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Posted by on Oct 2, 2012 in Hardware, Technology |

iPhone 5: Review thoroughly

iPhone 5: Review thoroughly

The announcement and subsequent launch of the iPhone 5 has been plagued by what I call the “jetpack effect”, or the need for the generation of a device have to do things extremely surprising (but not necessarily usable) not be considered a disappointment.

These arguments may be related to people who often say “it’s 2012, and yet I have my flying car” while writing from a mobile phone with more processing power than the module took three men to the moon in the 60s.

But a phone is not going to carry the moon itself, the tools are worthless, it takes a human behind building things interesting.

The iPhone 5 is not surprising and does not need to be. In fact none of the previous generations it was, and as they have been announced (and released) finished listening to exactly the same arguments as always: Analysts say it will be a disappointment, not eight thousand processors, the screen is not large enough, no different than his predecessors. Yet we continue to see endless lines of people wanting to buy it on launch day sales and absolute records.

The iPhone 5 is not surprising because has designed a tool that really surprising (pun intended) by how it makes life easier to do what you love to do with technology and not by how it looks, physically. I said it before and I repeat it today: the technical characteristics are irrelevant. A smartphone should not be measured by the size of your screen, the processor speed or amount of RAM, but that when you marry hardware and software the best experience possible and is the most useful device you can have in the pocket.

In that respect, the 5 is the best smartphone on the market. The graphical interface is faster than ever, application access is immediate, your camera has a very surprising quality, is light, very light, very thin and you feel it in your hand to understand the tremendous effort you have put into your Apple construction to minute details and imperceptible.

Design and peso

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The iPhone 5, when held in the hand, it feels like a luxury item and clearly is. It is made from anodized aluminum (series 6000) and crystal-encrusted glass ceramic top and bottom of the white model, and pigmented glass in the black iPhone. Apple claims that the construction process is like a Swiss watch, not a phone. This is even more evident when compared to any other recent phone competition. And I repeat, must be held in your hand to understand and appreciate it.

Apple also has been commissioned to do lighter, weighs just 112 grams (the iPhone 4S weighs 140 grams), 20% lighter and 28 grams less than paper seem little but in terms of daily use are quite noticeable. It is 20% thinner, just 0.76 inches thick, which, although it is higher the smaller iPhone made in terms of volume (12% less than its predecessor).

I have always maintained a reasonable weight on the phones because you feel you have a device in the hands of value and not a cheap piece of plastic screen (feeling that I can think of using smartphones from Samsung). What Apple has done is reduce enough weight to make it even more comfortable compensating with a luxury material and finish.

Screen

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Physically the biggest change since the first iPhone is the new screen, now 4 inches 0.5 inches diagonal or more than all previous models. The appearance changes from 3:2 to 16:9 with 1136×640 pixel resolution, 326 pixels by keeping the screen. Again, the technical characteristics, however interesting they may be, that does not mean anything. The screen produces colors much more vivid, more real and more blacks black. If you remember my Review of the Lumia 800, was the most interesting aspect of the device screen and appreciates that Apple has taken note of the importance of the contrast on the screen and apply it to the iPhone 5.

There is another important consideration and difficult to explain with the new screen: Before, to make it touch screen had to put an extra layer of electrodes that react to the touch which is communicated to the processor of the phone that made the pixels of the screen react to actions made with our fingers.

The iPhone 5 removes that layer and manages to touch the electrodes are sensitive to the touch while displaying the image, the result is a strange feeling that really touch the graphical interface elements, making everything even more natural and closer.

It is hard to explain because before that layer was hardly noticeable touch, but still had some level of feeling of “I’m doing this remotely,” which no longer exists with the iPhone 5. The result is an even more intimate experience with whatever you have on the phone and with each element of the GUI. The effect is further increased considering that the smartphone A6 chip sample and move around even faster, increasing the “naturalness” of the interface.

I am sure that the next iPad will have the same technology and this feeling will be even more apparent.

Is there a big difference between the previous and the new screens? Yes and no. I think applications like Mail, Instagram, Twitter and gaming customers will benefit enough from the new format to be able to display more information without having to scroll ago (in the case of games, the more things to show on screen) but also I think Apple squandered the opportunity to improve the way notifications are displayed leveraging the larger screen. I understand it is very complicated because it involves design twice, but I also think that more screen should mean “better deployed information” and not simply “more information deployed.”

Performance

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The overall performance of the is what draws more attention after hours of playing with the phone and get used to the screen or physical finish. It is very fast. It is the fastest iOS device manufactured by Apple, above the third-generation iPad. The A6 chip operates at twice the speed of the A5. Gigahertz is not, it is a processor that is made specifically for the iOS GUI run as fast as possible.

I once read someone say that Apple began its project butter (Google’s initiative for Android 4.1 is really fluid) in 2007, meaning the company does a lot of emphasis on the movement feel as natural as possible. The A6 chip combined with iOS 6, plus the new display of the iPhone 5 just improve much more experience. At this rate I’m sure in 4 or 5 years talk of Apple’s effort to make a graphic element on the screen can not be distinguished from something in real life, by their behavior, the quality of the graphics and how they look in retina displays the future.

In addition to the faster processor accelerates deployment of information but that goes hand in hand with support for faster transmission technologies. The iPhone 5 supports up Wi-Fi 802.11n in 5 GHz that transmits up to 54 megabytes per second, UMTS / HSPA + / DC-HSDPA and LTE in some countries.

In tests in Madrid got up to 10 megabytes per second on Movistar. Not bad.

Camera

The camera of the iPhone 5 enhances what I considered the best camera on a smartphone (the iPhone 4S) and adds some extra features. The photos are taken much faster, better image quality in poor light condition, ability to take pictures while recording video and a stabilizer improved through the use of A6 chip.

But the best way to explain how good is the camera of the iPhone 5 is showing some pictures:

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iOS 6

As every year, Apple launched its new version of the smartphone with an updated operating system based on OS X. iOS 6 builds on a solid tremendously. After all it is the best mobile operating system and the yardstick by which all competition is measured.

Following the tradition of absolute consistency of Apple, in terms of graphical interface and no significant changes the focus of this release is in the details, in the stability and backwards compatibility.

Apple has not only managed to make iOS 6 run better and faster on existing devices, but can be installed on the iPhone 3G, iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S, without waiting to approve operators download and use. Neither happens, like Android, that an outside manufacturer decides to release version for use in terminals that have more than two years of being on the market (remember that the iPhone 3GS was released 3 ½ years ago). While not everyone will enjoy Siri, the team re-valued with new features as they are new software updates.

IO6 6 is also the first version of the operating system that handles more than strengthen existing features rather than introducing new, although there are applications like Passbook that were not before. Siri is now in several languages with localized services in several countries, like dictation. The greatest change, in this case, was replace by a solution Google Maps Apple itself. The result was not the desired one, thousands of complaints around the world about the poor quality of the addresses, the innumerable problems of 3D Rendered Buildings, structures and streets, along with what appears to be a database of places quite old.

On paper the new maps are quite interesting: indication PtP addresses with Siri assistance, use vectors to draw the streets (which means a lot less memory space usage, load much faster access and offline) and flyover so that you can have an aerial view and context of many cities to better understand where you are and how to get to your destination.

In practice, the maps are not up to the quality that Apple has accustomed us, are several steps backwards compared to Google maps, they can not always give the correct directions and in many cases lack of recent data. Are they just excessive criticism we are seeing in some forums or traditional media? No. 6 should have been dating iOS maps in the current state? Nor. The team of six iOS maps should be much more critical of the work. It is also true that Google six years ahead in the field and a lot more knowledge about how to do it (Maps was a project started in 2004 and purchased the same year by Google), but this has never been and should not be an excuse for Apple do something good enough to justify the change.

Another problem with the Apple Maps is that although fixed all the problems that are currently still lacking some of the most used features of Google Maps, including how to get somewhere using public transport (in case you ask, Apple offers some third-party … bad …).

Just why Apple should accept the Google Maps application has been sent for review to the App Store, however much they are competition, until they have their own service to match. Meanwhile, you can use Google maps as a web app (which frankly works almost like the native app) accessed January 1 maps.google.com and adding the page to the home screen.

On the other hand it has improved operating system integration with social networking in general. Now you can share on Facebook besides Twitter and installed applications are automatically added to the Sharing section.

Siri in Spanish, well used is a new frontier in what refers interfaces. I recommend reading my review of iPhone 4S in relation to what I think about the efforts of Apple working on a graphical interface is not “attend” to the user.

Today Siri is better than a year ago and not only is able to help us create a schedule meetings, earrings, set alarms or recommending restaurants, you can read messages we receive, write tweets, calls, launch applications, annotate, give sports results and offer all kinds of data from Wolfram Alpha and other databases.

Siri maximum possibilities are hard to explain and hard to find because not being a graphical interface, its boundaries are blurred and the results of questions of the cloud, can be updated or improved without a firmware update.

There are many criticisms that the OS is “tired” and that Apple should improve certain aspects. I think many people are carrying the argument to which we were subject to constant updates of Windows or Android to try to improve or patching the myriad problems they had.

As you get older and learn to use Apple (which did not exist by the novelty of modern smartphones) the development of innovations curve begins to flatten and the effort begins to focus on making an operating system extremely fast, stable and improve details.

Where do believe that iOS needs to improve significantly is in more control and allow operation set by the user. If you prefer Chrome over Safari should have a preference that allows me to change the default browser. If you want my messaging software is WhatsApp and iMessage not the same. I also think that Apple needed open space widgets third parties (in the notification bar) and allow quick access to certain configuration functions (should be able to enable / disable Wi-Fi from the home screen, for example).

I also think Apple should offer Nitro (JavaScript acceleration of Mobile Safari) to UIWebView applications. Have you noticed that open a web page from the integrated web view is usually slower to open it in Safari? is because Apple does not allow the use Nitro by “security concerns”. I think it’s a cheap excuse that they should put aside sooner rather than later.

Finally, notifications work great, no radical improvements relative to iOS 4, but there should be a better way to get rid of them besides the gesture “secret” (move your finger from left to right on the notification). The internal notifications have a small close button. The normal should have it as well.

Notices should also be better configured phone in certain states. The DND for hours is a great help but, for example, should not turn on the screen when an email arrives and I have the iPhone in my pocket, or face down on a screen, after all, the smartphone detects if something stuck ( to turn off the screen when you’re talking on the phone). That would mean a tremendous saving battery.

iPhone 5 is the first smartphone from Apple that purchases services or unique features of the operating system in comparison with the previous version.

Battery

I receive many notifications (Twitter, Instagram, hundreds of daily emails, Facebook, SocialCast, IMessages, WhatsApp) and Exchange accounts to sync my email, calendar and contacts (Exchange is a battery eater)

Yet the iPhone 5 I’m testing allows me to reach the end of the day on a single charge, which says a lot, especially if compared with the iPhone 4S, get to the point I had to load it in the afternoon, or any other phone other brand I’ve tried (including a Galaxy Nexus, Lumia 800, Lumia 900 and HTC One X).

The battery of the iPhone 5 is bigger and better. I did technical tests (and is not in my interest) but is grateful that Apple is finally making moves to improve battery time just as they did with quepo. Still, though obvious (beyond technical paper), not revolutionary. To be Apple has to decide for a new type of battery lifetimes get radically higher in device sizes of industry demand.

Puerto Lightning

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The new iPhone 5 features a 9-pin port named Lightning, is basically the same as the previous port 30 but smaller pina, which lets you connect a cable from either side which is greatly appreciated. Also clicks when inserted, which is a simple aid sound that lets you know that the cable is connected properly and securely.

In addition to maps, the port (and cable) Lightning have been subject to controversy. Why Apple decides to change something that worked well? The problem is that it was not necessarily functionally optimal. The iPhone 5 would not be so thin if using the old dock port. In the same way that in the 90s Apple got rid of SCSI for FireWire or USB port decided to adapt in all its Macs, is simply a step forward that eventually had to take it. He played today.

As I write this review not available in any store wires Lightning. Apparently it’s the way Apple intended the port and the shape of the connector does not leak. For me it is a problem, I like to have a cable in my office and one at home. For now I have to carry in your backpack.

In case you have docks or cables with connectors old, you can use an adapter 30-9 pineapple, which are more expensive than the new cable. I honestly do not understand why. The cables have a chip that is not clear to which function. Rumors indicate that this is a security measure by which the company tries to avoid making cheap cables (as with the connector cable 30 pins). Again, it’s just a rumor. In a few weeks, if they manage to reverse engineer the chip, we will have more clear what it is (can be a simple controller, no more).

All that said, in the everyday, thanks Lightning connector is much more convenient than before.

The iPhone 5 and the effect Jetpack

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Steve Jobs once said:

Design is how it looks or feels, design is how it works

The iPhone 5, when the screen is off like a small monolith black. He barely looks like a phone. Apple does not focus on how their devices are seen, but on what happens on the screen, that is, how it works. The iPhone 5 and its design is a strong statement to the invisible design . Toward the “less is more”, to the minimum expression of what a device must be, that everything that happens to have all the attention within. To dispel all possible noise and the important thing is what the user does on the screen.

“The iPhone 5 is boring,” “The iPhone 5 brings nothing new ‘- What happens is that Apple does not play the game of cat and mouse in the whole industry participated in the 90s when they had the skills of those who had more MegaHertz their processors. Today it seems that the race is who has the biggest screen, who gets more processor cores, which includes more memory. Again we believe that the technical specifications of a device is important.

But they are totally, completely and utterly irrelevant.

We struggled to understand it, is hard to accept (because it is easy to say that we have something “better” just because hexacore processor). The importance lies in the construction of hardware and software that together make a tool that really works. One hexacore is useless if the battery lasts for three hours, you’re serving a 6 inch screen on a phone is unusable if one handed. Eight thousand gigahertz is useless if the operating system is unable to use them.

As much as we would like the iPhone 5 has a screen that displays three-dimensional hologram, it is of absolutely nothing. Apple does not have to fulfill the fantasies and expectations we create in the head or read on Twitter.

Apple does not design jetpacks, design tools that make life easier

Conclusion

9/10

Considering that an iPhone is the most used electronic device in my day, honestly I’m pretty happy with the product that Apple made. It’s fast, it’s thin, lightweight, has a spectacular display that allows me to do things better, and offers me a unique user experience that lets me do my job faster and better.

Nothing is perfect and there are aspects that I would really like to improve, especially the battery. As much as they have improved, and thanks, I really urges extreme developments in this field.

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