Discover the iPhone 5's features and find out how to use them in our illustrated guide.

We don’t need to tell you that the iPhone 5 is an exceptional device. In the seven years since Apple first unveiled the iPhone, the all-touchscreen gadget has rightly become known as the gadget to rule all others. With its razor-sharp retina display, now boosted to an even more impressive 1136x640 pixels, detail and colour just pop on the iPhone. That 4in screen has been stretched to accommodate a fifth row of app icons - a smart move given that most of us now have several dozen apps installed, many of which see regular use.

Better yet, the iPhone 5 is twice as fast as the iPhone 4S, even better connected thanks to the addition of 4G and LTE, and comes in the sleekest ever iPhone chassis, a mere 7.6mm thin. As well as its impressive looks, the iPhone has won accolades and earned adoration the world over for its superb build and unsurpassed usability. Not for nothing was its British designer Jonathan Ive, knighted for his contribution to industrial design.

Find the Best iPhone contract

But it’s the revisions and the subtle improvements to an already incredibly successful product that the next few pages outline. From the still better iSight camera and the more clued-up Siri to the nuts and bolts of iMessage and Visual Voicemail, we look what distinguishes the iPhone 5 from the first and the essentials you need to know to set it up.

Get to know the iPhone 5

How to use the iPhone 5

Understand the iPhone's status symbols

Like a Mac’s menu bar, the top of the iPhone’s screen displays a number of status icons – shorthand for various settings and connections. The icons that tell you what phone, Internet or other connection your device is making are visible in the upper left-hand corner, while icons in charge of the device’s other functions appear on the right. This at-a-glance guide explains what each symbol means.