I have used OIS on most of these and for video recording nothing beats a phone with OIS. With the popularity of using the iPhone as a camera, I have to admit this is one technology I am very surprised is not present on the iPhone 5s.
- NFC: NFC isn't necessarily an essential technology, but once you use it you will appreciate the convenience. It seems to me that Apple would love to use NFC for easy iPhone connectivity and mobile payments, but I guess it will be a revolutionary technology in 2014.
- Wireless charging: Apple's Lightning connector has improved the charging experience on the iPhone, but as someone who has Qi wireless charging pads at my home and office nothing beats the convenience of just setting your phone down to charge. I use it regularly with the Nokia Lumia 1020, HTC Droid DNA, and Google Nexus 7 tablet. It is a feature I now look for in my phones and hate that carriers still use it as an option to differentiate between the same phone (LG G2). This is another one of those technologies that I think Apple could make very attractive and likely sell high profit margin charging pads as well.
- 802.11ac WiFi: I recently purchase an ac WiFi router and am loving the increased range and bandwidth. My HTC One has 802.11ac support and I expect it in high end smartphones. Anand posted another amazing detailed review of the iPhone 5s and discussed the lack of 802.11ac and LTE-A support on the last page of his review.
- Large display: Apple's iPhone 4 set the bar for display resolution back in 2010, and then the size increased just a bit last year with the iPhone 5. The iPhone 5s may be the best small smartphone around, but many of us have moved on to larger 4.7 to 5.5 inch 1080p displays and it is tough to go back to such a small display.
Given the possible short supplies of the iPhone 5s, we are likely to see long lines on Friday. Apple will sell millions of iPhones, as usual, but many buyers will likely be iPhone 4s owners on the two year upgrade cycle.
I hope to eventually take a look at the iPhone 5s through a carrier since Apple limits review units to just a few sites, but I personally looking at the Nexus 5, Droid Maxx, LG G2, and Samsung Galaxy Note 3 as my next smartphone.