Another year, another iPhone. After a week of use, you’ll have to be the Hulk or Johny Ives to pry it from me.
That is not to say it is perfect. The perfect iPhone hasn’t been invented, yet. We are getting close though. Lets dive in to the review then.
First up the, the hardware.
Apple have been pushing the boundaries of materials used in their products for years. The titanium PowerBooks, the plastics in the iBooks and then the big push in to aluminium and glass of the last 5 years. When the fist iPhone landed with the aluminium and plastic back and glass screen, it was a revelation in the mobile world. The only company to ever be that adventurous with hardware before was Nokia. Here we have a new device from Apple that again utilises Glass and aluminium In a way no other manufacturer does.
The Aluminium enclosure of the new iPhone is reassuringly strong in hand, yet is surprisingly lightweight.
As you can tell from the pictures, I opted for the white version of the new iPhone. My first white iPhone out of all the ones I’ve ever had. My reason for choosing this was that on launch day one of my colleagues got the black one. When he came into the office to show his new iPhone, we quickly noticed a small mark on casing near the bottom right antenna bar. It would seem that the black anodising have not bonded correctly with aluminium. This is a bit of an issue all the way around the Internet with the new iPhone 5. Mainly in the black versions but there are instances and white ones with manufacturing faults. Mine is included in this as there is a small black mark just on the seam between the glass and the aluminium on the top back of my handset. But I can live with that because the naked aluminium really adds something special to the device. That doesn’t mean that the black version does not look special. It does, it looks like it’s been stealthed!
But here I am with a device in the regular Apple aluminium, highlighted by one of the most glorious screens I’ve ever seen. What a difference half an inch makes.
The iPhone screen was the perfect site given the depth of the device. You are able to get your finger from the top to the bottom of the screen in one hand action. You cannot do this on a 4.5 All 4.8 inch Samsung screen for instance. Screens can get too big. The new version of iPhone screen is of the same retinal quality that was introduced with the iPhone 4. The biggest difference however is not the increase in size. That’s relative for the size of the device. The difference is in colour saturation. I can only compare it to when I switch from an original iPad to a new third-generation retina iPad. It really is a joy to behold with the eyes.
As you work your way around the device you find that the moving of the headphone socket to the bottom form just makes sense. I’m surprised it didn’t happen sooner although given the fact that the dock connector was so large that it makes sense that it stayed where it was.
Coming to the replacement of the dock connector, the lightning port on the bottom of the phone is one of the over looked wonders and misunderstood bonuses of the new iPhone. This connector will be around for the best part of a decade. It will be on hundreds of millions of devices. So it’s very nice to know that you no longer have to care which way the cable is facing when you put it in. Honestly this is a problem that you learnt to cope with and forgot that it should be simpler. Just going to have to keep an eye out for when I’m going to need extra cables at £15 a shot they’re not cheap.
I have to say that even though the aluminium is slightly soft on the device and if you’re regular readers this website don’t know that I wanted my next iPhone to be made from liquid metal, well I didn’t get that this time round but we can’t be too far away from the liquid metal case, if not a coated device over the next couple of years. That means no scratches and very little damage would be possible on the device. At least On the casing. That’s is nothing of the screen, which in recent drop tests has survived better than the Samsung variants as the new gorilla glass on the front is really really quite impressive.
I’ve done an introduction to iOS 6, but with the iPhone 5 the new operating system seems even more fluid.
The interface scales very nicely with the extra screen real estate. Some are aware that iOS scales nicely when it went with 10 inch screen of the iPad, the adaptability of this operating system is proven with every iteration. There are many that are calling iOS a boring operating system now, but perhaps I wonder if they are just feeling that it’s boring because unlike android it doesn’t change with every version. It doesn’t have to reinvent itself.
If you used iOS before on any iDevice, you know how to use this device. If you’re new to the world of Apple products firstly I say welcome and secondly I say this is going to be the best time to do it. The polish on the operating system is second to none. Given the processing power inside the new iPhone, its so fluid it’s hard to believe.
The seamless way that everything just works together is vastly impressive. Considering I have the best part 200 applications installed on my own device, I expected some lag, some bugginess. The new A6 processor in the iPhone five seems to have dynamic overclocking capabilities which means performance very rarely stutters. In fact, with my current handset I’ve not come to a point where it has. The only things that have caused issue, have been apps that have not been updated.
So to wrap up, can I recommend the iPhone 5? Yes. Absolutely!
It’s very easy to say that you should get an iPhone. It even easier to quantify. I moved from the 4S to the new 5. Usually with Apple products a one generation gap, you always feel a little bit of buyers remorse. The difference between the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S was yes, based on performance but not on looks. As I reflect back on that, I probably could have lived with it for another year.
But with the new iPhone 5, there is enough of a difference here for existing users of any pre-existing handsets to really feel excited about. If you’re coming into the Apple world from the cold winter of android then you will have a pleasant experience as you find that the operating system is tightly packed together and consistent. It also is expendable through into Apple’s desktop, laptop, and tablet solutions.
Is the iPhone 5 perfect? No. There are no perfect mobiles yet. They’re probably never will be, but we are getting there.