With the release of the iPhone 5, Apple faces some of its toughest competition yet. The iPhone 5 may be one of the thinnest smartphone on the block (besides the Oppo Finder, which beats it by a good .04") but it is by no means the fastest or most capable. In the spirit of competition, we've decided to create a race between the iPhone 5 and its most serious competitiors...
With the iPhone 5, Apple has finally increased the size of their screen to be able to compete with the range of display sizes Android provides. That said, the new iPhone’s 4” of diagonal screen real estate is nowhere near the 5.5” you’ll find on the Galaxy Note 2. Whether that’s a dealbreaker will depend on whether you want maximum display size or maximum pocketability, but it certainly seems puny compared to the competition.
Another thing that seems clear after looking at this table is that the iPhone 5 has by no means the best battery on the block. That title also goes to the Galaxy Note 2; with its 3,100 mAh battery it shows more promise in this department than Apple’s newest model. Historically, LTE models like the newest iPhone have had miserable battery lives, but we’ll have to test it to reach a firm conclusion. I certainly found it interesting that the Apple execs almost skipped over the topic of battery life in the presentation yesterday. While Apple hasn't released the exact battery specs, rumor has it that the phone will have a 1,440 mAh battery – just barely better than the 1,400 mAh battery in the iPhone 4S.
In a number of other categories, we find Apple lacking as well: once again, there is no expandable SD card slot in this iPhone, nor is there a very high resolution. Both of those titles, as well, go to Android.
But specs only tell part of the story, so it’s hard to tell which phone wins based on these stats alone. Take the camera, for instance: while 8MP has now become standard across the board, this doesn’t mean an 8MP picture on an iPhone is going to look the same as an 8MP on a Galaxy S3. Picture quality depends on a number of different factors, including the light sensors, size of the lens and the ability to reproduce colors accurately.
Processor speed also has a dubious link to day-to-day use. While a dual-core chip may seem slower on paper, it’s all about how it works with (not against) the OS its powering. Still, it’s hard to see Apple’s A6 chip ( dual-core), being able to compete well against the likes of the Galaxy Note 2’s quad-core 1.6 GHz chip. And if you watched Apple’s presentation closely last night, you’d see that they slyly avoided talking too much about processor speeds for this very reason.
Overall, its the fit and finish of Apple’s iPhone that seems destined to bring it fame and fortune. Apple’s build quality is unrivaled in the smartphone industry, and the company spared no expense in the creation of their newest model, cutting the device’s rounded corners using diamonds and covering the iSight’s camera in a sapphire crystal. The device is an orgy of aluminum and glass. You can’t deny it looks stunning.
Ready, Set, Go!
The winner in every regard except for dimensions is the Galaxy Note 2. This is the fastest Android on the block with the biggest screen, best battery and rocking the newest version of Android. We’ll have to see how the iPhone stacks up in day-to-day tests but – for now – we’re giving the specs-prize to Samsung.*
*= And, in case you were wondering, the Nokia Lumia 920 is burning in flames because it doesn't even have a release date yet, and is thus out of the race.