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Apple iPhone 5 review

8.6/10 AVG.
RATING



8.6/10
Informr score
The Apple iPhone 5 currently has an Informr score of 8.6 out of 10. This score is based on our evaluation of 63 sources including reviews from users and the web's most trusted critics.

What's good

  • Sharp 4-inch retina display
  • iOS 6 brings 200 new features to the iPhone including improvements to Siri and Facebook integration
  • Computing and graphics processing tasks are handled much better with the new Apple A6 SoC processor
  • Faster mobile data is available with support for both HSDPA and LTE networks

What's bad

  • Lacks NFC wireless technology for currently developing mobile payment systems
  • Comes with a new dock connector called Lightning that makes old docks and other accessories obsolete

Apple is out to rule the world smartphone market once again with the release of the latest iPhone, dubbed simply the iPhone 5. Unlike some of the previous models that were released by Apple in the past few years, this new one actually brings several major changes to the table, including a larger screen, a more powerful processor, and faster wireless technology. It also comes in a body that’s made with anodized aluminum, making it a full 18% thinner and 20% lighter than the iPhone 4S. People from all over the world have been itching to get their hands on a proper iPhone 5 for a long time now. Was it worth the wait?

The biggest change in the 5 that can be seen with the naked eye is the use of a 4-inch panel on its touchscreen display. The iPhone has always had a 3.5-inch screen since the release of the original back in 2007. But with the new model, the screen has been stretched vertically, resulting in a taller display that offers 16:9 viewing with higher native resolution and higher pixel density—1136x640 pixels and 326 ppi, to be exact. This new 4-inch Retina display has room for one extra row of apps on the home screen but otherwise, it works in the exact same way as its 3.5-inch counterpart.

Its also faster all around, thanks to a new dual-core Apple A6 CPU that’s said to offer double the speed and graphics performance of the chip in the previous-generation model, as well as a single-radio LTE solution that gives faster mobile data connections than ever before. In the absence of LTE networks, it also supports HSDPA data. And of course, 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are both still onboard.

Other noteworthy hardware changes include a slimmer 8MP iSight camera with Panorama mode and improved video stabilization, a better microphone setup for higher quality voice during phone calls, and a new dock connector called Lightning. This new dock solution has already earned the ire of many current iPhone users because it renders hundreds of fully-functional iPhone docks and other accessories obsolete. Apple could have gone with USB to replace the older dock connector for convenience, but users only get Lightning. Those who want to use accessories that are now incompatible need a $30 adapter that’s sold by Apple separately.

There are a couple of missing features on this year’s new iPhone. These are microSD card support and NFC wireless technology. Lack of the former means that user-available storage space is limited to just what’s on the device itself, and the lack of the latter makes the new iPhone incompatible with new mobile payment systems that are quickly gaining traction.

The base configuration of the phone offers 16GB of storage, which should be more than enough for most users. Those needing more can upgrade to a 32GB or 64GB model.

In the iPhone 5, an old expression rings true: the more things change, the more they stay the same. It brings a number of hardware and software changes, some more welcome than others, and the price for each model still varies mostly based only on the amount of internal storage. It’s an attractive handheld computing solution in more ways than one, especially with the introduction of iOS 6. But users of the iPhone 4 or 4S may find that it’s not worth recycling their current handsets just yet.


Operating system
iOS
Processor
1.3 GHz
Screen Size
4"
Camera
8+ MP


What the Critics Are Saying...


GottaBeMobile

The iPhone 5 remains a solid smartphone. The camera, software, and the quality of the Retina Display still offer me enough to keep it as my daily driver and in my opinion, they are enough warrant a look from consumers in search of a new device. The iPhone 5 should also get at least one more update,...

- Adam Mills, GottaBeMobile
TechRadar

The iPhone 5 is the phone that's the minimum users would want in terms of an upgrade, and finding the balance there is something Apple is more adept at than ever. It's a very, very good phone, but there are plenty of other equivalent devices out there that will suck much less cash from your bank acc...

- Gareth Beavis , TechRadar
iMore

The biggest thing you have to consider when choosing a carrier for your iPhone is what the coverage is like in the areas you are most of the time. My results may not be equivalent to your hometown, so do your research. Talk to your friends, neighbors, and coworkers who have T-Mobile. For people in m...

- Leanna Lofte, iMore
GottaBeMobile

After using the iPhone 5 for five months, I can honestly say that I bought what I feel is the best phone for me. I love the battery life that the iPhone 5 offers. I thoroughly have been enjoying its 4-inch display even though I wish it had better resolution. The camera is fantastic and the industria...

- Adam Mills, GottaBeMobile
Gadget Review

The iPhone 5 does leave a lot to be desired, and in many ways does not improve much over last year’s iPhone 4S. As stated earlier, I’m perfectly content with the iPhone 4S running iOS 5.1. Yet the iPhone 5 is brutishly powerful and still very refined. It’s far more elegant than the massive, overly-m...

- James Pikover, Gadget Review


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Quick view

Screen Size
4"

The Apple iPhone 5's screen size is 4 inches with 1136 x 640 pixels resolution.

Processor
1.3 GHz

There is a ARM v7 Dual core 1.3 GHz processor (CPU).

OS

The phone runs on the iOS 6 (Update Available: 9) operating system (OS).

Camera
8+ MP

You can take photos with the phone's onboard 8+ megapixel camera.

There is also a secondary front facing camera with 1+ megapixels resolution.

Storage
16/32/64 GB

Internal memory is 16/32/64 GB. No external card slot is available for expansion.

Battery
1400mAh

The phone is powered by a Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion), 1400 mAh battery. Apple's performance ratings are 600 minutes, 600 minutes Wi-Fi surfing.

iPhone 5 Specs

Overview
Release date September 21, 2012
Regions available USA, Canada, United Kingdom
Mobile / Cellular Data
4G/LTE
variations
Networks
GSM:
850/900/1800/1900 MHz
UMTS:
850/900/1900/2100 MHz
LTE:
1700/700 MHz
Data:
GPRS, EDGE, HSDPA, HSUPA, HSPA+ 21.1, LTE
variations
SIM card size
Nano-SIM
variations
Dual SIM No
Operating System iOS 6 (Update Available: 9)

Compare iOS Smartphones

Processor ARM v7 Dual core 1.3 GHz
Internal Storage 16/32/64 GB
RAM 1 GB
ROM No
GPS Type A-GPS
Hearing Aid Compatible Yes
TTY/TDD Yes
Noise Cancellation Yes
SAR Head: 1.25 W/kg
Body: 1.18 W/kg
Languages No
Manufacturer Warranty 1 Year
Accessories Included AC Charger, Manual, Standard Battery, Headset, Data Cable
Power & battery
Battery Type Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion)
Battery Capacity 1400 mAh
Removable Battery No
Wireless Charging No
Fast Charging No
Video Playback Time Up to: 600 minutes
Internet Use (Wi-Fi) Up to: 600 minutes
Internet Use (Celluar) Unknown
Talk Time Up to: 600 minutes
Standby Time Up to: 10.5 days
Physical Characteristics
Design type Bar
Multi-Use Smart Phone / PDA Yes
Material Aluminium
Colors Black & Slate, White & Silver
Dimensions [H x W x D] 12.4 x 5.9 x 0.8 cm (4.9 x 2.3 x 0.3 in)
Weight 112 grams
Water Resistant / Waterproof Unknown
Rugged design No
IP Rating No
Display / Screen
Type Color
Technology LCD
Colors 16.7 million
Resolution 1136 x 640 pixels
Pixel density 326 pixels
Size 4 inches
Secondary Display No
Sensors Ambient Light, Proximity, Motion / Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Digital Compass
Graphics Wallpapers
Themes Yes
Backlit Illumination Yes
Zoom / Magnification Yes
Screen Orientation Lock Yes
Multi-Touch Yes
Fingerprint-Resistant Coating No
Additional Display Features Retina display, Capacitive touch screen
Input / Navigation
Sleep / Wake Key Yes
Home Key Yes
Mute Key Yes
Input Type Touchscreen
Navigation Type Multi-Touch
Predictive Text Entry Yes
Physical keyboard No
Voicemail Key No
Any Key Answer No
Voice Commands Yes
Keypad/Screen Lock Yes
External Volume Control Yes
External Media Playback Controls No
Fingerprint Sensor No
Call Management
Wi-Fi Calling Unknown
Voice over LTE (VoLTE) Unknown
Contact List Capacity Depends on system memory
Multiple Numbers Per Contact Email address, Other fields
Contact Groups Yes
Auto Answer No
Voice Activated Dialing Yes
Photo Caller ID Yes
Web / Email / Messaging
Web Browser Yes
Email Client Yes
Email Protocols POP3, IMAP, SMTP, Microsoft Exchange
Additional Email Features -
Messaging SMS, MMS
Push-to-talk (PTT) No
Connectivity
USB Lightning
USB OTG Support No
Infrared No
Bluetooth 4.0
Bluetooth Profiles A2DP, AVRCP, OPP/FTP, HID, HFP, HSP, PAN
Bluetooth Audio Codecs SBC
WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n
WiFi Encryption WEP/WPA/WPA2
Mobile Hotspot Yes
WiMAX No
Memory Expansion Slot No
PC Synchronization Yes
TV Out HDMI
DLNA Support No
NFC No
Data Tethering Compatibility Yes
Java Applications No
Brew Applications No
ECML / Digital Wallet No
Camera
Main Camera
Aperture
Unknown
Resolution
8+ megapixels
Multi-camera
No
Zoom
Yes
Flash
Yes (LED)
Additional Rear Camera Info
Auto focus, Face detection, Geotagging, Image stabilization, Panorama
Video Recording Formats
3GP / 3GPP, H.264 / AVC, MPEG-4
Video Recording Parameters
Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels), 30 fps
Front Camera
Resolution
1+ megapixels
Zoom
No
Additional Front Camera Info
No
Video Recording Parameters
HD (1280 x 720 pixels), 30 fps
Audio / Video
Audio Playback Yes
Audio Formats AAC, AAC+, AIFF, Apple Lossless, Audible, eAAC+, MP3, WAV
Radio No
Video Playback Yes
Video Playback Formats 3GP / 3GPP, H.264 / AVC, MPEG-4
Streaming Video Yes
External Speakers Yes
Headset Jack 3.5mm
Custom Ringtones No
Vibration Alert Yes
Downloadable Ringtones Yes
Ringer ID Yes
Haptic Feedback Vibration Yes
Speakerphone Yes
Apps
To-Do / Task List Yes
Calendar Yes
World Clock Yes
Alarm Yes
Stop Watch Yes
Timer Yes
Calculator Yes
Currency Converter No
Document Viewer Yes
Viewable document types XLS, RTF, PPT, PPTX, JPG, GIF, DOC, DOCX, PDF, TXT, HTML
Weather Yes
Stocks Yes
Maps Yes
NotePad Yes
Voice Memos / Recorder Yes
Games Downloadable
Apps Downloadable, Pre-installed (Siri, Passbook, FaceTime, Camera)
Included Software / Apps -
More
Additional comments

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Related Links Manual (PDF)
Apple iPhone 5 Reviews
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