iPhone 5: No, Seriously, It’s Not That Cool

Apple is notorious for designing and selling products that the world never knew it needed. Perhaps the biggest examples of this concept were the releases of the original iPhone and especially the release of the iPad.

So, is the iPhone 5 worth all the hype? Is this newest model really much better than the 4S, which already has a Retina display and a great camera for a smartphone?

In my opinion, it’s completely worth the hype. Before everyone flips tables and throws their clipboard like Tom Coughlin after a sack on Eli, hear me out.

With every iPhone update comes Apple’s opportunity to fine-tune their devices, and also implement their latest technology into the device in order to make the consumer experience even better than the previous iPhone. What’s not to like there?

Apple has introduced their new A6 chip, which replaces the A5 that comes in the 4S. This improves the overall performance of the phone in ways that allow for the device to process information that’s being received from the data networks that we have either come to love or hate (that’s you, Verizon/Sprint/AT&T). With the new iPhone being enabled for ultrafast wireless connections like LTE, this chip is necessary to being able to harness the full capabilities of such speeds.

In addition to this, this iPhone is thinner, and now includes a sapphire crystal in the camera that allows for clearer photos to be taken with the 5. Last time I checked, clearer photos with an already outstanding camera for a mobile device.

Plus, with the introduction of a new device into a pre-existing lineup of current phones, this means price drops. Granted, not a price drop on the new iPhone 5 (which overtakes the old 4S price point of $199 for the base model), but the 4S has been marked down to $99 to start and the 4 has been docked down to everyone’s favorite price — free with a two-year contract with one of the aforementioned service providers. And really, what’s not to like about that?

But perhaps the biggest reason I think the iPhone 5 is worth the expenditure is for the new, natural 16:9 aspect ratio that the enlarged Retina display provides. Thankfully, Apple has kept the width of the device the same in order to keep the phone comfortable in a standard grip, assuming you’re not someone who has some sort of Darth Vader-like Force-choke grip on the thing.

However, I will not go so far as to say that someone without an upgrade waiting in their contract should fork over $600 for a new 5. The phone itself is a great product both aesthetically and in terms of performance, but I would gauge that all those improvements would be worth the price of an upgrade.

The 4 and 4S are already reliable phones that are both more than capable of accomplishing all the tasks one could ask for out of their phone, so upgrading before the two-year mark in a contract wouldn’t be worth it unless you just have that much extra cash you’d be willing to spend. With the primary readership of the New U being students at UC Irvine, I can’t imagine that this would be the case.

That being said, the iPhone 5 is simply a device that takes what the 4S already does extremely well and makes it better. They made the phone faster, more reliable, made the camera clearer and the screen longer. That alone should validate the hype, and while the 5 isn’t the biggest thing that Apple has ever created, it’s definitely worth the attention that it’s been receiving.

Zachary Risinger is a fourth-year English major. He can be reached at zrisinge@uci.edu.