If you bought an iPhone 5 and noticed when you get a phone call or text message while your phone is on silent that the vibration sounds different and in most cases louder than the iPhone 4 or 4S, you aren’t alone. It turns out Apple did include a new vibrating motor inside.
I thought it was just my iPhone 5, too. When I’d get a text message on my old iPhone 4, the vibration was much more discrete and toned down. The iPhone 5 definitely has a powerful vibrating motor and one that tends to make a bit more sound.
Most people seem to be happier with the new vibrating motor though. It’s easier to feel and hear in a pocket when your phone is on silent but you still want to receive calls and texts. I can attest to that — there are plenty of times with my iPhone 4 when I couldn’t answer a call or text simply because I didn’t know the device was vibrating. On the other hand, if you keep your phone on silent just so nosy people won’t know if you’re being contacted, it’s a bit harder to stay on the down-low now.
The best reason why Apple might want to switch back to the rotational vibrating motor, which all iPhones originally used up until the iPhone 4, is because it’s a smaller hardware part than the quieter linear-oscillating motor in the 4 and 4S. It’s hard to tell from the photo above provided by iFixit’s teardown, but it’s pretty tiny.
If you have an iPhone 5, do you prefer the new vibrator to the old?