I am more excited about the iPhone 5 release than any previous release since the first iPhone.
Here is why...
The new design is beautiful. I can’t decide between the white and black models. I think I will go with the black model because I love the black anodized aluminum back and band which surrounds the phone. I welcome the aluminum back, though I have never had a problem with the glass back. The aluminum look is very nice!
It is critical to me that I can use my phone with one hand. I would have been pretty upset if Apple had released a phone so big that I would be forced to use two hands to use it. By simply making the phone taller, I will have benefits of a large screen, but still be able to operate the iPhone as I always have in the past.
The new iPhone 5 is much thinner and lighter than the previous generation. Frankly, reducing size and weight are always welcome. I think I will l appreciate the thinner design even more than the weight difference. I don’t mind a phone feeling substantial in my hand.
I have a felling that the form factor of the iPhone 5 cannot be appreciate without touching and holding it in person.
Hardware build quality
Apple’s manufacturing processes are amazing. They really think about how to make devices with the high engineering tolerances. Just watch this video and you will get a taste of the precision that Apple strives for during manufacturing (go to 4:30 in the video). I equate it to the feel of getting in and driving a BMW vs. any economy car. Both will get you to the destination, but the BMW will feel like the perfect fit and every aspect yells quality.
Also, the overall finish of the iPhone 5 looks incredible. I love that I will continue to touch glass and aluminum through the day. No plastic, please!
Any improvements to the already stellar iPhone camera is exciting. The front facing camera is now 720p!
Speed in the iPhone 5 is going to be great given the A6 processor and LTE cellular capability. Apple reports the Pages app launches 2.1x faster than on the iPhone 4S. LTE has the potential to create a much better experience than previous 3G capable iPhones. Service quality will vary depending on service provider, network congestion, and backhaul to the cell tower.
Faster processors and network interfaces can tend to take a toll on battery life. It is important to note that Apple reports better (not the same as the iPhone 4S) battery life in the iPhone 5. This is surprising to me given LTE has been a battery hog on many other phones.
A key part of every iPhone upgrade is the new version of iOS. iOS6 has a number of great improvements and additions. You can read the details here, but I have listed a few I am looking forward to below:
- New Maps app: This new app looks amazing. Especially the 3D fly-overs.
- Siri: Any improvements to Siri are welcome. I use Siri every day in my workflow.
- Shared Photo Streams: I want this to replace Flickr for sharing photos with friends and family. I hope it will work out.
- Passbook: I hope this will replace my current discount cars app, CardStar. Passbook will do much more than CardStar. I find it interesting that Apple may be making NFC irrelevant with Passbook and related technologies in the iPhone 5.
- Panoramic photos: I could easily do panorama photos with existing apps, but I never messed with them much. The fact that this will be built in means that I will probably give this feature a go more often.
- Send to voicemail, Reply with message, and Remind me later features should really help. I have wanted these, but never realized it before now!
Surprisingly, I really don’t emphasize technical specifications as reasons I want the new iPhone 5. I am convinced that the it is more important to have high-quality hardware and software intersect with the services and integration I need. If that is handled well, I don’t look at the iPhone as a metal box with wires, microprocessors, and antennas; I look at the iPhone as my personal computing companion.