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Is the iPhone 5S really worth the hype?

Updated on February 9, 2013
iPhone 5 - boomer or bore?
iPhone 5 - boomer or bore?

To get the iPhone 5 or not to get the iPhone 5...

The latest iPhone from Apple, the iPhone 5, has perhaps been the most talked-about and anticipated release from the global tech-giant yet. But after the success and impressive takeup of the iPhone 4S in October 2011, (which was originally wrongly thought to be named the iPhone 5 before its release) is it going to take the tech world by storm in the same way? It may seem so given the usual hysteria and sellout scenarios of the iPhone release day, but will consumers, hardcore geeks and Apple fanboys alike be as enamored with Apple's most recent offering, or does this model just not share the same gloss and excitement as the previous upgrades?

So far I've been extremely impressed with my iPhone 4S and it seems like only yesterday that I held the new sleek and shiny gem of a device in my hand for the first time - and bam - now there's another new one! But that's just how Apple works, holding just a little bit back with the release of each new device, to keep you craving more. And they are certainly on to a winner with it. Apple has successfully captured the smartphone market since the release of their first iPhone - known as the original iPhone, first generation iPhone, the iPhone 1 or the iPhone 2G.

So will you drop your cash on their latest release iPhone - has the iPhone 5 really wow-ed you or are things just peachy between you and your beloved iPhone 4S?

Scratchy business - early owners are reporting that the iPhone 5 is getting scratched far too easily


In a poll on MacRumors, roughly 47% of respondents said their devices had either been scratched out of the box or were scratched shortly after.

The issue seems to be with the iPhone 5′s anodized aluminum exterior, which is reported to attract more scuffs than the steel used on the iPhone 4 and 4S.

Although one would assume that this wouldn't pose any problems at all, particularly on the backplate, considering the durability and scratch-resistance of the tough exteriors of Apple's ever-popular Macbook Pro range of laptops/notebooks.

Even though the glass backing of the iPhone 4S posed problems with shattering when dropped, at least it didn't attract scuff marks and scratches so readily. Either way, winning tip - buy a case! Yeah, we wish we could showcase our shiny new iPhones in all their naked glory... but it's a fool's errand. Leaving your iPhone case-less is just asking for trouble. It's better when it comes to the resale value of your iPhone too, so keep that in mind if you plan to sell your iPhone.

What about the features and specs?

Aesthetically, it's got all the right improvements... it's thinner, lighter and taller - all the things consumers were hoping for, along with the stock-standard upgrades such as the faster processor and the compatibility with the faster cellular/mobile networks - but is it lacking the wow-factor? Were we disappointed when it pulled no more punches than being a mere incremental improvement over the iPhone 4S?

The majority are happy with the flat edge design over the rounded bevels, so the masses were no doubt fairly pleased to see no major changes in that department - so are the internal upgrades and the bigger, sharper screen enough to entice the hoards of 4S devotees to hand over their hard-earned money?

The new screen on the 5 is impressive... but nothing was really lacking in the glorious graphics of the 4S. The camera is improved, sure, but considering the near-perfect pixels the 4S is able to capture, is it enough of an improvement to make you part with it?

And judging by the majority of the speed tests posted on YouTube comparing the iPhone 4S and the iPhone 5, there isn't a whole lot to get overly excited about. Not anything that you'd notice if the two iPhones weren't lined up side-by-side anyhow. So if you're happy with the speed that your 4S provides, don't worry, you won't be missing out on much in the data speed department.

Not to mention for those of us with small hands, the awkwardness of attempting to comfortably use the taller handset and swipe easily when holding the handset in one hand (the need to reach further up to use the larger screen mainly) may outweigh the little bit of extra viewing room that the retina screen provides.

And don't forget about another slight inconvenience for those accessory junkies out there - the iPhone 5 has a completely new docking and charging connector called Lightning - granted, the change allows for the thinner profile of the phone - but which forces existing iPhone users to either shell out extra to purchase Apple adaptors, or get rid of or replace their clock radio docks, speaker docking systems and other accessories that have an iPhone docking/charging station built in.

So the rest all comes down to the cool factor. If you've got the cash to splash and you really value the lightness of your smartphone, go for it. But if you're still hanging on to your trusty 4S, you won't be missing out on any great deal

Or heck... maybe your old white Apple earphones are broken and you just want those new redesigned EarPods which ship with all the new iPhone 5's!

Whatever you choose... one thing is for sure - we'll all have the iPhone 5S (or 6!) to look forward to this time next year! We'll see what goodies Apple will serve up on the iPhone plate next time around... only time will tell...

--- Until then, are you happy with your current iPhone (whether you have the iPhone 4, 4S or an earlier model) or have you already upgraded to the iPhone 5 or are planning to, and why?

Is the hype deserved...

Is the iPhone 5 worth the hype in your opinion?

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