Apple iPhone 5 (GSM)

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Reviewed by whiteshirtonly (Currently owns)

Screen size: I wanted a big phone, around 4.5 inch screen. I did buy one. And I realized that it was useless. It was bulky and big in the pocket. A 4" screen with this ratio is a smart move from Apple: it was really designed by thinking at the every day use instead of just making it bigger in every direction. If you really want a big screen à la GS3, you'll be disappointed.

Industrial design: second skin. It's so thin and light that I don't feel it in my pocket.

Software: two sides to consider: Apple softwares and third party apps. iOS is getting old, but it's probably because its interface became mainstream. The standard of the touch interface. Apple apps are really good, I am really relying on Pages and Numbers to get things done. iCloud syncs everything automatically. I can then continue my progress on the iPad.

Third party apps are definitely adding value. Not only apps but also contents. And since iCloud is a huge, growing ecosystem of phones, tablets, laptops, desktops, TV, with being already more lucrative for developers than Android or Windows Phone, it's keeping better. Just last week, big names like Dropbox, Flickr or iMDB redesigned their apps.

Hardware / software integration makes it safe to use it for the next few years: you will have updates. Battery life is optimized.

Price: The price looks expensive, but if you consider that it's a tool that you will carry all the time, that replaces wallet, camera, PDA, office assistant, gaming console, ... and that you can probably keep for 3 to 4 years easily (A6 chip is really future proof, its performances are currently insane), the price tag can be amortized fairly.

Innovation vs. improvements: is the iPhone 5 an innovation? It's up to you to decide. If you're coming from a 4s, probably not. If you're coming from Android or anything else, probably yes. More importantly, the new iPhones are all about refinement and improvements over innovation. The innovation already happened. You can't expect a new disruptive technology every couple of years. Incremental improvements are notable on the iPhone 5. You really have to value thickness and weight to enjoy it. 18% thinner and 20% lighter than the 4S is a ground breaking design.

The Breakdown

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