Apple Presents the iPhone 5

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Eric Dannenbaum, Science & Technology Editor

Apple’s release of the iPhone 5 has been a major success, with shipments coming into stores like the one in Suburban Square and selling out by the end of each day. Unlike the iPhone 4S, which emphasized huge changes from the iPhone 4, namely Siri, the iPhone 5 does not boast any revolutionary developments. Instead, Apple can point to smaller improvements that add up to make a true difference in the user experience of the iPhone 5.

As always, Apple has upgraded the iPhone’s size, reducing it to just 0.3 inches thick and a weight of about 15 grams. These dimensions really register when you see and hold the phone. In addition to these ever improving specs, Apple has made a change to the screen size, something not done since the release of the first iPhone. Instead of the traditional 3.5-inch screen, the iPhone 5 has a taller screen with the same width, giving it a 4-inch diagonal. This extra half-inch allows for an extra row of apps on each page, and a better viewing experience for videos. The iPhone 5 also features Apple’s highly touted 640 x 1136 pixel retina display. While it isn’t the highest resolution phone screen on the market (some Pantech phones feature 800 x 1280 displays), the picture for video and gaming is excellent. The camera resolution has not been improved, remaining at 8 megapixels, but the new panorama software is a nifty tool for capturing wide shots with a sweeping motion. The general specs of the phone have been incrementally improved, which is what was to be expected from this iPhone.

The iPhone 5 also features many of the long-awaited upgrades that the iPhone 4S lacked, allowing the competition to gain some ground. One of the most striking is the 4G LTE capability, which offers a striking difference in quickness when compared to the 3G used by the 4S. It also features a free turn-by-turn navigation app. Even so, the new maps application is not considerably user friendly and offers some issues. The new lightning connector, while more convenient, renders previously owned accessories essentially obsolete. Other changes, including an improved Siri (she syncs with ESPN to deliver sports results) and a faster A6 processor, make the iPhone 5 a huge upgrade over the 4S.

Although the iPhone 5 is not the best phone in the market, and not the most impressive when it comes to storage, battery life, and screen size, Apple has created a beautiful, fast, and easy-to-use smartphone with impressive upgrades throughout its design. The overall experience means that the iPhone 5 is still one of the best phones on the market. Like all other Apple products, it offers an attractive and user-friendly product that does not disappoint. Unless you are a die-hard Droid user, the iPhone 5 is definitely a worthy purchase.