iPhone 5 review

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

Web-browsing

Interestingly, the iPhone 5 is the first device in the UK to ship with 4G connectivity. The high-speed mobile internet access is only available on EE (Everything Everywhere), but our device running on the Vodafone network was still able to connect to HSPA+, which is far from sluggish.

The 4in screen provides more real estate for web browsing and has been tied with Apple's iCloud storage service. Users can now open iCloud Tabs, which allow you to pick up browsing right where you left off, when you switch between an iPhone and iPad, for example.

Reading List also brings the ability to save articles to the device so they can be viewed offine a great way to catch up on reading on the commute home.

Camera

The 8-megapixel iSight camera has been tweaked. The biggest addition is the Panorama mode, which has been available to Android users with the Ice Cream Sandwich (4.0) release.

Apple iPhone 5 - Panorama

An unintentionally amusing panorama picture where our colleague Richard Goodwin has grown a third arm Click here for detailed look at the iPhone 5 panorama picture

We found the feature to be fiddly to use with the iPhone 5. You need to constantly adjust the position of the handset up and down to keep the alignment. Using the panorama mode to take pictures of people can have amusing results. We found it best suited to taking pictures of skyines and landmarks.

Battery life

Battery life has been above average to date. With moderate usage - having synced our email, Facebook and Twitter accounts and browsed the web - the device comfortably lasted 24 hours.

The iPhone 5 lasted a total of 10 hours in our intensive battery test - lasting from 8am to 6pm. During the test corporate email, Gmail and Twitter accounts were set to push content throughout the day and we also carried out a range of tasks including web browsing and watching a 40 minute video. Brightness was cranked up to the maximum level, Wi-Fi remained off and battery saver was turned off.

This isn't bad, but it isn't quite as good as the Galaxy S3 and the Motorola Razor i, which both lasted well past 8pm.

Overall

Although the iPhone 5 is undeniably a beautiful crafted device with a beautiful screen, the iOS 6 update will bring almost all of these features to the iPhone 4S.

Then there is the price. Our 32GB edition has a SIM-free price of 599, but is available from all major operators. This particular model is available free on a Vodafone contract from 47 per month. This includes unlimited calls, texts and 2GB of data allowance.

Therefore, at this time, it's hard to recommend the device if you already have the iPhone 4S.

Update: Upcoming features with iOS 7 Apple plans to launch its latest version of iOS in mid-September and this will bring a revamped interface and enhanced applications. What will iOS 7 bring?

Apple will give iOS a fresh look, with flatter icons and a new font. There are no longer limits on how many apps you can place in a folder (previously it was 16).

Apple will also introduce a new Control Centre, which can be brought up with a swipe. This will allow users to quickly toggle settings for Flight mode, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, brightness and music play/pause/stop.

Other new additions include a revamped Notifications Centre, meaning users can see what has happened during any period of inactivity right from the lock screen, such as messages or emails received.

AirDrop will make it easier to share content wirelessly. Plus Apple will also be introducing a security feature known as iCloud keychain, which will aims to encrypt passwords.

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.

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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