I wasn’t going to write anything about these because I didn’t think I had anything to say but then I thought what the hell.
So the iPhone 5c. Honestly, I’m not surprised Apple didn’t make a cheap iPhone. They did the same with the MacBook Air. Everyone expected them to make a cheap MacBook Pro. Instead, the priced it higher than what people expected but delivered a better product. They did the same with the iPhone. They still have the 4S if you want a cheaper iPhone. Anything cheaper than that would come with severe compromises and that’s not how Apple rolls.
The new colors look nice. I know Nokia likes to take credit for the colors but it’s not like Apple never made anything in color (just look at the iPods and the previous Macs). Let’s not even get into what Nokia phones looked like before the iPhone. And Nokia has been making color phones since ages now. If Apple was taking inspiration from Nokia, every iPhone since the first one would be in color. And they would be selling their hardware division to Microsoft. But let’s not make fun of the dead.
I like that the 5c is essentially the iPhone 5 underneath the plastic shell, since that is still a great phone. It even has a bigger battery, so that’s an added bonus. From what I’ve seen and read, there doesn’t seem anything cheap about the plastic, so it’s not a major disadvantage. And if you must have metal…
…there’s the iPhone 5s. Apple made a big deal about the 64-bit processing. As of now, it means ding dang diddly squat to the customer. The benefits of 64-bit would be apparent a few years down the line but they had to start somewhere and the iPhone 5s is where they begin. Apple made a big deal about it so developers could get on board with it. I wouldn’t be surprised if Apple went 64-bit only three years later with iOS devices.
The fingerprint sensor seems like a very good idea. As usual, Apple seems to have gotten the implementation right. Using your print to unlock the phone and make iTunes purchases now sounds like a no-brainer once you’ve seen it in action. I hope all future devices rely more heavily on authenticating everything using fingerprints as I believe it would really deter theft of these devices. And I mean petty thefts. No pickpocket is going to go around severing thumbs* to use the stolen phones. And if somebody really wants to get the information on your device, you are fucked regardless of the method of security used.
Now comes the best part, which is the camera. I still find it amusing how Apple went from having the worst possible cameras on the first two iPhones to some of the best ones on their recent ones. I had an iPhone 4s and the camera on that was phenomenal. I never really gotten around to using the 5 much but from what I’ve seen the camera on that was even better. And now with the 5s Apple has once again made significant improvements.
Low-light performance clearly was Apple’s priority for this year’s update. A bigger sensor with the same resolution means bigger pixels (or sensels, if you’d rather call them that). 1.5μ, to be precise. I honestly don’t think anyone needs more than 8 megapixels on a camera phone, especially if it is going to come at a cost of pixel size, as it just makes for bigger images without any immediate advantage. HTC chose the pixel size over pixel count route with the UltraPixel camera but went too far in the other direction with a 4 megapixel sensor. Apple, meanwhile, chose the middle ground without going full retard in either direction, either with pixel size or pixel count.
The aperture is wider as well, f/2.2 if I’m not mistaken. Not as wide as the f/2.0 in the HTC phones but fairly wide nevertheless. This should again help with getting in more light on that bigger sensor.
And then they also updated the flash. I’m still against using flash while shooting (unless it’s really dark, in which case I’d rather not shoot at all) but the True Tone flash with variable color temperature at least makes things more bearable.
There is also a whole lot of shit going on on the software side. The software side is equally important and I doubt most people spend as much time as Apple does working on that, nor do they have the expertise for it. But despite that the camera UI remains as simple as ever. Mobile phones are mostly used for impromptu shots. If I wanted to adjust every parameter, I’d download an app. Or better yet, use my camera where spending time adjusting everything would give results that are worth the effort. This is what companies like Nokia don’t understand. The camera on the iPhone has always been optimized for taking great pictures without any optimization because that’s what people expect from a mobile camera.
The new colors are okay. They discontinued the murdered out black option, which I was rather fond of, and replaced it with a Space Gray one. I still haven’t gotten a clear idea as to what exactly that looks like. The silver one looks as gay as ever but it goes well with the new iOS 7 look. I don’t find the gold model particularly interesting.
There are some new cases, too. The 5c cases are the work of a psychopath, with more holes than your average cheese grater that covers the iPhone logo in a way that would drive people with OCD into fits. The 5s cases, however, are pure class. Leather and with just the right number of holes.
I don’t know what the Indian prices are going to be. I don’t even want to guess. I’m not sure if I’ll be getting one. There are far too many items on my shopping list right now and I’m trying to see how I can fit everything in without having to sell myself to Microsoft. I do think the new iPhones are good, though, and this year’s lineup is their best so far in terms of diversity.
*Update: I have been informed that the Touch ID sensor won’t work with severed fingers. I didn’t find a satisfactory explanation for this online but I’m guessing it has to do with the sub-epidermal scanning. Basically…