Five things we love about the iPhone 5

Here's five things we love about the iPhone 5 so far

Five things we love about Apple's new iPhone 5

Five things we love about Apple's new iPhone 5

We've just spent our first weekend with Apple's new iPhone 5. Love it or hate it, there is no doubt that Apple knows how to build a well designed smartphone. Here's five things we love about the iPhone 5 so far.

Read our Apple iPhone 5 Australian buying guide

1. Superb design

The iPhone 5 looks somewhat similar to the previous iPhone 4S model in photos and pictures, but it's not until you've actually held it in your hand that you realise this is a very different beast. We almost dropped it the first time we picked it up simply because we expected it to be much heavier than it actually is. At just 112g, the iPhone 5's light weight defies its aluminium and glass construction and makes it one of the lightest smartphones on the market.

The detail in craftsmanship is very impressive, too. Although this is what most have come to expect from Apple, the iPhone 5 feels every bit a premium and expensive device. The bevelled edges on the sides, the machine drilled speaker and microphone holes at the bottom and the glass panels at the top and the bottom of the back are typical Apple touches. There's an extraordinary attention to detail in the construction of the iPhone 5 and it's something that most other smartphones lack.

There's an extraordinary attention to detail in the construction of the iPhone 5, something that most other smartphones lack.
There's an extraordinary attention to detail in the construction of the iPhone 5, something that most other smartphones lack.

2. 4G speeds

If you're using the Telstra, Optus or Virgin Mobile networks in Australia, you'll be happy to know that the iPhone 5 is compatible with the 1800MHz LTE network band. That means you'll get 4G mobile coverage where it's available. 4G coverage is still fairly limited at the moment but when you are in a coverage area serviced by LTE, you're in for a treat. We managed to achieve download speeds of up 32 megabits per second (Mbps) on Telstra and up to 29Mbps on Optus when 4G was available. Unfortunately, Vodafone users are out of luck right now as the company isn't launching its 4G network until sometime in 2013.

Telstra launched its 4G network late last year, while Optus only lifted the lid on 4G earlier this month so it's still a relatively new phenomenon in Australia. With the iPhone 5's expected huge sales numbers, however, it is likely to be the smartphone that really kickstarts the 4G revolution in Australia. That can only a good thing for all consumers.

3. A larger screen

Apple has fitted the iPhone 5 with a larger 4in screen, up from the 3.5in screen size of all previous iPhone models. The screen is exactly the same width but just taller. The advantage of this longer display means an extra row of icons now fits on the iOS 6 home screen.

Next to the iPhone 4S, the iPhone 5's screen displays much deeper blacks and is slightly brighter.
Next to the iPhone 4S, the iPhone 5's screen displays much deeper blacks and is slightly brighter.

The larger screen is actually rather deceptive. In your hands, the iPhone 5 doesn't feel like a much larger phone at all. The width means its easy to stretch your thumb to reach most areas of the screen. It's a bit of a stretch to tap the very top of the screen if you have small hands, but for most part, the iPhone 5 offers far better ergonomics than larger phones like the Samsung Galaxy S III and the HTC One X.

The iPhone 5's screen isn't all about size either. It offers superb colour reproduction, has excellent viewing angles and displays super crisp text. Next to the iPhone 4S, the iPhone 5 displays much deeper blacks and is slightly brighter.

4. Speed

The iPhone 5 is a fast smartphone, it's as simple as that. General performance is excellent, opening and closing apps is almost instant and switching between apps is speedy. If you're coming from an iPhone 4S you won't notice the increase in speed too much, but the iPhone feels buttery smooth and fast during everyday use.

I've been using a Samsung Galaxy S III for the past few months and in my opinion, the iPhone 5 feels faster, even though the S III is certainly no slouch. The speed is particularly noticeable when you open the camera app from the lock screen in iOS 6. Do the same on the 4S and it's a second or two slower. Not a huge deal breaker but it's faster nonetheless.

5. Outstanding camera

I've only spent a few days with the iPhone 5, but I can already tell you that its camera is exceptional. It's a slight improvement on the 4S, which was no slouch itself. Macro performance is particularly impressive — the iPhone 5 can capture an excellent amount of detail in close up shots.

A photo we captured with the iPhone 5's camera.
A photo we captured with the iPhone 5's camera.

Apple has significantly improved the front facing camera, too. It remains below average for any serious still photos, but outgoing video performance in apps like Facetime, Skype and Tango is excellent. If you use these apps regularly, the iPhone 5 will offer better video quality.

We'll be publishing a full review of the iPhone 5 in the coming week, in the meantime if you have any questions, comments or queries, let us know in the comments below.

Related content

All the Australian iPhone 5 pricing: Telstra, Optus, Vodafone and Virgin Mobile
Apple iPhone 5 preview
Apple iPhone 5 vs. Apple iPhone 4S: What's the difference?
Apple iPhone 5 Australian buying guide

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Ross Catanzariti

Ross Catanzariti

PC World
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?