24 Hours with the iPhone 5 and 15 First Impressions

We have spent over a day with the iPhone 5 now, and are ready to share our initial reactions and first impressions of the device from over the past 24 hours. So here they are…

  1. The display’s colors are noticeably more vivid over the 4S! But not drastically so.
  2. Really like that that they didn’t make the device wider, because it still feels just right to hold in your hands. You can definitely feel that it weighs less too.
  3. Loving the white / silver aesthetics, especially on the backside. Sure, it’s not a drastic design difference from the 4S, but the iPhone 5 sure is a looker.
  4. We appreciate being able to have that extra row for apps now. Sometimes it’s the little things that matter.
  5. Older apps that don’t take advantage of the new longer display look silly with the black space above and below.
  6.  Web browsing is sooo fast!
  7. Hmm, upload speeds aren’t as fast as they should be. We’re consistently seeing 29mbps down and .4 mbps up in midtown Manhattan on AT&T’s LTE network. Still that is a big improvement, especially considering how often sites will load at edge-like speeds during this time of day over here. Yet, in comparison to the iPhone 5, the HTC One X has been averaging speeds of 28 mbps down and 1.4 mbps up.
  8. That dock connector is tinier than we imagined it would be. We still can’t get over what we’re going to do with all the accessories, since we doubt that the dock connector will work with all of them.
  9. Speaking of accessories. Are people going to really use these new white buds? We personally think that they are super uncomfortable. They are too big for smaller ears, and they easily fall out. Their design also allows for too much ambient noise. You just invested in an expensive phone now go invest in some decent earphones people!
  10. Having the headphone port at the bottom of the iPhone feels very unnatural, especially when we stuff the iPhone 5 in a pocket. Perhaps we’ll get used to it.
  11. Audio sounds crisper and sharper. Highs are vibrant and sonic subtleties are definitely noticed much more so on the iPhone 5 than it was on previous iPhones. We tested using the same pair of headphones on both the 4S and 5, so that we can confirm this.
  12. Performance in general is noticeably peppier than on the iPhone 4S. But it still feels like the device could be even more faster and more instant when loading apps and such.
  13. We have been charging the iPhone 5 through a computer via USB which is connected to a 27″ Cinema Display. Intermittently we have been getting a message on the phone saying that “charging is not supported with this accessory.”
  14. Battery life has been significantly improved over the 4S. We’re getting about 12-14 hours on a charge with the display set to high brightness, LTE turned on, and push notifications turned on, along with moderates amount of use.
  15. The camera on the iPhone 5 is significantly better than the camera on the 4S. Photos are coming out sharper with more vivid colors. Also, it’s performing better in low-light conditions than the 4S did. Check out our gallery below for some sample shots.

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Conclusion So Far

The iPhone 5 is definitely not a must have upgrade if you have a 4S, and not even so much a must-have upgrade if you have an iPhone 4. That said, we’re liking the device a lot. And if you have an iPhone 3GS, then it’s really time to make the jump for an upgrade.

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  1. Great post! I agree with just about everything mentioned. I’ve found my upload speeds to be higher than my download speeds, surprisingly they’ve been ranging from 10Mbps to 20Mbps (Downtown NYC and Brooklyn). Also, it’s tough to gauge the difference in battery so far, but for me it seems to be about the same as 4S.

  2. Thanks! As for speeds – I keep testing in midtown, and 2 days in a row I have been getting consistently poor upload speeds :(. Also, the battery life is a lot better than it was on my iPhone 4S.

  3. Thanks! And the extra screen real estate is nice, but i dont feel like it makes that much of a difference for video watching as it would be by upgrading to lets say something like a Galaxy Note.

  4. Thanks, Helena, for the first impressions. I’ve kept friends from hopping immediately to the 5 from a 4s or 4 until they NEED a new phone. PLus, 4G LTE is not even a possibility around here. I have the 4, the HTC One X (thanks to you), and a Samsung Galaxy SIII. In general, how would you compare the iPhone 5 with the HTC and Samsung? I know they are all different breeds, but do you think the iPhone 5 is much better? Thanks!

  5. Hi JC, Thanks for the feedback!
    Even though I have tested each of the 3 devices, it’s still difficult for me to say that one is better over the other, because I think that it’s really a matter of OS preference and tastes. All 3 have great cameras, great displays, and offer great performance, as well as software perks. They are all excellent smartphones and you really can’t go wrong with any of the three. That is unless you’re someone who prefers iOS to Android, or HTC Sense to Samsung’s TouchWIZ overlay.

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