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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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Our dear friend the RDF
By ZoZo on 9/18/2012 10:31:22 PM , Rating: 2
but when you look at the iPhone 5, it’s more than that

Sounds like the Apple reality distortion field is back for a vengeance. But had it really ever left?

RE: Our dear friend the RDF
By JackBurton on 9/18/12, Rating: -1
RE: Our dear friend the RDF
By TakinYourPoints on 9/18/2012 11:08:25 PM , Rating: 1
"You can't trust Anandtech's benchmarks" is an excuse I've actually heard. The hoops people will jump through for excuses and denial is amazing.

RE: Our dear friend the RDF
By TakinYourPoints on 9/19/2012 2:31:52 AM , Rating: 3
And they're published:

Full test suite should be up in a few days.

RE: Our dear friend the RDF
By dark matter on 9/19/12, Rating: 0
RE: Our dear friend the RDF
By lukarak on 9/19/2012 5:00:36 AM , Rating: 2
Oh, you still like making a fool of yourself :D

It wasn't their review phone. Like with the macs, anandtech doesn't get the samples before they are released.

RE: Our dear friend the RDF
By Solandri on 9/19/2012 6:59:41 AM , Rating: 3
Anandtech's reviews are among the best I read. And he's been very critical of Apple when they really screw the pooch (e.g. disabling Turbo Boost on Powerbooks, Antennagate). They just ran a story going into laborious detail explaining why the iPhone 5 can't do simultaneous voice and data on CDMA networks.

And it's normal for high-end phones to leapfrog each other with each release. That's kinda what the engineers aim for when designing new high-end products. You don't aim to be second best. e.g. It's quite obvious that AMD and nVidia tune their top of the line video cards to just barely take the performance crown. I don't see why you find it so hard to believe. In fact I would've been more surprised if the iPhone 5's performance didn't top the charts.

RE: Our dear friend the RDF
By retrospooty on 9/19/2012 12:16:22 PM , Rating: 2
I dont know who might say that, the CPU/GPU is clearly fantasic in the iPhone 5. Its high end now. 6 months from now it will just be another CPU. The quad core s4 with Adreno 320 GPU looks really promising. OMAP5 coming as well as newer iterations of S4 and Exynos. It's an ever evolving thing.

RE: Our dear friend the RDF
By Rukkian on 9/19/2012 9:51:33 AM , Rating: 3
I don't care if some bench mark someplace shows it is faster. My Gnex with Jelly Bean is buttery smooth, and runs everything I could ever want. I have had LTE for 9 months and a bigger screen. I can load whatever I want whenever I want from wherever I want. I do not need hand holding or somebody telling me what I can read, what I can install, or what computers I can sync to.

I do not care who sells more, as I do not own stock in either one. I want to see competition so we get better devices, at better prices.

I have no problem with others getting crapple (my wife has one), but get annoyed at the self-centered aholes that think they are better than other people cause they have a crapple. I also have a problem with people that stick with one brand and won't even look at another. I have owned several blackberries, 1 windows phone, several ipods (hand me downs from my wife, as she seems to always need the new version), and now my Gnex.

Keep spouting off about Samsung copying. While I agree (as many do) their original S1 did some copying, put an iphone (any of their many models) up next to a S3 or Gnex, or Note and if you cannot tell the difference from 25 feet, you need new glasses. They do not look alike, they are not copies, the whole lawsuit was just an example of home field advantage and will not stand up to appeals.

"Let's face it, we're not changing the world. We're building a product that helps people buy more crap - and watch porn." -- Seagate CEO Bill Watkins

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