92
4.0
final rating

reviewed on
this review has been viewed 4257 times

Criteria Comments Rating
  • Reception and call quality Average reception and call quality, nothing new here. so-so
  • Display Display quality is good, but only 4"? They could have done better. so-so
  • Battery life I've found the battery life to be less than stellar when compared to the industry standards in standby and talk time. so-so
  • Camera Camera is good, which is as to be expected. Nothing industry leading here though. good
  • Ease of use It's iOS, so simple even a chimp could use it. good
  • Design and form factor Well, the back looks nice.. if it doesn't get scratched. The front is getting quite old and stale, and certainly shows a lack of innovation. poor
  • Portability (size / weight) About average. so-so
  • Media support No flash! The tired cries of Steve Jobs & Fanboys still echo, but with a majority of sites still using flash, it's still a massive blunder on their part. awful!
  • Durability The iPhone 5 seems not as durable as phones I've had in the past. Drop tests show more durability than iPhone4, but the back is severely prone to scratches. poor
  • Ecosystem (apps, accessories, etc.) What used to be great is now just ok. With Android pretty much having all the best selling apps in their market as well, the App Store is not what it once was so-so
Detailed review
Overall the iPhone 5 is Apple's second design, innovation, and competition fail in a row. It really is time for the guys and gals down in Cupertino to start spending more money on innovation, rather than wasting it on litigation in a desperate attempt to stifle competition from companies who offer so much more for less. I am really disappointed in this product, and if you haven't heard or read about the major problems with Apple Maps it's imperative that you do so before even considering this phone.
review history
2012-10-30
Edited comment on Design and form factor
2012-10-27
Edited comment on Media support
2012-10-26
Durability rating changed from 3 to 2
Edited comment on Durability
2012-09-25
Updated detailed review
Updated detailed review
Updated detailed review
Edited comment on Durability
Edited comment on Durability
Updated detailed review
2012-09-24
Durability rating changed from 2 to 3
Edited comment on Durability
2012-09-22
Edited comment on Durability
Edited comment on Design and form factor

Comments (49) subscribe to this review's comments

chadecoleman

So the first Troll review by someone who doesn't even own the phone. Portability? 4? Durability ? 4? No Flash? OMG... GDGT needs to screen these really.
Megacharge

That's right, I don't own the phone *anymore*, took it back when I realized I had been trolled by Apple.. You call my review a troll review? Your comment just wreaks of Fanboyism, from a member of the herd who can't handle when someone tells the truth about a product you are conditioned to blindly love. I'm done with Apple now after this iPhone 5 debacle. Some people don't have their blinders on and are willing to tell the truth, get over it, and get over yourself.
chadecoleman

Ok, but no reviews on the web showed this any less than an 8 and you drop a 4 on it? Tell me who the fanboy is. You brought Flash to your argument. Come on already. You knew it didn't have Flash, flash is dead on mobile in case you didn't get the memo. Durability? Have you seen the drop test videos? It took a beating and never broke and outlasted a plastic Samsung phone. The front of the phone is getting stale? It's a screen with a bezel. Pretty stock these days on any phone. The materials and back are what differentiate it. Based on what you wrote, you never would have bought an iPhone 5. Considering its been out 24 hours I'd assume not even had time to return it. Was there something Apple promised you didn't get to where you were "trolled by Apple". I know I shouldn't respond because that is exactly what you wanted.
mightyman

You just got owned Megacharge!
Megacharge

How did I get owned? because an irrelevant Apple fanboy agrees with another Apple fanboy? Your logic is flawed Miniman.

As for you Chade, the 4 I dropped is the average I gave of all my ratings. Yes, the front of the phone is getting stale, looks pretty much the same since iPhone 4, it's time for an improvement. While you may or may not have seen some videos showing drop tests, I personally feel it's not quite as durable as some other phones I've had in the past. Also there is no removable battery yet again, I knew this going in, but still, it would be nice if Apple could offer these kinds of things.

I bring Flash up because it is a necessity for enough people out there to be relevant, and a big deal. Most of the websites still use "only" flash, I personally don't need it for what I will be using the phone for, but it would be a nice perk, the fact that Apple decides it's users shouldn't have flash instead of giving us the option to have it and turn it off or on when needed is just wrong in my books.

Flash itself isn't dead, most websites still use "Only" flash, and Adobe ONLY stopped issuing updates for Mobile flash. The codecs used in the last update still exist, are attainable and Mobile flash is NOT going anywhere it's just not being updated anymore. It's not like all the websites on the internet that use flash, just all stopped using it, which is how you're trying to make it sound. It doesn't work that way, all those sites still use flash and won't be ditching it anytime soon. Just to clarify, you misunderstand it, it's not dead, the mobile codecs are just not being updated by adobe anymore, all mobile flash using products will only come with the last flash update.

And wtf is up with the lightning adapter? No lighting adapter for my phone, another gimmick to get me to spend more, this was a massive oversight or just flat out greed on Apple's part, just plain idiotic either way. Anyways, I spent a lot of time waiting for this phone, I was excited and bought the phone in haste, after spending a good amount of time with it, I decided it wasn't worth keeping. These are my opinions, you do not have to like them, you just need to respect that not everyone's opinion is the same as yours.

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chadecoleman

"Yes, the front of the phone is getting stale, looks pretty much the same since iPhone 4, it's time for an improvement."
What could be done to the "front of the phone" it's a screen. Do you want a larger bezel? A triangular screen? You want change for the sake of change?

Apple decides it's users shouldn't have flash instead of giving us the option to have it and turn it off or on when needed is just wrong in my books.

Adobe decided that flash is dead on mobile dude, even removed it from Google Play I believe. Also my favorite line from you, "I personally don't need it for what I will be using the phone for." LOL, so you are arguing for a dead technology in mobile that you claim not to need anyway. Ok, that makes sense.

No lighting adapter for my phone, another gimmick to get me to spend more, this was a massive oversight or just flat out greed on Apple's part,

I don't think Apple could have made this phone with the space and depth of the 30 pin connector. It's time to move on. Funny how people criticize Apple for not changing enough of the iPhone, yet its most significant change is lambasted. Hypercritical I say.

Anyways, I spent a lot of time waiting for this phone, I was excited and bought the phone in haste, after spending a good amount of time with it, I decided it wasn't worth keeping.

Ok, but of all your arguments and dislike of this phone, did you not know that it had a new connector and no flash? Admit it dude, you never owned this phone, you are simply trolling GDGT trying to sabotage the over all user review score.
Megacharge

My opinions are my opinions, you are harassing me, and you will be reported. Internet bullying is a crime in some places.
ssstraub

Nice unbiased review. ;)
I haven't used a Flash website in about a year because ALL the major sites switch to HTML5 video automatically when Flash isn't available (even if even use Flash at all anymore).

Durability? Um, yeah: www.androidauthority.com­/iphone­-5­-vs­-samsung­-galax...
Megacharge

Chade: I don't think Apple could have made this phone with the space and depth of the 30 pin connector. It's time to move on. Funny how people criticize Apple for not changing enough of the iPhone, yet its most significant change is lambasted. Hypercritical I say.

The new connector design is not the problem, the fact that an adapter is NOT being included and that we have to PAY EXTRA for it IS! You can twist it any way you want but the fact remains, if Apple changed the connector on us they should have included an adapter FOR FREE! This is inexcusable and no matter how you try to sugar coat it chade, ITS WRONG, it's flat out greed is what it or plain stupidity, take your pick, considering how the brand managed to turn you guys into harassment soldiers, greed is the more likely reason.

ssstraub: Flash isn't available (even if even use Flash at all anymore).

Flash is still widely available and in use and as I said used by the MAJORITY of websites, and people don't just go to the "top" sites, nice try, there is a whole internet out there that have even content the top sites don't/can't provide, you're trying to twist words and info now like chade does. I said it best in my second response to Chade the situation is EXACTLY as I described in that response re-read it, I encourage all of you to check for yourselves, and I encourage all people thinking of buying an iPhone 5 to look at my review, and then look at the harassment I get for speaking my mind by the die hard fans. It's not cool to harass and abuse people.

chade: Ok, but of all your arguments and dislike of this phone, did you not know that it had a new connector and no flash? Admit it dude, you never owned this phone, you are simply trolling GDGT trying to sabotage the over all user review score.

You're looking at it wrong, I'm just not sugar coating my review the way die hards would want me to, and this hurts you. If I wanted to sabotage the review, I would have rated it a 1 and been done with it. You know like those guys who are trying to improve the over all user review score by putting all 10's then running off...
DjFusion

You confuse arguing with bullying .....
Megacharge

It's harassment and it's been reported.
DjFusion

no it's not, if you put a review on the internet it is to be expected that people will argue with you, it's public, if they use personal attacks it's another story but there's nothing wrong in debating
Megacharge

It's harassment. When you are offended by someone's point of view, and you keep attacking them it's harassment. He made his points, I've made mine, enough is enough already. People have differing opinions on things, there needs to be a level of respect for someones opinion.
DjFusion

if you don't want to debate and don't want people to argue with your positions just don't but reviews on the internet
Megacharge

The debate was over a while ago, now he's just harassing me.
DjFusion

a debate is not over just because you decide it is

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Megacharge

Flash itself is a form of media, that either has support or it doesn't, I'm not talking about "only" the most popular mainstream sites that either run Flash or HTML5 on their site and that if they don't run HTML5, they have an App Store app to make up for it, obviously those sites are not an issue for users who only use those. I'm talking about the rest of the web, all the other sites and small streaming sites people may or may not go to, the ones that stream Hockey games, fights, TV shows etc, that only run Flash, and if Flash is disabled, they do not work.

The big over all picture I'm getting at with the media support thing, is that a large chunk of the World Wide Web is missing due to lack of Flash support, because not every website has transitioned to HTML5 and it's currently not as widely supported as Flash. In my opinion this is a massive negative, because it could be easily implemented on the phone, with an option to give the user the "choice" to turn it on or off as needed, and there are a large portion of people out there that do this on their phones while they're out and mobile, and they should have the right to use it if they choose to.
Megacharge

@DJFusion, Stay on topic and stop spamming the thread with posts that add nothing useful. We're not debating about debating. I didn't decide my debate with him was over, it ended naturally.
Megacharge

I can get my hands on some review units, but normally just do reviews with borrowed units from friends or units I own myself. With this phone, I made a snap decision to buy it. In hindsight I really should have waited it out a bit, at least to see if Apple would come to it's senses about including the adapter.

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Megacharge

Re-read my answers above. Avoid straw-man arguments please.

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Megacharge

I've done just that, and since last answering you guys, you've moved on to straw-man arguments to derail the review and direction of the "discussion" (if we can call it a discussion, it's more of a cyber lynching than anything else, but, you've got bills to pay I guess..)
mhalpin

This site gave the iPhone 5 a 96 and says it's the top Must Have. I'm done. Have a great day.

DjFusion

it may not be perfect, iOS 6 needs improvement but a score of 4/10 is totally unjustified, the processor is one of best on the market (it beats the S3), the display is the best at the moment according to displaymate which are expert about mobile phone displays and finally it's better build than the S3, just go watch some drop test videos. 7-9/10 would be an ok score but 4 is just apple bashing
thesheep

I love my iPhone but I think it's fair enough for Megacharge to post this review. And his views on design and form-factor are legitimate, even though I don't agree with them. I can see why someone might argue that.

I do think your Flash claim needs to be qualified though. It's not true that the majority of sites use only Flash. Actually it seems that about 22% of sites use Flash and the trend is clearly falling: w3techs.com­/technologies­/details­/cp­-flash­/all­/all.
Miggity

Congratulations on your troll review!
euxneks

There are two possibilities for this review:
1) It's legit
2) It's a fake review.

For 1 to be true, the user had to have plunked down ~$700 (with taxes) for an unlocked phone, just to have returned it in one day - otherwise it would have been on a service contract. The reviewer also would have had to have been one of the people who got the iPhone on day one - either by pre-ordering after midnight in about 5 minutes, or by getting it in store. From what I could tell, getting it in store is just as difficult. This means the reviewer is not very wise with purchasing - precisely because he/she names things as detractors (no flash, new adapter) which were well known previously. Perhaps the user was excited about the phone? There was no indicator in the review that this is a likely possibility.
Given this quote:
"What used to be great is now just ok. With Android pretty much having all the best selling apps in their market as well, the App Store is not what it once was" (emphasis mine)
and
"It really is time for the guys and gals down in Cupertino to start spending more money on innovation, rather than wasting it on litigation in a desperate attempt to stifle competition from companies who offer so much more for less." (emphasis mine)
It is more likely the reviewer is not a fan of iPhone, and more likely a fan of Android phones, which in itself is not a bad thing.

However, posting a fake review on a website claiming it to be true is a bad thing. If you are lying, you know it, and if so, you are doing a disservice to your fellow tech enthusiasts by muddying the water with bad information. Otherwise, if you are not lying your review is tainted by buyer's remorse or some other factor.

In either case, you have not given the phone it's due - 4 is clearly too low - and should be treated as a statistical outlier - I would expect someone to choose a 6 at the very least for this phone, given that some clearly give the phone a 10 and the average is about 8.5.

What you are attempting to accomplish with this review is a mystery.
rezzz

Your review make it sound like it's one of the worst phone ever made. There is almost nothing positive in your review. Do you seriously expect peoples to believe that this is a objective and unbiased review?

Just take the camera, you say that it is ... nothing industry leading:

reviews.cnet.com­/8301­-19512­_7­-57510802­-233­/iphone­-...

Megacharge

It's not one of the worst phones ever made, it's one of the most disappointing phones ever made. When you create something as iconic as the first iPhone, I expect a lot more than what's been given in the last iterations, and the iPhone 5 is sheer disappointment. I knew when I made my review, that there would be a lot of "brand loyal" and "paid by Apple" fan-boys that would attack me, slander my review, disagree, question me, and harass me. I do not let that cloud my review, be happy there are honest people like me left in the world that pull no punches and can't be bought.. One day, you may come to appreciate that, and actually learn to respect people's opinions.
Ellipsis00

This review is completely fair. For a company that gives absolutely no money to charity, they don't seem to spend a lot on actually innovating their products either (makes you wonder where all your money actually goes - oh right, anti-competitive lawsuits against successful competitors over petty design elements that all pre-date the iPhone anyway). This had HUGE potential to actually create a shadow over the top of the range Android offerings, instead it plays catch-up to devices running 2.3 and already feels outdated to 4.0+ by comparison. There's nothing an Android phone can't do that an iPhone can in some form or another, yet there's plenty an Android phone can do that an iPhone can't.

Keep up the honest reviews mate! Don't let the butt hurt iTards ever make you question your opinion.
rezzz

I can appreciate a fair and objective review. And i can respect the fact that your are truly disappointed with the
phone, i 'm just not sure that it warrant such a bad review.

Anyways i don't want to get too involve in the flame wars that is going on between both the Android and Apple users. I just came to this site and other reviews and message board to learn about the other companies and their phones before i make my final decision to upgrade to the iPhone 5.

I find it ironic that in with their emotional display of anger toward Apple by the Android users, it have made them become as much of a fanboy as the apple users. So a lot of Android fanboys seem like they are on a mission to let the whole world know how truly horrible the iPhone 5 is, but if you are not one of those peoples Megacharge than by all means keep sharing your opinions.
Drgonzo512

Great review. There isn't anything that Apple has done with this phone that is leading the industry. Everything posted by the ifanboys here just makes me laugh. Just a quick question for thesheep...you said that only 22% of the internet was using Flash. So you're ok with missing 22% of the internet? It seems like that would be an awful lot of information that is sitting out there for ANYONE else, exept iPhone users......Doesn't it? I would like to see the Apple commercials for that..."78% of the internet is good enough for us!" Hahaha
lonbon7

Megacharge, I made an account just to say how awesome you are. Good job with the review and standing of the fanboys.
showmethemoney

You sound like someone who has an ax to grind. There is left field and there you are, way beyond left field. Your review is like a black swan event. There isn't a shred of objectivity. In your defense, there is no pretense of lack of bias either. I don't know what Apple has done to tick you off but you have my sympathies. God bless. And keep buying crap.
bthockey

The fact that you said no flash is a negative is completely hilarious. NO ONE is developing flash on mobile devices anymore. Adobe has admitted that flash is dead on mobile. Nice troll.
z320

This review is lame. I'm not sure why this is a disappointing update.

What wasn't updated besides internal storage options? Screen, processor, network speeds, processor and graphics speeds, battery, etc. I don't care that the charging port changed, because it's not just a charging port. The old 30-pin connector could do VGA, USB Host, HDMI, SD Card slot, micro USB, game controllers, etc etc. I think that the best approach is a smaller, faster connector that could support Thunderbolt (thunderbolt > lightning?). I can imagine the possibilities with this.

It's not that you're missing out on 22% of the internet without Flash, because tomorrow it will be 20%, and eventually it will be 1% then 0%. Flash is dead for mobile browsers. How can you even argue that it isn't dead, when the maker of it has stopped support and updates for it? Furthermore, why on earth would you use unsupported, non-updated, obsolete software? Especially with all of its past vulnerabilities! I've used Flash websites on every mobile platform's phones AND tablets and it's total garbage.

I think it's the best phone for $200. The apps and functionality that you get with it make it well worth the price. Almost every other phone out there right now is a gamble. Who wants to bet that the galaxy s 3 isn't getting official software update anymore within a year?

Here's assault Megacharge: You're a moron. The technology is great. Every single person in the tech world that knows tech agrees.
avpham

What can you possibly do to change the "stale" look of the front? It's always easy for companies to pack more goodness into a huge +4.5" phones, but to have a phone that consistently performs better on benchmark tests than leading android phones yet is lighter and thinner? If that's not innovation, I don't know what is.

I knew this was a troll review as soon as I saw a poor rating for design and form-factor. Even android blogs and fans cannot deny that the design and build quality of the iphone is excellent.
Megacharge

Oh sure, excellent build quality.... The easily scratched backside isn't a design flaw/bad build quality, it's just a new feature, right? Get real..
techspecialist

Yes, you are free to dislike the iPhone 5. In many ways, it seems like it's a horrible device for you. I have no problems with that at all. But I would like to explain why Apple could not include a free adapter in every Lightning-equipped device.

Your complaints about the new Lightning connector bring a very interesting point about standards in the tech industry. Besides the fact that it was time for a smaller connector to fit them inside the ever-decreasing size and thickness of Apple devices, Apple has to push the entire user base forward with the new connector. It has to bring the accessory makers and the users to abandon the old 30-pin connector and adapt the the new Lightning connector. And including a free adapter in, let's say, every iPhone 5 will just slow this down like crazy. Lightning won't even be used much. iPhone 5 users will likely buy much less Lightning accessories if they get free adapters. Accordingly, the accessory makes will not make many Lightning accessories due to weak demand. So other than gaining profits, Apple can accomplish the unrecognized but very important task of really pushing the entire user base and accessory makes into the new standard, by not including a free adapter. In that way, after some time, everything will be unified by one connector: Lightning.
In addition, it's not just Apple who pisses off users with new connectors. What about the move from mini-USB to micro-USB in Android devices? Although the adapters are cheaper than Apple's, you still have to buy an adapter. So it's not just Apple doing it. Everybody else does it. And they don't include a free adapter for the same reason.

Look, I am not asking you to understand all of downsides of iPhone 5 and therefore accept whatever Apple has done. But you can't criticize them harshly because they have done everything they can. Things are more complicated than you can possibly guess. Apple has to serve not only the customers but the entire ecosystem. (accessory makes, developers...) Eventually, unifying the entire ecosystem with one connector makes things easier and simple for customers. Apple has always made the right decisions that bring long-term benefits and Lightning is an example of that. Yes, you have to pay for the god damn adapter. Could it cheaper? Maybe. But like its major products, Apple accessories are very well-made. Somebody once did a tear-down of the iPhone adapter and found that it's safer and more durable than any other included phone adapters. And making it expensive also encourages the purchase of Lightning accessories. Yes, you still have to pay for the god damn adapter. But the thing is: what else could Apple have done?
zepln

On Megacharge's second comment above 4 months ago, its January 2013 now, 4 months ago was September 2012, he said he returned the phone, his last comment here which is 2 months later, November 2012, hes still fighting with people and continue to criticize the product. It really does look to me he spent more time criticizing the product than actually owning it (if at all). iPhone 5 was released in the US on September 21, 2012, his review was posted on September 22, 2012. So how long did it take for his phone to be full of scratches? Then he returned the phone?
Megacharge

@Zepln I didn't say my iPhone 5 was full of scratches, you need to work on your reading comprehension skills, and avoid making straw-man arguments. I said that the backside is easily scratched. Which it is, as per all the many complaints by people who currently have the phone and are dealing with this build quality issue.
euxneks

Here's a report contrary to your claim: I've dropped my iPhone about 5 times, 2 of which was on pavement. One of the drops on pavement was subsequently followed by me accidentally stepping on it. Yes. I am that klutzy and I freaked the hell out. However, to my great surprise and joy, the back is not even scratched. The only part that is scratched is the edges. I try to keep it away from keys in my pocket, as well as coins - Do you line your pockets with steel wool?

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zepln

@Megacharge If your phone didn't scratch, then why do you claim it scratches ... Why regurgitate parts of reviews from others, I thought people want to read real user reviews here, who might confirm or refute controversial points that have been spread around the internet. Not regurgitate them. Some of the conclusions you've made, like on "litigation vs innovation", those court cases happened before iPhone5, so you knew before buying the iPhone, and that is not about the actual phone. Then "the front looks stale" point, if you think that, why would you buy the phone in the first place? What are you doing here exactly?
Megacharge

Zepln, the back of the phone scratching is a major issue. It's happening to many people. I do not just "claim" this, it is a fact.. one that people would want to know before making a purchase.

You take my review and my opinions as if it's a personal injury to you, like I insulted your girlfriend or a close loved one. With this kind of excessive reaction from you it looks highly likely you're part of Apples damage control/PR department. It's time to move on.
zepln

@megacharge How many months have you been doing this? Maybe its time you moved on. Those issues you mentioned, those are out there to be read, who are you to represent the interest of anyone else, you review your own experience with the product, but you claim to know, to confirm the scratches, then you admit your phone was not scratched.