Apple iPhone 5 Reviews Are Glowing So Far

The Apple iPhone 5 was finally launched after months of waiting, and fans eager to find out if the newest iteration of the phone is worth the buy have some good news.

Early reviews of the phone note its improved features, a smarter recharging system, and even a better feel.

Edward Baig, a tech writer for USA Today, said his initial impression of the phone is that it’s worth the wait, and the price. He wrote:

My true answer must wait until I’ve had a chance to put the iPhone 5 through its paces, and details are still emerging as I sit in the audience at Apple’s event here. But the new iPhone looks awfully inviting from my vantage point. Like many people, I’ve had an iPhone 4 that has frankly grown stale. But I also postponed the purchase of a new smartphone — waiting to see what Apple would do.

The new iPhone 5 has the same retina display as on its predecessor. But Apple finally upped the screen size to 4 inches, up from the 3.5-inch display that was on all its predecessors. That permits a fifth row of app icons on the home screen. It’s still a smaller screen than the display on many rival Android devices. But the extra real estate is welcome, just the same.

Baig liked other features on the iPhone 5, like the fact that it is 18 percent thinner than the previous iPhone 4S. It is also able to tap into the fast 4G LTE networks, and Apple is working in the US with AT&T, Sprint and Verizon Wireless, as well as several other carriers in Canada and overseas, to offer more options.

Michael Liedtke, a reporter with The Associated Press, said he had about 15 minutes to check out the iPhone 5 at its launch, but was left impressed with its “blend of beauty, utility, and versatility.” Liedtke noted that the new iPhone 5 even feels better to the touch.

He wrote:

For many people, the iPhone is going to be a case of love at first touch. It’s incredibly light and seems to be easier to hold. That means it might not be dropped as frequently as previous iPhones, reducing the chances of the glass on the display screen getting damaged.

One woman who also was testing out an iPhone 5 couldn’t stop raving about how ideal the new design was for people with smaller hands. “All the other iPhones were made with men in mind because they could easily slip from your grasp if you didn’t have big hands,” she said. “Now we finally have an iPhone for women.”

Recharging is easier with the iPhone 5 as well. The phone’s battery offers eight hours of talk or web browsing, and its new Lightning connector offers a smaller, sturdier connection for recharging — and it can fit either way, so no twisting and turning to find the right side.

As New York Times technology writer David Pogue notes, the camera on the iPhone 5 is vastly improved as well:

Not many rumor mills predicted the improvement in the camera. It’s an eight-megapixel model with an f/2.4 aperture, meaning that it lets in a lot of light. The panorama mode is the best you’ve ever seen: as you swing the camera in an arc in front of you, a preview screen shows you the resulting panorama growing in real time. I took only two panorama shots in my limited time with the iPhone 5, but they came out crazy good.

The camera takes 40 percent less time between shots, it can recognize up to 10 faces (for focus and exposure purposes) and it can take still photos even while you’re filming video.

But for all its good features, the Apple iPhone 5 will have some tough competition from a growing field of competitors, Mashable noted. The Samsung Galaxy S III, Drod RAZR HD, and Nokia Lumina 920 all have comparable features, including screen size, weight, resolution, and CPU, the report noted.

The iPhone 5 ships September 21 in the US and will be available for pre-order beginning Friday. The phone will cost $199 for a 16GB version, $299 for a 32GB version, and $399 for a 64GB version.