Guest post by sara, tech enthusiast and blogger. Currently contributing to many tech blogs such as bestiphone5apps.us
Over the past year we’ve seen a galaxy of all-singing, all-dancing smartphones, but there was only one launch that could stop the whole planet in its tracks. If they’d sold tickets to the iPhone unveiling, they would have been snapped up quicker than the canapés at a piranha convention. Thinner, lighter and more powerful, the new iteration of the world’s most influential gadget is unmistakably Apple – because it’s also restrained, shunning pumped-up specs for style, simplicity and a build quality that puts the competition to shame. This 7.6mm thin, 112g gadget is so important that we felt its presence long before it arrived. Mostly in the form of rumours on the internet.
As hot as… the sharp end of a lightsaber
iPhone 5 Features:
The new screen is still a dazzlingly crisp 326ppi Retina display, but it’s now a 4in, 1136x640, 16:9 window. More space for app icons and films, but there’ll be black bars down the side of some apps until the developers catch up.
The new A6 chip has a CPU and a graphics processor claimed to be twice as fast as the A5 chip in the 4S and iPad 2. Apple says this allows for ‘console-quality’ graphics – and we’re pretty sure they don’t mean a SNES.
The need 4 speed
FaceTime gets a 720p camera and the option to use your network connection as well as Wi-Fi. Fortunate, then, that the iPhone also gets 4G wireless – more on that overleaf. Siri, meanwhile, gets improved local search skills.
iPhone 5 has a new connector.
Lightning, as it’s called, is a digital only system, whereas the old 30-pin set-up hooked up to a lot of analogue audio connections. To keep from rendering all those old speaker docks obsolete, Apple has made an adaptor. It’s £25. Ouch. But, it has squeezed a DAC into it – so it should work with your existing dock, in your car and everywhere else your old iPhone worked. So there’s that.
Hands – on with iphone 5
It’s fair to say that the initial post keynote vibe was that of mild disappointment. But, you have to touch the iPhone 5 to really get it. The handset is improbably light but impressively solid, all diamond-cut aluminium edges, gently textured anodized surfaces and glass inserts fitted to within microscopic tolerances. It feels more luxurious than any luxury phone I’ve ever held, and thanks to some new screen tech, the pin-sharp image seems closer than ever. If the Galaxy S III is an American muscle car, the iPhone 5 is an executive Audi.
Dock issue? Lightn’ up
A quick play with the Lightning connector had me feeling a little better about that controversial dock change. It’s a microUSB small, tough-feeling connector that plugs into the iPhone either way round, eliminating nighttime scrabbling . In a way, it’s as sensible as the SCART to HDMI upgrade.
Smooth as silk
Maps, the iOS 6 headline feature, shows off the new power on offer. There’s no slowdown when you zoom and pan, and only the data heavy ‘flyover’ mode buffers. The camera app fires up almost instantly, while tweeting and facebooking direct from Siri or the photos app is every bit as polished as you’d expect from an incremental iOS upgrade.
But is it the best?
The 5 makes no game-changing tech leaps – no quad-core chip, no NFC, and only a minor screen extension – but for iOS users, usability, build quality and software are the things that will really make the difference.