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back to article First look: Apple iPhone 5S and 5C

Apple has a weird problem. Way back in 2008 when it launched the iPhone 3G it just about nailed the spec of a great smartphone. The iPhone may have grown, acquired an extra camera and sped up in the years since, but its hardware and software user interfaces remain essentially unchanged. Each new model therefore feels incremental …

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Whatever.

My telephone is a telephone. It's a 13 year old Nokia 5185. It makes and receives calls, even in the Sonoma and Napa Valleys infamous "dead zones".

Sometimes, it's more important for a telephone to be a telephone than a toy.

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Bronze badge

Re: Whatever.

Unfortunately some of us have work to do so need something with more than just telephony. My phone tells me when my next meeting is, where it will be and then guides me to it in places I've never been before. I can take photos and send them to customers and I can respond to my emails from anywhere which although may not make me more productive than you, it does make me look quite a bit more efficient while you have to travel back from Napa Valley before even being aware of the mail. I can read the latest news or learn new skills on the commute to work, making it easier to keep my skills up to date while also leaving more of my own time for my hobbies or family.

I can also make phone calls and have found the reception to be at least as good as my old Nokia. Even ones with fake aerials like yours...

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Anonymous Coward

Quite a bland and unemotional review.

Inject a bit of excitement or controversy please, it is after all an iPhone not a whitewashed wall.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Whatever.

So? You may be content with the limited features but many of us use their phone for much more than just making calls or sending texts.

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Anonymous Coward

Not selling?

The Gold iphone now has undisclosed delivery dates on the iStore as sometime in October.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Whatever.

OMG!!! You have areas with no phone reception? How quaint![1]

[1] For the benefit of the hard of thinking, I am being sarcastic

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Re: Whatever.

See, that's fine and all, but I use my smartphone for things other than calls, which I find extremely important.

No, not Facebook or Twitter, I don't even have accounts with either of those websites.

I mean things like navigation (standalone units with out of date maps are hopeless), email (which I use to contact people abroad instead of getting charged stupid text fees), camera (which is actually useful for capturing things I wouldn't have my normal, bulky camera for), web browser (extremely useful for discovering information - especially when on holiday - locating places to eat - finding out basic information such as opening times, etc.).

Just because telephony is a major part of the device, does not mean the ancillaries are useless. Far, far from it.

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g e
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Re: Whatever.

If you could live with your phone 'without being able to make or receive calls' then you never needed a phone, you just needed something to 'do work on' presumably email, facebook and angry birds which many people seem to think is what constitutes Getting Things Done these days.

If, however Being Contactable is more important than having an awkward mobile SSH client (at least JuiceSSH has relieved some of the pain since its arrival on the scene, nice app), email and other basic officey tasks in your pocket then you primarily need a phone.

I could happily just go with my old Nokia 6230 if I had to, as the work I need to do certainly needs a shedload more than a phone in my pocket and Being Contactable is far more important than anything else on my S4, nice as the extra stuff certainly is.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Whatever.

"My telephone is a telephone. It's a 13 year old Nokia 5185. It makes and receives calls, even in the Sonoma and Napa Valleys infamous "dead zones".

Sometimes, it's more important for a telephone to be a telephone than a toy"

Bang on the money!

To your downvoters, thanks for accepting the fact that your iFolly is a toy!

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Anonymous Coward

"Quite a bland and unemotional review.

Inject a bit of excitement or controversy please, it is after all an iPhone not a whitewashed wall."

The review is valid!

Only the sad and feebleminded get excited about iFolly.

It doe not bring anything new, it never has. All of its tech is a copy of someone elses ideas, rejiged to appeal to the sub-set of people about.

So, how can I get excited? 5 years later only said sub-set are starting to realise that its all smoke and mirrors.

And you can bet major iOS7 bugs are being found on the first day of release.

The enthusiasm of this sub-set is tiresome and weak.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Whatever.

Next you will be telling us how you use candles to light your home and see no reason for anything else.

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"All of its tech is a copy of someone elses ideas, rejiged to appeal to the sub-set of people about."

Who did they steal the camera flash white balance stuff from? I've not seen that one before, maybe I missed it.

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Re: Whatever.

"thanks for accepting the fact that your iFolly is a toy!"

Yours may be a toy, mine is a business tool used every day for much more than phone calls. Just because your job doesn't require you to travel or be productive on the move doesn't mean that nobody has a job that does. It does, however, imply that your company and colleagues can happily do without your input. You may want to look into that...

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Re: Whatever. - @Lusty

What you're missing is the fact that Obviously! is a well known Apple hating troll. There's no point in trying to get into a rational argument with him, just down vote and move on.

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Anonymous Coward

@ Obviously!

"Only the sad and feebleminded get hostile about iFolly."

Fixed it for ya.

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Re: Whatever.

who the hell are you? you come into every smartphone thread and start banging on about your vintage nokia and how it still works. you've spouted the same crap about it working in "dead zones" about 5 times that i've seen. shut the hell up mate, nobody cares.

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Anonymous Coward

"Who did they steal the camera flash white balance stuff from? I've not seen that one before, maybe I missed it."

Nokia released this ages ago. Maybe because your sooo stuck on your legacy tech you fail to reliase what is actually happening in the mobile market today?

Yes, thats definately it!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Whatever.

You forget that using your phone to do menial tasks like emailing and surfing actually save the planet by producing less carbon than turning on your PC at home. But then you probably drives a 5L pickup truck to buy your milk and newspaper.....

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Headmaster

Yes, thats definately it!

My smartphone has a dictionary, too. Which tells me how to spell "definitely", should I need to look it up. Maybe you need a better phone.

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Anonymous Coward

"Nokia released this ages ago. Maybe because your sooo stuck on your legacy tech you fail to reliase what is actually happening in the mobile market today?" sic.

Citation needed

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Re: Whatever.

Good for you. I take it you have a large bag to fit in your alarm clock, watch, street map, train time table, news paper, text messaging device, diary, address book, camera, notebook, walkman and all the other things I've forgotten.

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"Nokia released this ages ago. Maybe because your sooo stuck on your legacy tech you fail to reliase what is actually happening in the mobile market today?"

weird, I Googled it and despite finding a bunch of people moaning that white balance was off when using their flash on a Nokia I found no mention of Nokia having a dual colour flash for white balance. Perhaps you could help us out with a model number or link to where Nokia used this technology before Apple?

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Holmes

Quite a bland and unemotional review.

"They aren't exciting. They're just iPhones". Ain't it enough for you that ElReg manages to write so much articles about them ?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Whatever.

Read Jake's earlier postings on various threads. He has been everywhere, done everything, worn EVERY tee shirt, met everyone, advised on world issues, solved ever problem. No surprised his Nokia is still working but if the thread was about Nokia, I suspect his vintage model would be a Mototola...

Someone listed his life's work elsewhere, gathered from his previous posts. Interesting reading. But he never seems to follow up his opening salvos when challenged.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Whatever.

Jake - we're still waiting to hear how your family's push to get you to install indoor plumbing is coming along

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Pint

Re: Whatever.

Telephone *VOICE* calls?

I was wondering what that green telephone handset app icon thingy was for...

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@AC16:49 (was: Re: Whatever.)

http://forums.theregister.co.uk/forum/containing/1547335

Honestly, you ACs crack me up!

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Anonymous Coward

Almost perfect

It is very difficult to perfect something that works almost to perfection. It is no wonder that it is upgraded incrementally. All well and good stuffing it full of mediocre features like some phones I could mention, but the over all package is what counts with an operating system that disappears into the background. The balance and Khama of the phone can only be bettered when new technology and hardware is developed and not gimmicky add ons............

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Joke

iPhone 5S marketing

I remind El Reg registers of the following iPhone 5S marketing parody:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1sIWez9HAbA

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Anonymous Coward

Equally tiresome...

Are the endless number articles saying how the biggest problem is the changes are incremental. We have had a good 20 years of highly incremental changes to notebook computers and we have been able to read about our tech yet haven't had to suffer endless articles published for each new model telling us how the improvements are only incremental. There has always been category changing breakthroughs followed by incremental change. Why should it be any different for phone tech ? I suggest the problem is more to do with the growth of an online tech news cycle shorter than a gold-fish's memory leading to tech websites who get tetchy because a company isn't working for them to deliver buzz-worthy new product categories, on a yearly basis, feeding their livelihoods. Fancy that, Apple are working to improve their own business through improving the products they already have and working to their own timetable when it comes to products which might define new product categories. What a bunch of failures eh Reg ? 64 bit computing in a phone, 120 FPS video, biometric security, pah. WE WANT MORE NEWS ARSE-HOLES AND WE'LL BEAT ON YOU UNTIL WE GET IT.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Equally tiresome...

Any new phone is going to be incremental - you could argue the first iPhone was incremental but what do you expect. What do people really expect on their new phone - let's see it's significantly faster, got a M7 co-pro, 64-bit (a first), updated OS, better camera, better flash, fingerprint sensor - but it already was a great phone - so what else?

I'm sure some people would like their phones like the Homer Simpson designed car and someone would probably consider a geiger counter as a useful thing to build in - but for the vast majority of people what else does it need?

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@AC 6:50 Re: Equally tiresome...

A Geiger counter? Yes please !!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Equally tiresome...

"I'm sure some people would like their phones like the Homer Simpson designed car."

Yep agreed. For that section of the market, there's Samsung. I'm slightly miffed the Galaxy Gear smart watch didn't include an integrated can and bottle opener though, they missed a trick there. Fortunately they got everything else though.

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Re: Equally tiresome...

All right, but apart from that, what have the Romans Apple ever done for us ?

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Re: Equally tiresome...

"what else does it need?"

A high power laser!

(And a shark mounting kit!)

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Joke

Re: Equally tiresome...

Aqueducts?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Equally tiresome...

I dunno about Geiger counters, but there are some extra bits of hardware that can be clipped onto an iDevice - or indeed some Android devices.

High quality microphones have been available for some iDevices since the iPod, and someone has started a Kickstarter campaign for a 3D scanner that clips onto iPads (or Android devices that support USB Host mode).

A bolt-on Geiger counter? Why not? It would would log its readings and use the phones GPS and radios to allow the mission HQ to build up a map... though it might be a job for a drone.

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Re: Equally tiresome...

"What else does it need?"

NFC would be a nice addition. I've had that on Android for a while now. It's not "mega", but it's something that could prove quite useful in the not too distant future. "Backing" from Apple could give the standard the sort of boost it needs.

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Re: Equally tiresome...

I completely agree, it's not any different for phone tech.

But it is different for Apple products.

Apple products don't sell purely (or, it could be argued, even mainly) because of performance, features and functionality - they also sell based on hype. It gets harder and harder to create that hype, even amongst the hardcore fanbois, when there is less and less noticable difference between each new version.

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Re: Equally tiresome...

Given that Apple hasn't added NFC yet, the odds that they ever will continue to drop. Especially given that there isn't much momentum behind the standard even on the phones that have it. I've never seen a NFC payment terminal, I've never been anywhere that used NFC tags for anything (or if they did they didn't make it known well enough for me to know about it, so if my phone had NFC I wouldn't know to try it) You see QR codes all over the place, you see places here and there where it is possible to pay for stuff with your phone.

If NFC was so great, given that so many Android phones now have it, you'd see massive uptake despite Apple not having it. Even if Apple got behind it, I don't think it would help much. Maybe they believe this also and don't want to back a failure.

What problems does NFC solve that only NFC is a solution for, and Bluetooth or Wifi are not solutions for?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Equally tiresome...

A taser. That improved battery life is just begging to be put to good use.

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Reviewer: Gee... We saw the box and touched a 5C

Dull.

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Anonymous Coward

Incremental?

The only vaguely interesting new thing about the Galaxy S 4 is that it has temperature and humidity sensors (or was it barometer?). Personally I find these to be of very questionable usefulness but I can imagine myself using them every once in a while, not for any very practical purpose, but mostly just because I could.

That's an incremental change.

Apple has added a fingerprint scanner which will likely be used dozens of times PER DAY by its millions of owners, saving them the time and tedium of entering PIN codes each time. The technology to do this is completely different from any previous fingerprint scanner that I'm aware of. So let's see, we have a completely new and novel piece of hardware that will be used frequently and provides very material benefits to its users and this is being slagged off as "incremental."

I'm not sure what Apple would have to add to an iPhone to make you think it's not incremental.

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I'm with you and I'm not an iphone user

If the thing works well (and is accepted as being secure), then I want a fingerprint scanner on my next phone.

AAll manner of clever stuff could be added. E.g. upload a hash of your fingerprint onto the cloud with the rest of your data and then.. oh I dunno. You touch your friends scanner and it adds your contact details to their phone. You touch the scanner, and it syncs your entire iphone onto it? Your child touches it, and they get launched into a safe/non-microtransaction/educational game only account etc etc.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Incremental?

If they wanted to save time and tedium maybe they should of come up with a way to use for phone with gloves on.

To be fair not a great issue in their main market of California.....

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Re: Incremental?

I've been using pattern swipe to unlock my Android phone for years, and it takes less than two seconds.

Serious question: how long does the iPhone fingerprint scanner take?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Incremental?

Putting a thermometer on a phone that spends most of it's time in a pocket or itself gets warm when in use - yeah really useful. As for a barometer - yes it can be used to tell changes in pressure / altitude - but for most people it is of little use. Barometers need to be calibrated against a known altitude to be accurate (for altitude) - this is often done manually or in conjunction with GPS. But... GPS itself can calculate altitude / vertical position - not as accurately as it can do your horizontal position - but probably accurately enough for most uses. If you are one of those people who needs more accuracy (pilot, climbers, mountain guides etc.) I doubt you would rely on the device built into your smartphone.

So barometer - pretty useless. Thermometer - useless. What else?

Fingerprint sensor is genuinely useful - I read half of people do not even set a code on their phones = no security. Instantly you make it easy and give them no reason no to. Plus fingerprint is more secure than a 4 digit PIN - people can guess / know / see your PIN and gain access to your device - so a fingerprint is more secure.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Incremental?

@poopypants

I had a serious answer, but then I read your handle and now it's gone.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Incremental?

Apparently less than half a second.

People can see / copy your swipe as they could with a PIN so a fingerprint is more secure as well.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Incremental?

Can you really blame them for that? How about a 50m waterproof version that can still be used without a case by scuba divers?

You can buy gloves with a smartphone finger tip on.

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