Durability: iPhone 5 after 1 year

Retired Cat

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Jun 12, 2013
1,209
376
I've owned my black/slate iPhone 5 for almost exactly 1 year! Here's how it's held up:

Aluminum frame still feels as solid as it did on day 1. I keep the phone in a TPU case, so consequently, the anodizing is still completely intact.

Buttons and switches all operate and feel normal. The lock/power button rattled from day 1, but it doesn't bother me. The only damage is a very small chip in the plastic at the top of my home button.

Lightning port and headphone jack still feel solid despite heavy use. Cameras operating normally. Speakers and microphones good.

Display feels "loose" once in awhile (the glass seems to bounce a bit sometimes if I tap the screen near the mute switch). Display has developed a bit of a pink hue that is visible only against white backgrounds. I keep a screen protector on the display so I can't comment on the scratch resistance of the glass.

Battery holds slightly less charge, but the decrease seem minor.

I've had no problems with software updates or the transition to iOS 7.

Overall I think Apple did a good job with the durability of the iPhone 5. I would improve the display retention clip system, and upgrade the anodization for the iPhone 6. Hopefully Apple will adjust the chemistry of the display layer adhesive so that it won't turn a pale pink.
 

dextr3k

macrumors 6502
Nov 26, 2012
357
1
I have an iPhone 5 as well from Launch. So far it is 1.5 years since I have had it.

Screen is still perfect, backing is perfect, there are a few dents from drops but that is on me.

However, I have had to replace the battery at 1 year mark due to it shutting off at 20-40% battery. New battery has made the phone feel completely new and holds up really well.

I had to replace camera because my camera module died, but that was a $5 ebay fix.

So far, it has not held up as well as my launchday iPhone 4. However, I still feel it is still operating very well both physically and software, so I agree, still feels like a good premium phone.
 

eyoungren

macrumors Core
Aug 31, 2011
21,180
13,021
ten-zero-eleven-zero-zero by zero-two
OK…launch day iPhone from preorder, replaced in Nov. 2012 due to a bad mic.

Replacement has been rock solid. Only a few scratches and knicks, most of those due to my stupidity in dropping the thing or knocking it against something.

Scuffing from normal wear and tear.

I'm sure compared to my phone your's probably looks prestine. Mine isn't bad though.

But I have no display issues. No button issues, no pink hues or anything else mechanically wrong with the phone. Nothing loose, wobbly or otherwise not working.

My battery is fine. My iPhone is jailbroken so I use Smart 3G+LTE to switch my cellular and wireless radios on or off automatically depending on where I am. My phone went off the charger this morning at 5:35am. It's now 9:24pm and I have 69% of battery left. Facebook, email, text messaging, a few calls.

My original iPhone 5 was in a clear plastic case for two or three months. The replacement has never been in a case.
 

yanki01

macrumors 68040
Feb 28, 2009
3,496
1,481
Texas
i got mine a week after launch day due to limited stock. ill try to post some good shots of mine tomorrow. it's currently in route back to me from apple getting the sleep/wake button replaced in their recall program. i originally had a case on it from the beginning. i removed it now and then to clean and decided i liked the iPhone 5 without a case. it does show it's wear on all edges and has held up great on a few drops on non-concrete surfaces.
 

maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
63,851
30,367
Boston
My wife's battery is not holding out for her with the iPhone 5. Its near the end of the line, but she's milking it until the 6 comes out. She also had to get it replaced last year as well, for another problem.

Her track record for the iPhone 5 is not as stellar, mine has been better however.
 

ohbrilliance

macrumors 6502a
May 15, 2007
937
208
Melbourne, Australia
Battery replacement is pretty affordable, especially DIY such as from iFixit ($29.95). My plan is to replace the battery when it becomes an issue, either to extend the life for my own usage or to pass on to a family member.
 

maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
63,851
30,367
Boston
Battery replacement is pretty affordable, especially DIY such as from iFixit ($29.95). My plan is to replace the battery when it becomes an issue, either to extend the life for my own usage or to pass on to a family member.
We tried that with an iPhone 4 back in the day, and perhaps it was who we found to do the work, but I was not happy with the results :(

I think because of that, my wife is really not open to replacing the battery, but rather waiting it out for the 6.
 

kyjaotkb

macrumors 6502a
Nov 20, 2009
626
232
London, UK
My white iPhone 3GS, bought from Apple in March 2010 is still used daily, for calls, iMessage, emails, Spotify, Nike+ running, Google maps... Has never been in a case, was dropped more than a few times on concrete without anything more than little scratches as a result. All buttons work perfectly, the gorilla-glass screen is still perfect and the battery holds a charge and works throughout the day! It's incredible how useful this device has been...

Cellular usage shows 145GB received / 115 GB sent... Has been to various countries and used SIMcards from France, the UK, Vietnam, Turkey... on iOS 6.1.6 now...

I've never kept a phone any longer... My previous phone was a Sony Ericsson K810i!

I will probably buy an iPhone 6 when it's released as my 16GB 3GS is getting constrained by its 256MB RAM and iOS6 plus apps keep on growing in size and minimum required specs. But I am not sure I will be able to keep it as long and with such reliability. I will never use a case as I've always thought it defeats the purpose of a mobile phone - especially one with a nice design.
Hope you guys enjoy the same longevity with your iPhone 5s!
 

barkomatic

macrumors 601
Aug 8, 2008
4,027
1,798
Manhattan
My white iPhone 5 held up pretty well until the sim slot failed about a month ago and couldn't read my card. Can't really use an iPhone if "NO SIM" is displaying.

The replacement was better than the original. I'm glad I bought the Applecare plus plan--its paid for itself already. I was beyond the one year warranty when it broke.

It seems like most of my iDevices fail in the second year.
 

BeeJee

macrumors 6502
Nov 27, 2011
369
2
Long Island/North Jersey
My black/slate iPhone 5 had screen delimitation issues. The glass was separating from the LCD. Apple wouldn't replace it so I replaced the screen myself and sold it. Also had a white iPhone 5 and the power/lock button needed to be pressed down hard, and wouldn't work half of the time. I know they have a replacement plan for that problem but I sold that phone for my Space Gray 5s. The touch ID only works 5050. Getting quite annoyed with the quality lately
 

iKaushal

macrumors 6502
Jun 7, 2011
440
42
Mumbai, India
My iphone 5 held good for 11 months and then it got problem of buggy power switch. Apple promptly replaced the phone for me in Oct 2012.

The replacement phone is holding good till now :)
 

DoFoT9

macrumors P6
Jun 11, 2007
17,494
26
Singapore
I have had my iPhone 5 for about 1.5 years. It's truly been a great device. It's been through a lot. I also now have a 5s, and going back to the 5 is certainly a bit more "laggy" for the more intense applications. I would consider myself a pretty... "brutal" user..

Here's what I have replaced during the 1.5 years of usage:
  • iPhone Screen: Broken 3 times (3 replacements)
  • Lock Button: 2 replacements
  • Home Button: 4 times
  • Battery: 3 times

You will notice that I have an oreo phone. I ran out of replacement black screens. All replacements have been done by yours truly.

And oh yes, I drop my phones. A LOT. Sorry for blurry pics.
 

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grosvenorgirls

macrumors newbie
May 15, 2014
2
0
Re:

I have one of those spigen cases so the back is not damaged at all. All buttons have no sign of wear and tear after just under one years.

Head phone jack is perfect fine too.

The only sign of wear is light scuffs on the screen which is a little disappointing.
 

x-evil-x

macrumors 601
Jul 13, 2008
4,480
2,222
I have had my iPhone 5 for about 1.5 years. It's truly been a great device. It's been through a lot. I also now have a 5s, and going back to the 5 is certainly a bit more "laggy" for the more intense applications. I would consider myself a pretty... "brutal" user..

Here's what I have replaced during the 1.5 years of usage:
  • iPhone Screen: Broken 3 times (3 replacements)
  • Lock Button: 2 replacements
  • Home Button: 4 times
  • Battery: 3 times

You will notice that I have an oreo phone. I ran out of replacement black screens. All replacements have been done by yours truly.

And oh yes, I drop my phones. A LOT. Sorry for blurry pics.
you care about resale value much?
 

vrflyer

macrumors 6502
Jul 15, 2008
381
67
Suburb of Columbus
iPhone 4 here & still holding up very well using a very thin INCASE cover around. And yes I've dropped it at least a handful & without a dent or scratch in sight. :cool:
 

x-evil-x

macrumors 601
Jul 13, 2008
4,480
2,222
Not everyone on MR intends to resell their phones, myself included.
that was the question. i personally have to care because i don't want to keep spending money on new things. If i had a good amount of money coming in i wouldn't care.
 

Tankmaze

macrumors 68000
Mar 7, 2012
1,616
243
after also a year, my white iphone 5 also has the pink hue but I try not pay attention to it so I don't mind.
 

KUguardgrl13

macrumors 68020
May 16, 2013
2,485
109
Kansas, USA
My white 5 is almost 1.5 years old, and it's held up pretty well. No display issues, and scratches are minimal except for the chamfered edge next to the lightening port. I started with an Otterbox Defender, and it was difficult to find the port in the dark. Now I have a Belkin TPU case, and it works pretty well for basic protection. I had some battery issues with 7.1, but 7.1.1 seems to have fixed them. I've had my home button replaced once, and it may need to be done again soon. No sleep/wake button issues.