iPhone 5 Review

Each time Apple launch iPhone, everyone goes hyper – be it critics or fanboys! It has never been a smooth launch for Apple – iPhone 4 release saw Antennagate while iPhone 4S met with yellow gate, battery issues & wifi issues with iOS 5. The recent edition of iPhone met with two “gates” too – scufffgate & purple gate. Inspite of all these glitches, the success of each product is meteoric. Each launch extends the standards to a great level. But iPhone 5 was labelled was “not revolutionary”! Lets see if its true.

Non Revolutionary?

Before I get to unboxing and reviewing, I have a point to make!

I met few other friends/colleagues/relatives and read few articles on internet saying iPhone 5 wasn’t revolutionary. Their words were like these – “Its nothing new!” , “The same 4S in new pack” , “Even camera MP isn’t changed!” , “Its just bigger version of 4S” , “Tell me whats new in that?”. I was kind of pissed off (Fanboy!) because, I knew they had a point. Then I heard my friend say this – “Get one and you will know its not true!”

So here I am. Holding iPhone 5. And It is Revolutionary. Really.

It does make S3 or One X look outdated physically. It, surely, matches or even out-class them (purely to my view!).

To all who criticised iPhone 5 – Just Shut Up! Hold my phone, use it for few days, and you will know. If you still don’t, you don’t understand this beauty. Its not boring even from a 4S upgrade. Its cruelly sexy, a beast, feisty and, like others, reliable (Duh the maps! Apple will get better!).

Maybe these critics expected too much out of the new iPhone 5 and its not their mistake. Its Apple’s. They set the standard very high. And they are paying the price.

UnBoxing :

Ripping off the plastic cover was easy as always. And Inside is the iPhone 5. The first time I saw the phone, It seemed huge. My eagerness to view the new EarPods made me lift the phone and then…. It was like too light. I really thought the phone didn’t come with battery to be that light. Its seriously light and its incredible!.

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Then came the new ear pods. And below is this lightning connector. The shop keeper advised me to keep this cable safe. If I lose it, its hard to find another in India. True. There is this charger and manuals. So no changes when compared to 4S. Its simple and I prefer it this way.

Scuffgate?!

The next that I did was to search for any scuffs. And I strained my eyes very hard to find one scuff. Its not a biggie (See pic below) when compared to what was being told on internet. Also I was told scuffs are more visible in Black models than White. Maybe! I can’t say for Black ones, but mine seems perfect without scuff. Its ridiculous to blame Apple for just one teeny tiny mark.

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Reports poured in later that the scuffs were from the first batch only.

Design :

The design remains the same from previous edition of iPhone. Its not a 3GS to 4 jump. The ‘Z’ has increased but externally, its just the same. It is little thinner when compared to 4S. The right side remains the same. Noticeable is the “Antenna” thats white compared to black on my 4S.The Sim card slot occupies less space, thanks to Nano SIM.

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On the face of device, the sensor in 4S have become smaller and taken the place of the secondary camera in 5. The home button is also present and nothing has changed there.

The back side has few changes. There is aluminium block that has the Apple logo and the wordings. This is placed between the two glass pieces on top and bottom. Between flash and camera is a tiny microphone that picks up audio during video recording.

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The left side also remains the same. The Mute and Volume buttons are moved a bit further down so that its reachability doesn’t get affected due to increase in ‘length’ of the phone. On the top, the 3.5mm Jack has been moved down in new version. I don’t have a preference on this, so its your take on this one.

On its bottom comes the most talked about change. The tiny speakers from 4S are gone. And its replaced by a bigger one with a metal mesh. Lightning connector gave way for this. Along with it comes the 3.5mm jack. This speaker is separated by the ‘lightening connector’.

Lightning Strikes:

Apple has ditched its 30 pin connector to 9 pin. Simply put, all your old accessory for iPhones/iPod Touch will be no use without connectors. If you make it to your friends house, you can’t charge unless he has got this cable. Sad. For hardware makers, Apple has come up with a tool to stop using their proprietary cable without paying them. The cable has a chip that authenticates the cable itself. Grey market thought its breakable, but until now none have succeed.

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Overall, other than the increase in screen size and few minor changes, Apple has kept the same design from iPhone 4S. It still remains the most attractive when compared to S3.

Performance :

iPhone 5 comes with A6 chip compared to A5 in iPhone 4S. AnandTech quoted A6 is 1.3Ghz (Dual Core) compared to 800Mhz in iPhone 4S. There are so many test that can be done to prove its twice as fast as 4S. To me, I care if it improves my gaming performance. And it does. Two games I normally play most of the time are Temple Run and FIFA 13. I have made a video of both to compare the start up time. And iPhone 5 has knocked off more than a second in startup of FIFA 13. And less than a second for Temple Run. I don’t have a video of gameplay to justify, but FIFA 13 ran lot more smoother in 5 than 4S. The difference is noticeable. Even on phone startup, I found 5 lot more quicker than 4S. Apologies for this crappy video quality, buts thats all I can get out of a flip camcorder without any stand.

I did a bit of GL Benchmarks Tests to compare the results between 4S and 5. I don’t really know the significance of each to explain, but surely all the test performed on 5 scored highly when compared to 4S. And you can read more about it here and see how both these thrash S3 by all means!

Battery :

Improved screen size, improved processor and all that would make the battery take a beating. Knowing all this, Apple increased the battery size also. I have my wifi on 24×7, play games atleast 1 hour a day, phone calls for almost 2 hours a day on 2G (India!!), little bit of web browsing over wifi and when I travel, I use cellular date (3G). It would last for atleast 24 hours before I plug it in. My 4S made me charge only at night. The same is happening with iPhone 5 but the battery indicator shows there is lot more juice compared to 4S. So battery seemed to last little bit longer. So I am happy.

Purplegate :

Did I face such issues? Yes. I did. When I face my camera to direct light, it did have a purple haze. And I was shocked. Then I took the same on my iPhone 4S and tried to replicate the same image and found even it had it. And consumer report says even S3, Draoid Razr faced the same issues. Why such a big thing I don’t know. But the fact it, I did get some purple haze and I am not bothered. Not because all the other phones have the same issue, but I don’t find myself clicking pics like those more often. So its upto you to decide. Do you want to criticise apple ? Or just accept it and move on. I guess the later is better and more sensible. If you have doubts, try it on your phone and see for yourself.

iPhone 5

Other than that, the camera is very much the same when compared to 4S. No change I find in the regular pictures. Its nice, smooth and frankly, its the best camera.

Apps:

I got to say many apps are far better in iPhone 5 than in 4S due to its screen size. It feels more like a gaming console. The controls don’t feel cramped and it doesn’t take much of the display. But the problem here is, most of popular apps have updated to support iPhone 5 but there are many games thats gone without updates. The ‘Dead Apps’ if you can call it. And these are from famous Gaming companies.

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I still play scrabble, game of Life, game dev story, Paper toss world tour, NBA, lets golf, boggle. I am not kidding. These are my ‘time pass games’ and its sad that they are not updated. Infact the last for Game of Life by EA came on 10th Dec, 2010 while Scrabble was in July 2011. Its sad and it looks pathetic also. The game list goes on – Tetris, Risk, UNO, 21 Pro, Talking Carl, Egg Vs Chicken……. The point is it would be great if they updated to iPhone 5. People still play their game.

EarPods:

Apple’s old earphones that came with the devices were not efficient. It was just bad and most of us really used alternative earphones. I have creative earphones and those were awesome. Apple has redesigned its earpods now. I have used it for sometime now and I can say its better than old. Does it replace my Creative? Surprisingly, yes.

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Its design itself is oddly shaped. I can’t call it conical, but a really odd shape. But it does the job. It stays in my ear and doesn’t slip. With few tiny speakers around itself, the sound itself was great when compared to older version. When in full volume, it doesn’t distort at all. I tried a song from my mp3 collection and bought the same on iTunes store to check the difference. And its huge for some reason. The ones bought on iTunes was very pleasing to hear and more ‘effective’.

There is this ‘mic’ on the control keys. So when using earpods on call, it was clear and I didn’t have much of a problem with it. Overall, its good that apple did something to their earphones too.

Does it live up to the hype?

Yes it does. iPhone 5 is seriously a very good phone and I love it. After a bit of usage, I found it hard to use 4S. It felt tiny and bulky. After playing FIFA on 5, on my 4S it lagged. Only glitch is most of the older apps haven’t been updated. Thats my only complaint. Had always thought leap from 4S to 5 isn’t much of a big deal, but now I take it back. Its a worthy upgrade and so awesome to just have in hand. Thumbs up for this.

Look up here for more images.

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