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People cancelled dinner plans, tracking the launch live on the internet, some even bought shares in the company the day before (people we know!)
But with all the hype around Apple’s announcement of the new iPhone 5, lets try keep a cool head and put it all into perspective.
It’s the thinnest LTE smartphone in the world (our cellular networks are as yet not LTE capable) at a svelte 7.6mm. It’s also 20% lighter at 112g. There’ve been some leaked images circulating on the internet and the real thing looks just like it – an aluminium body with a glass screen. This is all academic of course, because you’ll be slipping a protective cover over it the day you collect it.
Apple have bumped it up to a 4-inch 16:9 display with 44% better saturation than your old 4S (marketers love the percentages). Combining the display layer and touch sensors, there’s now nothing between the glass and the pixels (hence the thinness). When the last generation version was launched, Apple stated that the Retina screen exceeded the capabilities of the human eye. So is the new display overkill?
The brains of the phone have been replaced with Apple’s proprietary A6 chip, promising twice the speed. The super impatient will be delighted to know that their apps and web pages will load a few Nano seconds quicker.
This is the one we’ve all been waiting for. As great as the previous iPhones were, they were only great till 4 o’clock in the afternoon (with heavy use), before you had to reach for your charging cable. Figures claimed: 8 hours of 3G talktime, 10 hours of Wi-Fi browsing, 225 hours on standby. Compared to the 4S, we’d guess it’s 30% better, which should get you past 6pm.
The 8MP snapper on the 4S is exceptional (Google ‘Olympic photos with iPhone). Thankfully Apple resisted joining the megapixel race – the 5 also has an 8MP sensor. However there still seem to be some significant improvements. The new camera (called iSight, of course) and its backlit sensor and processor ensure better noise reduction for your nocturnal shootings, and the bright f2.4, five-element lens will help too. The screen is taller, but not just so you can fit another row of apps on your home screen – there’s a panorama mode, allowing a 240-degree sweep of your favourite landscape, and stitching it all together. All said, Samsung are set to launch their Galaxy Camera – a compact shooter with an Android interface at the back. An optical zoom will always win.
Apple have declared big upgrades on the sound, notably new earphones called EarPods (no ‘i’ in front this time). These can only be an improvement on the pitiful buds bundled in the boxes of all previous iPods and iPhones. Other upgrades include better speakers, microphones (three of them) and external noise cancelling for clearer calls. We’re glad someone’s paying attention to this, with smartphone manufacturers often ignoring the fact that they’re actually making phones.
Rumours of a new connection port have caused panic and disorder among the Apple accessory manufacturers, and true enough, the iPhone 5 has a new, smaller, 8-pin Lightning port. But what about that new sound dock you got for your last birthday? Well, Apple offer a connector to covert the old to the new. You can breathe again.
Worth the upgrade?
The US pricing model has the new iPhone at exactly the same price as the 4S (before the launch). The 4S is now still available at half the amount, so if you bought one a week ago, you have every right to curse. Faced with the two options, the new and the old, it’s a tough choice, but if you have the means, you may as well go for the new one.