Apple iPhone 5 Review
Flaunting a still clean looking camera interface, iOS 6 brings forth a new panorama shooting mode that Apple states as potentially sizing up to as much as 28-megapixels. Aside from that, everything else has is still intact that we know and love by now – like touch focus/exposure, HDR mode, AE/AF lock, swipe to the right to get to the camera roll, and snapping photos by pressing the volume up button. Thankfully, you’ll never miss the beat with those unpredictable real-world moments, as the camera launches very quickly and gets us into snapping shots right away. In fact, its shutter speed is impeccable – meaning that fast moving objects are no match for this one.
Armed with an 8-megapixel iSight camera, it doesn’t improve upon the megapixel count of its processor, but nevertheless, the addition of an improved backside illuminated sensor combined with a retooled lens coughs up even better visuals with the iPhone 5. We’ve always been satisfied with the iPhone in terms of taking photos, and rightfully so, we can continue to love it even more – especially when it’s an easy point and shoot replacement. Oh yeah, there’s also a new Panorama mode that requires us to snap the shot in portrait, where it’s then stitched together in real-time for minimal wait. And surely enough, it boasts plenty of visual treats to make it a standout and beloved new feature.
Winning us over is the fair amount of detail with its shots, accurate color reproduction, neutral exposure, and dreamy depth of field. With the latter, it makes for some wonderful macro shots, as the background features enough defocus to place emphasis on the detailed subject up front. Meanwhile, in low lighting conditions, the iPhone 5 continues to shine with its sharp visuals – though, we needed to mess around with its touch focus/exposure to get the best results. Nevertheless, the LED flash is potent enough to properly illuminate the scenery without distorting colors that much. However, our sole qualm with the iPhone 5 is that shots taken in complete darkness can still come out of focus, since the flash doesn’t turn on prior to the shot for proper focusing. Regardless, the iPhone 5 proves in more ways than one that it’s more than capable of relieving some point and shoots out there.
1080p video recording is also favorable with its balanced quality. Of course, it excels most with outdoor sunny usage, as it has the perfect blend of sharp details, natural colors, gradual exposure, clear audio recording, and smooth capture rate of 29 frames per second to make it highly usable. Still, there’s no continuous focus with its recording, and instead, it relies on the tried and true touch focus option that has been a staple of the iPhone. Meanwhile, videos recorded in low lighting are still decent, but some evidence of noise and a lower capture speed of 24 frames per second soften the quality of its results.
Apple iPhone 5 Day time sample video:
Apple iPhone 5 Night time samples video:
Much like before, there’s no change with the style and layout of the photo gallery with iOS 6. Obviously, there are some basic editing functions that are available to tweak them on the go, but this time around, we now find some additional sharing options. Seeing that Facebook is now deeply intertwined with the platform, it’s now an available share option as well in the photo gallery – in addition to the already existing options of email, text messages, photo stream, and Twitter.
Five years and counting, it’s almost crazy to say that Apple’s iPod music player is still one of the best out there on any device. At this point, it’s absolutely ready for a new overhaul with its visuals and presentation, but nevertheless, cover flow mode is still one classy looking thing to revisit. For the most part, it follows the conventional approach, but it would’ve been nice to gain access to the music player’s settings within the player – as opposed to going to the general Settings menu. As for the audio quality of its internal speaker, it emits some pleasant tones that don’t have too much strain or distortion at the loudest volume, but it lacks enough substance for it to come off as demanding.
Packaged along with the iPhone 5, is Apple’s brand new Earpods headphones, which appear mightily strange with its chubby looks. In terms of comfort, we’re a bit concerned due to its loose feel in the ear – probably because they’re so large in size versus other in-ear headphones. With its audio quality, however, we can’t say we’re totally blown away by them, but at the same time, we were expected something with more punch with its output.
Now that the iPhone 5 is sporting a widescreen display, it’s more ideal for watching videos than ever before. Throw in the fact that its display is wickedly sharp for the occasion, it simply makes for a resounding experience – albeit, it doesn’t quite have that polarizing experience found with some of the smartphones out there with ridiculously large displays to reel us in. Moreover, its support out of the box is fairly limited, as we’re only able to load videos encoded in MPEG-4. Despite those minor issues, we’re still content with the iPhone 5’s offering.
Headphones output power (Volts)
Higher is better
Apple iPhone 5 0.54
Samsung Galaxy S III 0.3
Loudspeaker loudness (dB)
Higher is better
Apple iPhone 5 71
Samsung Galaxy S III 79
With the introduction of iOS 6, Apple decided to chuck Google Maps in favor of its own home-brewed maps app. Aptly titled as “Maps,” it’s by in large somewhat not as comprehensive as to what Google Maps for iOS had to offer. Sure, it runs smoothly and has all the basic elements we require, but it’s missing some important features as well – in this case, it’s transit directions. Instead, the Maps apps directs us to the App Store to select one of the featured third party offerings that provide it. In addition, there’s no longer street view available with the new Maps apps, but rather, we’re sometimes given an image of the location. However, we find comfort in knowing that there is now free voice guided turn-by-turn directions with iOS 6 – though, it’s fairly primitive in comparison to other offerings out there. And lastly, we have to admit that we’re impressed with the Flyover mode available with the Maps app, which beautifully recreates some popular cities with the aid of its 3D models. Some stay, some go, but for what Apple has to offer with this first time go, we’re content with the offerings, but we’re hoping for a quick and aggressive approach to get it up to par with the competition.
Also gone with iOS 6, is the native YouTube app of previous versions of iOS. Luckily, Google is kind enough to make a dedicated app , which can be downloaded from the App Store. Employing the same distinctive interface found with Android’s version of the YouTube app, we’re able to quickly forget about the aging iOS YouTube app from before, as this one coughs up enough versatility in getting us to watch some of our favorite viral videos. Oh yeah, the sharing function has been extended to many things – even Google+ if you have it installed!
Knowing that Apple has decided to forgo incorporating NFC technology with the iPhone 5, some might be scratching their heads wondering what the alternative solution is for them. Well folks, there’s Passbook! Basically, it’s Apple’s way of providing a virtual wallet to its users, since it populates stored content like movie tickets, gift cards, coupons, passes, and much more. We didn’t get too much time checking it out, since there are only a handful of supported apps and services right now, so we’re curious to see how it’ll be adopted by users in the long run.
102. Connie.Linghus (banned) (Posts: 32; Member since: 14 Aug 2012)
No worries, the review is just biAsed iCaca.
292. PAPINYC (Posts: 2278; 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: 5478; Member since: 05 Aug 2011)
I agree, this one is better than 4 or 4S.
253. Retro-touch (Posts: 257; 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: 322; 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: 95; 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: 5592; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)
what are you talking about? you're gonna have to link us to that one.
44. Berzerk000 (Posts: 4010; 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: 5592; 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: 4010; 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: 5592; 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: 4010; 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: 5592; 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: 4010; 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: 5375; 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: 4010; 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: 5592; 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: 4010; 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: 905; 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: 4010; 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: 4010; 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: 4010; 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: 95; 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: 5478; 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: 95; 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: 5478; 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: 95; 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: 5478; 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: 5478; 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: 95; 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: 396; 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.