Thursday, September 20, 2012
The iPhone 5: Worth the Hype?
The iPhone has consistently been an industry leader in the smartphone market. As technology is minimized and usage optimized, the iPhone 5 will be the best of its product line to date. But is the 5 actually as amazing as all the hype makes it seem? My simple answer: No. While the 5 does have excellent features and specs, it's nothing compared to the amount of hype that it's gotten since the last iPhone came out (the 4S). The iPhone 5 has a bigger screen, increasing size from a 3.5'' display to a 4'' display. That's a big improvement in my mind. However, you'll have to decide what size phone is for you when choosing between the Droid RAZR (and Maxx), the Samsung Galaxy S3, the Nokia Lumia 920, and other phones that are out or are coming out soon. Another big improvement that I've found is the removal of a glass backing. Too many times I saw people drop their iPhone 4 and 4S's resulting in that spider-web shatter pattern on the front and/or back. The processor is also much improved, as the 5 comes with an A6 dual-core chip rated at 1.05 GHz. The new processor is said to be about twice as fast as that of the 4S (statistically only about 25% faster), which will show tangibles affects when using Verizon's 4G LTE.
The 5 also comes with savvy new features like Passbook and an all-new Maps app, just to name two major additions (stock with iOS6, which is available to other iDevices as well). While I've seen some complaints about the Apple Maps app in comparison to Google Maps, we'll have to wait until the phone is actually in user's hands before making that allegation. And while I don't personally like the idea of having the contents of my wallet saved in my phone (for security reasons), Passbook and Google Wallet are both nifty apps that can save time and create a simpler way to go about our fast-paced lives.
Some low points for me are the cameras of the 5 and the battery life. The cameras are still on par with current industry standards, but are no real improvement from the iPhone 4S. One of the biggest demands from all smartphone users is power. Especially moving to 4G LTE, users will have quicker download speeds and will be able to surf the web and apps at faster speeds. This means using more juice. The iPhone 5 has only a 1,440 mAh battery. That's on the low end even for 3G phones. While the 5 does have efficient processing and will still last over 10 hours with such a battery, it's really no comparison to other smartphones and will almost definitely not be enough power to last throughout a day of full usage and no recharging. Another downside to this is that the battery is embedded, so you can't even have a backup battery to replace yours when it dies. While you can buy a tool and have a battery, the iPhone 5's battery is not meant to be removed, so this is not a very viable option.
While I didn't go through each spec of the iPhone 5, you have a general idea of it's performance and capabilities. The 5 looks like a great new smartphone, keeping pace with other leaders in the category. However, I don't see the delivery of innovation that Apple has hyped up for the past year. Millions of people worldwide have been licking their chops to hear the announcement of the new iPhone, and I think they will be disappointed. Not that the iPhone 5 isn't great quality, but for the amount of suspense and publicity Apple gives its products (specifically the iPhone/iPad lines), I think they've failed to provide consumers with the next best thing. Usually, the leading smartphone is only really king for a few months, if not less. This iPhone isn't even king at it's release, so why bother getting it? Buy a different smartphone, or wait till the holiday season for other, better products to be released. Sorry Apple, I'm not impressed.