What is iPhone 5

Ever since the original smartphone was invented – yes, the one the size of a suitcase – all further iterations focused on the predictable path towards a smaller, lighter mobile phone. The original iPhone was bigger than some other “touchscreen” phones on the market at the time, but only because that’s the smallest Apple could make it without introducing a stylus. And ever since, Apple worked hard to continue the historical trend of making phones thinner and lighter.

But then something happened – Samsung et al began releasing larger phones. Samsung went from a 4-inch display to a 4.3-inch, 4.5-inch, and finally 4.8-inch display in their Galaxy lineup. Of course, that’s great for people with larger hands! But larger hands were not the reason for the bigger screens; if they were, where are the smaller versions of Galaxy S3 for customers with regular and smaller hands? No, the reason was technical – the larger the screen, the more space there is behind it for battery, cameras, and chips. By enlarging the displays, Samsung et al were able to make the phones thinner and the battery bigger (now 30-40% bigger than iPhone’s) while simultaneously saving money and time on research and development of smaller components. LTE is power-hungry and miniaturization isn’t cheap or easy.

Enter iPhone 5. The fact that it has a better (claimed) battery life compared to the previous iPhone while increasing screen size and performance and adding LTE means that Apple poured a lot of money into miniaturization and integration (smaller CPU, combining CDMA and LTE chips, etc.) to avoid having the need for a bigger battery. This allowed Apple to break away from the new and unhistorical trend of making phone screens gigantic.

Screen Size Thickness Weight Battery Capacity
iPhone 5 4 in 7.6 mm 3.95 ounces (112 grams) 5.45 Whr
Galaxy S3 4.8 in 8.6 mm 4.69 ounces (133 grams) 7.98 Whr
Lumia 920 4.5 in 10.7 mm 6.53 ounces (185 grams) 7.4 Whr

As a result, the phone is faster, thinner, and lighter than the previous model without using any plastic or increasing battery capacity.

In that sense, iPhone 5 is clearly one thing – a rebel.