iPhone has a great history. History of ruling over the smartphone market, ever since its launch in 2007, with the kind of charisma others found impossible. Four years later, as the industry is eager to have a look at iPhone 5, would it be realistic to believe that iPhone's charismatic grip hasn't loosened?

Being the company that Apple is and being the smartphone that iPhone is, there will definitely be feverish enthusiasm among people to own the latest iPhone, as soon as it is released. But from a more sensible point of view, those would be by and large Apple loyalists who simply wouldn't want to look at what is on the platter of other smartphones.

iPhone 5 Release Date:

Currently, there cannot be another topic about which the speculation varies according to the whims and fancies of anyone who has an opinion. iPhone 5 can possibly be released any day from August 2011 to early months of 2012. While the strongest of all rumors point towards September release, the possibility of a 4G enabled iPhone is rather slim in 2011 since AT&T's 4G LTE network won't be anywhere near ready. 

iPhone 5 as is expected:

It is widely believed that iPhone 5 will have a Dual-core A5 processor found in the iPad 2, though the speed could be anywhere from 800 MHz to 1.2 GHz (the iPad 2's A5 is clocked at 900 MHz). Speculators believe that the iPhone 5 will have a 4-inch screen, though the overall size of the phone won't be much bigger than the iPhone 4, as the borders around the display is rumored to be much thinner. Majority is going with a 960x640 resolution which helps with backwards compatibility with apps in the App Store. Even the newest Quarter HD, or qHD, displays found on Motorola and HTC devices are only 960x540, which is a 16:9 aspect ratio.

iPhone 5 most probably would feature HSPA+ compatibility, though it does not count as a 4G standard and is capable of speeds up to 21 Mbps.

12MP camera with 1080p video recording, a Near Field Communication capability, facial recognition through the front facing camera to automatically unlock, and better battery life are among the other speculated features.

iPhone vs. Others:

Including the smartphones which are awaiting release and which are already available, iPhone has enough contenders to lose sleep over. Following are the Top 8 smartphones pitted against iPhone 5 with their threat level measured on a scale of 1 to 5, and the highest level of threat being 5.

 

1. HTC Sensation (Threat level-5)

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Processor: 1.2 GHz Snapdragon MSM8260

Screen Size: 4.3-inch qHD (960x540)

1.2 GHz dual-core processor of HTC Sensation easily surpasses the most iPhone 5 rumors though Sensation's Adreno 220 GPU won't outperform the SGX543MP2, if at all iPhone 5 get it. The Sensation will launch on T-Mobile's 4G HSPA+ network, which means it will rocket past the iPhone 5 on AT&T's HSPA+ or Verizon's CDMA 3G networks.

The thing about Sensation that iPhone should be scared of is its Sense UI, where users can expect a smooth experience and many iPhone-like features. Sensation's feature-rich environment, with DLNA, Wi-Fi printer support, 1080p recording and playback, and integrated editing software would offer tough race for iPhone.

The HTC Sensation in all its likeliness would be the perfect device for anyone in the market looking for a high-end smartphone.

 

2. Samsung Galaxy S II (Threat level -5)

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Processor: 1.2 GHz Dual-Core Exynos

Screen Size: 4.3-inch 800x480

If Galaxy S II will repeat the success of original Galaxy S, iPhone have all reasons to worry. No matter what the processor speed in the iPhone 5 is going to be, the Galaxy S II already has a better version, using an almost identical chip as the A5, but with a much faster Mali-400MP video processor.

Galaxy S II is large, but also very thin, and possibly the world's thinnest smartphone.

 

3. HTC EVO 3D (Threat level- 4)

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Processor: 1.2 GHz Snapdragon MSM8660

Screen Size: 4.3-inch qHD Stereoscopic 3D

EVO 3D is equipped with higher resolution qHD screen which let it exploit all the potential of 3D display. EVO sports HTC's Sense UI and offers a very iPhone-like experience. EVO 3D has dual 5MP cameras for recording in 3D, capable of 1080p 2D and 720p 3D video.

EVO supports Sprint's WiMax 4G network, which doesn't equal Verizon's 4G LTE speeds, but still will manage to trounce AT&T's HSPA+ offerings expected with the iPhone 5.

 

4. Motorola Atrix 4G (Threat level-4)

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Processor: Nvidia Tegra 2, dual-core 1 GHz

Screen Size: 4-inch qHD (960x540)

Being the first dual-core smartphone released in the US, the Atrix 4G equipped with Nvidia's Tegra 2 platform provides general processing prowess, and leverages Nvidia's graphics technology for advanced 2D and 3D capabilities.

If the iPhone 5 is clocked at just 800 MHz or if it only has a single core GPU, the Atrix 4G would certainly be better off. But if the iPhone 5 will get 1.2 GHz, Atrix will take the back seat.

Though the Atrix is slightly bulkier and lacks the smoothness that iPhone sports, its current availability would compel anyone looking for a dual-core upgrade, to abandon the iPhone with an uncertain release date.  Atrix features AT&T's HSPA+ network connectivity.

 

5. LG Optimus 2X (Threat level- 4)

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Processor: Nvidia Tegra 2, dual-core 1 GHz

Screen Size: 4-inch 480x800

The Optimus 2X was the world's first dual-core smartphone and was just released for T-Mobile as the G2x. It sports many features similar to the Atrix 4G, including a near-identical processor.  The 4G network it's on, its sleeker design, and pure Android interface poses severe threat to iPhone 5. It also has a compact design almost as thin as existing iPhones.

T-Mobile's 4G HSPA+ network is much faster than AT&T's. The G2x is not only compatible with AT&T's HSPA+ network, but most European carriers as well, making it an excellent world phone.

 

6. HTC Thunderbolt (Threat level-4)

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Processor: 1GHz Snapdragon MSM8655

Screen Size: 4.3-inch 800x480

Verizon's very first 4G LTE smartphone, the HTC Thunderbolt has been grabbing attention because of real life download speeds hitting around 25Mbps, and the iPhone 5 simply won't be able to compete that, even if it turns out to be HSPA+ capable. But the Thunderbolt with a solid built and a thoughtful kickstand weakens when it comes to processer.

 

7. Sony Ericsson Xperia Play (Threat level-4)

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Processor: 1 GHz Snapdragon MSM8255

Screen Size: 4-inch 854x480

Since many purchase iPhones almost as gaming devices, and Apple would certainly be planning to market the iPhone 5 as such. The Xperia Play can single handedly bring this gaming aspect of iPhone 5 down, because it has two things the iPhone doesn't: a slide out gamepad and access to Sony's library of PlayStation games.

However iPhone 5 is an overall more powerful device than the Play and with the potential Bluetooth and snap-on gamepads, the iPhone would be a step ahead.

 

8. Motorola Droid Bionic (Threat level-4)

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Processor: Tegra 2, dual-core 1 GHz

Screen Size: 4.3-inch qHD (960x540)

Droid Bionic's  dual-core Tegra 2 processor, is enough to rival almost anything Apple can possibly have in iPhone 5. As a 4G LTE device, the Bionic will achieve faster network speeds than any version of the iPhone 5 (assuming that iPhone 5 will not be Verizon's 4G network enabled).