Here it is, arguably the most hyped phone of the year. The iPhone 5 sits on top of the hill, the smartphone hill. But is it still the King? From a sales standpoint, the iPhone 5 is already in the hands of over 5 million consumers. But what about iOS 6? What about the Maps? and What about the ever so delicate anodized aluminum issue also known as "scuff gate" Whatever flaws found in perfection are subjective. Read the full review to find out why. Video review is below and if you missed it check out the unboxing and hands on photos.
Hardware and Aesthetics
The new generation of iPhone is everything Apple claims. It's faster, smarter, thinner, and lighter. I am here to tell you how they have achieved that and if it's a worthy upgrade, replacement or your first smartphone.
Before I dive deep into the review let's talk about what we see first, the hardware. Smartphones have become a huge part of our lives. It is something that we have on us all the time. Apple understands that and the design team didn't take the design of the iPhone 5 lightly. They wanted to make a beautiful phone and they did. As a fan of all mobile platforms, I am amazed at how they improved ever aspect of the phone and fit it all into a 7.6mm thick slate. This feat was previously done by Motorola with the original RAZR however, the design is nothing compared to Apple's The iPhone 5 is a work of art and the design team has been recognized posthumously throughout the world.
image courtesy of phone arena
The frame of the iPhone 5 is primarily aluminum which is why it feels so light in the hands. In order to appreciate the design, you have to understand the growth that Apple has taken to get to the iPhone 5. It essentially has the best hardware that Apple has offered for the last 5 years. It has the aluminum back from the first iPhone. The repairability of the iPhone 3G. The iconic design of the iPhone 4.
For the first time in 5 years Apple changed the display on the iPhone to a 4 inch, 16:9 widesreen, 326 ppi, retina display. This extra screen real estate is welcome as the web and media experience is much improved. Inside the iPhone 5 is a dual core CPU and a triple core GPU. The horsepower behind iOS 6 provides the fluid lag free OS that we have all grown to love. Compared to the heavy weights in the smartphone industry the iPhone 5 comes in a little under matched spec wise but outperforms the best. Games and media play smoothly and simply just work.
The same rear 8MP 1080p camera is present on the iPhone 5 however, there have been some software improvements. An auto dynamic light mode provides better images in low light. Apple opted to put a sapphire glass cover over the lens to present clearer pictures. The front facing camera is now a 1.2MP 720p camera and the quality is top notch. The wireless radios also received some enhancements. There is now an LTE radio inside for fast cellular downloads and WIFI antennas are now capable of working on dual band wireless N networks. In the end, this phone is fast and can connect to fast things. Simple as that.
Right away there isn't anything significantly different with iOS 6. While Siri has improved to bring you movie, sports and restaurant information, Maps is now outsourced to TomTom instead of Google. The media says Apple's decision was a poor one. On a larger scale it was; however, I have not personally experienced anything inadequate from the new maps. I refuse to say it is terrible just because everyone else is. If you are in a metropolitan area, you may find more mistakes than someone in a rural area. Apple has found a winning formula with iOS's simplicity. After 5 years it doesn't feel anything but stale. It's just the same grid of icons over and over. While consumers are typically viewed as unreceptive to drastic changes, I think Apple may have an exception. iOS 6 is more stable and it is more fluid but consumers want more. Sadly, Apple is usually is the one to show us what we want. Now, "Android does"
The iPhone 5′s iSight camera on the back features the same eight-megapixel sensor as its predecessor, the iPhone 4S, only thinner and with sapphire lens cover. In addition, the module has been improved for better low-light performance, yielding major quality improvements when snapping up your photos under artificial light or in low-light situations.
Apple should really get a pat on the back for their battery technology. Everyone wondered why LTE was absent from the 4S. Verizon and AT&T didn't have an LTE network and the technology was a battery hog. Months later, Apple has released an LTE smart phone with a 1460mAh battery that can get roughly 7 hours of talk time. That is phenomenal compared to the competition. One notable mention is that stand by time has been improved. I am talking about a 5% loss in battery life over several hours.
What? Make calls. Who does that anymore? Believe it or not, the phone hasn't been taken out of smartphone yet. You can actually use this to make calls and great ones. The three microphones provide some of the clearest call quality I have ever experienced. The real test of the microphones is during video recording and FaceTime. Background noise is eliminated and diction is clear and precise.
The iPhone 5 is the best iPhone yet. However, That doesn't mean current iPhone 4S owners should feel left out. Aside from the hardware changes and LTE. The iPhone 5 isn't much different. Since, iOS 6 is available on last generation hardware, If you have an iPhone 4 or earlier (iPhone 3GS), then you don't get all the new features like 3D Maps and panorama camera. The speed and camera improvements alone are worth the buy. Also, If LTE is in your area and you don't want to try Windows Phone 8 or Android. Apple's iPhone 5 is a solid choice this year.