so, i’ve had “the best iPhone ever made” over the weekend and here are my, real world thoughts:

1) SIRI – yes, pretty amazing … IF it works.

between sprint and/or apple servers issues in the first 2 days. it’s been a very frustrated experience (“i’m sorry, i’m having problems reaching the network”)
but … when it does work. wow
my eastern european accent usually trips any voice recognition app (dragon go has been my favorite so far, but it too has it’s misses)

back to SIRI.
best experience – dictating 1 sentence txt message, in a crowded restaurant. got it 90% right … impressive
worst? trying to dial my friend “ehab” …. i gave up, after the 5th try

“set an alarm in 1/2 hour” doesn’t seem to work for me. “reminders” do, but they are so quiet … i’ve missed one or two already

after using it for 4 days …. although it is not 100% accurate, 85% is impressive

biggest peeve? siri has to reach out to the internet for everything!? seems like a oversight to have to do that for local info, such as your contacts, playlists, etc

2) camera

yeah it’s nice, faster, 8 mb … (can’t really confirm the dimmer environment). but … the reality is that in the end, you’ll take the 8mb picture & upload it to facebook (send it to friends, etc) at … 1mb (if). so in the real world, more doesn’t really mean much … right?

but … take a look at the 2 photos above and you will be able to pick the better one … yes 4S is better, more vibrant, more alive

3) “faster”, “better” battery life

real life improvement? maybe 5%-10% faster overall, but barely noticeable if you don’t play games.

i do have to say, download speeds are twice faster on att – 4gb vs 2gb (even using 1 year old sim card). in real life, maybe 20%+ improvement. when using newer 4G sim, you can get up to 6gb speeds … 3x faster. but that’s only certain cities

battery … i’d say about the same, but … that’s comparing to jailbroken iPhone 4 (so about 5-10% worse … ?)
[update] although i have not experienced any battery problems on the 4S. i’m having a horrible experience with my 4, after upgrading to iOS 5. after extensive testing i found that jailbreak / intelliScreenX & especially stocks ticker are to blame. now, it’s about 80-90% what i used to get on iOS 4.3.3

but … then i played music to apple TV & it drained the remaining 30% in 3 hours

4) iOS 5 – 200 “features”?

if you’ve had your phone jailbroken … you’ll actually miss it (lock screen notification on jailbreak … are better🙂
configuring notification _per_ application is … mentally challenging (there’s a better word for it – sarah p especially likes🙂 )
photo stream is nice, but no option not to post certain pix … & no way to see them on older iOS (eg iPad)

all the other 200 features? (honestly, i had to go to to remind me, what those “features” are …🙂
wireless sync … nice, but iPhoto doesn’t work wirelessly (maybe i do need to update though)
playlist folders sorting is f ed again (if you put “.” in front of your playlists, you can relate)
mail still can’t search old messages via exchange sync from gmail (google might actually be at fault here though)
iMessage … non of my friends have iOS 5 yet, so no use.
[basically, it’s a feature you’ll never “free” enjoy, since att charges you $20 (!) for lowest txt’ing plan, sprint “includes” it & verizon … as well? (so you basically will pay for texting regardless if you use it or not).]
interestingly, tried to send an iMessage from a deactivated Verizon iPhone via wifi … can’t do. [update, you have to turn iMessage ON, it’s not by default (?!). you also need to have contact’s email address that matches apple ID … i have 4 different email addresses on a good day = a mess. TIP: update your QR business card with the proper email address]
twitter integration – eeeh, as one of my friends recently commented to a photo posted (via twitter) to facebook: “i refuse to sign up, yet to another social service, to see your photos”🙂

5) jailbreaks i miss:

free tethering
lock screen notifications that stay (calendar, 5 day weather, etc)
sbsetting on lock screen
activator gestures
would (if not for sprint integration) – g voice txt
free apps? … not so much, surprisingly

6) disappointed with sprint

i have been complaining about not able to make or maintain phone calls with att for 3 years now …
but when i was not able to check my email, downtown chicago via sprint’s service. i’ve realized …. making that phone call is no longer as crucial as being able to check your email

another annoyance, is the data OR call … will again, make you miss att

yet, another – visual voicemail doesn’t work for me … i could probably call sprint, etc, but why ??? $850 phone should work perfectly, out of box (you’ll pay that other $450 one way or another …)

i do have to say that built-in integration with google voice is amazing: type in the number … that’s it! all your calls & texts to that phone come to your sprint phone now & when you txt/dial from your phone, google voice number comes up. brilliant (att, take notice)

ps: let’s talk about iOS 5 bugs some more (my list) – apple, please take note:

– having to set notification settings, one by one. i have 20 apps on a good day, pleeeeease let me set it once for all
– camera button on the lock screen (even when the phone is not locked) – have you tried to press home button, once you’re there? can’t get out! (can’t see other photos, again even when phone is unlocked)
– battery life – ok, in all fairness, i’ve used 2 diff 4S (att & sprint) & did NOT experience any battery problems, BUT my 4 att … seems to have 1/2 of battery life what it had under 4.3.3. upon detailed testings i finally managed to get a day out of it by: turning off intelliScreenX (stock ticker might be the real culprit here), but then i played music to apple TV & it drained the remaining 30% in 3 hours.
– mail search – still doesn’t work, when it comes to older “on server” messages. first: the default search should be “all”. then i’m not sure if it’s apple or google, but my gmail search via exchange client on iOS hasn’t worked for 2 years now.