It’s been a very busy few weeks in the technology and photographic world lately, not only have Sony, Canon and Nikon been busy so has Apple.
They finally announced the iPhone 5 and unfortunately there was very little that hadn’t been leaked by the various rumour sites. This seems to be coming the norm and it does beg the question how bad is the security at these sites that such rumours “leak”? Or do the companies intentionally let this kind of information out?
I already have a 64GB iPhone 4s (only purchased because I wanted the 64GB capacity) so what does this phone offer me over the 4s? The specifications from Apple’s site are as follows:
- A6 versus A5 chip – allows for some enhanced software, this might be a reason in a few months time.
- Slighter taller, thinner and less weight (width remains the same) – less weight is always a bonus.
- The big reason: 4″ diagonal screen versus the 3.5″ – allows for another row of icons and when software takes advantage some nice new features.
- LTE – not really a useful feature at the moment. In the UK we only have one provider that is rolling this out and I don’t see Lincoln getting LTE coverage any time soon.
- Same 8MP camera (although redesigned for thinner body) – but this has some nice photo features that won’t be in my iPhone 4s.
- Upgraded face-time camera – now 1.2MP and 720p video versus VGA resolution photos and videos – don’t use the face-time camera to take photos so not a biggie.
- Better video stabilisation and face detection – this would be nice to have.
- New Dock Connector – this will be a problem for anyone who either had a lot of the old cables (like me) or had a lot of existing iOS devices or peripherals (again like me). Once the transition is complete this will become a non-issue.
- Comes with the EarPod headphones – I have already pre-ordered a set of these.
- Better battery life.
There is nothing about this phone that is “WOW!”, not helped by the rumour sites. This is an evolutionary upgrade as opposed to a revolutionary upgrade and after the announcement I was a little disappointed and I have to confess. I am really interested in the Nokia Lumia 920 (running Windows Phone 8), but having such an investment in the Apple ecosystem makes such changes difficult and costly. Additionally I really like the iPhone that I already have and I am getting a new operating system upgrade (iOS6) next week.
Some sites have asked why Apple didn’t include such features as Wireless charging or NFC (features that are included in the aforementioned Lumia 920)? Adding either of these will increase the thickness and weight and I have to ask how useful are they really. NFC seems to be a non-starter in the UK and there are no public places where you can wirelessly charge your device at the moment (at home you still need to plug the wireless charger into a mains supply.) This link from Macrumors states what Apple’s Phil Schiller thinks of such features. These might be useful in the future (when the iPhone 5s or 6 is released), but not today and not having them is not an issue.
However, even with such a minor upgrade for an iPhone 4s user my contract with Vodafone is up in December this year and I might go for the upgrade because whatever is said this is an upgrade over the previous iPhone and when the larger screen and faster chip are put to work that killer app that needs these features will be something that I will really want.
What makes staying within the Apple system is such services such as iCloud which got an upgrade at the end of last week for the web front end, this is something I use a lot so was quite happy to see this:
Finally, I have spoken to a lot of people at work about the new iPhone and nearly everyone who has an iPhone 4 are going for the 5, a few of the iPhone users are not and seem to more concerned with the tech-specs over the user experience. While I agree that there are some good features on some of the phones, I won’t be changing from Apple any time soon as what I gain with the iPhone, iCloud, iTunes and the overall Apple experiences far outweighs any of these “missing” features.