Apple iPhone 5 Reviews Are In: "The Smartphone Nearly Perfected"
September 18, 2012 9:42 PM
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 "
" 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.
"Mac OS X is like living in a farmhouse in the country with no locks, and Windows is living in a house with bars on the windows in the bad part of town." -- Charlie Miller
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