The iPhone 5 features a brand new design evolved from the previous 4 series. It’s the same width and general shape of a 4 with a few differences.
For one, its much taller, allowing it to use an amazing 4-inch 16:9 Retina display. And since it is the same width as the iPhone 4, it feels just as comfortable to hold. The phone uses black or white anodized aluminum all around and feels very solid despite how light it is.
The one thing I did notice though was if you have small hands, you will probably have a harder time reaching the full height and home button of the phone with your thumb as compared to the iPhone 4.
The iPhone 5 is also about 2 mm thinner and few ounces lighter than than the iPhone 4. Now this might not seem like much, but it makes a huge difference. The phone is thinner, lighter, and interestingly, more powerful than any of its predecessors.
Going back to the screen though, Apple has moved into a 4-inch 16:9 widescreen Retina display. But this new screen is more than just longer than the amazing iPhone 4S screen.
Mind Blowing Screen
Monitor calibration firm Displaymate tested the phone, and found that its color accuracy is 99% of the standard, which is light years above even the more muted iPhone 4 at 64% and the heavily over-saturated Galaxy S III. When you hold and use the phone, the evidence is clear. This is by far the most amazingly clear and accurate screen I’ve ever used.
Even more, after using this phone in a variety of outdoor environments, I’ve found that the screen reflectivity is much improved over the iPhone 4S, especially in bright daylight. I was able to easily read my phone in the middle of a clear Texas day outside at noon.
The Need for Speed
On the inside of the iPhone 5, we find a brand new Apple-designed A6 chip. This phone is lightning fast and much snappier than the already snappy iPhone 4S.
Loading up the camera app is near instantaneous, and as an added bonus, specialized components in the A6 chip allow it to take photos at an even faster rate than the iPhone 4S. Games run faster, apps are snappier, and the phone itself feels like a whole new generation of device.
And even though this new chip allows for about twice the performance over last year’s model, the battery life doesn’t suffer at all. In fact, I’ve found the battery life is actually better than my old iPhone 4S.
The iPhone 5 also includes new wireless antennas, allowing you to connect to all of your WiFi hotspots, both 2.4 and 5GHz wireless, Edge, CDMA, 3G, and now LTE. You can now enjoy the blazing fast LTE networks on your local wireless carriers, provided your phone works on their network.
The iPhone 5 includes an improved camera. While it is still at 8MP, using a new super-clear sapphire lens and larger back-lit sensor, the iPhone 5 takes pictures that are shaper and performs better in low light than the iPhone 4 did.
The final new feature of the iPhone 5 is the inclusion of the lightning connector, replacing the 9-year-old dock connector. Apple wanted a new, smaller connector compared to the quite hefty 30-pin dock connector. In turn we now have a new 8-pin Lightning connector that has raised a lot of questions and complaints since the phone is obviously no longer compatible with the huge library of accessories available on the market.
There are Lightning to 30-pin adapters available, but they are not cheap and functionality with older devices is still limited. Soon enough though, I would imagine the accessory market will catch up and have a whole new line of lightning based devices on the market.
Overall, I love this iPhone 5. It’s faster, it’s lighter, and it out performs the iPhone 4S in every regard.
The iPhone 5 is available from Apple stores, Apple.com and various phone stores worldwide.