iPhone 5: review of specifications
However, there are some things we have to point out right from the start. When we're doing "cross-platform" hardware comparisons, '2' no longer means more than '1'. In other words, while 1GB of RAM may be insufficient for a certain OS to run smoothly, it might be just enough for another. That's why specs of phones running different operating systems shouldn't be compared directly. With that said, let's see what new hardware goodies the iPhone 5 has brought!
Design [ taller, thinner, different ]
The iPhone 5 comes with an all-new design! Well, not exactly, but it's been vastly altered. This is the first iPhone with a screen bigger than 3.5 inches and that has caused a change in the device's dimensions. With a new widescreen 16:9 screen, the iPhone 5 has become 4.87" (123.8mm) tall. The width of the device is unchanged - 2.31" (58.6mm). However, the manufacturer has done its best to make the device thinner, and the result is actually pretty impressive. The iPhone 5 is just 0.30" (7.6mm) thin! That's quite an improvement compared to the iPhone 4S's thickness of 9.3mm. Obviously, this also makes it one of the thinnest smartphones around.
Overall, the front side of the device looks pretty similar to what we had before. However, the back side is where most of the change has occurred. It is no longer all-glass, but is mostly made of aluminum, with two pieces of glass used for its upper and lower ends. This design is quite funky, although it might take some getting used to. Whether it'll be a mass success or not is obviously too early to be said, but we can be absolutely certain that this thing will feel awesome in the hand, due to the premium materials used and precise, quality construction.
Screen [ 4-inch, 640x1136 pixels, 326 ppi ]
OK, the change made to the screen is BIG. The significance of this change is probably bigger than the change itself, though. This is the first iPhone with a screen size different than 3.5". The new screen measures 4 inches and has a resolution of 640x1136 pixels, which results in an aspect ratio of 16:9. Obviously, Apple isn't trying to compete with gargantuan Android handsets of today. The company stays true to producing high-end devices for the masses, and that's why it wanted to keep the phone as compact as possible. Still, Apple has recognized the fact that smartphones pack a lot of power and functionality these days, and are used for all kinds of stuff, so a decent display size bump has been made in order to improve the overall user experience, without making the phone unwieldy even for people with smaller hands.
Of course, the iPhone is not the smartphone for the power/geek type of user anymore. There are now much more suitable offerings in this are like the Galaxy S III or One X, which feature much bigger screens, allowing users to almost leave their computers behind, without suffering serious eye-fatigue. For the regular customers, though, who would use their handsets much more lightly, the iPhone 5, with its 4" display, seems like the more appropriate solution.
The increase in vertical resolution has also allowed Apple to keep the pixel density very high, at 326 ppi, so everything on the screen will appear crystal-clear. In comparison, the Galaxy S III's screen has pixel density of 306 ppi. Another improvements with regards to the screen is in the color saturation field, as the new display is said to be 44% more saturated! This should make viewing photos and watching video even more enjoyable. Still the color balance should be much more natural than what's observed with AMOLED screens. Due to the new in-cell touch technology used, the touch sensors of the display are now built right into the LCD panel, which should allow for better visibility. Having a more easily readable display under bright daylight would certainly be cool, however, we'll have to test the device personally first, before we can draw any final conclusions.
Processor and Memory [ A6 SoC, 2x performance ]
Besides an "all-new" design, the iPhone 5 comes with a new system-on-a-chip as well. The A6, as it is called, is said to have a 2x faster CPU and 2x faster GPU compared to the A5 found in the iPhone 4S. However, Apple has not announced the exact number of CPU cores, or at what frequencies they are clocked at. For those of us who know Apple, though, it's somewhat obvious that the CPU will be a dual-core solution.
Here's the best moment to remind our readers of what we wrote in the beginning of this post - that having technically inferior hardware doesn't always translate to a poorer user experience when doing cross-platform comparisons. In this case, we can be sure that the iPhone 5 will rival, or be even faster than the competition, due to the extremely well-optimized iOS platform.
The situation with the amount of RAM is pretty much the same, meaning that we know nothing. We expect it to be 1GB, though, which will ensure the smooth operation of the OS and third-party applications.
The iPhone 5 will once again be offered in 16GB, 32GB and 64GB variants, costing $199, $299 and $399 on contract, respectively. Those who hoped for expandable storage are out of luck... as always.
Connectivity [ LTE, LTE, LTE ]
LTE! Yes, Apple has finally added support for the newest and greatest commercial network standard, just as the LTE networks around the world have started to mature. The cellular modem inside the iPhone 5 is capable of the whooping theoretical download speeds of 100 Mbit/s on LTE, but the HSPA+ support has also been improved considerably. It will now go as high as 42.2 Mbit/s on the downlink!
Naturally, you can expect the iPhone 5 to run on LTE with pretty much every carrier which has such a network, including AT&T, Verizon and Sprint in the US, and EE in the UK.
And since this is a major update, the Wi-Fi radio hasn't been neglected. It will now support the 5GHz band, which should provide better speeds, as this band is much newer and clearer. The other recently announced devices that have this feature are the Amazon Kindle Fire HDs, the 7" of which is coming out on September 14.
Battery [ 8-hour talk-time, 9.4-day stand-by ]
Well, not much has been said about the battery of the iPhone 5, and that's probably because there's not much to say about it. It isn't yet known what capacity it's going to have, but what matters most — the length of the battery life — has been revealed.
The iPhone 5 should have a talk-time of 8 hours on 3G, while pure stand-by is promised to be 9.4 days. Aside from that, the battery should also allow for up to 8 hours of 3G/LTE use, 10 hours of Wi-Fi internet use, video playback of up to 10 hours and audio playback of up to 40 hours, which is very good.
Camera [ 8MP, less noise, panorama ]
The so-called iSight camera has experienced a more modest upgrade. It's still 8MP, but the new A6 chip comes with a better image processor, which is promised to get rid of noise more efficiently. This feature is called Spatial noise reduction. In addition the camera will be even faster, and its low-light performance is said to have been improved as well. A new software feature, called "Panorama" will let you take... panoramic shots. While this is nothing new, we're excited to see how Apple has implemented it. Knowing Apple, it should be very easy to use, all the while producing some pretty impressive results. Oh, and by the way, the front-facing camera will now support HD resolutions, which means HD video calls!
The 1080p, 30fps video recordings made with the iPhone 5 should benefit from better video stabilization and clearer audio, due to the better microphone system. Not much of an improvement, we know, but Apple's probably saving the big camera features for next year, when we'll presumably see the same design, but upgraded internals.
Software [ iOS 6 ]
If there was one thing that was clear from the beginning, that was the fact that the iPhone 5 will come with iOS 6 out of the box. Although the long-anticipated visual overhaul is yet to be made by Apple, iOS 6 will bring a number of cool new features, which will improve and enrich the user experience. This includes a smarter Siri (sports, movies, restaurant information), Facebook integration, an all-new Maps application with cool Flyover 3D view and turn-by-turn navigation, full-screen mode in Safari, FaceTime over cellular networks and more.
As you probably know, iOS 6 will also come as an update to the iPhone 4S, 4 and even the 3GS, although there will be some features that won't be supported. The iOS 6 update will be pushed on September 19.
Release date and price [ September 21, $199 ]
It's great to be able to have a product soon after its official announcement, and this is exactly what Apple is doing. Preorder will go live on Friday, September 14, and the device itself will ship on September 21 in the US and some other markets. More countries will be blessed with the iPhone 5 goodness a bit later, on September 28.
As usual, the phone will cost $199, $299 or $399 on contract for its 16GB, 32GB or 64GB versions, respectively, while the older models will be discounted in order to compete at the lower price-points. The iPhone 4S 16GB will be sold for $99, and the iPhone 4 will be available for free on contract, which is simply killer pricing for what you get.
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1. jaoowolabi (Posts: 201; Member since: 07 Jun 2012)
lol different design sure PA, sure.... (:
32. Angkor (Posts: 108; Member since: 05 Jul 2012)
Who will be the first in line for iPhone 5 raise your hand and take 2 weeks vacation in front of Apple Store.
48. MeoCao (unregistered)
Interesting how Apple stock performs?
58. dr_fajardo12 (Posts: 107; Member since: 26 Aug 2012)
is this a joke? apple did it again D:
same Sh.t, same designs, How many cpu's?...
68. nnaatthhaannx2 (Posts: 819; Member since: 19 Oct 2011)
Number of cpu's doesn't matter.
Just like the Tegra and the S4, number doesn't matter.
With Apple fine tuning the system to work with the processor, it is even better than a regular powerful chip. This is why it wasn't even necessary to have dual core an a WP7 device. The performance on those were pretty impressive when looking at the specs.
Compare the iPhone 4 to any single core, 1GHZ android phone. iPhone wins, you can't argue that.
Now with android getting the higher spec phones, apple can still stay on about the same pace in speed even though the specs may seem worse.
Either way, I'm a proud Droid Razr Maxx owner, and wouldn't even get this new iPhone to replace it.
74. remixfa (Posts: 13902; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)
well sure.. if you dumbed down android to a non multitasking icon only system with very limited functionality, it would run great on small horsepower too. Thats like trying to make fun of a F150 4x4 supercab for not getting the gas mileage of a prius, even though you can do a hell of a lot more with the F150.
80. sadaivadai (Posts: 156; Member since: 22 Nov 2011)
"if you dumbed down android to a non multitasking icon only system with very limited functionality"
But can you do it ?? No ..
85. remixfa (Posts: 13902; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)
wow, that is possibly one of the dumbest comebacks ever.
87. neutralguy (Posts: 1152; Member since: 30 Apr 2012)
and again, please enlighten me what's the use of the ultra mega fast cpu, may it be a Cortex A15 ARM processor that beats quad cores nowadays, to a phone with ultra light and simple OS that can't even support a livewallpaper? Hmm.
Again, we don't need to upgrade cpus almost every year if a device doesn't need it.
True, the highest end of android devices these days use quadcore cpus, but the thing is they need it.
Iphone don't need this kind of CPU, have you seen 4 and 4s? In terms of performance, they don't differ.
I would be happier if the GPU is upgraded together with the ram. But the CPU itself? Nahh.
90. saiki4116 (Posts: 302; Member since: 31 Mar 2011)
but can it do all the things they do...and what about price...definitely if you compare performence to price ,iphone cannot beat many phones...
63. Nookie4u (Posts: 127; Member since: 13 Aug 2012)
yeah, just a little more than a remake. Would've been much better if it looked like the new iPod Touch. but anyway, all the leaks were killing the hype nowadays.
75. OptimusOne (Posts: 694; Member since: 22 May 2012)
it is different design. different materials,
THEY EVEN SAID IT WASN'T DRASTICALLY ALTERED
but at the end of the day, as long as it is different than the 4s' design then it is a "new" design(technically)
2. wendygarett (unregistered)
Stop squeezing your phone now fandroid... No matter how hard you try... Your phone will never be as 7.6mm slim as iPhone :)
4. Fallout09 (Posts: 409; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)
Yeah the only reason why Apple feels the need to suck in that wasteline is because BUMPERS are the only customsation that iPhone users get to do. And if you really think about it, all Apple really did was remove the back glass from the 4 and 4s to reduce the size.
6. Lawliet (Posts: 160; Member since: 02 Jul 2012)
The Fujitsu ES IS12F will change your mind about that, it's 6.7 mm, so learn before you speak.
But really, why would you need it to be THAT thin?
43. InspectorGadget80 (Posts: 5632; Member since: 26 Mar 2011)
DROID RAZR MAXX HD is even better looking than the iP5
76. mas11 (Posts: 1014; Member since: 30 Mar 2012)
I think the coolest looking phone ever made was the DROID RAZR, but that's just my opinion. I wish Moto designed the RAZR HD's back the same way as the RAZR's, I actually like the hump.
11. XPERIA-KNIGHT (Posts: 2384; Member since: 08 Aug 2012)
wendy must be bi polar as she was so effortly defendin samsung during the trial now she has an apple logo and everything :( really wendy? really?
13. StreetNerd (Posts: 699; Member since: 08 Dec 2010)
OPPO Finder 6.65mm thick :')
ignorance is bliss, go buy the new iphone :') #fail
92. jacko1977 (Posts: 377; Member since: 11 Feb 2012)
17. wendygarett (unregistered)
Lol so many defender eh... Too bad all of your mentioned not your current phone :)
Keep squeezing ya :D
24. XPERIA-KNIGHT (Posts: 2384; Member since: 08 Aug 2012)
jesus wendy you are indeed a band wagoner and not to be taken serious anymore.......keep switching side ya, you might end back up on the right one
37. wendygarett (unregistered)
If you didn't like the iPhone before, the iPhone 5 isn't going to do anything to change your mind, but if you like the iPhone, this is a solid upgrade to keep you happy.
That's what Ray.s says :D
45. XPERIA-KNIGHT (Posts: 2384; Member since: 08 Aug 2012)
what the hell are you talking about wendy???
25. jan25 (Posts: 370; Member since: 26 Feb 2012)
too bad no body cares about thin profiled phones any more. we are moving on dude, big screened phones, big batteries, sheer power with an OS that actually takes advantage it.
28. OptimusOne (Posts: 694; Member since: 22 May 2012)
HEY I USE THE HUAWEI ASCEND AND IT IS A SEXY PHONE
6.7MM! NUMBERS ARE NEVER WRONG
31. Synack (Posts: 640; Member since: 05 Jul 2011)
Squeezing? The f**k are you talking about? There's at LEAST 5 phones that are thinner. Sorry to burst your Apple.
41. PhoneArenaUser (Posts: 4588; Member since: 05 Aug 2011)
Thinness isn't everything, ergonomics should be priority!
44. wendygarett (unregistered)
The only advice I can accept :) thanks...
I confess that it's not worth to upgrade :)
23. JC557 (Posts: 699; Member since: 07 Dec 2011)
There's really such a thing as too thin, I've said the same about the Droid Razr. Also, I'd gladly have a phone that's thicker by 1 - 3 mm if that meant getting a bigger battery to power all that goodness.
33. medicci37 (Posts: 552; Member since: 19 Nov 2011)
@ Wendy, Really? The Droid Razor (released in 2011) is 7.1 mm. & there have been several Androids since, (Not 2 mention upcoming releases) that are thinner than the Razor. A mind is a terrible thing 2 waste (on Apples BS ;-)
46. matrix_neo (Posts: 307; Member since: 03 Nov 2011)
c'mon Wendy I'm sure you're also disappointed with the iphone 5, you're just making some excuse. You also put your self in shame, yeah iphone 5 is slim but still some android phones slimmer than iphone 5.
just for a laugh try to visit this site... http://www.quickmeme.com/meme/
47. s.mrabet (Posts: 117; Member since: 26 Oct 2011)
Droid Razr 7.1mm
Oppo finder 6.65mm
ZTE Athena 6.2mm
Typical iphone user. Iphone 7.6mm and they think that never happened before LOL
Go educate yoursel
51. Snapdragon (Posts: 4; Member since: 07 Sep 2012)
I think Wendy is either ridiculing and trying to toy with us with sarcasm or he/she is very bipolar. Nice try though.
69. jroc74 (Posts: 3952; Member since: 30 Dec 2010)
And the mis informed specs hype begins...lol.
My RAZR would like a word with you. Ms Wendy.... while we're at it:
Panorama camera feature....came with the Droid X1....in 2010. And was available on camera apps since 2010. Maybe earlier.
Bigger screen.....yea....wont even go there.
3 mics....Droid X1....2010.
Did Tim Cook actually say...:“This is unlike anything we or anyone else in our industry has made before,“ I hope he didnt.....cuz that will get ate alive by the better informed ppl in the smartphone world.
83. wackypandas (Posts: 7; Member since: 10 Sep 2012)
oh god do some research and stop trolling.
5. twens (Posts: 442; Member since: 25 Feb 2012)
Sgs3: designed for humans
Iphone5:designed for humans with brain disease
Gnote2: designed for humans with extra brain cells...hihihi
9. jan25 (Posts: 370; Member since: 26 Feb 2012)
nothing spectacular, i read the whole review and really there's nothing spectacular.. nothing that high-end android devices possess.
10. blackeye117 (Posts: 13; Member since: 24 Dec 2011)
when nokia showed 920 without memory card slot every one said non expandable memory sorry nokia :D
is there a micro sd slot init? iphone5 ?? i dont know just asking ;)
12. mxion (Posts: 33; Member since: 12 Sep 2012)
i'm new here but hey wherez the foxconn guy who said this would put the s3 into shame i wander.s3 rockssss
14. Dj21o (Posts: 437; Member since: 19 May 2011)
Anyone else agree that having glass on top by the camera is fugly? I think they really needed to make the screen a little wider (portrait) and have the home button be capacitive. This was a pretty bad upgrade if you ask me. Not leaving my Android with a minimal upgrade like that. Did they not have the money to make a decent looking phone? Even after suing the piss out of everyone? Pfffff.
29. dragonscourgex (Posts: 307; Member since: 16 Jan 2012)
As big of a fuss Apple made over other phones having hardware buttons...they better never use capacitive or onscreen
73. XiphiasGladius (Posts: 799; Member since: 21 Aug 2011)
Hey gallito dude, check this one out. I know specs isn't everything but lets just check it. hmmmm. . .
18. Iphone4 (unregistered)
I hope you can hold this phone the way you not like iPhone 4.
19. papss (Posts: 3376; Member since: 03 Sep 2012)
Front is terribly boring but the back looks nice. Id be curious how it performs
34. alex13amaya (Posts: 4; Member since: 12 Sep 2012)
as always the Iphone is the most boring screen to look at. 326 ppi!! wow look at all those app icons
35. papss (Posts: 3376; Member since: 03 Sep 2012)
I mean 326 ppi is great but I'm speaking more about the same ol designed front.
20. Quezdagreat (Posts: 386; Member since: 05 Apr 2012)
Now that's a sexy phone. I love the two tone black and that the side looks better too. The headphone jack at the bottom is a great addition, now it's like my Zune hd
26. alex13amaya (Posts: 4; Member since: 12 Sep 2012)
they changed absolutley nothing!! they made it thinner?? whoopee! 4 inches?? F THAT, wheres the innovation?? so it's fast and maybe faster than the S3 or One X, who gives a F UCK the difference won't be by much anyways. sorry Apple you got nothing on Android or Jellybean