So it’s finally here! After an entire week of waiting since pre-ordering, my iPhone 5 arrived today (a few hours earlier than expected). I don’t think I’ve ever been as excited about a new phone. If you’ve been following this blog for the past couple of years, you’ll know how much I disliked the form factor and design of the 4S. The shiny back meant that it always slipped off my sofa, table, mantle etc. That plus the slightly protruding metal chassis and right-angled corners and weight made it the most uncomfortable iPhone to hold. Ever. I’ve missed my 3GS ever since I sold it to buy the 4.
The iPhone 5 is massively different. Don’t let the similar look and shape deceive you. All the parts that needed addressing have been. The back is now a softer touch aluminum, which means it won’t slide off objects as easily. The edges are no longer protruding, and a delicately chamfered to ensure that gripping it is comfortable. Combine those improvements with the much lighter weight and thinner body, and you have a much more pleasant experience. This is the phone I’ve been waiting for since I gave up my 3GS in 2010.
The iPhone 5 feels incredibly light. When you look at the materials used, you think it’s going to be a solid, heavy device. But it’s the complete opposite. Somehow, despite looking and feeling as sturdy as any phone could possibly be, it’s also impossibly light in hand. It’s almost confusing, but in a good way. The new bottom layout of individually machined holes and the Lightning port make is seem much more professional than the old-school gaping mouth 30-pin setup and mesh grilles.
It’s no secret that the iPhone’s display – up until now – has been too small in comparison to its competitors. 3.5″ was becoming something of a joke. HTC One X and Galaxy SIII both have massive and impressive displays. In fact, if the One X was slightly smaller, it would have replaced my iPhone 4S in a heartbeat. The size made it ever so slightly out of my comfort zone (one handed). Although I’d still like a slightly larger display, Apple’s done well to increase the display to 4-inches and somehow making the phone feel smaller. The 1136 x 640 display has exactly the same pixel density as pre-existing iPhone Retina displays, meaning we’re still getting the same quality experience but with more real estate.
I don’t want to turn this in to a full review. I need a few more days to gather all my thoughts and give this phone a proper good go. But, first impressions: I’m very impressed. Build quality, performance and pleasure to use is unrivaled by any phone I’ve used to date. It’s friggin great! Check out the gallery below. Unboxing video on the way soon.