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iPhone 5 Features We Love and Hate

Ardjuna Seghers by

iPhone 5 Features We Love and Hate 3

So, the iPhone 5 has been launched, and there weren’t too many surprises – after all, whether you think its evolutionary or revolutionary, most of it had been leaked beforehand in some shape or form.

Read our hands-on iPhone 5 review here

There’s no denying it’s a potentially great bit of kit, just as it’s obvious that, like most mobiles on the market, it’s not quite the perfect smartphone yet. Join us on a trip of what we love and hate about Apple’s new iPhone 5.

The iPhone 5 wider ‘Retina’ Display


Widescreen is here to stay. Every television, nearly every monitor and laptop, and 90 percent of mobile devices not made by Apple are widescreen. And while we often wouldn’t mind a few extra vertical pixels, it’s great for video and many games.

Now Apple has finally joined the widescreen revolution. The high-resolution 4-inch IPS screen on its iPhone 5 sports 640 x 1,136 pixels (compared to the 3.5in 640 x 940 of its predecessor) giving it a 16:9 aspect ratio and 326dpi. Interestingly, this is the exact same aspect as Windows 8 tablets and phones, where Android – on its tablets at least - seems to favour 16:10.

So what are the advantages to the new iPhone’s ‘longer’ screen? It can fit an extra row of icons or folders. This might not sound like much, but with ever more apps and our increasing demands that access to them be as instant as possible, it’s nice to be able to launch a few more without needing to swipe to a different homescreen.

iPhone 5 Features We Love and Hate

Movies and video will also benefit, as TV-formatted content will now play on the iPhone’s screen without any black bars while the average movie should only show minimal ones.

Last but certainly not least, you can now read more of web pages and documents, games will have more room for virtual controls, and in the unlikely case that iOS ever adopts multi-view/split-screen like the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 has already done, the aspect ratio actually works for this too. On the latter point, we wonder whether the iPad 4 will follow in the iPhone 5’s 16:9 footsteps?


It may seem like a minor point, but the iPHone 5’s screen is still not HD ready, meaning its resolution (not pixel density, resolution) is lower than every flagship Android and Windows Phone 8 handset out there.

Just to put some numbers on that, the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S3 and HTC One X sport 720 x 1,280 screens, while the iPhone makes do with 640 x 1,136.

That’s an 80 x 144 pixels advantage to every premium phone but the iPhone 5 - without even taking into account those handsets, like the Samsung Galaxy Note, that offer 800 x 1,280. Again it might not seem like much, but that’s actually more pixels than the leap between the iPhone 4S and iPhone 5 screens – how’s that for perspective.

This essentially means that while an Android/Win 8 smartphone will be able to display TV content natively, the new iPhone will have to downscale. You’ll also be able to see just that little bit more of websites and documents on the non-Apple devices…

iPhone 5 Features We Love and Hate

The iPhone 5’s Design and Aluminium Chassis


It looked mighty snazzy and all, but the iPhone 4/4S’s case – especially its glass rear - wasn’t what you’d call practical. It was slippery and picked up every smudge and fingerprint around. Worst of all, one drop and it wasn’t just the phone’s screen that was in danger of shattering.

So yes, we’re very glad Apple has reverted to its more traditional anodised aluminium back for the iPhone 5. It takes care of all the above concerns, without any obvious downsides.

We also like that it’s thinner without feeling fragile, and lighter without feeling cheap – though we do miss the previous model’s reassuring feeling of weight. Subjective feelings aside though, smaller and lighter are nearly always good as it allows us to carry more gadgets at once. Yay.


While most other premium handsets out there provide smooth curves that lie comfortably in your hand, the iPhone 5 carries on the 4’s legacy of sharp edges. Okay, they’re softer than before thanks to the bevelling process Apple has used, but the new iPhone still isn’t as comfy in the hand as Android rivals like the HTC One X or indeed Apple’s own iPhone 3 series.

iPhone 5 Features We Love and Hate 2

The iPhone 5 Rear Camera


It’s the same rather good 8 megapixel f/2.4 shooter as on the previous iPhone, except thinner.


It’s the same 8 megapixel f/2.4 shooter as on the previous iPhone, except thinner (the sensor might have seen an upgrade, but image quality is only marginally improved at best).

The iPhone 5 Lightning Connector


The massive, lumpy, proprietary Apple 30-pin connector of yore has been slimmed down by 80 percent for the new Lightning connector. Finally, we won’t have to carry around the cable-equivalent of a Gatling while the rest of the microUSB-packing world carries compact Uzis (bizarre metaphors, we know, but you get the picture).

We’re liking that this smaller connector takes up less room, is less likely to snag, and lets our gadgets – iPone 5 and its many accessories among them – be smaller. It’s also more rugged and, according to Apple, “smarter”, allowing for asynchronous two-way data and more rapid charging. All these are good things.

iPhone 5 Features We Love and Hate 1


The iPhone 5’s lightning connector is still proprietary! This isn’t just incredibly annoying in a world where every single other smartphone available uses microUSB, in most of Europe it’s downright illegal. After all, the European Commision has ruled that all phones sold in these parts must have a common charger.

What does Apple do to circumvent this standard? It brings out a Europe-exclusive Lightning to microUSB adapter, and charges you a ridiculous £25 for the privilege of ownership. How is it complying with regulations to have a separate adapter that’s not bundled with the iPhone 5? Frankly, this is the kind of thing we dislike about the fruity company. It’s the richest in the world, after all; it’s not like it needs the money.

While on the topic, we never thought Apple would add expandable memory to its iPhone - and admittedly it’s something old Windows Phone 7 devices and some Android handsets are equally guilty of - but we still don’t have to like it. Especially since upping memory capacities comes at yet another ludicrous premium.

The iPhone 5 Specifications


We’re not sure quite what to expect from the iPhone 5’s A6 processor and graphics combo yet, but even if it doesn’t turn out to be a next-generation (dual-core) Cortex A15, we’re confident it will be at the cutting edge – though it’s equally likely Anroid handsets will surpass it within a few months.

It may sound a tad jaded but, when it gets down to it, as long as it runs iOS 6 plus all the games and apps as smooth as butter, most people probably won’t be that bothered.

iPhone 5 Features We Love and Hate 3

The iPhone 5’s Lack of NFC


NFC is handy. It’s quirky. It’s cool. It expands what you can do with a device, offers new ways to interact, pay, link, share and more. Unfortunately, the iPhone 5 doesn’t have it, and no matter what Phil Schiller says, that plain sucks.

Even the ultra-affordable Google Nexus 7 has it built in, allowing you to share recommendations, info, ebooks and more with other NFC-enabled devices. We’re only likely to see more support in the future, both in volume of compatible smartphones and services. Apple has once again inconvenienced the consumer in the interests of keeping its own ecosystem intact.

The iPhone 5 LTE/4G


The fastest mobile broadband available, LTE/4G is now finally available in the UK courtesy of EE, so it’s a good thing the iPhone 5 supports it. Really, there’s only love regarding this feature from us, since there is no downside from having it. As with every other premium smartphone sporting 4G, if you find it drains your battery too much, just switch it off.

What are your pet peeves about Apple’s new iPhone 5? Do you agree or disagree with our likes and dislikes, or are there bits we didn’t include that are making you tear your hair out like the bottom-mounted headphone jack? Let us know in the comments!

For all the latest iPhone 5 news head here >

Go to comments


September 14, 2012, 4:36 am

The outside hasn't changed for 2 years, I can forgive using the same shape for 2 generations (4 and 4s) but really?....

Apple getting tips from Porsche on design?

Now having had two years to come up with something, Apple has replaced the tiny 3.5in screen with a slightly bigger 4in screen? Wow. What else did they do with the rest of their time?

They should have called it the 4GS to be honest. Same style and with the new 4g built in and 4 in screen it would have made sense, perhaps like that they would be admitting it isn't a completely new phone.
>> some forgiveness

The sad thing is people are going to go in their millions and give apple their hard earned cash, while apple (after 3 years selling the same style phone must have found ways to produce the parts very cheaply) will be laughing all the way to the bank.

Trusted reviews, as a website for tech you must favour the forward looking company's, if anyone else put such little effort into new tech (having had plenty of time to put some R&D into it with the resource and money at their disposal) and ended up just increased the screen a bit, and said it was a brand new phone (or any tech for this matter) you would cut them down to size.

Please don't get hanged up lines like "better processors twice as fast as 4s" and it being "slim and beautiful" as if this was a positive. At the end of the day everyone covers up their beautiful iPhone in a cheap plastic case, making even the s3 feel better in the hand.

If apple are so concerned that people might make a mistake and buy an Samsung phone instead of a an apple because they are so "alike" they must be scared people might buy the wrong iphone ... oh wait. ;)

Don't be afraid to show your disappointment in this "new" iphone.

Some fun after that mini/large rant.


September 14, 2012, 11:30 am

Love: The best music player in the market. No android even comes close! (Haven't tried Windows Phone 7 though).

H-A-T-E: The same home screen since 2004! Add some widgets already! I mean how do you do sticky notes on this thing?


September 15, 2012, 6:15 pm

I recently heard this joke that sums up my opinion of Apple. I just hope they post it.
Q, How do you milk sheep ?

A, Bring out another iphone.


September 16, 2012, 5:16 am

Yes your are right. In the past two years people have obviously evolved much bigger hands and it is absolutely disgraceful that Apple hasn't done the sensible thing and made their phones much bigger to allow for this instead of designing something you can hold in one hand and use as a phone. I look forward to the day when I can buy a Samsung phone with a screen so big I have to hold it with both hands. Oh wait .. that's an iPad isn't it.


September 16, 2012, 11:30 am

I agree it's the best music player in the game, and with iTunes Match it's frankly outstanding.

Not the same home screen since 2004 - the original iPhone and iPod Touch were released in 2007. And the reason they've stuck with it (and it's been aped by many others) is because it just works well. It's been tweaked with addition of Notification Centre, camera from lock screen, app folders and plenty more, but fundamentally Apple doesn't want to change a winning formula. I consider this a good thing.


September 16, 2012, 11:42 am

You sound like an idiot. It isn't just the same phone with a slightly bigger screen - it's also got a new CPU, 4G, a brighter, more scratch resistant screen with less glare and more colour fidelity, it's thinner and lighter apparently without sacrificing battery life, and they've listened to feedback and lost the glass back. The only notable disappointment is the omission of NFC. Apple's problems are (1) they have a device (4/4S) which is so well designed that anything radical enough to satisfy the naysayers would be a step backwards; and (2) their product launches have become somewhat anticlimactic since they are now under such scrutiny that it has become impossible for them to prevent the press from leaking every detail weeks ahead of time.


September 16, 2012, 11:43 am

It obviously takes many design cues from the 4 and 4S (a good thing since those are beautiful and fantastically well built devices), but with the new form factor and the abandonment of the 30-pin dock connector it is the biggest step change in iPhone design since the line's inception, certainly bigger than the addition of the Retina display with iPhone 4.

Gordon Hunter

September 16, 2012, 11:39 pm

Love my 4S and certainly won't be parting with any of my hard earnt cash for the iPhone 5.

The slightly larger screen is a good thing I guess, but I chose the 4S against the Galaxy 3 because the phone was too big and felt too light and flimsy, something which Trusted Reviews have said the 5 feels like, "although it doesn't creak".

I think changing the interface is a definite deal breaker for some, including me. I have several interfaces including docks for PC and hi-fi and HDMI for my iPad and iPhone that all use the classic connector. The adaptor is available again at an Apple premium price. Come on Apple, the Chinese produce these things for you for a very small fraction of the price you charge! Do I want to mess around with an adaptor? NO!

The 4S is plenty fast enough for everything I need, so I don't need a faster processor. Also, it has far more wireless capability than I am likely to need in the next 2-3 years. There are few networks worldwide delivering LTE and from what I have heard the frequencies in the UK are likely to change before it is fully rolled out. Therefore, requirements for phones are likely to change. Currently, it seems to only be available in a handful of cities on Orange and T-mobile.

Sorry Apple, but it's a "No upgrade needed!" from me.

Tony Walker

September 17, 2012, 12:25 am


It doesn't appear to be the same camera. The optics are different, it reportedly has a slightly larger sensor and certainly behaves differently whilst shooting - stills at same time as video.


September 21, 2012, 12:49 am

Why do people think that the design must change. Sure, it's not as smooth to hold as the 3G models but when you pop it in a case, it doesn't matter any way.

I love the screen and more so because Apple haven't enforced the idea of making the whole phone bigger, just the screen, so it's still easy to hold and carry. What's with all these massive phones, 4.7" and so forth?

I don't need to watch movies and TV regularly so on a relatively small screen it doesn't matter that it's not at a native resolution. I like the new connector and really like the fact that the headphone socket is at the bottom!

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