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Things We Like and Dislike About the New iPhone

Things We Like and Dislike About the iPhone 5
On Wednesday, September 12th Apple took to the stage and announced the iPhone 5 along with some new iPods. The iPhone 5, by the way, will be available next week (Sept 21st) for about the same price that the iPhone 4S sold for($299 for 32GB). The announcements revealed no major secrets or game changing products as a common reaction to the news was "evolution" rather than "revolution." Here's our list of some things that we liked and didn't like so much about the new products.
One of The Best Smartphone Cameras Gets BetterIf you ask some people why they won't consider other excellent smartphones like the Samsung Galaxy S III over the iPhone, they often say it's the camera that makes them buy an iPhone. The iPhone 5's 8MP sensor is still the same number of pixels as the 4S but Apple claims it's now faster and has better low light sensitivity possibly due to an improved BSI (back side illumination) sensor and larger f/2.4 aperture. Apple also announced that the new iPhone uses a sapphire lens protector which offers a very pure glass which might be even more scratch resistant than Corning's Gorilla Glass.
Better Speakers, More Microphones and Noise Cancelling TooIn the new and improved department, Apple has improved the front-facing camera, making FaceTime sessions (which will now be in 720p HD) better and will also not be limited to Wi-Fi. Apple says they have added "wideband audio" which makes cell phone calls sound more natural. Currently 20 carriers plan on supporting cellular wideband audio. In addition the iPhone now uses three microphones (front, back and bottom) along with some new noise cancelling technology to make for even better sounding calls. Now if only AT&T could do their part to boost the quality and reliability of a phone call. Apple has also improved the speaker using a five magnet transducer for more oomph.
Thinner, Faster, Not CheaperAnother no-big-surprise iPhone 5 announcement was the new larger display which includes even more pixels in order to maintain the same 326ppi Retina display. This is also the first Apple phone or tablet to support 16:9, widescreen, aspect ratio (like your HDTV set) . A new anti-glare treatment should make the display more readable in bright light. Despite a larger display, Apple was able to shrink the iPhone 5 making it 20 percent lighter and 18 percent thinner. On the faster front Apple claims to have doubled the processing power of the 4S with a new A6 processor. They also added dual band (5 and 2.4GHz) 802.11n Wi-Fi to the iPhone 5 where its predecessor only supported a single 2GHz band.
New Earbuds Called EarPodsApple claims they have been working on these new earbuds for a few years. They say they measured lots of ears to settle on one size that should fit most people. They also claim that they we designed to better "direct" sound into the ear. The early reports from the Apple event indicate a better fit with stronger bass.
Apple Missed a Chance on NFCIf you're not familiar with NFC or "Near Field Communications" then you're probably not alone. NFC is used for among other things contactless payment however, there's a lot more you can do with NFC than using it as a credit card. NFC could be used to provide personalized or other helpful information about anything from an item in a store to an item in your home just by "tapping" that item with your phone. Although NFC is already available on many mobile devices, Apple could have provided a huge boost to its adoption and popularity.
New Connector Makes All Your Accessories Harder to UseAnother feature that all the rumors had been talking about now has a name. The new docking connector called "Lightning" will now require a rather large and expensive ($29) adaptor to work with all your old docks, chargers and accessories. If you want a Lightning to old 30-pin cable Apple will sell you one for $39. One thing Apple has done on this connector to make it easier to use than most connectors is they made it able to plug in right side up or upside down. How stable the new phone will be sitting on the adaptor remains to be seen and what will the accessory manufacturers do to make their new iPhone 5-ready devices backward compatible with older Apple products remain to be seen. We expect some storm weather ahead for Lightning.
Should You Run Out and Buy an iPhone 5?The new iPhone 5 is certainly an engineering marvel and Apple has definitely caught up to other smartphones like the Samsung Galaxy S III that were starting to make the iPhone 4S look dated. If your iPhone contract is up and you have an extra $299 to spend then by all means go for the iPhone 5 -you'll be good with your new phone for at least another year. If your contract is not up then you might want to wait until it is or wait to see what other smartphones emerge like new Android or even Windows 8 phones.

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