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Review: iPhone 5 blends beauty with versatility
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - As I played around with the iPhone 5, I wondered what the late Steve Jobs would have thought about the latest twist on Apple’s best-selling device.
It didn’t take long to conclude that Jobs would have been delighted with the iPhone 5’s blend of beauty, utility and versatility.
Add in the more advanced technology and new features that went into this iPhone, and it’s clear Apple has come up with another product that will compel hordes of people to line up outside its stores before its release next Friday.
After going on sale in the U.S., Japan, Britain, Germany, France and four other countries, the mad dash will be repeated again on Sept. 28 in 22 other countries. All iPhone 5 models will sell for the same prices as their predecessors, starting at $199 with a two-year data and calling plan.
An important caveat about these impressions: I was allotted only about 15 minutes with the iPhone 5 at Wednesday’s launch event, not enough time to discover if it might have some technological bugs. I am sure that in the coming days, other reviewers will have the opportunity to give the phone a more thorough vetting.
For many people, the iPhone is going to be a case of love at first touch.
It is incredibly light and seems easier to hold. That means it might not be dropped as frequently as previous iPhones, reducing the chances of the glass on the display screen getting damaged.
One woman who also was testing out an iPhone 5 couldn’t stop raving about how ideal the new design was for people with smaller hands.
The new iPhone also is easy on the eyes, thanks to a larger screen and its “Retina Display,” the high-definition technology that Apple introduced in previous models. Video and photos look even lusher on the iPhone 5’s bigger and better screen.
At 4 inches diagonally, the iPhone 5’s screen is a half-inch larger than previous generations. That’s still smaller than the one on Samsung’s flagship Galaxy S III, but the iPhone 5 is lighter.
Apple made sure to take advantage of the larger display. The extra space means you can now see five rows of apps on the home screen instead of the previous four. Open the calendar and you can see five days of events on the screen in horizontal mode, instead of just three.
The larger screen really comes to life, though, with what is perhaps its coolest feature _ a tool called Panorama that automatically stitches together a series of pictures into a majestic vista. Panorama can be turned on simply by going into the iPhone 5’s camera mode and selecting it on an option menu.
Once it’s activated, an arrow guides you as you slowly pan the camera around whatever scenery you desire. If you move too fast, Panorama tells you to slow down. It also advises you if you are moving the camera too high or low. Once you are done, you can look at the panoramic shot within seconds and zoom into whichever areas of the picture look most interesting.
Not surprisingly, watching video on the larger screen is also more pleasurable, although I still think the iPad and other tablet computers are a much better way to enjoy movies and TV shows on the go.
The device is also speedier because it has a more powerful processing chip and upgraded wireless technology that accelerates Web surfing.
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