My personal iPhone 5 review

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Rainforest, Oct 20, 2012.

  1. Rainforest macrumors newbie

    Oct 17, 2012
    Prior to getting my iPhone, I had read every tech review on the web. Now after having used the iPhone 5 for about 3 weeks now, I would like to highlight some of my personal views on the device and some points that I felt were not mentioned in the official reviews. Please let me know whether you agree or disagree with me.


    I think the phone design is well done. I agree with Jony Ive when he says that there is no point in making something new just for the sake of newness. Taking risks on a completely radical design would only serve to “fix something that wasn’t broken.” Let’s face it – most smartphones look alike: a big screen with one or two buttons at the bottom. There really isn’t a whole lot that could be changed visually.

    The current design does feel less durable, in the sense that the case is not as scratch resistant as the previous generation. However, after using the 5, the previous 4S feels heavy and thick. This was only apparent after getting used to the current model for a while.


    Not many reviews emphasized this point, but the 5’s colour saturation is noticeably better than the previous generation’s display. It is very obvious to my eye, and makes the viewing experience that much more enjoyable.

    With respect to screen size, the specs show only a modest increase from 3.5” to 4”. However, the numbers do not properly portray the major improvement in usability with respect to web browsing. This is where, I feel, the screen size has the largest impact. With my 4S, I never enjoyed surfing the web due to the difficult readability in both portrait and landscape mode. However, by increasing the screen size by ½ an inch, landscape mode dramatically improves the web experience. Now, I feel less inclined to reach for my ipad each time I want to browse the internet. In essence, the larger screen size has made the 5 into a decent web browser, something the 4S never was.

    I have never used an Android phone, but I believe that making the screen any larger would make the device difficult to place in a jean pocket, or to conveniently carry around. This, though, may be more of an issue for the guys than for the ladies.


    In Canada, LTE is very fast. The increased speed is noticeable in iMessage and Whatsapp, which now have instantaneous reactions. Videos and downloads are much faster as well. However, I was surprised to see that web browsing is only slightly faster, so little in fact that I often switch back to 3G in the hopes of extending battery life. This is what I use my phone most for, and therefore LTE doesn’t seem to have brought many benefits to me, personally. And has anyone noticed that even 3G speeds seem to be faster on the 5 than on the 4 and 4S?


    Isn’t it a little bit overblown? It’s definitely not as good as the previous maps app, but it has worked fine for me so far in the few trials I have performed.


    I think Apple has done the right thing by improving the iPhone in every respect, rather than simply changing it for the sake of novelty. Change may not have been necessarily for the better, and thus they have avoided this mistake by taking an already great design and improving it. The phone is thinner, lighter, faster, and better in almost every way.
  2. Ronnoco macrumors 68030


    Oct 16, 2007
    United States of America
    Nice review. I share many of the same views of the iPhone 5. The first thing that I noticed was how much lighter it is (and how much thiner it felt in my hand) and then of course the display size but the next thing that really took me by surprise was the pure speed of the iPhone 5 (and I am coming from a 4S which I thought was already pretty fast). Apps open immediately, games play perfectly, scrolling and swiping is faster and smoother and the whole feel of the iOS is just faster. As you stated, the design is just beautiful to look at.
    I've had every iPhone but the 3G and this iPhone 5 is truly the best iPhone ever by a LONG shot.
  3. matttye macrumors 601

    Mar 25, 2009
    Lincoln, England
    The Maps criticism is not overblown, they are appalling in the UK.
  4. aziatiklover macrumors 68030


    Jul 12, 2011
    Location: and
    True about the screen size! I remember the first gen iphone with the 3.5" which was very enjoyable until the first gen ipad came out, that's where I started enjoying bigger size ios device.

    Snce then I never really surf with safari on iPhone! All I did was just quick online apps such as FB, maps etc but not the surfing like reading tech blogs, forums.
  5. taedouni macrumors 65816

    Jun 7, 2011
    I am with you on the iPad. Ever since getting my iPhone 5 I noticed that the only time I use my iPad 3 I when I FaceTime my wife due to the larger screen.
  6. AFDoc macrumors 68030

    Jun 29, 2012
    Colorado Springs USA for now
    I was wondering when you'd put our your review.... thanks.
  7. StefSSU macrumors regular

    Jul 18, 2009
    Thanks for your thoughts. Here though, I believe you are mistaken. In general LTE battery life should be at least comparable to 3G on the iPhone 5, if not better. This can be explained by the race-to-sleep advantage of LTE, combined with similar power draw. i.e. Although LTE loads data for web pages or video/apps faster than 3G, it does so using similar amounts of power. And since it is faster, it is able to power down more quickly, saving battery life.

    See Anandtech's iPhone 5 review for more details, but they measured 4.55 hours 3G web browsing versus 8.19 hours on LTE for the iPhone 5, quite a difference.

    As for 3G being faster, the iPhone 5 is technically able to download at twice the rate of the 4S on some 3G networks, but honestly I think the reason it feels quicker is that the 5 is faster at rendering the page.

    I'm surprised you find the increase in screen real-estate useful for landscape web browsing, rather than portrait. I almost always browse in portrait on an iPhone, and the 5 seems better here as there is less scrolling required. In landscape though due to the vertical design of most sites I find the bigger screen doesn't add much... That might just be me, though.
  8. slayerz96 macrumors member

    Sep 27, 2012
    I went to one phone shop in my area recently. That place has visitors who abuse the mobile phones on display. I was quite surprised the iPhone 5 wasn't scuffed/chipped in any way.
  9. Rainforest, Oct 20, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2012

    Rainforest thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 17, 2012
    Thanks for your comments. As you will see with my wording, I mentioned that I switched back to 3G in the "hope" of extending battery life. To be honest, I haven't fully tested this yet, and I hope that your observations are right. But in the 1 or 2 trials I have made, 3G seemed to save battery. But I may be mistaken indeed.

    As for screen real estate, I don't like surfing in portrait mode because the text is just too small, and you have to keep zooming all the time. In landscape, this isn't necessary.

    But overall, I feel people's expectations have just become so overblown with every new iphone release. To be honest, when people ask what else can be improved on the current iphone 5, most people only mention NFC and additional battery life! The former isn't even widely used even if they included it, and battery life is currently enough for most users. Of course, more is always better. Until they can design a cell phone that can cook you dinner or give you a back massage, I think we have to bring our expectations back down to earth.

    Well done, Apple.
  10. bushman4 macrumors 68020

    Mar 22, 2011
    Good Review.

    Iphone5 is truly a leap ahead. faster ,thinner, better screen color, good battery life, 4G ,bigger screen great features like Siri etc.
    Looking at the big picture is important. Few people will disagree that they should have choosen a better casing and finish but really this is a small negative among all the positives.
    And another great thing.............Apple is most likely unhappy with the choice of aluminum and annodized finish and will correct this in the next model. Apple is not complacent.

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