Apple in Your Eye

Should A Broke New York College Student Upgrade To The iPhone 5?

We got our grubby hands on the 5 and gave it a test drive.
iphoneny Should A Broke New York College Student Upgrade To The iPhone 5?

Unhelpful new map.

Holding the new iPhone in your hand on launch day feels really special. It’s dumb to say that, but it’s true. Eyes dart in your direction, you get smiled at by strangers. It’s kind of awesome. An Italian tourist approached us and asked, with a sparkle and a hint of desperation in his light blue foreign eyes, “How is it?!” Unfortunately, honesty compelled us to shrug and say, “eh, it’s okay.” He looked back at us like we stole all of his luggage and killed his first born.

The truth about the new iPhone is just that, it’s okay. It’s fine. But as a poor miserable college student who doesn’t make that much money, we wondered if it’s worth the upgrade? Let’s say you’re not a stat-obsessed freak and you’re not that addicted to upgrading–you’re just a regular iPhone owner. Is it worth it for you to make the switch? 

The first thing we noticed is that the LTE (or 4G, or whatever they want to call it these days) service was in fact pretty fast. We were using it in midtown on our current carrier, AT&T, and the speeds pretty much blew our 3G out of the water. Text messages sent from our trial 5 to our faithful 4 arrived in mere seconds. Upgrade? +1

The longer length of the phone was a nice thing. Some of us have really chubby fingers okay? And if you had these hypothetical beefy droits, then you’d know that wrapping them around the 4 is sometimes a little strange looking. The extra length and smaller frame would give you a lovely confidence boost. Upgrade? +1

Apple’s brand new headphones are the horribly named “Earpods.” They kind of cradle into your inner ear instead of being forcibly jammed in, which is awesome.  However, Apple moved the headphone jack to the bottom of the phone, which wasn’t a very good decision. It means that, if you’re listening to music and want to put your phone in your pocket, it has to go in upside down, which feels horribly unnatural. Upgrade? -1

It may be jarring to realize that the iPhone 5 doesn’t come with a YouTube app preloaded onto the phone. But a quick jump over to the mobile site will solve that problem. Brandy and Chris Brown’s “Put It Down,” which may or not be your favorite song to walk to class to, loaded really fast and there was actually some noticeable bass instead of the old iPhone headphone’s flat sound. Upgrade? +1

It took less than two minutes to set up an email account and fire off a dispatch to a friend. The email’s new pull-up-to-refresh feature is really enjoyable. It easily brings back  the childhood satisfaction of pulling a long booger out of your nose Upgrade? +1

iphoneemailreload Should A Broke New York College Student Upgrade To The iPhone 5?

Everyone’s current nightmare is the new Apple Maps that comes with updating to iOS 6. The 3D views did look really pretty on the new longer screen. A quick tap gives you your location, just like in Google Maps. But searching for an East Village address put the dot right in the middle of Brooklyn. Not a good first sign. Upgrade? -1

Maybe something a little less likely to mess up would turn up better results. A search for “Momofuku Milk Bar” (the most uncommon name ever, right?) came up easily. The driving directions were clear, but there were no transit or walking directions. Fuck everything. Upgrade? -1

The map does label all of New York’s neighborhoods and that’s a great help for NYC newbies. But nothing is worse than the extremely forced name “LoDel” (Below Delancey). Ugh. Upgrade? -1:

applemapsny Should A Broke New York College Student Upgrade To The iPhone 5?

iOS 6 also boasts a new mode called Do Not Disturb, which is a great deal for haters of drunk texts that wake you up in the middle of the night. This is big news when all of your friends are sloppy. A huge plus. Upgrade? +1

The new panoramic function on the camera app isn’t worth checking out,  because there were always a bunch of apps available for download to stitch together panoramic shots. Not impressed by that feature at all. Upgrade? -1

That leaves the decision to upgrade at a 5 v.s. 5 split, but there’s still one question left to answer.  Is the ability to impress good looking tourists worth the $200 dollars that you really don’t have? Well, the striking Italian didn’t give out his number or dish out anything more than a smile, so you should just stick to your old 4 for now.