- Jeffrey Van Camp , Digital Trends
While it's definitely the best iPhone to date in most respects, a number of small issues hold it back from being the undisputed dominant phone this year.
- Mark Spoonauer , Laptop Magazine
The iPhone 5 improves upon a great smartphone in every way while offering a shockingly thin and light design.
- 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
- 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.
Reviews (8.6/10 Avg. rating)
Extremely fast and the user interface extremely fluid
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, probably two, which means that the device still has a lot left in the tank.
My biggest complaint is one that I didn’t see coming. After using larger screens for years, I consider myself to be one of those who hope that Apple introduces a display in the realm of 4.5-inches. Nothin... Full review
Underwhelms in terms of specs, but packages it all together in a way that works
The call quality of the iPhone 5 on the T-Mobile network is superb
A phone that should be at the top of everyone’s shopping list
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 industrial design is one that I feel is one of the best on the market. I also love 4G LTE and those that haven’t used it yet will know what I am talking about once you give it a whirl.
However, there are some drawbacks. I am not in love with iOS 6, the design shows visible wear and tear even witho... Full review
It isn’t the best hardware, but it is the best package you can buy
The iPhone 5 may not be the work of art that the iPhone 4/4S was, but it is certainly one of the best smartphones in existence. The iPhone 5 is a diagonal step forward, improving the overall quality of the phone but not at the same pace as the competition. While Apple has consistently remained ahead, this year was the first time we saw a smartphone better than the iPhone 4S, and in terms of hardware and design the iPhone 5 isn’t necessarily the best smartphone in the world.
But if there’s anything that the iPhone is known for, it’s as a multi-function device, a jack-of-all-trade... Full review
Stunning hardware design and improved camera
With all the upgrades in the iPhone 5, especially if you’re coming from an iPhone 4 or iPhone 3GS, it feels like an über device
I had my iPhone 4 for a couple years and the iPhone 5 for a month, before that it was a couple different Blackberries (just for perspective here) and this is the best phone I’ve had yet. It was 100% worth the cost to upgrade (early, btw, so I had a “penalty” to pay). The camera is great. The size I think is perfect. It’s fast, responsive and the screen is (still) gorgeous.
Despite the inconvenience of needing an adapter for my clock, a new case, and a couple things that don’t fit anymore (like my Ollo Clip and the Belkin camera grip) it’s a great... Full review
Lightweight, thin and easy to hold with an unparalleled design
To sum it all up, after two months with the iPhone 5, I’m extremely pleased with my purchase. Just about any current-generation phone would have been a major upgrade over the iPhone 3GS but the iPhone 5 truly is a phone that I feel comfortable using on a daily basis given its amenities.
The 4-inch display is big enough where videos are easy to watch but small enough where it still feels like a phone. The processor can easily handle iOS, gaming and applications. 4G LTE is fantastic, especially on AT&T. And in my opinion, the design is unparalleled.
It’s definitely a phone tha... Full review
It handles iOS 6 extremely well and overall, it’s fast
Larger screen, new connector, faster processor, and better headphones
Worst phone I have ever used
Having received this phone from work I am shocked at what I have lost moving from an older Blackberry - Call quality and reception is poor and a great selection of apps doesn't make up for pitiful email, address book, and voice dially functionality. This has all the pretty with none of the substance. I will be paying retail shortly for another device to use in its placeLess
Good Christmas gift
Very good phone. Got it today for Christmas. I am through Fido and have the 60 max plan. Very fast and works wonders. I would reccomend.Less
Works wonderfully, wears horribly
Almost 3 months with the 5..... - Is it lighter? Quite a bit. - Is it thinner and nicer to hold? Noticeably. - Is the screen better? No question. The size makes a difference. - Is it faster than say the 4s? I can't say I notice. - Does it scratch easily? Your darn right it does. This is Applegate. Horrible. 3 months in mine looks like it made a few laps in a gravel crusher. - Headphone Jack? Yes...its on the bottom and its annoying. Would I buy it again? No question.Less
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Online Buying Options
Manuals / User Guides
- Apple iPhone 5 Manual (PDF)
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