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'Yes to a bigger screen, but not too big' and other great CNET comments this week

Each week, we round up some of the most thoughtful comments from the CNET community. Here are some of this week's best.

The iPhone 5, left, and 5S in space gray.
Josh Lowensohn/CNET

This week, it's all about the iPhones with you guys, and guess what: Some of you disagree on the topic.

Love or hate Apple's two-phoned approach to this year's iPhone batch, your opinions ran hot. Last week's Cupertino event stole the limelight from other big events, so we're going to highlight some of the most insightful -- and pointed -- observations CNET readers made about the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C. With more than 3000 comments so far on our hands-on with the iPhone 5S, CNET audience development manager Liza Maloy had her work cut out for her, too.

Not everyone behaved well in the iPhone comment wars. Some readers called names and threw insults about each other's opinions on the phone. But many of you made reasonable, interesting arguments about what matters to you in a smartphone. A few of those comments appear here.

-Lindsey Turrentine, CNET Reviews Editor in Chief

iPhone 5S hands-on: September 20 release date, 3 colors, new specs

Scott Stein (Read more)

CNET goes hands-on with the iPhone 5S from the September 10 Apple event in Cupertino and gives his first impressions


Here is my perspective on phone size. Most of you remember the big phones everyone use to carry around. From that point the emphasis was to go smaller and smaller to the point of phones being micro size. In the last 7 years now we are going to ever bigger and bigger screens on smartphones. Only thing I know is that an iPhone fits perfectly in my shirt pockets. I have an iMac 27-inch as a control center for all of our apple products. iPod Touch, iPad Mini, and Retina. I personally carry an iPhone 4. The last two weddings I went to, the pastor was using an iPad Mini to conduct the service. I saw several people using iPads to take pictures also. Just my perspective from a recently retired 65-year-old. On Friday I will take a closer look at the 5S (in gold, of course).

See post.


Having now had two days to think about the new iPhones, Apple does seem a little slow to realize they're being overwhelmed by the competition. Sort of like sitting on a beach at dusk and not realizing the tide is coming in. When one looks at the new 5S, it's exactly like what was already available. That is simply not how marketing succeeds. Jobs had a knack for knowing how to excite the market, to make people want to get out and preorder those things. Apple's current leadership doesn't have this necessary skill. Thus, I must agree with Larry Ellis's recent commentary about Cook being a nice, competent CEO, but not the person who can lead Apple successfully forward.

See post.

Five disappointing things about the iPhone 5S

Rick Broida (Read more)

Except for the fingerprint scanner, Apple's latest iPhone is its least innovative yet. Here are the five biggest misfires.

vorek: I was and sort of still am an Apple sheep, but my "core" iDisappointment is the lack of a bigger screen. This is a deal breaker. Like many have said, speed isn't useful if the overall size is so small.

Understand, I've set more people up with Macs than I can count. I still will given that I run Windows, Linux, etc., as a virtual machines side by side on the Mac at will. But when it comes to phones, I'm an Android guy. This usually shocks my geek friends, and evokes sharp criticism from my fellow Apple users because they perceive that I've somehow been duped or just don't get how the iPhone works -- they completely dismiss that I used to have one. A fellow dev just went Android, too, so the team is starting to show some division here even though on lap/desktop we're hard-core Apple.

One major thing I *don't* miss about the iPhone: iTunes. I hated that every time I wanted to do anything on my iPhone it had to be done through iTunes. With the Android, it simply mounts as an external drive. I can park whatever I want on the drive, create files, directories, etc. Innovation, sure, 64-bit, great. But with Android, I love, and would miss, the Swype feature, Google Voice that prompts me how I'd like to make a call, Google Chat/talk (or whatever it's called now). I won't modify, much, my usage, e.g. watch Netflix, or Hulu, or listen to Spotify, etc, so 64-bit isn't perceived as essential; it doesn't *feel* any different when watching a flick at the airport. And, to be fair, I do miss the iPhone battery life. The Android battery life seems short. And then again, I resented that I couldn't personally change the battery in the iPhone.

In the end, get what makes sense for your usage. Photography is like that. Depends on what you need your device to do. For those who don't need many options of tinkering with the file structure, etc., I send them to the iPhone. For geeks, I send them usually to Android. Both work, do same basic things, etc. Maybe Ubuntu will be my next move.

See post.

NazTech:"I think Rick has hit the nail on the head for 4 of the 5 topics. Yes to a bigger screen, but not too big. The key is to make the screen of useful size in viewing area and portability.

More battery life can easily be attained by using a thicker form factor and getting away from the thin-as-possible mantra. Good design will make a comfortable-to-hold phone. Batteries are not electronic devices you can just make smaller; they are chemical devices, which are harder to work with and with distinct limitations.

Who needs a super processor? Someone who is trying to make a smartphone do the work of a full-sized desktop or laptop on a playing-card-sized screen, i.e., not many folks.

Storage needs to get large but without Apple's exponential price rise. If they won't put it inside, at least give us a microSD slot.

A big thing always mentioned is the Holy Grail of Innovation. Innovation, schminnovation, I say. What is really new and useful to the largest number of potential buyers? Ask 100 people and more often than not, get a wide range of answers. Innovation costs capital and is many times a hit-or-miss situation. Newton was innovative and missed. Siri was innovative and the jury is still out. Cameras in phones (whatta concept) was a hit. Unless a feature breaks totally new ground, it's not innovation, it's refinement, something far more useful.

Give me a product that just brings out new stuff and I'll probably pass. Give me a product which refines its useful features and I'll buy it."

See post.

Impuls3101: "I am completely disappointed in the iPhone 5S. For the first time I looking at an Android device because they offer me the bigger screen I am looking for. I play games on my phone, so naturally I want a bigger screen. I currently have the 4S and if I am playing a game with both thumbs I only have 2 inches of screen to work with. I have to hold the phone so close that I might see the pixel density difference that I wouldn't see with a larger screen. Same thing with surfing the Internet; it becomes a pain to search for anything on the iPhone, so I always grab my iPad or go to the Mac instead of using my phone.

I have been using iOS 7 since the GM was announced and I no longer feel like I am using an Apple device. I am not sure what it is but it just doesn't have the same appeal/polish that iOS 6 had. I keep wanting more customization when I use it when it never bothered me before. It feels new but old and worn out at the same time. Battery life is better but not perfect.

I will miss all of the great apps that I paid for and the syncing between my Mac/iPad/iPhone, but I think it's time for me to move on. Apple could have changed things up with the S update cycle, but everything just seemed underwhelming. Even the presentation was boring/old-feeling. I am taking my money and switching sides so Apple gets the message and realizes its customers don't want light refreshes. I will be back but only when they get the screen size/battery life/storage right. By then 64-bit might actually be something substantial. I don't want to be a part of those growing pains."See post.

Why I'm gladly spending $100 more on the iPhone 5S over the iPhone 5C

David Carnoy (Read more)

Only $100 separates the iPhone 5C and 5S. But with all the advantages of an iPhone 5S, paying that extra cash is a no-brainer.

jayk234: I agree. People fight over OSes as if they get paid by companies to be their spokesperson. Android, iOS, BlackBerry, and Windows are all amazing platforms, and it really depends what people prefer. Competition is always a good thing for consumers, and we as consumers should appreciate Apple, Google, Samsung, HTC, BlackBerry, Windows, and all other phone manufacturers for giving us a variety of options to choose from. People need to grow up.See post.

EpicTea: "I'm a 26-year-old male and I think the 5C looks more appealing, fun, and different vs. the same boring design on the 5S. I guarantee I'm not the only one in their 20s that thinks that. The 5C is basically an iPhone 5+; it's actually better than the 5 in both the camera and software features.

The 5S is really not that much better. I don't care about the A7 or the fingerprint scanner; and the only appealing thing to me is the camera. Plus if I want a 32GB model, I'm paying the regular $650 for it vs. $750."See post.

Mjone13: "I think the author is missing something very important: Apple families. The real value of the Apple ecosystem is when you have multiple family members using multiple Apple products. So when you take a family of four that all have iPhones the $100 savings per phone becomes a significant savings.

There is a reason that many of the carriers offer 2-for-1 deals on many phones. Right now Sprint and other carriers are offering 2-for-1 deals on the S4. Families on contract tend to upgrade their phones at the same time. It's not economical for a family to have each member buy $200 phones. "See post.