Nothing gets more hype in the tech world then a new Apple product. The company has perfected eclipsing last year's gadget to a science. Millions of customers had waited anxiously for the iPhone 5, the current holy grail of upgrades, devouring countless rumors about its revolutionary features. Finally, Apple unveiled their newest smartphone on September 12th in San Francisco, releasing it at the end of the following week. Within the first three days of release, Apple ran out of stock, selling 5 million units worldwide.
At first glance, it's hard to tell what separates the iPhone 5 from the rest. After all, it has almost the exact look and feel of previous models. That is, almost but better. It is the thinnest and lightest phone ever made, weighing in at 112 grams with a depth of 7.6 mm. The iPhone 5 is longer than earlier Apple sizes, allowing for a whole extra row of Apps on the screen and many more pixels.
What it loses in bulk, it more than makes up for in display. Resolution and color are exquisite and lifelike. Zooming into a picture of a brightly colored flower makes your eyes go wide. Navigating the system is much easier and more intuitive. The touch screen and display screen are one-in-the-same, not layered on top of one another as on the iPhone 4S. This allows better responsiveness to every single touch. Additionally, Apple's agreement with Deutsche Telekom to provide an LTE connection lets you surf the Internet and upload data instantaneously. No more stalling pages or buffering signal. Who has time for that anyway?
If you enjoy taking photos and videos with your phone, you are going to fall in love with this product. The camera has similar features as the iPhone 4S, such as flipping between two lenses (on the front and back sides), and a crosshair grid option to aim your shot. Yet, the pictures and movies are better quality, the 'shoot' buttons are more responsive, and you can even take stills while recording a movie. It also includes an improved panoramic view feature, where you sweep your phone along an arc to capture a wide area. The Photos App layout is more interactive and visually pleasing as well. It is customizable and you can create stunning collages of your favorite photo categories. Chatting face-to-face with friends and family is just as easy and visually engaging. Apple's Facetime, its Skype-like program, now has higher definition.
In the realm of battery life and processing power, iPhone 5 has completely surpassed its predecessors. For anything you could possibly do on this phone, the battery will last between 10 to 40 hrs. As we all know, "results may vary," but even with countless applications open, a movie running nonstop, and a day-long dial marathon, you should still be able to get a good 11 hrs out of it. It also has some great new setting options like security features, tons of voice and keyboard language options (even differentiating between German and Swiss German on the keyboard), and voice dictation.
However, the iPhone 5 does have a major flaw. Apple removed Google Maps in this version, replacing it with their own Apple Maps. While Apple's version allows you to view different aerial angles of a location, their system is not very accurate. Don't be surprised if it tells you that you're currently in Munich, Texas, or that you must drive through rivers and lakes to get to your destination. Also, if you ask Siri a question, she may answer you based on another location.
All in all, the iPhone 5 is a winner, and has stolen the hearts of Apple's global clientele. So, was it more an improvement than a revolution? Yes and no. Even though certain aspects were inherited from previous models, Apple's engineers needed to completly reconfigure the phone's insides, creating better, more efficient, and smaller components. Some of this relied on investing in new technology, other on setting the layout by hand. Either way, this is one of the reasons Apple has an iPhone 5 shortage right now. Not to worry, Apple usually invests large amounts in novel production approaches and materials and we can be sure to see more iPhone 5s on the market in no time.