Apple iPhone 5 Review
Above the surface, we’ve come to appreciate the new design that Apple bestowed upon its latest iPhone – and without doubt, it’s refreshing to say the least. However, beneath the water, there’s the matter of its software experience, which as we all know by now, is none other than Apple’s retooled iOS 6 experience. So what can we say about it on the iPhone 5? Well people, if you haven’t checked out our review of iOS 6, it’s worth checking out to get up to snuff with the new features. Here’s the thing, it’s visually identical to all previous versions of iOS – though, it’s been updated with some new tangible features (some being removed as well) that make the experience a pleasure to use.
When compared to its rivals, iOS 6 is visually boring looking with its typical grid-like icons taking hostage of its homescreen. Certainly, it was a revolutionary thing to see back in 2007 when it first came to light, but when it’s pitted against some of the graphically intensive UIs of other platforms, it doesn’t particularly come off as eye-catching. However, the rehashed style of the interface is exactly what makes it an iconic (no pun here folks) experience – something that people have come to accept at this point. Now this time around, the larger display provides for an additional row of icons in the homescreen, making the total stand at 5 rows versus the previous 4. Essentially, the look and feel of iOS 6 favors ease of use and simplicity more than visual flare. So yes, it’s a platform that’s uncomplicated, has a low learning curve, and is timely succinct.
Facebook integration throughout the platform – and even better, the notifications panel gives us access to posting messages to either Facebook or Twitter. However, there’s nothing else new found with the iPhone 5’s notification system. Secondly, Siri has been upgraded as well to provide additional enhancements that no doubt come off as entertaining at times. Specifically, Siri is now equipped in providing details surround restaurants, sports, news, and movies. In fact, Siri is smart enough to hone into our GPS location to pinpoint what movie theaters are playing around the area – with detailed info regarding playing times and the synopsis of the flicks. Indeed, it’s amusing and all, especially when it’s fairly accurate with its voice recognition.
With the rest of the new features of iOS 6, they’re mainly subtle visual changes that differentiate the platform’s style – such as the new layout of the dial pad and faint increase of the display’s brightness as it’s turned on. From the onset, there are still many apps that haven’t been updated or optimized to take advantage of the larger display, which results in black bars on the top and bottom of the apps. Nonetheless, it’s only a matter of time before they’re updated. Overall, the iOS 6 experience is appreciable enough to tide us over for another year, but it’s desperately in need of a major visual overhaul to keep it attractive amongst other things out there. It’s easy, so that’s partly the reason for its humble styling.
Looking over at the many core organizer apps of the iPhone 5, it’s pretty obvious that there’s nothing new whatsoever with them – both in presentation and in functionality. For example, as we peer at most of its core organizer apps, which consists of Contacts, Stocks, Weather, Notes, Clock, Calculator, and Reminders, they’re identical to Apple’s last effort. However, since there’s now a larger display in tow with the smartphone, we’re able to see more content at once – meaning, there’s less scrolling involved. Despite their unchanged looks and functions, they’re of course more than practical to use.
Far from having the deep productivity aspects of Android’s Gmail experience, the Email app of the iPhone 5 is still practical enough to use to keep us busy on the road organizing stuff. Even though the layout remains largely intact, the only recognizable standout is the new the refresh function that’s done by pulling down on the column and letting go. Otherwise, everything from before is still here – like its universal inbox and easy setup process. Though, it would’ve been nice to see a “select all” function to clear out our unwanted emails.
We’ve always been happy with the messaging experience with the iPhone, since its responsiveness and killer auto-correct feature makes for one satisfying experience. Well people, there isn’t much new here again aside from the more spacious layout of its landscape option, which is due to the larger display on board. Relying on the portrait option, there’s nothing out of character, as we’re able to type at a fanatical rate without worries – partly thanks to its superb auto-correct feature of course. Alternatively, we can rely on Siri to jot down our message by simply speaking them, and for the most part, she adheres properly to every spoken word.
Processor and Memory:
Realizing it more than ever, especially when its rivals tout their fancy schmancy processors, Apple has this other approach when it comes to raw processing power – its real-world performance over specs. To tell you the truth, we really don’t need to know what’s ticking on the inside of this baby, as its brisk performance in all areas is reason enough to win us over. Well, just for those curious out there, the iPhone 5 is packing along Apple’s new A6 chipset, which is of the dual-core variety coupled with 1GB of RAM. Can we say that it’s simply marvelous with all its operations? From opening up apps, playing games, to moving about its homescreen, everything, and we everything is accompanied with fluid executions with very few instances of any hiccups – then again, the platform isn’t graphically as demanding as its rivals. Nevertheless, we’re soundly satisfied with the flattering and smooth performance of the handset.
In a way, we’re not particularly shocked by the revelation, since it’s been what we’ve been exposed to for a while now, but we were still crossing our fingers in hopes of seeing larger storage capacities with the iPhone 5. Alas, that’s not the case, as we’re again presented with 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB capacities. Needless to say, you can quickly fill the handset up if you’re not cautious on what you save, since there’s no expandable memory.
Internet and Connectivity:
Well, what do we have here? It’s an iPhone outfitted with the comforts of 4G LTE connectivity in tow! Yes people, the iPhone 5 has finally taken the plunge in offering the next-generation data connection, which soundly goes to show it’s finally meeting up with the rest of the world. Naturally, the speedy connection complements the already existing wonderful experience of mobile Safari, but there isn’t much of a change this time around except that the browser takes advantage of the extra real estate of the display by offering a full-screen mode. Meanwhile, we’re greeted with Safari’s oh-so sweet fluid navigational controls and instantaneous renders of complex pages. So yeah, the 4G LTE connection will no doubt appease many people!
Unlike last year’s model, which relied on a single unit being manufactured to accommodate all three major carriers, Apple has decided to make three variants of the iPhone 5 to make it compatible with the various 4G LTE networks around. Specifically, there’s one model to support AT&T’s LTE network, another one that’s compatible with the LTE networks of Sprint and Verizon, and a third one to handle the LTE networks in Europe and Asia. As for the other connectivity options on board with the iPhone 5, they consist of the usual suspects – these include aGPS, Bluetooth 4.0, 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi, and mobile hotspot (you’ll need to subscribe to gain the feature). Noticeably absent is NFC, which some might find peculiar as many competing handset feature it, but rather, Apple is banking on its Passbook app as an alternative solution.
102. Connie.Linghus (banned) (Posts: 32; Member since: 14 Aug 2012)
No worries, the review is just biAsed iCaca.
292. PAPINYC (Posts: 2237; 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: 5471; Member since: 05 Aug 2011)
I agree, this one is better than 4 or 4S.
253. Retro-touch (Posts: 252; 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: 309; 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: 5558; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)
what are you talking about? you're gonna have to link us to that one.
44. Berzerk000 (Posts: 3945; 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: 5558; 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: 3945; 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: 5558; 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: 3945; 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: 5558; 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: 3945; 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: 5371; 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: 3945; 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: 5558; 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: 3945; 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: 874; 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: 3945; 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: 3945; 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: 3945; 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: 5471; 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: 5471; 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: 5471; 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: 5471; 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: 394; 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.