Are the iPhone 5 Features Worth the Cost?

iPhone 5 Features

As expected, Apple’s iPhone 5 features are somewhat impressive. Quite a number of the features that industry pundits were expecting are found in the iPhone 5. However, there are quite a few features that Apple either forgot to add, or decided to make its acolytes wait until next year for. Apple has a habit of bringing out a new device every year, while every other year introducing a device that is an actual revolutionary change instead of a simple evolution of the previous model. Some people are calling the iPhone 5 an evolutionary jump, while others are calling it a revolutionary leap. Let’s take a look at some of the features and you make your own choice.

iPhone 5 Features – The Larger Screen

The new iPhone 5 has a screen that’s slightly larger than previous models. The overall size of the phone hasn’t increased, but Apple pushed the screen to the edges of the device, giving it overall dimensions of 4.89 by 2.31 inches. According to some of the Apple advertising, they kept the screen at this size instead of going larger, like the Samsung Galaxy III, because it fits perfectly in the hand and almost exactly matches the reach of the average person’s thumb.

Noticeably Faster Than Previous Models

When Apple came out with the 4S, many people were really surprised that they didn’t include the 4G LTE standard for data transfers. They remembered it when they started designing the iPhone 5, though. With 4G LTE, you’ll probably end up not connecting to the Internet through the Wi-Fi connection (802.11n) because you’ll have almost twice the throughput of your home Wi-Fi network. iPhone 5 owners will finally know what owners of Android phones have been “oooh-ing” and “aaah-ing” about for almost 18 months.

For those with slower home Internet connections, the iPhone 5 can make use of its 4G LTE capabilities and become a Wi-Fi hotspot to share that higher bandwidth Internet connection with home computers. You’re going to want to get an unlimited data plan with your cell carrier for this.

Another one of my favorite iPhone 5 features many new owners are crowing about is the A6 processor. The A6 is a much faster processor than what was found in previous models. You’ll notice much less lag between selecting an app and the app opening. In fact, the speed of the processor approaches iPad and iMac processor speeds.

Lighter and Thinner Makes for Easier Handling

The iPhone 4S wasn’t exactly an unwieldy brick, but this year’s model is much thinner and lighter, making toting it around much easier. The iPhone is a pretty amazing one third of an inch thick and weighs an almost not-there-feeling 3.95 ounces. Your small fry order at McDonald’s weighs more than this iPhone.

iOS Is More Network Friendly

Network security professionals have always been very leery about allowing iPhone owners to use them to connect to corporate networks. Previous iterations of the operating system were too easy to hack. It had no encryption. And the data handling and storage left quite a bit to be desired.

Not anymore. iOS delivers most of what network and IT departments have been asking for since the first iPhone hit the market. The iPhone 5 delivers 256-bit hardware encryption. Data stored on the device is harder to hack into. And Apple has begun vetting and verifying all apps for data integrity and security before posting them up in the iTunes Store.

The only thing network professionals say it’s missing is an application like BlackBerry’s Enterprise Server application that controls network access for BlackBerry devices. Most professionals are now willing to allow iPhone 5s access to corporate networks.

You’ll Need a New SIM Card for the iPhone 5

Mini-Sim Card vs. a Micro-Sim Card - iPhone 5 FeaturesFor those of you with GSM phones, you should be very familiar with SIM cards. You’ve probably got most, if not all of your contacts stored on your phone’s SIM card, like I do. If you’re dead-set on buying the iPhone 5, get ready to buy a new SIM card and transfer everything over to it.

One of the ways that Apple reduced the weight of the iPhone 5 was by replacing the industry standard SIM card with a new, smaller micro SIM. Most likely, you’ll be able to take your phone into a store operated by your carrier and have them transfer everything over. It will probably even be free.

iPhone 5 Features — A Smaller Docking Adapter

If you’re like most people that I know that own older iPhones, you’ve got a handful of data/charging cables, an iDock, an iStereo, and a cable to connect it to your car stereo. If you buy the iPhone 5, go ahead and throw all that stuff away, or sell it with your old iPhone. Apple has replaced the docking cable we’re all familiar with as another way to shed some weight from the phone. But they’ve left hundreds of thousands of people holding extra accessories that will become obsolete if they buy the iPhone 5. And so far, they haven’t come out with an adapter cable, although, it is supposedly in the works.

Apple Maps — Feature or Bug?

Apple was touting the turn-by-turn mapping feature included with iOS 6 and the iPhone 5. However, if you pay attention to any of the industry news, the mapping “feature” has some serious flaws. Many early adopters have said the app has actually gotten them lost, instead of helping them find their way.

My opinion? I’ll take the Samsung Galaxy IIIS. It seems more ready for prime time to me. But, Apple fans will still absolutely love the iPhone 5 — and the next version of it should be free of some of its negative attributes (except for the smaller docking cable).

For an interesting look back at how we lived only a few years ago, here’s an article on the top smartphones from the late ’00s.