Unexpectedly, I received a brand new iPhone 5 from Telus on signing a new agreement with them. I didn’t expect them to be available, but my friends at Sky Wireless came through!
The initial unboxing of Apple products is always a satisfying feeling. The company keeps things minimal and simple. The packaging is product focused so there is no fluff or extra space. I;m always reminded of software boxing several years ago and how small the installation media was compared to the actual box. Lately, the idea of providing a huge box to give the feeling that you have something of great value is no longer what is was in the 90’s. The best boxes are well engineered, fit the product snugly and showcase print quality.
After taking of the plastic wrap and sliding the top off, the vacuum pulled the phone into the top cover. It’s immediately apparent the phone is much lighter. It almost feels like the phone is too light and is not really. But that is before you actually hold it in your hand. When you actually hold it, it feels solid and the dimensions are perfect for my grip.
Putting the phone aside, I dive into the remaining contents of the box. The SIM card tool and manual are first. This is standard for all iPhones. Nothing seems to have been changed with this portion of the package. Removing the tool and popping out the SIM card tray has a different action compared to the iPhone 4. The tray is stronger (not such a plastic feeling) and doesn’t pop out with a spring action. The SIM card is even smaller now. I don’t think it’s a microSIM. There is probably another name for it since the SIM is about 1-2 centimetres shorter.
Diving further into the box, a tray containing the Apple’s new EarPods (earphones), USB wall plug and Lightening cable is revealed. When I heard they changed the cable, I thought, “Oh great, another cash grab.” After using the Lightening cable a few times, I can honestly say it’s a big improvement. You no longer need to check the orientation of the cable. It easily fits into the phone even though it’s much smaller. From what I’ve heard, after market versions of the cable are going to take a little longer to manufacture because there is a validation chip within the cable to ensure it’s genuine. At around $25 for a 3-foot cable, I think Apple is doing a disservice to its customers by cornering them and forcing them to dish out more money. Manufacturers will be able to overcome this roadblock, it’s only a matter of time.
The new EarPods are really good. Excellent fit, great bass, a solid feeling. I still haven’t switched to them from my Philips SHH8006 earphones. I’m using the box them come in for where I travel. It’s quite an ingenious package since you can manage the cable and protect the earphones with the plastic box they arrive in. I don’t see myself throwing the box out until it cracks from being bumped around in my backpack.
So the screen is about 0.5 inches bigger. It does make a big difference. The bevel along the sides is also smaller. Everything about this phone feels better compared to my iPhone 4. I do like the new operating system (iOS6) but miss my jailbreak for SBS Settings, IntelliScreenX, Springtomize, Gridlock and Cyntact. There are many more plugins on Cydia I love to use, but those are my top 5.
Overall, I highly recommend this phone to everyone. I’ve only had some reception issues but this might be attributed to Telus’ connection in my area. It’s also hard to buy a protective case right now, but I have an order coming. Now I’m just waiting for aftermarket accessories.