You’ve already heard that Apple announced the iPhone 5 for shipment on September 21st but your first question is probably should you get one. For anyone with an iPhone 4 or earlier, I would say absolutely. I can feel the speed difference between my iPhone 4 and the 4S already, so the 5 will be an even greater leap. If you have a 4S, the big question will come down to data speed. 4G LTE is a huge upgrade over the 3G networks that the 4S supports. If you feel the need for speed, it is certainly worth considering.
For those of you with older iPhones and smaller budgets, the iPhone 4 will stick around, now free with a new contract. Similarly the iPhone 4S will be $99 on contact. (I would like to take a moment to say goodbye to the iPhone 3GS, which had a staggering 3 year lifespan, and is still supported under iOS 6). For me, my iPhone is the first and last computer I use every day. I plan to have one in my hands as soon as I can and here’s why.
Faster Processor Means Faster Apps
The A6 processor in the iPhone 5 is the most advanced yet. Nobody likes a device that lags behind them, and the iPhone 5 will push ever further forward, with many apps launching almost twice as fast as before.
4G LTE: Blows Through Your Data Plan Even Faster Than Before
If you haven’t had a chance to try a 4G LTE data connection yet, you are in for a real treat. I have seen speeds on 4G that are faster than my current home cable internet connection! I have streamed entire movies at the gym on my iPad using 4G without any of the dreaded buffering pauses. It is amazing to think that the first iPhone only supported the EDGE network (which had internet speeds similar to a snappy dial up modem from 1998).
Bigger Screen But Thinner And Lighter
What Apple did for the iPhone 5 is smart. Rather than just blowing up the size of the phone, it now has a longer screen on the front. The actual phone itself is not much bigger (in fact, the device is actually thinner and lighter than before), but the screen is noticeably larger at 4 inches. It is also a proper widescreen now, meaning no more black bars when watching movies. All of your apps will continue to work as before, but expect to see a lot of updates soon to take advantage of the extra space.
I actually commend Apple for avoiding the screen size war we have seen in the mobile phone industry. Some phones have gotten so big that they look almost comical when held next to a human head. We even had to create a new word for these, phablets, a portmanteau of phone and tablet (yes…this is a thing that actually exists…and they really call it that).
My iPhone is now my camera. The iPhone 5 has a new sensor for better low light photos. And the faster speed of the device means that the camera will open even faster than before. Plus now you’ll be able to create panorama photos without paying for an additional App. Video is still 1080p, but now you can take still images while recording video. It’s the best of both worlds.