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.

Likewise, the smartphone’s 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.

Taking a pic Lower is better Taking an HDR pic (sec) Lower is better CamSpeed score Higher is better CamSpeed score with flash Higher is better
Apple iPhone 5 2.7
Samsung Galaxy S III 2.5
No data

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.



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357. dibendunag

Posts: 1; Member since: Nov 25, 2013

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351. selena1000

Posts: 85; Member since: Mar 14, 2013

why are you guys so pissed of if it got a 9.there is definitely something good that it is the fastest selling phone of all time and is being praised by everyone.I got one for myself and even though its my first apple product i found it quite fast,smootth and premium looking. What I m saying is that you should buy what you want without crying on a review and please get a real life

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348. Swed1

Posts: 4; Member since: Mar 11, 2013

I had 2 Iphone 5 and Is a really crap Iphone. Now i have a LG G and Its much better. I still have my Air book. But I never buy a Iphone again. Its was so much problem with Iphone 5

346. Jigar99

Posts: 2; Member since: Feb 26, 2013

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

345. ash121163

Posts: 2; Member since: Feb 16, 2013

con the ohone is s**t got rid of mine this reviewer is talking crap

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343. donald18

Posts: 1; Member since: Dec 30, 2012

i really like the iphone 5 and i want it, but in romania it costs 960$ without contract while in tn U.S. the unlocked iphone cost just 649$

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350. dr_fajardo12

Posts: 134; Member since: Aug 26, 2012


341. faisa01

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340. jonas818k

Posts: 1; Member since: Nov 12, 2012

I got my Iphone 5 for christmas :)

339. Thephonegeek

Posts: 118; Member since: Nov 22, 2012


338. JasonSonicZombie

Posts: 1; Member since: Nov 13, 2012

Please someone tell me where I can get that exact rainbow colored wallpaper it is so mesmeriozing! Besides I made an account on Phonearena just to ask this so yeah! Please I wantz this wallpaper! Also Nice Review!

337. HarryWild

Posts: 60; Member since: Oct 18, 2012

Well, it the fact that kids and teenagers have them actually. It a top end phone that runs $650-$850 plus if they get it by way of contract much more in total. Also, the scarcity offerred by suppliers is just adds to the being ridicules. But I been wanting one since 3GS came out; but fought it! I will fight it off and get the 5S with the A7 chip and NFC in September! By then; it might not be popular anymore and I will just step in and buy it without any problems. Also, the Microsoft Surface Windows Phone 8 looks like an exact copy of the iPhone5! Nokia is designing to copy the Surface phone too. So depending on how it looks and how it is marketed; I maybe getting an Nokia instead!

336. Marcus_h

Posts: 44; Member since: Apr 21, 2012

What does it ridicule? Is it taunting you?

335. HarryWild

Posts: 60; Member since: Oct 18, 2012

I trying to buy one of these iPhone 5s and it just ridicules!

334. ccb4life

Posts: 5; Member since: Sep 29, 2010

I wish the IPhone 5 had a screen size the same as my Galaxy S3. I keep finding myself using my S3 when I want to use the Internet. I mainly like iPhones because they don't freeze up and I can use an app whenever I want to, however I think my S3 is more fun to use for the Internet or an occasional video.

333. b1acktiger

Posts: 223; Member since: May 19, 2012

Why i'm not seeing a little more detailed cons here ? No Card Slot Battery is embedded Charger hard to find No Bluetooth file transfer Need iTunes to transfer your stuff. !

331. Jooplol

Posts: 4; Member since: Oct 10, 2012

Apparently, every positive comment from PA is always bias when in favor of iPhone, but when in favor of Android phones, they're 100% spot on. Lol. This community(mostly android biased) makes me laugh.

332. chaoticrazor

Posts: 2347; Member since: Aug 28, 2012

again you only acknowledge when its androids against ifans yet not the other way. besides no one can pretend there isnt a bias towards the iphone, everytime an issue with it appears P.A are quick to defend. and no i dont have an android phone so that blows your comment up cant claim im an android fan

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

iPhone 5
  • Display 4.0 inches
    1136 x 640 pixels
  • Camera 8 MP (Single camera)
    1.2 MP front
  • Hardware Apple A6, 1GB RAM
  • Storage 64GB, not expandable
  • Battery 1440 mAh
  • OS iOS 10.x

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