The new iPhone 5 and Me.

October 5, 2012

Let me say something at outset. I is a Apple man. It took me a number of years to come over to the dark side but now I have I wish I had done it long before. Yes their kit is more expensive and you kind of have to join their club but it’s a good club.

The kit works, designed with me in mind, lasts a long time and has a great second hand value. That said I need to decide if this new phone is a mover or a shaker.

This is will be my 4th iPhone in a row. Although I’m not mad enough to go queuing on the day of release I did pre-order so I could have one asap.

The thing with Apple is there are so many rumours  and until they actually show off what they’ve got on announcement day you don’t really know what’s coming.  I kind of like that. So here goes, the new iPhone 5 has been in my possession for a week now. To talk about it I need to frame it in two ways. Hardware and the software.

Hardware, bottom line. Bigger screen but not as big as a Samsung Galaxy S III. It fits in my hand nicely and feels nice.  It’s also a little taller for the extra screen real estate.  It’s thinner and lighter than the iPhone 4. This means it feels nicer when in my pocket. Its not flimsy though, it still feels a robust piece of kit. It’s design is ‘proper’ nice. Ergonomic and easy on the eye. I chose a white one.

The camera is the same as before and it takes some cracking snapped pictures.  The screen to boasts the retina display and both video, games and pictures look fantastic.

The headphone socket is now on the bottom rather than the top and there is a new connector. These two things I’m annoyed at. My armband I use when running is now redundant unless I punch a hole in it and the connector change means my docking stations need a new adapter. There are not cheap either with Apple charging £20. EBay will answer that no doubt.

Sometimes things need to change for good reason but I’m yet to read a good one for the connector.

While I’m talking hardware it was also disappointing that there were no Apple cases or bumpers available for the phone at release and to date none are on the Apple store. I want a bumper like I had on the iPhone 4. They stop the bashes while not hiding the pleasing aesthetics of the design whilst avoid adding unwanted bulk.

The phone is faster than the iPhone 4 and the battery lasts longer. Quite a bit longer it seems. That’s a real positive improvement.  It seems to charge quicker as well.  There is much talk of 4G but for me that’s ‘Emperors New Clothes’.

I can get all the content I want over the 3G network quickly. But a good 3G network is not always available.  For the stuff that takes a lot of downloading I use Wi-Fi. And that said imagine if you do have a good 4G connection. I don’t fancy sitting on the bus watching the game or some blockbuster on a 4 inch screen when I can do the same in the comfort of my own front room on a much bigger LCD panel. It’s horses for courses. Surely.

That’s the hardware, lets talk software.  The phone is only as good and the software it runs after all.

IOS6 is the operating system Apple uses for mobile devices. It was really good. It worked really well but on the release of this new version there are a few annoying bugs. Wifi issues mean I cant connect to certain Netgear routers. Both on my phone nor the iPad. Yet.

Auto-brightness doesn’t work either. In the middle of the night I look at my phone and feel like someone with one of those million candle torches has mugged me.

These are small niggles I know but I expect Apple things to just work. That said the new IOS6 has some new features and integration and lets me share with Facebook and Twitter easily. Being a social tour de force is a click away.  It is a really good system.

Maps, you must have heard about the maps. They are nowhere near as good as Google Maps. Yet. In fact some places are nowhere either. Yet.

All in all, is it worth the upgrade. Yes. It is because I know the niggles will be worked out. But had Apple, been the Apple I thought they were, the niggles wouldn’t have been there at the start.

In the words of Mr Bond, my experience with the iPhone 5 to date leaves me shaken but not stirred.

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