Technologizer

Apple iPhone 5 Review: It’s All About Refinement

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Last Wednesday, Apple held one of its traditional media events in San Francisco. The company introduced the iPhone 5, which surprised absolutely nobody. In fact, anyone who’d been paying close attention to the Apple rumor mill over the past few months could pretty much suss out the new phone’s vital statistics, long before Tim Cook and company took the stage.

That resulted in a press conference which was short on surprises. And that led some observers to immediately proclaim the iPhone 5 to be a disappointment. Maybe even a telltale sign that Apple is losing its mojo.

Excuse me? Judging a new phone by the level of suspense at its launch event is incredibly short-sighted. What matters is what it’s like in your hand, day after day and month after month. That has nothing to do with how it’s unveiled, and everything to do with the features it’s got, how thoughtfully they’re designed, and how well they work together.

By that standard, Apple’s mojo remains fully operational. The iPhone 5 features some upgrades which, though not groundbreaking in the least, are welcome, like its slightly-larger screen and zippy 4G LTE broadband. It sports an improved version of what was already the single best camera in phonedom. It makes Siri smarter. In short, it’s the most polished version yet of what was already easily the most polished phone on the market.

The new handset goes on sale this Friday in black and white versions for AT&T, Sprint and Verizon, at the same prices as the iPhone 4S: $199 for a version with 16GB of storage, $299 for 32GB and $399 for 64GB, all with a two-year contract. Apple is keeping the iPhone 4S around at $99 with contract, and knocking the iPhone 4 down to $0. (The iPhone 3GS, after three years on the market, goes into well-deserved retirement.)

The iPhone 5 is entering the most competitive smartphone market ever, and much of the competing is being done by Samsung’s excellent Galaxy S III, the closest thing the iPhone currently has to an arch-enemy. The Android-based S III has a 4.8″ display; that’s spacious by Android standards, and positively ginormous compared to the 3.5″ display that the iPhone 4S and all its predecessors have offered.

With the iPhone 5, Apple finally joins the big-screen party. Sort of. Well, not exactly. What it’s done is something that’s typically Apple: It’s reflected an industry trend, but in its own way, with its own priorities.

The iPhone 5 has a 4″ screen, with enough extra pixels to preserve its status as a Retina display — one which is so high-resolution that you can’t make out the individual pixels. But rather than stretching the screen — and therefore the whole phone — in both directions, Apple just made it taller. The phone remains 58.6mm wide, just like the iPhone 4 and 4S. That means that the iPhone 5 is still an exemplary one-handed phone: You can cradle it in your palm and use your thumb to type.

And actually, the new iPhone isn’t just as good a one-handed phone as its predecessors: It’s better. The 5, which is ensconced in a new case with a back that’s mostly aluminum rather than glass,  is 18 percent thinner and 20 percent lighter than the 4S. The difference isn’t radical, but it’s noticeable.

iPhone 5

Screenshot — Harry McCracken

As for the tall-boy screen, it pays off in multiple scenarios. The home screen, for instance, now accommodates an extra row of apps. Other built-in programs, such as Mail and Calendar, also show more information without feeling crammed. And when you flip the phone into landscape mode, it’s got a 16:9 display — ideal for wide-screen video.

In some instances, however, the lack of additional horizontal real estate means that there’s no new benefit: When you view photos, they’re still the same size as on earlier iPhones, with black bars at the top and bottom. (You can, however, pinch-and-zoom to fill the screen.)

Those aforementioned black bars also show up with third-party apps, all of which will need to be rewritten to take advantage of the new vertical height. All of the software on the phone is already 4″-friendly, as are Apple’s own App Store offerings, such as iMovie.

If what you want is a phone with a GREAT BIG SCREEN, the iPhone 5 isn’t going to do the trick; it’s the equivalent of a new-model-year compact car that’s gotten additional leg room. But once most third-party programs are on board, that extra space will make a difference.

Assuming you use your phone in areas with decent 4G LTE coverage, the iPhone 5′s new LTE wireless connection will pay off right now. People who have owned non-Apple LTE phones for eons can mock the delayed arrival of the technology on the iPhone all they want; Apple didn’t wait until now out of lethargy. Instead, it bided its time until it could introduce LTE without killing the battery. (With some early Android LTE phones, you could practically watch the battery gauge dwindle away as you stared at it.)

Apple says that the iPhone 5 will deliver “up to” 8 hours of talk time or LTE Internet use on a charge. I didn’t attempt to verify this. But in a week with the phone, I found that I could get through one day — but not two — on a charge. That’s the same ballpark as the iPhone 4S’s 3G connection (which is sometimes dubbed “4G” by irrationally exuberant carriers).

The performance you’ll see will differ wildly based on what carrier you’re on and where you are. Using a Verizon iPhone 5 in the San Francisco Bay Area, I usually got download speeds in the neighborhood of 10 to 15 Mbps — a serious improvement over my iPhone 4S, which managed 3 to 5 Mbps on AT&T’s HSDPA network.

If you’re contemplating an iPhone 5 and trying to choose between AT&T, Sprint and Verizon, the single biggest factor is LTE coverage. Verizon has a considerable lead on its competitors, although the situation might vary in your neighborhood. But here’s one other point to consider: The AT&T iPhone 5 is the only one which lets you talk and use the Internet connection at the same time. (The Galaxy S III can do both on all carriers, a feat which Samsung accomplished by providing the phone with an additional antenna.)

As it usually does, Apple equipped its new phone with a more powerful processor, which it calls the A6 and says is up to twice as fast as its predecessor, with graphics which are also up to twice as fast. As usual, the improvement isn’t really about correcting an existing deficiency: The iPhone 4S’s now-outmoded chip always seemed plenty frisky to me. But the A6 helps the 5 deliver strong battery life despite its more power-hungry LTE connection. And future applications may take advantage of the A6′s additional computational horsepower — especially games, the most demanding mobile apps of all.

Let’s see, is there anything else new on the hardware front?

Oh yeah, Lightning. It’s the new connector on the iPhone 5′s bottom edge, replacing Apple’s venerable 30-pin dock connector. Anything designed to work with the old connector — cables, chargers, speakers and more — is incompatible with Lightning, although Apple will sell a $29 adapter which bridges the gap in some instances.

Apple

Apple dumped the dock connector because…well, because it’s Apple. Lightning is far dinkier than the dock connector — the port looks like it was designed to take a Tic Tac — which helped Apple cram more technology into the new phone while simultaneously reducing its thickness and weight. It permits the company to make more elegant gizmos.

More important, Lightning introduces a feature I feel like I’ve been waiting for since I started using computers in 1978: It’s reversible. There’s no wrong way to plug in a Lightning cable, and the connector is more robust than the dock connector and MicroUSB, both of which can feel like you might do damage to the connector or your device if you aren’t sufficiently careful.

Lightning is decidedly controversial: If you prize compatibility with stuff you already own above all else, you might be irate over Apple’s decision to introduce an entirely new connectivity standard which is, at the moment, only supported in the iPhone 5 and Apple’s newest iPod Touch. Me, I’m already smitten with it. All of a sudden, McCracken’s First Law of Connectors — you’ll try to put them in the wrong way at first 72.5 percent of the time — is irrelevant.

One other hardware modification shouldn’t put anyone in a tizzy, but also shows Apple’s obsessive attention to detail. The new earbuds which come with the iPhone are called EarPods and look a bit like two tiny hairdryers; Apple says that the unusual shape is designed for maximum comfort and sound quality with the highest percentage of human ears. Unlike the old-style earbuds, they don’t make my ears feel like I’ve stuffed a couple of bumblebees into them. And for bundled headphones, they sound good.

Then there’s the iPhone 5′s camera. The 8-megapixel shooter on the iPhone 4S set a high standard, and Apple hasn’t messed much with it. The company added a protective sapphire crystal, made of the same material used in high-quality wristwatches. It also improved the camera’s already outstanding low-light capabilities.

And the iPhone camera finally has a capability that’s long been commonplace with other smartphones: It can shoot panoramas. As usual, you sweep the phone around and it captures multiple images and stitches them together into an ultra-wide picture. Apple’s take on the feature is the best I’ve seen in a camera phone. Maybe in a camera, period: It’s easy, smooth and fast, and remarkably resistant to unsightly stitching glitches.

iPhone 5 Panorama

Harry McCracken / TIME.com

The iPhone 5′s new Camera app is a case study in the contrast between the iPhone and its strongest Android rivals, such as the Galaxy S III and HTC’s One models. The iPhone has fewer features; that can be a bummer if you pine for something that’s missing, such as a Burst mode. But when it comes to the things it does do, nobody does it better.

Apple’s expertise at fit and finish is also on display in the iPhone 5′s mapping application, which is part of the phone’s new iOS 6 operating system.Previous iOS devices featured a Maps app which was a collaborative effort between Apple (which provided the software) and Google (which supplied the maps).

With iOS, Maps is all-new, and all Apple. For the first time, it does spoken turn-by-turn navigation, a feature long offered by Android phones; as you’d expect, Apple’s version is uncommonly slick, with a pseudo-3D mode and directions that look like dinky highway signs.

Las Vegas in iPhone 5 Maps

Screenshot — Harry McCracken

But the slickest thing about the new Maps is one of the most spectacular things that Apple, or anybody else, has ever put on a gadget: Flyover. Available for a bunch of major international cities and based on technology Apple acquired when it bought a Swedish startup named C3, Flyover melds 3D models with photos shot from airplanes to recreate urban worlds with unprecedented realism.

Not surprisingly, Flyover seems to be very, very data-intensive: It took a while for those gorgeous scenes to pop up into place when I viewed them. But it was worth it.

The new Maps doesn’t trump its Android counterpart, which offers two major features Apple hasn’t matched, and which were available in the old iOS Maps. One of them is Street View mode, which is as neat as Flyover, and more useful: It shows you a photo of your destination when you’ve arrived. And city dwellers may mourn the iPhone 5′s inability to provide public-transportation routes. Maybe Apple will add these capabilities eventually — or Google will supply them in a version of Google Maps in the App Store.

Another highlight among iOS 6′s 200+ new features — count ‘em! — include a new version of Siri. You can now tell Apple’s voice assistant to launch any app. She knows about sports and restaurants; she can even hand you off to the OpenTable app to make reservations.

The Photo Stream feature in Apple’s iCloud service now has a sharing option, letting you route snapshots to friends and family. And Apple has finally baked Facebook into iOS. As on Android and Windows Phone, you can connect your Facebook account to the operating system, so sharing is easy and your friends show up among your Contacts, always with up-to-date details.

Passbook

Screenshot — Harry McCracken

One other new iOS 6 feature is potentially huge, though it wasn’t fully operational on the review phone Apple loaned me. Passbook is a unified place for digital barcoded versions of boarding passes, loyalty cards, movie and sports tickets, and other documents you might otherwise carry in a wallet or stick in a pocket. Here’s the brilliant part: The app watches your location so relevant items can pop up in the phone’s lock screen, such as a boarding pass appearing when you’re at your gate.

Numerous companies have pledged support for Passbook, including Starbucks, Delta, Starwood hotels and others. Here’s hoping it catches on quickly.

In a way, Passbook compensates for for the iPhone’s lack of NFC (Near Field Communications), a chip which lets a phone interact with other phones and devices with a quick tap. It’s the technology Google Wallet uses to permit you to pay with your phone at certain retailers. But judging from the week I spent using an NFC-equipped phone to pay for stuff, there’s no particular reason to get excited about NFC’s tap-to-pay capability just yet. And while Samsung phones such as the Galaxy S III use NFC to enable super-easy sharing of items such as photos, a third-party iOS app called Bump does something nearly as simple without requiring NFC.

Of course, the fact that Apple is ignoring NFC this time around doesn’t mean it’ll avoid it forever. Like bigger screens and LTE, it might just be waiting until the time is right.

As always, there are other reasons you might opt for the iPhone 5 over other smartphones. Apple’s App Store is such a basic part of the phone’s appeal that it’s easy to overlook. But it remains a major competitive advantage: The stuff in Google’s Play Store is improving, but it hasn’t matched the App Store in quality or quantity.

It’s also worth remembering that you can buy an Apple mobile device with the expectation that future software updates will make it better over time. Apple will deliver iOS 6 as a free download on Wednesday, giving owners of all recent iPhones, iPod Touches and iPads an upgrade that’s nearly as much fun as a new phone. Android users, by contrast, often have to wait — and wait and wait — for upgrades, if they ever arrive at all.

The bottom line, in case it isn’t clear already: The iPhone 5 is one terrific smartphone. Ignore the naysayers — even without any awesome technological breakthroughs, it’s a sizable improvement on the iPhone 4S. For many upgraders, LTE alone will be worth the price of admission.

How does it stack up against the Galaxy S III, the current champ among Android phones? It’s really not that complicated a question. The Galaxy does more stuff; the iPhone 5 does somewhat fewer things, but tends to do them better. (And when the iPhone doesn’t do something right out of the box, there’s often an App Store app that will.)

In other words, it boils down to a basic decision: features or polish? Only you can decide what’s important to you. It’s obvious which one Apple cares most about — and the iPhone 5 is the most artful, pleasing expression of its priorities yet.

MORE: Check out Techland’s complete iPhone 5 coverage

81 comments
ToniPaneto
ToniPaneto

3 Months with my new iPhone 5 and i always enjoy the sound quality when I capture videos or sound.

The only problem is that everyone walking around with the same iPhone after 3GS.. I purchased a carbon sticker from http://www.coolcasing.com
and i don't get bored from the same exactly design over and over.

Alex Grzesiak
Alex Grzesiak

Excuse me..."In short, it’s the most polished version yet of what was already easily the most polished phone on the market"  yeah right...the only people who buy that piece of garbage are ignorant; this phone is for 14 year old girls and old people.  "The Galaxy does more stuff; the iPhone 5 does somewhat fewer things, but tends to do them better".  Again I disagree.  This should've read "The Galaxy does oogles more stuff; the iPhone 5 does almost nothing but can lure in millions of followers."  Anyone in their right mind wouldn't think of getting an iphone.  Apple doesn't innovate, they simply refine what they already had in the previous model and once in a while throw in some new useless features or minor design changes(Siri, Flyover, Passbook, 4 in screen, earpods, new connector). 

Allii Allee
Allii Allee

personally don't like the iphone 5 so called stretched iphone 4s 

Anita Clark
Anita Clark

I for one am happy Samsung has picked up the pace and is pushing Apple.  The differences between IPhone 4 and 5 are neglible but consumers will chase the newest "toy" and overpay as they go.  It would be nice to see products that come out with a "new" version, actually live up to the hype and be a new and fresh product.

obarthelemy
obarthelemy

This iPhone will take you places. Unexpected places. Mind your step.

Bharat Behl
Bharat Behl

not a line about how it compares with one x and s3, processor , screen, nothing...apple just fools the customers. iphone is no where near the best in the market. period..and with the way samsung, sony and htc and most of all google are advancing, apple is going to have hard time fooling their customers in years to come.

tucsand
tucsand

Why doesn't apple just make one base phone and let people upgrade instead of buying an expensive new phone every couple years that will just be outdated again in a year or two or maybe even a month and they make you feel guilty for not having the latest. I don't know about most of you but I cannot afford a new iPhone every couple of years.  I can't afford an iPhone as it is. 

Simon
Simon

How does iPhone 5 stack up against the Galaxy S III?http://ti.me/PJ80hz (via @TIMETechland) Booooo! Misleading, just an Apple advertisement. Should say so!

farleybear
farleybear

All this guy did was write a novel about how much he loves Apple. Its as though he was trying to convince himself that the new iPhone is a worthwhile purchase. Its not. Also, according to the twitter feed that I linked from, this article was supposed to be a comparison with the S III and those were few and far between.

Face it Apple-junkies, the iPhone peaked with the iPhone4. Now, the ideas coming out aren't as fresh or as innovative as they used to be. No way in hell am I spending a single dollar on the 5....Thanks, but no thanks Apple, it's gonna be the (vastly superior) Samsung Galaxy S III for me. I would urge McCracken to toss his 5 into the Bay and do the same.

Akshay Srikar
Akshay Srikar

So wait, let me get this straight. If Apple introduces a new technology, it is a mind blowingly break through awesome cool brand in the world. And when it doesn't it just "waits for the right time"? What nonsense. 

stabes
stabes

Now you see, here's a fact - the S3 does more stuff. I like that! Now the subjective part-fact - the iPhone5 does fewer things better. Indeed, it does fewer things. Whether it does them better? I don't think so. But that's just my subjective opinion.

Let the facts speak for themselves - cut the subjective hype!

mescasa
mescasa

Samsung Galaxy series and Swype feature all the way! Apple and iPhones are both overrated. This article sounds like paid advertising stretched out and posing as a credible review. It's not working!

Chad Pettingill
Chad Pettingill

Most...biased...article...EVER...in my opinion. It's clear this author hasn't ever picked up a Galaxy SIII.

Game Center Games
Game Center Games

I love it. One of my favorite features is being able to sync tabs in Safari. I have always hated sending things back and forth or making sure I bookmark them to be able to find them again on my phone.

Matt Lackey
Matt Lackey

At least they let you install iOS 6 on older models.

Gary McCray
Gary McCray

No question that Apple values style and they place great importance on simplified ergonomics both in their hardware and their software.

The IPhone embodies these principles and the 5 approaches about a maximum balance that you could expect to achieve at this state of technology and practical production methods.

It is a showpiece both for Apple and the mobile phone industry in general.

That having been said Apple needs to move on.

The IPad Mini will buy them most of the 7" tablet share this Christmas, but then they need to do something really interesting.

ITV is the obvious next step and it's a big one, but my guess is that if Apple integrates it with their existing product line (IPhone or IPad Mini Remote/Secondary interaction device for instance) they will create or at least majorly occupy a whole new market.

Just a thought, phones are getting boring.

Bob Forsberg
Bob Forsberg

Most comprehensive review I've seen yet of the new iPhone5. Thanks.

Sam Trutna
Sam Trutna

My question is, why didn't you just repost the iPhone 4S review and add in the words "taller screen" and "4G LTE" somewhere? Would have saved you a lot of pointless work.

mellipelli
mellipelli

This article ranges from one sided exaggeration to blatant lies. The only upside is that it was done is such a bad and obvious way! If this article convinced  anyone to buy an iPhone5, they were beyond the help of reason anyways... If I had paid for this ad-icle I would want my money back!

Commentonitall
Commentonitall

"iPod Touches and iPads an upgrade that’s nearly as much fun as a new phone. Android users, by contrast, often have to wait — and wait and wait — for upgrades, if they ever arrive at all."  

Um, yeah that's just not true.  XD developers are evolving Android every day.  I have to laugh that you state the upgrade to apple devices make them like new devices.  I mean all Apple has done is play catch up to things that have been available on Android hand sets for a few years now.  Also, please state what makes the updates seem like you are getting new devices.  You make that claim but offer no proof.  The reason being is that it would look like a bullet point of things Android users have been using and enjoying for years now.  Everyone is entitled to their opinion but it seems Apple gets a pass on it's devices.  I mean look all I see is a slightly larger screen which does look nice, but besides that all you get is a new map app which is not as good as google maps (it's been around longer and is just plain better for it.)  Siri, sure it's nice and cool, but why should I have to buy a new phone to enjoy it?  I have a 2 year old Android device and it can do everything all the new Android phones can do.  I guess from a tech geek point of view I'm just not that excited about a very small refresh that is only trying to play catch up to it's competitors.  Why can't people speak the truth in reviews anymore?

NStat
NStat

Im not sure if it was stated on this site or not, but its just a case of market maturity. Slight improvements, and less revolutions will become common for sometime now in the smartphone market.

Pc Cobra
Pc Cobra

It is impossible to get a real impartial article out of an iPhone convert.  But this may come close.  At least in several instances the writer notes that there are several things Android phones "already" do that iPhone STILL doesn't do.  So in my opinion, if Apple can't at least keep up with Android, it amounts to having a new car without a CD unit.  The iPhone may be more polished and impressive to an iPhone faithful, but technology is about keeping up with what is available, not polishing the 8-track.  Don't get me wrong.  The iPhone series are great phones.  But Apple spends too much time trying to control everything to be great.  I believe Android has overtaken iPhone (as evidenced by the fact that there are around twice as many Androids as iPhones on the market) in just about every area except apps.  Heck, my almost 2 year old Android displays icons on my screen in 4 across and 6 down.  And if my battery refuses to charge, I don't need to go buy a new phone!

Ivan Mahon
Ivan Mahon

The comparable 16MB iPhone 5 lowest tariff on cheapest network in the UK lists as 973 GBP for a 24 month contract overall. My 16MB Lumia 800 bought on day 1 will cost me 480 GBP for an almost identical package.

I can literally (ie I have) bought two and given one to my son (at a total cost of closer to 400 GBP) making it nigh-on half the price.

Given my previous comments showing that I prefer how WinPho works compared to the tired old Apple grid-of-icons and Nokia phones have always worked better as PHONES than the Apple, I would say that I got a double bargain.

So, all you idiot-tax Apple purchasers, go ahead, save me money. I thank you in advance!

Ivan Mahon
Ivan Mahon

 AhmadZainiChia, it is not about liking it, it is about the incorrect statements like "The best camera on a smartphone". This is not even in doubt to rational people. Apple have a fast camera that takes an adequate picture - apparently the new one is better in the dark. It would have to be, the previous one is dreadful like many smartphones.

But, it doesn't have a Carl Zeiss lens, it doesn't have pureview technology, and it sertianly doesn't have Optical Image Stabilisation.

This means that it is most definitely not going to take better pictures than the forthcoming Lumia 920. It probably won't take better pictures than the 820, possibly even my 800.

So, say what yu like about preferring a application-launcher with a grid of icons compared to a system placing people and function at the heart of teh device but don't go saying bald statements about how something is better when it just simply isn't

Online Coupon Codes
Online Coupon Codes

Apple has finally baked Facebook into iOS. As on Android and Windows Phone.

AhmadZainiChia
AhmadZainiChia

An excellent article for unbiased people (and also those with an apple bias but still wants more knowledge) thank you :)

But as always, with anti-apple people, any good mention of an apple product automatically qualifies the article to be stupid, so yup this article is definitely not for them.

Nazonohito
Nazonohito

"But judging from the week I spent using an NFC-equipped phone to pay for stuff, there’s no particular reason to get excited about NFC’s tap-to-pay capability just yet."

That's great - your own limited experience, in your own limited locale is proof-positive that NFC is practically pointless... Never mind the fact that Apple markets their phones to the world - much of which is well beyond the US in the adoption of NFC systems.

Like tens (if not hundreds) of millions of other people in Asia, every day I pay for train fare, buy drinks from vending machines, and even buy meals at convenience stores or restaurants all through a tap of an NFC-equipped card. Apple's refusal to add an NFC chip means that the iPhone is one of the few smart phones available in much of Asia that *doesn't* have that functionality.

Alain Labelle
Alain Labelle

Who cares that its made of or it's 1mm thinner or 2 grams lighter, whatever as long as it doesn't break or fall apart.  Its not like ones a cube and the other one a spherical and 1 pound heaveyer. oooo feels good in my hand... what a joke. there all very close not a big deal

The price of a micro usb cable aprox $5 that's about 6 times cheaper than the new iwire. who gives a shi# if it only gos in one way. I'd rather have a few spares for the car, office, or cottage.

How come no one ever mentions iphone do not have the capability of supporting additional memory like most android phone  like for instance Samsung S3 you buy a 32gb phone you can up it to a additional 64gb for a total of 96gb. 

Or the fact that some people keep their phones for more than 2 years. But batteries can't be changed easily on iphones do to the fact that you can't get at the battery without taking the phone completely apart.

Does it support flash media?  No

Apps apps em I the only one that seems to notice that apple like to try to charge for just about every app that they can get there greedy hands on. Android is similar but not quite as bad.

How about the Price compared to an android phone. Apple whatever you buy is always more money compared to an equivalent.  Can you say ilike to ipay more for apple because I can.

Got to hand it to apple though they have the best ad campaigns. Spending more money on advertizing then all other competitors put together. Guess who pays for that. i- idio#.

Guy B Serle
Guy B Serle

Apparently the novels you read must be very short

Gary McCray
Gary McCray

Might give them a way to unload all those over priced IPod Touches they are going to be stuck with after the IPad Mini comes out too.

mtngoatjoe
mtngoatjoe

Your post ranges from one sided exaggeration to blatant lies. The only upside is that it was done in such a bad and obvious way! If your post convinced  anyone to buy an Android phone, they were beyond the help of reason anyways... If I had paid for this ad-post I would want my money back!

Robert Distefano
Robert Distefano

I assume you're referring to "XDA Developers" or are you unsure what you're talking about? Regardless, the ROMs pushed out on that site are third party and completely irrelevant to the standard product. The reviewer is referring to the seamless, universal, and punctual updates for iOS that Apple release. With Android devices, you need to wait when your manufacturer, or even *carrier* wants to release it. 

Flashing a third party ROM is all well and good (I do it for my Droid devices) - but you're acting as though it's a standard feature that all Android users are aware of, let alone know how to do.

Guy B Serle
Guy B Serle

Um...how exactly does someone buying a different product save you money? I don't think you did the math right.

Guy B Serle
Guy B Serle

So the camera on a phone you can't possibly have used yet (the Lumia 920) is better than the camera on another phone you can't possibly have used yet (the iPhone 5) Or worse than a camera you haven't used (the Lumia 820) or PROBABLY won't be as good as the one you say you already have (the Lumia 800).

Does that pretty much sum up what you said?

hyomin42
hyomin42

I currently live in Seoul, South Korea and I own the iPhone 4s, which I love but the lack of NFC is a rather large drawback from an overall great phone.  People need to understand that the US is not the only market in the world - China anyone??  NFC in Asia is almost essential and this technology has been around for several years.  The US is playing catch-up to Asia and it doens't even realize it.

As for the lightning dock, I must disagree with the author.  The new dock isn't necessary and it's a way for Apple to scam and charge its customers more money - hundreds of millions of dollars are projected to be worth in profits from this new dock. 

harrymccracken
harrymccracken

Good point that there are places outside the U.S. where NFC would be more useful. It was certainly in wide use last time I was in Tokyo.

Paul Rustad
Paul Rustad

Some people like BMW's and others like Chevy Impalas.  People will buy what they can afford.

Guy B Serle
Guy B Serle

Whether it's made of glass or aluminum matters very much IF it's put together well. It can also matter on how it feels in your hand. If you prefer plastic, then please don't buy an iPhone.

Micro and mini USB are great for charging and syncing....and that's about it. The 30-pin connector did so much more which helped build an eco-system around it. Do you even know what the extra capabilities of the new connector are or is it just more durr hurr Apple charge more. I won't bother to go into it here because even if you read this you won't care as your mind already seems made up.

Now you next mention flash cards which is pretty much the only point you have that COULD possible make sense. Except with up to 64GB and access to other media through the cloud it's really no longer relevant either...sorry.

Batteries? Did I just jump back to some pointless comment from 2008? No one other whiney fandroids really care about swapping batteries, next...

Flash media? HA HAHAHAHAHA...no wait a minute...HAHAHA  HAHAHA...GASP...desktop Flash is dying. Mobile Flash is dead.

Your next point is about apps. Which apps exactly are you talking about that Apple charges for? Pages? Or the other iWork apps? They charge for them too on the Mac. So what? Other apps are at prices set by the developers. Which is as it should be. Apps are thriving on iOS EVEN with less market-share than Android. Why do you think that is? Hmm, probably because any app that shows the remotest possibility of being popular on Android is immediately copied and posted for free somewhere else many times with the added bonus of malware! YEA! After awhile many devs just stop writing for the platform or go the freeware route with ads.

If you can't see the difference between the hardware that Apple puts out and the cheap garbage that many others do (because equivalent phones to the iPhone pretty much cost just as much) then the only blind idiot is the one that can't see himself in the mirror.

harrymccracken
harrymccracken

If you think the iPhone costs more than comparable new Android models, I don't think you've priced the iPhone.

farleybear
farleybear

Ohhhh my goodness!!! You got me good there!! You sir, are a cerebral ninja! ....get a life, meathead.

AdamChew
AdamChew

Perhaps a critical whatever for Apple to fail.

Commentonitall
Commentonitall

I missed a key stroke, I'm well aware of what I am talking about. You also failed to respond to my main question. What about the updates make the Apple devices like whole new devices? Again, it would be a bullet point of things Android has had for years. You refer to Apple's grandiose updates, but I have to laugh because they usually include features I have been enjoying for years, making your statement about waiting for updates for Android moot because Apple is always playing catch up. I would rather have the newest features without having to wait for Apple to decide whether or not I should get those features (it's similar to the argument you put forth regarding Android updates). In regards to XDA and putting custom ROMs on it, if you can copy a file to an SD card, then you can update your phone yourself. I'm not saying the Iphone is a bad device, I'm just saying it gets way too many passes where other tech devices get slammed. Don't you agree on that point at least?

Subject: [techland] Re: http://techland.time.com/2012/...

Commentonitall
Commentonitall

Compare the specs and it's obvious the Iphone 5 does not have the best camera.  No hands on needed.  That sums up all I have to say.

mtngoatjoe
mtngoatjoe

Many people who've never driven a BMW 7 Series will think a Chevy Aveo is just as nice. There's nothing wrong with a Chevy, but it's not a BMW.

conet
conet

Twice is inaccurate, sure. On Verizon, the 16GB S3 and iPhone 5 are both $199. Though for $70 I can get a 64GB microSD card, making it an 80GB S3 for $269. The largest capacity iPhone is 64GB at $399.

Ben Hughes
Ben Hughes

In general, the iPhone does cost more.  Let's not avoid that basic reality.

The only thing that differentiates the 3 iPhone models is storage capacity.  In 2 of the 3 models it costs much more than comparable Android models.  In the base model, it costs the same, but has less total memory capability than it's Android counterpart.

The 16 GB iPhone 5 is priced the same as the 16 GB Galaxy S III, Apple knowing full well that it's 16 GB model doesn't have enough non-expandable memory for most smartphone users.  For $20, a 16 GB S III user can upgrade their memory to the same capacity as the 32 GB iPhone.

The 32 GB iPhone costs a whopping $300 -- 20% more than the 32 GB S III.

The 64 GB iPhone costs an insane $400 -- a full 48% more than the cost of a 32 GB SIII + 32 GB micro SD card.

conet
conet

I've driven an Aveo, that might be the worst money can buy at the moment. But to adjust the metaphor to reality, if the Aveo had twice the horsepower and customizability as the BMW, the judgement might be less clear.