Over a week with the iPhone 5 and I'm convinced it's a keeper

Summary:We have now all had our new Apple iPhone 5 devices for over a week and I have to say I am extremely happy with mine and look forward daily to discovery of new apps and functions.

I have been using my new Apple iPhone 5 for over a week now and still think the $820 was well worth it as I continue to discover new functions and reasons I find it to be one of the best phones available. There have been many excellent full reviews of the iPhone 5 posted around the Internet (links to my favorites below) so I thought I would focus on writing some of my summary thoughts on actually using the device heavily for a week along with an image gallery of 10 unique functions and features I find useful.

Check out my screenshot image gallery of my top 10 favorite functions and features on my Apple iPhone 5.

Hardware

Apple is pretty excited about the hardware of the new iPhone and I enjoyed the video from Jony Ive showing the attention to detail that went into its design. Even though the iPhone 5 has a longer display than the 4S, the device feels more like an iPhone nano than the next generation iPhone. It is very refreshing to have such a compact, high powered smartphone that fits even in a front shirt pocket. I have come to really like the small size of the iPhone 5 and am not really missing the huge displays on my other smartphones.

I love the use of metal on the back and the narrow width makes it feel more like a phone in my pocket. It is blazing fast and so far seems to take great photos. I know there has been lots of angst over the new connector, but as a person who hasn't had an iPhone for several months I personally find the new connector to be an awesome innovation. The microUSB folks sure could have done better and made a reversible connector. I often try to insert microUSB cables in the wrong way. I do wish Apple had launched with some available cables or adapters though since I now have to always remember to take along my cable to keep my iPhone 5 charged up.

Software

There are a LOT of improvements in iOS 6, over 200 according to Apple, and these have led to me being able to easily replace an Android phone with the iPhone 5. I like the notifications, Siri enhancements, Facebook and Twitter integration, and even iOS 6 Maps. I have used Maps a couple of times to navigate around and know that people appreciate turn-by-turn navigation for free. Apple does need to work on the map data, but if you recall the Google Maps experience was never that great on iOS in the first place and 3rd party GPS navigation solutions were ALWAYS the better option. I am checking out a couple of other GPS navigation apps (review coming next week), but if you are in a well populated area you may find iOS 6 Maps to be acceptable.

I have tried using phones without a huge app selection and for the most part I have been able to do something like 90% of what I wanted. However, the apps on iOS are so numerous and functional that I truly can do more with my iPhone 5 than I can with other devices. I just sold my Verizon Galaxy Nexus because I already know the Apple iPhone 5 will be mine on Verizon for quite some time.

iPhone 5 thoughts

The Apple iPhone 5 is commonly referred to as a minor evolutionary update and even if that is the case, it is still easily the best iPhone ever (aren't all the new ones every year?). Apple sold something over 5 million in the first weekend and in-store stock continues to be limited. With the iPhone 5 in my hand, I now have less reason to use Android or Windows Phone and am quite content with the device.

Apple iPhone 5 reviews

  • iMore: Long and detailed review that covers it all!
  • GDGT with a composite score of 8.9 from 38 reviews and 8.6 from 61 user reviews
  • CNET
  • The Verge

Topics: Mobility, Apple, iPhone

About

Matthew Miller started using a mobile devices in 1997 and has been writing news, reviews, and opinion pieces ever since. He is a co-host with GigaOM's Kevin Tofel on the MobileTechRoundup podcast and an author of three Wiley Companion series books. Matthew started using mobile devices with a US Robotics Pilot 1000 and has owned over 200 d... Full Bio

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