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Reviewers are ga-ga over the iPhone 5

Apple's iPhone 5 was announced a week ago, and at the time many pundits proclaimed that this was yet another boring refresh of Apple's iconic smartphone. While the smartphone gained a 4" display (complete with a bumped vertical resolution of 1136 px), faster A6 processor, 1GB of RAM, LTE connectivity and the a new "Lightning" dock connector; the smartphone's iOS 6 software layer is starting to show its age after 5 years.
Despite the lukewarm commentary, Apple went on to sell over 2 million iPhone 5s during the first 24 hours of pre-order availability; and new orders placed just one hour after the pre-order sales began have been pushed back for weeks.
And now, the reviews for Apple's fresh iPhone hardware are now in, just days before the official Sept. 21 launch:

Perhaps it’s better to compare it to some of the Android phones out there. Several of those are also very light. The key difference here is that those often attain the low weight by going with a plastic shell. That makes them feel cheap. -- MG Siegler of TechCrunch
An all-new aluminum construction extends around the back, which is either anodized black or left raw depending on whether you opt for the darker or lighter of the two offerings. The white phone is bright and clean-looking; the black, dark and menacing. We'll let you draw conclusions about personality based on color preference, but we will say that the black surface seems to suck up fingerprints that are difficult to clean. -- Tim Stevens of Engadet

The thing with the larger screen is that you get this feeling of having space on the display that you didn’t have before. Clearly, that’s true because the screen is larger, but I mean even more space than the screen allows. Perhaps it’s a perceptual thing. If you told me that I would be able to see another few rows of emails or more of a Web page, I don’t know that I would see the importance, but when you look at the iPhone 5, it’s more than that. -- Jim Dalrymple of The Loop
However, I found the new iPhone screen much easier to hold and manipulate than its larger rivals and preferred it. In my view, Apple’s approach makes the phone far more comfortable to use, especially one-handed. It’s easier to carry in a pocket or purse and more natural-looking when held up to your face for a call…
There’s a temporary downside: Many apps will fail to fill the whole of the larger screen until they are revised. But they still work as intended. -- Walt Mossberg of AllThingsD

The Lightning connector is infinitely easier to connect. It slots in nicely and does so regardless of orientation, plugging in right-side-up or upside-down. We were able to drive it home without looking the first time, and every time thereafter. (If only the same could be said for the USB connector on the other side.) It's also small, seems infinitely more durable than its flimsy-feeling elder and even stronger than micro-USB alternatives…
But Lightning comes up short in a number of important areas. It is, of course, incompatible with the roughly 350 million billion iPhone and iPod accessories currently on the market -- a problem mostly rectified by a $30 adapter. But, that's not a perfect solution, as even that won't support iPod Out, the specification used in some cars (most notably BMW and Mini) to enable in-dash control of an iPod or iPhone. -- Tim Stevens of Engadget

Using an iPhone 5 on the Verizon LTE network in Silicon Valley and Washington, D.C., I averaged almost 26 megabits per second for downloads and almost 13 megabits per second for uploads. Download speeds peaked at 42 megabits per second. These speeds are more than 10 times the typical speeds I got on an iPhone 4S running Verizon’s slower 3G network and are faster than most Americans’ home Internet services. While LTE affects only data, voice calls I made on the iPhone 5 were clear, better than in the past. I had no dropped calls. -- Walt Mossberg of AllThingsD

Running a few tests with the iPhone 5 using LTE, I regularly achieved speeds around 20 Mb/s down and 3 Mb/s up. By comparison, my iPhone 4S running on Verizon 3G was closer to 2 Mb/s down and 0/75 Mb/s up. (My tests last March of the new iPad with Verizon LTE was closer to 40 Mb/s down, so the network is clearly getting saturated, but again, still holding up well.) – MG Seigler of TechCrunch
Seigler says that the iPhone 5 is "The smartphone nearly perfected", Stevens calls it "Without a doubt the best iPhone yet", and Dalrymple chimes in with "Apple has another winner on its hands".
Overall, the reviewers seem to be -- unsurprisingly -- in love with the iPhone 5. Apple is just now catching up to Android smartphone in terms of functionality (LTE, larger screen, larger RAM size), but the build quality of the iPhone 5 remains the one to beat with its all-aluminum construction.
Apple lovers are sure to jump on the iPhone 5 as soon as possible, while Android and Windows Phone users will likely still snicker from sidelines at Apple's late arrival to smartphone specs war.

Sources: AllThingsD, The Loop, Engadget, TechCrunch

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By Treckin on 9/18/2012 10:23:48 PM , Rating: 5
I could barely read the article over the sound of all that shlong slobbering.

Seriously - "Wow it like changed my perception dude!"

Really? Where have you been the last 4 years? mopping around the Apple store squinting at your tiny 3.4" device, begging Siri for directions to market alternatives but only being directed to make an appointment at the genius bar.

I love my Evo4GLTE. Sick of Sprint.

By TakinYourPoints on 9/18/2012 10:52:41 PM , Rating: 2
Squinting may still happen, all they did was make the screen taller. Text, scaling, and proportions will remain the same since nothing happened to DPI or the horizontal axis. All they did was add vertical room. The reason for keeping the horizontal the same is based purely on ergonomics; it is to allow a thumb to cover the entire screen without readjusting the phone in your hand.

The hand is what dictates the size, simple, and it seems as though horizontal size is a resulting constraint. If they go larger on both axis like the nearly 5" S3 I will be very surprised.

Cramming as much performance as they can (and the iPhone 5 is faster than anything on the market) without compromising battery life or ergonomics is their only concern. There are tons of other choices if you don't care about that balance.

By TakinYourPoints on 9/18/2012 11:06:14 PM , Rating: 2
Speaking of performance, Brian Klug of Anandtech just tweeted Sunspider numbers on the iPhone 5.


By dark matter on 9/19/2012 2:39:46 AM , Rating: 1
Amazing isn't it. They only did ONE test.

And the ONE test they did do, shows Apple winning.

What are the chances of that.

Do you think he said "ah, look at that, I have done one test. I'd better stop now"

Ha ha ha ha ha.

By lukarak on 9/19/2012 4:50:48 AM , Rating: 1
If you have read the article, you would have seen it was not his review device, which Anandtech didn't get, but one from the guys that did receive it and that he met at a conference.

But sure, keep embarrassing yourself.

By tamalero on 9/20/2012 12:22:31 PM , Rating: 2
just saying.. how does that makes the result any better?
they just showed a SINGLE benchmark where APPLE WINS.
where are the rest?

By nafhan on 9/19/2012 4:46:50 PM , Rating: 4
Anandtech is good. They actually start out the preview with disclaimer about how Sunspider is outdated and should be retired as a test. Sunspider's convenient and runs on all platforms: that's why it gets used; not because it's the best indicator of real world performance.

While it's very likely that the iPhone 5 + iOS 6 combo has very good javascript performance (as expected), drawing conclusions like "it's the fastest EVER" from such a limited benchmark is kind of silly, and the kind of thing that only a marketing department or fanboy would find reasonable.

By nafhan on 9/19/2012 4:30:33 PM , Rating: 2
I have no information to base this assumption on other than your comment, but I'm guessing you are a woman with small hands. Apologies if that's not the case, but I have pretty average sized hands and have not had ergonomic issues with anything smaller than a Galaxy Note.

"There's no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance." -- Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer

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