Apple boasted at launch that the iPhone 5 is the best iPhone yet. With the specs and features it packs, there is little reason to doubt this claim. The iPhone 5 has a slim design, larger screen and a faster processor. The physical dimensions are hard to dispute, so are the details of the phone’s hardware like the 8-megapixel camera. The processor has so far been proven to be faster by third-party tests. The best iPhone has however received the most complaints so far among all iPhone models.
iOS 6 Maps
Most of the complaints have so far been directed at Apple’s own Maps app for iOS 6. Apple’s first apparent mistake is to ditch Google Maps and replace it with its own Maps app. There is obviously a reason behind this move and the plan could have something to do with Apple’s long terms plans. In the meantime, however, it is facing a barrage of complaints for releasing a half-baked maps app which has been found by early users to be incomplete and inaccurate. The 3D Flyover effect should look good if only the data on the maps app is good. As it turns out, it is not even half as good as Google Maps. It has even triggered websites collecting screenshots showing errors after errors like relocated places, missing cities, melted highways and massive amount of missing data. Check out photos from Apple’s Maps app from this Tumblr page called The Amazing iOS 6 Maps.
Apple has admitted the sorry nature of its Maps app to AllthingsD, saying that it is a work in progress and that the app will get better in time.
“Customers around the world are upgrading to iOS 6 with over 200 new features including Apple Maps, our first map service. We are excited to offer this service with innovative new features like Flyover and Siri integration, and free turn by turn navigation. We launched this new map service knowing that it is a major initiative and we are just getting started with it. We are continuously improving it, and as Maps is a crowd-based solution, the more people use it, the better it will get. We’re also working with developers to integrate some of the amazing transit apps in the App Store into iOS Maps. We appreciate all of the customer feedback and are working hard to make the customer experience even better.”
Scuffs and Scratches
This one is quite unexpected. Apple boasted at the launch of the iPhone 5 that it has paid so much attention to every detail when it created the iPhone 5 and that the company used only the best materials for the phone. The glass backing of the iPhone 4 and 4S easily scratched and shattered which possibly prompted Apple to use brushed aluminum to house the phone. Early reports say, however, that the iPhone 5 easily scratches and even out of the box, some units are already scratched and scuffed. These could be isolated cases but it’s prevalent enough that it has been called the “scuffgate” by some sources. This is quite uncharacteristic of Apple which has become known for its attention to detail and selling top notch, high quality devices. The Verge has released photos of the iPhone 5 with scratches and scuffs and it claims that the phone had them when they were taken out of the box. Here are some of the photos released by The Verge.
Again, Apple has responded to this issue, claiming that scratching is normal with brushed aluminium. Here is the statement from Apple’s Marketing SVP:
Any aluminum product may scratch or chip with use, exposing its natural silver color. That is normal.
This video from iFixit compares the iPhone 5 and iPhone 4S on the way they handle scratches and the iPhone 4S, with its glass backing proving to be less prone to scratching than the iPhone 5.
What all these mean is that the iPhone 5 could indeed by prone to scratches. If you’re planning on buying an iPhone 5, be sure to get a protective case. Also, make sure that you check your iPhone 5 as soon as you take it out of the box for some scratches or scuffs.
The camera on the iPhone 5 is the same 8-megpixel camera on the iPhone 4S. Its quality has been improved and features like the Panorama mode have been introduced. All in all, the iPhone 5’s camera is better than the one on the iPhone 4S. It’s even said to be almost as good as the camera on the Nokia Lumia 920. There is one issue that has cropped up, though. The iPhone 5’s camera creates a purple haze when there’s bright light outside or near the scene. This issue has been documented by TechCrunch, and the photos below show this purple haze issue.
Chromatic aberration is normal in cameras but on the iPhone 5, it is unusually pronounced. The cause of the issue has not been identified yet.
These issues about the iPhone 5 appear to be real. If you are planning on getting one, take these issues into consideration before taking the plunge. If they are not deal breakers for you, then go ahead and get an iPhone 5.