iPhone 5 vs. the World: How Apple's Device Stacks Up

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Apple's iPhone 5 features a larger display, more powerful processor and 4G LTE connectivity, but does that mean it's also the most advanced smartphone ever? We've broken down the specs of the iPhone 5 and four of the latest and greatest Android and Windows Phone 8 devices to see just how well Apple's newest device stacks up.

With a 4-inch, 1136 x 640 display and 326 pixels per inch, the iPhone 5's Retina Display is still one of the sharpest screens on the smartphone market. However, it falls short of the Nokia Lumia 920, which features a 4.5-inch 1280 x 768 display, (332 PPI), as well as the Motorola Droid RAZR HD Maxx, which features a 4.7-inch 1280 x 768 display (331 PPI). Still, the iPhone 5's display is sharper than the Samsung Galaxy S III's 4.8-inch 1280 x 720 screen, which offers 306 PPI.

MORE: iPhone 5 Hands-on Video and Impressions

When it comes to the processing power, Apple says the iPhone 5's new A6 processor is twice as fast as the iPhone 4S's A5  processor.  The Nokia Lumia 920, Samsung Galaxy S III, Droid RAZR Maxx HD and HTC One X, each of which have 1.5-GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 processors. Samsung's Galaxy Note II, however, rocks a 1.6-Ghz quad-core Exynos processor. Apple hasn't released clock speed numbers for the A6 yet, so a direct comparison isn't possible. We'll have to wait to get our hands on the phone to see how well it performs.

Connectivity-wise, the iPhone 5 marks the first time iPhone users get 4G LTE connectivity. This is essentially old hat for Android and Windows Phone devices, which have been using 4G LTE for quite some time now. Also, the iPhone 5 lacks NFC, a feature available on all the other devices in our chart below.

The iPhone 5's  cameras also gets an upgrade, with the front camera now capable of shooting 720p video. The 8-megapixel rear-facing shooter takes up 25 percent less space than the one found on the iPhone 4S and features a new dynamic low light mode, sapphire crystal lens and next-generation ISP to enable noise reduction and 40 percent photo capture.

Its biggest competition will come from the Nokia Lumia 920's 8.7-megapixel PureView camera. Faked images notwithstanding, this smartphone is capable of taking excellent photos. There's no rapid fire mode, which is found on the Samsung Galaxy S III or HTC One X, but the iPhone 5 does have a new panorama mode. The iPhone 5's front-facing camera can shoot 1.2-megapixels, which is lower than the 1.9-megapixel front-facing camera offered by the Galaxy S III and 1.3-megapixel shooters found on the HTC One X and Nokia Lumia 920. 

Apple touts the iPhone 5 as the thinnest smartphone on the market. At 0.3 inches thick, the iPhone is a hair thinner than the Samsung Galaxy S III, which measures 0.34 inches thick. The iPhone 5 is also lighter than the competition, weighing just 3.9 ounces. HTC's One X, by comparison weighs in at 4.5 ounces, while the massive Samsung Galaxy Note II weighs 6.3 ounces.

From a hardware perspective, the iPhone 5 compares fairly well against its competition, but lacks a few features, such as NFC and wireless charging. Still, we'll hold our final judgments on Apple's newest phone until we run our full suite of tests. Stay tuned for our full review of the iPhone 5.

Author Bio
Daniel P. Howley
Daniel P. Howley, LAPTOP Senior Writer
A newspaper man at heart, Dan Howley wrote for Greater Media Newspapers before joining Laptopmag.com. He also served as a news editor with ALM Media’s Law Technology News, and he holds a B.A. in English from The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey.
Daniel P. Howley, LAPTOP Senior Writer on
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  • siddhi Says:

    I am using apple iphone5 since august till now its features are nic may be better than samsung s3

  • Ze Says:

    Conveniently not considering the quadcore and 32GB version of ONE X and quadcore SIII. I so regret opening this site.

  • societyofosiris75 Says:

    The question you have to ask yourself is this, "Am I using my device as simply a smart-phone or a phone enabled hand-held computer?"

    The 411 behind specs when it matters and when it doesn't. UPDATE: iPhone 5 has a Dual-Core 1.02 Ghz ARMv7 Processor (A6) 1GB RAM with a 1440 mah battery.

    Dual vs Quad Core: In most cases Dual core is adequate to operate a smart-phone. Quad core enables high performance in graphics, multi-tasking and HD video (capture & playback).

    RAM: Greater amounts is beneficial if you are gaming, multi-tasking or playing HD video.

    PPI: Until now the greater amounts means improved clarity based on standard sub-pixel arrangements. The only device listed here that has greater clarity despite having a lower PPI is the Galaxy Note II as it's sub-pixels have been re-arranged to provide an incredible boost to clarity.

    Micro-SD Slots: This is necessary if you are media oriented and tend to either capture moments often or run a large library of media content. In either case having extra storage to either store more or to hot-swap storage with different media is always a boon.

    USB OTG: Not brought up in the comparison but tech that should be considered. The ability to connect USB devices to a phone such as external storage is a great way to create backups of your phone on the go or to quickly free up memory while maintaining mobility.

    NFC: Near Field Communication (NFC) technology makes life easier and more convenient by making it simpler to exchange digital content, make transactions and connect electronic devices through touch. Requirements for reading and writing is NFC radio and an NFC app with which to write content. Everything from quick apply settings to transmitting your business website and social media on a billboard is made possible with NFC.

  • Theo Says:

    i dont get all the hype of comparing phones
    i mean i only like the iphone because its simple and organized
    in the end no one really takes the time to notice the differences in speeds anyway
    the only issue that would really get me going is storage space :/

  • lee Says:

    I don't know where you get your info mamoon, but corning said to reporters at a tradeshow, I believe it was CES, that gorillas glass was going to be in the next iphone, next iphone being iphone 5. Also it has been confirmed that Steve Jobs negotiated the contract for it prior to his passing.

  • MarcelloVP Says:

    Come on anti-Apple guys... forget specs and look at the real life usage. The great majority of smartphones users doesn't know what you are talking about, thus, it doesn't matter.
    The real life is simple, as Apple stands for, and is forcing the intire market to try to be simple.
    iPhone is part of a completely different package of a new way of dealing and interacting with computers and information, a long time ago, before anyone.
    And that, no one in the market can still match.
    We (normal users: that are the great, great majority of consumers) use about 30% to 50% of specs and functionalities of almost everything. So why buy an iPhone 5 or any of its competitors?
    I've decided to support Apple because it were the ONLY company that had the guts to first deploy such a concept, with a fantastic design and simplicity of use. Let's not forget that Apple's computers changed, and still change, the market. Let's not forget that Apple were the first to really bet on the tablet market (iPad). Let's not forget that Apple changed the smartphone (hardware, specs, software and usability) market since 2007, and the competition is just now offering something compatible. Let's not forget that Apple "bundle" (MacBook, iPad, iPhone, Apple TV, Airport, etc., etc.) really work all toghether, the same way, and completes a whole new way of living (in peace with technology).
    Moreover, Apple's customer support were really world wide long time ago, and it works, different from all other (I talk by experience, because I live in Brazil and work travelling all over the world since 1992).
    I don't care if Apple, Samsung, Nokia, etc., etc., etc., are strugling to win more marketshare. What we are seeing is that someone were the first to be successful in changing for better, and earned a lot, and the others are now trying to exceed (years latter). That's life!
    Facts: "The first iPhone was released in 2007; the most recent iPhone, the 6th-generation iPhone 5, was announced on September 12, 2012." "The first commercially available phone to run Android was the HTC Dream, released on October 22, 2008. In early 2010 Google collaborated with HTC to launch its flagship Android device, the Nexus One. This was followed later in 2010 with the Samsung-made Nexus S and in 2011 with the Galaxy Nexus." (from wikipedia)
    As long as Apple pushes the competition on my behalf, I will stay with Apple!

  • Truitt Dill Says:

    in reply to mamoon bakeer
    i completely agree with most things you just said......the iphone does have a better display than the GS3, "Galaxy S3 can wipe everything inside it by a special code sent to the phone by yourself & furthermore it can guide you to the place of your S3 thru GPS." Iphone has done this for a while, and i personally think that the OS matters more than things like the processor or RAM. WP7 devices were faster, smoother, all-around better devices, than other phones with single core processors and 526mbs of RAM. I cant wait to see how high end WP8 devices destroy these phones even more with equal specs.

    And an additonal note: i do not subscribe myself to any one OS or manufacturer because i do research and decide what is the best for my money.

  • Mamoon Bakeer Says:

    Reply on JonGl's comments:
    I've been using my new Samsung Galaxy S3 nearly two months now and I am very happy with it. Freezing never happened on my S3 & it handles everything you throw at it with ease & agility (if this is what you imply). YES, specs do matter alot when comparing Galaxy S3 with the new inferior iphone 5 because Apple is employing media to show the public how superior their new iphone 5 is, while it is not but an inferior to the real superior Galaxy S3 in terms of functionality, bigger with higher crisp resolution display, NFC, DLNA, Radio, simplicity of Android 4 (ICS), 16/32/64GB with extra slot for downloaders & storage-hungry persons. Just search for the uses of DLNA and NFC and see how just these two features (which iphone 5 lacks) simplifies your life! Galaxy S2 & S3 has a feature called "USB On-the-go" (also not available on iPhone 5) which drives an external flash memory or external harddisk by means of direct connection without a PC or additional power source. Isn't that brilliant Mr. iPhone guy? Ability to download & run whatever software you like just like a PC without limitation. Controlling Galaxy S3 (editing logs, contacts, videos, pictures...etc) by any WIFI connected PC using "Kies" without downloading any software on the PC (needs only a webbrowser) is clever and makes life easier. Samsung Galaxy S3 is incorporating 2nd generation of screen protection "Gorilla Glass 2" while iphone 5 is using the older 1st generation of "Gorilla Glass". "SmartStay" is a new feature in Galaxy S3 which uses front (1.9MP) camera to monitor your eyes every 5-10 seconds to prevent the display from sleeping as long as you are looking at it. Connecting Galaxy S3 thru DLNA to any large LCD display wirelessly to view recent captured images with family or view 1080p videos or even watching yourself as you play using Galaxy S3 wirelessly on a 60" LCD is amazing feature. Isn't it?

    NFC is currenly being adopted in several countries as a new high-tech replacement to holding your credit cards and you can pay at any store POS (Point Of Sale) without holding a credit card or entering a secret PIN codes. Of course you need to handle the security of your phone but if it gets lost or stolen, Galaxy S3 can wipe everything inside it by a special code sent to the phone by yourself & furthermore it can guide you to the place of your S3 thru GPS.

    Don't fool and convince yourself that specs & features don't matter. These specs truly make you happy in real life and Apple's iphone 5 lacks all of that. So they are fighting Samsung in courts to ban its successful products. Apple wants Samsung to re-invent the wheel.

    Think again and look outside of Apple's box which they try to keep you boxed in.

  • john Says:

    one correction: Galaxy S3 has a front 2MP camera not 1.3

  • JonGl Says:


    Does it really matter? If the phone handles everything you throw at it with aplomb, and doesn't freeze, require restarts, and does it with good battery life, those specs become irrelevant in real life. I certainly don't care what the specs say if the phone doesn't perform, and considering that in real life some of these other phones just don't perform, I'd say that the others are publishing specs simply as a tool to manipulate (fool) people into buying their gadgets based on useless numbers, and not on real-world needs and solutions. I wouldn't sweat it if I were you--unless all you care about is looking at numbers on paper, and making comments on web sites, and not actually _using_ these things...


  • Gadget Guru Says:

    Apples iPhone 5 is pretty boring. With a quick comparison it really does not match even the lumias.

    * No NFC
    * No OIS Camera
    * No Wireless charging
    * Old Tech for touchscreen
    * requires an adaptor for existing chargers and devices!

    iPhone 5 = Nokia Lumia 820 at best!

    Nokia Lumia 920 is my next phone right now!

  • Jonathan Mansel Says:

    Should Android users worry about the iPhone 5, probably not as this article sums up


    Basically you should only buy an iPhone 5 if you are already an iPhone user, prefer iOS and invested heavily in iPhone apps.

  • gadgetboi Says:

    there's alot "unkonwn devices" ... why Apple won't just show everything inside of it?. afraid to be compared with others?

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