Well, it seems the press embargoes dropped on the iPhone 5 this morning, as the reviews started spewing forth from various different media sources.
The iPhone 5, in case you weren’t aware, launches this Friday (priced from £529), with rumours of stock shortages already floating around – the UK Apple Store now shows a three to four week wait for delivery of pre-orders (which has been pushed out from a two to three week wait earlier this week).
And thus far, the reviews of Apple’s already-fast-selling sixth smartphone seem pretty positive.
The Telegraph awarded the iPhone 5 a full 5/5 score, praising it as a “marvellous piece of design” and “beautiful.” The reviewer notes it’s the perfect width, feels great to hold, and the new aluminium rear is splendidly done.
Some other comments have been made observing that the new, much thinner (7.6mm) and lighter iPhone actually feels a bit too light… but the Telegraph has no truck with such criticism.
The reviewer goes on to note how everything is just faster, from opening apps, to taking a picture. Even little things such as the new arrangement of mics helps to make calls sound clearer than the iPhone 4S.
The Wall Street Journal applauds the phone for being light, and yet still feeling substantial, and being significantly faster, with a larger screen, without sacrificing anything on the battery life front.
Slashgear also notes that the phone feels good in the hand, and is faster, smoother running, and boasts a more capable camera. But the reviewer notes that while other Android phones can do what the iPhone 5 does (and have been doing for some time, in many cases, such as the Panorama mode on the camera), it doesn’t let you do these things as effortlessly as the iPhone does.
And that’s a big plus for the average consumer – and there are far more of them out there than tech-head smartphone tinkerers.
Engadget notes that the iPhone 5 “absolutely shines” and is a “significant” improvement over the iPhone 4S in every aspect except one – the software. In fact, a theme of much of the slight negativity regarding the iPhone 5 is that the major disappointment is iOS 6.
There are some new features in iOS 6, but none of them are all that exciting; unless you’re really into Facebook (which gets full integration), stuff like Passbook (a repository for all your virtual tickets) does seem rather underwhelming.
Not every review was quite so positive as the majority, though, and some dared to criticise more than just the now-slightly-dated looking UI and software.
T3 notes that iPhone 4S users, when upgraded to iOS 6, will be able to do “just about everything” that iPhone 5 users can (just not as swiftly) – and that Android offers handsets with all the same features, but for less money.
Of course, those handsets might not quite have the same ease of use factor that the Slashgear reviewer referred to.
That said, we agree that the iPhone 5 doesn’t seem like enough of a step forward for us – we were hoping for a little spark of something unique, which didn’t come.
It seems very well targeted at its market though, as ever with Apple, and pre-orders are already smashing records as we’ve already mentioned. Doubtless we’ll hear about the record sales figures over the coming opening weekend, when we hit the middle of next week.