Feeds
90%
Apple iPhone 5

Apple iPhone 5 review

The thinnest, slickest, fastest iPhone yet

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Better LTE than never

Battery life on smartphones is often an issue. Though the iPhone is better than it was, the more it does the more you want to use it, so it discharges more quickly. However, this is not just an Apple problem. HTC has improved the battery life in its phones markedly, as has Samsung. Things get easier on big phones because you can fit a bigger cell. And in a week of testing, the iPhone 5 has a noticeably improved battery life over its predecessors, thank goodness.

Apple iPhone 5

The new software, iOS 6, is available now for the iPhone 5 and some earlier models - and it's reviewed separately, here. There are lots of neat extras here. And some users may feel there’s no need to upgrade since all the star attractions of iOS 6 work on the iPhone 4S, too. But the processor is what makes the difference here, ensuring that the phone handles the camera’s Panorama feature, for instance, with ease.

And downloading the data for the half-baked Maps app’s gimmicky 3D Flyover feature is the fast it can be – there are often delays but that’s mostly down to the speed of connection. Speaking of which, let’s remember that this is the first phone with 4G in the UK. Others will follow and anyway the only network with 4G access, Everything Everywhere, hasn’t turned it on for public use yet.

Apple iPhone 5

Vodafone and O2 users can take comfort in the fact that the fast 3G connectivity has a noticeable effect, with data speeds being faster than on previous iPhones.

Limitations? There's the much publicised lack of NFC, but even the iPhone 5 naysayers have to admit there's very little need for it now, certainly as a payment mechanism. Next year, when the iPhone 5S comes out, maybe; but not now. I can't see too many, if any, iPhone 5 users desperately wanting to initiate fileshares with other users by tapping their handsets together.

Apple iPhone 5 EarPods

The new EarPods are better than their predecessors... but that's not saying much

Verdict

RH Recommended Medal

If you’re an iPhone user, you’ll want to move on up to what is surely the classiest handset from Apple yet. Though the 4S still has lots to offer, thanks to the arrival of iOS 6, the iPhone 5 hardware is nevertheless spectacular and deeply seductive. And when 4G arrives for EE customers, it will be an even more attractive package.

Sure, there are other handsets which do as much as or more than the iPhone 5. But Apple’s ease of use, highly populated App Store and irresistibly sleek hardware design are enough to give it the edge. ®

More Smartphone Reviews

Samsung
Galaxy Beam
Huawei
Ascend P1
Orange
San Diego
Sony
Xperia Go
Ten... Androids
for under 100 quid

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

90%
Apple iPhone 5

Apple iPhone 5 review

The thinnest, slickest, fastest iPhone yet.
Price: £529 (16GB), £599 (32GB) £699 (64GB) Sim free RRP

More from The Register

next story
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Don't wait for that big iPad, order a NEXUS 9 instead, industry little bird says
Google said to debut next big slab, Android L ahead of Apple event
Xperia Z3: Crikey, Sony – ANOTHER flagship phondleslab?
The Fourth Amendment... and it IS better
Netscape Navigator - the browser that started it all - turns 20
It was 20 years ago today, Marc Andreeesen taught the band to play
A drone of one's own: Reg buyers' guide for UAV fanciers
Hardware: Check. Software: Huh? Licence: Licence...?
The Apple launch AS IT HAPPENED: Totally SERIOUS coverage, not for haters
Fandroids, Windows Phone fringe-oids – you wouldn't understand
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
Here's your chance to buy an ancient, working APPLE ONE
Warning: Likely to cost a lot even for a Mac
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.