Thursday, September 6, 2012

World's First iPhone 5 Review

Hey y'all.

Today I have the scoop of the century, if not millennium. Tired by my continuous jabs at their products, Apple staff abducted me yesterday and took me to their flying-saucer-shaped headquarters. There, I was seated in a blank room. A ghostly apparition, perhaps a 3D projection of Steve Jobs, sat before me and look very angry; there were red flashes in his eyes. He placed an object before me and intoned: "This is the iPhone 5. Bow before it, kiss my feet, and then review it. Failing that, you will be abducted again and never heard from."

Trembling, I took the phone in my hands; I stared at it reverently, knowing fully well that only Steve's ghost and I had touched the finished product in the entire world. Here's my review.


The iPhone 5 looks nothing like any other phone on the planet. It is made of a sturdy polycarbonate, is very flat and therefore will survive falls easily, even from thousands of feet, since it will then float harmlessly to the ground. Strike one for Apple there: the first phone in history to achieve this feat: the world's first truly drop-proof phone.

The phone's front fascia is dominated by a grid of numbered plastic squares. iPhone has been touch-only in the past, but users have been crying out for more tactile interaction with the phone. Therefore, Apple, as always attentive to its customers' needs, invented a neat solution: little plastic squares are mounted onto springs; they have contact points which, when connected to the circuit board below, send appropriate signal to the CPU and it displays a number or an alphabet on the screen. Apple has named this technology 'iType' and of course, being a world first, it is patented. There are already rumours in the market that many computer and phone manufacturers are scrambling to discard an imitation of this solution, which they called 'keyboard' or 'keypad', and come up with an alternative. Judge Lucy Koh has cancelled her vacations in anticipation.

On top of the iType surface is a little white screen with 18:9 aspect ratio for ideal multimedia playback. The screen diagonal is 3.5 inches and features an advanced technology called 'LCD'.

On top left there is a huge speaker slot. Apple thinks that today's mobile phones suffer from poor voice quality and have therefore increased the size of the speaker to 2 square centimeters to enable users to better listen to calls. This speaker grill size and design has also been patented under the name 'iHear' patent violation notices have been sent to every electronics manufacturer on Earth and beyond. There is also a solar panel to complement the existing battery ("iCharge") and that will ensure a battery life of a week under heavy usage.

There are little design flourishes all over. The Apple logo, for example, is there in the very shape of the phone, saving precious space and weight of previous solutions where embossing was required. The iPhone 5 will be available in all colours corresponding to the rainbow from day one, all the better for its target demographic. The phone is only 3.5 mm in thickness, therefore taking the title of thinnest phone ever made. The Apple shape makes the experiencing of holding and using a phone a joy.

The rest about the innards of the phone is a mystery. I did learn that thanks to the smaller display, the processor chosen is a single-core 337 MHz job. I am confident that the iPhone 5 will perform even faster than its predecessor.


As expected, the phone dialing experience on iType is second to none. The squares click and there is a hitherto unseen tactility and clarity to the whole experience. There is no T9 or alphabetical dialing since that solution has been in use for many years and has caused countless mis-dialing incidents. To protect user's privacy, Apple has opted not to build an address book in the phone and instead, every iPhone will come with the elegant binder (pictured) called 'iNote' which will clip neatly to the phone itself. The binder will be used to store contacts and other information by users. Providing endless flexibility, iNote is a pioneering technology allowing its users to write or draw virtually anything, maintain a calendar, jot down engineering plans, song lyrics, friends' birthdays, recipes, etc, while keeping the content perfectly secure and within easy reach.

The back camera has a special mode called 'iNote mode' where it will photograph content on the iNote pad and act accordingly. For example, if it's a telephone number, it will dial that number, requiring precisely one key push from users. If it's a drawing, it will scan it and keep it on display for 30 minutes, so that you can share it with others; naturally, all other functions will be disabled for the duration to save users from complications.

This kind of out-of-the-box thinking is what sets Apple apart from competitors. Hands down, this is the most secure way of storing information.

The purpose of some keys marked as +,-,X,/ and MR, M-, M+ was not immediately apparent. According to Apple representative, these represent another pioneering technology. The sign keys are for quick calculations, while MR, M- etc are for storing any picture taken by the camera, deleting it or recalling a previous one.

To further bolster the security and provide users with bulletproof peace of mind, incoming calls as well as SMS service, have been disabled. It is possible to send a message via iNote though. Apple says that 90% of iPhone 5 customers will still have iPhone 4 or 4S, and they will continue to function even after introduction of iPhone 5. By disabling incoming calls or messages, iPhone 5 will remain a bulletproof platform while previous phones will find themselves useful as well. It's a win-win situation.


Apple introduces a new internet portal called To browse the net, you will simply have to recite the entire URL into the phone's mic and the website will appear on the screen. This will prevent mis-typed addresses and provide users with a truly hands-off experience. Needless to say, web browsing is fully integrated with iNote.

Apple's Safari version for iPhone 5 reaches new levels of security and reliability. This browser rids itself of unnecessary clutter like Flash, HTML, and images. Instead, it presents web pages in a supremely attractive text-only form, truly outstanding on the white LCD. Pages load instantly, and since iPhone 5 foregoes wifi owing to its fickle and insecure nature, the uncluttered web can travel even faster on the provided GPRS connection.

Continuing with tradition, there is no dedicated memory slot. There is a proprietary 47-pin port though, which will accept a wireless transmitter (sold separately), to stream content from a nearby PC or phone. Thus, weight has again been saved by foregoing internal memory.

The camera is carried over from iPhone 4S, which means it is the best on the market. Any pictures you take will appear instantly on the LCD, and to enhance smoothness during editing, they are 8-bit monochrome only. You can always upload the pics taken by camera, in full colour, to any website via the built in GPRS connection.

The iPhone 5 also excels when it comes to music and movies. In a survey, users found the black bars interrupting the movie frame as the biggest irritant. Therefore, iPhone 5's screen has an aspect ratio of 18:9, and needless to say, Movies play perfectly. 8-bit monochrome LCD ensures that, unenamored with the burden of colour or detail, they retain a record-breaking 60 frames per second.


I had the previlege of only a brief time with the iPhone 5. However, even so, I was able to conclude that iPhone 5 is the most advanced and user-friendly gadget ever to be released. It has unprecedented security and user friendliness. It beats anything by Samsung or Sony or Nokia. It is a revolution ten times as big as the original iPhone was in 2007. Apple has once again delivered a stunning device that is second to none on the market.

The release price has been revised slightly upward to $1000. This was kept to take the confusion out of making the purchase: most Apple users, according to studies conducted by Apple, only recognize banknote designations 500 or higher. Not having to count the money at an Apple store is a great incentive to buy an iProduct, and once again it proves that Apple places user experience as its top prority.  I believe it is a small price to pay for what is essentially a world-changing device. 


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