Apple’s website describes the iPhone 5 as “the biggest thing to happen to iPhone since iPhone.” The new iPhone has some new features that definitely support that statement.

The most noticeable feature of the iPhone 5 is the new design. According to Apple’s website, it is 18 percent thinner and 20 percent lighter than the old iPhone. Also, the new iPhone is accompanied by a four inch “Retina” display. Apple has made the phone available in two color schemes, Black and Slate or White and Silver.

The iPhone comes in three different models: a 16 gigabyte (GB) model, 32GB model and a 64GB model. With a new contract or upgrade, the 16GB model in either color is $199, the 32GB model in either color is $299 and the 32GB model in either color is $399. The iPhone can be purchased on the AT&T network, Verizon network or the Sprint network.

The iPhone 5 is pre-installed with Apple’s newest version of iOS 6. The new software comes with an updated version of Siri, Apple’s artificial intelligence assistant. Siri is updated to give the user sports scores, restaurants and their reviews and showtimes. Siri will automatically utilize the user’s location to determine which restaurants or showtimes are nearest; however, this feature can be easily turned off in the settings application.

iOS 6 also comes with a new application called “Passbook”, which will be a replacement for certain credit cards, tickets, store cards and coupons. These “passes” will be easily accessible on your iPhone.

In addition to new software, the new iPhone comes with a cable called “Lightning” that has replaced the old, standard 30 pin dock connector. The Lightning connector is thinner and narrower than the standard dock connector. Also, adapters from the 30 pin dock connector to the Lightning cable will be available.

In addition to the new cable, the auxiliary port to the iPhone has been transferred to the bottom of the phone, accompanying the improved speaker design and the Lightning cable.

In terms of speed, the iPhone has received two major upgrades. The new A6 processor that is in the iPhone contributes to the overall quickness of the phone and the graphics. Meanwhile, the LTE network capability, which is faster than the 3G network, will contribute up to speeds among 100 megabits per second.

The iPhone also comes with Apple’s new and revolutionary EarPods which were designed to fit the ear more comfortable than the standard earphones. According to Apple’s website, the EarPods have a “deeper, richer bass tone.”

Reluctantly, I must admit that I am an Apple fanatic, getting every single iPhone on the first day. On Sept. 12, I received a notification on my phone that the new iPhone had been released. The moment I saw it, I knew the phone would be great.

My favorite aspect of the new iPhone is the phenomenal 4 inch “Retina” display, which gives Apple a huge advantage in the smartphone industry. Although I do find it a bit annoying to have to hyperextend my thumb every time I want to reach the top of the screen, the prospect of having more items to fit on every page is absolutely worth it.

Controversy surrounds Apple Maps and Google Maps. The map feature on any phone is a benefit because it replaces having to buy a $1200 built-in navigation system. But, Apple Maps was released too early because it lacks the accuracy that Google Maps had. However, Google Maps lacked the turn-by-turn navigation feature that the  iPhone 5 has now.

Having bought every single iPhone, I have old iPhone cables in my closet. But with the new iPhone, they are all useless because they cannot plug in to the new iPhone. The new “Lightning” cable is much better than the standard 30 pin cable, but Apple should give out a adapters to each person.

The new “Passbook” application is a little premature right now, but will prosper in the long run. The ability to store cards and other loyalty cards (“Passes”) on a phone is the direction that the technology should be going. However, very few businesses have given users the ability to have an electronic version of their “Passes”, but if industries and companies all start making electronic “Passes” then this application will be very useful and beneficial.

The hardware design on the new iPhone 5 has changed. The black and slate version of the iPhone has a very modern matte black finish on the back of the phone, making the phone look more futuristic. However, it seems the phone is more prone to scratching if left on a hard surface, but in this case the benefit outweighs the risk.

Last year, when Siri was debuted, I was very hesitant to use it. As expected, Siri did not function that well in a loud environment, but otherwise it worked perfectly. Now, Apple has given Siri several other features such as restaurant reviews, movie times and sports scores, making Siri much better.

I love the iPhones. Next year I will be waiting in line for the new one, but for right now, I will be with my beloved iPhone 5.

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