iPhone 5 contract deals – what’s best for you?
Looking for the best deals for Apple's new iPhone 5? Well, you've come to the right place. Here we'll be detailing the best iPhone 5 contracts around to help you to pick the one that best meets your needs. We'll also be examining which network is most suitable for the iPhone contract you are after.
Want to take a look at the latest iPhone 5s deals? You can find them here: iPhone 5s deals
Want to compare deals for all the iPhone editions? Head to our dedicated iPhone deals comparison page
iPhone 5 networks – who is offering it?
All the major UK networks are currently offering the iPhone 5 on a range of 18 and 24 month contracts, so it’s easy to find great iPhone deals in the UK. These are O2, Three, Vodafone and the UK's first-ever 4G LTE network, EE.
Tesco Mobile also has begun offering a range of cheap iPhone 5 deals, while Virgin Mobile is expected to do so in the near future, but do they offer the best iPhone 5 price in the UK?
Finding the best iPhone 5 price depends on what contract your choose. Most networks offer very similar monthly allowances of texts, call minutes and mobile internet data for largely the same outlay. Typically for a free iPhone 5 on contract, you can expect pay around £36 per month. If you choose to pay less on your monthly bill, however, you will most likely have to pay a on-off fee for the handset itself.
As iPhone contract deals are usually quite competitive, one of the ways networks to differentiate themselves is through exclusive perks.
Vodafone iPhone 5 owners on the other hand will receive its ‘VIP’ benefits, which include free tickets to fashion shows, festivals, Formula 1 and more. Vodafone iPhone 5 customers will also receive offers for unlimited data as part of its ‘Data Test Drive’ offer.
Choose an O2 iPhone 5 and you’ll get priority access to some of the biggest events held at O2 venues around Britain. Three offers iPhones with unlimited data with their high-end plans, which are specially designed for data-hungry users.
The newly formed EE, meanwhile, is the UK’s first-ever, and so far only, 4G network, making it a prime destination for customers looking to take advantage of the iPhone’s 4G LTE support for super-fast browsing speeds.
Of course, another key consideration when picking a network is coverage. To see which one provides the best signals in your area, check out our 3G coverage checker. This will help you make an informed decision before taking the plunge, helping you decide between a Vodafone iPhone 5, 02 iPhone 5 or the iPhone 5 on Three.
iPhone 5 Features – what’s on board?
The iPhone 5 is one of the most advanced smartphones money can buy. It’s crammed with cutting-edge features, excellent software and an industry-leading design that Apple is so famed for.
Let’s take a look at some of the best features and specs on board:
iPhone 5 Camera
The iPhone 5 features an eight-megapixel camera with an f/2.4 aperture, backside illuminated CMOS sensor with sapphire crystal glass for improved protection and clarity and a dynamic low-light mode that enables even better snapping in dimly-lit settings. Also, it records videos in full high-definition at 1080p.
The camera app itself has been improved, too, with a Panorama mode that lets you capture widescreen vistas more easily in up to 28-megapixel resolutions. The front-facing camera, on the other hand, is capable of recording and making video calls in 720p HD.
iPhone 5 Processor
At the heart of the iPhone 5 sits the new, faster, snappier A6 processor that brings twice the CPU performance of the A5 chip that featured on the iPhone 4S, and twice the graphics processing brawn, too.
This means the iPhone 5 is now able to run even more sophisticated applications and immersive 3D titles that weren’t possible before. Web pages render much quicker as well and there is no lag or slowdown when loading apps and navigating menus.
iPhone 5 Screen
For the first time in the iPhone’s illustrious history, the iPhone 5 is home to a larger, four-inch Retina ‘integrated touch’ display that’s easily the handset’s crown jewel. Along with a 16:9 widescreen ratio that’s ideal for movie playback, this has 44 per cent more colour saturation, an eye-popping 1136 x 640 resolution and a 326ppi pixel density.
As far as displays go, the iPhone 5 has inarguably the best smartphone screen out there.
iPhone 5 Design – what does it look like?
Fashioned from sturdy Gorilla Glass and anodised aluminium, the iPhone 5 is billed as the ‘world’s thinnest smartphone,’ measuring a staggering 7.6mm thin and weighing just 112 grams – making it 18 per cent slimmer and 20 per cent lighter than the iPhone 4S.
Boasting a similar slab-like form factor, rounded corners and a metallic bezel as the iPhone 4S, teamed with the minimalist aesthetics and build quality that have become the hallmark of Apple products, the iPhone 5 is truly a piece of tech heaven.
iPhone 5 connectivity
New ‘Lightning’ Dock Connector
The iPhone 5 features a new, smaller dock connector dubbed Lightning that’s 80 per cent narrower than the old 30-pin port that featured on its predecessors. This is an eight-signal, reversible connector that’s capable of transferring data and charging the handset even quicker than before.
4G Long Term Evolution (LTE)
The iPhone 5 is the first Apple smartphone to introduce the super-fast 4G LTE. This is the latest generation mobile network standard that enables faster data speeds than before – up to 5 to 6 times more than 3G is capable of.
Better still, 4G LTE brings a new feature called HD Voice, which provides even clearer, crisper call quality.
Apple has implemented a single radio chip that handles all of this with ease. So even if you pick up your iPhone 5 on a 3G network initially, you’ll be able to switch to a 4G operator easily as long as handset is unlocked.
iOS 6 and improved Siri voice assistant
The iPhone 5 comes with the latest iOS 6 operating system out of the box, which adds hundreds of new features and improvements to the platform, among them Facebook integration now baked into the software, an enhanced notifications bar and updated versions of numerous native applications.
Siri, Apple’s personal voice-guided assistant, has also been enhanced with local search capabilities for the UK, enabling you to look up restaurants along with reviews, cinema times and up-to-the-minute results of your favourite sports teams by just using your voice.
iOS 6 also adds Apple’s own Maps application, which comes with a nifty ‘3D Flyover’ feature that give you an eagle-view of locations and free, turn-by-turn voice-guided navigation powered by TomTom.
iPhone 5 memory and colours
The price of an iPhone 5S in the UK today is £379 for 16GB storage and £419 for 32GB. Remember to also factor in how much your pay monthly or pay-as-you-go deal will cost you each month.
Admittedly paying full price for a handset is not possible for many. Fortunately, a wide range of iPhone deals are available to substantially lower this outlay and help you find a cheap iPhone 5. That is why we strongly recommend picking a plan that saves you money both in the short and long term. Use our comparison tables to find the best deal that works for you and find the best iPhone 5 price in the UK.
Want an older-generation iPhone? Head to our iPhone page to find the best iPhone deals