Apple iPhone 5 (GSM)

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Reviewed by BulkSlash (Currently owns)

Having used iPhones since the 3G this is certainly the fastest and slickest iPhone yet. I missed out on a 4S so this was my first experience with Siri. The first thing I did was turn the female voice on, as the male UK voice they default to sounds unbearably smug... Siri is great for quick tasks but I wouldn't want to use it in public for fear of looking a bit of a prat.

The camera is really fantastic and no matter how much I try I've not managed to trigger the purple haze in any of my images. Likely another storm in a teacup perpetuated by haters. HDR images now save instantly, compared to the 2-3 second lag I would get on the iPhone 4.

As for the notorious maps app, it's hard to give a definitive conclusion when it seems problems vary by area. All I can say is that all the places I've visited in the UK have good satellite imagery, the POIs were plentiful and mostly correctly placed (Google Maps is hardly the bastion of accurate POIs in my experience) and the turn-by-turn navigation works very well. Aside from the loss of Streetview this is definitely an improvement over the creaking Google Maps app.

Safari is lightning fast and the 3D accelerated CSS scaling and translation means animations usually look smoother on my phone than on my desktop browser. That sort of acceleration is something that doesn't show up in any browser benchmarks and ensures Safari is still the stand-out mobile browser in my book. Of course the A6 tops most browser benchmarks too, but even when faster processors arrive, the 3D acceleration will likely keep Safari ahead of the pack.

In terms of gaming, the hardware is really streets ahead of the competition. The enhancements made to the CPU coupled with the tri-core graphics means everything absolutely flies, even badly written stuff from Gameloft runs at a smooth and steady framerate. I consider this to be a seriously impressive sign of the power of the A6 as Gameloft's stuff is always badly optimised.

Finally, the phone works as a wonderful companion to the iPad, automatically sharing content so that progress on one is picked up on the other seamlessly.

All in all, an excellent phone and the only real choice if you're a gamer who isn't prejudiced against touch screens for games.

The Breakdown

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  • Design 10
  • Display 10
  • Camera(s) 10
  • Reception / call quality 10
  • Performance 10
  • Software 9
  • Battery life 9
  • Ecosystem 10
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