"An era can be said to end when its basic illusions are exhausted." - Arthur Miller

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

New iPhones 5c and 5s Announced

Tuesday Apple announced the next iteration of their iPhone line of devices. Only the iPhones and iOS 7 were discussed so its assumed the next iteration of the iPad line will likely be introduced next month in time for Christmas shopping season. Below are the details on the two models but the gist is the iPhone 5 has been discontinued. Instead you can get the iPhone 5c which really is the iPhone 5 put in a strong plastic shell with 5 different color options. After that you have the iPhone 5s that has next generation A7 chip, has a fingerprint scanner, other hardware improvements and constructed as the old iPhone 5 was but now has two additional styles of gold and white. If you are interested in watching the full presentation, you can find it here.

iPhone 5s
- Specs: A7 64-bit chip, 4" display IPS 1136 x640 display with 326 ppi, M7 motion coprocessor for health and fitness apps, 10 hour battery life
- Touch ID: Fingerprint scanner built into the home button, alternate way to unlock the phone
- Improved camera: 8MP, slow-motion video at 120fps, burst shooting, 15% larger sensor; 1.2MP back camera
- Colors: space grey (aka black), white, and gold
- Price: $199 (16GB), $299 (32GB), $399 (64GB); off-contract - $649 (16GB) $749 (32GB), $849 (64GB)
- Available: September 20, re-orders start September 13
- iPhone 5 vs iPhone 5s
- iPhone 5c vs other smartphones
- Hands-on

iPhone 5c
- Specs: A6 chip, 4" display, 8 hour battery life, 8MP camera back/1.2MP front camera
- Colors: green, blue, white, red, yellow
- Price: $99 (16GB), $199 (32GB); off-contract - $549 (16GB), $649 (32GB)
- Available: September 20, re-orders start September 13
- Hands-on

iOS 7
- Same features as announced three months ago, just tweaked further
- Compatible devices: iPhone 4 and 5 series, iPod touch 5th gen, iPad 2, 3 and mini
- Keynote, Pages, Numbers, iPhoto, iMovie free for iOS 7 devices
- Release date: September 18th

If you are interested in upgrading or getting an iPhone, then the decision comes down to deciding if the $100 price difference is worth it for slightly improved battery, faster processor, and fingerprint scanner (iPhone 5c vs iPhone 5s). Construction wise the 5s is better but really it doesn't matter. Both are likely to break about the same if dropped at the wrong angle on the wrong surface but at least the 5c is probably less likely to show regular use scratches.

I think that $100 difference comes down to if lock your phone or not and big on graphics intensive gaming. If just play graphically simple games (basically none 1st person shooters), surf the web, watch videos and read stuff on it, that extra A7 processing power does nothing for you nor does a slow-mo camera which is one of those "wow cool" but never really ever used features for most people. If you really don't care about screen real estate and don't even bother to play games on your device, then iPhone 4s is now free on contract but I don't really recommend it. If signing a contract anyway, might as well spend at least $100 for the 16GB iPhone 5c (2nd opinion) Just avoid Apple's new cases as they are overpriced and suck as usual. Wait a few weeks and a slew of better cases will be available. Now the rumor mill can turn to what really matters - the minor improvements coming for the iPad line.

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