Everything You Wanted to Know About the iPhone 5 But Were Too Afraid to Ask

With the first reviews pouring in today for everyone’s soon to be most bragged about toy, the iPhone 5, it’s time to take a step back and look at everything we know about the new iPhone, to date.

The Look

It’s thinner (the thinnest smartphone in the world according to Apple), it’s taller (a half an inch taller to be exact), it comes in black and white (though that doesn’t matter according to the late Michael Jackson), and of course it’s pretty sleek. Apple has had more than enough time in this business to know what works and what doesn’t and they aren’t messing with the formula now. The iPhone 5 looks like an iPhone, just better.

The Features

For the most part, all of the usual upgrades apply. The sound is better, the video is clearer, and everything is supposed to be faster. Of particular note, though, are the new 4G capabilities and Siri functions. The 4G is supposedly as quick as you need it to be, Siri is better than ever, and can perform an array of new tricks from pulling up apps on request, to providing sports scores. Also, the camera is supposed to work better in lowlight, and the battery life is cited as working up to 12-14 hours in some cases with normal usage, which would mean a great improvement over the previous models.  However, if you’re looking for the real new feature of the iPhone 5, you have to turn to the new iO6.


The biggest upgrade to i06 is the new Apple Maps features which opposes the popular Google Maps program. Reviews aren’t particularly flattering for the new app, as reviewers cite trouble using it practically in urban environments ,along with being generally behind Google Maps, but with things like Yelp integration, and Siri enabled GPS, a few updates could put the system on the right track. Otherwise, the new operating system is offering up increased Facebook functionality, Facetime compatibility, and a great all in one travelling app called Passbook that also works with some of your payment methods to help create a virtual wallet. Nice.

The Accessories

While it hasn’t taken long for some companies to jump on the new iPhone craze with cases and other accessories ready to go, the real flood of add-on’s probably won’t come for a couple of months. However, the biggest accessories belong to Apple themselves, who are rolling out new headphones and a new connector for the iPhone 5. The headphones feature an odd, but interesting, design and the early word is that they represent the best standard headphones Apple has released yet (though you are still better off going with high end models for true quality). The lightning connector is a different story, as early indications are not citing it as far superior to the supposedly “outdated style” of the classic connector. Even worse is if you want to use your new iPhone with any old iDevices you might have, it’s going to cost you $30 for an adapter. Ouch.

The Price

Base price for the iPhone models are $199 for a 16GB, $299 for a 32GB, and $399 for a 64 GB. Plus you must consider the data plans, which vary from provider. Verizon is the most expensive (but offers the best coverage) with their plans ranging from $80 a month for a 300MB plan, to $190 for the 20GB plan. AT&T offers less coverage (especially in major cities) but mostly cheaper plans as they go for $85.00 for the 1GB a month plan to a wallet humping $230 for 20 GB. Finally if you can deal with the far inferior 4G coverage they offer, Sprint is by far the cheapest for a plan as they range from $79.99 a month for unlimited text and data with 450 minutes to $109.99 for unlimited everything. Assuming you don’t require any add ons for the phone (yeah right), that’s about what you’re looking at.

You can find a good round up of the data plan information here.

The Verdict

All said and done how is the new iPhone 5? Well the reviews just started today, and while it’s hard to nail down a cheap general statement, for the most part the reviews are ranging from glowing to solid but unspectacular. It sounds like some Apple purists are calling this the best iPhone yet because of how all the new feature add up to make a better complete experience, but in general it’s hard to find anyone who isn’t calling it a good buy for anyone that really wants one, even if some features aren’t as great as others. For a few sample reviews, check out the following links:

New York Times


The Guardian

The Parodies

Finally it wouldn’t be an Apple product without the detractors being as vocal as the supporters, and sure enough, Apple hater number one (Samsung) has already released a parody video mocking the cult of Apple to go along with their ad campaign:

Comedian John Elerick has released an appropriate, and slightly NSFW, parody of the iPhone 5 promo:

And of course, Ellen Degeneres has a thought on the new iPhone 5 as represented in these photos courtesy of The Chive:


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