iPhone 5: It Just Works?

With record sales since its release a couple of weeks ago, the iPhone 5 is the new must-have gadget. But is it worth the hype?

I’ll be honest, I’m not a Mac acolyte. I grew up on Apple products, switched to PCs in the late 90’s, and I’m still trying to get back up to speed on the Macintosh computers of today. I do perhaps love my iPad a little too much, but I still mainly use PCs and my phone is a Droid. So I don’t really have the user experience that Mac fans do.

Those Mac fans are saying that the iPhone 5 delivers a lot of features they’ve been wanting for a while. The screen is larger; the 4G is faster. The new design is sleeker and lighter than the 4S. iPhone 5 has built-in turn-by-turn navigation and a “smarter” Siri (though guys, she’s just a search engine with voice recognition). The headphone jack has been moved from the top edge to the bottom. The camera has been improved, and includes a panoramic photo option. And most importantly, you can get one plated with gold!

On the down side, you may have heard about some issues with the maps (released to compete directly with Google Maps…by the way, I adore Google Maps). Apple actually issued an apology for this flub, though not, as yet, a solution.

Also, since the new phone is shaped differently, customers will have to repurchase all of the accessories that they used with previous Apple products (chargers, docks, cases, etc.) Some iPhone 5 owners report wishing the phone was a bit more substantial; this is a complaint I would probably have since I’m very hard on my gadgets and I try to only buy technology I can’t kill. The case scratches easily, and some users report light leaking out from the screen through the power button or cracks in the case.

I don’t think the iPhone 5 is either the newest big thing or a flop. Should you buy one? If you like Apple products, go for it. If you want to see what having an iPhone is like, go for it. Just don’t leave that gold one sitting out anywhere.