iPhone 5: How does it stack up?

A preliminary look at how the iPhone 5 stacks up next to the latest and greatest in Android and Windows Phone 8

When the iPhone was first released in 2007, there really wasn't anything like it on the market, with the greatest respect to BlackBerry. Apple's iconic smartphone quickly carved out its own niche, and woe betide the OEM that tried to compete directly.

These days, however, competition in the smartphone market is quite a bit stiffer - which means the iPhone 5 has a great deal more company than its earliest predecessors. Here's our preliminary look at how the iPhone 5 stacks up next to the latest and greatest in Android and Windows Phone 8.

1. - IPHONE 5

The star of the show packs some high-end features that make it a tough competitor for the Android and Windows Phone 8 devices of the world. A sleek form factor and uncompromising internals

CPU: Claimed twice as fast as previous chip, implying 1.6GHz dual-core

RAM: Not announced (The iPhone 4S had 512MB, for reference.)

Storage: Available in 16GB, 32GB and 64GB configurations

Screen Size: 4 inches

Screen Resolution: 1136x640

Pixel Density: 326 ppi

4G?: Yes

Cameras: 8MP rear, 0.9MP front

Major U.S. carriers: Verizon, AT&T, Sprint

______________________________________________________

And now, a look at the Android heavy hitters.

2. - SAMSUNG GALAXY S III

Samsung's current flagship arrived on U.S. shores in late July with a considerable amount of fanfare, and looking at the device, it's easy to see why - the screen is beautiful, the hardware is top-notch, and the Android is at least not Gingerbread. (An update to the latest version, Jelly Bean, is set to appear any day now.)

CPU: 1.5GHz Qualcomm dual-core

RAM: 1GB

Storage: Available in 16GB, 32GB and 64GB configurations, plus 64GB of MicroSD

Screen Size: 4.8 inches

Screen Resolution: 1280x720

Pixel Density: 306 ppi

4G?: Yes

Cameras: 8 MP rear, 1.9 MP front

Major U.S. carriers: AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile

3. - HTC ONE X

Arguably the weakest of the major Android manufacturers' current flagship phones, the One X is nonetheless an impressive piece of equipment. Packing comparable specs to the rest of the Android field, the One X suffers from reputed battery life issues. Currently runs Ice Cream Sandwich (4.0), no word on a Jelly Bean update.

CPU: 1.5GHz dual-core

RAM: 1GB

Storage: 32GB

Screen Size: 4.7 inches

Screen Resolution: 1280x720

Pixel Density: 312 ppi

4G?: Yes

Cameras: 8MP rear, 1.3MP front

Major U.S. carriers: AT&T only

4. - MOTO DROID RAZR HD

Motorola's just released Verizon exclusive doesn't offer anything qualitatively different than the rest of the field, but the company promises major battery performance and an upgrade from Ice Cream Sandwich to Jelly Bean before the end of 2012.

CPU: 1.5GHz dual-core snapdragon

RAM: 1GB

Storage: 32GB, plus up to 32GB of MicroSD

Screen Size: 4.7 inches

Screen Resolution: 1280x720

Pixel Density: 312 ppi

4G?: Yes

Cameras: 8MP rear, 1.3MP front

Major U.S. carriers: Verizon only

______________________________________________________

Next, let's have a look at two new up-and-comers from the Windows Phone 8 ecosystem

5. - Nokia Lumia 920

The first of the new generation of Windows Phone 8 devices, the Lumia 920 came out last week, with specs comparable to the current top-flight Android devices. Windows Phone hasn't made huge inroads into the iOS/Android dominated smartphone market, but it's well-regarded by many as an OS, and could be competitive as long as Nokia keeps its hardware current.

CPU: 1.5GHz dual-core Snapdragon

RAM: 1GB

Storage: 32GB

Screen Size: 4.5 inches

Screen Resolution: 1280x768

Pixel Density: 332 ppi

4G?: Yes

Cameras: 8.7MP rear, 1.2MP front

Major U.S. carriers: Unannounced, though both HSPA+ and LTE connectivity suggest it could work with all carriers.

6. - NOKIA LUMIA 820

Though the specs on the Lumia 820 are generally similar to its bigger brother, the lackluster screen probably won't provide much of the "wow" factor that Windows Phone 8 devices will need to differentiate themselves from flashy iPhones and Androids.

CPU: 1.5GHz dual-core Snapdragon

RAM: 1GB

Storage: 8GB, plus up to 32GB on MicroSD card

Screen Size: 4.3 inches

Screen Resolution: 800x480

Pixel Density: 217 ppi

4G?: Yes

Cameras: 8MP front, 0.3MP rear

Major U.S. carriers: Unannounced, though both HSPA+ and LTE connectivity suggest it could work with all carriers.

Quick reaction ...........................

Apple's iPhone 5 is an undeniably impressive smartphone, and deserving of a place in the highest echelons of the mobile world. However, the company didn't deliver the same level of jaw-dropping innovation as it has in the past, and most of what was announced today had already been widely rumored.

What's more, many of the features highlighted by Apple have long been available outside the iOS ecosystem, including browser synch across multiple devices, text responses to phone calls, and - critically - 4G/LTE connectivity. Put it another way, Apple just had to play catch-up.

That said, of course, the iPhone 5 will undoubtedly sell in huge numbers and create another enormous windfall for Apple. But it'll be interesting to see what happens over the long-term, if the next generation of competitors continues to raise the bar.

Email Jon Gold at jgold@nww.com and follow him on Twitter at @NWWJonGold.

Read more about anti-malware in Network World's Anti-malware section.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jon Gold

Network World
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?