The iPhone 5: Apple’s ‘meh’-est iPhone yet
There has been much ado about the iPhone 5 since it was announced and subsequently launched. It has been everything from the most amazing device ever built to the mark of the end of Apple’s Golden Jobs-ian era. Well, it’s about time I put in my 2 cents as well.
I had the iPhone 4S and the iPhone 4 before it. And on launch day, I also received my iPhone 5 in the mail as I had preordered it.
From almost a month of use, and my experience with the previous 2 iPhone generations, there is no doubt in my mind that the iPhone 5 is the best iPhone Apple has ever built.
On picking it up, the first thing you will notice is the profound difference in weight between the iPhone 4S and the iPhone 5. The 5 is significantly lighter which is saying a lot as the previous generations weren’t heavy by any definition of the word but this new device has the 4S feeling like a deadweight in your hands.
The iPhone 5 is also significantly thinner than it’s predecessors; what Apple would tell you is impossibly thin.
It’s smaller, bigger, lighter, faster, sharper and basically everything you would expect from a new iteration of the iPhone. It’s so amazingly predictable that it’s remarkably unremarkable.
This brings me back to the title of this post. With all it’s bells and whistles, every time I’m asked how I like my new iPhone, the most honest reply I can muster is, “meh”.
I mean, sure it is much faster and that’s all fine and good, but unless I’m using it for heavy gaming (I’m not) or doing something that requires significant processing power (nope!) I find that doubling the speed of something whose response time was already near-instantaneous doesn’t really make much of a noticeable impact.
And yes, it does have a bigger (~4″) display which one would expect is a great opportunity to do a lot of cool stuff with the extra screen real-estate but it really isn’t something that iOS 6 has taken advantage of and so, all you really gain from the larger screen is an extra row of apps on your home page.
iOS 6 is great and comes with a whole slew of new and improved features but as I’ve had it for the past few months and since one can upgrade to it on the previous generation iPhones, it’s not really something I can call a feature of the iPhone 5 because it really isn’t.
All that being said, however, meh is not always a bad thing. One of the most impressive and subtle things about my transition between the 4S and the 5 is the fact that due to iCloud backups, I barely noticed I switched phones. All my, contacts, apps, messages, email accounts, saved passwords, music, backgrounds, etc. was just sitting on my new phone and this seamless transition between devices is probably going to become a significant factor if I ever decide I want to hop off the Apple ship.
All things considered, the iPhone 5 isn’t a bad device by any stretch of the imagination. It is, as I said, the best phone Apple has ever made. Would I advice you to buy it? Well, the answer to that is a very strong “It depends.”. It depends on what you’re looking for in a phone, and what you’re coming from. If you’re coming from an iPhone 4S I’d recommend sticking to your 4S and waiting for the next one. If you’re coming from the 4, it is leaps and bounds better that the 4 and you do get the advantage of Siri so I’d say go for it. If you’re trying to decide between the iPhone and the Galaxy SIII or the Galaxy Nexus, at this point it’s simply a matter of preference and some people like iOS and others like Android. Whichever is your cup of tea is what you should go for.
On a closing note, it seems that we are arriving at a point in the development of the mobile industry where companies are starting to believe that all the real innovation they can do on devices has been done and now it’s becoming a war of specs. “Our phone is 20% lighter”, “Our’s is 17.3% brighter”, and so on. I really hope this isn’t the case because there are still a lot of new and innovative features that I am hoping to see achieve mainstream adoption in the smartphone industry and it would be such a shame if, a few years down the line, the best phone of 2020 is determined solely by which OEM has the best marketing team.