iPhone 5

I’ve had my iPhone 5 for a few days now, but I’ve tried to refrain from posting over and over again about it. (I figure I did enough of that while waiting for it.) But I did want to share a few observations, in a single post, and I can’t hold back any longer.

In short, it’s awesome, though not necessarily revolutionary.

Yes, it’s got a taller screen. So far the only real difference that’s made for me is that it allows for an extra row of apps on the home screen. This is good — I almost never have to flip to the second screen now — but it’s taking a little time to get used to my new layout. Still, thumbs up.

The device is thinner and lighter, and I definitely feel the difference. I’ve actually found myself several times freaking out when I think I’ve lost my phone, but found it safely nestled away in my pocket, because I literally couldn’t feel it there. I can’t say how much of that is because I’m carrying it without a case, but the difference is very apparent either way.

Apps load much faster, actions (like transmitting a text message) are performed noticeably quicker, and the download speed on LTE appears to be much faster. Again, I haven’t clocked any of these to demonstratively prove that they’re faster and not just wishful thinking/excitement, but it sure does seem like an improvement.

The earpods are fine, but I’m not an audiophile and can’t really speak to any noticeable improvement in sound quality. I can confirm that they seem to fit very well in my ears. I never really found the old ones to be problematic, but these I don’t even really notice when they’re in my ears. I was listening to music on the subway and paused it to listen to an announcement, then completely forgot that I had them in and read stuff on my phone for several minutes without thinking to turn the music back on. I just didn’t feel them in my ears.

Bottom line: there are some great improvements on the hardware of the iPhone 5, but honestly, I think the biggest updates were primarily in the recent iOS 6 release, so if you’ve got an iPhone 4S and are debating paying retail price for an upgrade to an iPhone 5, I’d say consider carefully. It’s great, and shiny, and new, and if you’re an Apple fanatic and simply must have the newest iAnything, then you’ll probably be delighted with your purchase. (Particularly if you can get a good price selling your old iPhone, like I was fortunate enough to do.)

If you’re on the fence, and can bear the idea of waiting, you might find you’re okay with the operating system update and wait for your contract to be up… Especially if you can’t get much (or anything) for trading in your older model.

And if you’re considering switching to iPhone from something else, the iPhone 5 is a great model to start with, especially if you’ve got other Apple products (computers, Apple TV, iPad, etc.) at home and are looking to integrate your devices.

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