Five things missing from the iPhone 5s you can get in Android smartphones

Five things missing from the iPhone 5s you can get in Android smartphones

Summary: The new Apple iPhone 5s will sell millions and require long lines this Friday, but as we read through the reviews we see Apple held back quite a bit with the latest high end offering.


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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

Apple iPhone 5 reviews around the web

Topics: Mobility, Apple, iPhone, Smartphones

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  • Re: Five things missing from the iPhone 5s....

    And so the Android trolls will be lining up to Apple bash....
    • If you are looking for trolls

      do you want me to help you?

      You made stupid statement because:

      1) If there are trolls, you feel unhappy.
      2) If there is no troll, you are wrong and this only shows how stupid you are.
      • Re: if you are looking for trolls....

        Throwing insults is the classic sign of a troll clearly you fall in to that category. That is stupidity.
        • Worthy realization!

          And while pointing out you must have realized the insulting tone of your original post. Didn't you?
        • You invited it with your first posting, guy

          You're the troll in this case.
          • Yep...

            If you even hint at the troll... TEH TROLL COME'TH
    • no, just facts

      no, just curious why just ? there is much much more how iPhone is a dumb phone
    • seriously?

      Maybe Apple should listen and grow their user base! I want to set my own apps as default! Is that so bad? I also want a more open store, emulators aren't illegal!
  • I think Apple's looking rather prescient on NFC

    And whatever happened to ISIS?
    • agree

      Agree, NFC never made sense to me. It seemed like it was a technology just waiting for millions of exploits.
      • huh?

        It doesn't transmit by default, you actually have to have say, the payment type on the screen and touch it while tapping the receiver.
    • Isis is here and Google Wallet uses NFC where available

      If you lived in Salt Lake City, one of the test markets for ISIS, you would see how well it's starting to do. They have spurred adoption with an aggressive marketing strategy. Pay with ISIS at the movies, get your popcorn for $1. Pay with it at Barbacoa (like Chipotle), and get any meal for $1. Pay at Toasters, get any sandwich, chips, and a drink for $1. Use it at Wasatch Pizza and get any 1 topping large for $1. It's been going all summer, and there is no limit to the number of times you can use these promos. You can walk into any Jamba Juice, and get a completely free smoothie just for showing you have ISIS. Every single day! Now that's just ISIS.

      I personally use Google Wallet all the time. I get local offers, like free drinks at burger king. I can ride on Utah's transit system completely free with G-wallet or ISIS. With the update, I can go to the grocery store now, pay with my phone, and scan my "fresh values" card without my wallet at all.

      Then there are all the ways to use NFC that don't deal with either of these major players. All the parking meters in Salt Lake now have NFC chips, and you can download the quickpay app to pay. You get out of your car, tap, and choose how much time. And you can add more time right from the phone, so you don't have to go out and feed the meter.

      Buy some NFC tags, they range from $1 to $3, and you can put one in your car, so that when you tap it, it texts your wife to say you are on your way home. Put one on the nightstand, so when you tap it the phone goes to silent mode and sets your alarm. Or one to turn all that off.

      NFC is far from useless. But, just like everything else that the iPhone gets last, it will be "useless" until you have it, then it will be "revolutionary".
  • other things missing

    Viruses, carrier/handset limits on OS upgrades....
  • Matt

    Apple throws away the entire accessories business (minus cases) by adding Qi wireless charging. All those docks, speakers, and chargers can become universal. Sure, the tiny sliver of a fraction that uses the various dongles, but I imagine most of those disappear in the next couple years via Bluetooth or wireless transmissions.

    One thing I seem to still be missing- can the fingerprint reader remember multiple prints? Otherwise, how does your kid use your phone? Your spouse? Parent? I have a feeling that will be completely unused by the bulk of users if it will be a hassle to continue using the device the same way.
    • Yes

      They have already announced the fingerprint reader can be set for multiple fingerprints. You are right that they are making a KILLING on the accessories, though if you research it, I think the reason Apple isn't jumping on the bandwagon is because there are three bandwagons. There is PMA, A4WP and WPC charging standards. Which one will win? Should Apple jump onto one and HOPE it is the standard everyone uses? MS jumped on the HD-DVD standard and BOOM it fell on it's face when Sony won with Blu-Ray.

      I think when it's a "sure-thing", then Apple will jump on board and you will see wireless charging mats appear EVERYWHERE in hotels, McDonald's, etc. to easily charge your wireless devices...maybe we get lucky and they put them in our cars. Anyways, I think it's a few years away from everyone getting on board with it and Apple has a habit of waiting until just the right time to integrate something like the same time they push other things, like Flash, which everyone claimed would destroy Apple because Android allowed Flash.....well, until Android stopped supporting it too.

      This is an instance of the Adobe Flash issue all over again....both with NFC and the Wireless charging standards.

      It BLOWS they didn't include Wireless AC support and I would have liked the option of a 5" phone but it's not a deal-killer. Also, they have a planned obsolescence history. If they included all of that on this phone, what else could they offer for the next one, right? hahaha
      • Apple worries about standards?

        Is this a new thing? You mean, like the Lightning connector standard? Like Bonjour?

        Of course Apple doesn't care about standards. If they had a desire to support wireless charging today, they'd make an alliance with one of the wireless charging standards bodies... or just buy a major wireless charging company, and perhaps even cement that AS the standard. That's kind of what Apple does.

        This is more about getting 30% on every charging device sold for an iPhone. Why let people charge it for free?
        • Yes, troll, they do

          Like H.264, PCIe, SATA, USB, and yes, BonJour, a/k/a mDNS. You know Bonjour is an open protocol right? Of course you don't because you're a misinformed troll.
          • Not before they failed with

            QuickTime, Nubus, SCSI, ADB plus a few others like AppleTalk and postscript.
            Apple has always tried to be different until they had no choice and had to resort to common standards.
          • Oh lord

            First, QuickTime is not a format. Second, how did the "fail" at Nubus? It did what it was designed to do, and when it came out was far superior tot he bus interconnect system available on PCs (which is why they made it). Same with ADB.
            Once again, you have no idea what you're talking about. In fact, you are one of the most poorly informed about technology issues I have ever run across.
        • You mean, like the Lightning connector standard?

          I love the Lightning connector.
          I'm glad Apple created an alternative to those flimsy mini-usb connectors.
          Every mini-usb I've ever owned ended up bending, wiggling loose, or BOTH!