First up, we have the design. The iPhone 5 offers a redesign over both the iPhone 4 and 4S. In lieu of a single material, Apple chose to go with a two-tone aluminum and glass back housing. The iPhone 5 also features a vertically enhanced 4-inch display, an improved metal antenna band, a smaller Lightning connector, improved speaker and microphone grills and a repositioned FaceTime camera, sensors and headphone jack. This new design allows for an 18 percent decrease in thickness and a 20 percent reduction in weight over the 4S.
Complete iPhone 5 review: camera, 4G LTE, A6 processor, nano-SIM and more
The display, measuring at 4.87 inches in height and 2.31 inches in width, has maintained the same retina-worthy pixel density of 326 pixels per inch. The color saturation of the new display has also been increased by 40 percent. Due to the fact that the screen was only vertically increased, it now has the HD 16:9 aspect ratio – making it perfect for 1080p playback.
LTE, or long term evolution, 4G technology brings incredibly fast cellular data speeds to the iPhone. During my initial tests, speeds were less than stellar. But, as the strain on the network has lessened, download and upload speeds are gradually increasing. Keep in mind that LTE connectivity and results will vary based on location, proximity to cell towers and network load.
Apple’s new dual-core A6 processor with 1GB of RAM offers amazing speeds – up to twice as fast as its A5 predecessor for virtually everything. The A6 chip has also been demonstrated to outperform all major smartphones in accomplishing everyday tasks; yes, even phones with quad-core processors.
The camera on the iPhone 5 is similar to the one found on iPhone 4S. With 8 megapixels, thinner and more compact lenses, a new sapphire crystal lens cover and drastically improved image processing capabilities, pictures and videos taken with the iPhone 5 easily outshine those taken with the 4S. Just look at the above video, it was filmed with an iPhone 5.
Of course, what would all these new features amount to without a battery to last throughout the day? Apple claims that a full charge will last 8 hours for web browsing over either 3G or LTE and up to 10 hours over Wi-Fi. At 70% charged with just over two hours of usage and two and a half hours of standby, my iPhone 5′s battery life in the video comes close to matching Apple’s claims.
Finally, thanks to nano-SIM technology, the iPhone 5′s sim card is approximately 44 percent smaller than the micro-SIM cards used in both the iPhone 4 and 4S. This is just one of the many innovations that has allowed the iPhone 5 to be both thinner and lighter, while still offering a bigger display.
So, is the iPhone 5 worth it? It’s certainly a better upgrade than the 4S was and arguably one of the best uprades the iPhone has seen since the original model’s release in 2007.
Stay tuned for additional coverage on Apple, the iPhone 5 and iOS 6.