iPhone 5 Review: Separating Fact From Fiction

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The iPhone 5 has been with us for a month and for the majority of people it has met with expectations, barring the documented issues with it and Apple Maps. The device is the thinnest iPhone and the experience using it hasn’t changed much over the iPhone 4S, but there have been some changes. These include the larger display and a faster processor.

iPhone 5 review

Fact: Siri has been improved but is still more of a novelty

iOS 6 has brought about numerous changes and the notifications screen has been improved. This is easy to get at by swiping down when on the home screen. It now shows you more information, including weather, calendar events, stocks and up dates for apps. iOS 6 also comes with better integration for Facebook and Twitter. Siri has been improved, but it’s still quicker and more accurate to search for things yourself.

Fact: iPhone 5 hasn’t blocked Google Maps, it can still be accessed via the web browser

The Maps app from Apple is a huge disappointment and it can actually get you lost instead of helping you to reach your destination. On the good side owners of the iPhone 5 are still able to use Google maps in the browser. There are also other map apps for download and Apple are said to be improving the app.

Fact: YouTube can’t take advantage of the bigger iPhone 5 display

Wi-Fi seems to have some problems and isn’t all that stable and it certainly isn’t consistent. Apple have also got rid of YouTube, however you can download the app if you want to. However it doesn’t use the whole of the 4 inch display, yet.

Fact: Passbook app is still a beta at best

Passbook is a wonderful idea but at the moment it is limited. However this is a great way to organise things such as tickets and boarding passes. This app is expected to be another thing that will improve over time.

Fiction: The average-sized person can use the iPhone 5 with one hand

The new iPhone 5 comes packed with improvements to the hardware and design. It is very light and thin, which makes it even easier to carry around. The longer 4 inch display is perfect for browsing the internet, but of course not on par with the display of larger Android handsets such as the Galaxy S3.

If your hands are large then you will still be able to move around the screen with one hand, if not then you will have to use two. However the boost in screen size is great with many apps and most of them have been updated to use all of the real estate.

Fact: iPhone 5 LTE connectivity is faster than most WiFi

The iPhone 5 comes with support for LTE and this will boost surfing speed to levels above WiFi. These were the results found on our Verizon iPhone 5 demo unit.

Fiction: The iPhone 5 camera is noticeably better than the 4S

The camera now offers the option of taking a photo while recording video at the same time and the panorama effect is very impressive. The iPhone 5 is not the only device to have this feature and it lacks a burst mode, however the photos it takes are of good quality. Some people however have noticed a purple haze on photos. You will also be hardpressed to tell the difference between a picture taken on an iPhone 5 and 4S.

Fiction: The iPhone 5 battery lasts as long as the 4S.

The device is very fast and others have supported this with performance tests. The battery also doesn’t match the same talktime found on the iPhone 4S when running iOS 5. It is unclear if this is due to the iPhone 5 hardware or iOS 6. The iPhone 4S averaged 9.5 hours while the iPhone 5 did 7 hours.

Fact: The iPhone 5 is an evolutionary upgrade

When you compare the iPhone 5 against Android handsets in the top range, the iPhone 5 still has the smallest display, however it does seem to match the them in performance. iOS 6 is the best choice of OS for me as it is one of the easiest to use and it fills the gap between Android and Windows phone handsets. Apple have more control over the apps on the App store, and this generally means more consistency and security. Google Now on Android does seem more useful than Siri, however neither of these are compelling at the moment. The iPhone 5 lacks NFC support, which most of the Android handsets have, and some people will go for the larger displays on the Android handsets.

All in all the iPhone 5 provides fans of Apple with superb speed and the design has been well built as always. The device may not be perfect, however it has seen improvements over the iPhone 4S.

Mike is the man who reviews gadgets that aren’t mainstream or products that can’t exactly be classified as consumer electronics e.g. portable talking toilets. It’s always interesting to read about the crazy products we have here in Asia that just don’t get as much publicity as they warrant.