Tech Guides

Hands-on: iPhone 5

By Daniel Goh & Wong Casandra - 24 Sep 2012

Hands-on: iPhone 5

Hands-on: iPhone 5

The iPhone 5 has arrived. With new Earpods.

Whether you are an Apple fan or not, we're pretty sure you've heard about Apple's latest iPhone 5. Hardly surprising news though - after all, the iPhone 5 has been a much talked-about device in the techsphere, even way before its official unveiling on the 12th (US time) this month. So what's the big deal about the latest iOS 6 device? We can't give you the details yet without first testing it and running through the usual hands-on 'shebang', but hey, here's a quick look at the iPhone 5. Don't say we didn't warn you but it will be pretty intensive on the pictorial side of things!

 Apple iPhone 5: Notable Features

  • Apple A6 processor 
  • 4.0-inch TFT IPS / 1136 x 640 pixels
  • 8-megapixel / BSI sensor / f 2.4
  • Siri
  • iOS 6
  • Supports LTE and DC-HSDPA

Left to Right: iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4/4S and iPhone 5

The main, or rather, the obvious, difference between the iPhone 4/4S and iPhone 5 is of course, in the latter's longer 4.0-inch screen. Otherwise, the design remains pretty much the same, with both boasting of a premier aluminium/glass exterior.

While the integration of the touch sensors into the display itself provides a reduction in thickness (and weight) of the iPhone 5, we didn't see any discernible difference between the screen on the iPhone 4 and 5. Nonetheless, its Retina Display with 326ppi presents clear text and images with great clarity and color reproduction.

The iPhone 5 is a looker, even from the back. Like its predecessors, the device comes with a non-removable battery.

One thing that we also noticed - Apple wasn't kidding when they proclaimed that the iPhone 5 is very light, because it is. Holding its predecessor in one hand and it in the other, we could definitely tell the difference.

3.5-inch vs. 4.0-inch screen! Yep, iPhone 5 users will have enough space for an additional row of icons on their screen.

The iPhone 5's 3.5mm audio jack has been relegated to the bottom and no longer rests on the top like how it is on the iPhone 4/4S.

You can't really tell the difference here, but the iPhone 5 is slightly thinner than the iPhone 4 at 7.6mm. That makes it one of the thinnest phones around in the market today.

Thought the microSIM card was small? Welcome to the world of the smallest SIM card ever, the Nano SIM! iPhone users need to top up an additional charge (dependent on telco) to convert their current cards to Nano SIM cards.

A downsized dock connector may spell trouble for current iPhone 3GS/4/4S users at the moment but it will not be long before you can get hold of adaptors or compatible accessories. Nubox, an Apple Premium Reseller and Apple Authorised Reseller company,  will be carrying such accessories from October onwards at all of its branches.

iPhone 4 photo comparisons aside, we also put the iPhone 5 next to its bigger Android competitors. If you are still uncertain about getting the iPhone 5, rest assured, there is a huge array of WP8 and Android alternatives for you to consider. Otherwise, here's a shot of the iPhone 5 next to Android devices with 4.3-inch screens. From left to right:

We didn't leave out the bigger Android players as well, this time showcasing the likes of recent devices with 4.7 to 4.8-inch touch screens. From left to right:

For reference, from top to bottom: iPhone 5 (7.6mm), HTC One X (8.9mm), Optimus 4X HD (9.19mm), Samsung Galaxy S III (8.6mm).

While not reflective of an in-depth review, we managed get the iPhone 5 results for Geekbench, a cross-platform processor benchmark available for Mac OS X, Windows, Linux, iOS, and Android, which will provide a rough indication of what to expect from its A6 chip and memory performance.

Comparing the scores for the iPhone 5 and iPhone 4S, the former more than doubles the latter score due to its more powerful A6 chip (Apple assured us that it  will be two times faster than the A5 chip found in the 4S).

From left to right: iPhone 5, Samsung Galaxy S III, HTC One X. The iPhone 5 tops the chart with a decent 1649 score.

Not enough iPhone 5 content? Not to worry, there's always a video to wrap things up. With that said, check out our video below (coming soon) as we give you a closer look at the iPhone 5's form factor and a quick glimpse at the cosmetic differences and camera start-up time between the device itself and its bigger Android competitors.So be sure to check back this space for the video update!