September 24, 2012

∴ What's Today? iPhone 5 Day.

Today is the day the box arrived. After a 3 AM ordering frenzy and last week’s delayed delivery (due to intervening vacation plans), the long-awaited replacement for my aging iPhone 3Gs arrived from Fedex.

The step-up from my old phone, now three generations aged, is revelatory. I’d forgotten how responsive these phones can be, and the new (to me) display is a beauty.

And the battery. My old iPhone, running continuously for three years, was good for about 50% of the charge, after which it would promptly shut down hard. Sooner if I ran an app employing 3G networking (Foursquare and Instagram, I’m looking at you). I’d have to let it “rest” a bit before a cold re-boot.

No mo’. I expect to be back to a full day on a single charge despite using the phone, browsing, checking email and listening to podcasts.

And the camera. Better that the battery repeatedly killed Instagram during a recent vacation than keep photos made with blurry-cam. Nothing like seeing your Facebook photos, shot on an older cell phone camera, blown up on a laptop display. Ugh. The new camera shoots a full 8 mega-pixels of data.

So, to iPhone 5. In a nut: fast enough processing to seem like magic again, with a display of deep, rich color. This is my first Retina device, so again, it’s a revelation. This model sports 32GB DRAM so I can no longer see a storage horizon. I have yet to tap LTE networking, but early reviews claim similarity to WiFi. Wow.

Setup was a breeze: turn on, provide WiFi password, select from among new, restore backup from iCloud or restore from iTunes. Enable location services, enable Siri, done. After restoring from a just-made iTunes backup my new phone was a mirror of the old. Everything was in its place and operational.

The new phone has a new connector, and despite obsoleting my nearly-new Elevation dock I like it. It’s small, connects to USB and plugs into the phone with a satisfying “thunk.”

iPhone 5 comes with those new ear pods you might have seen on TV. They fit better than those nasty round thingies that came with previous iPhones and iPod Touches, the ones that hurt my ear after a half-hour and never stayed put. I haven’t tried out the new ones for sound yet. I read good things about them, though it’s useful to recall that they sell for $30, and that’s an Apple-$30, so don’t compare them to a $100+ pair of Etymotics.

Worth the wait, the hype and the early wake-up.

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