Although the much awaited iPhone 5 has not yet made it to India in an official capacity, it’s never stopped the Indian retailers of the grey variety to get their hands on a device. Thanks to their enterprising prowess, tech2 managed to score an iPhone 5 for a little while so we could bring you a quick hands on before a full blown review. 

Please note, we have not run any benchmarks or tested the full capabilities of the device due to the limited time we had with it. We will be able to give you a blow by blow account of the handset's feature set and functionalities when we get a review model at the time of its official Indian debut. 


The brilliance of Apple shines through with this model. Although being similar to the previous edition, it feels nothing like any of its previous devices. That’s not necessarily a good thing. At 112g, the iPhone 5 is a lightweight device in its category. With a depth of just 7.6mm, it’s also one of the slimmest in this class. This narrow-bodied handset doesn’t quite feel like a mobile phone, but more of a media player, so we’re assuming the new iPod Touch will fare really well. 

Stands out

Stands out

This model, with darker material used on the shell, certainly looks more refined as compared to previous editions. But the lightweight, slender and long design makes it seem a little plasticky and not as sturdy as it could very well be. It didn’t quite inspire us with the confidence that it wouldn’t crack open if it tumbled off your desk and hit the non-carpeted floor. Still, the iPhone 5 feels way better than, say the Samsung Galaxy S III, the most expensive Android phone around.

All that being said, we were impressed with the overall look but still preferred the iPhone 4S as it looked and felt more like a standard mobile handset and not something that you buy on an airplane, if you know what we mean. Then again, as the new age of mobiles dawns, lighter and sleeker devices are the new trend and this new iteration of the iPhone will fit right in. We say – to each his own. 

With its bretheren

With its brethren

With an extra line of apps, you can place a lot more on your first page, but having too many folders with itty bitty icons on a home screen tends to look very untidy. Of course, you could just have multiple screens which, if you’re an app-happy user, means multiple pages galore. In both the cases, Apple’s handy swipe-right-to-search page will come to the rescue. 

The layout of iOS 6 is no different from iOS 4, well, not by much anyways. It’s the subtleties that do tend to make a difference. More on that after we do a full review. 

Just how slim, is slim?

Just how slim, is slim?

The Nano-SIM feature could create a whole new set of issues for new users. Scaling down from the standard size to Micro SIMs and now this. Apple has once again demonstrated just how high up in the game it is by deeming it fit to change the rules. We’re sure this new facet will eventually trickle down to the other devices soon enough, forcing the consumers to spend more or risk damage by altering their cards. 

There didn’t seem to be too much in the way of a sound engine upgrade, but audio quality, as it was, didn’t really disappoint. Having a longer display also meant that 16:9 and those of a slightly slimmer variety looked quite good on the slightly high resolution Retina display. 

The SIMs are changing

The SIMs are changing

What will surely impress consumers is the iPhone 5’s upgraded 8 megapixel camera with an LED flash. We had the opportunity to test it against the iPhone 4S and the HTC One x – Here are our findings:

While we were able to click a few photos in our short stint with the iPhone 5, we were able to come to some conclusion over the quality. One thing's for sure, the camera on the iPhone 5 is good. It's detailed, focussing is almost instantaneous and the colours are pretty natural. We clicked a few photos indoors and a few outdoors with natural sunlight.

With indoor photographs, it's clear that the sensor and the larger aperture help. There's close to no noise at all visible on the camera, which isn't the case with the iPhone 4S camera. There's some noise visible with it and also some in the photo shot using the One X. The iPhone 4S also exhibits a slightly colder look with a tint of greenish-blue showing up. The iPhone 5 has a more yellowish, warmer tone going for it.

In door macro

Indoor macro

Outdoors, the difference between the iPhone 4S and 5 is reduced dramatically. The camera still shows up very smooth, evened out images with no harsh edges, like the one we see in the One X. Colours are natural and the larger aperture helps in creating nice depth of field in images – good when you're clicking outdoors or portraits. Even panoramas are a joy to click – stitching doesn't take too long and seams in the images aren't present. The resolution is also high enough to keep the details quite intact. 

Outdoor tests

Outdoor tests

Apple’s biggest competition in this segment will be Nokia’s Lumia 920. 

First Impression and Current Price in India

The price of the iPhone 5 hasn’t been set officially, but it is, nevertheless, available at some grey market retailers at exorbitant rates. At the moment, the 16GB version is selling for Rs. 62,000, while the 32GB and 64GB editions come with price tags of Rs. 77,500 and Rs. 92,500 respectively. These are subject to further change till the handsets are officially released. Naturally, there will be tie ups with carriers who would offer them with EMIs and “Money-Back” schemes. However, what is truly remarkable is that the iPhone 5, in its limited supply, has been selling out at this ridiculous pricing. To that, all we have to say is – go figure!

Stay tuned for the full review of the Apple iPhone 5 on

Handset sourced from – 

Sound Electronics, Heera panna,

Ph. No. – +91 9821303300

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