VIDEO: Apple iPhone 5 Review

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It is faster, slimmer and more powerful than its predecessors, although some might argue the iPhone 5 is a better device than earlier versions or a formidable competitor to the latest wave of Android smartphones. While the iPhone 5 generated a storm of demand in the U.S. and this week in China – where millions of phones were sold in the first few days of its introduction in that market – demand for the sleek device and even the iPad seems to be waning.  Component orders to Apple suppliers worldwide have been cut and speculation of coming weaker sales have pushed financial organizations to downgrade ratings on the company.  First quarter 2013 shipments are also expected to be below initial estimates. There have also been a number of reports in the press questioning whether it is really worth upgrading to the iPhone 5 from the previous iPhone 4 or 4s devices.

Despite negative projections, however, the mystique and allure that surrounds the iPhone 5 remains and the device continues to be the number one competitive target for other smartphone manufacturers. TechnologyGuide Chief Editor Jamison Cush spent some time with the iPhone 5, as well as a number of its Android competitors, and shares his impressions and observations in this video overview of Apple’s latest smartphone entry. (NOTE: The iPhone 5 used in this video has an anti-glare screen protector)

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This is the Apple iPhone 5. I think the first thing you notice when you pick it up is that it’s an extremely light phone. It weighs less than 4 ounces, it’s also very thin. Apple actually, I wouldn’t say completely redesigned, but definitely redesigned the iPhone 4, this latest iteration, the iPhone 5.

One of the most salient new features obviously, is the display, which you can see. Measured corner to corner, it’s now 4 inches. Let me show you an iPhone 4, you can see the difference. This is 3.5 inches, corner to corner. The iPhone, iPhone 3G, 3GS, 4 and 4S, they all featured this screen size. Apple went and made a bigger screen, and they really had to, because if you look at the competition, Samsung Galaxy S3 is 4.8 inches, the DROID DNA is 5 inches, the Galaxy Note 2 is 5.5 inches; so bigger-screened phones is definitely the trend, and Apple is definitely trying to catch up there.

Real quick; a reason why this was 3.5 inches when it launched, and this was Apple’s reasoning: When you hold the phone like this, you can reach the whole screen with your thumb, and you can scroll. I think though, people more recently, as sSmartphones have evolved, they poke around with 1 finger; used tit witho 2-hand operation.

With the iPhone 5 comes iOS 6, and with iOS 6 comes Apple Maps. Apple Maps replaces Google Maps, which was on all previous versions of iOS. That’s because Google and Apple used to get along, and now they don’t get along so well, so Apple replace Google’s mapping software with their owns solution, which consisted of a bunch of mapping companies that they bought up and integrated into their product. Let’s take a look at Apple Maps.

On the surface it looks a lot like Google Maps, it is lacking in some key areas at this time. It does not have transit directions, so if in you’re in New York and you want subway directions to a location via subway, you can?t get them through Apple Maps. It’s a little buggy still. Mapping software relies a lot on user-based and user-generated data, so as people use it, Apple Maps should improve, and I think Apple’s very keenly aware that they need to improve.

One cool feature is it does have a 3D perspective, which I’ll show you. Let’s go to Satellite and turn it on to 3D. You can see, if we can get some buildings . . . 3D feel to it.

One of the cool features on Apple Maps is its ability to show things in 3D, especially landmarks. For example, we have a map here… this is Fenway Park, in Boston. Let’s click 3D, and we get a little bit of a 3D perspective; you can see some of the buildings around Fenway Park, on Yawkey Way; some of the bars and restaurants. If we really want to get cool, we have the satellite view. You can see a sort of 3D rendering of Fenway Park, The Green Monster, and The Grandstand. You can do that for the Statue of Liberty, the Eiffel Tower, some of the famous buildings. Let’s just move that option there. All-in-all, Apple Maps, obviously you’ve read about its problems, if you really like Google Maps, you can still access Google Maps through the web browser on your iPhone, so you’re not completely devoid of that. There?s also a lot of other applications: Wayze and Nokia. There are other great mapping applications for the iPhone, so you’re really not going to get lost.

Reviews have been very positive for the Apple iPhone 5, and that’s to be expected when Apple releases a new iPhone; and they do that once a year. It’s obviously going to be a quality device. It’s a big deal here in Boston, New England Cable News was covering the launch live, outside the Apple Store in Boston, where waiting in line, literally for days. They invited TechnologyGuide to come down, chat them up, and talk about the technology and what the big deal is.

Another new feature, one of the first things you notice is this thing; this is called the Lightning Connector. This is what you use to plug into the phone to charge it and sync it up with your PC, maybe for iTunes or to back up things. This is a lot smaller and sleeker than the old 30-pin dongle. You can tell this was the old one, every iPhone and iPad prior to the iPhone 5 would charge through this, now we have this. Another cool feature about the Lightning adaptor is that it can go in both ways, so there is no upside-down.

Another big upgrade is that the Apple iPhone 5 sports the Apple A6 processor. Apple claims that the A6 processor is twice as powerful as the A5 that was found in the iPhone 4S; if you can try to figure out those numbers. The A6 is a dual-core processor and I think it has a 3-core GPU to push out all those pixels on the Retina Display. Finally, the iPhone 5 is the first iPhone to support 4G LTE. 4G LTE has been on Android phones for more than a year. It took Apple this long to adopt it. One of the reasons a lot of people think is because 4G is a big drain on battery, and the early 4G Android phones had horrible battery life. The iPhone promises all-day battery life, the sort of battery life you expect from an iPhone with the 4G.

Those are the big additions, otherwise, it’s the same iOS, iOS 6. Google Maps has been replaced by Apple Maps, and of course, Siri is onboard. It’s a slight evolution for what was, I guess, a revolutionary product.

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