Sixth Generation iPhone - First Impressions

Note that I'm not calling this thing iPhone 5, but that's mainly because i'm being a sore loser. Why call it iPhone 6 when it's the 6th one, runs iOS 6 and an A6 processor? Clearly, iPhone 5 was the way to go. Ok, enough with that.

I posted last night that something didn't seem right. There was no way that everything could have leaked out and there would be no surprises. But sure enough, this is all we got, save for HD voice and the panorama feature. Unlike the 4S announcement there wasn't widespread (and mostly misunderstood) disappointment, but my initial impression is that most folks don't see this as a big deal. After following the liveblogs and seeing what the Apple folks had to say, it's clear why I want to upgrade from my 4S.

For iPhone toting folks, the an upgrade from a 4 to this one is a no brainer, but it may be more difficult to to see why one would want to upgrade from a 4S. The following, in order from most important to least, is why I will be upgrading from a 4S

  • Improved cameras. This is a critical feature, as my phone has replaced my point and shoot in most cases. The iPhone 4S had a dramatically better camera than its predecessors and shoots beautiful photos.  The most important improvement with the camera this time around is low light performance, and although it's yet to be determined how much better it will be, it is a welcome update. Shooting time is now improved by 40%, another big deal. Lastly, the front facing camera is now higher resolution, allowing for 720p facetime. 
  • LTE. I rarely do anything on my phone that has made me upset about 3G download speeds (mainly because of the 50MB download restriction), but i am certain that the dramatically faster speeds will make web browsing that much more snappy. The argument that LTE is a battery killer only applies to phones that adopted LTE early and before the chipsets were mature. Battery life for LTE and 3G browsing are identical, coming in at 8 hours, just like the 4S. 
  • A6 Processor. The charts say it all - around 2X performance across the board. And again, no hit in battery life. It isn't just performance for performance's sake at the expense of carrying around a dead phone at the end of the night, you get an extra snappy experience with no hit in battery life.
  • The screen. I think the 16:9 aspect ratio is nice, and who wouldn't want another row of icons without making this thing that much larger. But the real story here is that they improved the color saturation by 44%, so everything is going to look so much better. I can't wait to see this thing.

If you're not impressed by this thing, you're not looking hard enough. It's 20%-ish thinner and lighter, has about 2x the performance, has LTE radios, and a larger and more beautiful display all while maintaining the same battery life. I'd love to hear arguments on why you should be disappointed by this. The biggest disappointment for me is that we already knew about everything, which took the bulk of the fun out of the announcement. Now, I do think that NFC would have been a good addition, since I think when Apple adds this to their devices suddenly the industry will widely adopt it.

Lastly, I think the best news for Joe-iPhone-user is that the earbuds don't suck anymore, at least according to MG Siegler. I have always been bewildered by folks that don't purchase third party earbuds, instead using the tinny sounding garbage that comes boxed with their device. Sadly, that's been most people. I think people are going to be pleasantly surprised with the new headphones since they haven't realized what they've been missing. (FYI, I use these and they're incredible; the best I've ever had)

So go forth and pre order your new iPhone this Friday so next Friday you can spend the day incorrectly identifying the sounds of the FedEx truck arriving all day (It's here! Crap, mailman. It's here! Crap, Blazer.). I certainly will be.

Read all the details about it here.