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iPhone 5 Review

IPHONE-5-16GB-whiteWith this review, I’ll try my outmost best not to compare the iPhone 5 with the Samsung Galaxy S3. I will not mention how Samsung has managed record profits for 2012. You will not read on how Samsung sold 65 Million smartphones as apposed with Apple’s 45 Million. This is strictly about Apple’s iPhone 5.

Being someone who caught on the Apple iPhone waggon rather late in its prime, I am still searching for the wow factor in some of Apple’s products, such as the iPhone and Macbooks. Yes they may be expensive and to some give that status of being ‘wealthy’ (Hell, I mean, not everyone has an iPhone) but what can you really do with it? Mind you, if you are hoping for an experience out of the world, sit down and brace yourself for a tad of disappointment.

Thinner. Lighter. Faster. Simpler.

The iPhone 5 is a clear evolution of the stark, industrial design introduced two years ago with the iPhone 4 except for, when you pick this new generation handset up and you’re immediately struck by the reduction in weight. Apple claim to have reduced at least 20% weight from that of the 4s, leaving the iPhone 5 at 112 grams. One wouldn’t think the weight makes much of a difference, but it does. I had a friend of mine hold the iPhone 5 and she was amazed at how light the device is. With our review device being white, she couldn’t keep her hands off it and rave on how it’s a girl’s must have gadget.

iPhone 5 side

While the iPhone 5 is exactly as wide as the 4 and 4s that came before, it’s quite hard trying to differentiate the dimensions. The iPhone 5 measures 4.87 x 2.31 x 0.3 inches (124 x 59 x 7.6mm), making it nearly 1cm taller than before. The most progressive change must be the 4-inch, 1136 x 640 display also making it 16:9.

The decrease in thickness from 9.3mm on the 4s to 7.6 on the 5 makes the reachability even greater. This does not make it the thinnest handset around (we’ve already played with the Motorola RAZR) but it fits quite perfectly in the palm of your hand.

iPhone 5 BackSensitivity comes to a draw as the Aluminium construction extends around the back which makes the white iPhone look bright and clean whilst the black is quite menacing, mean and dark. Downside is when these colours suck up fingerprints that are rather difficult to clean on the black device. Traces of the glass rear are still to be found on the top and bottom of the back side, I have to admit they look great.

With the rise of Gorilla Corning you’d think Apple would have caught on the trend as the face of the device is still out of Glass. The Home button, position and design of other buttons is rather unchanged from that of the 4s with the discrete, circular volume up and down buttons on the left just below the (slightly thinner) toggle switch. A wise pocket move was to move the headphone jack to the bottom which of course feels natural.

The phone’s speakers are also positioned on the bottom, playing out through a series of 26 holes that flank another major change in the iPhone 5: the Lightning connector.

The iPhone 5 very much relies on the new A6 processor, of which Apple only describes as twice as fast as the last generation A5 processor. Blog rumours have it that the A6 processor is a dual-core 1.05 GHz processor with 1GB of RAM. Huh?!

An 8-megapixel camera has gone quite unchanged from that of the 4s with its image quality among the best of a cameraphone. Excitement looms as the VGA FaceTime camera is replaced by a 1.2 –megapixel FaceTime HD unit capable of shooting 720p Video.

iPhone 5 front

To wrap things up, the iPhone 5 is quite an improvement from the 4s in every regard. If anything, it’s the OS that’s beginning to feel a bit dated and beginning to show its age, like those Nokia Symbian offerings.

Like my friend said; the iPhone 5 is a must have and has its own unique market, of which I do not fall under. For the device to wow you, you need to hold it. For it to convince you it’s the best thing out there you need to at least spend 24 hours with it. It could be what you have been waiting for.

Models come in 16, 32 or 64GB storage that is not expandable (at least there’s iCloud) and are available from Vodacom, MTN, 8ta and CellC at competitive prices.


Papi Mabele
Tech enthusiast at heart. Lover of all things digital. Papi is the founder of SA Vibe and has been sharing his love for gadgetry since 2010. Papi sees no need for wearable tech in his busy schedule and considers the Xbox One as non existant. He may come across as bias at times, and still holds a grudge at BlackBerry for creating the 8520.