The iPhone 5 is a clear evolution of the stark, industrial design introduced two years ago with the iPhone 4. That collection of square edges and raw materials was a huge contrast to everything else the company was producing and, frankly, everything else on the market. It was like an artifact from another dimension where ergonomics lost out to purity of vision, and Apple saw no reason to compromise that purity for the 4S nor, as it turns out, for the 5.
Visually, much has stayed the same, but the biggest change is impossible to see. Pick up the iPhone 5 and you're immediately struck by the reduction in weight. At 112 grams it's 20 percent lighter than the 4S, a figure that doesn't seem like it would make much of an impact. It does -- so much so that it's the lightness, not the bigger display or the thinness, that nearly everybody praises when first getting a chance to hold the iPhone 5 in their own hands.
But that elevated glass does mean your finger doesn't hit any rough edges or unfortunate surfaces when tracing the edges of the panel. The front-facing FaceTime HD camera now sits centered, directly above the earpiece. The Home button, meanwhile, has moved a fraction of a millimeter down and its resistance feels slightly different than that on the 4S, a touch more progressive with a more definitive detent. Hopefully the internal mechanism will prove more durable over time. >>> Click Here To Get iPhone 5 The Best Price <<<
The position and design of the other buttons is likewise largely unchanged from the 4S, with the discrete, circular volume up and down buttons on the left just below the (slightly thinner) toggle switch. The headphone jack now moves to the bottom, a change that will cause some to modify their well-established pocket-retrieval mannerisms. But, as users of the iPod touch will tell you, having that jack on the bottom feels quite natural, and we agree. This is a good move.
The phone's speakers are also positioned on the bottom, playing out through a series of 26 holes that flank another major change in the iPhone 5: the Lightning connector.
Why the move away from a glass back? Is it about creating a better, more durable finish, or is it about weight reduction? Apple's proud of its claims of how light the iPhone 5 is, and the new aluminum back is part of that. So is the move to a Nano-SIM card (making SIM swaps once again impossible and requiring a visit to your carrier's store). So is the thinner screen and the smaller dock connector. You get the picture. Get iPhone 5
Hold an iPhone 4S up to the new iPhone, and I could see the difference in thickness. It's not huge, but it feels even slimmer considering its expanded width and length. What I really noticed is how light it is. I still feel weirded out by it. The iPhone 5's 3.95-ounce weight is the lightest an iPhone's ever been. The iPhone 4S is nearly a full ounce heavier at 4.9 ounces. The iPhone 3G was 4.7 ounces. The original iPhone and iPhone 4 were 4.8 ounces. This is a phase-change in the nearly constant weight of the iPhone -- it's iPhone Air.
Yet, the iPhone 5 doesn't look dramatically different like the iPhone 4 once did. Actually, it seems more like a fusion of the iPhone with the iPad and MacBook design.
New with iOS 6 is Panorama mode, where you can tap one button and just sweep the phone around to create a massive image. Resulting files are something like 11,000 x 2,500, with the exact resolution varying based on how smoothly you panned from left to right. If you wander up or down the display will warn you to keep in line, and you'll want to, as every time you stray you're effectively cropping the resulting image.
The file is captured in one seamless motion and the final product is almost always free of the sort of glitches and visual aberrations typically found in these self-stitching panoramas. That said, it isn't totally error-free. We took one panorama inside the New Museum in New York City, a room full of thin black lines against a white background. It's about as tough a test as Panorama mode will ever see and indeed you can make out some slight glitches in those lines, but in normal cityscapes and country scenes we struggled to find signs of artifacting. The results are almost always very impressive. Get iPhone 5
Of course, that's a dangerous seduction: with fast LTE comes expensive rates and data caps. AT&T also requires a specific plan to even enable FaceTime over cellular. Make sure you don't fall down the rabbit hole of overusing your LTE, because believe me, you're going to want to. I tried setting it up a wireless hot spot for my MacBook Air, and the result was generally excellent.
Outside major cities, it's not quite as exciting if you don't have LTE coverage. Using the AT&T iPhone 5 out in East Setauket, Long Island, data download speed was merely 3.5Mbps because of a lack of AT&T LTE service. Verizon's LTE coverage map is larger, but Sprint's LTE network is small as well. My experience with AT&T and LTE may not necessarily be yours.
Wi-Fi has also gotten a bit of a boost via dual-band 802.11n support over both 2.5GHz and 5GHz. It should help in the event of interference with other Wi-Fi devices, although I never encountered that problem before, even with tons of Wi-Fi gadgets scattered about my apartment. >>> Click Here To Get iPhone 5 The Best Price <<<
The iPhone 5 is a significant improvement over the iPhone 4S in nearly every regard, and in those areas that didn't see an upgrade over its predecessor -- camera, storage capacity -- one could make a strong case that the iPhone 4S was already ahead of the curve. Every area, that is, except for the OS. If anything, it's the operating system here that's beginning to feel a bit dated and beginning to show its age.
Still, the iPhone 5 absolutely shines. Pick your benchmark and you'll find Apple's thin new weapon sitting at or near the top. Will it convince you to give up your Android or Windows Phone ways and join the iOS side? Maybe, maybe not. Will it wow you? Hold it in your hand -- you might be surprised. For the iOS faithful this is a no-brainer upgrade. This is without a doubt the best iPhone yet. This is a hallmark of design. This is the one you've been waiting for.