Apple iPhone 5 Review
They come hard, they come strong! That’s simply the reality of things nowadays for Apple, as competition from all corners has seemingly caught up with the iPhone 4S, and in some cases, surpassed it even. Not only are these competing devices boasting larger displays, faster processors, and higher capacity storage on paper than what the iPhone 4S had to provide, Apple’s pride and joy still somehow managed to stiffen the competition with its imposing mindshare. Last year, when Apple unveiled the iPhone 4S, many were wondering if the renowned company has lost its magical touch – maybe from all the years of being complacent with its past laurels and successes.
Perhaps, that kind of attitude was the requisite inspiration that spurred its rivals to fight back with a vengeance. And boy did they come with arms up and fists slamming, since for the very first time ever, the iPhone’s impenetrable façade exhibited subtle signs of fragility – a miniscule crack that blossomed into a gash, which shook its foundations tremendously. Whatever it was, there was no denying that innovation was now being seen by competitive devices such as the Samsung Galaxy S III, HTC One X, and Nokia Lumia 900 to name a few, which rose to prominence and established their presence in the landscape.
Despite the underwhelming response by critics alike, the iPhone 4S still managed to sell healthily, but under the surface, it still didn’t have enough substance to satiate the demands of hungry consumers looking for the most cutting-edge thing. Regardless of that, Apple managed to address some of the previous concerns, as the iPhone 5 is positioned to be the best iPhone since, well, the iPhone itself.
Interestingly enough this time around, it seems as though Apple is the one that’s actually catching up to the competition, since they’ve finally brought a bigger screen and speedy 4G LTE connectivity to the iPhone 5 – while continuing to improve with a retooled camera lens and new chipset. Add in that it’s flaunting a new design, though still iconic at heart, it would seem that the highly anticipated iPhone 5 is finally that cutting-edge device we drool over in our dreams. Of course, there’s the matter regarding its performance and software experience, which sees the normal tweaks here and there. Surely though, there’s no denying the anticipation riding on the back of this one – so with that, let’s dive in and see if it can continue the legacy.
The package contains:
- Lightning USB cable
- Wall Charger
- Earpods with Remote and Mic
- Quick Start Guide
- Apple Decals
After seeing a stream of leaks showing off the design of the iPhone 5 from the front, we have to admit that we were somewhat initially disappointed, mainly because they showed that the iPhone 5 would merely look like a stretched out iPhone 4/4S. To our shock, that’s exactly how it turned out! But as we now reflect and gaze over its intricate design and attention to detail, we’re actually quite fond of it – as in thoroughly impressed! For the most part, the iPhone 5 maintains the familiar styling of previous iPhones, which in turn, gives it that distinguishable iconic look. Simply, it oozes in every aspect with a genuine love for design that’s unmatched by any other smartphone maker.
Indeed, the handset’s length has been extended to 4.87-inches in contrast to the 4.54-inch length of its predecessor, but we’re comforted to find that its width has been maintained at 2.31-inches. Essentially, the added space enables the device to accommodate a larger 4-inch screen, without compromising on its comfortable grip in the hand. Furthermore, it’s both skinnier (0.3” thin) and lighter (3.95 oz) than its predecessor, which is a welcomed sight for the natural design progression of today’s smartphones.
The Apple iPhone 5’s length has been extended to 4.87-inches in contrast to the 4.54-inch length of its predecessor
Cementing its status as being regarded as one of the most elegant devices on the market, the iPhone 5 looks and feels like a high luxury item that’s instantly recognizable anywhere you take it. Gone is the glass surface in the rear used by the last two iPhones, and instead, it’s been replaced by a brushed aluminum casing that further ensures its rock solid construction – while the same metallic bezel wraps around the entire thing to keep it soundly intact. However, if there’s one qualm we have with the design of the iPhone 5, it has to be the sharp feel of the metallic bezel’s diamond cut chamfered edge. Overall, it’s still an instantly recognizable iPhone at heart, but the new backing combined with its more streamlined figure makes the redesign endearing enough for us to fall in love all over again.
You can compare the Apple iPhone 5 with many other phones using our Size Visualization Tool.
Being a staple with the iPhone’s design throughout the years, the slightly recessed, yet springy home button is once again positioned in its familiar slot right below the display. Needless to say, we can’t complain about it, since it’s easily pressed and all. On the opposite edge, we’re greeted to its narrow looking earpiece, light sensor, proximity sensor, and front-facing 1.3-megapixel camera, which so happens to now capture video in 720p.
left side of the handset’s bezel. Thankfully, the rounded volume buttons are distinctive enough to feel out – while still exhibiting a comforting clicky response when pressed. Although the right edge of the handset appears to be clean, it’s where we find the discrete nano-SIM slot, which is again accessed by inserting the SIM removal tool or a clip into the pinhole.
top edge is home to only the raised and sufficiently sized power button, while the 3.5mm headset jack has been moved towards the bottom where it’s nearby the speaker, microphone, and Apple’s new proprietary Lightning dock port. With the latter, it’s one of the biggest changes seen on the iPhone 5, since for many years now, Apple’s 30-pin port has been a familiar figure. No doubt, there are going to be some inconvenienced by this, especially when many accessories have been fitted to use the 30-pin port, but nevertheless, an optional adapter can be purchased to make them compatible with Apple’s newest toy. In the end, the Lightning jack merely enables Apple to reduce the iPhone 5’s overall size, since you know, it’s now occupying a small amount of real estate.
And finally, the rear of the iPhone 5 is home to the updated 8-megapixel iSight camera with LED flash and noise-cancellation microphone. Even though the megapixel count is the same as its predecessor, it’s been blessed with an improved backside-illuminated sensor and retooled lens, which are safely guarded by a durable sapphire crystal glass. We know you’re dying to know how it fares, but we’ll get into those details a bit later on.
Finally! Some will applaud, some will cry, but whatever you feel, the iPhone is now on the bandwagon of believing that bigger is better. Simply without saying, the iPhone 5 sheds the consistent 3.5-inch display of yesterday’s iPhones, and instead, and replaces it with a more modestly sized 4-inch Retina Display. Indeed, it’s now better equipped to tangle with some of the smartphones out there with ginormous displays on them, but one thing’s absolute – it’s nice that only the length of the handset has been extended. The 640 x 1136 resolution of the iPhone 5’s Retina Display results in a 326 ppi pixel density, same as the previous iPhone – it is detailed enough for our aging eyes to visibly make out fine details in the web browser and everywhere else with little issue.
Being a noteworthy thing to mention as well, the iPhone 5 employs an in-cell touchscreen that merely shaves off a layer, thus, bringing the display closer to the surface. However, it’s almost negligible to the eye because we didn’t notice much of a difference compared to the iPhone 4S Retina Display. Another thing about the display, its color production is noticeably warmer looking than previous efforts – giving it a more vibrant output than before. The colors are now more saturated, but still not too oversaturated as those of most AMOLED displays, which may seem more attractive, but aren't as accurate. Rounding things out, its strong brightness output combined with its superb viewing angles make it relatively easy for outdoor usage with the sun present. Frankly, we appreciate the change in scenery with the larger Retina Display on the iPhone 5, as it’s complemented by an arsenal of great qualities about it, like its detail and superior clarity.
The display's color production is noticeably warmer looking than previous efforts – giving it a more vibrant output than before
Display measurements and quality
|Maximum brightness (nits)Higher is better||Minimum brightness (nits)Lower is better||Contrast Higher is better||Color temperature (Kelvins)||Gamma||Delta E rgbcmy Lower is better||Delta E grayscale Lower is better|
|Apple iPhone 5||535
|Samsung Galaxy S III||294
The numbers below represent the amount of deviation in the respective property, observed when a display is viewed from a 45-degree angle as opposed to direct viewing.
|Maximum brightness Lower is better||Minimum brightness Lower is better||Contrast Lower is better||Color temperature Lower is better||Gamma Lower is better||Delta E rgbcmy Lower is better||Delta E grayscale Lower is better|
|Samsung Galaxy S III||No data
|Apple iPhone 5||No data
The CIE 1931 xy color gamut chart represents the set (area) of colors that a display can reproduce, with the sRGB colorspace (the highlighted triangle) serving as reference. The chart also provides a visual representation of a display's color accuracy. The small squares across the boundaries of the triangle are the reference points for the various colors, while the small dots are the actual measurements. Ideally, each dot should be positioned on top of its respective square. The 'x: CIE31' and 'y: CIE31' values in the table below the chart indicate the position of each measurement on the chart. 'Y' shows the luminance (in nits) of each measured color, while 'Target Y' is the desired luminance level for that color. Finally, 'ΔE 2000' is the Delta E value of the measured color. Delta E values of below 2 are ideal.
This measurements are made using SpectraCal's CalMAN calibration software.
The Color accuracy chart gives an idea of how close a display's measured colors are to their referential values. The first line holds the measured (actual) colors, while the second line holds the reference (target) colors. The closer the actual colors are to the target ones, the better.
This measurements are made using SpectraCal's CalMAN calibration software.
The Grayscale accuracy chart shows whether a display has a correct white balance (balance between red, green and blue) across different levels of grey (from dark to bright). The closer the Actual colors are to the Target ones, the better.
This measurements are made using SpectraCal's CalMAN calibration software.
Apple iPhone 5 Fullscreen
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Apple iPhone 5
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102. Connie.Linghus (banned) (Posts: 32; Member since: 14 Aug 2012)
No worries, the review is just biAsed iCaca.
292. PAPINYC (Posts: 2186; Member since: 30 Jul 2011)
That's right Miss-A-Linghus, you tell em'!
321. AppleHateBoy (unregistered)
Hear me out folks. According to PA's measurements:-
Volume of iPhone 4S:- 62.78 cc
Volume of iPhone 5 :- 55.14 cc
Even though I hate Apple(due to their lawsuits), I have to commend them for this improvement.
347. Jigar99 (Posts: 2; Member since: 26 Feb 2013)
I have a white iphone 5. I want this iphone wallpaper please......
219. Kevin0988 (Posts: 12; Member since: 22 Sep 2012)
iPhone had aluminium design much better than galaxy s3 plastic.
264. amir1975 (Posts: 22; Member since: 18 Aug 2012)
this is not a big advantage buddy! Satisfaction talks : 9.3 against 9. it means Apple sucks!!
290. furious00 (Posts: 2; Member since: 23 Sep 2012)
Ummm...both The Verge and Engadget have the iPhone 5 scoring higher. So suck on that.
265. amir1975 (Posts: 22; Member since: 18 Aug 2012)
Yes it's a truth! you have paid MUCH more than any other phone, but you've got LESS.
it's APPLE !!
285. AppleHateBoy (unregistered)
They just have to change the design, software UI and maps and PA will give it a 10. No offence but if other phones are getting so low scores (like Optimus G, International One X, Lumia 920) this is what I have to say.
According to me they only need to change the Design of the Phone, Change the software UI, replace Apple Maps with Google Maps, Make the UI more customizable and they will have a real winner on their hands.
Plus also add a microSD slot and a universal USB connector instead of that dopey proprietary connector.
287. AppleHateBoy (unregistered)
I did not mean the Optimus G(it hasn't been reviewed yet). And I meant Lumia 900.
322. AppleHateBoy (unregistered)
I just thought of something.
Moto RAZR MAXX => Apple iPhone 5 MAXX with a bigger battery and 8.6 mm thickness.
2. satanrules (Posts: 19; Member since: 22 Sep 2012)
The best iPhone yet. However you wanna look at it.
9. nnaatthhaannx2 (Posts: 820; Member since: 19 Oct 2011)
Like we were expecting it to be the worst?
10. PhoneArenaUser (Posts: 5461; Member since: 05 Aug 2011)
I agree, this one is better than 4 or 4S.
253. Retro-touch (Posts: 248; Member since: 24 Oct 2011)
Award for the most obvious comment!!!!
But not the best phone in the world, I still think the SGS2 is better than SGS3 (cheap plastic) and if the 3 looked like the HTC One X with the features and specs it has it would be the ultimate phone, removable battery and sdcard of course
3. Carlitos (Posts: 297; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)
Wow, i was really expecting some solid news for the battery and it does not seem good. If the battery is just the same as the 4s on 3g, 4g LTE is going to take its hit. Its going to be rather ironic, that up to a year or so ago, iphones had pretty solid battery performance compared to many android and it now seems to be switching places.
26. binerry (Posts: 72; Member since: 16 Mar 2012)
Engadget tested with an LTE looped video, with wifi and Bluetooth on, and it got 10 minutes less than the Droid Razr Maxx.
35. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5540; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)
what are you talking about? you're gonna have to link us to that one.
44. Berzerk000 (Posts: 3881; Member since: 26 Jun 2011)
"On our standard battery rundown test, in which we loop a video with LTE and WiFi enabled and social accounts pinging at regular intervals, the iPhone 5 managed a hugely impressive 11 hours and 15 minutes. That's just 10 minutes shy of the Motorola Droid RAZR Maxx."
77. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5540; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)
wow, and this has what? a pair of 32nm cores? is there any word on what the mAh-age is? imagine how good the MAXX HD is going to be...good googly moogly, it's simply mouth watering.
92. Berzerk000 (Posts: 3881; Member since: 26 Jun 2011)
A pair of 32nm cores at 1 GHz and a tri-core GPU; the battery is 1,440 mAh if I'm not mistaken.
I haven't seen you around here lately King, and I just mentioned you in a comment not too long ago!
120. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5540; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)
only 1,440mAh? there must be some special sauce at work here. yeah, i saw that article. it's believed to be a PowerVR SGX543(MP3) if i'm not mistaken. i didn't even know there was such a thing... xD
i've been here and there. i don't really participate in a lot of the over active articles surrounding the iPhone but i do like to give my 2 cents in the articles like this that really matter.
oh yeah? i think we think a lot alike Bezerk. c:
127. Berzerk000 (Posts: 3881; Member since: 26 Jun 2011)
Apple advertised in their announcement that they made some special software optimizations to improve battery life, they didn't exactly specify, but it sure did work whatever it was.
Neither do I, I actually tend to stay away from PA when there's an Apple product release, to bypass the iDevice flood. But this time around I decided to stick around and straighten some people up where I can. A mans work is never done...
140. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5540; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)
true dat, this site needs more people like you.
159. TROLL (banned) (Posts: 4851; Member since: 13 Apr 2012)
Apples Ios is very lighweight and dosent require much cpu power.
257. Berzerk000 (Posts: 3881; Member since: 26 Jun 2011)
Well, yes, that's fairly common knowledge to anyone that pays attention. Even so, the fact that the 4S was notorious for its battery life; and the iPhone 5 has a bigger screen, LTE, a higher clocked processor, bigger GPU, and gets a battery life comparable to the Razr Maxx's in a consistent test is pretty admirable.
190. protozeloz (Posts: 5369; Member since: 16 Sep 2010)
actually others have gotten less battery life on LTE i think its just a matter of the person making the review
199. Berzerk000 (Posts: 3881; Member since: 26 Jun 2011)
How is this a matter of the person? It's the same procedure for every device. They just run a video, put it on loop with LTE and Wifi enable, and see how long it takes for the battery to reach 0%. Or at least that's what I got from it. This is the engadget battery test I'm talking about, it's the same all around.
206. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5540; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)
well i could understand if he meant the reviewer poorly conditioning the battery or something of the like but we really can't afford to not give these guys the value of the doubt or we'd doubt everything.
207. Berzerk000 (Posts: 3881; Member since: 26 Jun 2011)
It seems pretty impractical that he compromised the test somehow. It's pretty simple.
1) unbox phone
2) charge phone fully
3) make sure phone is on same brightness as previous tests
4) set WiFi and LTE on
5) play an infinite loop video
6) record results
I'd say the chances are very minimal, as any respectable reviewer would make sure all variables are the same.
259. TylerGrunter (Posts: 864; Member since: 16 Feb 2012)
But what you are talking about is just a video loop test, where the iPhone 5 has all the adavantages over the Razr Maxx due to the smaller screen size and the lower resolution.
I will wait for the gsmarena battery test to take a stand there.
They do a battery test for 4 concepts:
1) Talk time
2) Video playback
3) Web Browsing
4) Stand by
That´s what I call a full battery test.
261. Berzerk000 (Posts: 3881; Member since: 26 Jun 2011)
The iPhone 5 has a higher resolution display and the screen size is only smaller by .3 inches. I'm not talking about the Razr Maxx HD with the 4.7 inch 720p display, I'm talking about the original Droid Razr Maxx with a qHD 4.3 inch display.
Playing the same video in an infinite loop at the same brightness, with LTE (if available) and WiFi enable, is what Engadget does for most, if not all of their reviews for battery life; and most get around 5-7 hours. The Razr Maxx got 11 hours and 25 minutes, while the iPhone 5 got 11 hours and 15 minutes. It's pretty consistent, as if you just get 11 hours of straight video playback, you can guess you will get about 20-22 hours of regular usage of videos, phone calls, messaging, and web browsing with intervals of stand-by time.
318. goofball (Posts: 1; Member since: 25 Sep 2012)
Hmmm.. newbie question here. I do not own any iPhone. But on my droid phone, when LTE and wifi is on at the same time, wifi takes over the data transfer and LTE is not on. So, why are they testing the iphone with both on ? It is not using LTE anyways, am I right ? I am really confused. Maybe an iPhone 5 owner can shed some light into this.
319. Berzerk000 (Posts: 3881; Member since: 26 Jun 2011)
I believe when you have LTE and WiFi enabled, the WiFi takes over your data use but LTE is still on just for when you exit the range of the WiFi network. You still have LTE connectivity, it's just WiFi is being favored over it; however it is still using up your battery.
Or at least that is my understanding of it. I could be wrong.
273. AppleHateBoy (unregistered)
317. OptimusOne (Posts: 694; Member since: 22 May 2012)
if battery at 1440 is that awesome why won't apple put a larger battery? (ie 3300) that would be monstrous
320. Berzerk000 (Posts: 3881; Member since: 26 Jun 2011)
Because they aimed for thin. That's why they used a new in-cell touch panel, to make it thinner. If they were to stuff a 3,300 mAh battery in there, it would be thicker than the 4S.
4. lkjhgf (Posts: 9; Member since: 14 Sep 2012)
i thin this is typed in Ipad.....old wine in new bottle....
5. Katrina (Posts: 65; Member since: 17 Aug 2012)
Seriously a 9? And you guys rate the Xperia t with a 8?
I smell apple fans everywhere.
13. Katrina (Posts: 65; Member since: 17 Aug 2012)
I don't even know what to say. Apple fans buys iPhone I get it, they don't know the tech stuff. But phone arena seriously? What's so different from this and the iPhone 4s? External design is nearly the same, you turn it on and the ui is the same. Cmon, and yes I've had an iPhone before.
21. binerry (Posts: 72; Member since: 16 Mar 2012)
I'm an Apple fan, and I'm a sysadmin. And I do understand All the tech stuff. Android gave me a bad experience multiple times and I just can't go back. The Apps on the market apps are just not the best quality.
29. PhoneArenaUser (Posts: 5461; Member since: 05 Aug 2011)
Maybe three year ago I would agree with you but not today, today Android also have good quality apps.
Also satatistics says taht iOS apps tend to crash three times more than Android apps.
46. binerry (Posts: 72; Member since: 16 Mar 2012)
In the past 3 years, I've had 3 iPhones and 4 Android phones. In my experience, iPhone Apps don't crash as much as the stats show. It is one stat, but the truth is, popularity is shown in the sales and those don't lie either.
60. PhoneArenaUser (Posts: 5461; Member since: 05 Aug 2011)
Also have you heard about Google ADK and Arduino?
Does iOS can give such opportunity for us? NO!
72. binerry (Posts: 72; Member since: 16 Mar 2012)
And you're right, but the amount of people who need or would utilize that are a lot less than those who would never use it. So you're the 1%...
86. PhoneArenaUser (Posts: 5461; Member since: 05 Aug 2011)
No, there are more than 1% and it is very important thing because such things gives ability for people to create and innovate and it is very important! A lot of innovations can be made using this which will help in our lives!
96. PhoneArenaUser (Posts: 5461; Member since: 05 Aug 2011)
You can visit such pages like a http://hackaday.com and you will see that there are a lot of people using it and how much things you can do with that. ;)
36. Katrina (Posts: 65; Member since: 17 Aug 2012)
I know what you mean. My first smart phone was iPhone 4. I liked it and purchased a MacBook pro. Everything seems easy to use that's cause this is what apple does. My friends with android I hated it back then cause everything seems so complicated when its not. I purchased an android later and spending a decent amount of time it was a piece of cake. Over this month, I sold my macbook pro. And purchased vaio z. You have no idea how simple things are once you get it. And you have no idea how messed up apple products are. They may make it seem easy to use, but when it comes to backing up and things, they've limited it. Where as android and pc gives you a wider freedom. Trust me why else are there people suing apple over stupid things?
76. binerry (Posts: 72; Member since: 16 Mar 2012)
Unless you use something like DoubleTwist for Android management, iOS has iTunes and it manages it really well. People sue everyone over everything, and I won't defend Apple with the fact that they copy things too, but everyone does it. Personally, I've had more problems with Android, and I've found iOS to last longer and stay quick over time, and I don't think I should have to re-learn a phone with the user interface changes all the time like on Android.
54. Katrina (Posts: 65; Member since: 17 Aug 2012)
Most ppl that I know that owns an iphone or any other iPhone users, they buy it and jailbreak it. Why would you do that? Thats cause some people doesnt like the features or wanted more like android. Buying a phone for the looks I get it.
I have nothing against apple. In fact appor is a good company, I just hated how people are so blinded.
221. Kevin0988 (Posts: 12; Member since: 22 Sep 2012)
gnjHi, it is just like you root your phone. android RoxxxRom is nothing but performance. iPhone don't need that, iPhone already fast enough not to increase smoothNess . jailbreak give people more feature while android is nothing but disaster.
249. Katrina (Posts: 65; Member since: 17 Aug 2012)
I dont know if you have ever used an android or spent enough time with it, you dont need to root your phone to get what your want. rooting is just another way of getting the best out of the best.
and no i did not root my phone to achieve what i wanted. where as iphone, you really do need to jailbreak it to achieve something that is so simple. but then again, jailbreaking causes alot of crashing for the phone. :l just saying.
113. dreamflasher00 (Posts: 8; Member since: 19 Sep 2012)
I totally agree with you..
Same when I saw the Nokia page, that people not happy coz the Lumia 20's are jus refreshed from the older Lumias..
They got so many new features...but still...refreshed..
and when iPhone does something small from 4s to 5...its like a revolutionary phone !!
94. oister85 (Posts: 393; Member since: 27 Apr 2012)
Yeah I'm a sony fan and I agree with the review on the xperia t. Sony. Should stop making so many phones and concentrate and making quality phones.the screen on the t is horrible the glare is bad.