Apple iPhone 5 - How good is it?

By Sam Pearman 11D1

Whether we can afford one or not, we look to apple's range of iPhones to see the latest technical innovations in smartphones, but how does it compare to it's rivals?

The Apple iPhone 5 has a lot of technically advanced features. One of which is the Retina display, which 3 years after it's first appearance is still the best phone display out there. It has an improved 8mp iSight Camera, which can directly upload to social networking services like twitter and facebook. However, other smartphones and modern digital cameras have higher mp sensors, cost far less,have longer battery life, and some cameras can reliably connect to wifi and upload the images instantly to social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook, unlike the iPhone.

It has a full QWERTY keyboard on the touchscreen, with nearly every language, and can type messages very easily. On the other hand, a laptop can be typed on faster due to the touch screen sometimes misinterpreting what letters you type. And the biggest downside of the iPhone for typing is auto correct, which can have a mind of it's own, as proved by very funny fail pics across many different websites.

Playing games on the iPhone is a joy, the controls of them are refined and there are tens of thousands of different games, often with a minimum cost of 69p. Games consoles (e.g. Playstation 3 and Xbox 360) have AAA rated titles, costing between £29.99 and £49.99. The controls can be hard to get used to because it isn't immediately obvious what you need to do.

However, the Samsung Galaxy SIII had recently commanded a significant amount of the smartphone market, though this is likely to recede once the Galaxy SIV is released worldwide.

Pros (of the Galaxy SIII):
Very good display and UI.
Nature inspired design.
Powerful Cpu and it is quad cored.
Runs android.
Big screen.
Good benchmarks
HD screen.
Good camera

Cons (of the Galaxy SIII):
Too big
Durability rating :0
Cheap plastic built
Looks kinda stupid compared to Iphone.
Not that good battery life.

The iPhone 5 has quite a lot of good stuff going for it

Pros (of the iPhone 5):

  • Extremely thin, sleek, and very light weight design with a relatively durable aluminum back panel.
  • Beautiful ultra high-resolution 4-Inch "Retina Display" (1136 x 640, 326 ppi) provides more viewable area without increasing the width of the device.
  • Effectively global 4G/LTE support.
  • Quality camera for a smartphone is capable of shooting 8 megapixel stills and 1080p 30FPS video.
  • Significantly faster than all earlier iPhone models with improved graphics performance.
  • Battery life is long enough to provide all day use for many.
  • Three noise canceling microphones provides significantly improved call quality compared to earlier iPhone devices.
  • Support for a vast library of third-party apps and web apps.
  • Relatively inexpensive if tied to an often expensive contract.

Cons (of the iPhone 5):

  • Aluminum back panel can be subject to scratches and dents, so much so that some shipped scratched from the factory.
  • Case is so light that it almost feels fake and some users may prefer the "heft" of the earlier iPhone 4S or iPhone 4 models.
  • Camera lacks optical zoom.
  • Battery life can be shorter than official estimates, particularly for mobile data use (and this is an understatement)
  • Lightning connector is not backwards compatible with the earlier Dock Connector or thousands of existing third-party accessories.
  • Nano Sim cards may be a hassle when traveling (although a larger SIM can be cut down to fit).
  • Unlocked and contract-free models are considerably more expensive than contract encumbered models and the iPod touch line.

However, Nokia has introduced a new flagship phone, the Lumia 920, in an attempt to grab back some of the market that Apple and Samsung rule with an iron fist.

Pros(of the Lumia 920)

  • Gorgeous Screen.

  • 4G capabilities.

  • Build quality.

  • Great camera.

  • Nokia software enhancements.

Cons(of the Lumia 920):

  • Expensive.

  • Big and heavy.

  • Some softness in photos.

  • Poor app selection.

  • Battery average life.

  • Some issues with LTE reception.

Overall, there are a few faults with the iPhone 5 (durability, battery life etc), but the positive aspects far outweigh the negative ones. As for the SIII, it appeals more to those who want a phone that can do everything that an iPhone can do, but without the price tag. The Nokia Lumia 920 is more for the person that doesn't want the iPhone or the SIII, but instead wants a great phone that has the Windows Phone 8 OS.