Doug’s informal iPhone 5 review (thumbs up)

I upgraded from my iPhone 4 to an iPhone 5 today. I don’t know how the iPhone 5 compares with the iPhone 4S, but the iPhone 5 is a very big improvement over the two year old iPhone 4 in just about every way. I was indecisive going into this, but now I’m glad I did the upgrade. I’m barely giving a second thought to exploited Chinese factory workers.

I don’t upgrade phones every year like some do. That’s too expensive. I wait until I finish one two-year contract before considering the next upgrade. And here in Japan, with the way the contracts work, it doesn’t make financial sense to avoid an upgrade after two years. Also, there is no cash outlay for the phones themselves here.

Anyway, here is “Doug’s informal iPhone 5 review.”

1. The iPhone 5 is much faster than the iPhone 4 in every way: App openings, Safari pages opening. Mail checking and sending – even with lots of accounts (Mail sending seems faster than on my iMac!). It’s just obviously much much faster with everything you do.

2. The camera is also much brighter and takes substantially better quality photos – both rear and front-facing. I look forward to doing more photo tests over the weekend.

3. The included Weather app on the iPhone 5 works differently, and in a nicer way than on the iPhone 4. On the iPhone 5 the app takes better advantage of the extra screen space to display the hourly temperatures and little weather forecast pics which scroll horizontally, and the day’s high and low are displayed under the current temperature. Not a huge thing, but I thought I would mention it. I haven’t tested all the included apps, and I wonder if there are other little improvements waiting to be discovered.

4. The display is somewhat brighter than the iPhone 4, even with the same settings. It’s definitely noticeable.

5. Overall touch seems to be more “fluid” and works better on the iPhone 5 than on the iPhone 4. I wonder if this has to do with the new screen construction method.

6. Music sounds better through the speakers. But I think there is a bug on the iPhone 5 because there is a huge delay between pressing pause and when the music actually stops. This doesn’t happen on my iPhone 4.

7. Everybody seem to be raving about how light the iPhone 5 is. I showed it to a friend who didn’t know about iPhones and he too picked it up and said, “So light!” But it doesn’t seem amazingly, or even noticeably light to me. If I do a side by side comparison with my iPhone 4 it is obviously lighter. But just picking it up by itself it’s nothing to write home about.

8. The longer screen is very comfortable. Even after a short time it’s hard to look at my iPhone 4 screen again because it seems cramped. That is the same thing I experience after looking at my larger Android test device for a while.

9. Speedtest results: WiFi – 19.87 Mbps down, 28.71 Mbps up. KDDI LTE (3 bars) – 9.30 Mbps down, 6.50 MBps up. Note – I will re-run this test later because the iPhone 5 is still restoring apps from iCloud!

10. It takes forever to restore all the apps and everything from iCloud! But the iPhone still is working very speedily in the meanwhile with what it has. I still have a lot of apps yet to be restored, so I’ll let it work on it for now and continue tomorrow morning.

If you have an iPhone 4 and are considering an upgrade I would say go for it.


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