iPhone 5 – Apple Losing Their Edge?

Category: Cell Phones - Date: November 15, 2012

Apple has finally released the iPhone 5 a couple of weeks ago, to the excitement of millions of fans and buyers worldwide, but unfortunately the new device isn’t all that the rumors made it up to be. It’s definitely a nice phone, but it’s nothing special by today’s standards. Even the most avid fans have noticed that the iPhone 5 is just an incremental improvement over the predecessor, just like the 4S was before it. Let’s take a closer look at the device and see what has changed and what stayed the same.

Design

The new iPhone 5 features the same overall design as the previous two models, and while it’s touted as a major improvement, its new aluminum housing is actually worse than the stainless steel and Gorilla glass on the 4 and 4S. The reason is that it scratches easily! Apple chose the new material to achieve an unprecedented 112 grams of weight and 7.6 mm thickness for the phone, but that point is moot if you have to use a protective sleeve at all times – and tests have already proven than the iPhone 4S’ is much more scratch and dent resistant. Other than that, the phone is pretty much an elongated iPhone 4S on the outside – look at it from afar and you won’t notice the difference.

Display

The biggest change in the phone is visible right away – the new 4.0 inch display is quite beautiful, with its 1136×640 resolution and full-RGB IPS matrix. The digitizer is also a part of the screen now, which makes it more responsive to touch and makes the image appear right at the surface – looking from the sides, you can see the difference when compared to the iPhone 4S and 4.

Hardware

The other hardware has remained more or less the same, although there are some differences worth noting. The main camera has received a slight upgrade with a better sensor, the phone now has support for 4G LTE, Bluetooth 4.0 and dual band Wifi N, and there’s still no NFC radio or wireless charging (which disappointed a lot of people). The iPhone 5 comes in the same 16/32/64 models as the previous phones, as well.

The performance should be slightly better in general apps and twice as good in games, thanks to the new Apple A6 SoC – a custom ARM-based design, with a dual core processor running at 1.2 GHz, 1024 MB of RAM and a new PowerVR SGX series multicore GPU. It’s not exactly top of the line, but iOS doesn’t really need quad cores, either. The battery life should remain similar to the 4S, seeing as the iPhone 5 has the same 1440 mAh battery.

Software

The iPhone 5 ships with iOS 6 pre-installed, although the new version is already being deployed to the other iDevices. There are a few improvements under the hood, but the biggest change is Apple Maps – the new maps and turn by turn navigation app/service. It has caught a lot of flak for not being accurate, and Apple says it’s a work in progress – I guess we’ll see if they can improve it before people switch to Bing or back to Google.

Conclusion

The iPhone 5 is a good phone, but it’s not what people were expecting. In a market with quad cores, 4.5+ inch HD displays and 2000+ mAh batteries, it’s getting harder to buy into Apple’s promises. While the iPhone 5 is worth it for beginners and causal users, I’d say power users should look elsewhere.

Here’s some more pictures of Apple’s iPhone 5:

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