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....

Read the full review

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

No recent news about Apple iPhone 5 (GSM).

Recent Discussions

view all

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).

Login in order to review this product.

  • 9.0
    Show all User reviews

    Reviewed by tomi2711 (Currently owns)

    Pros:

    - Awesome design, super thin, super light, highest quality materials (as it scuffs, I gave it a 9).
    - Best display out there.
    - Notable speaker improvement.
    - Outstanding performance. Snappy, no lags.

    Cons:

    - No real "new feature" over iPhone 4S. There's nothing an iPhone 5 can do that the 4S can't.
    - iOS is holding this phone.
    - It scuffs (I own the black one).

    Summary:

    The iPhone 5 is the best iPhone ever... For a bit. There's nothing the iPhone 5 can do that the iPhone 4S can't. And this is mainly because iOS. The hardware involved in the 6th generation iPhone is the best out there, but Apple's phone doesn't really stand out of the crowd anymore due to its operating system. iOS is stable, fast, easy to use, and all that good things.. but its really holding this phone down. The hardware battle is already over. There's not that much innovation left in hardware. But the race is now on software. Smartphones nowadays are way more powerful than before, much more capable. And phone makes should take advantage of this.

    The iPhone 5 is the best iPhone out there, but iOS 6 is the worst, least innovative version of iOS until now. Sadly this makes the 6th generation iPhone another smartphone, and not the best one as it used to be.

    The Breakdown

    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
    • 6
    • 7
    • 8
    • 9
    • 10
    • Design 9
    • Display 10
    • Camera(s) 8
    • Reception / call quality 9
    • Performance 10
    • Software 7
    • Battery life 8
    • Ecosystem 10
    Show the rest of this review and the breakdown
  • 5.0
    Show all User reviews

    Reviewed by boddha (Previously owned)

    The iPhone 5 seriously doesn't add anything new on the table. It just keeps repeating the same patterns all over again. The screen isn't that great, and with the reduced weight the phone just feels cheap. And iOS doesn't just do the trick anymore, it is simply outdated. Not to mention the Apple ecosystem which tries to lock you in and never let you out, making it as hard as possible to switch to another platform. Luckily I managed to do so and returned this phone and got the amazing new Nokia Lumia 920 instead.

    The Breakdown

    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
    • 6
    • 7
    • 8
    • 9
    • 10
    • Design 5
    • Display 6
    • Camera(s) 7
    • Reception / call quality 6
    • Performance 6
    • Software 4
    • Battery life 6
    • Ecosystem 2
    Show the rest of this review and the breakdown
  • 9.0
    Show all User reviews

    Reviewed by omikun (Currently owns)

    Much lighter than the previous phone, feels almost ethereal. For someone who just wants a phone that can do a basic set of things really, really well, this phone satisfies everything I want out of a smartphone. That is to say it's a great appliance: you pick it up, do what you need to do, and put it back down. It's not a linux of phones and you can't customize it to your hearts content. There is no lockscreen widget which would make my timer app way more convenient. Siri understands half the phrases I use, but at least I don't have to memorize commands. Overall it doesn't do everything but it excels at what it can do. I wish the battery could handle a week's worth of little to no use, but I end up charging it every two or three days. The camera is pretty good but not a revolutionary leap over say my 3GS. I guess I was hoping for something closer to my SLR. The video capture feature is phenomenal, however. Way faster and easier to use than my SLR, and it captures better at low light (and keep things in focus!). What more can I want out of it? Oh right, cheaper cable. $20 for a reversible plug is ridiculous. Give me a $2 non-reversible one please.

    The Breakdown

    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
    • 6
    • 7
    • 8
    • 9
    • 10
    • Design 9
    • Display 10
    • Camera(s) 8
    • Reception / call quality 9
    • Performance 10
    • Software 8
    • Battery life 7
    • Ecosystem 9
    Show the rest of this review and the breakdown
  • 9.0
    Show all User reviews

    Reviewed by RoboticSpacePenguin (Currently owns)

    I really like this phone, the standout features for me are the increased screen-size and the reduced volume and weight. When I first held it in my hand, I must admit it felt a little cheap, like it was one of those empty shells on display at the crappy carrier store. However, it didn't take long for me to appreciate how nice a really light phone is.

    The Breakdown

    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
    • 6
    • 7
    • 8
    • 9
    • 10
    • 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
  • 1.0
    Show all User reviews

    Reviewed by JreiterE (Currently owns)

    I hate this device so much. Waste of my money.

    Ugly software
    ioS needs to grow
    It sucks
    I hate it
    Its horrible
    Get it away from me

    Nexus 4 will be so much better, I am switching the day I can. Nexus 4 provides a far better experience for me than I am getting with the iPhone. The iPhone's design needs to change for once. Needs ACTUALLY a bigger screen, and at least a semi good software

    The Breakdown

    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
    • 6
    • 7
    • 8
    • 9
    • 10
    • Design 4
    • Display 8
    • Camera(s) 8
    • Reception / call quality 3
    • Performance 8
    • Software 1
    • Battery life 5
    • Ecosystem 5
    Show the rest of this review and the breakdown
  • 8.0
    Show all User reviews

    Reviewed by DorgonStudios (Currently owns)

    As an owner of the black model, I have noticed scratching of the painted aluminum on the phone already, making a case essential for anyone who bought the black model. It's a shame, because the black one is so dang sexy.

    It may be my neighborhood, but reception is pretty terrible. My wife's iPhone 4 also has issues, so I guess that's something.

    The screen is absolutely incredible. I've owned an iPhone 4, 4S, and now the 5. It seems to be getting better every time. The colors and contrast are mind-blowingly good.

    Battery life seems to be pretty crappy, and I rarely can make it through a day without needing to charge. I listen to a lot of podcasts, although they're all playing from the device instead of streaming, so I don't know what the problem is.

    The cameras are still great, especially the upgrade to the Facetime HD camera on the front.

    Overall, I'm really happy with the iPhone 5, even though I wish I would have bought the white one to avoid having to worry about scuffs over time.

    The Breakdown

    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
    • 6
    • 7
    • 8
    • 9
    • 10
    • Design 8
    • Display 10
    • Camera(s) 8
    • Reception / call quality 8
    • Performance 9
    • Software 8
    • Battery life 6
    • Ecosystem 10
    Show the rest of this review and the breakdown
  • 10.0
    Show all User reviews

    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

    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
    • 6
    • 7
    • 8
    • 9
    • 10
    • 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
  • 9.0
    Show all User reviews

    Reviewed by chrismo2001 (Currently owns)

    When it comes to Apple you expect quality. And Apple delivers! The iPhone 5 (aka 6th gen) is an incredible piece of hardware. As soon as I took out of the box and held it in my hand I immediately notice how light was. It's the lightest phone I have ever used and at the same time is the most durable phone I have ever held. Apple has it all with this phone; design, display, and performance. Apple is second to none in this industry. There's a reason why everyone wants to be like the iPhone.

    The Breakdown

    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
    • 6
    • 7
    • 8
    • 9
    • 10
    • Design 10
    • Display 10
    • Camera(s) 9
    • Reception / call quality 9
    • Performance 10
    • Software 9
    • Battery life 8
    • Ecosystem 10
    Show the rest of this review and the breakdown
  • 9.0
    Show all User reviews

    Reviewed by DillonLarson (Currently owns)

    My first iPhone and pretty much everything I expected. A fabulous device.

    Good Stuff
    - Gorgeous glass and aluminum design (black and slate)
    - Disturbingly thin and light
    - 4-inch screen is the perfect size for my hand
    - Retina display is still the king
    - Cameras are about as good as I expected (I have had a bit of purple glare, but not much)
    - Snappy performance
    - Generally good software (iOS 6 is an OK improvement)
    - OK but not insanely great battery life
    - iOS, the App Store, and Lightning will continue to push iPhone forward

    Bad Stuff
    - No Sprint LTE in my area (or many areas)
    - Call quality not excellent (again, likely a Sprint problem)
    - Battery life is less amazing than I would have hoped

    The Breakdown

    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
    • 6
    • 7
    • 8
    • 9
    • 10
    • Design 10
    • Display 10
    • Camera(s) 8
    • Reception / call quality 6
    • Performance 10
    • Software 9
    • Battery life 8
    • Ecosystem 10
    Show the rest of this review and the breakdown
  • 8.0
    Show all User reviews

    Reviewed by charbar13 (Currently owns)

    The iPhone 5 is the crowing achievement of Apple when it comes to design mixed with power. But what is strange is the amount of "sheen" that has worn off for Apple. This "magic" that was prominent for several years has begun to weaken and weaken. For me, this made the iPhone 5 less incredible. It takes the "awe" out of the device. Higher expectations could be to blame, but with all competitors starting to take the lead in the "innovation" race, Apple's iPhone 5 could be the last big thing to enjoy for a while. I like to enjoy all the phones out there to some extent. But I'm feeling like I will be more wowed by a Windows Phone 8 device come November. That remains to be seen, but for now, this will do (donkey).

    The Breakdown

    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
    • 6
    • 7
    • 8
    • 9
    • 10
    • Design 9
    • Display 8
    • Camera(s) 8
    • Reception / call quality 8
    • Performance 9
    • Software 7
    • Battery life 8
    • Ecosystem 8
    Show the rest of this review and the breakdown
X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.
Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_5345_tracker