iPhone 5 review

iPhone 5 review

T3 4
  • iPhone 5 review


    • Bigger screen
    • 4G capability
    • Better front-facing camera


    • No iP5-specific iOS 6 features
    • Battery life still not great
    • Prefer the old Maps design
    title: iPhone 5 review: Screen / url: screen

    iPhone 5: Screen

    So, onto the screen; it’s still lovely and Retina; it now boasts 326ppi and a resolution of 1136x640; it’s equally as bright and slightly richer in colour. There’s space for a whole extra row of apps – woop! – and tasks can still be performed with one hand.

    The main benefit is that you can just see more. Web pages are longer, movies are wider, though many we found from iTunes and YouTube still have to be stretched or cropped to fill the screen, the photo viewing area is bigger (just) and Apple’s own, optimised apps make good use of the extra space.

    Non-optimised apps are letterboxed, which doesn’t feel right. Hopefully we’ll see a raft of updates soon. Both iTunes and the App Store have also had visual upgrades and look clean when you’re browsing, searching and splurging micropayments.

    If you’re a long-time iPhone owner, you might find the elongation strange at first but you’ll soon wonder how you coped before, as going back to a 4S feels like watching your old portable bedroom TV. However, if you’ve had an extensive play with the Samsung S3, HTC One X or Nokia Lumia 900, you still might find it too titchy – it’s noticeably smaller, and that could be a sticking point for potential buyers.

    So why didn’t Apple just make the screen even bigger? One theory in this reviewer’s mind is the impact of another device screen size before Christmas. If the iPad Mini was to launch, then it’d need to sit in a gap between the 9.7-inch iPad and 4-inch iPhone 5. Launching a phone with a huge 5-inch-plus screen could tread on the toes of what might be around the corner. Just a thought…

    iPhone 5: Performance

    Everything feels slightly slicker when navigating the phone. Apps appear to load quicker, video feels a touch smoother, video and image processing is definitely faster.

    With the improved 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. Real Racing 3 (or any other A6-optimised game) wasn’t available when penning this review, so we’ll have to wait for developers to do their thing before witnessing any major power increase.

    iPhone 5: Camera

    The rear iSight camera remains impressive, taking great pictures in bright conditions. There’s a bigger virtual camera capture button and video stabilisation seems to have improved.

    It now detects faces and auto-focuses in video and allows you to capture stills while taking video. The video-compression algorithm has also improved, reducing the file-size of footage without any discernible reduction in quality, and making for friendlier email attachments.

    Low-light image capture improvement was also discussed in the Keynote but we still experienced a fair bit of grain in our testing. The major improvement is with the front camera, which has been upgraded to 720p video, making FaceTime and Skype chats much clearer. Still shots are captured at 1.2MP, so not exactly archive-worthy.

    The new Panorama mode is intuitive and produces great 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.

    Though, even with the wider screen, you still have to zoom right in to see what you’ve captured. And while competing phones have had this feature for a while, if anything’s going to be the new Instagram over the coming months, this is it.

    iPhone 5: iOS 6

    The iPhone 5 comes with iOS 6 as standard. But, at this point it’s difficult to see where the unique differences are between it running on an iPhone 4S and iPhone 5. You can read our in-depth iOS 6 review but everything we’ve seen works on both.

    Flyover, turn-by-turn navigation, Passbook, PhotoStream sharing, FaceTime over cellular, VIP Mailboxes, Facebook integration, Do Not Disturb, improved Siri, pre-determined text replies to phone calls, the list goes on.

    Video:iOS 6 features walkthrough


    Conceivably, this could deter iPhone 4S owners from upgrading, though if app developers take advantage of the upgraded processor and screen and launch more iPhone 5-specific content, their arms could be twisted. Not that the pre-sales figures suggest Apple has much to worry about...

  • The new iPhone 5 is Apple's slimmest smartphone yet and also packs 4G LTE connectivity, a 4-inch cinematic screen and a new iSight camera

    iPhone 5 review


    • Bigger screen
    • 4G capability
    • Better front-facing camera


    • No iP5-specific iOS 6 features
    • Battery life still not great
    • Prefer the old Maps design

    The Apple iPhone 5 has finally been confirmed and T3 was there to get a first look at the Cupertino brand's new slimline smartphone.

    As well as being Apple's skinniest phone yet, the new iPhone 5 also sports 4G LTE connectivity, and a slightly longer screen with a 1136 x 640-pixel resolution, while the new A6 chip is twice as fast as previous versions.

    The new phone also features a new, smaller connector, improved battery life and a new iSight camera.

    Does Apple's new handset bring enough to the table to take on rivals such as the Samsung Galaxy S3, HTC One X and Nokia Lumia 920? We went hands-on to find out...

    iPhone 5: Size and build

    In the hand, the 112g iPhone 5 unquestionably feels lighter and thinner. The 7.6mm depth is impressive, considering that this smartphone is much more powerful than the iPhone 4S.

    However, while the aluminium/glass construction is gorgeous to look at, the reduction in weight also makes it feel less industrial and less sturdy.

    We'd take a lighter phone adorning our pocket any day, though. A nano-SIM on the side replaces the old-style mini-SIM, which forms part of the reduction in size, while the new Lightening connector replaces the 30-pin model, again, helping to shave off precious millimetres. A final note on size - it's 9mm taller than the iPhone 4S but the same width.

    The headphone socket is now on the bottom – we'll have to see how this works in the wild.

    The two-tone back on both black and white models give it a premium feeland Apple tells us the back is crafted from the same anodised 6000 series aluminium material used in Apple MacBooks.

    Video:Has Apple trumped Samsung in the smartphone war? Check out our video below to find out


    iPhone 5: Features

    Standout features that we've had a play with lie within the make-up of iOS 6. Maps has been rebuilt from the ground up and now looks sharper, quicker and has some flashy features such as the cool 3D Flyover that allows you to zoom right into satellite imagery and rotate around landmarks as if you're playing God.

    It also includes turn-by-turn navigation that will have the likes of TomTom and Garmin reaching for the booze cabinet.

    Video: Check out our Maps demo clip, below


    has also had an upgrade, now boasting the ability to launch apps and post Facebook entries by voice. Both were 50/50 successful in our limited hands-on time, so watch this space for an extended review.

    One of the biggest feature upgrades is with the camera. It's now branded iSight and, while offering the same 8mp lens, now has improved HDR and PhotoStream sharing.

    Video recording remains at 1080p, while the front-cam is markedly better – 720p FaceTime being the standout feature. The headline newbie, however, is the panoramic mode that will stitch together a landscape shot in real-time and create an image up to 28mp in size.

    We tried this out in a packed press conference and while the results were unsurprisingly dull, due to the dim lighting, the technology itself was impressive – telling us to slow down if we panned too fast and then outputting the jumbo image in a few seconds.

    Apple has thankfully upgraded its old earphones to the new EarPods, which are a huge step up in design and do sound better. But then most things did...

    iPhone 5: Screen

    The most significant hardware change in our book is the screen. The Retina display is now upped to four inches and brags a 1136x640-pixel resolution at 326 ppi.

    Real-estate is noticeably bigger, with a extra line of apps added to each screen and movies now playing in 16:9 without letter-boxing. It also means that there's simply more to look at when browsing websites, playing games and using apps.

    Apple says apps built for the old screen will work just fine but it will allow developers to create new apps specifically for this screen. It didn't seem brighter in our short hands-on, but we were smitten with how much more information is now available to look at.

    iPhone 5: Performance


    The new A6 chip has affected how fast the iPhone operates. We were pinging around apps more fluidly than our iPhone 4S and video also looked smoother.

    Throughout our demo we were connected to wi-fi - which now supports all standards under the sun – but we're really looking forward to seeing how it flies on EE's new LTE 4G network when it (hopefully) launches this year. HSPA, HSPA+ and DC-HSDPA are also supported and it will come in 16, 32 and 64GB models.

    iPhone 5: Battery

    Apple has quoted 8 hours 3G browsing time, 8 hours talk time, 10 hours video playback, which all sounds pretty reasonable but We'll have to put that to the test when we get a proper review sample in at T3 Towers.

    iPhone 5: Verdict

    While there will be cries that the iPhone 5 is 'just a longer iPhone', it remains a significant hardware change for the phone that hasn't really had a good going over for a couple of years. Apple has worked wonders to reduce the overall size and weight while upping the power.

    It comes with a raft of cool new features (mostly via iOS6), but fans of Samsung and HTC smartphones will cry that many of the features are already available on their devices. Regardless, it's a significant update for an already super smartphone. We can't wait to dig deeper into its prowess. Watch this space.

    iPhone 5 release date: 8am, 21 September 2012 (pre-order from 14 September)

    iPhone 5 price: £529  (network pricing TBC)















































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