Best iPhone 5 cases

The dust has settled from Apple’s unsurprising “surprise” iPhone 5 announcement and case makers have been scrambling to either update or innovate on old designs and get your iPhone’s covered. I like the iPhone 5 design and it feels like a shame to wrap it up at times – but I’m also aware that it’s a £700 piece of technology just sitting in my pocket waiting to be broken and it never hurts to be cautious. Plus case designs have become better and better, becoming an important way to differentiate your phone in a world where an awful lot of people have already joined the cult of Cupertino. Post iPhone 5 release my inbox was flooded with 3D models and artist mock-ups of iPhone 5 cases but I thought I’d take a look at some of the cases that had actual made it to market.

Smoothie

QDOS Smoothies Racing, is as you’d expect from the name, an extremely streamlined case which snugly protects your treasure. The case comes in purple, khaki and blue with transparent sides and cut out sections to access your volume/mute controls. The coloured backing is scratch proof and on a raise bevel edge, with the transparent edges somehow making the colour pop a little more. From £19.99 available from www.qdossound.com

Griffin are stalwarts at the Apple accessories market and can be relied upon to hit the ground running. They have released a number of cases to cover (sometimes puns happen, get over it) the iPhone 5 market.

The Mustachio is a smooth, impact-resistant polycarbonate shell case which cases in on the moustache craze that seems to be sweeping the nation (every other Internet profile I see seems to be a woman ironically pretending to have a moustache or a man who has ironically grown one). Simple, to the point and on trend. If you’re less cool there is the Moxy, another hard shell case but with time with an understated wild jungle pattern. This case isn’t as visually striking until you get up close but the pattern has amazing texture and feels great to rub. If you’d rather the iPhone design spoke for itself, there’s the Reveal, slim-fit case which has an ultra-thin see-through hard shell and a protect rubber, “flex” edging to protect from drops. If protection is your thing I urge to try other Massive Attack albums (I’ve dated myself with that joke, both in terms of time and also that only I would want to hang around with me), but also to look at the Protector, rubbery silicone skin case that absorbs jolts and bumps but also protects your iPhone from looking good. If even that’s not good enough then you need to get serious with the military-grade Survivor. The equivalent of driving your iPhone around in a tank, the Survivor protects against sand, dust, wind, rain and being dropped. It also comes with a heavy-duty belt clip. All these cases have an RRP of £19.99 with the exception of the Protector which is £14.99 and the Survivor which is £34.99. Visit Griffin.

Ultimate-Pack

If you want to go all out in a completely different way then there’s the surprisingly inexpensive iPhone 5 starter kit from mobilefun.co.uk. The £19.99 kit comprises 6 handy add-ons for the iPhone 5 – a desk stand, car holder, FlexiShield Skin wraparound case, mini portable desk stand, USB car charger and screen protector. MobileFun also has a range of affordable iPhone 5 cases.

iPhone 5: Our giant (sortable!) tariff comparison table

The pre-order rush for the iPhone 5 has officially begun and over the last 24 hours we’ve seen all of the major UK networks announcing their new tariffs. We’ve put together the following tariff comparison tables to help you work out which network has the best deal for you. We’ll update these tables when we receive further data . If you find these tables helpful (don’t forget that you can click each heading to sort them) then please share this page.

Update: Sept 21 – o2 online prices added. Some strange  pricing as certain handset/plan combos are cheaper offline than online!

16GB iPhone 5 tariff table

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32 GB iPhone 5 tariff table

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64 GB iPhone 5 tariff table

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Please note that all information was correct at time of going to press. We will update these tables if and when we receive new data. If you spot a mistake or notice that a tariff has changed, then please let us know.

Apple’s iPhone 5: Tracking media (over) reaction

Another year rolls by and the media circus around Apple’s iPhone has once again rolled into. And I appreciate that I am just another clown squeezing into this impossibly small car. The predicitable pattern happens year in, year our. The press trawl through Apple’s bins sniffing for clues about what the next iPhone might be, baseless speculation reaches fever pitch and then inevitable disappointment from the pitchfork wielding corners of the internet sets in – lambasting Apple for not having better locks on their bins and complaining that after reading hundreds of pre-announcement rumour articles they are no surprises. It’s a cycle you can set your watch by.

Apple-iPhone-5

But behind they hype what about the actual phone? Well Apple have taken an amazingly popular, well-designed phone … and made it thinner, faster, with improve specifications and longer battery life. How dare they. I can’t believe they didn’t listen to AnonymousCommentBoy82 and hire him as CEO. Apple have a little bit of “damned if they do” about them – they were “too timid” to introduce bold but useless NFC (I have NFC enabled devices and they see very little action) but actual bold decisions such as moving away from the 30-pin dock connector were pilloried – even though there has been an inexorable move towards wireless audio and cloud storage.

So what did the pros make of the new iPhone. I didn’t get my invite in the mail (still waiting Tim) but a few of our peers in got to get a hands on with the new iPhone.

The main comment – Thin is in. T3 explain.

In the hand, the 112g iPhone 5 unquestionably feels lighter and thinner. The 7.6mm depth is impressive, considering that this smartphone is much more powerful than the iPhone 4S. However, while the aluminium/glass construction is gorgeous to look at, the reduction in weight also makes it feel less industrial and less sturdy. We’d take a lighter phone adorning our pocket any day, though.

Joshua Topolsky at the Verge concurs – this is a svelte device by anyone’s standards.

What’s most noticeable about the new device isn’t any of that, however; it’s how thin and light it is. The 7.6mm, 112-gram chassis is incredibly sleek, and exceptionally light… it feels almost too light in the hand. This isn’t just in comparison to the relatively heavy iPhone 4S — sure, the iPhone 5 may not be the thinnest phone out there as Apple claims — but this feels incredibly light against smartphones in general.

Darren Murph at Engadget was impressed by the incremental speed bump.

The new A6 chip, in typical Apple style, hasn’t revealed itself in terms of raw tech specs. But at a glance, it’s definitely quicker than the chip in the 4S. Much like the speed increases between the iPhone 4 and 4S (and before that, the iPhone 3G vs. iPhone 3GS), they won’t take you by storm right away. But, use it for half an hour and you’ll have a hard time going back to a slower chip. The transitions are smoother, switching between apps is a bit quicker and everything just generally feels incrementally faster.

Pre-orders for the iPhone 5 start from 14 September. Our take (admittedly on a phone we’ve not touched or seen)? Ignore the braying comments online. If you like the iPhone and want more of the same, then this is clearly the phone for you. If there are fundamental problems you have with the iPhone (like it’s made by Apple) then there’s nothing to see here.

So, what’s new in the iPhone 5?

Today saw the launch of the highly anticipated Apple iPhone 5, which the Cupertino-based firm describes (ever so modestly) as, “the biggest thing to happen to the iPhone since the iPhone”. After months of speculation, rumour and outright link bait, we can now report on exactly what’s new in Apple’s latest device.

It’s bigger, but lighter

The iPhone 5 is billed as the thinnest, lightest and fastest iPhone ever. Although it’s nearly 9mm longer than the 4S, it’s actually the same width – which should make it feel similar when held. Thanks to new components, such as a nano-SIM (44% smaller than a micro-SIM), the iPhone 5 is just 7.6mm thick and weighs 112g, which is 20% lighter than the iPhone 4s.

New and improved screen

The extra 9mm in length helps accommodate the new 4-inch retina display. This new screen gives 18% more pixels than the 4S, resulting in a resolution of 1136×640. The saturation has been boosted by 44%, which helps to boost the depth of the display’s colours.

Thunderbolts and lightning!

One of the worst kept secrets about the iPhone 5 was the rumoured change to its connector. Unfortunately (for those with existing docks) we can now confirm that the 30-pin connector has indeed been replaced with a much smaller, all-digital, ‘Lightning’ connector which is also reversible – meaning you can insert it either way up. Apple have said that this new connector was necessary in order to produce the thinner and lighter form factor. A 30-pin-to-Lightning adapter is available for those who don’t wish to upgrade their existing accessories.

Faster inside and out

The iPhone 5 will support the new high-speed 4G service that’s being rolled out by Everything Everywhere (now ‘EE’) later this year, and by other networks in 2013. The new device also supports the 802.11n wireless standard, allowing for speeds of up to 150Mbps.

The iPhone’s new A6 processor is reported to be up to twice as fast as the previous A5 chip. It also offers greater graphics performance which will obviously appeal to those who enjoy playing games on their iPhone. The A6 is reported to be extremely power efficient, providing up to 8 hours of mobile browsing, although we’ve obviously not had a chance to verify this yet.

Better (and wider) photos

The iPhone 5’s new iSight rear-facing camera allows you to record 1080p HD video and comes complete with improved stabilisation to help prevent shaky footage. For regular pictures, the new camera provides 40% faster photo capture and better low-light performance. Another feature, which was previously handled by 3rd party apps, is the new panorama mode which sees the gyroscope and camera app work together to capture a seamless high-res panorama of up to 28 megapixels and up to 240 degrees.

Round-up of other changes

FaceTime can now be used over a mobile connection (rather than just Wi-Fi), although we’re unsure on which UK networks will provide support for this.

Apple have replaced the default Google Maps with their own app, which includes real-time traffic information and a new Flyover perspective, which enables you to explore areas from above with a photo-realistic, interactive 3D view.

There are also new EarPods, which the firm states have been ‘completely re-imagined from the sound up’. These should hopefully be more comfortable than their predecessors, whilst also providing better sound quality.

We’ll bring you further details and a full review in due course.