Apple iPhone 5 (GSM)

Verge Review

Ah, to review the iPhone 5; what a blessing, and what a curse. It's actually funny to think that there was a time not that long ago that the iPhone wasn't even a thing, let alone an iconic part of pop culture. A time when an Apple-made phone was just a fantasy; a blogger's fever-dream; a secret glimmer in the eye of Steve Jobs and his team of engineers and designers. But the iPhone has become very real. In fact, it's grown up, moved out, and taken over the world. Well, half the world anyhow....

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Basic Specs

Thickness 0.3 inches
Weight 0.25 pounds
Form factor Slab
Screen size (diagonal) 4 inches
Carriers AT&T
Operating system iOS
Launch OS version 6.0

Recent News

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Tech Specs

Hardware

Height 4.87 inches
Width 2.31 inches
Thickness 0.3 inches
Weight 0.25 pounds
Form factor Slab
Color White / Silver, Black / Gray
Loudspeaker Mono
Noise cancellation Hardware (multi-mic)

Display

Screen size (diagonal) 4 inches
Technology IPS LCD
Pixel arrangement RGB
Resolution (Y) 1136 px
Resolution (X) 640 px
PPI 326
Touchscreen type Capacitive

Connectivity

Carriers AT&T
GSM Yes
GSM frequencies supported 1900, 900, 850
UMTS / HSPA Yes
UMTS frequencies supported 900, 2100, 1900, 850
LTE Yes
Wi-Fi Yes
Wi-Fi support 802.11n, 802.11g, 802.11b, 802.11a
802.11n frequencies 5GHz, 2.4GHz
GPS Yes
Bluetooth Yes
Bluetooth version Bluetooth 4.0
Tethering / mobile hotspot Yes
Media streaming AirPlay

Processor

Manufacturer Apple
Model A6
Clock speed 1 GHz
Number of cores 2

Memory

RAM size 1 GB

Storage

Internal size 64 GB, 32 GB, 16 GB
External No

Front Camera

Resolution 1.2 megapixels
Video resolution 720p

Rear Camera

Resolution 8 megapixels
Flash LED
Focus type Autofocus
Video resolution 1080p
Video framerate 30

Software

Operating system iOS
Launch OS version 6.0

Interface

Video out Yes
Headphone jack 3.5mm
Other ports Lightning

Sensors

Sensors Compass (Magnetometer), Proximity, Ambient light, Gyroscope, Accelerometer

Battery

Removable No

Recent News

No recent news about Apple iPhone 5 (GSM).

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  • 9.0
    Show all User reviews

    Reviewed by TanujDua (Currently owns)

    Upgraded from a 4S and I wasn't sure what to expect, the end result is fantastic.

    Firstly, Apple in my eyes has managed to both top the iPhone 4/4S in terms of both build quality, look and feel. This is incredible as before I thought the 4/4S were the most beautiful phones around. The finish is just even more 'premium' than before.

    Everything about this phone screams precision and finesse.

    Two things I would like to touch upon is battery life and then software. Firstly battery life, I would drop 1-3% an hour on standby, even at night when I might receive 3 emails total (wifi/data/3g on). This was drastically lower than the estimates. I am still running some tests to see whether it's just due to any particular setting. But other than that it was far superior to my 4S in the battery department, which really amazes me as it's smaller and more powerful with the bigger screen.

    Software we don't need to dwell on, it's iOS. The same for years. I would like more in depth controls or settings options, even things like data usage warnings or app by app usage statistics (to control battery life even more). Otherwise it really is the best phone I've ever had and used. However, if you are a fan of Android there is little point looking at it.

    The Breakdown

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    • Design 10
    • Display 10
    • Camera(s) 8
    • Reception / call quality 8
    • Performance 10
    • Software 8
    • Battery life 7
    • Ecosystem 10
    Show the rest of this review and the breakdown
  • 9.0
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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
    Show the rest of this review and the breakdown
  • 10.0
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    Reviewed by chekmanirov (Currently owns)

    This is easily the best phone on the market today. It is simply unbeatable in terms of design, speed, and ease of use. It is a huge improvement over the 4s. Android products such as the Nexus 4 are not as refined as Apple products. The app market for iOS easily outpaces the Android market. Pricing is the only minimal cost for those who can't afford it.

    The Breakdown

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    • Design 10
    • Display 10
    • Camera(s) 10
    • Reception / call quality 10
    • Performance 10
    • Software 10
    • Battery life 10
    • Ecosystem 10
    Show the rest of this review and the breakdown
  • 8.0
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    Reviewed by HotelQuebec (Previously owned)

    iPhone 5 is fine for someone who doesn't use it extensively, doesn't need versatility, is content with a rather tiny display by today's standard and an OS and UI that are getting long in the tooth with key features such as integrated voice (Siri) and, especially, maps following behind the competition. Other than the subjectively pretty aesthetics which I personally think is not as classy as the LG Optimus G/Nexus 4 and the camera there's not much else that sets this apart from the competition. Compared to just the iPhone 4S, iPhone 5 build quality and loss of Google Maps is one step backward but one step forward in performance along with slightly stretched phone.

    The Breakdown

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    • 10
    • Design 8
    • Display 8
    • Camera(s) 9
    • Reception / call quality 8
    • Performance 9
    • Software 7
    • Battery life 8
    • Ecosystem 9
    Show the rest of this review and the breakdown
  • 10.0
    Show all User reviews

    Reviewed by volodoscope (Currently owns)

    One of the most stable and reliable smartphone I've ever used. The battery drains 2% overnight. That's just amazing, even my old Galaxy Nexus drained about 15%. The email and the enterprise features are up there with Blackberry system. Everything works smooth, fast and I've never had anything freeze on me. Just a great device. The only thing I was little sad about was the lack of true innovation and update to OS. iOS 6 feels little bit old comparing to Windows Phone OS and Jelly Bean from Google. There's a ton of other features I love, but overall this is the best smartphone I've had. Previously owned Lumia 800, Galaxy Nexus.

    The Breakdown

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    • Design 10
    • Display 10
    • Camera(s) 10
    • Reception / call quality 9
    • Performance 10
    • Software 8
    • Battery life 9
    • Ecosystem 10
    Show the rest of this review and the breakdown
  • 9.0
    Show all User reviews

    Reviewed by braydon268 (Currently owns)

    This is the first iPhone I have ever owned and I have to say I am impressed. I have come from own Nokia flip phones, then Blackberries then Android. Using this phone is a complete joy and the ease of use and functionality is exactly what I was looking for in a phone. It is the first phone that I have owned that works all the time, no lag, no dropped call and no crashes. In my opinion the design is gorgeous and hardware is important to me. It feels solid in the hand and has hit the sweet spot in weight. The display is by and far the best I have ever used. Even after using it for over a month the pop of the screen still catches my eye. Ecosystem is unmatched by any other ( I have come from Android, which has improved but is not there yet). I expected the performance to be good, but not this snappy. I often pay attention to RAM, processor speeds and how many cores a machine has. Apple continues to surprise in this field in both computers, phone and tablets. Their machines just dont seem to play by the rules in this category. The speed of use is incredible, there is barley any "wait time" while using the phone. LTE is a market improvement for anyone coming from 3G or HSPA+. iOS was disappointing in some categories, but I have confidence that Jony Ive will be correcting that very soon. Overall very impressed and highly recommended.

    The Breakdown

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    • Design 9
    • Display 10
    • Camera(s) 9
    • Reception / call quality 9
    • Performance 9
    • Software 8
    • Battery life 9
    • Ecosystem 10
    Show the rest of this review and the breakdown
  • 10.0
    Show all User reviews

    Reviewed by lucasrepullo (Currently owns)

    I buy a smartphone to use the apps inside of it, to see the content produced all over the word, to listen to my music and take my pictures, not to have to worry with the specifications and the processor, and the resolution of the screen or to be able to customize it.

    I only want a device that works, that is beautiful, practical, thin, light and fast. For this, the iPhone is always better and this is the best iPhone ever. If you use apple products like macbook and iPad, you don't have to even think about getting another phone.

    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
    Show the rest of this review and the breakdown
  • 4.0
    Show all User reviews

    Reviewed by scribacco (Currently owns)

    Very disappointed of this new handset and mainly disappointed on IOS 6 which is very buggy.

    Pros:
    Ecosystem
    Support
    LTE
    Fast Internet surfing

    Cons:
    Screen still small
    Software freezes (updates shown in Apple store but no way I can download them unless I restart)
    Terrible battery life
    Scratches easily
    Outdated UI
    Poor reception

    The Breakdown

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    • Design 1
    • Display 6
    • Camera(s) 5
    • Reception / call quality 1
    • Performance 6
    • Software 1
    • Battery life 1
    • Ecosystem 10
    Show the rest of this review and the breakdown
  • 10.0
    Show all User reviews

    Reviewed by justfinethanku (Currently owns)

    I pre-ordered this year and was able to get the phone the day it came out. I'm a big fan.

    I have to be honest though, I've definitely gotten a little bored with the OS. The problem, though, is that I have nothing else to turn to. I use Keynote and Numbers a LOT, as well as iMovie and Garage band to make little videos and I haven't yet encountered another phone with capabilities on-par with this device.

    Thin, light, bright and beautiful. This phone is a powerhouse for anyone who wants to actually get things done.

    The Breakdown

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    • Design 10
    • Display 10
    • Camera(s) 10
    • Reception / call quality 10
    • Performance 10
    • Software 9
    • Battery life 8
    • Ecosystem 10
    Show the rest of this review and the breakdown
  • 10.0
    Show all User reviews

    Reviewed by ShanTaClaus (Currently owns)

    No regrets buying it whatsoever. I was skeptical at first after seeing what the competition had to offer, but over the past 2 months I have been nothing but satisfied with my purchase. It must be noted, however, that I have been lucky thus far to have gotten a non-defective unit, in light of the scuffgate faced by Apple currently.

    The Breakdown

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    • Design 10
    • Display 10
    • Camera(s) 10
    • Reception / call quality 10
    • Performance 10
    • Software 10
    • Battery life 10
    • Ecosystem 10
    Show the rest of this review and the breakdown
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