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iPhone 5: Worth the hype?

Thursday, October 04, 2012

I've had some time to play around with the newly released iPhone 5, and overall, I think the new device is more of an evolutionary product, as opposed to a revolutionary product. With its screen now 4 inches at an almost 16 by 9 display, its updated a6 soc processor, and iOS 6, the iPhone 5 is 60% faster than the iPhone 4s. In addition, the ram is increased from 512mg on the 4s to 1gb on the iPhone 5. The metal back on the new body of the phone is a step up from the glass on the previous models. The phone is also lighter feeling than the 4s but still feels like a solid Apple product. They new screen is what you would expect from Apple and the 4 inch size gives you the space to add an additional row of icons. Overall, very nice and clear.

One major change in the new iPhone 5 is the replacement of Google maps with a new Apple version that includes navigation. I'd have to say this app leaves a bit to be desired. Having Siri navigate is a nice touch... if only the mapping function worked properly. I tested it to see if it could get me from my home to work. Not a difficult commute and the app failed. It seems as though the new app is more like a beta version, and not a complete Apple product.

Other points worth noting:

- The 8 megapixel camera has been tweaked with new optics and a faster processor that makes auto focus quicker, allowing you the ability to snap pictures as fast as you can click. However, the picture quality is about the same as the 4s.

- There is no NFC - being able to pay with your phone is the future.

- The new iPhone 5 does have improved wifi and 4G LTE speeds


For those who have anything less than a 4s, the new iPhone 5 may be a worthwhile upgrade. If you have a 4s and you are content with 3G, I'd recommend sitting this one out. 

Note: if your carrier is Verizon and you have unlimited data, taking the upgrade price on the iPhone 5 will move you to a tiered data plan. And, you can sure rack up data usage charges quickly on the 4G LTE network. Do the math, but you might find it cheaper to buy the phone at retail price and keep your unlimited data.

By Steve Nowak, IT Resource Network Engineer

Image courtesy of Apple

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