The Master Reveals all about the New iPhone!
A little over three weeks ago iSensei took possession of the latest and greatest from Apple, the iPhone 5. (You may have heard of it–it was even on the News one night!)
As a physical object, it barely looks manufactured. More like it was carved out of a huge chunk of metal in one piece, but with laser sharp perfection. You can hardly tell this thing has any seams. We got the black model, which is ALL black, including the buttons. The mid-section of the back is a matte slate grey (i.e. a lighter shade of black) made of anodized aluminum with a glossy black Apple icon and the word “iPhone”. Very classy!
When some prototypes and mockups of the new iPhone leaked out a few months back, this design was one of them. Surprisingly (to iSensei) the people leaving comments on that post went on about how this particular design would be the ugliest iPhone ever. Really? Now, it’s true seeing a picture of a thing and holding one in your hand makes a big difference, and seeing this final design fully executed it’s one of the sharpest designs one can imagine.
You notice right away it’s taller, but not grotesquely so (like some of those 5-6″ Android models), and by virtue of being the same width as recent models, it feels just right in your hand. The surprise when you pick it up is the weight, or lack thereof. It feels like half the weight of the iPhone 4S, which it’s not but, by being thinner, front to back, it feels amazingly light. But not flimsy (see above). All in all, another Apple industrial design that will end up in some museum or 12.
We turn it on and what do we see? A big beautiful, vividly colored screen. The 4S’s Retina Display was a beauty but they improved the color range and saturation on this year’s model (still Retina, of course). Then you notice the FIVE tiers of icons, not four. Now it really looks tall. So now you’ve got 25% more space for apps on each screen. It helps if you have a lot of apps.
What’s next? Ah, yes, let’s launch an app. Zip! Well, that was fast. Overall performance is very snappy. Cellular service? Not sure what the actual difference there is between the terms, LTE and 4G, if any, but either way, it’s quite an improvement. We’re finding 4G/LTE is faster than WiFi (which is faster this time around also), so if you’re in an area with no (or weak) WiFi, the 4G will more than do the job. Web pages load fast, app downloads are quick. All in all an improved experience.
Cameras? Most excellent, as Bill & or Ted would say. The 4S’s front facing camera was a big step up but the refined lenses on this model create for even better looking images. Better stabilization on video for us shaky-handers also. FaceTime back-facing camera now does 720p video, so you look more beautiful than ever to others! Built-in Panorama is a nice feature and great for capturing those wide angle shots that give you a true sense of your environment. And very easy to use. Perfect for traveling.
Battery life is about the same as the previous model, which is pretty impressive, given they’ve packed more power into this AND put it all in a smaller case.
The little built-in speakers even sound a bit better. Oh, and they’ve done something clever with the earpiece and mic so that both you and your caller sound better to each other. We like that. Headphone jack is on the bottom, which makes sense for how most people put their phones in their pocket.
And, yes, there is the new, MUCH smaller cable connector, called Lightning (oooo!) that is a PITA from the perspective of all the old 30-pin cables we all have sitting around, but you can see that the size difference is an important development towards making the iPhone (and future models) more compact and lighter. Necessary evolution. Like when we lost our tails. It was a drag but we got over it. Mostly. The new connector is a solid fit with the iPhone and it’s reversible so you don’t have to poke around trying to figure which side is up. Small point, yes, but it helps.
Ooops! Almost forgot about the new Earpods (‘Earbuds’ is so 2007). Definitely an improvement. Noticeably better sound, both music and phone calls. Larger inline controls, set up higher. A bit too high for iSensei but a nice upgrade overall.
Overall, yet another lovely piece of useful equipment from the World’s Kickass Technology company. And iSensei, like many others, remembers the day not ALL that long ago where the world couldn’t care less about this odd little computer company. Certainly those days are LONG gone. Keep up the good work, Apple.