Tuesday, August 14, 2012 at 11:38 am.

The New iPhone: The 3 Features I Actually Care About

iPhone gift wrap

It looks like Apple will be launching the new iPhone in about a month. After spending the last 2 years using an iPhone 4 and 4S, here’s all I want from the new one. (Besides iOS 6, of course.)

  1. Speed. The phone itself, sure, but mostly the data network. The new iPad’s LTE connection continues to amaze me: The new iPhone has to have LTE. (I’ll also probably use this opportunity to join Verizon and leave AT&T, especially if I can unlock the Verizon iPhone for overseas roaming.) I’d appreciate an internal speed upgrade, too; the iPhone 4S started off fast but now feels sluggish. As computers tend to do.
  2. Front camera. The back camera on the iPhone 4S is pretty amazing; I never thought I’d be taking such great photos from my phone. But the front camera needs an update. I’ve increasingly used it to take photos of myself, and the quality is awful. This seems like an easy upgrade.
  3. Battery. iPhone 4S battery life seems to have improved a bit with software updates, but it’s still the iPhone’s weakest point. I’ve “solved” this problem with a Mophie case for heavy-use days, such as travel, but I’d rather not have to. Shorter battery life than the 4S would be a drag; I’d make size tradeoffs for ~25% longer life.

So, what about that screen — the supposedly bigger one?

I know the trend has been toward larger smartphone screens, partially led by necessity: LTE on Android phones required bigger batteries and cases, thus bigger screens.

I’d actually be happy if the new iPhone screen stayed exactly the same size. I never find myself wishing for a bigger iPhone. But if it’s only a little bigger, and it means longer battery life — or at least not shorter battery life — I’d take it. (The “longer-but-same-width” display that’s been discussed might actually be interesting for scrolly apps like Twitter, Instagram, etc.)

I still don’t like the massive Android phones, though, and wouldn’t want that from Apple.

Also: Frommer’s New iPad Review