iPhone 5 review

Reviews 17 Sep, 2013

Updated: The most beautiful and powerful iOS device to date, the iPhone 5 packs a gorgeous 4in screen and dual-core power.

5
Price: 
£529
SIM or free from £41 per month on contract
Verdict: 
Taking this a standard alone, the iPhone 5 is a superb device. However, it just misses out on an Editor's choice award because it's not quite the giant leap forward from the iPhone 4S in terms of features. Yes, it is insanely quick and we've finally got the 4in screen, but it is expensive. Upgrade if you've got a iPhone 3GS or 4, but wait for the next edition if you've got the 4S.

Apple has set the bar high with previous editions of the iPhone and although there were skeptics when the device was announced, we can confirm this is the best iOS device to date.

Changes have been made to the design, and even though we found the iPhone 5 initially appeared to look like a stretched version of the 4S, we've grown to love the design - it's beautiful.

Refreshed design

Although the general appearance of the iPhone 5 is similar to the iPhone 4/4S, there are three big design changes: screen size, the use of aluminium on the back and the inclusion of a brand new connector.

The most noticeable change is the increase in the display size. The iPhone 5 packs a 4in Retina Display, which is a good size and fits into the hand comfortably. Whilst this may not sound like a massive increase over the 3.5in screen on the iPhone 4 or 4S, there are clear benefits.

Apple has made the iPhone larger, but has not sacrificed comfort

By increasing the size to 4ins, Apple has finally changed the aspect ratio to 16:9, which means the whole screen is now able to display video content – making those pesky black bars a thing of the past.

However, at present not all apps have been modified to take advantage of this extra screen space. Commonly used third party applications, such as Angry Birds, will not be displayed in full screen, but this should be remedied soon enough. Ironically, it's Google leading the charge, with the web giant having already updated its Chrome app to match the aspect ratio.

Apple has also upped the resolution of the display to 1,136 x 640, which makes colour saturation higher and means there are 18 per cent more pixels. In brightness terms, you’d struggle to notice the difference between the iPhone 5 and older generations but, when it comes to colour replication, the difference is noticeably especially compared with the iPhone 4.

Video playback is much improved especially when it comes to colour replication

The biggest stylistic change is the use of Aluminium on the back of the device, instead of glass. This helps to make the device featherweight (112g) and if you drop your iPhone 5 and are lucky enough to see it land on the rear, it is unlikely to smash. One thing we did notice about the Aluminum back is that it is just as prone as glass to getting grubby. Despite its excellent design and the sturdy back, the device still feels fragile when compared to Android and Windows Phone devices which come with anodised metallic casing or high-grade plastic.

We'd still recommend a cover as the device feels fragile

Specifications: 

OS: Apple iOS 6

Processor: 1.03GHz dual-core A6

Memory/Storage: 1GB RAM; 16/32/64GB internal

Screen: 4in (1136 x 640-pixel)326 ppi

Connectivity: 802.11 b/g/n, Lightning connector 3.5mm headphone jack

Other: Three-axis gyro, Accelerometer, Proximity sensor, Ambient light sensor

Bands: GSM model A1429*: UMTS/HSPA+/DC-HSDPA (850, 900, 1900, 2100 MHz); GSM/EDGE (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz); LTE** (Bands 1, 3, 5)

Camera: 8MP rear with LED flash and autofocus, 720p HD front-facing

Battery: Built-in

Size: 124 x 59 x 7.6mm

Weight: 112g

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