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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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RE: Lets not forget
By liquidaim on 9/18/2012 10:33:31 PM , Rating: 5
I agree with you.

Just read the following from one of the "reviews":
"The key difference here is that those often attain the low weight by going with a plastic shell. That makes them feel cheap. .... 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..."

It's as if the author is writing to the sheeple crowd and helping them justify the purchase.

The reason iphones sell so well is because of all the press it gets for free. compare that with the Ativ S (also aluminum body) and nokia (another aluminum body). Not even a peep from the mainstream media about those two announcements...

RE: Lets not forget
By jexp on 9/18/2012 11:44:10 PM , Rating: 3
But the Ativ S does not have aluminum body. It looks like it's got metallic backplate, but that's painted on to look metallic. And I don't know which Nokia model you are referring to, but AFAIK, Nokia doesn't have aluminum body smartphone. In fact, I think Apple's the only one that sells aluminum body smartphones at this time.

And Apple probably does get more than its fair share of positive press coverage, but that's mostly because it does make beautiful products that lots of people love. I mean it's true that Apple strives to portray even mundane things as the greatest thing ever, but all companies set out to sell something are guilty of that. To make such marketing push work, your products must also have substance.

RE: Lets not forget
By tilandal on 9/19/2012 12:15:20 AM , Rating: 2
The HTC One S has an aluminum body.

RE: Lets not forget
By ikeke1 on 9/19/2012 1:05:00 AM , Rating: 5
Hmh. I don't get the aluminum rulez part. Most iPhones i've seen are in some plastic-clad-armour-protector thingy so that "my-precious" doesn't get any scratches/dents/broken screen.

A phone is for using - i've had my SE Xperia Ray for 9 months, it has aluminum frame, which has taken it's share of bumps and falls (tiny scratches/dents visible)and glass front/plastic back (both like new). Plastic is much better at NOT deforming/breaking than aluminum.

RE: Lets not forget
By StevoLincolnite on 9/19/2012 5:54:23 AM , Rating: 2
And I don't know which Nokia model you are referring to, but AFAIK, Nokia doesn't have aluminum body smartphone.

The Nokia Lumia has self healing plastic/paint anyway, drop an iPhone on the ground and get a scratch in it... Then... :(

RE: Lets not forget
By vignyan on 9/19/2012 10:49:33 AM , Rating: 2
OMG!!! you dont have apple care that only costs about 100 bucks!!! and it only costs $50 everytime you want to use that care!!!
It is like insulting apple's art. They should mandate it for all iphone buyers...

Sh!t people talk about iphone...

RE: Lets not forget
By CyCl0n3 on 9/19/2012 8:53:53 AM , Rating: 2
Nokia doesn't have aluminum body smartphone. In fact, I think Apple's the only one that sells aluminum body smartphones at this time.

Nokia has aluminum body´s like the N8 or the E7 wich already came out 2010!

RE: Lets not forget
By ikeke1 on 9/19/12, Rating: -1
RE: Lets not forget
By michael2k on 9/19/2012 7:42:20 PM , Rating: 2
You do know the first 2007 iPhone was aluminum?

RE: Lets not forget
By ikeke1 on 9/20/2012 1:58:40 AM , Rating: 2
Yes, but ofcourse no-one did that before.

Metal casing on premium phone?


RE: Lets not forget
By michael2k on 9/20/2012 4:58:37 AM , Rating: 2
No, I didn't know that existed. So are you claiming that Apple's aluminum shelled iPhone is copying Nokia's stainless steel clad slider?

RE: Lets not forget
By ikeke1 on 9/20/2012 8:18:33 AM , Rating: 2
Copying - No. Taking design clues from - yes.

But it's Apple who claims they invented the shape of phone.

RE: Lets not forget
By michael2k on 9/20/2012 4:33:15 PM , Rating: 2
Considering that the stainless steel slider looks nothing like an iPhone, what design cues are you talking about? There's no all black face, though there is a small half-black face. There's the bright steel trim, at least, but then there's that huge metal chin below the screen. The 8800 doesn't feature equidistant bezels top-bottom, and then there's the point that the 8800 has a keyboard.

The only "design cue" I can take away from this discussion is the colors black and silver, when, as you say, Apple's claim to inventing the shape is in fact correct. The closest Nokia device to the iPhone was the N800 announced contemporaneously in Jan of 2007 at CES, except it was silver with black trim, featured a d-pad and buttons, speaker grilles on the face, and no glass surface.

RE: Lets not forget
By Varun on 9/19/2012 12:37:39 AM , Rating: 5
Let's not forget that only a year ago, the weight of the iPhone 4S was a Plus - because the heft was claimed to add a feeling of quality.

But now a year later, the new phone is 20% lighter, feels like a hollow tube, and that is now better for everyone.

I'm not saying lighter isn't better. Just funny how we were told last year that heavier was better.

RE: Lets not forget
By xsilver on 9/19/2012 1:18:57 PM , Rating: 2
heavier is better..... for the iphone 6 that is.... until the iphone 7 of course....

RE: Lets not forget
By Varun on 9/19/2012 12:53:22 AM , Rating: 2
"We'll let you draw conclusions about personality based on color preference..."

Yup. Except what happens if I don't like black or white? It's odd you can get the nano in eight colors, but the iPhone is just two. At least two is double what there was before.

RE: Lets not forget
By Rukkian on 9/19/2012 9:35:54 AM , Rating: 4
That is so they can sell everybody a white or black one, then in 12 months the 5S comes out with more colors and IOS7 and everybody will line up and buy the same thing yet again.

RE: Lets not forget
By woody1 on 9/19/2012 10:34:40 AM , Rating: 4
My Android-based Galaxy S3 has a plastic back. That doesn't make a lot of difference to me, since I only see the back about once a month, or, so, because I keep my phone in a rubber case, as do many iPhone users. If you keep your phone in a protective case, the composition of the back of the phone doesn't make much difference.

And if you have an iPhone, you really need some protection. I've seen many people pull out an iPhone with a sadly cracked screen. The Samsung phones have a very tough Gorilla glass screen which is very difficult to break or scratch.

Otherwise, I love the large crisp screen on my Samsung phone. I can watch tv shows and movies without squinting on the 4.8 inch screen. Screen size is a personal choice, but I would not be happy to go back to a smaller screen after enjoying this larger phone.

The really important thing about having an Android phone is being able to customize and use the phone the way I want to. Android phones have a real linux file system that I can use the way I want. iOS has the file system locked and hidden from the user; each application lives in its own private sandbox, so content loaded in one application can't by accessed by any other one.

With Android, I can freely load music, video, etc. on the phone without having to use the tiresome and tedious exploits required to load and use content on an iOS device. For instance, Apple arbitrarily decides which content you can play on their device. If they don't support .avi files, you'll have to go through a lot of aggravation to get them to work.

I have a replaceable battery and an external SD card. Things I don't like, I can probably change. With iOS, I'm constantly bumping up against arbitrary limitations in what I can do. Android lets me do most anything I want.

RE: Lets not forget
By Vinny141 on 9/19/2012 10:56:55 AM , Rating: 2
I hope everyone one day reads this =)

So, the next time you reach for the mouse and get ready to launch an angry litany of reasons why your favorite – thing – is better than the other person’s, hesitate. Realize you have your irrational reasons, and so do they, and nothing will be gained by your proselytizing.

"You can bet that Sony built a long-term business plan about being successful in Japan and that business plan is crumbling." -- Peter Moore, 24 hours before his Microsoft resignation

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