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The iPhone 5: Evolutionary-not Revolutionary

Apple fanatics everywhere have been raving about the iPhone 5 nonstop since its launch on Wednesday September 12th. But is it worth paying Apple’s steep prices for a whole new phone this time?

To me, it depends on the boat you’re in. I have been an android user for over two years, and I’ve been waiting for the iPhone 5 to come out so I can make the switch. But if you just got the 4S last year, I don’t know that the incremental new features are worth spending much money on.

As with every new iPhone, the product has to look a little different. The new iPhone has a thinner and lighter body with an aluminum backing.

The screen has a few changes, the most noticeable is the screen size, which has increased 1/2 of inch (from 3.5 to 4 inches). The new screen has retina display resolution and 44 percent more color saturation.

Not only is this the most physically appealing iPhone thus far, it is also the fastest. By a lot. The last major speed improvements made were in the iPhone 3G, which, of course, had the 3G compatibility included. The iPhone 5 designers have taken this to the next level by introducing support for 4G LTE wireless, allowing for download speeds of up to 100 Mbps of data.

Apple also upped the phone’s processor speeds with the development of the new A6 chip, which makes everything from launching apps to loading web pages almost twice as fast as phones with the A5 chip. This also means the graphics quality on apps will be much better, creating smoother gameplay and video playback.

But with the addition of 4G LTE and the A6 chip, the battery life should be compromised, right? Not with the iPhone 5. Even with the thinner body, Apple has increased the battery power to allow for 8 hours of LTE browsing/talk time and up to 10 hours of video playback.

The popular iSight camera takes panoramic pictures. By moving your phone in a circle up to 240 degrees, the gyroscope, A6 chip, and camera app work to produce a single high resolution photograph. Photographs are captured 40 percent faster and take better low light pictures. The rear facing camera has been improved to be able to shoot 1080p HD video.

With the development of the iPhone 5 came the development of iOS 6, Apple’s most advanced operating system. Apple as improved upon and developed several apps with iOS 6. (Article on iOS 6 coming soon)

iCloud, an Apple product released in July with Mountain Lion, is built right into the iPhone 5. Using your Apple ID, you can keep all of your files completely synchronized among your iPhone, iPad, and Mac. You can learn more about iCloud in Mountain Lion: True Synchronization.

The 30 pin cable that Apple users are familiar with has been shrunk 80% to form the new lightning cable. This 8 signal cable, like the MacBook chargers, is reversible, so there is no incorrect way to put it in. Adapters can be purchased separately if you own accessories designed for the 30 pin connector.

The earphones have been completely redesigned, featuring a new shape that fits comfortably in every ear and won’t come out even with the most rigorous of exercise and allows for the clearest audio experience yet.

Apple matched this on the iPhone itself by moving the speakers, putting them on the front, back, and bottom. These, coupled with noise canceling technology puts the audio focus on the person on the other side of the phone call, rather than the people around you.

While all of these upgrades look impressive, they are minor. For those of you who just got an iPhone 4S, you may want to see what Apple dreams up for next year.

But if you’re still back on the iPhone 3G, maybe this year is the year for an upgrade. For more information about the iPhone 5, visit

iPhone 5 Fact Checker
Thickness7.6 mm (down 20% from 4s)
Weight112 grams (down 18% from 4s)
Screen Size4 in (up .5 in. From 4s)
Camera8 Megapixel with new panoramic capability
Video Camera1080p HD Recording
Battery Life
  • 8 hours talk time
  • 8 hours internet use on 4G LTE
  • 10 hours internet use on Wi-Fi
  • 10 hours video playback
  • 40 hours audio playback
  • 225 hours standby
Port ChangeLighnting port (size down 80% from 4s)
Operating SystemiOS 6
HeadphonesNew Apple EarPods with Remote and Mic (comes in a storage and travel case)
iCloudSynchronizes all files between Apple devices (see Mountain Lion: True Synchronization)
PriceStarting at $199 (16GB with 2 year contract)
ColorsBlack/Slate or White/Silver


Written by Nikhil Patel’14



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