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Apple iPhone 5 review


Apple has done a great job on the hardware overhaul to bring the thinnest, lightest iPhone yet, but there's a lack of any new 'wow' features, and the firm needs to do a quick fix-it job on Apple Maps.


Thin and light design; larger 16:9 high-quality display; 4G support


Google Maps removal; no wow factor

Overall Rating:

4 Star Rating: Recommended

Price: £529 - £699

Apple released its latest iPhone last week and has already managed to shift over five million units. The iPhone 5 represents a major design overhaul for the Apple smartphone, which has resulted in the thinnest, lightest model with the largest screen yet.

The first thing we noticed about the iPhone 5 was its longer body compared to previous models. The iPhone 5 measures in at 124x59x7.6 mm (below right), compared to the iPhone 4S (below left) at 115x59x9mm. The back of the iPhone is housed in an aluminium casing, with glass inlays at the top and bottom of the handset.

The new iPhone feels slightly sharper in hand than other smartphones with more rounded edges or plastic casings. This is due to the aluminium casing covering the sides as well as the back of the phone. On the iPhone 4S, the raised back is made of glass, which feels smoother.

However, the lighter weight of the new model at just 112g makes the iPhone 5 more comfortable to hold over long periods. This is a significant drop from the iPhone 4S, which weighs in at 140g.

Around the outside of the iPhone, the power button remains on the top, but the headphone jack has moved to the bottom, to the left of the microphone, speaker and connector port. The volume buttons remain on the left-hand side, while the SIM slot remains on the right.

To house the iPhone in this thinner and lighter housing, Apple had to make some major changes to the internal components, which will impact on current iPhone 4S owners wishing to upgrade. Firstly, it has moved from a micro to nano-SIM, which is 44 percent smaller than the previous version, so you won’t just be able to put your old SIM into the iPhone 5.

The connector has also been updated to a Lightning version, which has just eight pins, compared to 30 in the previous version. This means that Apple fans used to carrying around just one cable to charge up their iPhone and iPad will need to start carrying both, and anyone who has invested in a charging dock, will need to shell out for a 30 – 8 pin adaptor, sold by Apple for £25, although these won’t be available until October according to the Apple UK online store.

For a look at some of these features in action, watch our Apple iPhone 5 vs Sony Xperia Z head to head video review below.

Next: iPhone 5 review continued - Processor and screen

Processor: A6 dual-core
Display: 4in 1136x640 Retina display
Storage: 16/32/64GB internal
Camera: 8MP rear-facing iSight, 1.2MP front-facing
Connectivity: GSM/EDGE/HSPA+/HSDPA/LTE 4G; 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi, 802.11n on 2.4GHz and 5GHz; Bluetooth 4; GPS
Ports: 8-pin connector, headphone jack
Operating system: Apple iOS 6
Dimensions: 124x59x7.6 mm
Weight: 112g

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Madeline Bennett

Madeline Bennett is editor of V3 and The INQUIRER. Previously, she was editor of IT Week. Prior to becoming a journalist, Madeline was an English teacher at a London secondary school. Madeline is a regular technology commentator on TV and radio, including Sky, BBC and CNN. 

View Madeline's Google+ profile

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