My new phone arrived today!

I have been an iPhone user since the release of the 3G model, upgrading in turn to the iPhone 4s and then iPhone 5s. With no real need to upgrade beyond the 5s, I skipped the 6, 7 and 8 altogether. I was further put off by the price of the iPhone X (and didn’t want to add expensive phone instalments to my monthly contract) so I made the decision to jump ship to Android. I’d had my eye on the OnePlus 5 for some time, but decided to hold off when the 5t model was announced. Just before Christmas I saw a reasonable deal online (on the 5t) and snapped it up.

I could have probably gone another year with my iPhone 5s: it was still working perfectly well after 4 years. The only negatives were that it was getting a teeny bit slow and the camera wasn’t really up to scratch any more. However, I’d decided that a new phone would be The Big Treat I’d allow myself for 2017. Sure, there was some lingering panic over shelling out nearly $700 in one go on something I didn’t really, truly, honestly need … but it was comfortably overshadowed by the simple excitement of having a new phone.

So, let’s run through some first impressions.

Firstly the size. It’s up there with the plus sized iPhones, so it’s a LOT bigger than my old phone. One of the reasons I held off upgrading my phone for so long was that I was happy with the size of the 5s and didn’t want a bigger phone sticking out of my pocket. However, it’s taken almost no time to get used to the size. Fun side note: my dad has an iPhone 4, which now looks ludicrously tiny to me!

The main improvement I was looking for was with the camera. It’s true that the Google Pixel 2 and the iPhone X are getting all the attention for their cameras, but the OnePlus has gotten pretty good reviews in that area too. My iPhone 5s was sorely lacking when it came to low-light photos (making it almost impossible to take photos of my [black] cats indoors) and the selfie camera wasn’t great either. Luckily the camera on the OnePlus 5t is excellent. I took some test shots of the cats and the Kinderbesten almost as soon as I switched it on and am very happy indeed with the results. The selfie camera almost makes me look like a different person and the low light performance is phenomenal. It may well not be the best phone camera on the market, but it’s more than good enough for me.

Performance, in general, is also much better. My old phone was starting to struggle, especially under iOS 11, but this one zips along with barely a second thought. It’s surprisingly refreshing being able to slide from screen to screen instantly, and know that your apps will all load without the need to think about it for half a second first.

Finally, the most significant change is jumping from iOS to Android. I’m not too heavily invested in the Apple ecosystem, so the only prep required was to add all my existing phone contacts to Google (which was not anywhere as easy as it should be!) and back up my photos. I was pretty excited about this shift to be honest: one of the fun bits about getting a new phone is getting to play with all the new stuff, but Apple have’t really been adding any fun, new stuff to their phones lately. Also, as a proud owner of a Chromecast and a Google Home mini, I figure an Android phone will work much better with all of that.

So far I’m loving Android. While I understand the benefits of iOS being relatively locked down (easy to manage, easy to use) I’m relishing the flexibility that I now have with the OnePlus. I’ve taken it slow, not wanting to make too many changes and forget how I did them, but I’ve already downloaded a new icon pack and set up some gestures. One of my favourite, albeit tiny, things is being able to place my icons and folders in any arrangement I want (unlike iOS, which automatically stacks your icons to the top left. I’m also able to place widgets on my screens (although the only one Ive found so far that doesn’t look like a complete dog is the clock. Another major improvement is the ability to swipe down and get media player controls: no more having to open Plex, Netflix, etc to pause whatever I’m watching.

In summary: no regrets.