Close

iPhone 5 reviewed: svelte, smarter, and snappier

iPhone 5 reviewed: svelte, smarter, and snappier

Will you be buying an iPhone 5? You've got a wee while yet to make up your mind; as announced yesterday, the iPhone 5 will be available in New Zealand from September 28 with pre-orders starting on the 21st.

iphone 5 memeThis CNet piece pits the iPhone against the other two giants of smartphones: the Nokia Lumia 920 and the Samsung Galaxy S3, and Mashable has done up a chart comparing them side by side. And a few overseas tech writers got to play with the iPhone 5 itself at the launch; we've rounded up some of the hands-on reviews below.

TechRadar praised the new native Maps app ("beautiful 3D renders and snazzy looking new vector graphics"), the Siri overhaul, the aluminium backplate and movie-friendly 4-inch retina resolution screen.

"Given the level of hype around the Apple iPhone 5, it's almost inevitable that phone itself ends up feeling a little underwhelming when it is launched, but Apple is a past master at ticking the boxes, and giving its growing legion of fans enough to justify an upgrade ... But, in truth, Apple will be well aware that it doesn't need to reinvent the wheel to succeed and, in this case, it has yet again provided a fine phone that will keep it battling at the top of the charts for another year."

The AP's Michael Liedtke had a scarce 15 minutes with the new model but writes that for many people, the iPhone 5 is going to be a case of love at first touch with its "lush" display, superior sound system, new OS and in particular Passbook, where digital coupons, airline tickets and gift cards can be stored in one location.

"Jobs would have been delighted with the iPhone 5's blend of beauty, utility and versatility. Add in the more advanced technology and new features that went into this iPhone, and it's clear Apple has come up with another product that will compel hordes of people to line up outside its stores before its release."

CNet editors also had a brief turn on the iPhone 5, but sniffed at the new connector cords that will render old cables and accessories obsolete without new adapters.

"The real killer app on this phone - no surprise - might be the iPhone's 4G LTE, as well as the promised battery life. If data speeds and battery life can live up to the promises, those alone will make many want to upgrade."

The New York Times seemed enamoured of the iPhone 5's battery life and the new camera, particularly the panorama capability.

"Apple seems to have put its focus on the important things you want in an app phone: size, shape, materials, sound quality, camera quality and speed (both operational and Internet data), and that’s good."

Wired probably sums up the general reaction of the public with this, though:

"There is nothing not to like about the phone. It’s aces. Just aces.

"And yet it is also so, so cruelly boring.

"Yes, it’s better than the iPhone 4S or the iPhone 4 or just about any other phone you can buy. It’s faster with a bigger screen and an LTE antenna so you can suck up data from your carrier like Michael Phelps at a table full of pizza. But mostly it is the Toyota Prius of phone updates. It is an amazing triumph of technology that gets better and better, year after year, and yet somehow is every bit as exciting as a 25 mph drive through a sensible neighborhood at a reasonable time of day. It’s not going to change your life. It’s not even going to offer a radically different experience.

"It’s a weird paradox. The iPhone 5 can simultaneously be the best phone on the market and really, really boring. And that has almost nothing to do with Apple and everything to do with our expectations."

And of course, the requisite memes were quick off the mark.

iphone 5 memeiphone 5 meme