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SPECIAL Geek Girl Report: Should You Upgrade to the iPhone 5?


Justin Sullivan, Getty Images

As predicted, the Apple faithful went into an all-out frenzy when the iPhone 5 was officially announced at Apple’s big press event yesterday. And since it’s an iPhone, it will most likely be sold out within hours when it is released to the public on September 21st. (or earlier than that, since online pre-orders on the phone start tomorrow) But the big question is, should you get the iPhone 5?

The short answer is yes, especially if you have a phone older than the iPhone 4S.

The new iPhone 5 finally addresses some of the big issues I, and many others, have had with the iPhone. For starters, the phone can now, at last, connect with the faster LTE networks that it’s rivals have been touting for some time now. Combine that with the new, faster A6 processor, and you’ve got the fastest iPhone to hit the market yet. Internet, movies, and songs should load in no time at all.

And speaking of Internet, you can now surf the Internet for much longer. The battery life on the iPhone 5 has been extended to nearly 10 hours of Wi-fi activity. Hopefully, this will mean I won’t have to charge my new iPhone every night after using it all day long.

As expected, a new iPhone also means a new operating system. The new iOS 6 features over 200 changes, including turn-by-turn navigation, improved integration with Facebook and Twitter, and full-screen web browsing. In addition to the new iOS, the popular voice-controlled assistant “Siri” makes a return on the iPhone 5. Apple promises that Siri will be better than ever, but I say don’t be surprised if it still doesn’t work exactly like they show in the commercials…

If and when you decide to upgrade, however, you’ll also need to upgrade your iPhone accessories. The new iPhone 5 is noticeably slimmer and taller than the iPhone 4, rendering all of the fancy cases and skins for the phone obsolete. The iPhone 5 has also done away with the long, bulky 30-pin connector, and replaced it with the much-smaller “Lightning” connector. Unfortunately, this also means that all those car charges and other such accessories are no good now. Apple will be releasing an adapter for the iPhone 5 in October, but until then, you’ll probably have to shell out some extra cash to get the accessories you need.

And while we’re on the subject of cash, the new iPhone 5 is surprisingly affordable. (by Apple’s standards, anyway…) The 16 GB model will cost you $199 with a two-year contract. The 32 GB model is $299, and the heavy-hitter 64 GB model is $399. If you still don’t have your hands on the iPhone 4 or 4S, thought, expect a nice drop in price: only $99 for the iPhone 4S and the iPhone 4 is free, with the two-year contract.

So here’s the final verdict: If you already have the iPhone 4S, what you’ll find is a slimmer, slightly faster phone with a new charger. But if you have an iPhone 4 or older, (like my 3GS) then this is the phone you’ve been waiting for. It’s not really a question of should you upgrade. The real question is, when are you upgrading to the iPhone 5?

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