As the queues have grown overnight in that now familiar feeding frenzy that is an Apple new product launch many people are looking to answer various questions about the iPhone 5. Surely the question that is being asked by most people is this, “Does the iPhone 5 live up to expectations?”. Many iPhone users were at least a little bit put out by Apple’s decision to release the iPhone 4S last year. They were expecting a whole new world of handset magic and got… a slightly disappointing rehash of an existing phone. Well, there can be no mistaking that this time Apple mean business. Even the regular tight security leading up to a launch has been amped up and excitement levels have risen accordingly. Will you be selling your mobile phone and joining the end of a queue to buy an iPhone 5?
The new handset is, apparently, 18% thinner than it’s predecessor which is a noticeable change. Combined with the fact that it features a larger screen than the 4S (with the actual body width remaining the same) the iPhone 5 will surely appeal to those looking for a more, erm, mobile mobile! It is also about 20% lighter than the iPhone 4S.
One of the biggest problems that users have been facing as smartphones get smarter and able to do more and more tasks is that battery life is drained increasingly more quickly. This is an area of huge importance for phone manufacturers and Apple are no different. With the iPhone 5 they have addressed this issue and have equipped it with a more energy efficient battery. Apple claim that there’s up to 10 hours of video playback, up to 8 hours of talk time and up to 8 hours of browsing on one charge.
The 5 is running on a brand new A6 chip that, claim Apple, does pretty much everything twice as fast as the A5 chip. In practice this should mean near instantaneous web page loading and email attachment opening. The A6 chip also boasts graphics performance that is nearly twice as fast as the A5. This will deliver smoother gaming through higher frame rates. All in all, everything should happen faster and smoother than ever before.
And while you’re enjoying the speed at which everything is happening on your new iPhone you will no doubt be amazed by the Retina display. The pixels are dense! There are 326 pixels per inch and this means that the naked eye can’t distinguish between one pixel and another. This basically means that images you view on the iPhone 5 will be clearer and more lifelike than ever before. And with a 44% increase in colour saturation from the iPhone 4S those games and apps that you will be enjoying (with the superfast A6 chip, don’t forget) will appear brighter, more colourful and more impressive than ever before. You can also watch HD video in widescreen. Who needs a TV?
But what about the sound quality whilst viewing these HD videos or playing on these super-colourful games? Well, Apple have had a think about that too. They have, they say, tested their new Apple EarPods (earphones) out on hundreds of different ears and have come up with a design that sits comfortably inside any ear. And when inputting sound there are a few new improvements too. There are 3 microphones, yes 3, on the iPhone 5. One on the front, one on the back and one on the bottom. They work together to target sound and focus on it to reduce background noise. They have new noise-cancelling technology inside the phone too to ensure that even in a noisy environment you can hear the person on the other end of the line.
What if photography is your thing? The iSight camera is still a part of the iPhone and it has gotten even better. There’s a great new panorama feature that allows the budding David Bailey in you to shoot a photograph up to 240 degrees! So the next time you have that enormous family photo you needn’t arrange everyone in separate groups, just line them up and let rip! There’s also the option to shoot HD video with up to 10 face recognition. And whilst shooting the video you can still take still shots. There’s no longer any excuse for missing those important events in your life.
Where I believe Apple have made a big mistake is in changing their connector from the 30-pin that has been around since they launched the iPhone in 2007 to the new Lightning connector. Yes the new Lightning connector may be quicker, yes it may be reversible and yes, it may be more durable. But, and this is a big but, you need to buy an adapter to use any of your old products with the iPhone 5, such as in-car chargers, car cradles etc
With the already high price of the handset and price plans I’m not sure that users will be happy with the added cost of buying an adapter. Time will tell. And with Samsung really upping the stakes with their new Galaxy S3 there is some genuine competition in the smartphone market. Those recycling their mobile phones have quite a decision on their hands. Good luck to them.