Gift Guide: iPhone 5

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Short Version

Apple put out a smartphone this year, which isn’t unusual. But this time it changed the screen size, something it hasn’t done since the iPhone’s original launch. It also changed up the physical design considerably and beefed up its internal processing power. Plus, it added LTE, for much faster mobile data usage.

Long Version

Features:

  • Thinner, lighter design compared to previous iPhones
  • A6 system-on-a-chip delivers considerably improved performance
  • Extra screen real estate provides an extra row of icons, better aspect ratio for video playback

Info:

  • 4-inch, 1136×640 display
  • Dual band 802.11n Wi-Fi and LTE network compatibility
  • Available: Ships in 2 weeks
  • MSRP: Starts at $199 on a 2-year agreement (U.S.)
  • Product page

The iPhone 5 is…

… Apple’s latest smartphone. For the devoted iOS fan, there’s not much else to consider. But it’s a lot more besides, including definitely the best iPhone yet, and most likely the best smartphone available. That’s not the assessment of an Apple fanboy: it’s the honest opinion of someone who uses multiple phones, including Android, Windows Phone 8 and even occasionally BlackBerry devices. While they all have their individual merits, Apple’s phones still offer the best mix of general usability, simplicity, convenience and third-party software to suit the general user.

Buy the iPhone 5 for…

… people who loved their previous iPhones but want something newer, faster and better. Or for those new to smartphones, who want a device that gives them all the capabilities they’re looking for, with latest generation mobile networking tech and a dead-simple mobile OS. For those looking at budget as their primary deciding factor, the iPhone 5 might not be the best choice, but otherwise it’s the phone I’d recommend to just about anyone.

Because…

… this is still the smartphone that you have to worry the least about. Competitors have made considerable progress since their early days, and that’s reflected in sales numbers. But if I’m looking for a device that will provide both me, and my much less tech-inclined mother the fewest amount of headaches (and the most pleasure) during a typical day’s usage, the iPhone is still the way to go.