NOTE: This model is discontinued and may no longer be available to purchase new. See the latest cell phones or compare used prices.

Apple iPhone 5 review

8.6/10 AVG.
RATING



8.6/10
Informr score
The Apple iPhone 5 currently has an Informr score of 8.6 out of 10. This score is based on our evaluation of 63 sources including reviews from users and the web's most trusted critics.

What's good

  • Sharp 4-inch retina display
  • iOS 6 brings 200 new features to the iPhone including improvements to Siri and Facebook integration
  • Computing and graphics processing tasks are handled much better with the new Apple A6 SoC processor
  • Faster mobile data is available with support for both HSDPA and LTE networks

What's bad

  • Lacks NFC wireless technology for currently developing mobile payment systems
  • Comes with a new dock connector called Lightning that makes old docks and other accessories obsolete

Apple is out to rule the world smartphone market once again with the release of the latest iPhone, dubbed simply the iPhone 5. Unlike some of the previous models that were released by Apple in the past few years, this new one actually brings several major changes to the table, including a larger screen, a more powerful processor, and faster wireless technology. It also comes in a body that’s made with anodized aluminum, making it a full 18% thinner and 20% lighter than the iPhone 4S. People from all over the world have been itching to get their hands on a proper iPhone 5 for a long time now. Was it worth the wait?

The biggest change in the 5 that can be seen with the naked eye is the use of a 4-inch panel on its touchscreen display. The iPhone has always had a 3.5-inch screen since the release of the original back in 2007. But with the new model, the screen has been stretched vertically, resulting in a taller display that offers 16:9 viewing with higher native resolution and higher pixel density—1136x640 pixels and 326 ppi, to be exact. This new 4-inch Retina display has room for one extra row of apps on the home screen but otherwise, it works in the exact same way as its 3.5-inch counterpart.

Its also faster all around, thanks to a new dual-core Apple A6 CPU that’s said to offer double the speed and graphics performance of the chip in the previous-generation model, as well as a single-radio LTE solution that gives faster mobile data connections than ever before. In the absence of LTE networks, it also supports HSDPA data. And of course, 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are both still onboard.

Other noteworthy hardware changes include a slimmer 8MP iSight camera with Panorama mode and improved video stabilization, a better microphone setup for higher quality voice during phone calls, and a new dock connector called Lightning. This new dock solution has already earned the ire of many current iPhone users because it renders hundreds of fully-functional iPhone docks and other accessories obsolete. Apple could have gone with USB to replace the older dock connector for convenience, but users only get Lightning. Those who want to use accessories that are now incompatible need a $30 adapter that’s sold by Apple separately.

There are a couple of missing features on this year’s new iPhone. These are microSD card support and NFC wireless technology. Lack of the former means that user-available storage space is limited to just what’s on the device itself, and the lack of the latter makes the new iPhone incompatible with new mobile payment systems that are quickly gaining traction.

The base configuration of the phone offers 16GB of storage, which should be more than enough for most users. Those needing more can upgrade to a 32GB or 64GB model.

In the iPhone 5, an old expression rings true: the more things change, the more they stay the same. It brings a number of hardware and software changes, some more welcome than others, and the price for each model still varies mostly based only on the amount of internal storage. It’s an attractive handheld computing solution in more ways than one, especially with the introduction of iOS 6. But users of the iPhone 4 or 4S may find that it’s not worth recycling their current handsets just yet.


OS
No
Processor
1.3 GHz
Screen Size
4"
Camera
8+ MP


What the Critics Are Saying...


GottaBeMobile

The iPhone 5 remains a solid smartphone. The camera, software, and the quality of the Retina Display still offer me enough to keep it as my daily driver and in my opinion, they are enough warrant a look from consumers in search of a new device. The iPhone 5 should also get at least one more update,...

- Adam Mills, GottaBeMobile
TechRadar

The iPhone 5 is the phone that's the minimum users would want in terms of an upgrade, and finding the balance there is something Apple is more adept at than ever. It's a very, very good phone, but there are plenty of other equivalent devices out there that will suck much less cash from your bank acc...

- Gareth Beavis , TechRadar
iMore

The biggest thing you have to consider when choosing a carrier for your iPhone is what the coverage is like in the areas you are most of the time. My results may not be equivalent to your hometown, so do your research. Talk to your friends, neighbors, and coworkers who have T-Mobile. For people in m...

- Leanna Lofte, iMore
GottaBeMobile

After using the iPhone 5 for five months, I can honestly say that I bought what I feel is the best phone for me. I love the battery life that the iPhone 5 offers. I thoroughly have been enjoying its 4-inch display even though I wish it had better resolution. The camera is fantastic and the industria...

- Adam Mills, GottaBeMobile
Gadget Review

The iPhone 5 does leave a lot to be desired, and in many ways does not improve much over last year’s iPhone 4S. As stated earlier, I’m perfectly content with the iPhone 4S running iOS 5.1. Yet the iPhone 5 is brutishly powerful and still very refined. It’s far more elegant than the massive, overly-m...

- James Pikover, Gadget Review


Prices (Where to Buy)




Common Questions


Apple released the iPhone 5 on September 21, 2012.


Apple iPhone 5 prices will vary depending on retailer, age, special offers and whether or not it's purchased with a service plan. If purchased with a 2 year service contract for example, you would likely pay much less for the phone itself up front. Apple's suggested retail price is $649.00. You can compare iPhone 5 prices from around the web here on The Informr.


We've got you covered! Download a free PDF copy of the Apple iPhone 5 user manual here.


Apple backs up the iPhone 5 with a 1 Year parts & labour warranty.


If your iPhone 5 has problems and is still within its warranty period, you could contact Apple support or the retailer you purchased the phone from. You'll find Apple's contact information here. If your phone is off warranty and needs repair for a physical problem such as a broken screen or bad battery, you should visit an authorized service centre or a local phone repair shop. You can also connect with others in The Informr Community Forum to find and share answers to questions.




Resources


Manuals / User Guides Helpful Links Share / Embed

Maybe one of your friends will find this review helpful? Please help us spread the word.

Quick view

Screen Size
4"

The Apple iPhone 5's screen size is 4 inches with x pixels resolution.

Processor
1.3 GHz

There is a ARM v7 Dual core 1.3 GHz processor (CPU).

OS
No

The phone runs on proprietary operating system firmware.

Camera
8+ MP

You can take photos or capture video with the phone's onboard 8+ megapixel camera.

There is also a secondary front facing camera with 1+ megapixels resolution.

Storage
16/32/64 GB

Internal memory is 16/32/64 GB. No external card slot is available for expansion.

Battery
1400mAh

The phone is powered by a Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion), 1400 mAh battery. Apple's performance ratings are 10.5 days standby time, 600 minutes, 600 minutes Wi-Fi surfing.

iPhone 5 Specs

Overview
Release date September 21, 2012
Regions available USA, Canada, UK
Networks
GSM:
850/900/1800/1900 MHz
UMTS:
850/900/1900/2100 MHz
LTE:
1700/700 MHz
Data:
GPRS, EDGE, HSDPA, HSUPA, HSPA+ 21.1, LTE
variations
SIM card Nano-SIM
Dual SIM No
Operating System
Processor ARM v7 Dual core 1.3 GHz
Internal Storage 16/32/64 GB
RAM 1 GB
ROM No
GPS Type A-GPS
Digital compass Yes
Flightmode Yes
Hearing Aid Compatible Yes
TTY/TDD Yes
Noise Cancellation Yes
SAR Head: 1.25 W/kg
Body: 1.18 W/kg
Languages No
Manufacturer Warranty 1 Year
Accessories Included AC Charger, Data Cable, Headset, Manual, Standard Battery
Power & battery
Type Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion)
Battery Capacity 1400 mAh
Removable Battery No
Wireless Charging No
Fast Charging No
Video Playback Time Up to: 600 minutes
Internet Use (Wi-Fi) Up to: 600 minutes
Internet Use (Celluar) Unknown
Talk Time Up to: 600 minutes
Standby Time Up to: 10.5 days
Physical Characteristics
Design type Bar
Multi-Use Smart Phone / PDA Yes
Material Aluminium
Colors Black & Slate, White & Silver
Dimensions [H x W x D] 12.4 x 5.9 x 0.8 cm (4.9 x 2.3 x 0.3 in)
Weight 112 grams
Water Resistant / Waterproof Unknown
Rugged design No
IP Rating No
Antenna Type Internal
Changeable Faceplates No
Display / Screen
Type Color
Technology LCD
Colors 16.7 million
Resolution x pixels
Pixel density 326 pixels
Size 4 inches
3D No
Secondary Display No
Sensors Ambient Light, Proximity, Motion / Accelerometer, Gyroscope
Graphics Wallpapers
Themes Yes
Backlit Illumination Yes
Zoom / Magnification Yes
Screen Orientation Lock Yes
Multi-Touch Yes
Fingerprint-Resistant Coating No
Additional Display Features Retina display, Capacitive touch screen
Input / Navigation
Sleep / Wake Key Yes
Home Key Yes
Mute Key Yes
Input Type Touchscreen
Navigation Type Multi-Touch
Predictive Text Entry Yes
Physical keyboard No
Voicemail Key No
Any Key Answer No
Voice Commands Yes
Keypad/Screen Lock Yes
External Volume Control Yes
External Media Playback Controls No
Fingerprint Sensor No
Call Management
Wi-Fi Calling No
Voice over LTE (VoLTE) No
Contact List Capacity Depends on system memory
Multiple Numbers Per Contact Email address, Other fields
Contact Groups Yes
Auto Answer No
Voice Activated Dialing Yes
Photo Caller ID Yes
Web / Email / Messaging
Web Browser Yes
Email Client Yes
Email Protocols POP3, IMAP, SMTP, Microsoft Exchange
Additional Email Features -
Messaging SMS, MMS
Push-to-talk (PTT) No
Connectivity
USB Yes
USB OTG Support No
Infrared No
Bluetooth 4.0
Bluetooth Profiles A2DP, AVRCP, OPP/FTP, HID, HFP, HSP, PAN
Bluetooth Audio Codecs SBC
WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n
WiFi Encryption WEP/WPA/WPA2
Mobile Hotspot Yes
WiMAX No
Memory Expansion Slot No
Expansion Slot Info
PC Synchronization Yes
TV Out HDMI
DLNA Support No
NFC No
UMA Support No
Data Tethering Compatibility Yes
Java Applications No
Brew Applications No
ECML / Digital Wallet No
PictBridge No
Camera
Main Camera
Aperture
Unknown
Resolution
8+ megapixels
Dual lens
No
Zoom
Yes
Flash
Yes (LED)
Additional Rear Camera Info
Auto focus, Face detection, Geotagging, Image stabilization, Panorama
Video Recording Formats
3GP / 3GPP, H.264 / AVC, MPEG-4
Video Recording Parameters
Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels), 30 fps
Front Camera
Resolution
1+ megapixels
Zoom
Additional Front Camera Info
No
Video Recording Parameters
Audio / Video
Audio Playback Yes
Audio Formats MP3, eAAC+, AAC+, AAC, Audible, Apple Lossless, AIFF, WAV
Radio No
Video Playback Yes
Video Playback Formats 3GP / 3GPP, H.264 / AVC, MPEG-4
Mobile TV No
Streaming Video Yes
External Speakers Yes
Headset Jack 3.5mm
Custom Ringtones No
Vibration Alert Yes
Downloadable Ringtones Yes
Ringtone Composer No
Ringer ID Yes
Haptic Feedback Vibration Yes
Speakerphone Yes
Apps
To-Do / Task List Yes
Calendar Yes
World Clock Yes
Alarm Yes
Stop Watch Yes
Timer Yes
Calculator Yes
Currency Converter No
Document Viewer Yes
Viewable document types DOC, DOCX, GIF, HTML, JPG, PDF, PPT, PPTX, RTF, TXT, XLS
Weather Yes
Stocks Yes
Maps Yes
NotePad Yes
Voice Memos / Recorder Yes
Games Downloadable
Apps Downloadable, Pre-installed (Siri, Passbook, FaceTime, Camera)
Included Software / Apps -
More
Additional comments Shared Photo Streams
Related Links Manual (PDF)
Apple iPhone 5 Reviews
Where to buy Apple iPhone 5
Suggest a correction

Own this phone?

Help inform others by sharing your experience with Apple iPhone 5

Rate It:

Critic Reviews


GottaBeMobile

Extremely fast and the user interface extremely fluid

from GottaBeMobile

The iPhone 5 remains a solid smartphone. The camera, software, and the quality of the Retina Display still offer me enough to keep it as my daily driver and in my opinion, they are enough warrant a look from consumers in search of a new device. The iPhone 5 should also get at least one more update, probably two, which means that the device still has a lot left in the tank...

More

The iPhone 5 remains a solid smartphone. The camera, software, and the quality of the Retina Display still offer me enough to keep it as my daily driver and in my opinion, they are enough warrant a look from consumers in search of a new device. The iPhone 5 should also get at least one more update, probably two, which means that the device still has a lot left in the tank.

My biggest complaint is one that I didn’t see coming. After using larger screens for years, I consider myself to be one of those who hope that Apple introduces a display in the realm of 4.5-inches. Nothing massive but just a little more real estate. It would make content consumption so much better.

The key thing here is that I still feel like the iPhone 5 belongs and I certainly recommend it to to those that don’t want to pay top dollar for an iPhone 5s and don’t like the plastic design of the iPhone 5c. It’s the best smartphone I’ve ever owned. 

Read full review

Less

TechRadar

Underwhelms in terms of specs, but packages it all together in a way that works

from TechRadar

The iPhone 5 is the phone that's the minimum users would want in terms of an upgrade, and finding the balance there is something Apple is more adept at than ever. It's a very, very good phone, but there are plenty of other equivalent devices out there that will suck much less cash from your bank...More

The iPhone 5 is the phone that's the minimum users would want in terms of an upgrade, and finding the balance there is something Apple is more adept at than ever. It's a very, very good phone, but there are plenty of other equivalent devices out there that will suck much less cash from your bank account each month that we think you should check out too.

Read full review

Less

iMore

The call quality of the iPhone 5 on the T-Mobile network is superb

from iMore

The biggest thing you have to consider when choosing a carrier for your iPhone is what the coverage is like in the areas you are most of the time. My results may not be equivalent to your hometown, so do your research. Talk to your friends, neighbors, and coworkers who have T-Mobile. For people i...More

The biggest thing you have to consider when choosing a carrier for your iPhone is what the coverage is like in the areas you are most of the time. My results may not be equivalent to your hometown, so do your research. Talk to your friends, neighbors, and coworkers who have T-Mobile. For people in my area and in San Jose, I would recommend T-Mobile to those looking to save a few bucks and who aren't concerned about having the absolutely fastest speed; though, In San Jose, LTE speeds are actually faster than AT&T, albeit, a bit spotty.

Read full review

Less

GottaBeMobile

A phone that should be at the top of everyone’s shopping list

from GottaBeMobile

After using the iPhone 5 for five months, I can honestly say that I bought what I feel is the best phone for me. I love the battery life that the iPhone 5 offers. I thoroughly have been enjoying its 4-inch display even though I wish it had better resolution. The camera is fantastic and the industrial design is one that I feel is one of the best on the market. I also love 4G LTE and those that haven’t used it yet will know what I am talking about once you give it a whirl....

More

After using the iPhone 5 for five months, I can honestly say that I bought what I feel is the best phone for me. I love the battery life that the iPhone 5 offers. I thoroughly have been enjoying its 4-inch display even though I wish it had better resolution. The camera is fantastic and the industrial design is one that I feel is one of the best on the market. I also love 4G LTE and those that haven’t used it yet will know what I am talking about once you give it a whirl.


However, there are some drawbacks. I am not in love with iOS 6, the design shows visible wear and tear even without drops, and I’ve had some connectivity issues as well. For those that live and breath in the Apple ecosystem, the iPhone 5 is the best option because of its strengths. But for those that maybe aren’t in love with iOS and aren’t married to a MacBook or an iPad, there are certainly other options to take a look at. At the end of the day though, this is a phone that should be at the top of everyone’s shopping list. Whether or not you buy it, well, I leave that decision to you.

Read full review

Less

Gadget Review

It isn’t the best hardware, but it is the best package you can buy

from Gadget Review

The iPhone 5 does leave a lot to be desired, and in many ways does not improve much over last year’s iPhone 4S. As stated earlier, I’m perfectly content with the iPhone 4S running iOS 5.1. Yet the iPhone 5 is brutishly powerful and still very refined. It’s far more elegant than the massive,...More

The iPhone 5 does leave a lot to be desired, and in many ways does not improve much over last year’s iPhone 4S. As stated earlier, I’m perfectly content with the iPhone 4S running iOS 5.1. Yet the iPhone 5 is brutishly powerful and still very refined. It’s far more elegant than the massive, overly-masculine Android smartphone that come out with kevlar and are bigger and always brick-shaped. Even with it’s flaws the iPhone 5 is the most desirable smartphone in the world, one. I can’t recommend enough. It’s a great device. You won’t be disappointed.

Read full review

Less

Fone Arena

Stunning hardware design and improved camera

from Fone Arena

The iPhone 5 is a great piece of hardware accompanied by an operating system which has started to show it’s age. Apple makes it easy for consumers by launching just one new phone per year while the competition launches hundreds of devices every year.If you are using an iPhone 4S , you could giv...More

The iPhone 5 is a great piece of hardware accompanied by an operating system which has started to show it’s age. Apple makes it easy for consumers by launching just one new phone per year while the competition launches hundreds of devices every year.If you are using an iPhone 4S , you could give the iPhone 5 a pass but if you are using an iPhone 4 or any previous generation iPhone the iPhone 5 is a must have upgrade.Then again if you are one of those who love to get your hands on the best phones first , go ahead and get the iPhone 5. Good luck finding one. They are in great demand!

Read full review

Less

iPhone Hacks

With all the upgrades in the iPhone 5, especially if you’re coming from an iPhone 4 or iPhone 3GS, it feels like an über device

from iPhone Hacks

I had my iPhone 4 for a couple years and the iPhone 5 for a month, before that it was a couple different Blackberries (just for perspective here) and this is the best phone I’ve had yet. It was 100% worth the cost to upgrade (early, btw, so I had a “penalty” to pay). The camera is great. The size I think is perfect. It’s fast, responsive and the screen is (still) gorgeous....

More

I had my iPhone 4 for a couple years and the iPhone 5 for a month, before that it was a couple different Blackberries (just for perspective here) and this is the best phone I’ve had yet. It was 100% worth the cost to upgrade (early, btw, so I had a “penalty” to pay). The camera is great. The size I think is perfect. It’s fast, responsive and the screen is (still) gorgeous.

Despite the inconvenience of needing an adapter for my clock, a new case, and a couple things that don’t fit anymore (like my Ollo Clip and the Belkin camera grip) it’s a great phone. The iPhone 5 might not be a revolutionary as the first iPhone was or the iPhone 4, but it’s a really solid iteration of the iPhone family. If you have an iPhone 4 or older, certainly worth the upgrade. If you have a iPhone 4S, I would suggest trying an iPhone 5 out in the Apple Store (or a friend’s) when you can really play with it for a bit and see if the improvements are worth the cost of an early upgrade. The iPhone 4S is still a solid phone and if the cost of an early upgrade (assuming you didn’t pay full price for an unlocked one) doesn’t balance out with what you think you’ll gain, then holding off would be a smart move.

Read full review

Less

GottaBeMobile

Lightweight, thin and easy to hold with an unparalleled design

from GottaBeMobile

To sum it all up, after two months with the iPhone 5, I’m extremely pleased with my purchase. Just about any current-generation phone would have been a major upgrade over the iPhone 3GS but the iPhone 5 truly is a phone that I feel comfortable using on a daily basis given its amenities.

The 4-inch display is big enough where videos are easy to watch but small enough where it still feels like a phone. The processor can easily handle iOS, gaming and applications. 4G LTE is fantastic, especially on AT&T. And in my opinion, the design is unparalleled....

More

To sum it all up, after two months with the iPhone 5, I’m extremely pleased with my purchase. Just about any current-generation phone would have been a major upgrade over the iPhone 3GS but the iPhone 5 truly is a phone that I feel comfortable using on a daily basis given its amenities.

The 4-inch display is big enough where videos are easy to watch but small enough where it still feels like a phone. The processor can easily handle iOS, gaming and applications. 4G LTE is fantastic, especially on AT&T. And in my opinion, the design is unparalleled.

It’s definitely a phone that should be high up there on any smartphone shopping list with the likes of the Nexus 4, Galaxy Note 2 and Windows Phone 8.

Read full review

Less

GottaBeMobile

It handles iOS 6 extremely well and overall, it’s fast

from GottaBeMobile

For me, the iPhone 5 was a solid upgrade. It handles iOS 6 extremely well and overall, it’s fast. It has quality battery life. It has a solid, durable design. The camera is stellar. And of course, it has 4G LTE data speeds. These are all things that could be found on another smartphone though....More

For me, the iPhone 5 was a solid upgrade. It handles iOS 6 extremely well and overall, it’s fast. It has quality battery life. It has a solid, durable design. The camera is stellar. And of course, it has 4G LTE data speeds. These are all things that could be found on another smartphone though. But what sets this phone apart is the combination of those features with the experience and the future-proofing that comes with it.

Read full review

Less

Wired

Larger screen, new connector, faster processor, and better headphones

from Wired

I’ve had it for three weeks now and unlike when I got my first iPhone, the honeymoon with this one is pretty much over. The new features are still nice, but the newness of it all has worn off much faster than it did with my previous iPhone. If it weren’t for having everything Apple in my house, it wouldn’t take much for me to switch to the Samsung Galaxy S3....

More

I’ve had it for three weeks now and unlike when I got my first iPhone, the honeymoon with this one is pretty much over. The new features are still nice, but the newness of it all has worn off much faster than it did with my previous iPhone. If it weren’t for having everything Apple in my house, it wouldn’t take much for me to switch to the Samsung Galaxy S3.

Like all reviews though, you are the only one who can determine if the iPhone 5 is worth the upgrade cost. This is just one opinion in the sea of millions.

Read full review

Less



User Reviews


HD

Worst phone I have ever used

Having received this phone from work I am shocked at what I have lost moving from an older Blackberry - Call quality and reception is poor and a great selection of apps doesn't make up for pitiful email, address book, and voice dially functionality. This has all the pretty with none of the substance....More
Having received this phone from work I am shocked at what I have lost moving from an older Blackberry - Call quality and reception is poor and a great selection of apps doesn't make up for pitiful email, address book, and voice dially functionality. This has all the pretty with none of the substance. I will be paying retail shortly for another device to use in its place Less

Good Christmas gift

Very good phone. Got it today for Christmas. I am through Fido and have the 60 max plan. Very fast and works wonders. I would reccomend.

Works wonderfully, wears horribly

Almost 3 months with the 5..... - Is it lighter? Quite a bit. - Is it thinner and nicer to hold? Noticeably. - Is the screen better? No question. The size makes a difference. - Is it faster than say the 4s? I can't say I notice. - Does it scratch easily? Your darn right it does. This is Applegate. Ho...More
Almost 3 months with the 5..... - Is it lighter? Quite a bit. - Is it thinner and nicer to hold? Noticeably. - Is the screen better? No question. The size makes a difference. - Is it faster than say the 4s? I can't say I notice. - Does it scratch easily? Your darn right it does. This is Applegate. Horrible. 3 months in mine looks like it made a few laps in a gravel crusher. - Headphone Jack? Yes...its on the bottom and its annoying. Would I buy it again? No question. Less

iPhone 5 Videos