Print 107 comment(s) - last by superstition.. on Sep 23 at 1:15 AM

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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RE: Lets not forget
By Brandon Hill on 9/18/2012 10:30:45 PM , Rating: 2
Everyone buys into it, and is critical of large screen phones (even though obviously that is a choice of the consumer). Then, when they make a larger screen, it is forgiven that apparently the 3.5" wasn't ideal, but instead a 4" is now ideal. No thanks.

Read the first three paragraphs :)

Can't wait to see his review ;)

RE: Lets not forget
By amanojaku on 9/18/2012 11:02:19 PM , Rating: 3
I'm sure his review will be positive.

Sh*t Apple Fanatics Say

RE: Lets not forget
By Varun on 9/19/2012 12:32:14 AM , Rating: 5
It's up:

To be fair, he is pretty critical of the larger display.

But here is the thing I don't get. The Apple phone is a 16 by 9 display now.

Almost all other phones were already 16 by 9. So how is Apple's magical (and wierd - high DPI but not 720p... odd) resolution as amazing as everyone makes it out to be? Well, obviously it's not that magical if you take off your Apple blinders. I mean, just to quote the original article's quote

"The thing with the larger screen is that you get this feeling of having space on the display that you didn’t have before"

Yeah, no shit Sherlock. We've known that for a while. I've been able to buy other phones in the 4" category with a 16 by 9 screen for quite some time now.

RE: Lets not forget
By Mint on 9/19/2012 2:02:17 AM , Rating: 4
But if Apple offered me an otherwise identical iPhone 5 with a 3.5-inch 3:2 display, which one would I choose? Last week, in the first few days of use, I’d have chosen the 3.5-inch one. Now, though, one week in, I’m not so sure. My trusty old iPhone 4S feels better to use for tapping those back buttons and the status bar, but, it really is starting to look squat to my eyes. Give me another week and I suspect I won’t look back.
Of course, applying the same logic to the larger Android phones phones need not apply.

Virtually every reviewer who's actually tried a 4.5"+ phone for a week or two and then gone back to a smaller one has missed the large size. I understand that 5" plus isn't for everyone, but reviewer stubbornness and Apple brainwashing is why the Galaxy Note got rather panned early on yet became a surprise success.

RE: Lets not forget
By makius on 9/19/2012 3:08:05 AM , Rating: 4
My roommate just got a Galaxy Note and I must say it is pretty sweet.

RE: Lets not forget
By NellyFromMA on 9/19/2012 9:13:28 AM , Rating: 5
It's not Apple brainwashing, they give out enough gifts and pay for enough reviews and exert sway in other ways.

Consumers are ALL about reviews now, which sucks because the majority of them are basically just written commercials

RE: Lets not forget
By BSMonitor on 9/19/2012 9:39:36 AM , Rating: 2
The same logic can be applied to those who buy 17" laptops... However, the trade-off is ALWAYS obvious to me.

RE: Lets not forget
By Old_Fogie_Late_Bloomer on 9/19/2012 11:58:30 AM , Rating: 1
The difference between carrying a 3.5" phone and a 5.5" phone is a lot less significant than the difference between an 11.6" Ultrabook and a 17.3" gaming laptop. The two phones are both fundamentally portable; whereas the gaming laptop is much less portable than an Ultrabook, the tradeoff between size and functionality being much more dramatic.

The tradeoff between functionality and size resulted in my buying a 14.0' laptop with a 1600x900 screen. On the one hand, I needed a higher resolution; on the other hand, I wanted the machine to still be fundamentally portable; on the other other hand, anything much denser than 135ppi would have resulted in text that was uncomfortably small to read for me (your mileage may vary).

On the other hand, I certainly don't look at my current 4.3" smartphone and think, "Man, I'm glad this isn't a millimeter bigger or a gram heavier..." (heck, even I have an Otterbox case on it). I'm definitely going to be looking at larger phones when I upgrade, all the way up to the Galaxy Note II, though I'll definitely have to spend some time in the store with them. After all, 5.5" screen or not, it'll still fit in my pocket just fine.

RE: Lets not forget
By nocturne_81 on 9/20/2012 6:42:00 AM , Rating: 2
17" laptops are not meant to be mobile.. exactly why they are called 'desktop replacements'. They have enough functionality to do actual work, then you can pick it up and go.

Personally, my only laptop right now is a 17 incher.. I have no need to do work in a coffee shop, in the car, or random friend's homes. When needed, I can pull my 17 incher out of the trunk to give me a bit of support trying to solve some problems (without it being an overly cumbersome experience dealing with half a keyboard and a tiny screen).

Otherwise, I'm on my own time.. why the hell do I need to be 'connected' and 'productive' every spare moment of every day..? And mobile computing, just for fun..? That's a bit sad.. get a life.

RE: Lets not forget
By Mint on 9/22/2012 1:27:11 PM , Rating: 2
That's why I said the Note isn't for everyone, but there's very little difference in portability between the iPhone4S/iPhone5 and a 920/S3/OneX. Maybe 1% of people have the hands and obtuse enough fashion sense that they could handle/pocket the former but not the latter.

17" vs 11.6" for notebooks is a colossal difference in portability. Even 13" vs 15" has a big portability difference (hence Apple having both models).

RE: Lets not forget
By nshoe on 9/19/2012 12:08:58 PM , Rating: 2
Almost all other phones were already 16 by 9. So how is Apple's magical (and wierd - high DPI but not 720p... odd)

The reason for the resolution size or cost. At the current resolution it is simply scaling up the current display technology they were using in the iphone4/4S - to go to 720p they would either have had to go even larger (around 4.5 inches) or they would have had to find someone capable of making a 367ppi display (which would likely increase the cost of the display by quite a bit.)

"It's okay. The scenarios aren't that clear. But it's good looking. [Steve Jobs] does good design, and [the iPad] is absolutely a good example of that." -- Bill Gates on the Apple iPad

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