Product Type: Apple Smartphone
Newest Review: ... of everyday activities. I've had it for over a year now and there have been no real problems with it, very reliable. Asthetically the d... more
My last iphone..
Apple iPhone 5
Author Name: superness11
Apple iPhone 5
Advantages: looks good, camera
Disadvantages: battery, dual core processor
I could not afford to buy the phone outright but I did decide to get it on a 12 month contract rather than a 24 month one as I do not like being tied into a long deal. I like to swap and change my phone so 12 months is quite long enough for me. Of course with any smart phone these days you can expect to pay a lot of money but the cost of the iphone is extremely high. I have the 16GB version which is the smallest of the three and to buy this outright it will be somewhere in the region of £600. My ipad was half this price so I have no idea why it costs this much money. Is it worth it? Well for me, I just had to have the latest model and I am still massive iphone fan. I know that many other smart phones cost much less than this but in my eyes they are just not as good. I pay 55 pounds a month for the phone with unlimited data, texts and 500 minutes of calls. I had to stump up £270 up front for the phone or I was not able to take advantage of the 12 month contact. Apple must love people like me, suckers for anything new and shiny!
==This looks remarkably like a....==
The phone looks very similar to the older model and Apple has not done too much to the design which I think I am pleased with. I love the iphone look; it is a cult design with the home screen at the bottom and the shiny black or white glass cover. The 5 does have some minor changes to the design though and most improve the look and feel of the phone. For example, the silver band that runs around the edge of the phone is flush to the glass whereas on the iphone 4S, the glass overlaps the silver band. I think this makes the iphone look more tough. The glass on the 4S was a particular weakness and within 3 months of owning the phone, the glass broke with a little half moon fracture in it. Hopefully this new design will give the phone slightly more protection from knocks and bangs. My old phone was black so this time I went for a white one. Ah, virginal white, it certainly looks very stylish. The back of the phone is white glass but it has a silver shadow on it which again makes it different to the iphone 4S. The phone is slim, slimmer than the previous model and much lighter too. It has a thickness of 7.6mm and a weight of 112 g. It has a height of 123.8 mm and it is 58.6 mm wide. It is only fractionally longer than the old phone which is good as I bought the iphone as a phone not as a mini ipad. I still need to be able to pop it in my pocket or my clutch bag comfortably so size is very important.
The front of the phone features the new, bigger better 4-inch (diagonal) widescreen Multi-Touch display. Which I will discuss in more details shortly, firstly let me just walk you round the phone so you know where everything is. The front facing camera is located at the top of the phone but this has moved to a more central location. At the bottom of the device is the home button which has many different functions, ie cancelling applications, lighting up the back lit screen and bringing the menu up. On the lefthand side of the phone, there are volume buttons so you can toggle with the volume of the speakers, headphones and calls. The volume button is multi functional and also acts as a shutter trigger for the camera when the camera application is in use. On this side is a switch to toggle between silent and regular modes so you can quickly silence the phone if you need to. At the top of the phone is the on/off button, this needs holding for three seconds to activate. At the base of the phone is the charging port which is smaller than the iphone 4. The extra space has been used to put in bigger gridded speakers. The headphone jack is also located at the bottom which has moved from the top. This small change is annoying me! The reason being is, I use my phone at the gym and have an arm band for it. Usually the headphone wire comes out the top and straight up to my ears, up my back. Now the wire comes out the bottom and it has to go up my arm further so this reduces the size of the wires. It is just annoying and there was no need to change it.
==In the box==
* iPhone 5
* Apple EarPods with Remote and Mic
* Lightning to USB Cable
* USB Power Adapter
The screen is amazing, so responsive and accurate. You can pull open web pages and documents at the flick of your fingers. It is coated with a fingerprint-resistant oleophobic coating which should keep finger prints at bay but I have a plastic screen covering for my phone anyway so will not see the benefits of this feature. The screen is far more superior than the old iphones and it looks so bright, crisp and clear. Looking at photos is a pleasure on here as the colours are bright and accurately portrayed as well as being bright and vivid. The quality of the screen is measured in 1136-by-640-pixel resolution at 326 ppi and the typical maximum brightness is 500 cd/m2. The extra screen size makes a big difference, especially when watching a film, it is my favourite aspect to the phone. Even just playing a simple gamer is enhanced by having such a good quality screen. Because of the new screen size, you can fit an extra whole row of applications on, see more emails and messages and read more of a webpage without having to scroll.
The iPhone 5 is equipped with a dual-core A6 CPU running at 1GHz and 1GB of Ram. The phone is much faster than its predecessors, everything seems more enhanced. But it is not a patch on some other phones of 2012. Apps load up quicker, the internet pages open faster and downloads are much speedie when you compare the phone to the 4S model, however it still seems lagging behind the Samsung Galaxy three. The phone starts much quicker than the old one which is good as I was waiting around 1 minute before I could access anything on the phone. On my phone I have only 16 GB of storage which means that as soon as I have watched a movie I need to move it off the phone and onto my laptop, as long as I use the phone well and do not keep everything on it, I think I will be fine. I really wish I could have expandable memory, however you can use Apple's cloud service to free more space up. When you download a film you will get speeds of 10mbps so it is a quick painless process. Living in Leeds, my 3G has just changed into EE so I have access to super fast 4G speeds, however I am not willing to pay more for this service so I just have 3G. I have streamed a programme from catch up tv and it was seamless; just like watching television. Similarly, we watched a football game from sky sports and it was superb quality. If you have a data allowance though be careful as it took 1GB of data! Ouch! The phone has WIFI and Bluetooth. Bluetooth is useful as you can hook up the phone to a portable keyboard for example. I have a portable keyboard for my iPad so if you want you can use it with the phone instead.
==Sounds, reception and calling==
I always thought the sound quality for the speakers on the 4S were not very good so luckily Apple have done something about it and the speakers have been much improved. When you listen to music and you have it on loud it is much clearer and better quality. I can happily play a song from it and not have it hooked up to speakers or anything. Phone calls are good, the clarity of the other person's voice is very clear and again if I have the person on speaker phone, this is loud too. The speaker located in to the top of the phone for the ear is very good. My only concerns about the phone is that sometimes it takes ages for a call to connect, you get hit with a call failed screen over and over until eventually it works. I have not had this problem with old iphones and my coverage from the network is good so I can only say that it is a fault with the phone. When a call does connect, my boyfriend states that he thinks the call is clearer and that my voice can be heard much better. There are three microphones in the handset which reduce background noise and pick up the voice much better.
Now you will have noticed that Apple have finally decided to update their earphones. The earpods that Apple have developed are supposed to be better than the old ones, however I find them more uncomfortable than the last ones. They have a sort of bud design but they do not fit my ear and feel really uncomfortable. I do not think that the quality is any better, it is just the design that is different. This is really disappointing and I will be using my other earphones with the phone; ones that Apple have not made.
This is another source of disappointment for me as I only can only see a marginal improvement in battery life.
Apple state that the iphone 5 should give: 8 hours of talk time, 8 hours of browsing over 3G, 8 hours of browsing over LTE, 10 hours of browsing over Wi-Fi, 40 hours of audio playback, 10 hours of video playback, 225 hours standby. Which does not sound so bad, however when we watched a football match (Liverpool, Newcastle for anyone interested) the battery dropped to 30% from full after the game was watched. What is the point in having all these wonderful features if watching a football game kills 1GB of data and 70% of your battery life? Honestly Apple come on! This is really disappointing. To top it off, my old car charger is now defunct because Apple, bless them have updated their charging port. It is now the size of a mini USB port. This has no bearing what so ever, syncing and charging takes the same length of time.
The internet is quick and it is a pleasure to look at web pages on the internet. Google is at my fingertips for those puzzling questions that crop up and I can shop, review, rate andview anything I want. The downside to Safari is that anything with Flash or Java does not work, this is a problem for some gaming websites but many sites have mobile friendly versions anyway. There is an option to put a webpage into reader mode, this makes the text bigger and cuts out all the pictures. This is good for reading large amounts of text and it puts it in an e-reader mode which is really useful. You can bookmark different sites so you can find them again easily and you can also clear your history.
The camera is one of the best features of the phone and I have recently discovered iphoneography which is photography through the iphone. You can use apps such as Instgam and powercam to add effects to your crystal clear photos. I am getting hooked and on a night out I will just use my phone rather than a camera. The camera is 8 megapixel and on the front there is a 1.2 megapixel one, this is useful for facetime but it is the back camera that it most used. The camera features a proximity sensor, light sensor, gyroscope and an accelometer. The images the camera produces are really good and because of the excellent screen quality, they look fantastic. The colours are vivid and bright. The camera has a good flash so night time pictures are great, the only issues I have with the camera are action shots as these just end up as big blurs. A new feature is the panorama mode which allows you take long landscape shots. The camera takes loads of different pictures as you move around and then the phone sews them together so you have a long picture. You can use the camera for videos and although these are in HD quality, it is not as good quality as I would have thought, the images are slightly shaky and the sound sounds a little impaired. I use this feature but it will not replace my video camera.
I am starting to become less and less satisfied with the App store as Apple have the monopoly on it. If you have an android phone you can dip into different App stores and compare prices of Apps and find different ones. The Amazon Apps store does a free app of the day which is usually a good one. Apple store does free apps but usually the free ones are only lite versions of games or simplistic apps such as a torch and ruler.
There are some great apps though, shiftworker is a good one if you work shifts as you can plan your life, New Star Soccer is a great one as you get to be a football player and move clubs and then there are games such as fruit ninja which are frustrating and fun.
You can download news apps, camera apps and all sorts of things to make your phone more fun. Most apps cost about 69p so this is nothing and once you have an Apple ID and password you can download them quickly and easily.
==Emails, texts and Siri==
I love email on the iphone as I have set it up with my account so that every time I get an email my phone alerts me to it. I do not need to keep logging into my inbox, it works just like your messages does where you can open it without a password. I have set emails to push notifications so that every few minutes the phone refreshes and tells me if I have any new messages. You can read attachments on your phone which is also really useful and email pictures and sounds. If the file is too big it will not do it, but small files it sends over instantly.
Composing a text message or email is easy and I find the keyboard really easy to work around. The phone uses predictive text which is accurate, even down to capitalisation in the right place. I can write a text in seconds using it vertical but if you hold it horizontal it takes a bit longer. When you do this the keyboard gets longer and you can use two hands to write. It is all about personal preference.
Siri; Apple's voice recognition service was brought out with the 4S so I am very familiar with it. It is accurate and you can do whatever you want with it, from asking it to play songs to composing a text message. I find it an interesting feature but it is one that I can do without and to be honest, I do not get much out of it. I can write quickly anyway and sometimes I find I have to go over the text Siri has wrote and change some times. A nice feature but I just do not need it.
The phone works just like an ipod so you can have all your devices synced with your music collection. The ipod organises the collection into albums, artists, songs and then you can create playlists from this. The albums have their artwork displayed on screen which is nice and you can even store your audio books and music videos in here. I find the music library really easy to work and you can download songs from itunes at your fingertips. 99p for a track is the usual price and it will take less than 30 seconds to be with you. I like this but do not do it drunk at a party as you can spend so much money! Skipping tracks, changing volume and pausing can all be done with ease on the screen.
So really not much has changed and this has really disappointed me. I was expecting something wonderful and I have just got a bigger version of the iphone 4S. It is hard for me to say this as I am quite loyal to the Apple brand but they should really put more into this phone. If you have a look at some of the other phones on the market, they really put this one to shame. The Samsung Galaxy Three is light years ahead of this phone, for example when you look at your stored videos you can see each one playing in a mini thumb print screen. It is incredible to see 6 little boxes with different films playing in them. It is things like this that make me go wow whereas the iphone did nothing to surprise me. The screen is great and the camera is superb; really good quality but the 4S is not that far behind it. The fact that the battery is not removable and it runs down so quick is a really poor point for me as this should last much longer than it does. I feel let down, so much so I feel I should have bought a different phone, there is no great features that I want to show off and I feel that if I had picked a different phone I would have been more impressed.
Summary: A good phone, but could be better