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3.4 out of 5 stars
Apple iPhone 5 - 16GB Black - SIM Free
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185 of 201 people found the following review helpful
on 31 October 2012

The iPhone 5 is Apple lastest phone and my latest handset that I'm trialing, I really wanted to do a full review but haven't got the time but also there are quite a few individuals who've already put up full reviews already. Instead of doing a traditional review I thought I would give 5 reasons to upgrade and 5 reasons why you may want to wait until the iPhone6 or 5s:

1. It's so light - this iphone is by far the lightest smartphone on the market.
2. Design - if there's one thing that apple always get right it's the design of the iphone the phone is beautiful to look at and a definite improvement on the 4s.
3. New screen size - for me the new form factor of the screen is perfect I have more space and prefer to use the phone in portrait mode anyway.
4. 4G ready - many phones claim to be 4G LTE ready but the iphone5 is, EE's tarrifs are a bit on the expensive side but nonetheless if you choose to adopt EE the iphone 5 is the phone for you.
5. iOS6 - yes iOS 6 is available on the 4S but it has been fully optimised for the iphone 5 and it for that reason that lots of people have experienced some issues with the iOS 6 on earlier phones.

1. New adaptor profile - if like me you have a iPod speaker dock, various chargers at work and at home, the tv link cable etc you will be frustrated that you can't use these as Apple have now changed the adapter specification.
2. Questionable Build Quality - I have already had two iPhone 5's, the first one was black but the paint finish was leaving marks on surfaces and the screen had a chip in it when I opened the box.
3. Maps - I was really excited about the new Maps system but it seems that the UK coverage / usability is wanting.
4. Widescreen bars on the screen - some apps have not been optimised to the full screen on the phone and have a visible band.
5. Battery life - The issues that I had with my 4 still havent been addressed but maybe it's just that I am a heavy user.

I am an objective reviewer and i can honestly say that the iPhone 5 will be going back, I like the size but there are too many negatives and I suspect that the iPhone 5S will address some of these. The iPhone 4 and 4S are still strong performers and don't have as many issues and it is for that reason that I have chosen to stay with the iPhone 4s.

I hope you find this summary helpful.
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117 of 134 people found the following review helpful
on 1 November 2012

so, my mum got one and I checked it out for a while and my conclusion is the following:

If you have an iPhone 4 or 4S, NEVER EVER upgrade.

I have an iPhone 4 and the 5 does not offer anything that would justify to spend the money. The software is the same, Everything that I would get is a camera that is a little better and Siri and I don't think that is worth several hundred pounds. And I have not found an app yet, that does not run smoothly on my iPhone4.

If you do not have an iPhone 4 or 4S, I would get the iPhone 5.

I love my iPhone4. I think it is a brilliant phone and I think the new one looks better, is obviously faster and bigger and has a better camera.

For me, this is about it.
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26 of 30 people found the following review helpful
on 27 October 2012
I upgraded to the 5 because like many people I thought I was getting an upgrade, but I'm really not convinced it is.

My previous device, the 4S, felt nice in the hand. The weight coupled with the glass back and front made it feel like a quality premium device, whereas the 5 I have to say does not feel that way.

28 grams (the difference between the 4S and the 5) is not important in terms of usage or looks or performance, but it does certainly make a difference in the feedback of quality when holding the phone.

In terms of performance its better, but not staggeringly so, and once you get past opening apps to see how fast they open you will be left with something that isn't and can never be as good as the 4S because of the build and the lighter components.

I'm sure Apple put much thought and effort into the build, I'm sure technically its just as good as the 4S, but it doesnt FEEL that way, its lacking completely the weight and the organic material that made the 4 feel so good, and for that reason and that reason alone I'm back to using the 4S.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 10 April 2013
I've had a love hate relationship with Apple products. I appreciate the quality but the expense has always put me off. Having said that the opportunity to upgrade my phone came along and I decided to opt for the Apple iPhone Five.

The first thing I noticed was how smooth and intuitive the operating system is. In fact my previous HTC android phone seems positively clunky in comparison. There were many features on the HTC that I just didn't use, primarily because they were just too complicated to set up. (If you're a 'techie' I'm sure it's quite easy, but I'm not) The upshot of this is that i'm using far more functions on the iPhone than I ever did on the HTC and therefore, getting far greater value for money than I did before.

My biggest concern before having the iPhone was the size of the screen, because my HTC screen was quite a lot larger and I had trouble with my fat fingers pressing the right keys when typing! I needn't have worried because the screen on the keyboard seems to work so much better and more accurately than the one on the HTC. Quite how they have achieved this I'm not sure, but it works!

On a similar note, the voice recognition system is amazing - this whole review has been done using voice recognition and I've had to make very few amendments.

To summarise, I've had the iPhone 5 now for three weeks and I can safely say that I will not be going back to android any time soon.
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65 of 79 people found the following review helpful
on 8 November 2012
I previously had an iPhone 4s which i gave to my partner so that we could use facetime (at least that was the excuse i gave for buying a new phone) and the first thing that struck me was how light iPhone 5 is compared to 4s and not necessarily in a good way. If anything it feels cheaper. It doesn't feel like a solid device at all.

Appearance wise The highly polished bevelled edge is a scratch magnet. I've had mine in a case from day one but small particles of dust have got in the case and scratched the edges slightly. I don't see the point in apple banging on about how wonderful it looks when the only way to keep those looks is to hide it in a case (and even that's no guarantee). This isn't what you expect from such an expensive phone. I paid £599 for the 32GB version direct from Apple and it doesn't feel like a £599 phone.

The phone calls are crystal clear, i get great reception pretty much everywhere.

The music player volume is lower than iPhone 4s. The volume is loud enough with the supplied earbuds but with better sounding harder to drive earphones the volume is noticeably lower.

The camera as most people know has the purple flare which doesn't bother me too much because i wouldn't want any kind of flare on my photo - be it white or purple so just move or tilt the camera very slightly and the problem is gone. But if you like a bit of artistic flare then there is an app called Perfectly Clear than can 'de-purple' your flare! The pictures are amazing quality and the new panorama feature is brilliant. Android may have done it first but apple have done it better.

The screen is stunning, it's razer sharp, bright and the colours are punchy. Everyone who's seen it always comment on how incredible the screen looks. It's slightly longer too which is better for watching widescreen videos. The built in speakers are better than iPhone 4s too, they sound a lot beefier.

So to be truthful i'm not thrilled with iPhone 5 as a device physically. But in my opinion a smartphone is largely only as good as the content and apps you can get for it and although there are cheaper and arguably better android devices - that's no use without the content to stick on them. A lot of apps come to IOS first and if you're a heavy app user then it makes a lot of difference. IOS also has more higher quality apps than Android and as far as i know there is no alternative to itunes for buying (not renting) digital movies and tv shows and i buy a lot of digital movies and tv.

My biggest peeve with Apple is the new dock connector. They should have included at least one adapter with the phone. For how much they are charging for these devices they could easily afford it. It feels like a slap in the face to have to shell out for yet more overpriced leads and adaptors.

So if you have an iPhone 4s then i honestly wouldn't recommend upgrading to iPhone 5. There's not much point as with IOS6 the 4S is pretty much the same phone as 5 only the 4S is built better. If you have an older iPhone and want to stick with IOS then i'd definitely upgrade as everything (performance wise) about it is very noticeable better.

If you're not tied in to the iTunes ecosystem then i'd be tempted to look elsewhere (Galaxy S3 or the new Windows Nokia Lumia 920).

**UPDATE** I'm having problems with WiFi on this phone. The signal isn't that strong and it frequently fails to connect (4S has no such problems) and the device itself is already looking more marked than 4S even with careful handling. Very disappointing and i wish i still had time to return it for a refund.

**UPDATE 2** I've also discovered that bluetooth is flakey. It won't automatically connect with paired bluetooth devices, i have to put the device (bluetooth speaker) into pairing mode for the iphone to find every single time i want to use it. I don't have to do this on 4s or new iPad which run the same IOS as iphone 5. Looking on Apple forums and it seems a lot of people are complaining about this.

Never again.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 30 June 2013
The iphone 5 really isnt very different to the 4 and 4s, only that this one has an A5 chip making the loading time super speed and that the screen is bigger. However undoubtably one feature was its non glass back meaning that the iPhone wont smash so easily.

The new iPhone 5 is now weighing even lighter than the 4 which is incredible, as ever the iPhone offers iTunes to buy/download music and its HD camera which in my opinion is outstanding and makes me wonder how Apple achieve all this. As usual the iPhone seems to have a fantastic batterylife at new but after a year or so the iPhone seems to lose its battery life.

Overall i think that if you currently own an iPhone 4/4s then Paying more for the iPhone 5 seems silly but if you want to move to Apple I highly recommend the iPhone 5.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on 30 April 2013
So, the iPhone 5 - the 'wonder' phone. Possibly the most-desired phone amongst the 14-35 year old market. I say market, but the beauty of the iPhone is that it can be customised to suit all ages, and used by all ages.

I should start by stating I no longer use my iPhone 5, selling it when work gave me a Samsung Galaxy S3 (I've also reviewed that here if you'd like to see my opinion on that too). What I should also state is that for the first few days after selling it, I didn't miss it. That soon changed after a few days turned into a few weeks, and I realised how reliant I was on it for my day to day (and business ,to some extent) needs.

I've tried to remain objective here, as it does have it's flaws, so i'll give you an honest opinion on the device and whether it would suit your needs! As with my other reviews, I'll try to break it down into easy to manage sections so you can see how it stacks up to the competition.

Look/Feel - I still don't think there's any other phone on the market that tops the iPhone for design. There are those that come close, the S3 (I don't think the S4 is an improvement on the S3 design, rather a step back) and the HTC One (which is almost a carbon copy design wise), but Apple have long been known as market leaders in their design, and it certainly shows here. They've taken the 4S and slimmed it down even further, whilst extending the screen slightly. The chamfered edges mean it's smooth to hold, and it's surprisingly light, whilst retaining a good weight to it.

Build Quality - Again, impeccable bar 2 small niggles I have. The build quality in some areas is unbelievable - for instance you can't tell there's a joint between the screen and the edge of the phone. The device feels solidly built and the addition of the aluminium back, ala the unibody MacBooks/Airs, makes you feel like your holding a high-end device (which you are!). Sadly, there are a few let downs to the build quality, one of which I'm convinced wouldn't have occurred had the late Mr Jobs still been around when the final product was produced. Firstly, the aluminium back means it scratches easily, and the chamfered edges are prone to the odd nick should you drop it - so you'll want to wrap it up in a case. *Bonus Note* - the Incipio Feather case is excellent at preventing these nicks, and slimline so as to not detract from the outline of the iPhone 5. Secondly, the camera shutter shakes - and this is apparently a design flaw. I noticed a slight rattling noise in my IP5 after a few days of use when I had it up to my ear, so took it into the Apple store in Covent Garden. 'No, sir' the blue-shirted attendant told me, 'they all do that, it's the camera shutter' - he was right, a bit of googling found similar reports. To me, this is a sign of degrading build quality within the company - not something I've seen in any products Apple have produced since then, but to have this within their flagship device is a terrible let down. Some people won't notice or mind this too much, but it became a real issue for me.

Screen - the iPhone 5 has a retina screen much the same as the 4S has, and it's a beauty. Images pop with fantastic clarity and definition and the increased screen size may seem large at first, but you soon get used to it and wonder how you ever managed without the additional screen size. Pictures look beautiful, and text is lovely and crisp, really noticable when reading text on internet sites or an eBook. Tech geeks (and I do consider myself one) will scoff at the IP5's relatively 'small' screen size, but one of the things Apple does well is take industry-leading specs, like larger screens, and puts them in a mass-produced phone to make it an industry-standard for all phones.

Camera - the camera on the iPhone 5 is a significant improvement over the 4S. The 8MP auto-focus back-facing camera is a revelation, taking beautifully clear, sharp images in almost all conditions. The addition of the front-facing FaceTime HD 1.2MP camera also helps immensely, from FaceTime calls to the ever-popular usage as a makeup mirror (not that I've done that...) The shutter speed is nice and quick, allowing you to snap off a few pictures quickly, indeed far quicker than what previous iPhone models have allowed, which is a subtle but nice addition.

Operating System - iOS 6 is the OS on all iPhone 5s, and again, I'm sure this has been reviewed elsewhere, so I won't go into too much depth here. iOS is still the leading OS on a mobile for me, and it's ease of use and simplicity is unparalleled in the mobile world. Everyone, from 5 year olds to 85 year olds will be able to pick up an iPhone and use it quickly, it's that intuitive. If you'd like a more in-depth review of the OS, i'd highly recommend checking out Engadget's review of it here: [...]

Day to Day Use - my IP5 was my primary device for EVERYTHING until I got rid of it. It handled all my emails, calls, messages, Skype conversations, music (Spotify), running (Nike+) and gaming (for the tube ride home). Unfortunately, this meant the battery took a beating, and often from a full 100% in the morning (around 8am), I'd be down to about 25% by the time I got home in the evenings. That was with wifi turned on in fairness, and at 90% screen brightness, but still, the S3 outperforms it admirably here. I'd advise having a spare cable at the office if you don't want to get caught with a flat battery.

Conclusion: The iPhone 5 is the market-leading smartphone for a reason - it's an incredible phone. It is expensive, but your buying into the brand, and getting a superb OS on top of a beautifully designed phone. Those after something that allows for more flexibility and customisation would be better suited to an Android phone (S3 would still be my choice over the more expensive S4), but if you'd like something that can do everything in a simple and efficient manner, whilst looking beautiful, the iPhone 5 is the phone for you.
Summary: A fantastic mobile with only a few downsides.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 5 April 2013
I bought the iPhone 5 after having the iPhone 4 for a while.

Apple decided to remove most of the back glass for an aluminium design which is great as I won't have to replace the back cover twice. One change however in my opinion is worse, the outer edge of the phone uses a softer metal than the stainless steel used on the previous model, this means if you were to drop your phone the metal will chip and will be more noticeable with the black model as the chip will reveal the silver underneath. However this phone feels more durable than the iPhone 4(S) and there is less worry about watching what surfaces you put it on or if keys in your pocket will scratch it.

I never thought that having a bigger screen by half an inch would make much of a difference but it really does!
The 4 inch screen on the 5 is now what I would say is perfect, I've had a Dell Streak in the past with its 5 inch screen, it was something everyone was impressed with and so was I at first but after a while you felt like you were using a scientific calculator as a phone!
In some apps the 4 inch screen cannot be used to its full potential as the apps haven't been changed to work on a larger screen but it doesn't bother me too much and have been told that most apps will be updated to work.

The most advanced mobile operating system could do with some basic features!
The iOS software is fantastic. I really do love using it compared with the Android and Windows Phone OS's which I have also used (Dell Streak, Nokia Lumia 800) unfortunately apple have forgotten some of the basics such as the user being able to choose a song from an album and set it as a ringtone on the device. Instead you have to go on to iTunes, duplicate the song you want, convert it to AAC format, change it to a 30 second song and then put it in the ringtones folder before syncing the iPhone and changing the ringtone. I had a Nokia 6260 in 2004 which had the capability to "set as ringtone"!!! Now I know my way round a computer but some who don't will have no hope in hell at doing this. Another feature not in iOS is bluetooth data transfers, I remember the days when people were sending the latest crazy frog ringtone to all their mates in the playground at break time! so why can't we do it now!!

Someone needs to re invent the battery.
My iPhone 5 lives by my bedside table at night, every night and on charge, if I failed to do this then the chances of it lasting the next day would be pretty thin. I don't text much (1-5 times a day) and calls maybe an hour or two a day. I do have my phone bluetooth connected to the car for two hours a day and browse the internet for an hour as well. We have more powerful phones with more features and uses but we are still using the same old technology inside the battery as we have for years. Will dual or quad core mobile phones of the future be boosting two batteries to keep it running?

Can the snapshot camera be replaced by the mobile phone?
8 mega pixels on a mobile phone is now pretty much the standard nowadays but somehow the iPhone 5 seems to have the edge compared to other phone manufacturers. I have compared the Nokia Lumia's 8MP Carl Zeiss to the iPhone 5's 8MP camera. The difference between them seem to be so far apart that you wonder what Nokia have been doing! I know there is a price difference between the two phones but the Nokia's Carl Zeiss lens should be up to the task.

So in the end, this iPhone 5 is a phone worth keeping, the iOS software is what does it for me (it's even better on the iPad!) and even the older generation can use it with ease. It never freezes or crashes and only restarts when an update is installing as it should. Maybe Apple can make a phone with a design that wow's but is a little more everyday friendly.
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16 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on 21 March 2013
I've owned iPhones since their first incarnation, and have until now almost always been pleased with the developments made to the next generation over the last, with the exception of the iphone 4 and the design fault that resulted in a complete drop of signal when held in your hand without a case on it (I still own 2 of them, don't believe the spin, they really do drop signal).

The 4s is a great phone, quicker than the 4 and without the signal / aerial debacle.

The iPhone 5 however is a disappointment.

It's thinner apparently, not that you'd notice, especially as due to it's design you have to have it in a case to prevent it from being destroyed by everyday careful usage.

But in order to make it thinner they had (so they say) to change the sync lead / charger lead connector to a new smaller design. If like me you have owned and continue to own previous versions of iPhones, iPods and iPads, and have several chargers, Docks, car connectors and car chargers etc then this new design is really frustrating.

The real reason that Apple changed the design is surely so that everybody has to go out and buy outrageously overpriced adaptors or new leads. I have read that Apple pays less than $0.6 for these leads, yet charges it's customers £25.

Apple have also put a microchip in their leads that the iPhone is set to recognise, without which they are rejected by the iPhone in order to prevent third party manufacturers from producing leads that work properly, hence all the terrible reviews for these 3rd party products.

It's just another of Apple's underhand money making exercises at the customers considerable inconvenience and expense.

It's taller than the iPhone 4s. Some may like this, but I don't. The 4s sits comfortably in your hand and my thumb can reach the top of the screen on the 4s without having to change the position in my hand. I have bigger than average hands too.

It is faster than the 4s, only a little, but it is faster. But this is the only improvement in my eyes.

Battery life is poor, another sacrifice made to the god of (pointless) thinness. It feels cheaper and flimsier than the 4s too.

Maps are a mess. Google maps was so much better on the 4 and 4s.

Instead of this ridiculous connector fiasco, why couldn't we have kept the old and perfectly good connector and had wireless charging too? The technology is there, and would be a great improvement over the current system.

A more robust design would be nice so that they didn't have to live in cases, and a dust and moisture resistant design would be very welcome.

iCloud is fantastic, and so I can't imagine changing phones to another manufacturer until someone else comes out with something at least as good as iCloud.

But when they do, I'll be more than happy to switch allegiance, despite twenty years as a loyal Apple customer.

Apple can only push their customers so far, and I'm becoming more and more fed up with the way Apple is treating it's customers with regard to their infuriating thinness campaign with their phones, iPads, MacBook Pros and iMacs, at the expense of functionality and in a blatant attempt to corner the market and limit customers buying choices in terms of leads, adaptors, connections, music purchasing, app purchasing etc, as are many many other people.

Apple is a great brand and has produced many fantastic products, but the iPhone 5 is not the leap ahead from the 4s that customers had hoped for, and this coupled with frustration and expense incurred by the connector design and the thinness over battery life and durability make it for me a 2 star product.

If you own the 4s I'd suggest hanging on to it and waiting until Autumn for the next hopefully much improved iPhone, or Samsung, or whoever the Apple slayer will be.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 19 November 2013
I bought this from AP direct electronics on amazon marketplace. When I bought it SAID NOWHERE that it was locked to Tesco mobile. I double checked as a lot were advertised as unlocked or not so did check. When I arrived it said it was locked to Tesco and I was furious! Rang up and asked for them to unlock it as it did not say (I checked my initial e-receipt) that it was locked until the paper receipt received in the parcel. The lady was very rude and said it was tough! I left a really awful review on the day and within 5 minutes I received a call from a really polite man saying he was sorry for the confusion and they will get it unlocked on the promise I remove the terrible review. Pretty happy with this compromise but very aware that ALL of their many reviews were positive because they try to remove bad reviews. However, 3 months later NO UNLOCKING and I've emailed with no reply. Very clever way to have a review removed but RUBBISH service. SO CROSS!!!!!
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