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  • dado023 - Tuesday, October 16, 2012 - link

    These days for me is battery life and then screen usability, so my next buy will be 720p, with iPhone5 setting the bar, i hope other android makers will follow. Reply
  • Krysto - Tuesday, October 16, 2012 - link

    Are you implying iPhone 5 is setting the bar for 720p displays? Because first of all, it doesn't have an 1280x720 resolution, but a 1136x640 one, and second, Android devices have been sporting 720p displays since a year ago. Reply
  • hapkiman - Tuesday, October 16, 2012 - link

    I have an iPhone 5 and my wife has a Samsung Galaxy S III.

    Her Galaxy S III has a Super AMOLED 1280x720 display.

    And yes my iPhone 5 "only" has a 1136 x 640 display.

    But guess what - I'm holding both phones side by side right now looking at the exact same game and there is no perceivable difference. I looked at it, my son looked at it, and my wife looked at it. On about five or six different games, videos, apps, and a few photos. The difference is academic. You cant tell a difference unless you have a bionic eye.

    They both look freakin' fantastic.
  • reuthermonkey1 - Tuesday, October 16, 2012 - link

    I think you're missing Krysto's point. Of course looking at a 4" 1136 x 640 and a 4.8" 1280x720 display side by side will look equivalent to the eye. But his response wasn't to whether they're similar, but to the minimum requirement dado023 has set for their next purchase to be 720p.

    The iPhone5's screen looks fantastic, but it's not 720p, so it's not exactly setting the bar for 720p.
  • Samus - Wednesday, October 17, 2012 - link

    I'm no Apple fan, but in their defense, it is completely unneccessary to have 720p resolution on a 4" screen.

    The ppi of the screen is already 20% higher than is discernible by the human eye. Having the resolution any higher would be a waste of processing power.
  • afkrotch - Wednesday, October 17, 2012 - link

    More screen real estate. Higher resolution, more crap you can throw on it. Course ih a 4" or 4.8" display, how many icons can you really place on the screen. I have a 4" screen and I wished I could shrink my icons though. Would love to get more icons on there.

    I can't do large phones anymore. I had a 5" Dell Streak...no thanks. Too big.
  • rarson - Wednesday, October 17, 2012 - link

    "The ppi of the screen is already 20% higher than is discernible by the human eye."

    Uh, no it's not. The resolution of a human retina is higher than 326 ppi.
  • Silma - Thursday, October 18, 2012 - link

    This doesn't mean anything. It depends on how far away the reading material is from the eye.

    720p may not be needed for such a small screen but it is better than "not exactly" 720p in that the phone doesn't have to rescale 720p material.

    In the same way retina marketing for macbook is pure BS as for the screen size and eye distance from the screen such a high resolution is not needed and will only burn batteries faster and make laptops warmer for next to no visual benefit. In addition 1080p materials will have to be rescaled.
  • rarson - Thursday, October 18, 2012 - link

    Right, so if you have good vision, like I do, then at a foot away, you can see those pixels. Reply
  • MobiusStrip - Friday, October 19, 2012 - link

    Yawn. Reply
  • doobydoo - Friday, October 19, 2012 - link

    'Right, so if you have good vision, like I do, then at a foot away, you can see those pixels.'

    If you can see that then you would also be capable of observing that the SG3 doesn't have full pixels, it uses a PenTile display which overall has fewer sub pixels over a greater area than the iPhone 5 screen, making it both absolutely lower quality and relatively lower quality per area.
  • KoolAidMan1 - Friday, October 19, 2012 - link

    You can discern individual pixels on an iPhone 5 display?

  • dsumanik - Wednesday, October 17, 2012 - link

    Im sure this guy said the same thing when the 4 came out...3.5 was "big enough"

    Just watch when apple adds an even bigger screen he will be saying it is "perfect"

    The problem with iSheeps is that they need to get out there and actually use a different phone from a different ecosystem for a month, then switch back.

    Apple's devices are well built and tightly integrated, but there are serious shortcomings, drawbacks, and flaws that you will notice once you return to the platform.

    That said,

    Personally i purchase apple products due to the insanely high resale value, which allows me to keep up with new gear on a yearly basis for a reasonable price.

    Sent from my iphone 5
  • khurtwilliams - Thursday, October 18, 2012 - link

    "iSheeps"? Must you resort to name calling to make your point? Reply
  • rarson - Thursday, October 18, 2012 - link

    "Personally i purchase apple products due to the insanely high resale value, which allows me to keep up with new gear on a yearly basis for a reasonable price."

    I don't see it. Maybe if you buy the newest thing as soon as it comes out and sell your old last-gen device that most people are still happy with, then you're selling it for a decent amount, but you're still spending way more money than any reasonable person would. There's absolutely no monetary argument to buy Apple products, because if money is your concern, then you shouldn't be buying them in the first place.

    Apple's phone prices are much closer in line with their hardware; for laptops and desktops, the resale value argument goes WAY out of whack.
  • darwiniandude - Friday, October 19, 2012 - link

    I bought an early 2011 MBP last year for $2650 AUD. got a high res screen option etc. I heard rumours of the retina model and sold it just before the 12 months was up so the new purchaser still had a little warranty me could buy AppleCare if they wished. I sold it for $2300 AUD. This means I lost $350 over the year, it cost me $350 to have that machine for a year. I didn't buy AppleCare ($429 AUD) either.
    The retina model came out, and retailed for $2499 AUD

    I've been doing this since my first Mac, in 2006. I can't believe the crazy used prices on Macs especially if they are still current model and about a year old. I pay about $300-$400 a year to have the latest and greatest and a machine that is always in warranty. If I bought a cheap PC notebook for $400 I'd be suffering with an underpowered plastic machine with little ram, no SSD, and it might last more than a year but I wouldn't be happy with it anyway. Each to their own. I could never stay current with PCs because a year later the system was next to worthless, even if I'd put a $1000 video card in it at the time. (I now, reluctantly, game on consoles or a little in bootcamp)
  • david22 - Thursday, October 18, 2012 - link

    "there are serious shortcomings, drawbacks, and flaws"

    So what are they?

    The problem with trolls is that they just spout bull.
  • MobiusStrip - Friday, October 19, 2012 - link

    Apple refuses to pull its head out of its ass or LEARN. One profound impediment to making iOS devices useful is Apple's ridiculous fear, which you can see in its crippled SDK. One example: the lack of developer access to the dock port.

    But then there is just plain stupidity. There's no excuse for bullshit like this: http://goldmanosi.blogspot.com/2012/06/will-apple-...
  • darwiniandude - Friday, October 19, 2012 - link

    Um, when someone calls me and I miss the call, iPhone shows a missed call. Then my carrier (Telstra) sends me a text message "You have a missed call from 0412xxxxxx" then "Please call 101 you have 1 new voicemail(s)"
    I get multiple alerts for both those SMS messages.
  • rex251 - Sunday, October 21, 2012 - link

    Why going all the way in calling people that like apple products as sheeps?
    I think you should accept the fact that some people like small phones, and maybe like small smartphones, which neither iphone5 or sgs3 are.
    From my perspective iphone 4/4s screen was maximum I would go with something called phone into my pocket, but I do not, instead finding xperia mini great sized, although too thick.
    My point, why would we have to considere as progress only bigger screen phones as such, we do have plenty of tablets to pick from for that usage?
  • medi01 - Wednesday, October 17, 2012 - link

    Try to do it in a darker environment.
    If you still don't notice that AMOLED black is actually, cough, black and "iphone"'s black is actually gray, you probably should visit a doctor.
  • darwiniandude - Friday, October 19, 2012 - link

    Who cares about black being 100% black when all the colour accuracy is terrible? The galaxy note looks like is has cellophane over the screen next to an iPhone, the white doesn't look white. You take a photo of a hill side and all the trees and grass is the same over saturated shade of green. It's because of this that I'd only consider the HTC one X excuse it has an accurate LCD. I've personally never found an Amoled screen so far I can put up with. Each to their own, if black is more important to you than the rest of the spectrum, then enjoy it. Reply
  • bpear96 - Thursday, October 18, 2012 - link

    Well obiously, there PPI's are almost the same, because of the size difference.
    If you had a 4.8" 1136 x 640 display, next to a 4" 1136 x 640 the 4.8" would not look nearly as good as the 4" because it would have a lower PPI (pixels per inch) since the GS3 is larger it needs a higher res display to be on par with the 4" iphone 5 display.
  • bpear96 - Thursday, October 18, 2012 - link

    type - obviously * Reply
  • star-affinity - Tuesday, October 23, 2012 - link

    The difference (in my opinion) being that the Galaxy S III has over saturated colors which is quite bad.

  • GabeA - Saturday, January 05, 2013 - link

    Sorry, you're comparing a poor screen technology (PenTile subpel matrix) with a top-of-the-line LCD. The comparison is flawed because the effective resolution on text is only ~82% in either direction (something like 1050 x 590 on sharp, black text) due to the interpolated, non-RGB subpixels.

    A good comparison would absolutely involve the One X series by HTC. In fact, holding the SGS3 and the One X side by side on this page shows an obvious difference in text clarity in favor of the One X.
  • rocketbuddha - Tuesday, October 16, 2012 - link

    Don't you know that every iPhone comes with the halo of the RDF (Reality Distortion Field) :D

    Thus things that other things have been having for months/years in other models appear antiquated/vanish once iPhone comes near ;-)
  • doobydoo - Friday, October 19, 2012 - link

    So having the fastest hardware in any smartphone ever, the iPhone 5 was late to the party?

    Or was it the fact that it's the thinnest that you're claiming they copied from Android. Or lightest, or thinnest, or shortest, or battery life.

    I wonder when any Android phone (bar the Razr Maxx which lets face it is a brick) will catch up?
  • A5 - Tuesday, October 16, 2012 - link

    So you want a Droid Razr HD Maxx, then? Reply
  • webmastir - Tuesday, October 16, 2012 - link

    Yep. That should be the #1 choice at the moment. Reply
  • darwinosx - Tuesday, October 16, 2012 - link

    The iPhone 5 display is better than any current Android display.
    But Motorola and Android if you want a company that is dying and being sold and a copycat cheap phone with no service and support.
  • V-Money - Tuesday, October 16, 2012 - link

    Your wisdom and informative argument adds tremendous value to this post. For the record though, the OP said specifically battery life and 720p display, so the response was relevant.

    The rest of your post is petty, get over yourself. If you are going to play the copycat card you should have done it before Apple decided to go with a bigger screen and use a (eerily similar) notification bar to what Android phones have had for years.

    As for quality (of display or otherwise), that is subjective analysis and considering that Apple only releases one phone at a time and Android manufacturers many, its a stupid argument for anyone to make. Case and point, I can find many android phones that are much more terrible than the iPhone, but I can also find many that are better. The iPhone is a decent phone, but its not for everyone. Every consumer has their preference.

    My point being there is not one-size-fits-all phone, so quit acting high and mighty with your close mindedness. You are not better than those around you because you bought into Apple's marketing, you are just a fool dealing with the first world problem of living such a meaningless existence that you have to hold on to the imaginary power an inanimate object pretends to give to you.
  • Alucard291 - Tuesday, October 16, 2012 - link

    I feel that your argument may be too good for him to reply to :)

    He seems awfully angry :D
  • crankerchick - Tuesday, October 16, 2012 - link

    Great reply. If there's one place I just want to exchange comments without playing the "my toy is better than yours" game, it's here on AnandTech. Reply
  • Gradly - Wednesday, October 17, 2012 - link

    I'm sick of ppl comparing iPhone to other devices. I'm sick of those telling you iPhone borrowed the notifications slider form android and skipping the myriad of things that other borrowed form iPhone. Apple has always said that "we are not the first but we do it the best". I'm sick of those who still don't realize that before iPhone ppl were living in caves actually.

    I'm an Apple lover not an Apple fanboy. I just adore the design, aesthetics, and GUI of Apple devices.
  • Penti - Wednesday, October 17, 2012 - link

    It's sadly Apple that goes and patent UI-elements to use against their competitors that is why it's always brought up. It would be totally unnecessary otherwise. You might look at who's the inspiration otherwise and it's often not Apple. In reality we had capacitive touch screens (it's not Apples tech of course) before, app store before, Android even had an SDK out before Apple. Competitors like Symbian/Nokia, HP WebOS, and Blackberry are even allowed to use stuff like bounce back effect even without (or before) any agreement with Apple. They should have credit but they didn't all the sudden bring out their device with what we now call smartphone features, it lacked most functions at first and slowly iterated, it did a lot poorer in many areas then it's competitors was doing even before iPhone and the first few years it also showed in sales numbers which were not high at the first 2-3 years. It did show us how important a good platform was. Guys like Rubin had already figured that out though. So I'm not sure what they would borrow. Full WebKit-browsers on mobile is a good example of stuff they are co-developing but it was out in Nokia devices in 2006, netfront and Opera was never good alternatives to build into your platform. Stock Android don't have the bounce back effect, UI's looking like Apples and so on. Not even TouchWiz on Samsung's tablets looks like or infringes anything (design-wise) by Apple. They clearly have their own ideas. They are not the "me too", others might try to emulate them more in a business sense though. But they will be punished by the market by their execution instead of by Apple. It's not like any of the major players are fruit ninja-clones though.

    iPhone was desperately rudimentary at first. It didn't do applications and the web, messaging, photos etc better then anybody. What they did good was to iterate and improve. They take enterprise / corporate customers more seriously then Microsoft and so on in this field. Even if it took some time for them to get there. So they do plenty of good. It's a good platform, but it's not like they gave their competitors their blueprints for their devices / os of today back in 2007 and both have made many improvements. Well maybe not Microsoft but it takes a few years to start over. Apple has even got into hardware (components) a bit. Commoditization and convergence has reached far beyond the mobile field. That's great even if Apple won't enter them. Still don't know why any competitor would like to turn themselves into a retail giant and employ mostly store staff as Apple does – Microsoft should start doing what they are good at instead. Google would be the most evil company in the world if they had started to patent and sue based on UI-features and methods. Or if they really tried to stop Bing and Bing Maps (and getting it banned in some markets) for example. It doesn't really matter who was first and who invented what if you take it to court were that doesn't really count and that creates a lot of BS surrounding the whole issue and companies involved that is largely unnecessary. But the real silly thing is why they fight. It's not based on IPR, it's basically that they want to be alone in doing whatever, even if they can't really make that claim to have sole rights to something. But ultimately courts do get that under control even when corporate leaders turn to fighting outside of releasing product.
  • slickr - Tuesday, October 16, 2012 - link

    LOL. Don't make me laugh. It has still the worst display and has had the worst display for at least 3 years. Reply
  • A5 - Tuesday, October 16, 2012 - link

    Your response is just as dumb as his. The iPhones have excellent displays. Reply
  • medi01 - Wednesday, October 17, 2012 - link

    None of the iPhones have anything to compare with AMOLEDs, on top of having idiotic resolution.

    On tablet space, only iPad 3 matched color gamut of THE FIRST Samsung Galaxy Tab.
  • thunng8 - Wednesday, October 17, 2012 - link

    How does 67.5% of sRGB on the galaxy tab 10.1 match the 94.4% on the ipad 3?

  • medi01 - Wednesday, October 17, 2012 - link

    1) Compare ipad2's gamut, cough
    2) Check values on toms

    Unlike anand, toms was beyond primitive contrast/brightness benchmarking for quite a while.
  • thunng8 - Thursday, October 18, 2012 - link

    Not sure if I should trust Tom's figures compared to Anands's.

    In any case, both show the ipad3 has higher gamut, especially in sRGB.
  • steven75 - Wednesday, October 17, 2012 - link

    I think what you meant to say is that AMOLEDs win on black levels and that's about it. LCDs still win in accuracy and most importantly ability to see them in outdoor settings. Reply
  • KoolAidMan1 - Tuesday, October 16, 2012 - link

    Not even close. Even the better Android displays like the Galaxy S3 has a PenTile display. Despite having more "pixels" it actually has fewer subpixels than the iPhone does. Unless you have bad eyesight the S3 display looks really bad in comparison, and this is before we get to even worse smartphone displays out there by HTC, etc. Reply
  • Sufo - Tuesday, October 16, 2012 - link

    Old pentile displays were visibly jaggy on vertical lines - even my old lumia 800 exhibited this to some extent. On the GS3 tho, it is not noticeable and it has nothing to do with eyesight.

    Your comment makes it sound (to someone who has seen many different smartphone displays in person) as though you haven't spent much time with the GS3 (read: many smartphones) at all. Simply mentioning that is uses pentile subpix config, from you, sounds like regurgitated information. Not only that, but you seem to gloss over the many benefits that amoled panels bring. It's arguable that these benefits are more important than an accurate colourspace on (specifically) a mobile phone - although it is ofc entirely subjective.

    This brings me to the last tell of ignorance I noted; your mention of HTC. Have you used a One X? For those who do not like amoled panels, the display on the one x is perhaps nicer than both the gs3 and the ip5. Ofc you may say Android is not your cup of tea, and that's a perfectly justifiable stance, however it has nothing to do with display tech.

    tl;dr You sound like you don't know what you're talking about
  • KoolAidMan1 - Tuesday, October 16, 2012 - link

    I do know what I'm talking about given that I've seen many smartphones, and I've calibrated my share of desktop displays to sRGB.

    Differences in display tech aside, Android phones have never gotten color profiles right, EVER. They're almost always oversaturated, have too much contrast, and are inaccurate. Anand even posted a difference in color accuracy between several devices, and the profile for the S3 is totally what I expected.

    The S3 really doesn't look good, period, but then again there are people who argue that TN panels are just fine against IPS. I'm used to hearing nonsense on forums when it comes to display from people who don't know what to look for.
  • KoolAidMan1 - Tuesday, October 16, 2012 - link

    BTW, apologies if that came out harsh, but the difference in color and contrast accuracy between something like the S3 and a properly calibrated device is a night and day difference to me. I'm pretty sensitive to display quality though; my main desktop display at home is still an NEC and my plasma is a Pioneer Elite (RIP) Reply
  • rocketbuddha - Tuesday, October 16, 2012 - link

    For Android you have the following 720p HD Displays

    SLCD - HTC Rezound (2011 tech)
    SLCD 2 - HTC One X, Sony HD
    HD SAMOLED Pentile - GS3, Galaxy Nexus, Moto Razr HD
    HD SAMOLED RGB - Galaxy Note II
    True IPS LCD - LG Optimus 4X, Optimus G
    Super IPS LCD -Asus Padphone, Sharp phones etc

    So you have big set of choices. If dark contrasts are important then SAMOLED is the way to go. SAMOLED RGB over SAMOLED Pentile.
    If overall color and whites are important go with SLCD2.
    IPS LCDs are the closest to the Retina Display and u have a choices there too. You can pick and choose what is good for you and have alternatives.
  • Spunjji - Thursday, October 18, 2012 - link

    The HTC One X has what is hailed to be one of the best LCD smartphone displays out there. Your claim is invalid.

    Similarly, the Galaxy Note 2 has an AMOLED display without PenTile. Sure, it's lower density, but one does not hold a 5.5" screen so close to one's face.
  • medi01 - Wednesday, October 17, 2012 - link

    ""The iPhone 5 display is better than any current Android display.""
    Why don't you go hit your dumb head with something heavy, ipad would do?
  • grkhetan - Wednesday, October 17, 2012 - link

    Multiple display reviews conclude that the iPhone 5 has the best display in a smartphone (And much better than a Samsung Galaxy S 3)


  • rarson - Thursday, October 18, 2012 - link

    Your second link doesn't compare it to anything but the iPhone 4. Your first link ONLY compares it to the S3. Neither link supports your statement ("best display in a smartphone"). Reply
  • doobydoo - Friday, October 19, 2012 - link

    A quote from his second link:

    'To put this in perspective, in the past few years I've reviewed probably 30-40 different displays, from PC monitors to TVs to projectors. Not a single one, out of the box, can put up the Gretag Macbeth dE numbers that the iPhone can, and perhaps one projector (which listed for $20,000) can approach the grayscale and color accuracy out of the box.'
  • steven75 - Wednesday, October 17, 2012 - link

    Those pesky facts are annoying! Reply
  • Obsoleet - Tuesday, October 16, 2012 - link

    No, it's not. There's many reasons the GS3 is the better choice based on the software and hardware, mainly that the MaxxHD only matches a 5 month old phone in hardware specs and tosses on a bigger battery as the only clear win (but you get stuck with a Motorola phone vs most people's preferred choice Samsung).
    But the killer reason is that the charger is on the left hand side.

    For many of us lefties, that is a deal breaker. As a right handed user, you don't realize this. I want the ports on the top or bottom, and I just ordered a GS3 because of this being a tipping point.

    The original Maxx had the ports on the top! Motorola is clueless.
    Never again.
  • Ckaka1993 - Thursday, December 06, 2012 - link

    Ppi does make a difference. Go see the videos of droid dna(has 440) ppi and you can make out the difference. iPhone 5 doesnt have true 720p but that doesn't matter cause it's quite close to 720p. Anyways iphone5 is behind so many smartphones at present. Nokia lumia 920 is a treat to watch with its 332 ppi pure motion hd+ display and high refresh rate, u can make out the difference. But nexus 4 is the smartphone which gives u the best worth for money at ony 350usd it is freaking awesome Reply
  • makken - Tuesday, October 16, 2012 - link

    The Physical Comparison table lists the iPhone 5's resolution at 1136 x 960, instead of 1136 x 640. Threw me off for a second there =P Reply
  • Brian Klug - Tuesday, October 16, 2012 - link

    Oops, fixing. There's always something in the table that needs fixing it seems :P

  • DukeN - Tuesday, October 16, 2012 - link

    And always favorably on the Apple side.

    Maybe you took a picture of the pixel count with the iPhone's camera...
  • Alucard291 - Tuesday, October 16, 2012 - link

    I know I love how their own benchmarks show how the battery life is worse in just about everything than the 4s and yet and yet "its better" >.> Reply
  • A5 - Tuesday, October 16, 2012 - link

    Double the browsing time while moving to LTE and roughly the same in everything else despite double the performance is pretty impressive. Reply
  • rarson - Thursday, October 18, 2012 - link

    I'm pretty sure they mentioned about a million times that "this is the new paradigm blah blah blah, where if you use heavy processing power more often, the battery life will diminish faster" (I'm paraphrasing here). I'm fine with that. The iPhone 5 shows some pretty impressive battery life in light workloads and doesn't actually do all that bad in heavy workloads despite how much number crunching it's doing, even though it might actually tank the battery life down to less-than-4S levels.

    It's a tradeoff: you get more power or longer battery life, depending on how you use it. The article paints this as a bad thing, but I disagree; it's obviously making much more efficient use of the hardware. Because of that, I definitely think the battery life overall is better, even though sometimes it might be worse. And you're still getting a lot more number crunching for the watts used.
  • Center - Tuesday, October 16, 2012 - link

    In the intro, the screen specs on the iphone 5 is listed as 1136x960.. should be 1136x640.

    But great article as always, Anandtech!
  • Krysto - Tuesday, October 16, 2012 - link

    I hope we'll see the same kind of thorough review of Samsung's Exynos 5 Dual chip, Anand. Reply
  • ltcommanderdata - Tuesday, October 16, 2012 - link

    Isn't TI supposed to become the first shipping Cortex A15 SoC? I expect Anandtech to thoroughly review the first Cortex A15 SoC. There shouldn't be a need to go into the same detail (on the CPU side) for every subsequent one unless preliminary tests show something significantly different. Reply
  • Kidster3001 - Monday, October 22, 2012 - link

    Samsung and Qualcomm do not ship generic ARM chips. They purchase licenses to use the ARM instruction set, not the chip design. Their chips are highly customized and perform differently.

    Using your logic to just review the first A15 class chip and consider the rest to be comparable is similar to just reviewing the first new car to be released every year and assume the rest will be comparable.

    btw, TI is getting out of the business. I doubt they will ship first, or ever.
  • A5 - Tuesday, October 16, 2012 - link

    Considering the fact that Krait got several articles here, I'd imagine that whatever the first shipping A15 chip is will get significant coverage. Reply
  • Wurzelsepp - Tuesday, October 16, 2012 - link

    Great review, you really have to give Apple credit for building an amazing SoC.

    It's interesting to see how well the Adreno competes with SGX-543MP3, the new Nexus 4 with this GPU is going to be amazing.
  • Krysto - Tuesday, October 16, 2012 - link

    One thing both the iPhone and the Intel Atom processors will keep lacking for a year from now, will be OpenGL ES 3.0 support. Apple might bring it to the new iPad 4 this spring, but the iPhone won't have it until the next iPhone, in the fall of 2013, obviously. Same with Intel, they won't be supporting it at least until end of 2013.

    In the meantime both Adreno 320 and Mali T604 are supporting it, and will come out this fall.
  • darwinosx - Tuesday, October 16, 2012 - link

    A year from now and something 'coming out this fall". Right. Reply
  • dagamer34 - Tuesday, October 16, 2012 - link

    Yeah, when are we going to see PowerVR 6? Reply
  • ltcommanderdata - Tuesday, October 16, 2012 - link

    I think it's expected mid-2013, so it would have been a big stretch to have made it for the iPhone 5. Apple didn't really have that much choice with sticking to the SGX543MP since happened to be off cadence. Even making it for the iPad 4 might be iffy. Reply
  • peat - Tuesday, October 16, 2012 - link

    I was pushed to see the 'considerable' difference between the thickness of the iP4 and iP5 in the pic. Looking at the dimensions in the table it's thinner by a truly staggering 11%.

    Q. Since when has an 11% change in anything equated to "considerable". But yup, I still want one.
  • darwinosx - Tuesday, October 16, 2012 - link

    To anyone who knows anything about smartphone design and what goes into the device. Reply
  • Alucard291 - Tuesday, October 16, 2012 - link

    No offence but to a consumer that's still 11%. I.e. not even 1/5 reduction.

    What I'm trying to get at here is that its negligible to most users and touting it as an improvement is only marketing blurb.
  • Sufo - Tuesday, October 16, 2012 - link

    IRL i've noticed the reduction, you'd be surprised how good your hands are at picking up (forgive the pun) on these things. Still, it's not a huge change, admittedly, and it was almost mandatory with the increase in height. Nevertheless once again a nice device to hold. Reply
  • doobydoo - Friday, October 19, 2012 - link


    If you actually try holding an iPhone 5 you'll immediately notice how obvious it is that it's significantly thinner and lighter.

    And as someone else said - it's 18% thinner, not 11.
  • Kidster3001 - Monday, October 22, 2012 - link

    really dooby?

    From someone who has always said 4" was way to big and 3.5" was perfect? Now you like 4" displays?
  • Aenean144 - Tuesday, October 16, 2012 - link

    Since when does (1 - 7.6/9.3) = 11%?

    My calculator says the iPhone 5 is 18% thinner than the iPhone 4.
  • edsib1 - Tuesday, October 16, 2012 - link

    Your android benchmarks are meaningless if you dont use a) best browser and b) latest drivers. Phones with later version drivers will have higher scores.

    HTC One X (Tegra3) - official RUU 4.04 & Chrome

    Kraken - 21095
    Google V8 - 1578
    Octane V1 - 1684
    Sunspider - 1172
    Browsermark - 130288

    HTC One X (Tegra3) - Eternity Kernel (3.4) & Chrome

    Kraken - 18750
    Google V8 - 1791
    Octane V1 - 1922
    Sunspider - 1084
    Browsermark - 162580
  • A5 - Tuesday, October 16, 2012 - link

    He said pretty clearly and repeatedly that all browser tests on Android were run in Chrome.

    Rooting the phone to install a new kernel to improve benchmark scores would be insane. That's like asking why he didn't overclock it, too.
  • edsib1 - Tuesday, October 16, 2012 - link

    But his benchmarks scores are all crap.

    My HTC One X (Tegra) with official 4.04 RUU gets 1684 compared to 1131 in Anands tests.

    Something is seriously wrong with his testing.

    It should also be pointed out Geekbench has errors. It reports memory sequential reads for android devices incorrectly.
  • doobydoo - Friday, October 19, 2012 - link

    Dunno why you're even talking about Geekbench.

    Anand has noted several times that you can't use it to accurately compare cross platform.
  • Kidster3001 - Monday, October 22, 2012 - link

    umm, you do know that for Kraken and Sunspider... lower is better. Reply
  • Spunjji - Friday, October 19, 2012 - link

    I agree that rooting the phone and installing a new kernel for benchmarking is silly, but at least having up-to-date figures for a phone known to have received significant performance increases since its release would be a nice idea. This chap's numbers certainly make the phone look very different in terms of attractiveness. Reply
  • Kidster3001 - Monday, October 22, 2012 - link

    I also believe you will see better browser performance from the highly customized Intel Android browser than you will from Chrome for x86 Android. Reply
  • Krysto - Tuesday, October 16, 2012 - link

    Something seems very wrong with RAZR M. It uses the same S4 processor as One X, has smaller 4.3" screen, has lower qHD resolution, bigger battery, and yet it still significantly underperforms the S4-based One X in Sunspider performance, in battery life, and other stuff as well. That shouldn't happen, and it seems like the issue is some very sloppy software that Motorola put on top of the RAZR M hardware. Reply
  • Arbee - Tuesday, October 16, 2012 - link

    Yes, it's called Motoblur ;-) Reply
  • Spunjji - Friday, October 19, 2012 - link

    I thought they killed Blur already? :/ Reply
  • magnimus1 - Tuesday, October 16, 2012 - link

    Thanks! This was one phone I was waiting for. The other one I want to see is the Motorola RAZR i. Do you guys have any plans to review that? Reply
  • avner - Tuesday, October 16, 2012 - link

    Are you sure the HTC One S has a removable battery? Last time I checked, it was internally sealed because of the phone's unibody design.... Reply
  • tipoo - Tuesday, October 16, 2012 - link

    I'll be curious to know if the paint holds up well after a few months, but I have no idea how long you get to keep this for testing. The easily scratchable back is already rustling some jimmies on the internet, but I don't know if that's something that's overstated again or if it is a real problem.

    The softness of aluminum they can't get around, I know that much (the front of the iPod Classic and any Macbook Pro are quite dent prone), but the paint chipping is a separate issue.
  • dagamer34 - Tuesday, October 16, 2012 - link

    Not paint, anodization. You should watch the video on page 1. Reply
  • Alucard291 - Tuesday, October 16, 2012 - link

    Yeah and in this instance its holding even worse than paint. So your point is? Reply
  • doobydoo - Friday, October 19, 2012 - link

    Depends how thick the paint is, and what the paint consists of. And his point was to improve the accuracy of the original post, not necessarily to disagree with its conclusion. Reply
  • tipoo - Saturday, October 20, 2012 - link

    Does a name make it more durable? :P

    I'd still like a follow up in a few months if that is possible.
  • extide - Thursday, December 06, 2012 - link

    It ISN'T paint. That's the point. Anodized aluminum is actually quite a bit harder than regular aluminum so the anodization process makes it more durable. All they really need to do is make the anodization layer a bit thicker. Reply
  • KPOM - Tuesday, October 16, 2012 - link

    I was wondering what was taking so long. Now I know. Thanks for all the great information. Reply
  • dyc4ha - Tuesday, October 16, 2012 - link


    I can't help but wonder why the price aspects are omitted in the review. As per the famous AT saying: "there are no bad products, only bad prices". So what about the iPhone 5 value proposition for $650+tax? Contract pricing? i.e. is it worth signing on for a contract?

    I'm asking because, well it is a widely accepted 'fact' that Apple overprice its products, but I would love to hear perhaps justifications from reputable sources such as yourselves. Most of my friends already jumped the ship from 4/4s to a GS3. I paid for a number of apps over the years, not sure if I want to repurchase all of them if I end up switching.

  • darwinosx - Tuesday, October 16, 2012 - link

    iPhone 5 starts at $599 not $650. Go check retail on a Galaxy S3.
    it is not widely accepted that Apple "overprices" Compare iPad and iPhone prices to current Android. Prices are same and sometimes cheaper.
    Compare Mac prices to equivalent build level PC's.
    People sho say Apple overprices don't know Apples or their competitors prices. They just want to whine about Apple.
  • dagamer34 - Tuesday, October 16, 2012 - link

    Err... iPhone 5 starts at $649. Galaxy S III is $599. Reply
  • noveltyaccountx86 - Tuesday, October 16, 2012 - link

    It is good to know that darwinosx and dagamer34 are the same person! Tony Swash at DT too?! Reply
  • dagamer34 - Tuesday, October 16, 2012 - link

    Woah, I am not him.... Reply
  • dyc4ha - Tuesday, October 16, 2012 - link

    S3 is $550 from AT&T actually (no commitment price). My contract just ended, I am unsure if I want to sign up again. Reply
  • dyc4ha - Tuesday, October 16, 2012 - link

    No offense, but I believe it is you that need to check prices. Similarly spec'd products from Apple are usually at a premium. Reply
  • Arbee - Tuesday, October 16, 2012 - link

    In the PC space, nobody other than Apple makes a laptop with a trackpad that doesn't suck and a high quality IPS display, so "similarly spec'd" can be very, very misleading. Reply
  • dyc4ha - Tuesday, October 16, 2012 - link

    True, but let me be a bit more specific then: I just bought the 2012 MBA and I was comparing it to UX31A. It is more than safe to say it is similarly spec'd. Reply
  • doobydoo - Friday, October 19, 2012 - link

    The UX31A is just a perfect example of Arbee's point. It has inferior performance, battery life, and an inferior trackpad. Reply
  • dyc4ha - Saturday, October 20, 2012 - link

    You are very clearly biased. The 1080p IPS on the UX31A just cant be matched. I get the i7 on the ASUS for $1400 and only the i5 in the MBA, how can that be 'inferior'? Battery life depends heavily on the usage, not sure about which is 'inferior', though I would point the the MBA is 45whr and the ASUS is 50whr. I will give you the trackpad though, I do like my MBA trackpad ALOT which coupled with my student discount ultimately swayed my decision. Reply
  • rarson - Wednesday, October 17, 2012 - link

    That's complete garbage, and even if it weren't, they're still overpriced. Reply
  • Spunjji - Friday, October 19, 2012 - link

    Incorrect. See HP Elitebook, Sony Vaio S15, Asus Zenbook, etc... that does depend on your definition of "trackpad that doesn't suck", but personally I'd take an Elitebook with actual buttons over the Apple effort any day, so that bit really is swings and roundabouts. Reply
  • doobydoo - Friday, October 19, 2012 - link

    'so that bit really is swings and roundabouts'

    That's like saying a Ferrari is overpriced because you prefer cup holders so therefore you get more car for less when you buy a Skoda.

    Also, you have to consider size, weight, battery life and performance.

    You can't find a single laptop which matches the air on all of the above.
  • Sufo - Tuesday, October 16, 2012 - link

    You're right to an extent, however it's worth mentioning that it's a lot easier to find unlocked non-apple phones at good prices on auction sites etc. It's very hard to get much less than list price on iphones, even several months after release.

    As for Macs, it depends entirely on which country you buy them in - in the UK for example, it is cheaper to buy a plane ticket to the States and buy a 15" w/ retina there than it is to buy one locally - the same could not be said for similarly specced PCs.
  • Spunjji - Friday, October 19, 2012 - link

    Truth. Unfortunately Apple prices are subject to the perception that Apple products hold their value better, which in a purely practical sense really isn't any more true than for any other product. But the market does as the market does. :) Reply
  • Spunjji - Friday, October 19, 2012 - link

    People who defend Apple's prices with fake numbers just want to whine about people who don't like Apple... see how easy that argument is to return? Please. Reply
  • A5 - Tuesday, October 16, 2012 - link

    I'd say the smartphone market does a fairly good job of dropping prices on products that need it.

    The only product I can really think of that is an outstanding "value" proposition would be the $350 unlocked GNex combined with a prepaid plan. The current high-end devices (One X, GS3, iP5) all seem to be fairly priced relative to each other.
  • steven75 - Wednesday, October 17, 2012 - link

    When I was looking at what I should price my 2.5 year old iPhone 4 at, I found the GS3 is already down to iPhone 4S prices on the resale market.

    Android phones just don't hold resale value vs iPhones, even the flagships, it's Mac vs PC all over again in that area. ;)
  • pseudonymmster - Tuesday, October 16, 2012 - link

    "A processor license gives you the right to taken an ARM designed CPU core..."
    I think "taken" should've been "take" :D
  • karasaj - Tuesday, October 16, 2012 - link

    Nice review guys... all I have to say :P Reply
  • jjj - Tuesday, October 16, 2012 - link

    On the scuffing, would you buy a car that rusts if you drive in the rain? This is clearly a design flaw, a sane company would recall the product and use a more apropriate material.You shouldn't be telling people to deal with it (except the ones that are happy to own the first colour changing phone).
    The size of the SoC in phones matters less and less as we go forward,more integration,more specialized cores,just because it's there it doesn't mean that much of the area is powered at the same time and the cost of silicon is less of a problem too.The limitation is power and /heat not area.

    " if everyone moves to Cortex A15 based designs." - everybody ,in the high end, moves to quad Krait since A15 is likely to be just dual core for a while.

    Nice review overall but,as always, your battery of benchmarks is misleading and no storage perf,really hoped for more to better understand this new core.
  • A5 - Tuesday, October 16, 2012 - link

    I don't think there's a good way to measure storage performance on the iPhone. Also not really sure why it matters. Reply
  • repoman27 - Tuesday, October 16, 2012 - link

    I timed how long it took to transfer my music library, and clocked 11.1 MB/s writing to the user area of a 64GB model. So no significant change from previous iPhones, and still pretty typical for a smartphone. I'd be interested to get some gauge of the read speeds.

    And @A5, storage performance affects boot and application load times as well as sync and backup. With a 64GB model, syncing can take quite a while.
  • name99 - Wednesday, October 17, 2012 - link

    Transferring the music library is a LOUSY choice for speed measurement because (depending on your iTunes settings) you may be transcoding all your music to a lower bit rate to fit more on the iPhone; so you are gated by the transcoding performance, not the flash write speeds. I transcode my music (most in Apple lossless on my iMac) to 192kbps AAC for my iDevices, and on my ancient iMac it is the transcoding that throttles performance.

    A much better situation to look at is transferring large movies. On my devices
    - iPhone 4 writes at about 18MB/s
    - iPad3 writes at about 22MB/s

    Over the last 6 months Anand occasionally has published flash numbers for Android phones and they're generally around half these Apple numbers.
  • repoman27 - Wednesday, October 17, 2012 - link

    Believe you me, I don't allow iTunes to transcode anything, except to ALAC on occasion. But yes, that number I gave was on the low side, but probably more due to it being thousands of files as opposed to one large sequential write.

    I just transferred a large video file back and forth directly to and from the user storage area of one of my apps, and came up with numbers that are more in line with yours. 23.84 MB/s avg read and 20.05 avg write.

    Most MLC NAND modules capable of 20 MB/s writes should be able to do at least 40 MB/s on sequential reads, which leads me to believe that we're still gated to around 25 MB/s by the NAND interface here, which is kinda bogus.
  • Spunjji - Friday, October 19, 2012 - link

    name99, that is not a "better situation" because the performance figures you quote only apply to large block file transfers. It's no more real-world than the figures repoman quoted, which are not "LOUSY". Both are valid, so ideally a proper test should mix both types of data.

    Furthermore, the idea that your admittedly ancient iMac being crap at transcoding MP3s somehow invalidates somebody else's testing is ridiculous as well. With any decent system that would only be the case if you were shifting data to a device a *lot* faster than any smartphone NAND.

    So, you may need to rethink your "victory" a little more.
  • KPOM - Wednesday, October 17, 2012 - link

    I've had my iPhone since 9/22 and there is not a single scuff on it. My guess is that in the rush, some units got through QC, but the phone itself isn't any more prone to scratching in normal use than other phones. Meanwhile, Apple being Apple, they have held up production to improve QC even if it means fewer sales in the short run. Reply
  • rarson - Wednesday, October 17, 2012 - link

    You've had it less than a month. There shouldn't be any scuffs on it.

    "Apple being Apple"

    Ha! That's a good one!
  • Spunjji - Friday, October 19, 2012 - link


    "Mine is fine so everyone else is lying". <- Possibly my favourite bogus argument ever. Apple the generous indeed...
  • doobydoo - Saturday, October 20, 2012 - link

    Because it's so much more compelling than the 'Mine is scratched so everyone elses must be'? Reply
  • lukarak - Wednesday, October 17, 2012 - link

    But it doesn't rust. It scratches if it comes in contact with something harder. Just as a car does. Would you buy a car that gets a scratched bumper when you hit a wall? Well, maybe you wouldn't but people do. Regularly.

    This iPhone is no different than every other iPad, MBP or MBA or the first Al MB. Or any other device constructed from aluminium. They scratch if they are brushed against something. It's just normal.
  • rarson - Wednesday, October 17, 2012 - link

    Car bumpers are not made of aluminum.

    Aluminum oxidizes. So if you scratch it, then you've removed that oxidation layer to allow it to further oxidize at that spot. Rust is just iron oxidation.
  • Spunjji - Friday, October 19, 2012 - link

    It is not normal for them to scratch so damn easily. Furthermore, you might notice that other manufacturers (say, HTC?) take steps to harden the surfaces of their devices to avoid this kind of problem. Reply
  • name99 - Wednesday, October 17, 2012 - link

    So you're basically
    (a) upset that Apple fans buy products based on how they look
    (b) upset that Apple fans's don't care enough about how products look to care about this

    The true sign of the demented mind --- that it can happily hold two contradictory opinions at once.
  • steven75 - Wednesday, October 17, 2012 - link

    Would you buy a car that gets nicks and scratches from normal usage?

    Um yes, everyone does. I guess all cars should be recalled!
  • Spunjji - Friday, October 19, 2012 - link

    Would you buy a car that gets nicks and scratches from simply driving down the street? No, you wouldn't. Stop distorting the argument for an easy victory, it makes for extremely aggravating reading. Reply
  • doobydoo - Saturday, October 20, 2012 - link

    And what evidence do you have that the equivalent of 'driving down the street' with an iPhone causes scratching? Reply
  • ltcommanderdata - Tuesday, October 16, 2012 - link

    Any final MHz rating on the GPU? Given Apple tends to use a 4:1 clock speed ratio between the CPU and GPU, the SGX543MP3 being up to 325MHz would make sense. The SGX543MP2 seemed to be clocked at 200MHz in the iPhone 4S and 250MHz in the iPad 2 and Apple said the iPad 2012 has a 2x faster GPU, so the SGX543MP4 in the A5X likely is also at 250MHz. A SGX543MP3 at 325MHz vs a SGX543MP4 at 250MHz would seem to explain the results seen in the benchmarks.

    A few corrections, on page 11 the GLBenchmark 2.5 - Triangle Texture Test - Fragment Lit (Offscreen 180p) is missing the iPad 2012 result.

    In iPhone 5 Device Conclusions on page 22, you write "Going back to the old 4:3 aspect ratio iPhones feels extremely claustrophobic now", but it should be 3:2.
  • daar - Tuesday, October 16, 2012 - link

    The in-depth tech info was nice, but would have preferred it in a second post. As an engineer, while I can appreciate the advances made with the new SoC and the depth of the effort went into researching all the aspects of the phone, I also think for most purposes, the length is counterproductive when the majority of readers are looking for indicators of whether the phone is worth an upgrade. Even without the tech explanation though, the review unnaturally lacked the concise detail I'm used to at AT.

    In some ways, it sort of came across that the tech explanation was a long worded way of making excuses for the iPhone 5's faults and direct comparisons to superior implementations were ignored. Simple example would be the camera, where praise was given about how they cut the size, that it looked good, explanation of the purple tint and so forth. If say, Samsung had released a phone with such issues, I'd expect the review to mention the sloppiness of it, esp with rivals such as the One X having a 2.0f lens (I quite enjoyed the One X/SG3 review comparison from AT). The excuse that the lack of innovation in the new iOS being that the aim of the phone is like that of an appliance whereas Android phones aiming to be PC's is baffling; the concept of a smartphone was a versatile device to aid in our daily lives not reach a point of some ambiguity called an appliance.
  • darwinosx - Tuesday, October 16, 2012 - link

    That was a lot of words to say nothing besides bragging that you are an engineer. Nobody cares. Reply
  • kyuu - Tuesday, October 16, 2012 - link

    What nobody cares about are your rabid attacks on any comment that has even the slightest critique of an Apple product. Reply
  • Sufo - Tuesday, October 16, 2012 - link

    Agreed. If his goal is to fly the flag for apple (who clearly need no flag flying - look at their stock prices, but i digress...), and discredit its detractors, he's doing an awful job. But then again, I do detect a whiff of troll. Reply
  • Spunjji - Friday, October 19, 2012 - link

    Word. Reply
  • doobydoo - Saturday, October 20, 2012 - link

    Bragging? About being an engineer?

  • dagamer34 - Tuesday, October 16, 2012 - link

    If you wanted a "should I upgrade to this phone" review, there are hundreds of those reviews online. But AnandTech is pretty much the only place where you get a definitive review worth reading 5 years from now. They leave no stone unturned. Reply
  • Arbee - Tuesday, October 16, 2012 - link

    Agreed. "Should I upgrade" is covered by literally dozens of newspapers, TV shows, and websites (Engadget, The Verge, Gizmodo, All Things D just to name 4). AT is the home of the 15+ page deep dive, and they do it just as well for Androids and Windows Phones.

    Also, I'm completely positive that if you sent Brian a GS3 with the iPhone 5's camera he'd write about it in exactly the same way. 2 weeks ago DPReview covered the iPhone 5's camera in a very similar way (including the same suggestions on how to avoid the problem, and a demonstration of inducing similar artifacts on the iPhone 4S and a couple of Android handsets). Optics is not a soft science, there is no room for fanboyism.
  • rarson - Wednesday, October 17, 2012 - link

    I totally disagree. He brings up a completely valid point because Anandtech usually separates the reviews from the in-depth tech examinations. There's absolutely no need for the review to be 20 pages when most people are looking for benchmarks and hands-on impressions. Considering the fact that going this in-depth made the review late, it makes no sense at all.

    At least half of this information in this article doesn't even fall under the category of a review.
  • darkcrayon - Tuesday, October 16, 2012 - link

    I think this type of review (hell, the site in general) is directed at people that want the maximum amount of compiled nitty gritty techy details... Notice his review was weeks after the larger more general consumer oriented sites. I think anyone wanting to know whether they should upgrade, that isn't interested in the technical details of the A6, would be better served reading those reviews anyway.

    Anand has said in previous reviews that he felt that iOS was intended to be more of an "appliance" OS. It's a pretty apt comparison of the two actually. That focus is why you can side load and more easily put custom software on Android, and also why you'll need anti-malware software for it before long as well. The point of an appliance is to have a reliable, consistent device that you spend more time using than tweaking.
  • daar - Wednesday, October 17, 2012 - link

    Point taken, darkcrayon.

    I prefer AT's reviews because they do a thorough and unbiased job at detailing/benchmarking and comparing different products. The suggestion was that the info about the SoC be split on it's own. If Intel released a new chip, call it i9, and the first sample was from an Alienware notebook, I would simply be suggesting that the technical info about the chip have it's own post and not be combined with the review of the notebook is all.

    I find it a bit strange that people are suggesting to go to other websites when I made the comment of comparisons to other products, and quite unlike most posts in AT reviews. If I make a comment about a few ATI features not being compared with Nvidia's, I would have been surprised to have people to tell me to go visit Tom's Hardware or the like.

    Not to say there wasn't any comparisons, but rather in contrast to say, for example, the One X review where Brian made the comment of how the construction of the device felt better than the GS3. It felt like punches were being pulled in this review is all.
  • phillyry - Sunday, October 21, 2012 - link


    I would like to know, however, how an Android device serves more as an all purpose device than an iPhone.

    Did you mean because of its customisable skins or because it can do some things that an iPhone cannot - presumably because of Apple's strong hold ('death grip') on the OS?

    This is pretty important to me because I am near the end of the term of my agreement and am in the market for a new 'phone'. I've considered W8P for precisely this reason but am waiting to see if they flop or not. I've always thought of Android as pretty darn similar to iOS but with slightly different interfaces and less user restrictions.

    Is there some other factor that makes an Android any more like a pocket computer, like the future x86 W8P phones will presumably eventually be, and less like an iPhone than I have imagined?
  • phillyry - Sunday, October 21, 2012 - link

    I also took notice of it when Anand referred to the iPhone as an appliance. Your remark saying, "The point of an appliance is to have a reliable, consistent device that you spend more time using than tweaking" would be comforting but I don't think that that's quite how Anand meant it. I was actually quite put off by the term because I think that he meant that the iPhone is made to be more of a tag along device that goes with your other Macs and plays a support role rather than a stand alone device. He pretty much says as much.

    Like I said, I found this a bit off putting but I think he's just saying how he sees it in terms of the respective companies' product lines and agendas. It actually makes a fair bit of sense. I found that when I got an iPhone it made me want an iPad. And then when I got an iPad it made me want a MacBook. Call it what you will but I remember thinking that they should be able to make it so that I can do everything I need to on an iPad but distinctly felt like I really needed a MacBook to really do all that I wanted. It could be argued, along the lines of Anand's original comment, that this is Apple's approach / business model.

    It also points to a distinction between Apple and the other big player that no one in this forum is talking about - Microsoft. Windows 8 appears to be meant to be the exact opposite of this approach. Instead of one device for each purpose it's one device for all purposes. It will be interesting to see if Microsoft's approach with Windows 8 will turn things around or simply flop, at least on the handheld device side of things.
  • name99 - Wednesday, October 17, 2012 - link

    If you want to read non-technical reviews, there are a million other sites you can go to, from NYT and WSJ to Engadget and TheVerge.

    The WHOLE POINT of people reading Anand's reviews is to get tech details we don't get elsewhere.
    Perhaps as a followup you might want to suggest that John Siracusa in future limit his OSX reviews to a single letter-sized page?
  • rarson - Wednesday, October 17, 2012 - link

    No, it's not the "WHOLE POINT," the whole point is that reviews are reviews and tech articles are tech articles. Reply
  • GotThumbs - Tuesday, October 16, 2012 - link

    "Those longing for an HTC One X or Galaxy S 3 sized device running iOS are out of luck. "

    I find it hard to believe there is even one person that is in this group. Apple's walled garden is mostly OS and portal based (Itunes).

    Especially with Apples maps being sub-standard.

    Please stick to facts.
  • A5 - Tuesday, October 16, 2012 - link

    If you don't want any editorial judgement or statements, there are plenty of places where you can just read a spec sheet and benchmark results. Reply
  • Omophorus - Tuesday, October 16, 2012 - link

    I think the opposite is more likely... or at least I fall into that category.

    Mobile computing device aside, Android 4.0+ is shockingly much nicer to use (and this coming from a long time iPhone user) than iOS 5 or iOS6.

    If I could get the iPhone 5 handset, maybe with slightly better anodization, running Android 4.0+ I'd be in hog heaven.

    After playing with an iPhone 5, I really dig the hardware, but found the software woefully lacking.
  • crankerchick - Tuesday, October 16, 2012 - link

    I think you and the original commenter missed what the statement was saying. It said, "HTC One X or Galaxy S3 'sized' device..."

    Specifically, a larger screen iPhone, is where I think they were going with the statement, especially given the context of the paragraph where the statement was made.

    That said, I'm very much in the same camp as you. My number one device would be an iPhone-size and iPhone-build device running Android (but with a few tweaks since we are talking the ideal device). In fact, that is part of the reason I have an iPhone now and my Galaxy Nexus is sitting in a drawer by the bed--it's just too big and battery life is awful. I want a 4-4.2" 720p screen that doesn't have last year's hardware inside. The One S comes closest, but it's not on VZW to my knowledge, and it's still not "the best" hardware available, which you need with Android, especially on a manufacturer's skinned device.
  • perpetualdark - Monday, October 22, 2012 - link

    What about the Incredible 4g? I think this phone was overlooked because of it's proximity to the S3 release and the fact that the market is generally trending toward a nearly 5" display..

    I like this phone because it has the current generation of technology, is pretty darn thin, has a replaceable battery, has the 4" display (ie I am not holding a small tablet to my ear or carrying it in my pocket), and is, more importantly, android.

    Yes, the SLCD display may not be quite what the apple display is on paper, but to be perfectly honest, I have never noticed the differences.. Perhaps in a test environment, or to someone who calibrates displays all day, the Apple display would be better, I just don't see it.

    The s4 processor is not only fast, but plenty efficient, and the battery lasts easily 2 full days of heavy use. I can use it to read a kindle book for 6-8 hours over 2 days, talk a few hours, surf the web a few dozen times, text a few hundred texts, and even play games for an hour or two before I run out of battery. I have yet to go below 40% in one 24 hour period of time with the exception of using it with GPS and maps up.. the gps on 100% burns up the battery fast.

    gig of ram, 8 gigs on board storage, 32 more gigs with the sd card, etc, plenty of storage. 8 megapixal camera on back and a vga camera on front.
    ICS, LTE, Beats Audio, pretty much all the latest in tech..

    No, it can't quite compete with the S3, but it is pretty close to a One X in a 4" package and the closest thing to a One X you can get from Verizon, and honestly the phone that SHOULD be compared to the iphone5, given it is the only one with the current generation of hardware that is the same size. Sure, the iphone5 has an edge on the inc 4g in terms of tech specs, but when you add cost to the mix, the playing field is more level there as well, and to be honest, in real world applications the differences are going to amount to very small percentages.

    What people really want is a phone that fits their needs. Usually the most important things are screen size, OS preference, cost, and battery life. Performance is ONLY an issue when there is a problem with it.. Like when the iphone 4 dropped calls and couldn't do internet when you touched it.. The difference from the S4 to the A6 in real world application is a second or two in loading an app.. if even that.. most of my apps open instantly and with chrome and a good 4G connection I am betting that side by side loading web pages would be nearly identical. Specs are cool when comparing e-peen size but otherwise don't mean much in application.

    Not everyone is interested in big screens for a phone. Not everyone is interested in having a flexible OS. Not everyone is interested in the latest tech. Not everyone wants to spend a fortune on a phone that is, in practice, marginally better than what they have already. Not everyone is interested in bleeding edge technology. Sometimes you are looking for the phone that best suits YOUR needs. For me, that is an android platform, small form factor to fit in my front pocket comfortably as well as in my hand. A processor that was fast but power conservative. A battery that lasted a full day with reserve to spare, and could be used for 2 or 3 days if conserved well, AND could be swapped with a fully charged battery when travelling. I also like a phone that I can drop and scratch and not notice the dings and scratches.. since I put it in my pocket, I don't want to add a bulky case to keep it safe.. (I have dropped this phone dozens of times and 24" away you would never know it). I like to only pay $6.99 for insurance and be able to replace it if lost or stolen or broken for less than $100 ($12 per month for apple with $170 replacement deductible). And I like that I can use ANY micro-usb charger or cable to charge or connect to a computer. I don't have to buy any special adapters to make it work with my existing devices.

    Quite frankly, I think the difference between an android fan and an apple fan is that an android fan will not settle for the one device available to suit his needs, he will shop around to find the RIGHT one. If that happens to be an iphone, that is what he will get. But with dozens of models to choose from that are every bit as good if not better in every way that really matters, the chances of going with an iphone are pretty slim. An apple fan will settle for what is available and try to convince everyone around him that this one device will fit everyone's needs perfectly without exception.
  • crankerchick - Tuesday, October 16, 2012 - link

    I don't follow all the technicals like that, I'm more of an end user when it comes to mobile technology, but I think the trend towards the larger screens is more the MFRs pushing that a selling point (moar moar moar) to cover the fact that they can't fit the latest and greatest and cutting edge (NFC, quad core, LTE, etc) in the chassies of a 4" screen phone.

    Just my hunch. Wouldn't mind being schooled on this by someone in the know.
  • KPOM - Tuesday, October 16, 2012 - link

    I'd agree with that assessment. Apple was one of the last to move to 3G and one of the last to move to LTE because of battery life. The other manufacturers got around it by building thicker phones in the 3G era, and then with the LTE era started putting in bigger screens, which gave them room for bigger batteries (though the larger displays also required more power). It turned out enough people liked the bigger screens.

    Now that the power consumption levels are down, it will be interesting to see if others shrink their screens back down to Apple levels. The Galaxy SIII Mini is a half-hearted attempt, as it lacks LTE and has mediocre specs. But maybe someone else will take the bait.
  • rarson - Thursday, October 18, 2012 - link

    I feel like the iPhone 5 screen is actually too small (and I've heard complaints that the phone is too light, which I sort of agree with as well), but I think the Galaxy S3 is too big. I'm still using a Verizon Fascinate. It's got a bigger screen than the 5, but it's a bit smaller than the S2 and S3, perfect size. Thin but not too thin, and light but not too light. In fact, all I really want is a phone exactly like it, but with more power, better battery life, and maybe a slightly better screen (can't complain too much about the screen I already have).

    When I picked up the Fascinate, I knew it was the phone I wanted (helps that the price was only $50). When the S2 came out, I was excited to see it but disappointed by how much bigger the phone had gotten. I don't want a phone that I have to contort to get into my pocket. Apple's iPhone 5 is great in that respect, but after using this Fascinate for so long, its small size feels a bit cramped.

    I'd love to have the hardware of the Apple phone, but proprietary connectors and iOS are absolutely a no-go for me. I really don't care for iOS at all, because Android is so much easier to use.
  • rarson - Thursday, October 18, 2012 - link

    Me too, other than the stupid proprietary connection that jacks the price of everything up. Reply
  • Spunjji - Friday, October 19, 2012 - link

    I sit pretty firmly in this camp, too. Despite the physical durability flaws, I do find the overall package of the iPhone 4/4S/5 to be superior to most comparable 'Droid handset. I just find the software to be unbearably obstructive to my desired use patterns. Reply
  • steven75 - Wednesday, October 17, 2012 - link

    Maybe some people want a still larger display but keep the industry leading app support, industry leading hardware ecosystem, airplay, apple store support, industry leading resale value, industry leading OS upgrade support, and without any carrier bloatware?

    Seems pretty possible to me.
  • GotThumbs - Tuesday, October 16, 2012 - link

    "we've just got to deal with it." Wrong. You have to "deal with it".

    Believe it or not....everyone does NOT own one of these phones. The idea of getting a brand new item, be it a car, camera, laptop, tablet or phone and having to deal with the fact that that the companies quality controls are sub-standard is one of the lamest things I've heard....Oh! besides the number one example...... "You're holding if wrong" - Steve Jobs.

    I try to not let this kind of monologue that reeks of Apple fanism not bother me...but come on! Talk about romancing about a freaking phone. Please keep it to a level of unemotional comparisons and the feel free to give your personal thoughts and not assume to speak for everyone else.

    The fact that you felt compelled to write 5 or more paragraphs on the anodizing process is just pathetic. I stopped reading about it after the first paragraph and skipped to the bottom. I thought this is supposed to be a phone review, not a discovery channel episode on the anodizing process. I can't speak for you or anyone else, but I'm pretty comfortable telling you most consumers probably don't care about the process of anodizing, they just expect a quality product for their money.

    People are paying good money...in a bad economy and your saying all they can do is "deal with it"? How about having an open mind and mention they have the choice to buy a different phone or wait for Apple to fix it in their next generation. Your only position appears to be....suck it up, its Apple and thats just part of being in the collective.

    Again,,,,, YOU do not speak for everyone so please drop the "WE".

    Rant done.

    Best wishes to all on your choices in life.
  • crankerchick - Tuesday, October 16, 2012 - link

    Talk about overreaction. Keep the statement within the context of the article. iPhone users have to deal with it if they want to remain iPhone users. Anand is an iPhone user as well are more than a few people reading his review--thus the use of the word "we" instead of the use of the term "iPhone users."

    That said, he should take care lose the "we" but wow, what a rant for something that one can easily use common sense and say, "No I'm not stuck with it." Other bloggers and review sites do the same thing.

    LOL, everyone is always looking for someone to point the fanboy finger at.
  • KPOM - Tuesday, October 16, 2012 - link

    Apparently you have never read an AnandTech review. They go into that kind of detail all the time. That's what people like about them. You aren't going to read that in a CNet, The Verge, or Engadget article. You might get some of that at Ars Technica. But AnandTech goes into excruciating detail. Reply
  • VivekGowri - Tuesday, October 16, 2012 - link

    I mean, it's not like Apple is going to radically alter it a month after production starts, so if you want an iPhone 5, your options are to either put a case on it, or suck it up and live with the scratches. Alternatively, you could buy a 4S (if you want iOS) or any other phone that floats your boat.

    I'm a guy that daily drives a Galaxy Nexus, so accusing me of iOS fanboyism isn't necessarily the most productive way of going about your day.
  • phillyry - Sunday, October 21, 2012 - link


    Well said Vivek.

    But ya, Apple should still have the pressure put on them. So, I could see how people might take it the wrong way. 'Cause it could seem like you're just like, "It's all good Apple, we'll just suck it up." When, in actuality, your ideas are as you stated here. As per the OP's rant, I definitely thought it was off-base but could see where he would draw that conclusion, as it came across that way to me too. And, perhaps like me, he has a hard time keeping track of who uses which phone from the podcasts.

    Again, well retorted though.
  • jiffylube1024 - Tuesday, October 16, 2012 - link

    You are seriously complaining about the depth the review went into on the anodizing
    process? You're reading a review of a product and you're complaining that you're being given more information? How about you just skip over that section if it doesn't interest you.

    I lol'ed that you called that kind of serious scientific investigation into the anodizing process (which I found incredibly informative) "pathetic". Real, fact-based journalism apparently bores you; you'd just rather read opinion pieces and pass judgment on them. How high minded of you!

    Other reviews don't even mention anything about the anodizing process other than that it's there. I don't get why you'd even bother reading a review on AnandTECH if you don't care about the technology...

    As for the author's position to "deal with it" (the anodization scratch issue) -- what more can the author do? He can't fix the problem or even address it from a manufacturing standpoint. The review points out the issues with it; the decision making process is up to the consumer and the fixing of the problem is up to the manufacturer.
  • GotThumbs - Wednesday, October 17, 2012 - link

    "Other reviews don't even mention anything about the anodizing process other than that it's there. I don't get why you'd even bother reading a review on AnandTECH if you don't care about the technology..."

    Anodizing a piece of aluminum does not constitute "technology" when compared to the design of a SoC or camera, at least in my opinion. I see it as a finishing process. My point is that a side link to more detailed information on the anodizing process would have sufficed and kept the reader on track with the hardware review.

    I visit Anandtech on a daily basis and have been reading/visiting this site from the early years when Anand was still in High School. I thoroughly enjoy reading/learning about how new technologies in hardware are evolving and when they are compared to other current hardware available in the marketplace. But I feel there has been a growing tendency in Apple product reviews to have a hint of personal/emotional input rather than sticking to an analytical/technical assessment and let each reader digest the information without the personal emotional spin. It's like todays "News" casters interjecting thier personal thoughts/opinions on a news story. I prefer to get the facts and come to my own conclusion.

    In case you haven't realized, more and more in todays society, we are "Marketed to" in ways that are growing exponentially. Todays marketing companies continue to market to us using methods not just like Product Placement in TV shows, Reality shows, Movies, Red Carpet runways. etc., but on FB, Twitter, blogs, and weak "tech reviews" like CNN's (Read more like product ads than a review) etc. Because of this bombardment of marketing from every possible source imaginable and newly evolving, I don't think its wrong to call out a reviewer when I feel there is even a whiff of non-neutrality. They can take it with a grain of salt or ponder on their next review to be sure they are approaching it in a clear and unbiased manner.

    Complacency in a society and lowering on one's expectations is not something to embrace, its to be challenged and called out.

    Listen, no one is perfect and yes I may have been a little high strung in my post, but it was fueled by emotion and passion and I won't apologize for that.

    I do apologize to Vivek Gowri if I offended him in any way. It was not my intent.

    Best wishes
  • KPOM - Wednesday, October 17, 2012 - link

    However, Apple made a point about anodizing in its display. Also, Apple has historically placed a premium value on industrial design so it is interesting to read more specifics. What has struck me about Apple is how much time they devote to things people don't notice consciously or will never see on a spec sheet, but which can unconsciously affect the user experience. The aluminum has a nice feel to it, and I can see why Apple would forgo putting a resin coating on it, even though it would make it less susceptible to scratching. Understanding the physics helps make clear what kind of compromises Apple needs to make. Reply
  • phillyry - Sunday, October 21, 2012 - link

    As per emotional input:

    I actually look for this in the review and podcasts because it colours the facts.

    While I find the facts to be interesting and a good way to pass the time, at the end of the day my purchase decision, like those of human beings in general, will be largely guided by the sentiment of the matter.

    People want to know how happy others are with their devices. Just facts alone lack humanity. I personally love hearing opinions, side comments and anecdotes that give me insight into the thoughts, feelings and experiences of people who's opinions I hold in high regard, such as anand and the gang.

    There's something to be said for the qualitative experience that comes with the daily use of the device as your primary 'phone'.

    Many others may also be looking to hear the comradery, jest, and fun-casual tone that you can get on this site when these guys just let their opinions out or go off on technical tangents. If you listen to the podcasts it'll all make more sense.
  • phillyry - Sunday, October 21, 2012 - link

    P.S. the feeling that someone else, like anand, has about the device is also important because, if you are considering buying one of these things than you're going to have it for a couple of years and won't want to feel stuck with it. Reply
  • Spunjji - Friday, October 19, 2012 - link

    I have to agree here... I already know how anodizing works (not specialist knowledge, we were taught in high-school...) and even if I didn't, I'm not sure a 'phone review is the best place to learn. An outside link would have sufficed. The whole thing does basically say that Apple had no choice in the matter unless they change the design, and that's really the point there. They should have changed the bloody design. Reply
  • arghhh - Tuesday, October 16, 2012 - link

    How is it as a phone? Iphone never has been good at its primary function (I take an old clamshell over most smartphones in that regard). Reply
  • Arbee - Tuesday, October 16, 2012 - link

    Brian Klug covered voice quality in this writeup, and AT's previous iOS 6 review covered the new voice call features. The upshot is it's at least as good as any other smartphone, even if no cellphone can replace a hardwired slab of mid-60s AT&T bakelite :) Reply
  • manik. - Tuesday, October 16, 2012 - link

    Awesome read. Reply
  • Tangey - Tuesday, October 16, 2012 - link

    The gpu comparison table shows the new iPad running @200mhz, it actually runs @250mhz ( as did the gpu in the ipad2). In a previous article you used this incorrect 200mhz as a reference point to determine that the iphone5 was running its gpu @266mhz.

    My calculations based on the iphone5's performance relative to the ipad3 @ 250mhz, indicate to me that the 543mp3 in the iphone5 is running in excess of 300mhz, most likely 325mhz, which also happens to be an exact divider of the 1.3ghz clock of the CPUs.
  • DustoMan - Tuesday, October 16, 2012 - link

    Have you ever looked into why phones from certain manufactures are so picky about their chargers? I've had phones from HTC, Motorola, and Samsung and I've had three wildly different experiences when it comes to what chargers will work in what devices. When I had an HTC Incredible, I could stick pretty much anything I wanted to it and it would charge. If the charger didn't have much current, it would charge slower than a charger with my current. My Galaxy Nexus would work with a few of my chargers, but the oddest thing would happen when I would try connecting it to a Griffin car adapter that had the 1.5A plug necessary to charge a first gen iPad. The only plug that would charge it consistently was a car adapter that I purchased that was branded Samsung. Even an adapter that Verizon sold me as being compatible wouldn't work. Finally the worst offender is my wife's Droid 2 Global. It will only charge with a Motorola adapter. Adapters that work with my Galaxy Nexus, which you would think would need chargers with a higher current, wouldn't work. To charge her phone on my PowerMat, I have to plug the phone into a reserve battery and then use the Powermat to charge that reserve battery while it's charging her phone. Stupid huh? Reply
  • zephxiii - Tuesday, October 16, 2012 - link

    Yes i recall Motorola's earlier microUSB equipped phones to be very picky....especially if the battery went completely flat as it seemed like only Motorola chargers (or compatible) would breathe life back into them. Reply
  • themossie - Tuesday, October 16, 2012 - link

    The manufacturer's charger uses a set of pull-up resistors connected between the various USB lines, to indicate that the phone can pull maximum current. Unfortunately, every manufacturer (and sometimes different phones) use different resistances.

    See http://electronics.stackexchange.com/questions/144... for a brief writeup.

    For what it's worth, I've only had this problem with iDevices and the HP Touchpad. I own circa-2011+ HTC, Motorola and Samsung phones, and they all work fine with every charger. My Droid 2 Global was my primary work phone until a few months ago, and works great with every charger. Not sure why your wife is having problems there.
  • crankerchick - Tuesday, October 16, 2012 - link

    "The non-LTE phones see a sharp drop in battery life. At least at 28nm the slower air interfaces simply have to remain active (and drawing power) for longer, which results in measurably worse battery life. Again, the thing to be careful of here is there's usually a correlation between network speed and how aggressive you use the device. With a workload that scaled with network speed you might see closer numbers between 3G and 4G LTE."

    Perhaps you all could devise a test for this? Something like, change your LTE and 3G tests, where you decrease the time between page loads for the LTE test, to simulate doing more browsing since the pages load faster? One data point on this, with a reasonably selected change in page load duration, would be very helpful now that we have this very interesting dynamic clearly visible.

    That said, as always, I appreciate the reviews presented here. Always thorough with lots of information to chew on beyond specs and "user opinion on user experience."

    Just wish the reviews didn't take so long, but they are always worth it in the end.
  • TofDriver - Tuesday, October 16, 2012 - link

    Thanks for this awesome article. Gigantic work, we'll worth the wait.
    I've learnt so much.
    Would still appreciate it as an ebook, even after the web reading!
    Seems like you're perfectionists who love to push limits... To me it does resonate with the team who designed the reviewed product.
  • name99 - Tuesday, October 16, 2012 - link

    "Another potential explanation is that the 3-wide front end allowed for better utilization of the existing two ALUs, although it's also unlikely that we see better than perfect scaling simply due to the addition of an extra decoder."

    Remember the standard numbers. On this type of integer code:
    1/6 instructions are branch
    1/6 instructions are store
    1/3 instructions are load
    1/3 instructions are ALU
    This means the usual first throttling point i cache access, if you can only do one load/store cycle.
    If you limit your cache to one op/cycle, it's generally not worth going beyond 2-wide --- too often you're waiting on the cache.
    Once you widen your cache (usually, at this stage, by allowing simultaneous read and write per cycle) three-wide makes sense.
    Each cycle now (on ideal and some sort of "average" idealized code) you can now do some sort of combination of half a branch, 1.5 load/stores, and 1 ALU. Meaning that 2 ALUs (as long as they are not overloaded and also handling some aspect of the load/store) is enough for now.
    [Of course things never work out quite this ideal --- you have burstiness in operation types, not to mention delays. But the compiler should try to schedule instructions to get this sort of average, and likewise the re-order queues will do what they can to shuffle things to this sort of average. 2ALUs helps with the bursts, 3ALUs is overkill.]

    So I would say the primary important change made to go to three-wide in a way that is not a waste of time was to convert the L1 cache to dual-ported, supporting simultaneous load & store per cycle.
  • jiffylube1024 - Tuesday, October 16, 2012 - link

    I have to commend the Anandtech team for the great review! It was a long wait, but well worth it. The info on anodizing, the "Swift" CPU @ 1.3 GHz, camera performance, etc. was worth waiting for. This article, in my eyes, is a culmination of the Anandtech team's knowledge in the tech industry - deconstructing A6 to figure out what it's made of, discussing Apple's manufacturing capabilities, etc. Very informative and well written!

    I am always amazed at how many complaints (and petty platform wars) get exposed on the comment board. I certainly appreciate them when an article is poorly written, contains false information or outright lies, but with an article like this, the comments section seems shy of the effusive praise it deserves!

    On a slight tangent, I've enjoyed the first 8 Anandtech podcasts as well, and I have to say that I look forward to more non-iPhone related disucssion on future podcasts. The information was much appreciated, but for a tech site as broad as Anandtech, the first 8 podcasts have been VERY iPhone heavy in their content! Keep up the good work.
  • jamyryals - Thursday, October 18, 2012 - link

    I think you're right, it has been iPhone heavy, but the start of the podcast kind of lined up with the launch/review process. Let's be honest, it is a huge selling high quality device and it's treated as such. I have a feeling Brian and Anand will have a lot to say about all of the impending Nexii/WP8 when they come out this quarter. Reply
  • krumme - Tuesday, October 16, 2012 - link

    Good to see reviewers apreciation of low light capabilities for the BSI sensor, reflecting real world usage. Oposite to a lot of uninformed stupid reviews on the net.

    Its exactly the same practical difference between s2 and s3 cameras. Big difference for real usage.

    All the mpix race must stop now. 8M is way to much for the quality anyway.
  • Zanegray - Tuesday, October 16, 2012 - link

    I love the level of analysis and attention to detail. Keep it up! Reply
  • mrdude - Tuesday, October 16, 2012 - link

    Wow, what an article. Really fantastic read. The lengths you guys have gone to in this review is stunning, frankly. Well done. Although I'm no Apple fanatic, I must say that this is one of the better articles I've read on AT :) Reply
  • Dennis Travis - Tuesday, October 16, 2012 - link

    Totally outstanding review. You guys covered everything. Thanks so much! Reply
  • ArmedandDangerous - Tuesday, October 16, 2012 - link

    What ever happened to the One X International review that was promised when you were reviewing the US version? Lots of promised articles and reviews that were never ever done... Reply
  • MrCake - Wednesday, October 17, 2012 - link

    Yeah, already posted this comment for podcast 8, but it bears repeating. I'm less angry now, but still facepalming.

    It's not my expertise but I have designed a few hundred aluminum parts, so here's how it probably
    works. The call-out is most likely equivalent to mil-std-171 7.2.2; this is a ~.0005" thickness coat,
    decorative and scratch resistant. The coating itself is super hard, and can only be scratched by harder materials. The problem is the base metal yield strength is still fairly low. Chamfers (yes, we do pronounce the "h") have sharp edges, which make point contacts and therefore have theoretically infinite contact stresses till they're rounded off. To summarize; small contact areas, equal high pressures even at low forces; pressures over material yield cause deformations, and deformations over .0005" make you see silver. The chamfer finish is probably not a post anodization process,it's diamond ground and has a much finer surface finish. The rest of the phone is cnc milled, and is matte from either a sandblasting, or vibratory media process to remove machining marks. Anodize surfaces are as glossy/matte as their surface finish. And as to the "structural integrity" concern repeated, and repeated, and repeated; The iphone is thin, but the anodize coating is a couple orders of magnitude thinner and has negligible affect on structural integrity.

    A possible fix would be mil-std-171 7.5.2 Anodize Type III which is an anodized hardcoat. It's a
    similar process but coats to .002" thick, packs it's molecules much denser, and can pass a hardness test to rockwell C60. It's a reasonable response to the scratching issue, however it may not be appropriate for other reasons(prone to cracking instead of scratching, tolerance issues, more costly, less pretty.)
  • syxbit - Wednesday, October 17, 2012 - link

    Great job guys. I'd appreciate it if you went into as much detail on the upcoming Nexus device(s). Reply
  • KPOM - Wednesday, October 17, 2012 - link

    They will. Reply
  • WooDaddy - Wednesday, October 17, 2012 - link

    I didn't RTFA (as if I need to question Anand consistently excellent analysis as it has been Anandtech's inception), but as soon as I saw the phrase 'murdered out' regarding the black/slate color, I was done. It was like Anand was at a poetry slam and he dropped the mic signifying that there is no one better. Reply
  • VivekGowri - Wednesday, October 17, 2012 - link

    Hey, hey, I wrote that part :P Reply
  • juhatus - Wednesday, October 17, 2012 - link

    iPhone review.. what about..

    Does it work as a phone??
  • SJD - Wednesday, October 17, 2012 - link

    Don't know if I'm the first one to say this, but the HTC One S battery isn't removable. (At least it isn't over here in the UK - don't know if your version in the US is any different).

    Table - Physical Comparison - Page 1
  • Origin64 - Wednesday, October 17, 2012 - link

    I do really want to point out that the iPhone 5 being 20% lighter than the 4 isn't really substantial, seeing as how a Galaxy S 1 weighs about half of that.

    Apple has excellent construction quality, but they build their phones from glass and aluminium and they are heavier than the competition. There's no advantage here, no breakthrough, the iPhone 5 is just a different design that has a thinner battery and less glass. It's not as interesting as you make it seem.
  • thunng8 - Wednesday, October 17, 2012 - link

    What are you on about? The Galaxy S weighs 119g and the iphone 5 weighs 112g. Reply
  • Zink - Wednesday, October 17, 2012 - link

    That's would be light enough to float. Reply
  • manders2600 - Wednesday, October 17, 2012 - link

    It would be really nice to see some of these benchmarks next to an Android device running Jellybean.

    From my personal experience with the Galaxy Nexus, all of the benchmarks run in this article improve dramatically (many by more than 50%) with that OS version.

    I'm really curious to see what a comparison between the performance of an S4 (Krait) and an A6 would be in that situation, since so much of the CPU tests are impacted by OS.
  • manders2600 - Wednesday, October 17, 2012 - link

    But great read, though!

    . . . sorry, forgot to include that.

    Tremendous research went into this, and it is well appreciated.
  • phillyry - Sunday, October 21, 2012 - link

    I agree.

    I mean it's good that you have the devices on their native OSes but showing them on their upgraded OSes would bee good too 'cause it would add another realistic point of comparison.
  • cjl - Wednesday, October 17, 2012 - link

    In the article, you state:

    "Which brings us to the next key detail with the anodization process: typically, the thickness of the anodization is half the thickness of the base aluminum. So if you had an aluminum plate that was 1mm thick, post-anodization, you would end up with a 1.5mm thick plate"

    You also talk about the pore density in anodizing, and claim that apple has a pore density higher than most.

    To put it quite simply, all of this is wrong.

    Anodizing creates a layer that is on the order of micrometers thick. How thick the coating is depends on the details of the anodizing process, not on the thickness of the base metal. Most decorative anodized coatings are a few micrometers thick, and as you discussed, it's really not that hard to scratch them. Thicker anodizing, sometimes known as hard anodizing, is possible, and it can be done to thicknesses of 25 micrometers (0.001") or greater - from what I can find, over 100 micrometers is possible. These thicker coatings provide pretty substantial scratch resistance, and significant increases in durability, but they require substantially more process control, and it is more difficult to get a consistent coating. Note that even the thickest of these coatings is around 0.006 inches (150 micrometers) or so, which is far, far less than a 2:1 ratio on the aluminum on which it is applied. Interestingly, this thickest possible coating is about what you speculate is the thickness on the iPhone 5, but given its propensity for scratching, I sincerely doubt this to be the case.

    Now for pores. The pore size on anodized aluminum is a few tens of nanometers. There is absolutely no way that you could visibly see this, or any improvement in this from one product to the next. This is 20 times smaller than the smallest wavelength of visible light. Quite simply, you can't possibly see this, and this won't be any different between Apple and any other manufacturer.

    That having been said, there are some slight differences in pore structure between coatings. They won't make a significant visible difference (if any at all), but they can make a difference in durability. Specifically, hard anodized coatings (as mentioned above) tend to have thicker walled pores relative to the pore diameter. This again helps increase the wear resistance of hard anodized parts.

    TL,DR: The iPhone probably has a really thin anodizing coat (<10 um). The pores are never visible on anodizing. Anodizing can be done, even on very thin aluminum, such that it would be incredibly scratch resistant.
  • Jaguar36 - Wednesday, October 17, 2012 - link

    +1 on this.

    Not sure where the Vivek got the 2:1 ratio for an anodization thickness, but its nonsense. If you have a 0.25" thick part you're not going to be getting a 0.125" thick anodization. Anodization is usually less than 0.001" thick, and has no relation to the base part thickness.
  • Cibafsa - Wednesday, October 17, 2012 - link

    Whilst Android based device manufacturers do not have to bear the majority of the SOC design/manufacture costs or the OS development costs, they do not share in the iAds/App Store type revenue Apple does.

    Surely it is Apple that can afford to cut prices to cost or even lower. Perhaps it is the Android manufacturers that have to worry about cheap high end phones.

    Will be interesting to see what price point the iPad mini comes in at.
  • steven75 - Wednesday, October 17, 2012 - link

    Most people following this industry are well aware by now that the App Store is run near break-even and iAds were not very successful. Reply
  • Calista - Wednesday, October 17, 2012 - link

    A good and through review but I found it a bit too long-winded. An example would be the following example straight from the first page:
    'All previous iPhones have maintained the same 3.5-inch, 3:2 aspect ratio display. With the rest of the world quickly moving to much larger displays, and with 16:9 the clear aspect ratio of choice, when faced with the decision of modernizing the iPhone platform the choice was obvious.'

    It could have been shortened to:
    'iPhone 5 moves from the previously used 3.5", 3:2 aspect ration to a 4", 16:9 aspect ratio as common among smartphones of today. They kept roughly the same width while increasing the hight with xx mm. The resolution went from 960x640 to 1136x640."

    More information is contained in the rewritten part while at the same time being shorter. Don't forget that this is Anandtech and I assume every single one of your readers are familiar with both the size and resolution of previous iPhones as well as common aspect ratios used on phones.

    The same could be said about the design. I'm sure every single one of your readers have held and played with an iPhone 4/4s, and so when comparing to those two you guys could have kept a lot shorter.
  • phillyry - Sunday, October 21, 2012 - link

    Read better as originally posted than as you rewrote it. Reply
  • Calista - Sunday, October 21, 2012 - link

    English is not my native language (as I'm sure you have noticed) and so the flow in the language is far from flawless. But I still believe my opinions are valid and that the review was too long-winded. Reply
  • Teknobug - Wednesday, October 17, 2012 - link

    I live in a big city and I don't know a single person that went and got the iPhone 5, most are happy with the iPhone 4 or whatever phone they're using, I don't see what's so great about the iPhone 5 other than it being built better than the iPhone 4's double sided glass structure (I've seen people drop their's on the train or sidewalk and it shattering on both sides!).

    And what now? iPad mini? I thought Apple wasn't interested in the 6-7" tablet market, Steve Jobs said 9" is small enough. I know Apple tried a 6" tablet a decade ago but the market wasn't read for it back then.
  • name99 - Wednesday, October 17, 2012 - link

    You know what AnandTech REALLY needs now?
    A comment moderation system like Ars Technica, so that low-content comments and commenters (like the above) can be suppressed.

    Teknobug is a PERFECT example of Ars' Troll Type #1: "Son of the "I don't even own a TV" guy: "

    This is the poster who thinks other people will find it interesting that he cares nothing about their discussion or their interests, and in fact judges himself as somehow morally superior as a result. The morphology of this on Ars Technica includes people popping into threads about Windows 8 to proclaim how they will never use Windows, people popping into threads about iOS 6 to proclaim that they never have and never will buy an Apple product, and people popping into Android related threads and claiming that they will never purchase "crappy plastic phones." In these cases, the posters have failed to understand that no one really cares what their personal disposition is on something, if they have nothing to add to the discussion.
  • ratte - Wednesday, October 17, 2012 - link

    yeah, my thoughts exactly. Reply
  • worldbfree4me - Wednesday, October 17, 2012 - link

    I finished reading the review a few moments ago. Kudos again for a very thorough review, however I do a have a few questions and points that I would like to ask and make.

    Am I wrong to say, Great Job on Apple finally catching up to the Android Pack in terms of overall performance? The GS3, HTC X debuted about 6 months ago yes?

    Have these benchmark scores from the competing phones been updated to reflect the latest OS updates from GOOG such as OS 4.1.X aka Jelly Bean?

    Clearly the LG Optimus G is a preview of the Nexus 4,complete with a modern GPU In Adreno 320 and 2GB ram. I think based on history, the Nexus 4 will again serve as a foundation for all future Androids to follow. But again, good Job on Apple finally catching up to Android with the caveat being, iOS only has to push its performance to a 4inch screen akin to a 1080p LCD monitor verses a true gamers 1440p LCD Home PC setup. Ciao
  • Zinthar - Thursday, October 18, 2012 - link

    Caught up and passed, actually (if you were actually reading the review). As far as graphics are concerned, no smartphone has yet to eclipse the 4S's 543MP2 other than, of course, the iPhone 5.

    I have no idea what you're going on about with the Adreno 320, because that only gets graphics performance up to about the level of the PowerVR SGX 543MP2. Please see Anand's preview: http://www.anandtech.com/show/6112/qualcomms-quadc...
  • yottabit - Wednesday, October 17, 2012 - link

    Anand, as a Mech-E, I think somewhere the anodization facts in this article got very wonky

    I didn't have time to read thoroughly but I saw something about the anodized layer equaling half the material thickness? The idea of having half a millimeter anodized is way off the mark

    Typically there are two types of anodizing I use: regular, and "hard coat anodize" which is much more expensive

    If the iPhone is scuffing then it's definitely using regular anodizing, and the thickness of that layer is likely much less than .001" or one thousandth of an inch. More on the order of a ten-thousandth of an inch, actually. The thickness of traditional anodizing is so negligible that in fact most engineers don't even need to compensate for it when designing parts.

    Hard-coat anodize is a much more expensive process and can only result in a few darker colors, whereas normal anodizing has a pretty wide spectrum. Hard-coat thicknesses can be substantial, in the range of .001" to .003". This usually must be compensated for in the design process. Hard coat anodize results in a much flatter looking finish than typical anodize, and is also pretty much immune to scratches of any sort.

    Aluminum oxide is actually a ceramic which is harder than steel. So having a sufficient thickness of anodize can pretty much guarantee it won't be scratched under normal operating conditions. However it's much cheaper and allows more colors to do a "regular" anodize

    When I heard about scuffgate I immediately thought one solution would be to have a hardcoat anodize, but it would probably be cost prohibitive, and would alter the appearance significantly
  • guy007 - Wednesday, October 17, 2012 - link

    A little late to the party with the review, the iPhone 6 is almost out now... Reply
  • jameskatt - Wednesday, October 17, 2012 - link

    Anand is pessimistic about Apple's ability to keep creating its own CPUs every year. But realize that the top two smartphone manufacturers (Apple and Samsung) are CRUSHING the competition. And BOTH create their own CPUs.

    Apple has ALWAYS created custom chips for its computers - except for a few years when Steve Jobs accidentally let their chip engineers go when they switched to Intel and Intel's motherboard designs.

    Apple SAVES a lot of money by designing its own chips because it doesn't have to pay the 3rd party profit on each chip.

    Apple PREVENTS Samsung from spying on its chip designs and giving the data to its own chip division to add to its own designs. This is a HUGE win given Samsung's copycat mentality.

    Apple can now always be a step ahead of the competition by designing its own chips. Realize that others will create copies of the ARM A15. But only Apple can greatly improve on the design. Apple, for example, greatly improved the memory subsystem on its own ARM chips. This is a huge weakness on otherARM chips. Apple can now custom design the power control as well - prolonging battery life even more. Etc. etc.
  • phillyry - Sunday, October 21, 2012 - link

    Good points re: copycat and profit margin savings.

    I've always been baffled by the fact that Apple outsources their part manufacturing to the competition. I know that Samsung is a huge OEM player but they are stealing Apple's ideas. They are doing a very good job of it and now improving on those ideas and techs, which is good for the consumer but still seems completely illogical to me from Apple's perspective. Must be the 20/20 hindsight kicking in again.
  • TrackSmart - Wednesday, October 17, 2012 - link

    Shouldn't the battery life on the Verizon Galaxy SIII with LTE be higher than shown? That result bunches up with the 3G scores rather than the LTE scores. I wonder if the "LTE" listing is a typo.

    It's also a bit surprising how much of a difference the connection speed makes (3G vs 4G LTE) for the battery life tests. Are you guys really testing differences in power efficiency under typical use? Or have you, inadvertently, created a strange test of air interface throughput/watt - which would vary based on signal strength and network speed, but not based on the main device power draw under typical browsing (i.e. screen + intermittent CPU usage spikes).

    I would have guessed that that screen power draw would be the largest cause for differences between handsets, not the air interfaces on the new devices, now that LTE is no longer a power hog.
  • phillyry - Sunday, October 21, 2012 - link

    If it's anything like the Telus GS3 up here in Canada than it's not likely a typo. My brother has it and it tanks so bad on LTE that he keeps it turned off. Same thing with NFC btw. Two major selling features of the GS3 that went down the tubes in reality. Reply
  • Skidmarks - Wednesday, October 17, 2012 - link

    I've got to hand it to Apple, if nothing else they sure know to market their rubbish. Reply
  • Freakie - Wednesday, October 17, 2012 - link

    I haven't seen the 5 in person, but every time I see a picture of the front of it, I swear its design echos Samsung devices quite a bit. If any light hits it directly then it looks off-black, at least in the pictures, to the point of looking like Samsung's Pebble Blue color back when it was a bit darker (Samsung Impression).

    They got rid of the band around the phone and just have a slanted surface which when looking at pictures taken 8 inches away from the phone, has it's sharp "edges" that it slants to become one smooth transition. Reminds me a lot of the GSII's front.

    Now I'm not a fan of any design litigations going either way, but I've never seen a Samsung device echo the looks of Apple's devices quite as much as the iPhone 5 echos a number of Samsung's design flairs that they've been using for a while.

    Just my two cents xP
  • kmmatney - Wednesday, October 17, 2012 - link

    Are you kidding me. Look at how much the original; Samsung Galaxy copies the iPhone 3G. Same with the Galaxy SII.

    See for yourself

    3G versus SGI


    and 4S versus SGII

  • medi01 - Wednesday, October 17, 2012 - link

    Wow, SGII and 4S have the same screen ratio, you shameless iScum... Reply
  • Freakie - Wednesday, October 17, 2012 - link

    Oh I never said that Samsung hasn't produced a phone similar to an iPhone, though your second picture is pretty ridiculous (that's the SGI not SGII) which came out several months before the 4. Not only that but the picture its self is most definitely shot/edited in a way to make them as similar as possible.

    My complaint is just Apple doing something very different than normal, and echoing someone else for a change. Usually they seem to go for something different than the rest and the iPhone 5 most definitely does not come anywhere near that.
  • steven75 - Wednesday, October 17, 2012 - link

    This is probably the most silly comment I've read among any iPhone reviews. iPhones have always been similar overall since the revolution if 2007 and now you are seriously making the claim this looks more like a Samsung device?

  • MNSoils - Wednesday, October 17, 2012 - link

    Apple has an interesting story here and your group did a wonderful job telling it.

    On the 2 graph of the "Increased Dynamic Range" page, the idle power for the Tegra 3 SOC after finishing the Kraken benchmark seems awfully high for just the companion core. Does more time have to elapse before Android reverts to the companion core? Is the companion core not that power efficient (power-gated, etc.)? Does Android revert to the companion core?
  • colonelclaw - Wednesday, October 17, 2012 - link

    Thanks for a terrific article. It's just a shame that about 75% of the comments will be by people who either love the device or hate it, and nothing in this carefully researched and written appraisal will make them change their minds either way.

    How did we get to this? Actually, don't answer, that would turn into an irrelevant pissing match too.
  • youwonder - Wednesday, October 17, 2012 - link

    I find it kind of ...odd that the S3 has a much larger battery than the one X and the same SoC yet posts significantly worse LTE browsing numbers, and is the only phone using LTE to get worse results with it than using 3G(granted that is the international vers, doesn't look like they had time to do testing on the AT&T or verizon variant running 3G). Does the samoled screen really draw THAT much more power than an LCD? also there's this which makes me wonder more:


    Of course, I don't respect these guys as much as anandtech when it comes to accurate results, and they did things much differently (broadcasting their own 3g signal and putting all phones on max brightness), but still the odd results here make me wonder if a small mistake wasn't made.
  • Zink - Wednesday, October 17, 2012 - link

    Max brightness gives the gs3 an advantage because its screen is so dim. The other phones are using LED lighting as well but they go much brighter and have to shine through the LCD panel. Reply
  • youwonder - Wednesday, October 17, 2012 - link

    Good point, I guess it's mostly just me wondering why the GS3 LTE variant posts such horrible numbers even compared to it's 3G version when anand specs a good amount of time explaining why the opposite is true. Reply
  • phillyry - Sunday, October 21, 2012 - link

    Don't know why but it does tank on LTE. Reply
  • rarson - Wednesday, October 17, 2012 - link

    I'm getting so sick and tired of seeing the word "literally" injected into all sorts of sentences that it doesn't belong in. This word only needs to be used when describing something literal. It's not a synonym for "really" (not yet, anyway). Reply
  • andykins - Wednesday, October 17, 2012 - link

    Alright, language purist. :P Reply
  • joos2000 - Thursday, October 18, 2012 - link

    http://theoatmeal.com/comics/literally Reply
  • phillyry - Sunday, October 21, 2012 - link

    Great link. That's too funny - literally! Reply
  • dfonseca - Wednesday, October 17, 2012 - link

    On the last page, section "Final Words" / "iPhone 5 Device Conclusions", it's written:

    > At a high level, the iPhone 5’s cameras appeared to be some of the least unchanged elements of the new device however in practice the improvements are significant.

    "Least unchanged" means "most changed." It should probably say "most unchanged," or "least changed."

    Nice review, kudos to all authors.
  • mattlach - Wednesday, October 17, 2012 - link

    I had the original iPhone, followed by the iPhone 3G and then the iPhone 4, and just switched to a Samsung Galaxy S3 in July.

    When the original iPhone came out, while it was the first to do what it did - and that's why I bought it at its steep no-contract introductory price - it wasn't exactly revolutionary, everything in the market was moving in this direction, but it was pretty well executed and nothing else did it at the time.

    I upgraded to the 3G on launch, as I thought the edge speeds were dreadful, but was disappointed, as the phone wasn't fast enough to take advantage of 3G, and AT&T's 3G was pretty mediocre anyway. It didn't get important features its competitors had, like copy and paste until very late in the game, and I started to think that I should have gotten an Android phone instead.

    By the time I got the iPhone 4, I was tired of my slow 3G experience and just wanted an upgrade to something faster. The iPhone 4 was a good upgrade, but I really only got it because I didn't like AT&T's Android offerings at the time. I had been thinking about going to Verizon and getting an Android for some time. The 3G should have been my last iPhone, it was a mistake to buy the 4.

    Having realized my mistake, I waited 2 long years with the 4 until I could finally get out of my AT&T contract and go to Verizon and get a GS3, and it felt great.

    The additional freedom of what I run on my phone, not being controlled by Apple and their agenda as to what makes it into the App store, and the fact that I finally no longer had to have iTunes installed on my computer were fantastic.

    My computer has been iTunes free for 3 months now, and it feels great!

    I was concerned for a while that once the iPhone 5 was released, they would come out with something that would make me regret my choice of the GS3, but it turns out they didn't.

    I'll likely never buy anything Apple again. It feels like a huge relief to say that.
  • grkhetan - Wednesday, October 17, 2012 - link

    You dont "need iTunes" per se to use the iPhone any more. However, it is required if you sync music. However, I use iTunes Match -- so I dont need to use iTunes sync for anything... However I need to use iTunes to upload my music to the iTunes Match servers but thats it. I am happy to say with iCloud and iTunes Match -- "syncing" my iPhone is something that is no longer required at all. Reply
  • Touche - Wednesday, October 17, 2012 - link

    One doesn't need iTunes, except one does...however, you don't, however you need it...but happily, you don't require it at all, except you do.

  • grkhetan - Wednesday, October 17, 2012 - link

    Touche, iTunes is not required to use the phone if you dont need music/videos using the default player. (You could play them from streaming services like Spotify/Pandora, etc or store it in dropbox).

    But if you need to play music using the default music player -- you need to use iTunes to sync the music over. BUT if you use iTunes Match, then you dont need to use "iTunes sync", but you need iTunes to upload the music to iTunes Match servers. This itself is not painful at all in my opinion -- the main burden with iTunes was the "sync"
  • phillyry - Sunday, October 21, 2012 - link

    I'm sorry but I'm going to have to agree with Touché here.

    Please don't backtrack/double back to justify the fact that you do in fact need iTunes on an iPhone and need to sync it. Wired or wireless it's still a sync - it just goes through iCloud when done wirelessly.

    Lets not confound the matters of whether the use of an iPhone is pleasant or not with whether you need to use the generally unpleasant iTunes sync. Apple's lockdown on sync methods sucks for the users freedom of access to their own device but, despite that, the device is still great to use.
  • ThreeDee912 - Wednesday, October 17, 2012 - link

    Basically, if you want to put your own media on your iPhone, you'll need iTunes to sync or upload with iTunes Match.

    You can do everything else on the phone itself.
  • darkcrayon - Wednesday, October 17, 2012 - link

    No, you don't need iTunes to put media on your iPhone. You do need it to put media in the stock Music or Videos app. If you don't want to use those there are many apps that let you supply your own music via wifi copy to the iPhone or by downloading them directly from the web if you have such a source.

    I don't have any issue with iTunes though so I just use that.
  • steven75 - Wednesday, October 17, 2012 - link

    Funny, I know people who have switched the other way and are hugely relieved to be free of the bloatware, nervous anticipation of "will my phone ever get updated?", and crappy plastic hardware.

    In summary, anecdotes are fun and enjoy what ya got.
  • KPOM - Thursday, October 18, 2012 - link

    Don't let the door hit you on the way out. Also, don't complain when Samsung decides your phone is "too old" for the latest update. I resisted the iPhone as long as I could. I even had a Nexus One for over 18 months. But once Google decided that its former flagship, which was released 6 months after the iPhone 3GS, was 'too old" to get any OS after Gingerbread (which it got about 3 months after Gingerbread devices came out) I decided I could no longer put up with Google's tactics. Plus, it's nice no longer giving away all my personal information to Google just for the privilege of using their bloated copycat OS. Reply
  • Spunjji - Friday, October 19, 2012 - link

    No. Now you're giving it to Apple for the privelege of using their bloated copycat OS instead.

    Seriously, I was following you write up until your final crock-of-shit statement. All smartphone operating systems use your data, and they all borrow from each other.
  • Leyawiin - Wednesday, October 17, 2012 - link


    Hate the commercials, but that guy makes me laugh.
  • mykebrian - Thursday, October 18, 2012 - link

    is motorola razr i same price with iphone 5? Reply
  • Death666Angel - Thursday, October 18, 2012 - link

    "By controlling its own SoC destiny it could achieve a level of vertical integration that no OEM has enjoyed in recent history."
    I would argue that Samsung enjoys a similar level of vertical integration. They trade the OS-stuff for some fabs. Not sure which can be more profitable. But other than that, they are very much like Apple in terms of vertical smartphone integration I think. :)
  • iwod - Thursday, October 18, 2012 - link

    Any Reason Why Front Camera not using High Profile When Recording Video? It could have saved yet another bit of space with MUCH better quality then baseline.

    And do Apple offically support play back of H.264 High Profile Video Clip yet?
  • Spunjji - Friday, October 19, 2012 - link

    I very much appreciated the details on the SoC design. Your attempts to refine your battery life analysis were also appreciated, as these do seem to better reflect real-world usage. In general this article was well-researched, well-written and very informative.

    Unfortunately, the section on the anodization process does end up reading like one big apology. The matter is explained in detail but it's done with an air of resignation, as if this were the only option available to Apple. The fact is that they could have retained some additional girth (whilst still losing some) and had a device with good handling, good aesthetics and superior durability. No comparison to competing devices is made whatsoever, so we have no idea based on your article alone if this really is unavoidable or just poor choice of materials.

    The same goes for the part about the camera flare. Is a short comparison with a few relevant models too much to ask? The problem is that (like the previous criticism) I already know how this comes out and it doesn't look very good for Apple.

    So there are hundreds of hours spent testing comparative performance and battery life where Apple win, yet no time at all dedicated to comparative analysis where they do not look so good. That starts to look upsettingly like bias. I hope that isn't the case but based on other areas (notebook reviews in particular) it starts to feel like a theme.

    Anandtech, as a site I love your tech journalism, but the personal preferences of the writers need to stay at home (or firmly in editorials).
  • Slaanesh - Friday, October 19, 2012 - link

    Couldn't agree more. Reply
  • Krysto - Friday, October 19, 2012 - link

    I have to agree. Through out the article, you almost got the impression of worship from the writers, and they've only focused on what Apple did right and how much better that was than their competitors.

    And what's with all the going back to history of Apple's devices? Was that really necessary for a phone review? Should we expect this for all new iPhones...or for all new Galaxy S devices? I think that part alone shows bias.

    And was 50 page review (or whatever it is) really necessary and to wait a month and a half after the product launch? The reason I'm asking is because I know they will never repeat this for any other non-Apple product. But I also think it's kind of pointless, and reviews need to appear max 1 week after the product launches. Maybe two. More than that is really pointless, and it's already obvious in the review that half of it is about how awesome Apple were in the past and still are, and only the other half goes down to the analysis.
  • dyc4ha - Saturday, October 20, 2012 - link

    +1 Reply
  • Klugfan - Friday, October 19, 2012 - link

    Does everyone remember Edward Tufte's complaints about the iPhone 4 design?

    If I wasn't concerned about impact on the antenna performance, I'd be tempted to take some fine grit sandpaper to my black iPhone 5, and round off the edges a little. Believe it.

    If your biggest concern about phones _really_ is resale value, well the iPhone 5 will do fine, with or without scuffs. If your biggest concern about brain phones is what they look like to other people who see you using them, well, first you're an idiot, and second the iPhone 5 really will do fine there, with or without scuffs.

    Does my phone make me look smug? Whatever shall I do.
  • Hxx - Friday, October 19, 2012 - link

    got this phone close to release day and I'm throughly impressed with it. Coming from a droid incredible 2 who crapped out on me 10 months after purchase (the memory slot broke and lost all my pics, videos etc - not fun) I gotta say this is my first interaction with an iOS powered device and so far i love it. I think most Apple products are overpriced (hence the reason why i never got one) but this phone is a beauty for $199 given that i paid almost just as much 1 year ago for my droid phone. A huge thank you to Anandtech for providing such detailed review. Although i may never need as much detail about a phone :-), its nice to know i can always rely on you guys if I ever have any technical questions.
    Good job Guys!
  • ol1bit - Friday, October 19, 2012 - link

    As always, Anandtech gets into the details I didn't even know I wanted to read about!

    I'm not an apple product owner, and never plan to be, but it really appears to be a great phone.

    Keep up the good work!
  • OldAndBusted - Wednesday, October 24, 2012 - link

    "I'm not an apple product owner, and never plan to be"

    That's actually kind of sad. That no matter what the product, you can't even consider it if it comes from Apple.
  • SolidusOne - Saturday, October 20, 2012 - link

    How can you write page after page about geeky nuances, many of which cannot be discerned without lab equipment, and not utter a single word about the device's music player quality? This model particularly, as other reviews have said it was inferior to 4s in audio quality. ?????? Reply
  • phillyry - Sunday, October 21, 2012 - link

    Sorry but are you serious or trolling?

    Google search reveals nothing about this.

    If you're serious then Engadget has an article for you that compares the sound quality of iPhone 5, GS3, One X, etc. with basically no appreciable difference. http://www.engadget.com/2012/10/02/iphone-vs-rival...
  • mshdk - Sunday, October 21, 2012 - link

    What is the name of the IM app shown in the review? Reply
  • mohit2805 - Sunday, October 21, 2012 - link

    Why Apple never goes for an inbuilt radio? why just its own ipod, when there are so many radio stations to listen to for free? Reply
  • Krysto - Tuesday, October 23, 2012 - link

    The new Chromebook, which has a dual core 1.7 Ghz Cortex A15 CPU, reaches 668 points in Sunspider. That's compared to the 900+ for Apple's A6. Reply
  • darkcrayon - Wednesday, January 02, 2013 - link

    Comparing a chip in a laptop to one in a smartphone.. A laptop with terrible battery life (for an ARM device) at a that. Nice work. Let us know when Apple puts an Ax chip inside of a small laptop and then let's compare performance. Reply
  • eanazag - Thursday, November 01, 2012 - link

    I live in MN and have been using the maps app in iOS 6 on an iPhone 4 and iPad 3. I have encountered no issues with it. In fact it has been a little more accurate than the GPS I have and Google previously. I am guessing that in more urban areas there is a larger difference.

    I would have liked to see some more features that my GPS has, such as current speed, estimated arrival time, and remaining total miles for trip.

    If I'm going to complain, wish they would have included turn-by-turn on the 4.
  • Coffeebean20 - Saturday, November 24, 2012 - link

    Wow great review, I got my iPhone 5 free And tested it. I came up with similar results. Great review, good job :) Reply
  • cpu_arch - Wednesday, November 28, 2012 - link

    Your block diagram of Swift is inaccurate, not because I know the block diagram of the Swift CPU, but because it fails to describe the basic out-of-order execution pipeline of any modern CPU's. Hint: instruction re-ordering is in the wrong place in your diagram.

    Your measurements of branch prediction microarchitecture performance are not useful. The key measurement is mispredict rate.

    Also modern branch prediction is a function of branch outcome of the branch in question and prior branches, not some multiply/divide mechanism which you describe in your article.
  • mjh483 - Sunday, December 02, 2012 - link

    This is by far the best in-depth review of iPhone 5. I really appreciate your effort in creating such a long review. Thank you very much and hope to see more of these reviews in future! Reply
  • galaxus1122 - Friday, December 28, 2012 - link

    Unlock your iphone at extremely cheap prices from unlockiphones.info . Such a great service they offer along with refund! Reply
  • galaxus1122 - Friday, December 28, 2012 - link

    Unlock your iphone at extremely cheap prices from unlockiphones.info . Such a great service they offer along with refund! Reply
  • WaltFrench - Saturday, March 09, 2013 - link

    I appreciate all the good thinking (and work) in this post, but really think you're being unrealistic in saying, <i>“In that case you could see no improvement or even a regression in battery life.”</i>

    Batteries exist to power actual usage. My old wristwatch — haven't worn it for a couple of years now — still keeps working just great. By the standard you mention, my watch is a far superior smartphone: no, I can't do as much browsing, but the battery life is better.

    I'm one who finds that LTE data speeds mean I spend MORE time each day browsing (chasing down links from Twitter, mostly) and the battery still lasts me a whole day. By an integrated test of how much good you can get from a phone in a day, the 5 has a <b>hugely better</b> on-the-go CPU/battery/screen combo than the iPhone4 it replaced.
  • Amit kumar - Friday, March 22, 2013 - link

    Apple has done a splendid job with the iphone 5. It’s design outstanding. I checked full features of this device this site as well. http://www.gadtecho.com/iphone-5-specs/ Reply
  • ToniPan - Tuesday, April 30, 2013 - link

    3 Months with my new iPhone 5 and i always enjoy the sound quality when I capture videos or sound.
    The only problem is that everyone walking around with the same iPhone after 3GS.. I purchased a carbon sticker from http://www.coolcasing.com
    and i don't get bored from the same exactly design over and over. Why peoples talk about oranges(Galaxy S3-S4) when we talk about Apple?
  • Andy_K1982 - Friday, August 09, 2013 - link

    Can anyone tell me how much data will it take to use FaceTime with someone? Reply
  • rabidpeach - Friday, September 13, 2013 - link


    Did you ever do an article on why apple destroys android competition in GL graphics tests? Seems like no matter how many cores they throw in they can't quite catch apple.

    Thanks, sorry if I missed something.

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