One thing Tim Cook may have forgotten to learn from his mentor is how to keep a secret. I have to start this right now; the iPhone 5 is definitely a great phone on its own, but not much if compared to the iPhone 4S. If you are not into that, then keep your 4S. Right now, the iPhone 5 looks like the S version of the iPhone 4S.
Ok, I don’t want to sound negative here, but unlike what many fans were expecting, very little was groundbreaking for the new iPhone 5. Most of it was simply improved, with less of the “new” surprises that we were so eagerly awaiting. Rumors and leaks have spoiled us and kind of dampened the magic since we already knew most of the stuff they were presenting. None the less, here are a few key changes.
Let’s start here. Once again, Apple touts the “thinnest smartphone” label. The official measurement is 7.6mm thick. That is 18% thinner than the 9.3 mm iPhone 4S and thinner than the 8.6 mm Galaxy S3. iPhones are getting very thin, but Apple promises unyielding quality. At the very least, they won’t use the plastic material of Samsung. The iPhone 5 is very light at 112 grams. The iPhone 4S was 140 grams.
It apparently takes better low light photos, which makes us very eager to pit this against the PureView camera from Nokia. It also features a better smart filter for less noisy photos. Panoramic mode is finally a go, with a very stable image capture mechanism. It apparently takes photos 40% faster than the iPhone 4S.
Take note that the iPhone 5 front facing camera will now support 720p, making video calls even clearer visually compared to the 4S.
They improved voice call quality by introducing a wide band audio system which will make your voice sound more natural over the phone. Apple was quick to offer a disclaimer that the technology is useless until the carrier network supports it. According to Apple, 20 carriers have promised to support the new feature.
Say good bye to your old dock connectors. “Lightning” the name of the new Dock connector will be smaller, thinner and faster than the old dock connector. You can insert it in either direction, and they will also offer an adapter as expected for compatibility with older phones and docks.
Yes, the iPhone 5 officially joins the league of 4G LTE enabled phones. They even say that their LTE is so fast, there is no need for Wi-Fi. I have to say, that no matter how good your phone’s data capabilities are, there is no substitute yet to Wi-Fi. Still, it gives us a pretty good idea of how good their connection probably is.
The best things in life should last, and Apple tried to make the iPhone 5 last slightly longer than the iPhone 4S. Apple measures that the device will last about 8 hours of 3G or LTE talk time or browsing. 10 hours on Wi-Fi browsing. Apparently, Apple will be the first to launch an LTE device that does not kill the battery like butter on a hot pan.
According to Apple’s statistics, the new A6 chip in the iPhone 5 will be 2X faster in terms of CPU and 2x graphics compared to the A5. Which means, it is just a bump in CPU if you are coming from the A5X which already doubles the graphic performance of the A5 chip. Still, the Real Racing 3 game they demonstrated up front was very impressive. It was comparable with console game graphics!
I’m pretty sure this was the first thing you thought I would talk about, so I purposely put it last. The other reason is saving the best for last is a common practice, isn’t it? The iPhone 5 is the first iPhone to break away from the small 3.5 inch display to a 4 inch display which now allows an additional row of icons on the display. Despite the increase in size, they managed to keep the 326 ppi density of the Retina display with a 1136 x 640 resolution. The display is also improved to offer 44% better color saturation.
I don’t know if you can feel it, but I am a bit underwhelmed by what they have presented in the hardware. Sure, we expected that increase in processor even without the leaks. If they didn’t do that, they would have been a failure. LTE is already a trend that is not really something people have in their minds, although it is an ongoing trend among manufacturers.
The iPhone 5 is a redesign, but they didn’t put a lot on the table to make me want to get one yet. They will cover the iOS 6 updates later on, but for now, the hardware is just what the leaks told you. It’s thinner, lighter, and longer, with some minor improvements here and there.
I hope more than just 20 carriers support the better audio feature, but what happens for those that can’t support it? Not everyone will have an iPhone 5, and if we know Apple, they patented it out already; making sure the tech won’t reach other manufacturers, which means less reason for carriers to modify their services just for Apple.
I hope you forgive me if I didn’t add phrases like ”I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that the hardware and software engineering that has gone into this product is unlike we’ve ever undertaken before.” used in the presentation. Let’s agree that they are exaggerating for the most part. Maybe it’s because the allure of the Steve Jobs presentation was missing, but this new device certainly did not feel as magical as when it first came around.
Please take note that these are all just based from the presentation. Real world testing has yet to be done for the device, and as we all know, experience can always change opinions. Hopefully, I will get my own chance to play with the device when it comes out.
Image sources: engadget.com