iPhone 5 hands-on: First Looks & Gallery

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.




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  • iLoveLiveUnique

    It was a good review until you said unrivaled. C’mon now. As far as performance & function it’s definitely rivaled. You can argue about the build quality though. I think Motorola & HTC could rival build wise. But Samsung definitely rivals functionality wise.

  • EuroYellaDude

    Looks great!!!

  • GSTurn

     @iLoveLiveUnique  It is clear you have no clue what you are talking about.  Samsung definitely has more complexity but that is not equal to performance and function.  The iPhone OS handles many of the tasks that the user must figure out and perform on an Android.  The beauty of the iPhone is in its simplicity not in its complexity.  It does everything smoothly and simply and manages complexities for you.  All you have to do is use the phone, everything else is handled for you. Use the iPhone for a year and you will never go back.  

  • AnorXicLigament

    @TiP_Cam So are you going to get a case & screen protector for your iPhone or do you prefer using yours with no additions as Jobs intended?

  • Guest911

     @iLoveLiveUnique complex = poorly written OS. Exactly what engineers are taught NOT to do.

  • TheOneandOnlyAnonymouse

     @GSTurn  @iLoveLiveUnique I couldn’t stand using iOS for a week, let alone a year. I actually tried the iphone, the ipod, the ipad, and the mbp. Multiple models, mind you. …. I would rather use a blackberry from 2004 than use ANY iOS product for a year. Now, of course, this is all preference. If simplicity makes you happy, then go for it. …but shouldn’t that bother you? That the biggest selling point you can think of is how basic it is? My three year can handle android (on tablets and phones) with ease. He can install apps, change folder names, customize the settings, change backgrounds, and more. This is a THREE YEAR OLD we are talking about. How hard can something really be if a three year old can do it? So, if you are saying that android is too complex for you…remember…you are saying that its too complex for you when it is not for a three year old. Just let that sink in…you have trouble with something a three year old has no trouble with. Thats like you saying that legos are too complex and so you will stick with megablocks. Complexity adds functionality. Android handles complexity very well. It doesnt have to cut out things just because it cant handle it or because its afraid its consumers are too stupid to handle it. Once again…how hard can it be if a three year old can do it. I am talking about multiple builds, skins, and versions of android. Tablet and phones. 

  • TheOneandOnlyAnonymouse

     @iLoveLiveUnique complex does not equal poorly written. In fact, complex typically means well written and coded because you are able to make something with complexity and have it function as intended. If you have to cut out very basic parts of your programming until you “get it right” and that part of programming is something everyone else “got right” years ago (*ahem* panorama…..*ahem* notifications)….maybe you should take a step back at the skills of the people doing the job. 

  • UR_Father

    if u dont like iphone than why the FUCK u r commenting on this iphone blog…  Go to ur Samsung asswhole and lick dat…. :p

  • ajsmith587

     @GSTurn  Where did you read that it was TOO complex for anyone to handle? He is comparing the two OS’s where Android is much more complex. Never said it was too complex to figure out, just more complex than iOS (which is dead on). The Android OS seems very immature and amateurish to me. There doesn’t seem to be a rhyme or reason for anything. It’s just all over the place. It’s the Linux/MySpace of mobile OS’s IMO. Sure, is full-blown customization is what you’re after, go for it. I just want a phone that works and does the necessities. I don’t need all these bells and whistle’s that I have to go crack/hack and install myself and program and run all for certain little visual additions. I hear people talking about their Android OS and giving programming instructions to get this feature or that feature.
    So, once again, no one ever said it was too complex, it’s just MORE complex in comparison to iOS, so calm down. I’m sure your three year old is just as bright as you say.

  • ajsmith587

    These “Hate Everything Apple” cult members LOVE browsing iPhone blogs and putting their meaningless two cents in where it’s not needed. If they even understood the philosophy behind why Apple does ANYTHING they do, they’d have nothing to say. Their comments are all out of pure ignorance towards how the company runs.
    You’d think after dozens of keynote presentations (yeah, they definitely watch those too), they’d understand. Apparently not. Their blinders are even more narrow than the ones they say we “iSheep” have on.