Goodbye Old Friend


Today I’m saying farewell to an old friend who has been with me every day since September 2010. Let me be clear, there’s nothing wrong with the phone (apart from the battery lasting about 3 minutes between charges!), but it has value right now, I’m guessing in the region of say, 1,500-2,000 RMB. Holding on would only erode that value. That’s what I told myself anyhow. So I guess predictably, I’m the owner of a brand new iPhone 5.

I’ve been a bit sheepish about announcing this to the world (in as far as you can be sheepish while publicising the event on your blog!). I hate the idea that people might think I’m one of those crazy, materialistic people who trade up as soon as the next model is released. I’m not. I completely ignored the 4S when it came out. But the old iPhone 4 is starting to show its age, creeking under the pressure as the new apps continually stretch its modest processor. And the camera can take 10-15 seconds to warm up before it will allow me to snap a picture.

First impressions? Well, it feels exactly like the old phone, except faster, more responsive, lighter and of course, it’s longer. Here are the key improvements (over the iPhone 4, not 4S):

  • Longer length allows an extra row of icons / folders on the screen which makes a big difference and also makes it much easier (less scrolling) when reading material.
  • New “Earpods” are significantly better than the headphones previously supplied with older models.
  • Comes with Siri which is better than you might think if you’ve not used it before. I’ve asked it for football results and it finds them for me within seconds and you can send emails or ask it to wake you up at a certain time, all without needing to touch the screen.
  • “Panorama” function allows you to take ultra wide images by panning across the scene and works seamlessly. I had an app that did this on the old phone but it was pretty rubbish.

I actually traded down in terms of memory from 32GB to 16GB after I checked my old phone and found I had only used about half of its capacity, mainly because all movies and TV shows were long ago transferred to my iPad. After deleting some superfluous apps and photos, I was comfortably within the 16GB limit of the cheapest iPhone 5 model.

One thing I love about iPhones is that any time you change phones, the sync process means that within minutes, your new phone is basically an exact clone of your previous phone. Everything is copied across. Even my alarm wake up call was already correctly set in the new phone and the call history list was there to. Amazing!

Call Time

I did freak out slightly when I checked the call time. I had the phone less than 4 hours but it was showing that the aggregated call time was one day and 21 hours. Had I been sold a used phone? In a panic, I went on to Google and quickly found out that when you sync a new phone, it copies across your call time. So my ole iPhone 4, over the course of 2 years, had mad calls lasting 1 day and 21 hours (2,700 minutes). It doesn’t really make sense to me to carry this across to a new phone, but it’s nice to know that I haven’t been scammed!

So, who wants to buy a mint condition, boxed iPhone 4, once used by a famous China blogger. For Caturday fans, at least 50% of all Caturday pictures were taken on this phone making it a rare collectors item for true Tommy and Hui Hui fans!

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8 Responses to Goodbye Old Friend

  1. Byron says:

    I finally upgraded my from my old 3S when back in the UK this Xmas. Moved from China Mobile to China Unicom, paid 96RMB for a months 3G including 300MB then used it all up and more in the first 3 days.

    So still using my 3G with China Mobile until I get to a China Unicom to put more money on my account.


    Good camera though.

  2. Byron says:

    sorry – my 3S, not my 3G. Easy mistake to make.

  3. Lil Bro says:

    Good move. Watch the bevelled edges though they mark really easily.

  4. Stimpy says:

    Do you get to use 3G, or has China still not caught up to mobile technology that is at least 4 years old?

  5. WoAi says:

    @Byron – I barely use 300MB in a month, so it’s odd you used it up in 3 days. You might need to check your settings or make sure you have wifi enabled for when you are at home / work.

    @Lil Bro – I have a cover on it, so no worries.

    @Stimpy – Huh? Been using 3G in China since 2010 actually. All 3 of China’s carriers have had 3G networks for years.

  6. Stimpy says:

    Really? I guess you must only be able to get 3G if you have a contract. Can you get 3G if you pay as you go, or am I just totally in the dark on what is on offer?

  7. WoAi says:

    @Stimpy – Do you not have any friends who use smartphones? Surely all of them use 3G, there’s no point having a smartphone otherwise!

    Anyway, China Unicom launched its 3G service in 2009. They offer a variety of pre-paid (pay as you go) plans as well as monthly payment contracts. The cheapest pay as you go 3G package is 20 RMB per month although that’s a special limited promotion. They do have normal packages from around 50 or 60 rmb per month.

    China Mobile is the biggest provider in China and they have their own proprietary 3G technology which is NOT compatible with the iPhone, so if you use an iPhone, China Unicom 3G is your best option.

  8. Lil Bro says:

    When you come over next we’ll have to get you a 4G plan so you can make the most of your new phone.

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