Should I Upgrade to iPhone 5
Should everyone upgrade to the latest model of a mobile device as soon as it’s released? More specifically, should you upgrade to iPhone 5? Let’s see what some of the experts are saying…
But seriously, the decision to upgrade to Apple’s flagship mobile device is a conundrum often faced by Apple iPhone users who, historically, have been offered a new iPhone model virtually every year since product inception in 2007. However, as iPhone users well know, they often find themselves locked into expensive and restrictive 2-year, phone plan contracts which make instant upgrade expensive and problematic.
Current popular phone model choices for iPhone users include the iPhone 5 and earlier models like the 4s and the 4. Apple even lets you compare the specs of these various models.
Feature Differences at a Glance.
Size and Feel. Many iPhone aficionados feel that iPhone 5′s larger screen, lighter/slimmer body, lightning connector make it better in every way. However, ergonomics is a very important consideration, particularly if your thinking about the iPhone 4 and 4s. Relative to these models, iPhone 5 is definitely longer and thinner, with the addition of some outstanding hardware features, though many users still prefer the feel of the iPhone 4/ 4s models. Many feel that Apple’s continuing obsession with thin and light doesn’t always or adequately translate into a compelling basis for upgrade. Thus, choosing to forego shaving off a few more millimeters in favor of saving a ton of money by getting an unlocked 4s while riding out AT&T contracts makes a lot of sense to a lot of people.
Performance. On the one hand, iPhone 5 is a winner based on call quality. With its built-in noise canceling ability, crowded restaurants are no obstacle to easy, clearly-heard phone conversation conducted without raising one’s voice or cranking the volume at all. This kind of call quality is often reported to be much better than with the iPhone 4. However, other reports make it hard-pressed to tell any performance differences between the iPhone 5 vs iPhone 4s: Call sound quality is seen as equally excellent; both respond immediately with zero lag in the apps, though the 5 is reported as more responsive than the 4.
The 5 leads in cellular data speed with LTE making surfing or streaming more pleasant compared to 4G speeds, or particularly, plain old 3G. How good is LTE? The iPhone 5 with LTE provides up to 32Mbps on download and 10Mbps upload speeds.
Battery-life comparison. Fans of iPhone 4 and 4s may have been spoiled as iPhone 5 battery life is going to be somewhat, if not noticeably worse. LTE is going to drain your iPhone 5 battery faster, as numerous reports have confirmed displeasure and disappointment with the performance of the iPhone 5’s battery life. Using LTE for push email, iCloud, iTunes match, GPS and Siri can make it difficult to get through a day without needing to plug in.
Nicks and scratches. iPhone 5 brings along with it a new category of problems not seen with previous iPhone 4 models: Within a short time after purchase, many people report lots of silver dings/scratches along the anodized black aluminum edge and on the back panel. A case must be purchased in order to avoid such damage. Generally speaking, though, when it comes to durability, the iPhone 4s definitely wins that battle: The band around the edge of the iPhone 4/4s is made of steel. The band around the edge of the iPhone 5, along with the metal portion of the back, is made of aluminum. Aluminum is lighter, but it’s also softer, and more malleable, which means more easily deformed from impact. In addition, the aluminum surfaces of the black iPhone 5 are anodized with a slate-black color and so easily get scraped after spending some time in your pocket with your car keys, for example.
So, do I upgrade?
There are lots of reasons to upgrade and even some reasons not to buy the iPhone 5 altogether: The choice you make with your phone upgrade decision will depend on what matters most to you. If price comes first, then the choice is clear. But taking time to think about the highest-priority features you need in your phone, and comparing them to what other users are saying about them can be a great help. Some who have upgraded to the iPhone 5 have ultimately come to wish for a return to the 4s. While iPhone 5 is often reported as better in every way—lighter, bigger screen, faster wireless performance, etc, many remain unsure if it was worth the extra money, particularly considering both the original outlay as well as additional costs associated with having to replace all the 30-pin devices one might have been using previously.
If you have an iPhone 3GS or earlier, an upgrade certainly makes sense, if for no other reason than the screen improvement. The retina display introduced on the iPhone 4 has been further refined for the iPhone 5 and in side-by-side comparisons with all screens at full brightness, the colors do look more vivid on the iPhone 5.
If you have an iPhone 4, the decision is harder. Consider what new features you really need. If you would get a lot of use out of the Siri voice-assistant, for example, this is a good time to upgrade. If you are a hardcore mobile gamer or serious iPhone photographer, the speed is worth it. But if you find that your two-year-old, well-crafted iPhone is holding up nicely, perhaps stick it out for another year.
iPhone 4s owners should just relax and enjoy their current phones. In less than a year the next iteration will appear, and your carrier will offer you the upgrade at the subsidized price. All those iPhone 5 owners will suddenly be stuck with old technology.