First round of iPhone 5 reviews hit the Web

First round of iPhone 5 reviews hit the Web

Summary: The embargo has lifted and the first round of iPhone 5 reviews are out. Here's what the critics have to say.

TOPICS: Apple, iPhone, Reviews


First round of iPhone 5 reviews hit the Web - Jason O'Grady


CNET - Finally, the iPhone we've always wanted

The iPhone 5 completely rebuilds the iPhone on a framework of new features and design, addressing its major previous shortcomings. It's absolutely the best iPhone to date, and it easily secures its place in the top tier of the smartphone universe.

Wall Street Journal - The iPhone Takes to the Big Screen

Apple has taken an already great product and made it better, overall. Consumers who prefer huge screens or certain marginal features have plenty of other choices, but the iPhone 5 is an excellent choice.

Engadget - Thinner. Lighter. Faster. Simpler. 

For the iOS faithful this is a no-brainer upgrade. This is without a doubt the best iPhone yet. This is a hallmark of design. This is the one you've been waiting for.

TechCrunch - Apple Has Chiseled The Smartphone To Near Perfection

Overall, the iPhone 5 is an absolute homerun. Apple has taken what I consider to be the best smartphone and perfected it in nearly every way.

USA Today - In front of the smartphone pack

The iPhone 5 is a winner that should keep Apple at the front of the smartphone pack. But choosing iPhone 5 vs. a top-of-the line Android alternative isn't a cut-and-dried decision, especially if you're partial to a jumbo display, such as the one on the big, bold and beautiful Samsung Galaxy S III, an Android rival for which I've had high praise.

The New York Times - Scores Well, With a Quibble

If you have an iPhone 4S, getting an iPhone 5 would mean breaking your two-year carrier contract and paying a painful penalty; maybe not worth it for the 5’s collection of nips and tucks. But if you’ve had the discipline to sit out a couple of iPhone generations — wow, are you in for a treat.

The Loop - I can’t think of any good reason why anyone wouldn’t upgrade or purchase the iPhone 5

The iPhone is everything Apple said it would be and with iOS 6 built-in, it’s clear to me that Apple has another winner on its hands. I can’t think of any good reason why anyone wouldn’t upgrade or purchase the iPhone 5.

The Telegraph - A marvellous piece of design

The iPhone 5 is a great smartphone made even better. It's fast, lightweight and backed by the largest application store for any device. It's also probably the most beautiful smartphone anyone has ever made.

CBC News - Not terribly innovative, but still a smart package 

The iPhone 5 may not be terribly innovative, but it does deliver that package better than any previous Apple product, and better than just about any other smartphone.

T3 - Thinner, lighter and faster

There’s no denying that the iPhone 5 is a lovely thing, and the best iPhone to date. It could well be Apple’s best-selling unit ever. But a lot has changed in a year, and the current crop of Android superphones – and the incoming Windows Phone 8 handsets – have closed the gap. For nearly every “new” feature announced at the Keynote, there was a Samsung, Android, Windows, Nokia, Sony or HTC fan saying “my phone already does that.”

Pocket-Lint - The best iPhone yet?

While the hardware and design here is cutting edge, the software plays it safer than we would like. For those of you that have already left the Apple eco-system for Samsung or HTC, for example, the iPhone 5 isn't likely to draw you back. You might marvel at the build and design, but Apple with the iPhone 5 has created a smartphone that is too safe for you: you'll feel too mollycoddled.

TIME - It’s All About Refinement

The iPhone 5 features some upgrades which, though not groundbreaking in the least, are welcome, like its slightly-larger screen and zippy 4G LTE broadband. It sports an improved version of what was already the single best camera in phonedom. It makes Siri smarter. In short, it’s the most polished version yet of what was already easily the most polished phone on the market.

Slashgear - It has a lot to live up to

Competition between mobile platforms keeps the industry moving and innovating. That can often present itself as a surfeit of innovation: feature upon feature, piled high in an all-singing, all-dancing device. Right now, the iPhone 5 has the best balance of everyday usability and performance, without the distraction of functionality that is clever but unintuitive. It's an area in which Apple excels, and it's the reason the iPhone 5 is one of the best smartphones on the market today.

Bloomberg - Bigger, Thinner, Faster

Arriving in Apple stores Sept. 21, the new model lacks any single gee-whiz breakthrough, like the Siri voice assistant introduced with the iPhone 4S. But the new version brings it up- to-date in a host of areas, particularly speed, without sacrificing the things that made it special in the first place.

The iPhone 5 goes on sale Friday at 8 a.m. local time, and iOS 6 is being released tomorrow.

Topics: Apple, iPhone, Reviews

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  • I'm so torn!

    I am a long-time Android fan and I gotta say, I am really thinking about the iPhone 5. I'm up for upgrade in November and unless the next rumored version of Google Nexus is a Home Run, or the Lumia 920 gets some amazing reviews, iPhone 5 it is.
    • Watch the Reviews

      There are a number of changes in iOS6 that have me concerned.
      I am with you on the next Nexus - hopefully not via Verizon.
    • It really is a question of what you want.

      I have a friend that is considering the iPhone 5 because of the A6 chip. Now, this is a guy that live to BIT torrent and has never bought a pre-built PC. He assembled his NAS and lives to tinker. He would be much happier with Android and I have told him a few times. I really do not think the iOS eco-system is a good fit for him.

      Me, on the other had, I enjoy the integrated systems solution that Apple offers. I want someone else to make well thought out and good design decisions. I do not believe in a "no-compromise design". Design, by its very nature, is about compromises and I think any company that says they made "no-compromises" is pandering to the dim-witted. At the end of the day, I just want to use my phone and have a reliable platform.

      I use both Android and iOS is what I use for my personal use and phone. Both are good in their own way. iOS is far more utilitarian/stable and suited to a far larger number of people. Android is more flexible/configurable and better suited for people that really like to tinker.
      • Your friend...

        ...sounds like he may be interested in jailbreaking the phone to see what he can get that A6 chip to do - I'll admit, I hadn't really looked at the specs too closely before, but after seeing those review snippets above, I checked out the specs compared to the A5 and it looks stunning.
        • Yes, jailbroken iPhone 5 could do all the torrenting you might want

          It is actually even more free than Android phones (you have to root Android phone for it to become as free as jailbroken iPhone)
          • Re: It is actually even more free than Android phones...

            Yeah, because a jailbroken Iphone can be captured and locked up again with the next update from Apple. So you have the added freedom of being always on the run after your jailbreak. Android can only dream of offering freedom like this: once an Android device is rooted, it stays rooted, and you are no longer free to go back to jail again.
    • torn

      try the SIII
  • I Read All at his but.....

    Yes I am getting via work.
    My concern and why it will not be my main phone is the software and software changes.
    Example - Apple Maps - I'm a doubter on this

    Once I get my work phone, I'll do a better comparison.
    Till then, I'll stick with my GNexus.
    • Possibilty

      I agree that the new maps app will be less refined in its initial iteration. But my guess is that if Google wants you to use their maps, they'll come out with an app. It would be logical for them to do so.
      Christopher Tilley
  • You can always rent it to check it out first before you buy

    Remember this holiday season you have the choice between Iphone, Galaxy S3, adn a host of WP 8 devices most notably the gorgeous Nokia Lumia 920. So choose well or better rent from gizmotakeout, or rent a cell or some similar place before deciding.
  • Take a deep breath...

    If you didn't pre-order, just see how things pan out first. Believe me, you can always buy an iPhone-5 later.
  • Playing catch-up

    Crapple is so far behind that they might not be able to turn it around when jump ship.

    They did not introduce anything new.

    4 inch screen-Android and Windows phone consider a 4 inch screen an "entry level phone"

    LTE-Android and Windows phones have had this for over a year now.

    Ios6-just a new number that has changed

    if you want something that is more up to date, the lumia 920 is it. Wireless charging, NFC, higher pixel density and larger screen, modern operating system, and a better camera and more, wow!

    That will be my next phone. Not a phone that has the same old boring operating system.
    • And you get so much more phone

      I mean it's more than 50% heavier and just shy of half a centimetre thicker, not sure how much wider. So, at least you know it's in your pocket; assuming you can get it in there in the first place.
      A Grain of Salt
    • Hmmmm...

      LTE? The 4G rollout has been slow enough that Apple didn't need to stick it in their phones until now.
      iOS6? You could say the same going from Android version to version - a lot of small changes that make the faithful sit up and take notice, but outside of fandom, mainly "who cares?".
      Wireless charging? Slower, has to sit on the pad, making it more difficult to use while charging.
      NFC? Nowhere near mainstream enough yet. Tech geeks love it, but to many others it is merely "meh".
      Higher pixel density? I'll give you that one, noticably they didn't trumpet ppi too much at the Apple Keynote.
      Larger screen? Matter of personal preference - I actually don't like the screen size on the SII and SIII - stunning displays, don't get me wrong, but they just feel stupidly big for the sake of it.
      Modern OS? Day one latest OS from Apple. It IS a modern OS, albeit with some UI paradigms that have survived since 2007. I think iOS 7 will need to shake up the overall UI.
      Better camera? Again, it depends - the 4S had a brilliant camera, I think the Nokia sounds like it will at least match the 5, if not surpass it - looking forward to seeing this one play out!
    • Modern? not even close

      The underpinnings of WP7 are a decade old, with a twice failed UI (Kin and Zune UI shoveled on top). WP 8's underpinnings are even older. You know the desktop edition of WP 8 has flaws found in Windows 2K?
      Troll Hunter J
  • $30 for $5 adapter?

    Longtime iPhone user but just cancelled my pre-order for 4 iPhone 5 models. Refuse to pay ridiculous $29.95 for the 30 pin to lightning adapter which probably doesn't cost $5 to manufacture. Would have to shell out $240 in adapters just to be able to continue to use my current accessories. Love Apple phones and pads (have them all, multiples of most) but this time the greed is too much to take. Time to look elsewhere, maybe Win Phone 8.
    • There's more to it then just connecting pins...

      Considering the Lightning port is all *digital*, the adaptor needs to include a D/A audio converter to provide analog audio output which older accessories may require. Even the *cheapest* D/A converters are about $20 from absolute no-name brands online, and are far larger and uglier then what's required in Apple's little adaptor. So pick whatever reason you want, but there is more then greed involved in that price. (Although I would liked to have seen one included :) )

      I certainly don't blame them for changing the port after 9 years though, it was long overdue IMO. Larger then necessary, flimsy connecters, uni-directional, etc... Happy to say goodbye even if I need to throw an extra $60 at things to get by in the interim.
      • By now everyone should realize that digital technology means...

        rapid product innovation–and the need to replace often expensive products if one desires the latest tech.

        I've got a large cardboard box full of adapters, cords, and devices that seem valuable, considering my investment, but are merely obsolete.

        So, I throw or give away the old digital toys to make room for the new digital toys. I don't particularly like this form of "waste," but that's the deal.
    • cost of phones and accories

      It just like apple wants to charge you $700 for an iphone if you're not eligible for an upgrade even though it only costs $200 to make wtf?
      • And you have proof of this?

        I'd love to seethe links. The iPhone 4 has a better camera than the Lumia 920. Carl Zeiss license is just a name, rather than a certification. Nokia uses the cheapest sensor available, and doesn't even use hardened glass to cover the lens. Apple uses a more expensive sensor, and uses a Sapphire crystal to protect against scratches. Nokia relies on contact cement to hold th phone together, as opposed to Apple using screws.
        Troll Hunter J