What is the iPhone 5?
The iPhone 5 is the latest handset from Apple and is likely to be the most popular smartphone of the year. But if you’re not a fan of Apple – or don’t have the large amount of money the handset will demand – what are your options when it comes to smartphones?
If all you’re interested in is the iPhone, then read our iPhone 5 key features explained post to find out exactly what the iPhone offers, but otherwise check out the alternatives below.
iPhone 5 alternatives
Samsung Galaxy S3 – the main Android competitor
A large smartphone from Apple’s nemesis Samsung, the Galaxy S3 is probably the biggest name after the iPhone when it comes to smartphones. It’s a lot bigger than its Apple rival with a 4.8-inch screen and its specs are also impressive – including a quad-core 1.4GHz processor, Android ICS, 1GB of Ram and an 8Mp camera.
But it’s not just about acronyms and numbers, Samsung has also introduced a range of features that are meant to make the phone easier to use including Smart Stay – where the screen stays on as long as you are looking at it – and the ability to call someone by raising the handset to your ear when their details are on screen.
It’s a very impressive phone and did particularly well in our battery life tests confirming it as the smartphone with the best battery life.
To see how the it performed in the rest of our lab tests read our Samsung Galaxy S3 review.
HTC One X – a camera to rival the iPhone?
The One X is HTC’s flagship handset. It has a slightly smaller 4.7-inch screen than Samsung’s Galaxy S3, but on paper it looks very similar.
If you’re struggling to choose between the two read our Samsung Galaxy S3 vs HTC One X post.
The One X did well in the battery life test, only being beaten by the Samsung Galaxy S3, but HTC made its biggest song and dance (or at least adverts) about the handset’s camera.
This has a resolution of 8Mp and features an aperture of f2.0 – meaning a large amount of light can get to the lens improving photos in low-light, as well as increasing depth of field for artistic shots.
But did the camera live up to expectations in our tests? Find out in the HTC One X review.
Sony Xperia S – sharp screen and camera
Sony’s first flagship handset since its split with Ericsson is the Xperia S. This is a bit smaller than some of the alternatives out there with only a 4.3-inch screen – although this is still larger than the iPhone – but it includes a 1.5GHz dual-core processor so it should be fast and has a 12Mp camera.
One very impressive feature of the Xperia S is its super sharp screen with a resolution of 720 x 1,280 pixels, which means images and text will appear extremely detailed – great for web browsing and viewing photos.
Find out how it did in our labs by reading our Sony Xperia S review.
Samsung Galaxy Note 2 – the huge smartphone
But what if a puny 4-or-so-inch screen isn’t enough for you? Well here’s where the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 comes in with a massive tablet-like 5.5-inch screen.
The Note 2 is so big it comes with its own pen to use with a set of special apps. It’s even clever enough to change the strength of a line you are drawing based on how hard you are pressing down with the pen.
The Note 2 hasn’t gone on sale yet, but some shops are already accepting pre-orders and we expect it to be available soon.
Nokia Lumia 920 – a Windows Phone alternative
Another handset that isn’t on sale yet thatcould challenge the iPhone is the Lumia 920. This offers something different for those bored with Android or the iPhone operating system.
The latest version of Windows Phone supports dual-core processors and HD screens so the 920 should be fast and it should have a good display for viewing pictures, the web and videos.
Nokia has also added its latest ‘Pureview’ camera – although its not the 41Mp version we saw in February – and made the usual claims that it is the greatest camera ever made.
We’ll reserve our opinion on this until we can test the camera in our labs, but it does look like an impressive smartphone. The only worry is when it will come out and how much it will cost. So far there’s been no news and some suggest that Nokia is waiting for Microsoft to finish the operating system first.
For more information read our first look of the Nokia Lumia 920.