iPhone 5 vs. the competition: It stacks up pretty well (chart)
The iPhone 5 might not be a big departure visually from the previous generation, but Apple is packing a punch with its new smartphone.
The iPhone 5 arrives September 21 and its immediate rival will be the Galaxy S III, which Samsung claims to have sold 20 million units of so far. But that's not all; Motorola and Nokia will also launch new flagship phones later in the year, the Lumia 920 and the Droid RAZR HD.
Here's an overview of how they all stack up:
For the first time (since the original iPhone), Apple has increased the iPhone's display size from 3.5 to 4 inches, making the phone taller, but just as wide -- visually, this means an extra row of icons on the home screen. Technically, the resolution went up to 1136 by 640 pixels, or 326 ppi pixel density, which is only bested by Nokia's Lumia 920 display, which has 332 ppi on a 4.5-inch screen. The Galaxy S III has the largest screen at 4.8 inches, but the lowest pixel density at 306 ppi.
Apple added 4G LTE wireless capabilities to the iPhone 5, but the phone is still lighter and thinner than its rivals. The iPhone 5 is the thinnest of the bunch at 0.3 inches thick; the Galaxy S III is a hair thicker at 0.34 inches thick; and the Lumia 920 is bulkier at 0.42 inches thick.
Eight megapixels seems to be the magic number this season for phone cameras. The iPhone 5 maintains the same number of megapixels as its predecessor, but with improved internals. The Galaxy S III and the Droid Razr HD also sport 8MP cameras. Nokia is bringing its new PureView camera technology, but until the phone ships, it will be hard to tell which one takes the best photos, as each manufacturer boasts about custom improvements in the camera technology and software.
Apple didn't say what battery it packed inside the iPhone 5, or give any details about the processor beyond the fact that the new A6 dual-core chip is "twice as fast" as what's on the iPhone 4S. Apple doesn't usually say how much RAM it puts in, though later teardowns of the iPhone 5 should give us more info. It's safe to assume that the iPhone 5 has at least 1GB of RAM, like its competitors.
With the addition of 4G and a bigger display, the iPhone 5 has no major shortcomings compared to its rivals. The iPhone 5 doesn't have built-in NFC technology, but that's not a dealbreaker, since NFC adoption is still pretty low. The iPhone 5 also has no expandable storage, but that's never held the iPhone back. It seems as though the iPhone 5 would fail a spec-sheet tick test only if you're looking for a screen that's larger than 4 inches.