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After An Initial Stumble, the iPhone 5 Proves Itself [VIDEO]


By Louis Trapani - Posted on 19 October 2012

iPhone 5 in Hand

After over two years using the iPhone 4, I was ready to move up to the 5 when it was released. As I did with the original iPhone, the 3GS, and 4, I was there on the release date waiting in line for it. The line was different this time around. Two years ago it was a little more than 3 hours from start to finish, this time it was only 90 minutes. I suppose my local Apple store has gotten better at handling the lines.

Though this time was not going to be as smooth as past purchases as for my case I was "lucky" enough to get one of the iPhone 5 units suffering from wi-fi issue. I couldn't use it on any wi-fi secured network. Whereas it would work fine on any open wi-fi network, it wouldn't get too far if WPA2 encryption was enabled. Long story short: After several return visits to my Apple store and calling Apple Care, I finally was able to replace it on the Monday after the Friday release. The replacement did not suffer from the same issue thankfully.

The video review here (see below) was recorded after just about two weeks using the iPhone 5 (originally posted to Mobli and YouTube at that time). So it's been another two weeks since. It's hard to believe that as I write this now, it marks four weeks since the iPhone 5 release. 

What do I think of the iPhone 5 after a month using it? It's incredible. First off, it is fast, I mean really fast. I can recall being frustrated with the original iPhone after two years to the point of almost throwing it up against the wall because at that time, it was crawling in its speed. The OS had matured to a point beyond the capabilities of the original hardware. While it wasn't quite the same after two years with the iPhone 4, I was feeling difference anytime I had a chance to use an iPhone 4S. The iPhone 5 is even faster.

When I say faster, I am not just speaking of wireless speeds (such as LTE), but the internal processing is much zippier. I especially see this when using 3rd party HDR camera apps which on the iPhone 4, the image processing time could get a little frustrating whereas it's only the fraction of the time on the 5.

You've probably already heard by now that the iPhone 5 is light and thin (I wish I could say the same about myself). It's true, it is light and thin. This feels especially so for me since I had been using a Mophie battery case on my iPhone 4 for almost a year now which added thickness and weight to the 4. Sometimes when I grab my iPhone 5 it almost feels "incomplete" or like something is missing. When it's in my pocket, sometimes it feels like a back of gum (not that I am gum chewer now, but in an earlier regeneration of myself, as a youngling, I would have cinnamon Dentyne gum on occasion). 

Purple haze photography? As a photographer, this is something that may concern me if it was common, but it really isn't that much of a common occurrence. The iPhone 4 would sometimes create a red clover-like lens flare when shooting into the sun. It's just a characteristic of the iPhone 4 camera. The issue of purple haze or halos appearing when a bright light (such as the sun) is just off frame is not that big of an issue and as I said, in my use, it doesn't present itself that often. I will most likely post a separate piece on iPhone 5 photography in which I will go further into this matter.

The new headphones (EarPods) that comes with the iPhone 5 is a good improvement over the previous earbuds. Though generally I don't use headphones all that often except while biking or walking, I do notice the improvement. They also may be more comfortable, but your use may vary.

I don't have huge hands, so using the larger screen may not be as easy as it is with one thumb as it is with the 4, but I wouldn't say it is difficult either. I've grown so used to the larger screen that now when I go back to the 4 it seems short. I also like that not only does the larger screen allow for another row of icons on each screen, but it means the folders get another row of apps as well allowing me to fit more in each folder now.

Speaking of apps, I won't address the Maps app or the Podcast app here as they are not iPhone 5 matters, but rather relating to iOS 6.

Apps that are not optimized for the iPhone 5 screen as of yet will be "letterboxed" with black bars on the top and bottom. This is really not that noticeable on the black iPhone 5 as the black bars blends into the housing of the black iPhone 5. It's another reason I like the black one (and that it reminds me of the monolith from 2001: A Space Odyssey). Though the white model isn't too shabby either. It reminds me of fine jewelry when I saw it in person.

For those that say the iPhone 5 is just a minor update from the 4S may not had actually used a 5. It is completely new from top to bottom. Speaking of the bottom, that is where you will find the headphone port now and the new smaller connection. The new connection turns out not be such of a concern for me as I initially thought. I do want to get at least one other cable though because right now if anything happens to this one cable that comes with the 5, I'll be screwed (they haven't shown up at my local Apple store as of the last time I checked).

If you are up for a new iPhone (you're no longer under contract by your service provider), I would definitely consider the iPhone 5… if you can find it (I'm hearing there are supply shortages). Especially if you are coming from an iPhone 4 or earlier model.

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