Questioning the iPhone 5 Hype
After months of waiting, hundred of rumors, and outstandingly long queues, customers around the world will soon be able to get their hands on Apple’s latest and greatest endeavor: the iPhone 5. But is the first post-Steve Jobs iPhone really worth all of the buzz that it’s generated? While it does offer some cool new details and gizmos, we’re not so certain it lives up to all of bells and whistles we’ve come to know, love, and — dare we say it? — Expect, with each improved version.
While many are doing cartwheels over the taller screen, now rendering at 4 inches, the reality is that this upgrade still falls short of the 4.5-inch screens available on most Android devices. And while the A6 processor is technically faster, the difference isn’t readily overt unless you’re watching a movie or playing a game — and even then, it’s not a huge difference from the 4S.
The 5 is light, very light, and thin, very thin. The first time the sleek new design is picked up; it seems almost inevitable that it will snap right in two. Of course, it’s considerably more sturdy than that, but the point is that the 4 and 4S weren’t so overly clunky that they seemed lacking or in anyway uncomfortable. In essence, this new feature will likely come down to each individual’s personal preference: Do you want to know you’re holding something or not?
Perhaps the biggest change that people were expecting was the new 4g high-speed Internet service on Verizon, AT&T and Sprint networks. While the new iPhone 5 does have Internet capabilities that are faster than the previous 3g speeds, only AT&T allows users to web browse and talk on the phone at the same time. For users not on the AT&T network, you will still have to be connected to Wi-Fi to surf the web while on the phone.
What’s more, the iPhone 5’s camera, while improved, does not produce results that are considerably better than the widely hailed photographic capabilities of the 4S. Although the 5 offers a greater ISO range and a slightly larger lens, the pixel count is identical and the increased color saturation that was supposed to be an improvement, doesn’t always pan out so well.
Finally, the most overt and widely criticized change to the iPhone design is the miniaturization of the port to the Lightning connector. While, in this case, smaller really may be better and the change probably was a long time coming, we all have piles of iPhone accessories from the last ten years, ranging from car chargers to stereo docks, that now require extra adapters or are simply no good. What’s more, there is rumor that the lack of Lightning’s iPod-out protocol will render the most expensive docking systems completely useless.
Yet while many of the widely touted changes don’t seem like anything to write home about, there is one aspect that does have us particularly tickled: the use of third-party supports to make Siri even more of a charmer. Now, she can help you find what you need, from restaurants to the score of the ballgame, with ease never before experienced. As far as we’re concerned, more effectively feeding the demand for information is simply magnificent.
Yet, long story short, if you have the 4 or 4S, you needn’t feel in a rush to go out and grab the iPhone 5. The differences aren’t so appealing or dramatic that they’re going to change your life that much for the better. However, if you’re relying on the 3G, or heaven forbid the iPhone 3, your version is admittedly now archaic and there’s ample room for improvement. Needless to say, we don’t think the iPhone 5 was a home run, but we aren’t giving up on Tim Cook just yet either.
Frank Conley is a freelance writer and lover of all things digital. Whether it’s cool cameras, new laptops, phones or the newest high speed Internet, if it’s about technology, he likes it.