What can you get from the iPhone 5 (and is it really worth it)?
Another iPhone launch, another round of arguments about which smartphone is best. The world is full of Apple lovers and Apple haters, and with each new Apple launch, proponents from both camps get a bit over-excited about who is actually in the right.
Apple announced the release of its new iPhone 5 yesterday. Predictably, the media – and the ever-present bloggers/social commentators – weighed in with their two cents. So what does the latest creation from Apple actually offer?
The iPhone 5 is now 18% thinner and 20% lighter than its predecessor. Good news for everyone who wanted a more compact iPhone. Not so good news for those who always managed to lose the old chunkier model at the bottom of their handbag.
With a 4 inch retina display, the screen on the iPhone 5 has grown half an inch, compared to the 3.5 inch older iPhone screens. This provides space for another row of icons, and also makes it much more comfortable to watch wide screen movies.
Given that the camera on the iPhone 4S was already excellent, it makes sense that the iPhone 5 stuck with the same resolution as the 4S. However, the iPhone 5 now takes pictures faster and also works better in low light. The front-facing camera has been given an upgrade, and is now available in high definition.
The new iPad got some serious stick when it was marketed as “4G capable” in Australia. The iPhone 5 has rectified this and is now compatible with Australian 4G networks. However, if you do want faster 4G internet, you’ll only get it in certain cities, otherwise you will be out of luck.
After more than a decade using the wider connection port, Apple has now introduced the narrower “lighting” port. The iPhone 5 is still compatible with older docks and devices, as long as you buy a $35 adapter.
The iPhone 5 will run on Apple’s new operating system - iOS 6. The new operating system includes a number of updated features, and will also be available to download on older models from September 19.
Near-Field Communications (NFC) allows phones and other devices to share data by “bumping”, and also allows them to be used as a credit card. By tapping the phone against a payment terminal, the phone may be used to make purchases, in the same way as a contactless credit card (think Visa PayWave and Mastercard PayPass).
While the iPhone 5 does not include NFC technology, there has been talk of customers soon being able to use iTunes to make contactless purchases.
The cost of a new iPhone 5 without a contract will be $799 for the 16GB model, $899 for the 32GB model and $999 for the 64GB model in Australia. The iPhone 4S and 4 will be reduced to $679 and $449 respectively.
It has been announced that the iPhone 5 will be compatible with the Telstra, Optus, and Virgin Mobile networks, however, plan pricing is not available as yet.
There are a number of great upgrades on this new offering from Apple. All you need to do is work out whether you really need one, whether you can afford one, and whether there is anything actually wrong with your old one.
The iPhone 5 will be available to buy in Australia from September 21, but you can pre-order from September 14.