First iPhone 5 Reviews: Thinner, Lighter, LTE "Stunningly Fast"

The embargo has just lifted on the first iPhone 5 reviews. Apple has provided some publications with an early review unit of the iPhone 5. We are collecting some of the more interesting points from each review, but you can click each title to read the full writeup. The iPhone 5 will officially launch on September 21st and will be available in retail stores beginning at 8am.

04 archimedes 35438535 610x436
CNet Review

- "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."
- "LTE, in my tests, ran anywhere from 10 to 20 [Mbps], which is up to twice as fast as my wireless router's connection at home."
- "Still pictures taken while recording video aren't shot using the normal 8-megapixel Web cam; they're screen captures of the video itself. The aspect ratio is different, and the image quality's a bit weaker."
- "callers I reached via speakerphone noticed a crisper, clearer call on the iPhone 5 versus the iPhone 4S."
- "The phone's lasted roughly the whole day each day, unplugging around 8 a.m. and engaging in a mix of calling, web surfing, video playback, downloading, game playing, FaceTime calling over Wi-Fi and LTE, and even a little 4G LTE hot spot use via my MacBook Air."

The Loop Review by Jim Dalrymple

- "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."

The New York Times Review by David Pogue

- "The new phone, in all black or white, is beautiful. Especially the black one, whose gleaming, black-on-black, glass-and-aluminum body carries the design cues of a Stealth bomber."
- "The camera is among the best ever put into a phone. Its lowlight shots blow away the same efforts from an iPhone 4S."
- "It’s just too bad about that connector change. Doesn’t Apple worry about losing customer loyalty and sales?"

archimedes 35438535 44 610x436iPhone 4S vs 5 photo via CNet

Engadget Review by Tim Stevens

- " At 112 grams it's 20 percent lighter than the 4S, a figure that doesn't seem like it would make much of an impact. It does -- so much so that it's the lightness, not the bigger display or the thinness, that nearly everybody praises when first getting a chance to hold the iPhone 5 in their own hands."
- "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."
- "More problematic is the speed of this new connector. " -- Based on USB 2.0, so no faster than existing connector/cable.
- Taking photo speed is much improved.
- "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."
- "In general, iOS 6 has seen some nice nips and tucks where it needed it. iCloud integration is tighter, Safari is better and the overall experience is more polished. But, it isn't a major step forward in any regard. "

Wall Street Journal Review by Walt Mossberg

- "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."
- "The iPhone 5′s battery lasted between 9 and 12 hours every day, in mixed use. For most people, the phone would last the day without recharging."
- "The biggest drawback I found is the new Maps app. Apple has replaced Google Maps with a new maps app of its own. "

T3 Review by Luke Peters

- "Don’t get us wrong, it’s a miracle how Apple has shed so much excess podge and millions of people will love the lightweight design, but we preferred the more robust, weapon-like nature of the 4S."
- "Given that iPhone 4S users can upgrade to iOS 6 and do just about everything the iPhone 5 can do, and that Android users can get similarly impressive handsets for less dosh, we reckon the smart money won’t all be going on a new iPhone this year, even if the mass market can’t get enough of it. It’s good, very good. But it’s no longer the best around."

Pocket Lint Review by Stuart Miles

- "It is now chamfered and while that looks pretty, we've already noticed that on the black model the edge has started to wear, revealing the shiny silver aluminium metal underneath the "slate" coloured coating and, indeed, we've witnessed it on two separate models, ruling out a fluke manufacturing error."

TechCrunch Review by MG Siegler

- "One nice side effect of the letterboxing is that the iOS system elements can still use the larger screen. So, for example, when Push Notifications come in, they flip down from the top of the screen and settle perfectly above the 3.5-inch app (as opposed to on top of it)."

Others

- USA Today Review by Edward Baig
- Daring Fireball Review by John Gruber
- CBC Review by Peter Nowak

Overall, the reviews are very positive. Regular iPhone users seem to enjoy the added space. Everyone seems to comment on the lightness and thinness of the device. Apple's 2x speed claims and battery claims seem accurate. The new Lightning connector seems to be physically nice, though there is disappointment there is no speed improvement in syncing as compared to the old sync cable/connectors.

Top Rated Comments

slffl Avatar
112 months ago
"It’s just too bad about that connector change. Doesn’t Apple worry about losing customer loyalty and sales?"

Wow what a stupid comment. Apple has changed their connector less than any other manufacturer yet they get this kind of grief over it. Pathetic.
Score: 54 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Small White Car Avatar
112 months ago
And now we switch from the typical "the specs look lame" coverage that always follows announcements to the "I didn't think feature x would matter until I used it and now I can't go back " coverage of the following week.

Such is the life of a new Apple product in the media.
Score: 35 Votes (Like | Disagree)
CosmoPilot Avatar
112 months ago
-CNET:
"The bad: Sprint and Verizon models can't use voice and data simultaneously. The smaller connector renders current accessories unusable without an adapter. There's no NFC, and the screen size pales in comparison to jumbo Android models."

Sprint & Verizon...really? So other handsets can do this?
Smaller connector/accessories...really? Apple had to change it sometime. Also, do all iPhone 5 owners poses tons of accessories...how about first time buyers.
No NFC. Absolutely, Apple & I are not convinced this is the way to go.
Screen pales in comparison to "JUMBO ANDROID MODELS" **THIS IS A POSITIVE--IT'S A PHONE NOT A TV**
Score: 23 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Caliber26 Avatar
112 months ago
I think I'm gonna go swallow a fistful of sleeping pills and set my alarm for Friday morning.

PS: I'm liking the black iPhone box a lot more.
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
nostaws Avatar
112 months ago
"The camera is among the best ever put into a phone. Its lowlight shots blow away the same efforts from an iPhone 4S."

Don't tell me this!

This alone might be enough for me to upgrade (I use my phone as a camera A LOT).
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)
chembox Avatar
112 months ago
iPhone 5 reviews as of 9:00PM ET:

Walt Mossberg's review: http://allthingsd.com/20120918/the-iphone-takes-to-the-big-screen/
CNET's review: http://www.cnet.com/iphone-5/
Pocket-lint's review: http://www.pocket-lint.com/review/5989/apple-iphone-5-phone-review
Michael Steeber's (Cult of Mac) review: http://michaelsteeber.com/post/31277157792/the-definitive-iphone-5-review
Engadget's review: http://www.engadget.com/2012/09/18/apple-iphone-5-review/
The Loop's review: http://www.loopinsight.com/2012/09/18/review-iphone-5/
David Pogue's review: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/19/technology/personaltech/apples-iphone-5-scores-well-with-a-quibble-review.html?_r=1&partner=rss&emc=rss
Telegraph UK's review: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/apple/9551873/iPhone-5-review.html
Slashgear's review: http://www.slashgear.com/iphone-5-review-18247708/
Techcrunch's review: http://techcrunch.com/2012/09/18/iphone-5-review/ (no photos)
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

siir apple event april 20

Siri Reveals Apple Event Planned for Tuesday, April 20

Tuesday April 13, 2021 12:04 am PDT by
Siri has apparently prematurely revealed that Apple plans to hold an event on Tuesday, April 20, where the company is expected to reveal brand new iPad Pro models and possibly its long-awaited AirTags trackers. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Upon being asked "When is the next Apple Event," Siri is currently responding with, "The special event is on Tuesday, April...
apple event spring loaded

Apple's 'Spring Loaded' Event Officially Announced for Tuesday, April 20

Tuesday April 13, 2021 9:04 am PDT by
Following an overnight leak by Siri, Apple today officially announced that it will be holding a special "Spring Loaded" event on Tuesday, April 20 at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time at the Steve Jobs Theater on the Apple Park campus in Cupertino, California. As with all of Apple's 2020 events, the April 2021 event will be a digital-only gathering with no members of the media invited to attend in...
Google maps feaure green

Google Maps App for iOS Finally Updated After Four Months

Monday April 12, 2021 10:03 am PDT by
Following the completed rollout of App Privacy labels for its App Store apps, Google today updated the Google Maps app for the first time in four months. Apple in December began requiring all new app submissions and app updates to include App Privacy labels, detailing the data that is collected by the app so consumers know what they're sharing. Google didn't begin implementing App Privacy ...
pixel watch prosser leak

Google Pixel Watch Allegedly Leaks with Circular Design, Rumored to Launch in October

Monday April 12, 2021 2:49 am PDT by
Renders of Google's first smartwatch, codenamed "Rohan," have been shared by Jon Prosser, showing that Google plans to adopt a circular design for its flagship wearable watch. Prosser shared the renders in an episode of his YouTube show "Front Page Tech," in which he claims they were made based on marketing material he had seen from a source within Google. The renders show that the Pixel...
apple event hashflag

Twitter Hashflag for April 20 Apple Event Goes Live

Tuesday April 13, 2021 2:21 pm PDT by
Following the overnight Siri leak and subsequent announcement that Apple will hold a media event on Tuesday, April 20, a new Twitter hashflag has appeared to help provide visibility for the event on the platform. For the last several recent events, Apple has utilized hashflags, which are little icons next to hashtags on Twitter, as a way to market its events. The company first started the...
macos catalina serial number

Apple Preparing Rollout of New Randomized Product Serial Numbers Ahead of 'Spring Loaded' Event

Wednesday April 14, 2021 2:08 am PDT by
Apple is advising its authorized premium resellers and dealers to prepare for new products with 10 and 12 digital serial numbers, days ahead of when it's expected to reveal a slew of new products. MacRumors previously reported that Apple plans to switch to randomized serial numbers for future products starting in early 2021. The company now seems to be preparing for that roll-out, telling...
iphone12cameras

Kuo: 2022 iPhones to Feature 48-Megapixel Camera, 8K Video, and 6.1 and 6.7" Sizes With No 5.4" Mini Option

Tuesday April 13, 2021 10:45 pm PDT by
The upcoming 2022 iPhone lineup will feature two 6.1-inch devices and two 6.7-inch devices, with no mini-sized 5.4-inch iPhone, well-respected Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said in a note to investors that was seen by MacRumors. Two of the iPhones will be high-end models and two of the iPhones will be lower-end models, similar to the current iPhone 12 lineup. Apple introduced the 5.4-inch...
AppleTV and HomePod Feature

Bloomberg: Apple Working on New Apple TV With Integrated HomePod Speaker and FaceTime Camera

Monday April 12, 2021 3:32 am PDT by
Apple is working on a combined Apple TV with HomePod speaker that has a camera for video calls through a connected television set, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. From the report: The company is working on a product that would combine an Apple TV set-top box with a HomePod speaker and include a camera for video conferencing through a connected TV and other smart-home functions,...
epic iap feature 3

Tim Cook Says App Store Would Become a 'Flea Market' if Third-Party Payment Systems Were Allowed

Monday April 12, 2021 9:41 am PDT by
In a recent interview with the Toronto Star, Apple CEO Tim Cook spoke about a wide variety of topics, ranging from App Tracking Transparency to Apple's ongoing legal battle over App Store policies with Fortnite creator Epic Games. Notably, Cook said that Epic Games' desire for Apple to let developers offer their own payment systems in apps "would make the App Store a flea market":At the...
tim cook toronto star

Tim Cook Says Apple is 'Not Against Digital Advertising' Ahead of iOS 14.5 Launch With App Tracking Transparency

Monday April 12, 2021 8:00 am PDT by
Starting with iOS 14.5, iPadOS 14.5, and tvOS 14.5, Apple will be requiring apps to receive a user's permission to track their activity for targeted advertising purposes, as part of a privacy measure known as App Tracking Transparency. Ahead of App Tracking Transparency being enforced, Apple CEO Tim Cook has participated in a privacy-focused interview with the Toronto Star, telling the...