The iPhone 5 was probably the most anticipated electronics product in history. For weeks before its release, every nuance and design decision was picked apart online. But did it surpass its competition? Find out in this review.
The world’s most popular smart phone becomes considerably faster, thinner and lighter this week, while gaining a larger, 4-inch screen - all with out giving up battery life, comfort in the hand and high-quality design. There are, on paper at least, no enormous surprises and no revolutionary changes to an admittedly winning formula. Nonetheless, the key to the iPhone 5 is very simple - attention to detail. Pick it up, and it just does not feel like a smartphone - but instead, uncannily like one of the very best made watches.
Let's begin with design. The new phone, in all black or white, is gorgeous. Especially the black one, whose gleaming, black-on-black, glass-and-aluminum body carries the design cues of a Stealth bomber. The rumors ran widespread that the iPhone 5 would have a larger screen.
Would it be large, like the majority of Android phones? Those giant screens are thudding slabs in your pocket, but they're amazing for maps, books, Websites, photos and movies. The brace of glass strips beautifying the top and bottom of the rear give both the black/slate and white/silver models a premium feel but are actually employed to allow an uninterrupted phone signal. Nobody wants another antennagate.
The four-inch screen, which we will come onto in detail shortly, is Apple’s belated nod to the industry trend for bigger displays, and means the iPhone 5 now stands a proud 123.8mm tall; width is still the same at 58.6mm. For individuals who favor the gargantuan screens on some other phones, like the 4.8-inch display on Samsung’s Galaxy S III, the iPhone 5’s screen most likely won’t suffice. These rivalling big screens are typically both taller and wider.
The extra screen real-estate is welcome, though smaller-handed iPhone users might struggle to reach the standby button with a forefinger while holding it in a natural position. They may even have to stretch for the extra top row of apps. Just hold it a different way, perhaps.
Nowadays, that decade-old iPhone, iPad or iPod charging connector is everywhere: cars, clocks, speakers, docks, even medical devices. But the new iPhone refuses to fit any of them. Apple names its replacement the Lightning connector. It's much sturdier than the old jack, and much smaller - 0.31 inch wide instead of 0.83. And there's no right side up. you can insert it either way. It clicks satisfyingly into place, yet you can remove it easily. It's the very model of a modern major connector.
With the enhanced A6 processor now powering the visuals, our finger points straight at it, but it’s with new apps that we’ll really see the power of the chip take hold.
The iPhone 5 will come with iOS 6 as standard. At this point it’s complicated to see where the unique differences are between it running on an iPhone 4S and iPhone 5.
On the other side, the rear iSight camera remains outstanding, taking great pictures in bright conditions. There’s a bigger virtual camera capture button and video stabilisation seems to have improved.
The new Panorama mode is user-friendly and produces fantastic results. It doesn’t capture in landscape orientation, which feels counter-intuitive, but the speed at which it processes and pops out a pretty, panoramic shot is impressive.
The most significant downside is the new Maps app. Apple has replaced Google Maps with a new maps app of its own. This app has one big benefit over the iPhone version of Google Maps; it now offers free, voice-prompted, turn-by-turn navigation.
What to make of this latest upgrade. There’s no doubt that the iPhone 5 is a attractive thing, and the best iPhone to date. It could well be Apple’s best-selling product ever. Will the iPhone 5 attract masses of users to switch from Android? Most likely not.
Apple’s competitors never been closer in terms of level of quality, function and aesthetics and from your feedback on our social networks we know how many of you are jumping ship to phones with a bigger screen and much more features.
Given that iPhone 4S users can upgrade to iOS 6 and do just about everything the iPhone 5 can do, and that Android users can get similarly impressive handsets for less dosh, we reckon the smart money won’t all be going on a new iPhone this year, even if the mass market can’t get enough of it. It’s good, very good. But it’s no longer the very best around.
Jennifer Ramirez, known as Jenny, has reviewed and edited for 5+ years. Originally from Toronto, she grew up performing and competing in rhythmic gymnastics. Jenny enjoys reviewing movies, books and music albums. She describes herself as funny and righteous, with a 'go that extra mile' attitude. Her philosophy is quite simple: try to live life to the fullest Jenny writes that hr passion is books. She reads and reviews current and back-list literary fiction, crime fiction, thrillers, occasionally science fiction, and narrative nonfiction. She also loves music. She's a huge fan of The Maine and All Time Low! Joy is her favorite word and creativity is something she can't live without.
Click above to tell a friend about this article.