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Apple iPhone 5 Review

Apple iPhone 5 9

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Call Quality:

Apple iPhone 5 Review
Whoa! Talk about impressive noise-cancellation with the iPhone 5! Overall, calling quality is glorious in many ways. For starters, the earpiece emits ample tones to make it very easy for us to listen to our caller’s clear and distinctive voice. However, there’s only a small hint of distortion with voices when switching over to use the speakerphone. Thanks to the aid of its three microphones and a complex system known as beamforming, our callers are treated to one heck of an exquisite experience on their end. Already, voices are natural in tone on their end of the line, but the most impressive part about the iPhone 5’s calling quality is its superior noise-cancellation. At first, our callers pick up some wind noise in the background as we drive with the windows down, but in no time at all, it’s cancelled out with a strong emphasis on our voice.

Using Sprint’s version of the iPhone 5, we didn’t experience any dropped calls during our usage – though, we do notice a slightly weaker signal strength when compared to other Sprint devices on hand with us.


So here’s the thing, Apple has mentioned that battery life with the iPhone 5 has been improved over the iPhone 4S, but surely enough, there’s the matter of 4G LTE connectivity this time around. Well, with our Sprint iPhone 5, we’re only able to test it out relying on 3G connectivity, and in our experience, it’s pretty much unchanged from the iPhone 4S. Then again, it’s nice that it offers enough juice to get us by through a solid work day, but with 4G LTE connectivity, it’s almost certain to be a huge battery drain.

Battery life

We measure battery life by running a custom web-script, designed to replicate the power consumption of typical real-life usage. All devices that go through the test have their displays set at 200-nit brightness.

Higher is better
Apple iPhone 5
4h 22 min (Poor)
Samsung Galaxy S III
4h 8 min (Poor)
View all


Undeniably, the iPhone 5 is the most highly anticipated smartphone of the year – rightfully so considering that this sixth-generation sees one major design overhaul! For some time now, the competition has been leaping over the iPhone 4S’ specs sheet, but with the introduction of the iPhone 5, Apple has seemingly addressed many of the desires and wants of iPhone owners. Upgraded for the modern world, we appreciate the change to a larger 4-inch Retina Display, but even more impressive, is the reality that its overall footprint is still easy on the hands – as opposed to the overimposing stature of some of its rivals. And with that, the iPhone 5 continues to stand tall and proudly as being one of the classiest looking devices on the market – aided by its impeccable construction and quality choice of materials. In fact, it’s treated more like a piece of jewelry than anything else! Additionally, it’s nice to see that 4G LTE connectivity is now on board with the iPhone, which again brings it up to the modern world.

As a whole though, it’s not a game-changing device per se, like the original iPhone back in 2007, but to be honest, it excels in the areas that are most vital to any smartphone owner. Obviously, it has the design to capture the attention of people far and wide, but when we look beyond the aesthetics, we find an iPhone that continues to improve with its performance – like its photo taking quality and wickedly fast processing power. Indeed, the platform experience is still lacking the depth of customization features of its rivals, but again, it’s simplicity that Apple decides to focus on more than anything else.

So the obvious question that remains is whether the iPhone 5 is worth a buy? For $200, you’re getting one of the few devices on the market that has the rich blend of performance and features to soundly satisfy a broad range of needs and wants. Even though we’re still yearning for an updated platform experience with iOS, the iPhone 5 hits a grand slam homerun out of the park with its svelte design, sharp looking display, raw processing power, and detailed photo capturing quality to clear the bases entirely. It works, runs fast, and it’s a looker as well! What more can you ask out of a phone when it wins in those key categories?

Software version of the review unit: 6.0 (10A405)


  • Svelte and luxurious design
  • Larger Retina Display
  • Snaps gorgeous photos
  • Exquisite noise cancellation & calling quality


  • Limited features with its Maps app
  • No major improvements in the platform experience
PhoneArena rating:
9 Excellent
User rating:
8.4 72 Reviews

  • Options

posted on 22 Sep 2012, 17:32 73

1. dr_fajardo12 (Posts: 118; Member since: 26 Aug 2012)


posted on 22 Sep 2012, 18:53 16

102. Connie.Linghus (banned) (Posts: 32; Member since: 14 Aug 2012)

No worries, the review is just biAsed iCaca.

posted on 23 Sep 2012, 13:28

292. PAPINYC (banned) (Posts: 2315; Member since: 30 Jul 2011)

That's right Miss-A-Linghus, you tell em'!

posted on 25 Sep 2012, 17:30 1

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.

posted on 26 Feb 2013, 07:08

347. Jigar99 (Posts: 2; Member since: 26 Feb 2013)

I have a white iphone 5. I want this iphone wallpaper please......

posted on 22 Sep 2012, 23:43 23

219. Kevin0988 (Posts: 12; Member since: 22 Sep 2012)

iPhone had aluminium design much better than galaxy s3 plastic.

posted on 23 Sep 2012, 08:09 11

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!!

posted on 23 Sep 2012, 13:05 4

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.

posted on 23 Sep 2012, 08:13 15

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 !!

posted on 24 Sep 2012, 15:21 6

310. efdalemre (Posts: 1; Member since: 24 Sep 2012)

more like Half an Apple :)

posted on 05 Oct 2012, 03:01 1

327. Miley_3d (Posts: 16; Member since: 02 Oct 2012)

i agree with U.

posted on 23 Sep 2012, 11:33 1

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.

posted on 23 Sep 2012, 11:39

287. AppleHateBoy (unregistered)

I did not mean the Optimus G(it hasn't been reviewed yet). And I meant Lumia 900.

posted on 25 Sep 2012, 23:29

322. AppleHateBoy (unregistered)

I just thought of something.
Moto RAZR MAXX => Apple iPhone 5 MAXX with a bigger battery and 8.6 mm thickness.

posted on 22 Sep 2012, 17:35 22

2. satanrules (Posts: 19; Member since: 22 Sep 2012)

The best iPhone yet. However you wanna look at it.

posted on 22 Sep 2012, 17:40 17

9. nnaatthhaannx2 (Posts: 820; Member since: 19 Oct 2011)

Like we were expecting it to be the worst?

posted on 22 Sep 2012, 17:42 18

12. XPERIA-KNIGHT (unregistered)

o we know its worse....

posted on 22 Sep 2012, 17:40 16

10. PhoneArenaUser (Posts: 5498; Member since: 05 Aug 2011)

I agree, this one is better than 4 or 4S.

posted on 22 Sep 2012, 18:26 7

71. binerry (Posts: 99; Member since: 16 Mar 2012)

I would hope so.

posted on 23 Sep 2012, 04:06 3

253. Retro-touch (Posts: 273; 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

posted on 23 Sep 2012, 08:52 7

268. satanrules (Posts: 19; Member since: 22 Sep 2012)

Isn't there always something missing?

posted on 22 Sep 2012, 17:35 2

3. Carlitos (Posts: 514; 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.

posted on 22 Sep 2012, 17:57 4

26. binerry (Posts: 99; 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.

posted on 22 Sep 2012, 18:05 1

35. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5711; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)

what are you talking about? you're gonna have to link us to that one.

posted on 22 Sep 2012, 18:12 5

44. Berzerk000 (Posts: 4275; Member since: 26 Jun 2011)

It's true


"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."

posted on 22 Sep 2012, 18:31 1

77. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5711; 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.

posted on 22 Sep 2012, 18:39 1

92. Berzerk000 (Posts: 4275; 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!

posted on 22 Sep 2012, 19:07 1

120. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5711; 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:

posted on 22 Sep 2012, 19:17 6

127. Berzerk000 (Posts: 4275; 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...

posted on 22 Sep 2012, 19:31 4

140. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5711; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)

true dat, this site needs more people like you.

posted on 22 Sep 2012, 19:52 4

159. TROLL (banned) (Posts: 4851; Member since: 13 Apr 2012)

Apples Ios is very lighweight and dosent require much cpu power.

posted on 23 Sep 2012, 04:30 1

257. Berzerk000 (Posts: 4275; 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.

posted on 22 Sep 2012, 20:56

190. protozeloz (Posts: 5396; 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

posted on 22 Sep 2012, 21:13 1

199. Berzerk000 (Posts: 4275; 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.

posted on 22 Sep 2012, 21:26 1

206. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5711; 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.

posted on 22 Sep 2012, 21:40 1

207. Berzerk000 (Posts: 4275; 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.

posted on 23 Sep 2012, 05:44 3

259. TylerGrunter (Posts: 1522; 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.

posted on 23 Sep 2012, 06:48 2

261. Berzerk000 (Posts: 4275; 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.

posted on 25 Sep 2012, 15:24 1

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.

posted on 25 Sep 2012, 15:31

319. Berzerk000 (Posts: 4275; 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.

posted on 23 Sep 2012, 10:13

273. AppleHateBoy (unregistered)

Holy s**t!!!!!!

posted on 24 Sep 2012, 20:53

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

posted on 25 Sep 2012, 15:34

320. Berzerk000 (Posts: 4275; 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.

posted on 22 Sep 2012, 17:36 1

4. lkjhgf (Posts: 9; Member since: 14 Sep 2012)

i thin this is typed in Ipad.....old wine in new bottle....

posted on 22 Sep 2012, 17:37 17

5. Katrina (Posts: 84; Member since: 17 Aug 2012)

Seriously a 9? And you guys rate the Xperia t with a 8?
I smell apple fans everywhere.

posted on 22 Sep 2012, 17:42 10

13. Katrina (Posts: 84; 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.

posted on 22 Sep 2012, 17:53 4

21. binerry (Posts: 99; 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.

posted on 22 Sep 2012, 18:02 8

29. PhoneArenaUser (Posts: 5498; 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.

posted on 22 Sep 2012, 18:13 3

46. binerry (Posts: 99; 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.

posted on 22 Sep 2012, 18:21 2

60. PhoneArenaUser (Posts: 5498; Member since: 05 Aug 2011)

Also have you heard about Google ADK and Arduino?

Does iOS can give such opportunity for us? NO!

posted on 22 Sep 2012, 18:27 2

72. binerry (Posts: 99; 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%...

posted on 22 Sep 2012, 18:35 3

86. PhoneArenaUser (Posts: 5498; 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!

posted on 22 Sep 2012, 18:44 1

96. PhoneArenaUser (Posts: 5498; 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. ;)

posted on 22 Sep 2012, 18:05 8

36. Katrina (Posts: 84; 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?

posted on 22 Sep 2012, 18:29 3

76. binerry (Posts: 99; 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.

posted on 22 Sep 2012, 18:18 9

54. Katrina (Posts: 84; 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.

posted on 22 Sep 2012, 23:49

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.

posted on 23 Sep 2012, 02:42 3

249. Katrina (Posts: 84; 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.

posted on 22 Sep 2012, 19:00 2

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 !!

posted on 22 Sep 2012, 18:41 2

94. oister85 (Posts: 493; 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.

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Display4.0 inches, 640 x 1136 pixels (326 ppi) IPS LCD
Camera8 megapixels
Apple A6, Dual-core, 1300 MHz, Apple Swift processor
Size4.87 x 2.31 x 0.30 inches
(123.8 x 58.6 x 7.6 mm)
3.95 oz  (112 g)

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