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Need iPhone shopping advice

Posted: Sun Dec 17, 2017 11:25 pm
by KarenColes
After having my iPhone 5s for 4 years, and with the advent of iOS 11, it seems it's time for a new iPhone. I stopped at an Apple store a few weeks ago and looked at the iPhones 8, 8+, and 10. I'm leaning towards the 8, but haven't completely discounted idea of the 10.

I'll be keeping the new phone for as long as possible, and will probably pay cash. 64GB will be more than enough since my 32GB 5s is only half full after 4 years. AT&T has always been my carrier, and I'm satisfied with it, but would consider switching at some time in the future if I find better coverage with Verizon or another carrier.

Should I get an unlocked phone? Is there any disadvantage in doing so? I assume that if I get an unlocked version, and stay with AT&T, I can just take it to an AT&T store and get a sim card, right?

Unless I find a better source, I will probably order one from Apple. Since the processor is the same in the 8 as in the 10, will I be disappointed if I don't cough up the extra cash for the 10?

Would welcome any thoughts from those of you who replace your phones all the time.

Re: Need iPhone shopping advice

Posted: Mon Dec 18, 2017 10:15 am
by Stephen Hart
I just upgraded iPhones this winter.
My wife inherited my iPhone 6s, which is physically only a year old because of a battery recall.
I sprung for an iPhone X.
I did a good deal of research and found that the Apple iPhone Upgrade Program seems like the best deal by a small margin.
It's advertised as being set up so you can upgrade every year, but you don't need to. What you really have is the choice of upgrading after one year (or an equivalent amount paid). Each time you do that, you basically reset the two-year "loan" and get a new iPhone (with, possibly, a new monthly payment). You have to return your year-old iPhone and pay for any necessary repairs. But you can just pay off the loan and keep the iPhone for as long as you want.
The two-year cost is just barely less than if you paid cash. The iPhones are unlocked and come with a SIM preinstalled (but no carrier contract) and your phone number preassigned. (See this SMUG thread. It has lots of links and comments about the X.)
The only downside of the upgrade program is that you have to be approved by CitizensOne. This was no issue for me.

I like the iPhone X a lot. I haven't set up face ID, which may be a big deal for some people. (So I haven't used ApplePay or animoji or any of the games using the face detector.)
The larger screen is obvious, and useful in some instances. The few changes in how you navigate proved to be no problem for me to learn.
The extra sharpness of the screen is real, but will probably not be noticeable after a few hours of use unless you're comparing an individual image on two iPhones.
Calls seem noticeably clearer, but I haven't done any A/B comparisons, and a lot of that depends on where you are. We use WiFi calling at home. People calling me have commented on how clear I sound. The speakers on the iPhone X are noticeably better, louder and clearer.
I feel like interacting with the iPhone X is incrementally smoother, perhaps because the faster processor can make the animation keep up with your finger.
I have the Space Gray model, and the gray stainless steel band makes the iPhone X look more like jewelry, as it was clearly intended to.
In my mind, the way to think about the cost is in dollars, not that it's "more" than the 8 or 8+.

Reportedly, Apple has enough iPhone Xs to offer overnight delivery and in-store same day pickup.

And no, I don't get a commission from Apple. Just a happy customer.

Re: Need iPhone shopping advice

Posted: Mon Dec 18, 2017 5:13 pm
by KarenColes
Thanks so much for all the information. It’s great to be able to benefit from the experience of others.