4 inch Retina display with 800:1 contrast ratio
20% lighter (than iPhone 4S)
HD video recording up to 30 frames per second
FaceTime camera for videocalling other iPhone
APPLE iPhone 5 Review
The latest incarnation of the world's most successful smartphone is the iPhone 5. Despite the vast improvements from competing android phones such as the HTC One and Samsung Galaxy S4, as well as new Windows smartphones including the HTC 8X and Nokia Lumia 925, the iPhone continues to be the object of desire for many people
Introduced September 2012
by Mike Leader
The first thing you will notice is the familiar design hasn't changed much, in fact it is difficult to tell it from it's predecessors at first glance. But pick it up and the first thing you will notice is the weight - now weighing in at just 112 grams, it is lighter than the iPhone 4 - a full 20% lighter in fact
It is also slimmer. In fact Apple claim it's the slimmest smartphone you can buy - it isn't quite, but at 7.6mm it is certainly a more svelte device than it used to be. Some have claimed that it lacks the sturdy feel of previous models as a result. However the chassis is now aluminium and as such should be stronger but the overall look is an evolution rather than a revolution. The band around the casing now houses a much improved aerial so there should be fewer dropped calls, and GPS reception is also improved.
The screen size, now closer to the toughened Gorilla Glass housing, is increased to 4 inches which makes the whole phone slightly taller but if you have never had an iPhone before you won't notice.
While Apple have not increased the resolution of the excellent Retina display it still remains one of the outstanding features of the iphone. But it does mean that the Home button, the one physical button beneath the screen that has been a feature of every iPhone, is now harder to reach if you use the phone with one hand.
The screen still displays the simple grid system of apps that the iPhone is famed for and the larger screen size now accommodates an extra row of icons. You can easily rearrange your apps, combine them into folders or remove from the screen with one touch, though many of you now prefer the widgets and higher customisation level you get with android devices. But ease of use is still king for many people and here the iPhone excels.
Apple steadfastly refuse to adopt a MicroUSB socket for charging and data transfer but the 30-pin connector has gone, now replaced with a smaller 'Lightning' connector which feels sturdier and is reversible so it doesn't matter which way you plug it in.
You can buy a MicroUSB adapter, which Apple have had to provide for the iPhone 5 to comply with EU regulations which now state that all new phones must have a MicroUSB connection but it is quite expensive at £15. We feel that Apple should provide this free of charge. The headphone socket is also now at the base of the phone, alongside the dual stereo speakers.
FaceTime, Apple's video calling app is again present, now in HD and is also available over Wi-Fi, though since Wi-Fi is only a short range connection arguably it has limited use. But used with 4G it is a great way of keeping up with friends and family - as long as they have an iPhone or the latest Mac or iPad of course.
The updated operating system, iOS6 is the big change on the iPhone 5 with many improvements - said to be around 200 - including improvements to Siri, the popular voice recognition system which allows you to search, dial and control apps by voice. You can instantly call this up with a long press of the Home button.
Social network integration for Facebook is now, finally, included so you can now link easily to your Facebook posts and Tweets. There is a notification screen which you access by swiping down from the top - not unlike android smartphones - and a left-swipe brings up the search function.
Apple have now broken off their partnership with Google so YouTube has gone and Google Maps has been replaced with Apple Maps. It renders quickly and the new 3D view gives you just that and is an improvement on Google's straight-down looking satellite view.
Sadly though it is an online program rather than a downloadable app so you will need a constant connection and you will use a lot of data and battery power. Accuracy is also often poor. The good news is that Google still offer Maps for iOS6 and it is an improved version too.
The iPhone 5 still sports an 8 megapixel camera which also records HD 1080p video but image quality has much improved and the Panorama mode is the best we have seen on any phone or camera for outdoor pictures at least. That's saying something because the iPhone 4 already had one of the best cameras around. Sound when recording video - in HD of course - is also extremely clear thanks to the microphone situated next to the camera.
There is still no NFC connectivity, although this is a relatively new technology, and no removable battery or external memory card slot. The Apple iPhone 5 is available in 16GB, 32GB or 64GB versions in black or white. Like anything in life then it's not perfect but if you want a smartphone with it's own unique easy to use operating system, fantastic camera, superb features and excellent overall build quality then you will not be disappointed
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