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.

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.

Just like its predecessor, both its separated volume controls and mute switch are placed on the 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.

Interestingly enough, the 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.

Apple iPhone 5 360 Degrees View:



1. dr_fajardo12

Posts: 134; Member since: Aug 26, 2012


102. Connie.Linghus

Posts: 32; Member since: Aug 14, 2012

No worries, the review is just biAsed iCaca.


Posts: 2315; Member since: Jul 30, 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: Feb 26, 2013

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

219. Kevin0988

Posts: 12; Member since: Sep 22, 2012

iPhone had aluminium design much better than galaxy s3 plastic.

264. amir1975

Posts: 22; Member since: Aug 18, 2012

this is not a big advantage buddy! Satisfaction talks : 9.3 against 9. it means Apple sucks!!

290. furious00

Posts: 2; Member since: Sep 23, 2012

Ummm...both The Verge and Engadget have the iPhone 5 scoring higher. So suck on that.

265. amir1975

Posts: 22; Member since: Aug 18, 2012

Yes it's a truth! you have paid MUCH more than any other phone, but you've got LESS. it's APPLE !!

310. efdalemre

Posts: 1; Member since: Sep 24, 2012

more like Half an Apple :)

327. Miley_3d

Posts: 16; Member since: Oct 02, 2012

i agree with U.

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: Sep 22, 2012

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

9. nnaatthhaannx2

Posts: 820; Member since: Oct 19, 2011

Like we were expecting it to be the worst?

12. XPERIA-KNIGHT unregistered

o we know its worse....

10. PhoneArenaUser

Posts: 5498; Member since: Aug 05, 2011

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

71. binerry

Posts: 99; Member since: Mar 16, 2012

I would hope so.

253. Retro-touch unregistered

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

268. satanrules

Posts: 19; Member since: Sep 22, 2012

Isn't there always something missing?

3. Carlitos

Posts: 697; Member since: Oct 23, 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: 99; Member since: Mar 16, 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: 5713; Member since: Oct 23, 2011

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

44. Berzerk000

Posts: 4275; Member since: Jun 26, 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."

77. KingKurogiii

Posts: 5713; Member since: Oct 23, 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: 4275; Member since: Jun 26, 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: 5713; Member since: Oct 23, 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: 4275; Member since: Jun 26, 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: 5713; Member since: Oct 23, 2011

true dat, this site needs more people like you.

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

iPhone 5
  • Display 4.0" 640 x 1136 pixels
  • Camera 8 MP / 1.2 MP front
  • Processor Apple A6, Dual-core, 1300 MHz
  • Storage 64GB
  • Battery 1440 mAh(8h 3G talk time)

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