The first reviews for the iPhone 5 has gone live.
On our standard battery rundown test, in which we loop a video with LTE and WiFi enabled and social accounts pinging at regular intervals, the iPhone 5 managed a hugely impressive 11 hours and 15 minutes. That’s just 10 minutes shy of the Motorola Droid RAZR Maxx.
The camera is among the best ever put into a phone. Its lowlight shots blow away the same efforts from an iPhone 4S. Its shot-to-shot times have been improved by 40 percent. And you can take stills even while recording video (1080p hi-def, of course).
People have always had lofty expectations for the iPhone 5, especially as the competition stiffens. In delivering a fast, attractive, LTE-capable and larger-screen handset, Apple has met those expectations with a gem.
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. You have to see it to get an idea of what can be done.
Secondly, the screen size lengthening is subtle, but, like the Retina Display, you’re going to have a hard time going back once you’ve used it. The extra space adds a lot to document viewing areas above the keyboard, landscape-oriented video playback (larger size and less letterboxing), and home-page organizing (an extra row of icons/folders).
In fact, I’ll go a step farther: I really do believe this is the best iPhone upgrade that Apple has done yet (besting the iPhone-to-iPhone 3G jump and the iPhone 3GS-to-iPhone 4 jump). As such, it’s the best version of the iPhone yet. If you have an Android phone and have been waiting for a big iPhone update to explore or re-explore the device, now is the time.
The bottom line, in case it isn’t clear already: The iPhone 5 is one terrific smartphone. Ignore the naysayers — even without any awesome technological breakthroughs, it’s a sizable improvement on the iPhone 4S. For many upgrades, LTE alone will be worth the price of admission.
One of Apple’s underappreciated abilities is its sense of timing. It often isn’t first with new technologies, waiting until it can bring something special and Apple-like to the table.With the iPhone 5, the most obvious something-special is how fast it is and how long it runs at those speeds.
What Apple has created with the iPhone 5 is an extremely polished smartphone that oozes appeal. It’s incredibly well built, easy to use, features a beautiful screen, and comes packed with enough speed and power to service all your requirements. The hardware is just stunning. It really is impressive how much is crammed into such a tiny box.
Does the iPhone 5 feel better in the hand than the iPhone 4S? Is it faster, and smoother running; does it have a more capable camera; can it access data more rapidly while on the move? Does the combination of iPhone hardware and iOS software feel the most holistic and balanced of any Apple smartphone to-date? The answer to all those questions is yes. Apple has addressed the bigger-screen debate with a solution that doesn’t undermine key usability promises, delivered LTE without destroying battery life, and wrapped it up in a design that’s both comfortably familiar and crisply revitalized.
What is perhaps more suprising is just how much snappier this feels than the iPhone 4S. The A6 chip clearly has significantly more grunt under its smaller hood – but what is surprising is that you can immediately tell when you use the device alongside its predecessor.
It feels great, looks great, has the best display I’ve seen at any size, runs noticeably faster, networks noticeably faster, is way thinner and lighter than any of its predecessors, takes better photos, and, in my six days of testing, gets totally decent iPhone-4S-level battery life.
But you don’t even have to turn it on to see how nice it is. Just hold it.