Apple iPhone 5 review: the screen [Epic Review]
The Apple iPhone 5 Epic Review is a long-form look at one of the most anticipated mobiles ever produced. It’s sponsored by JadoPado.com – your one-stop online shop for all things gadget related. Want to pick up an iPhone 5 just like the one we’ve reviewed? Click here
Android has attacked the iPhone more viciously than ever this year, resulting in theHTC One X and Samsung Galaxy S3 knocking it from the pinnacle of our smartphone top ten. Apple needed to reply with something special, something game-changing – and here it is.
The iPhone 5 is longer, leaner, faster, packs super-quick 4G networking and the brand-new iOS 6 operating system. It’s probably the most leaked and most speculated-upon gadget in history. But it does seem to be missing that one knockout feature that would guarantee its place in the smartphone history books. Has it done enough to be a chart topper again?
iPhone 5 screen
This is the first iPhone without a 3.5in screen, and the first to adopt the 16:9 widescreen format preferred by Android rivals. The width of the screen is the same as ever, and has the same resolution as the 4S (640 pixels), but the height has been increased from 960 to 1136 pixels, yielding a 4in display with the ‘Retina’ credentials of its predecessor. It’s not quite 720p HD, but it’s not far off (roughly 80% the number of pixels, fact fans).
The screen somehow feels closer than ever. A new manufacturing process means the touch sensors are now one with the LCD, which means the whole assemblage is thinner. It’s still incredibly crisp, and it’s more colourful. Blues and purples particularly ping, compared to the 4S, and photos look that bit shinier as a result. Compared to the yellowish Samsung Galaxy S3, whites are whiter and colours generally more natural. The biggest change, of course, is the extra space. When moving from an older iPhone, the taller screen seems a little peculiar at first, but it’s a matter of minutes before you wouldn’t go back. We reckon it’s a sensible size: 4in in a 16:9 ratio is just about big enough for movies on the move, and the extra space accommodates an extra line of apps and a few extra entries in lists and calendar views, all the while staying small enough for comfortable one handed use.
Could Apple have usefully gone bigger? The Galaxy S3 suggests it could, particularly for films and games, but Apple has its smaller-handed users to consider, and the resolution would also have had to increase to retain that Retina moniker.
Oddly, the extra space isn’t utilised by the landscape keyboard, which just has a couple of grey buffers to either size. A missed opportunity, we reckon. Also, it’s only Apple’s own apps that take advantage of the extra screen space right now. Existing apps are confined to the central area of the screen with black ‘untouchable’ strips at either end, but essential iOS downloads are bound to be updated to fill the whole iPhone 5 display sooner than you can say ‘widescreen Angry Birds Space.’