Product Type: Apple Smartphone
Newest Review: ... be de-activated to conserve battery life). Compared to previous phones, I love my iPhone 5. It is not a pseudo-tablet trying to be a phon... more
The iPhone 5 is amazing, but should you buy it?
Apple iPhone 5
Member Name: Kateri
Apple iPhone 5
Advantages: Larger screen, lighter, faster.
Disadvantages: Very similar to previous versions, different charge port
My previous phone was an iPhone 4. With that as a baseline, here is my jargon free take on the iPhone 5.
Size - the iPhone 5 is taller but slimmer. Does it make a difference? The longer screen was supposed to revolutionise internet browsing, but, if like me you thought the iPhone 4 was adequate, this isn't reason enough to invest in the iPhone 5.
Apps - a lot of apps haven't been optimised for the iPhone 5 so you get a lot of black areas for many apps. This isn't a problem, but it gives the feel that the iPhone 5 was made prematurely. Almost how 3D T.V.s are being sold when there isn't actually anything to watch.
Weight - the iPhone 5 is noticeably lighter. When I hold the iPhone 4 I am surprised that I used to carry around that much weight. However, the lighter feel and the thinness compared to its length gives the iPhone 5 a cheap, brittle feel which I've only been able to remedy by giving it a hard case.
Scratches - the iPhone 5 has been plagued with stories of scratches and my iPhone was no different, coming to me with one minor scratch. And here is something to consider. The black iPhone 5 has reportedly come with more scratches than the white version due to the fact that it has been painted (the white version keeps its original aluminium case). To verify this for myself, I went along to my local apple store and found almost all the black iPhones were losing their paint job around the charge socket, making them appear to be cheap products. This was the main reason I geared towards getting the white version even though I much prefer things in black.
Camera and image quality:
The quality of iPhone 5 (8mp) photos are far better than iPhone 4's (5mp). If you have an iPhone 4S, however, there won't be any difference.
I've seen reviews where the colours of images on the iPhone 4 and iPhone 5 have been compared, and the contrast in images can be seen with the iPhone 5 giving more vivid images. However, how many people walk around comparing the iPhone 4 and 5 constantly? Using the iPhone 5 alone I didn't notice anything particularly striking about images that would make me not think my iPhone 4 was still awesome.
In short, the battery has improved since the iPhone 4. However, it still isn't great. Continuous browsing for 4 hours, I've found my iPhone battery drops about 50%. I feel that the brightness has something to do with this. I often use my iPhone in dim lighting so I can keep the iPhone brightness to the minimum which is far too bright on the iPhone 5 and probably uses a lot of the battery life.
Here's an interesting area. I am an avid music fan so my iPhone doubles as an iPod all the time. The iPhone 5 has better, crispier sound quality without headphones (i.e. using their speakers). However, I have noticed that with headphones, the iPhone 4 sounds better. There appears to be less sound leakage so I can completely engross myself in music when I commute, but with the iPhone 5 I feel like I can still hear everyone around me.
Ear-pods - a definite improvement. Compared to the previous rendition of the apple headphones, the ear-pods are by far the best, the sound quality is not the best (what do you expect from something that comes with the product?), but they are more durable and are surprisingly comfortable.
Operating system - the iPhone 5 has been kited up and it shows. It is clearly much faster than my iPhone 4. But then my iPhone 4 is 2 years old, isn't it going to be slower anyway? Having only had my iPhone 5 for a few weeks I can't say just how impressive the speed is compared to the iPhone 4, but it is noticeably faster, especially when internet browsing.
Siri - this is the first time I've used Siri, and I'm impressed. Siri is not for everyone, and I only really use it when I'm incredibly lazy. In my opinion it's more of a novelty. If the iPhone 4S/5 didn't come with Siri I wouldn't miss it.
Contract - while shopping around for the iPhone 5, I've noticed that a lot of places give you cheaper contracts for the iPhone 5 compared to the iPhone 4S and with better tariffs. Why this is, I don't know, but this was definitely one incentive for me getting the iPhone 5 over the 4S.
The only really negative thing I can say about the iPhone 5 is its susceptibility to scratches and the change in charge sockets (if you have a lot of adaptations for your old apple products then the iPhone 5 may be a wasted investment for you).
Aside from that, the iPhone 5 is incredibly underwhelming - there's nothing new. Yes it's faster, given the model treatment (taller, slimmer), with a slightly better battery. But, if like me you use your iPhone for convenience (calling/texting/basic internet browsing/e-mail) and not as a mini computer then an older model of the iPhone would suffice.
To upgrade or not to upgrade, that is the question:
If you have never owned a smartphone and are considering an iPhone, then by all means splash out on an iPhone 5. But what if you have an iPhone 4/4S already? If you want the latest gadget and have the money to waste then it's probably worth it. But if you are keen to spend money on quality products that will actually make a difference to your life then I would wait for the next instalment (an actual zoom function for taking videos, anyone?).
Summary: The iPhone 5 is an amazing phone, but not worth the investment if you have a previous iPhone