The best mobile phone

IPhone 5

The best mobile phone currently available in the UK is the iPhone 5.

If you have the budget to choose any phone in the market, the iPhone 5 should be your first choice.

Last updated: 7 May 2013

If you walk into a mobile phone shop, or past through an airport or shopping centre, you could be excused to to think that the new Samsung Galaxy S4 is the most important mobile phone ever released.

The Galaxy S4 is a good phone, and does offer some features that you don’t get on an iPhone. However once you look beyond Samsung’s massive advertising blitz, the highest quality mobile phone available with the happiest owners remains the iPhone 5.

If you have the budget to choose any phone in the market, the iPhone 5 should be your first choice.

Why the iPhone 5 is the best mobile phone

Here are the key reasons we think the iPhone 5 is the best mobile phone.

  • Build quality: Apple put more care and attention into the build look, feel and quality than any other manufacturer. iPhones look great, feel great and are built to last.

    The iPhone 5 feels incredibly light in the hand, especially compared with older versions of the iPhone, but also feels substantial and high quality. The iPhone 5 is a beautifully built and has a level of care and craftsmanship that can’t be matched by any other mobile phone.

    There is also a financial advantage to the iPhone’s superiour build quality. Even though you pay more for an iPhone, it lasts longer and retains its resale value better than any other mobile phone brand. That means you’ll get top price if you choose to sell your iPhone in a couple of years and trade up to a newer version.

  • Camera quality: One of they key joys people get from their iPhone 5 is from taking photos and sharing photos.

    Other mobile phones may claim that they have more megapixels or better technology specifications, but iPhone customers are more likely to share photos taken on their iPhone than any other mobile phone.

    You could make a case that for a large number of people, the iPhone 5 camera alone justifies buying an iPhone 5, as many people will take and share more photos on an iPhone than they would using a dedicated camera. The iPhone 5 can be thought of as a great camera that also can be used as a phone, rather than a phone that can take pictures.

    On the photo sharing site Flickr, the iPhone the most popular mobile phone used to share photos on the site, and more amazingly, it is also the most popular camera used on Flickr.



    If you plan to use a mobile phone to take lots of great photos of friends and families, the iPhone 5 should be your first choice.

  • App choice and quality: The iPhone has the biggest range of quality apps, films and tv shows delivered via Apple’s iTunes store.

    Not only do Apple have the largest app store, they also put the most care and attention into curating their app stores to ensure the apps are high quality, don’t crash, and don’t have viruses or malware. They are also very careful to protect kids from unsuitable content.

    All this makes adds up to the Apple iTunes store being the high quality benchmark for mobile phone app stores.

  • Happy customers: iPhone owners are happier with their choice of mobile phone compared with the owners of competing mobile phones.

    In the US, Apple won the JD Power customer satisfaction award for the 9th time running. Ever since the first iPhone was released, iPhone owners have scored their satisfaction with their phone higher than owners of any other mobile phone.

In short, you’re more likely to be happy with your mobile phone if you’re an iPhone customer compared with any other mobile phone available.

What about Android phones like the Samsung Galaxy S4?

The key reasons not get an iPhone 5 are price and form factor.

  • Cheaper phones are available: The iPhone 5 is the most expensive phone on the market, so there is money to be saved by choosing a different model.

    An older version of the iPhone such as the 4 or 4S will save you money, as will an Android phone like the the Samsung Galaxy S4 or the HTC One.

  • Bigger screens are available: Competitor Android phones such as the Samsung Galaxy S4 and the HTC One have bigger, wider screens. These are more like mini tablets than phones, so if you use the internet a lot on your phone, or plan to use your mobile phone mainly for watching movies or video, then a bigger screen phone such as the Samsung Galaxy S4 or the HTC One could be best for you.

Both the Samsing Galaxy S4 and the HTC One are good phones, but if you were looking to by an Android phone we’d recommend the HTC One. It has a much stronger aluminium build quality and better industrial design than the Galaxy S4.

The HTC One is a much nicer phone to hold in the hand and use, and is delighting many owners and getting great reviews. It should be your first phone for consideration if you are looking at Android phones.

What about older iPhones like the 4 or 4S?

The key difference between the the iPhone 5 and its older cousins the 4S and 4 come down to speed and photo quality. Both the 4 and the 4S take good photos, but there was a very noticeable improvement in the photo quality when the iPhone 4S was introduced.

Less importantly, the iPhone 4S is faster in general use for scrolling and loading apps and internet pages compared to the iPhone 4, due to updated technology in the 4S.

The iPhone 4 and the iPhone 4S both have great build quality and run all the apps in the iTunes App store, so you won’t miss out on app choice with either of these models.

For some people the iPhone 4S is a great budget buy as you get the the strong iPhone 4S camera that’s a big step up from the iPhone 4, but not a huge step down from the iPhone 5, and you get to save some money compared to buying the iPhone 5.

What do the critics say?

Apple has taken an already great product and made it better, overall. Consumers who prefer huge screens or certain marginal features have plenty of other choices, but the iPhone 5 is an excellent choice.
The Wall Street Journal review

The iPhone 5 is a great smartphone made even better. It’s fast, lightweight and backed by the largest application store for any device. It’s also probably the most beautiful smartphone anyone has ever made.
The Telegraph review: 5/5 stars

With the iPhone 5, Apple has really raised the bar, not just for the smartphone market, but consumer electronics in general. The level of care and engineering that has gone into the handset is unprecedented, and while iPhone owners are no doubt already reaching for their wallets, for anyone who was on the fence, the iPhone 5 puts clear water between Apple and its competitors.
The Daily Mail review

One Response to The best mobile phone

  1. Andrew Arnison May 22, 2013 at 3:01 pm #


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