Ask LH: Is The iPhone 5 Still Worth Buying?

Is the original iPhone 5 worth buying in 2015? I’m looking for a phone to replace my fourth-generation iPod and to finally upgrade from a flip phone, but I don’t want to spend a fortune. Any thoughts? Thanks, Number Five Is Alive

Picture by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Dear NFIL,

Obviously this will depend on the price you can get an iPhone 5 for to a certain extent, because if it’s too close to the base level iPhone 5s price — currently $829 new from Apple — you’d clearly be mad to go for the older technology.

But you’re after a bargain, and at certain prices the iPhone 5 could be a bargain. A quick bit of web searching suggests that, depending on the storage you’re after, you shouldn’t be spending more than around $400 at this point in time, which is a considerable saving. If you’re coming from a flip phone, you’ll also find it a considerable technology jump.

The iPhone 5 is still within the upgrade pipeline for iOS 9, although as always with older iOS devices, the quantity of features and speed of operation post-upgrade can leave a little something to be desired, or sometimes a lot.

You can save some dough by buying from overseas, but as we’ve covered recently you’ve got to be careful to ensure that you get sent the relevant model for Australian network frequencies, and that you’re going to be happy with matters such as battery life if it’s a “refurbished” model. Apple doesn’t sell refurbished iPhones anywhere, so any iPhone you buy that way will have most likely been refurbished by a third party.

If you’re buying from a friend or getting a genuinely second-hand model, be aware that at this point, the battery chemistry won’t be what it used to be, and you may have to budget for a battery replacement sooner rather than later.


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