Yesterday, Apple announced its latest iPhone, the iPhone 5, to much fanfare. The new model is definitely an iPhone 5, with pretty significant upgrades and changes, whereas the iPhone 4S hardly offered anything new and earned a rant from our Tech editor, Jaymi, for merely being an excuse to offer a new product for hordes of people to run out and buy. The iPhone 5, however, features a larger 4-inch Retina display and is quite a bit thinner, but it also has a host of new features and design changes, some that make it a little greener and one, not so much. Below is a quick look at the green pros and cons of the iPhone 5.
Faster, more efficient chip - The new A6 chip is twice as fast as the previous chip, but also uses power much more efficiently.
Better battery life - According to CNET, a fully-charged battery can now provide the equivalent of 8 hours of 3G talk time, 8 hours of 3G browsing, 8 hours of LTE browsing, 10 hours of Wi-Fi browsing, 10 hours of video playback, 40 hours of music playback, and 225 hours of standby time. That's a nice increase compared to the 4S, which comparatively offered 6 hours of 3G browsing, 9 hours of Wi-Fi and 200 hours of standby time. This improvement will keep users from having to plug in as often.
Replaced glass back with metal - This is actually a biggie. Apple started using a glass back on the iPhone 4 and since then many people have found themselves with shattered glass after an accidental drop. Moving back to a metal back makes the phone less prone to breaking and needing to be replaced, which is fantastic.
Better camera - While it's the same megapixels as the improved 4S camera, the new camera is supposed to be better in low lighting situations, have reduced noise, be 40 percent faster and also offers a panorama feature. If it hasn't already, this could mark the full replacement of a point and shoot camera for iPhone users, which means one less gadget being consumed.
Smaller dock connector - The only major hardware change that makes it to the con list is a pretty significant one. The new, smaller dock connector renders all existing speaker docks, accessories, and charger/syncing cables using the previous 30-pin design obsolete. Apple says it will offer an adapter and adapter cables for $19 to $39, but most likely we're going to see a bunch of ditched speaker docks and cables. Accessory makers like Bose, JBL, and Bowers have stated they're already working on new models to work with the redesign.
If you'll be making the switch to the new iPhone 5, we strongly encourage you to recycle your old phone by reselling it to one of the many sites that are itching to pay you cash for your old model, like Gazelle, NextWorth and ReCellular. While you're at it, resell any of your 30-pin accessories too. Electronic resellers pay more when you include cables and chargers and eBay is always a good option for speaker docks and larger accessories. Keeping these items in the consumer stream extends their life and prevents them from becoming e-waste and gives other people a used option to buy instead of a new one having to be manufactured.