We have all heard the hype: the iPhone 5 is coming! The rumor mill was rampant with speculation, but after the Apple announcement on September 12, 2012, all the guessing was put to rest and the new device was revealed. Preorders were made available on September 14 at 12:00AM, and record numbers were sold in the first 24 hours. On September 21, the iPhone 5 finally arrived, with pre-orders being fulfilled and lines piling up at Apple stores and cell phone stores nationwide. Here in Lake Charles, I managed to get my hands on a 16GB iPhone 5 in white at our local Verizon store without any wait or fuss, but it did happen to be the last one they had available.
This latest iPhone sports a new svelte look, with the phone being longer and thinner than the iPhone 4 and 4s. As soon as I picked it up, the first thing I noticed was how much less the new iPhone weighs in comparison: 28 grams less than the iPhone 4s, to be exact. The longer shape accommodates the larger 4-inch screen, which didn’t increase the width, giving it a true 16×9 aspect ratio that adds a 5th row of icons on the home screen. Paired with the Retina capabilities of its predecessor, Apple has given the iPhone 5 a way to maintain the one hand usability for which the iPhone is famous while providing a sharp, beautiful, larger display for users.
The case itself is sleek and refined, with chamfered edges and an aluminum back, something that was much needed in comparison with the glass back of the iPhone 4 and 4s: a flawed design that itched to be shattered. The new smaller charging port, dubbed Lightning, allows for the smaller form factor, with the headphone jack moving to the bottom of the phone next to it. There is turmoil amongst Apple fans with this new connector type, as all of their accessories that utilize the charging port being rendered obsolete, but Apple has an adapter for that, priced at $29. Not the most elegant solution, especially when you consider that Lightning doesn’t support some of the old features like video out and “iPod Out”. iPod Out allows for third-party accessories to control the iPhone or iPod, like those found with car stereo integration. I surely hope Apple rectifies this soon or they may face a ton of ill will from their staunch supporters who have spent thousands on high-end systems that featured iPhone and iPod integration.
Under the hood, the iPhone 5 features an A6 processor, the fastest chip yet. Believe me, it makes a huge difference in the performance of the iPhone. A side-by-side comparison with the iPhone 4s, both running iOS 6, left the 4s in the dust. iOS 6 in itself brings a lot of new features to the table, so stay tuned for another posting that analyzes my favorites.
Another big upgrade is the inclusion of 4G LTE capabilities, and this makes a huge difference when compared to 3G speeds. On the Verizon network, I was able to hit download speeds of nearly 35Mbps, compared to 1.50Mbps on the 3G AT&T network. There are a few other noticeable differences between these two cellular providers that I’ll be addressing in a subsequent post.
Of course, there are some other new features that set the iPhone 5 apart from its predecessors, but once you make the jump to this latest Apple device, I’m sure you won’t be disappointed.