iPhone 5 leaves predecessor in the dust
By The Dallas Morning News
Published: Thursday, October 4, 2012, 6:56 p.m.
Updated: Thursday, October 4, 2012
So I finally got my hands on the iPhone 5, and I can truly say it's totally ruined the iPhone 4 for me.
AT&T let me play with a white iPhone 5 recently for this review. There's no doubt this is a very capable next-generation iPhone. It is a very different phone, but it's also very much the same-old familiar iPhone.
From the front, the iPhone 5 looks like my iPhone 4 except it's about a half-inch taller.
What you really can't see from photos is how the iPhone 5 feels in your hand. It's 18 percent thinner (7.6 millimeters) and 20 percent lighter (3.96 ounces) than the iPhone 4S. So it feels oddly light at first in your hand, but then your thumb finds the home button and the screen lights up to reveal iOS and all its familiarity.
The back is made of aluminum with a small strip of glass at the top and bottom hiding the antennas for cellular, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. The outer metal band is more flush with the rest of the phone and is color-coordinated with the phone's face. The white phone has a natural aluminum ring; the black phone has a black aluminum ring and buttons.
The headphone jack has moved from the top to the bottom, and the speaker and microphones are behind a series of holes drilled in the aluminum band. The look is much cleaner. The 4-inch “retina” display is taller than the old model by half an inch and the screen ratio is 16:9, which is shaped more like a theater screen. The new screen's resolution is 1136 x 640 pixels.
I've always thought the iPhones were a year or so behind the curve when it came to cellular radio. Last year, Apple kept the iPhone 4S on 3G networks when some other phones had moved on to 4G LTE. Now the wireless companies have their 4G LTE networks a bit more built out, and LTE is finally available for the iPhone on all its carriers — AT&T, Sprint and Verizon.
With the iPhone 5, Apple has introduced the A6 chip, which is twice as fast as the A5 in the 4S.
Graphics performance also is twice as fast, so games look smoother and respond faster.
The A6 is a power-saver. According to Apple, even at its accelerated speed, the A6 allows the iPhone 5's battery to run for up to eight hours of talk time and 10 hours of video playback.
The iPhone 4S has a great camera — one of the best mobile phone cameras I've used. The iPhone 5's main camera is at least a full step better.
It features an 8-megapixel sensor with a resolution of 3264 x 2448 pixels. There's also a five-element lens with an aperture of f/2.4 and backside sensor illumination, so it's incredible at shooting darker scenes.
There's a 1080p HD video mode, and you can shoot stills while you're shooting video.
The front-facing camera can now capture 720p HD video for better-looking Facetime chats.
For the first time in a decade, Apple has changed its 30-pin dock connector. Every iPhone has used the same 30-pin cable, but Apple decided to shake things up and make the connector very tiny. Part of the way Apple saved space to make the iPhone 5 thinner required a smaller sync/charge cable.
The new connector is called Lightning. One USB-to-Lightning cable comes with the iPhone 5. Apple sells a 30-pin-to-Lightning adapter for $29.
The iPhone 5 has finally become what I wanted from my original iPhone. It's big, light, thin and screaming-fast, and available on almost all the major carriers (sorry, T-Mobile).
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