iPhone 5 Review - What’s missing, Price & Verdict Review


iPhone 5 Review – What’s missing?

So the iPhone 5 has impressed with its ease of use and design, though tripped up on its durability, but perhaps for most people the purchase decision will actually comes down to whether they care about its missing features.

First up are the familiar iPhone

complaints of no expandable storage by way of a microSD slot – you buy a 16GB phone, that’s as much storage as you’ll ever get –

and the inability to remove the battery, meaning you can’t keep a spare

battery for emergencies or long trips.


there are the more modern additions of NFC and wireless charging. The

latter is still pretty rare, but we’ve seen a few devices with it now,

including the Nokia Lumia 920, and it’s certainly something we’d like to

see more of. NFC, though, is something we’re really quite miffed not to

see included.

Not only is NFC really useful as a way of quickly

and easily paying for things by just tapping your phone against the

card machine/till (assuming it’s contactless payment enabled of course)

but it has loads of other cool uses too. You can touch phones together

to exchange contact details, instantly pair with a Bluetooth or Wi-Fi

device simply by waving them near each other. The list goes on.


has publicly said it simply doesn’t believe NFC is needed right now,

and it’s probably right given support is still growing. But, having

participated in Visa and Samsung’s contactless payment trial over the

summer, paying for goods with a Samsung Galaxy S3, we can definitely say

we’re converts of the technology.

Hardware features aside, there’s also the locked down nature of the operating system, which is much less customisable than Android in particular. With the latter you can install new keyboards, change the style of the homescreens and ‘side-load’ apps (install apps not bought through an app store), plus of course you don’t have to use iTunes. For many people the ease of use of the iPhone wins over but once you’ve started down the path of tinkering with Android there’s no going back to the walled-garden of Apple.

iPhone 5 Review – Price

Finally we come to price, and guess what? The iPhone 5 is kind of expensive. That’s the short version. The long

version is that it’s quite expensive for what you’re getting in terms of


When first launched, bought

SIM-free it was priced reasonably competitively at £529 for the 16GB

version, comparing to ~£500 for the 16GB Samsung Galaxy S3 or 32GB HTC

One X. However, most competing devices have dropped in price to more like ~£400. Plus, both these alternatives technically have more features and the S3 can

have its storage upgraded to 48GB for the £30 price of a microSD card.

In contrast a 32GB iPhone 5 costs £599 and a 64GB model a staggering


It was the case that contract prices made the situation even worse for the iPhone 5 but as contract prices across the board have gone up it actually fares a bit better with both it and the Galaxy S3 being free on ~£40pm, 24 month contracts. But, nonethless, the iPhone 5 is still the most expensive going so remains a bit of a luxury even when compared to its rivals.



has impressed us again with its latest iPhone, producing a phone

that stands head and shoulders above the competition when it comes to

industrial design. It’s slimmer, lighter and better looking than before,

and yet it packs in a larger screen and faster processor. The new

panorama mode on the camera is also superb, the new Earpods are a

nice improvement and with GoogleMaps now available, navigation is once again top notch too. If you’re not one for tinkering or chasing the

latest technologies, and if you can afford it, the iPhone 5 is the one

to get.

That said, with poor durability, NFC missing, and

only minor software additions, its premium price does seem a bit

galling. What’s

more, if you are looking for something that pushes boundaries in terms

of features you’ll be disappointed. No single hardware or software

feature here stands out from the crowd aside from that design.


Score in detail

  • Camera 9
  • Design 9
  • Usability 9
  • Value 7
  • Features 7
  • Screen Quality 9

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