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5 Reasons for Buying an IPhone 5

Apple's latest smartphone, including its pros, cons and alternatives

* While visually appealing, the new Maps app isn't always correct when getting turn-by-turn GPS directions from point A to point B. Compared with the previously installed Google Maps, Apple's new service needs to be updated to address these inaccuracies, plus it lacks transit routes and Google's StreetView, which shows you photos of the geographical area in question. As such, consider Apple's Maps app a work in progress.

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The iPhone 5 might have all the media attention, but it's not the only game in town.

Many Android phones are gaining in popularity, such as the best-selling Samsung Galaxy S III (from $199.99 on two-year term with multiple carriers). Generally speaking, however, Android devices have a steeper learning curve than Apple's smartphones, they don't synchronize fully with iTunes and the apps aren't as good (or always compatible between all Android devices).

Windows Phone 8 is also an up-and-coming platform from Microsoft that will deliver a similar look and feel to Windows 8 on computers, coming Oct. 26. Nokia, HTC, Huawei (pronounced "wah-way") and Samsung all have Windows Phone 8 devices coming this fall, with the flagship phone likely to be Nokia's Lumia 920; no price, carrier or launch date announced just yet.

Apple's iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S are also excellent choices if you're in the market for a new smartphone, and they're a lot cheaper — the iPhone 4 is free with a two-year plan, while the iPhone 4S is $99. The iPhone 4S also has Siri, the voice-activated personal assistant to help you get more done in less time. These slightly older iPhones are also eligible for the free iOS 6 software update, which adds a lot of the functionality found in the iPhone 5.

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