The new iPhones: What's all the fuss about?

The new iPhones: What's all the fuss about?

It took me more than a week to digest what's happening with Apple, iOS 7 and the two new iPhones.

I thought it was important to take a good and hard look at everything new before dissecting Apple's latest creations.

Every time Apple launches a new iPhone, most peers ask what I think even though they already know the answer.

However, what shocked me this time around was having two iPhone fans bashing on the iPhone for me.

I won't name them (but I can tell you who they are if you ask me personally), but one of the biggest advocates of the iPhone that I know said after the launch: "Can you please write in your column how boring the new iPhone is? I mean, it's the same thing."

My other friend said: "I'm sorry, but Apple went downhill when Steve Jobs did."

With that said, you probably know where I stand in terms of the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c; slapping old hardware on a colourful shell, and adding gimmicky features doesn't cut it for a new release.

I honestly think that the iPhone 4S upgrade from the iPhone 4 was a way better introduction, even though it still remained almost the same.

Yes, the "s" tag is always an incremental upgrade, but it almost feels like there's no upgrade.

iPhone 5c

Where do I begin? I'm tempted to dig through my old piece on the iPhone 5, copy and paste onto this space, and be done with it. Internal specs-wise, the 5c and 5 are identical, the only difference is that the 5c ships with iOS7 on board.

So the biggest question is: why is the same product packaged as a new product?

The iPhone 5c is Apple's attempt at creating a diversified approach towards its mobile products.

Nobody knows what the "c" stands for, but if you ask me, it stands for "crazy", and not in a good way.

I can't get my head around the price, because the price of the most expensive iPhone 5c is similar to the lowest end iPhone 5s. If that's the case, there really isn't much "difference in price" as Apple claims, is there?

Then I thought, Maybe the 5c isn't supposed to be a budget phone. Then what is it?

An old iPhone 5 with a colourful shell.... aren't there enough casings out there for the iPhone 5?

In fact, there are so many awesome cases available for the iPhone, that I wonder why buyers fret over what colour they will buy, especially since 99 per cent of iPhones are wrapped up in a nice looking case anyway.

If you ask me, Apple really went the lazy route trying to churn out a cheaper option for its users because the iPhone 5 is much nicer than the iPhone 5c.

If you're an iPhone 5 owner, like some that I know, interested in buying the iPhone 5c, Apple's really got you brainwashed.

iPhone 5s

So the newest and greatest iPhone has a lower instead of upper case "s" unlike the 4S. I wonder what kind of design thought went into that.

The 5s had no surprises prior to release. We knew for sure that it would look the same, and that there would be a new chip with an updated processor and a fingerprint scanner.

The 64-bit was probably the most unknown feature of the iPhone 5s, and along with the new A7 chip (from Samsung, by the way), it makes the new iPhone "blazing fast".

One good addition with the 5s is a secondary chip, named M7, which tracks the motion of the phone without the A7 running.

This way you save battery life while the phone still knows you're moving. Right now, there are still no apps that fully utilise this, but there seems to be a lot of potential.

The 5s also has a new iSight camera, which still remains at 8-megapixels, but has sensors that catches more light.

However, the pixels are only 75 per cent the size of the HTC One's ultrapixels at 4-megapixels.

So Apple has gone the HTC way without engaging in the megapixel war, which isn't necessarily a bad thing.

The iPhone 5's camera was good, but the "much better" 5s still faces stiff competition from the LG G2, Sony Z1, and now, the Oppo N1.

Apple is also hoping to one-up the rest of the pack with a neutral-coloured flash that will help improve skin-tone colours in dark situations.

One crucial thing Apple has failed to address is the battery life, claiming eight hours over 3G networks in web-surfing and 10 hours on 3G talk time. Both figures are unlikely as any iPhone 5 user will know, as previous claims did not hold true.

Other manufacturers are offering 3,000mAh, which is good enough to last more than a day, but Apple still hasn't extended the battery pack. Instead, Apple has made the charging process fairly quick, getting from empty to full in just two hours. That would probably still require you to carry your power banks around.

So a few nifty changes here and there, but a pretty similar iPhone all around.

iOS 7

Apple fans can fight me on this all the way, but iOS 7 is the most Android-like iOS of all time.

The icons are completely flat, which is what Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich introduced.

Its multi-tasking of showing what each screen is on, is what Android has had this whole time, including swiping up, down, left or right, to end that particular task.

The scroll-up shortcuts menu with WiFi, Airplane mode, volume controls and so on has been at the heart of Androids OS for a few years now.

In fact, that drop down notifications menu from the previous iOS looks pretty Google-y as well.

Besides that, everything is much more colourful than before, and the upside is the 64-bit optimisation.

I'm not sure if an average user will notice any difference though, nor will he/she understand what it means to have your OS operate in 64-bit.

But it looks like Apple fans have to live with a 4-inch screen for yet another year.

The views expressed by the author are his own and do not necessarily reflect those of The Brunei Times.

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