iPhone 5 review round-up

We can't find a bad review of Apple's long-awaited new smartphone - here's why everyone loves it so much...

It’s finally here, the tech experts have got their hands on it and their judgements are in. So what is the verdict on the new iPhone 5? Almost unanimously positive, as it happens.


Reviewers are using adjectives like “beautiful,” “bright,” “responsive” and “refined”. They’re suggesting Apple’s latest smartphone stacks up well against the competition. And they’re pretty much all saying that to really ‘get’ the iPhone 5, you have to pick it up…

Charles Arthur in The Guardian: “The iPhone 5 has it all – and it is ahead of the competition again” 5/5

“Raw specifications (18% thinner than last year’s 4S, 20% lighter, 12% less volume) don’t explain how it seems to float in the hand, and how typing or swiping feels like touching the very pixels. (New processes have removed one layer of glass from the touchscreen.) The tactile pleasure is second only to Nokia’s beguilingly curved (and largely overlooked) Lumia 800. And while the 4in screen is longer, but not wider (enough for six rows of icons rather than five), you can still swipe across it with your thumb, unlike giants such as Samsung’s whopping 4.8in Galaxy S3.” 

Shane Richmond in The Telegraph: “A great smartphone made even better – and probably the most beautiful smartphone anyone has ever made” 5/5

“The iPhone 5 is a marvellous piece of design… It’s thinner and lighter and more powerful than the iPhone 4S but to really understand it, you need to hold it in your hand.

“It leaves the 4S in the dust. Starting the phone, loading apps, or taking photos – everything is faster on the iPhone 5. Benchmarking with the Geekbench app has shown that the iPhone 5 is not just faster than the iPhone 4S but it also outperforms Samsung’s Galaxy S3, according to some benchmarks.

“The iPhone 5 is a great smartphone made even better. It’s fast, lightweight and backed by the largest application store for any device. It’s also probably the most beautiful smartphone anyone has ever made.” 

Mark Prigg for Mail Online: “Bright, responsive and it just feels right – simply the best smartphone ever made” 5/5

“The key to the iPhone 5 is simple — attention to detail… Pick it up, and it just doesn’t feel like a smartphone – but instead, uncannily like one of the very best made watches… Even the weight distribution has been thought through, and the phone feels ‘right’ when held in the hand.

“The dock connector has attracted a huge amount of criticism, and while yes, it does create problems for a lot of older accessories, it really is a lot easier to use — smaller, and two sided so you can’t put it in the wrong way round. 

“The extra screen [size] does make a big difference — suddenly apps seem more immersive, and everything seems to make more impact, with gaming in particular set to be a big winner.

“With the iPhone 5, Apple has really raised the bar, not just for the smartphone market, but consumer electronics in general.” 

Harry McCraken for Time: “It’s all about refinement”

“The iPhone 5 features some upgrades which, though not groundbreaking in the least, are welcome… it’s the most polished version yet of what was already easily the most polished phone on the market.

“As for the tall-boy screen, it pays off in multiple scenarios. The home screen, for instance, now accommodates an extra row of apps. Other built-in programs, such as Mail and Calendar, also show more information without feeling crammed. And when you flip the phone into landscape mode, it’s got a 16:9 display — ideal for wide-screen video.

“The bottom line, in case it isn’t clear already: The iPhone 5 is one terrific smartphone… How does it stack up against the Galaxy S III, the current champ among Android phones? The Galaxy does more stuff; the iPhone 5 does somewhat fewer things, but tends to do them better.”

David Pogue for The New York Times: “Scores well, with a quibble”

“The new phone, in all black or white, is beautiful… [The larger screen] is a nice but not life-changing change… There’s no breakthrough feature this time, no Retina screen or Siri. Even so, nearly every feature has been upgraded, with a focus on what counts: screen, sound, camera, speed.


“These days, that decade-old iPhone/iPad/iPod charging connector is everywhere: cars, clocks, speakers, docks, even medical devices. But the new iPhone won’t fit any of them. Apple calls its replacement the Lightning connector. It’s much sturdier than the old jack, and much smaller… and you can insert it either way… But it doesn’t fit any existing accessories, docks or chargers… That’s not just a slap in the face to loyal customers — it’s a jab in the eye.”