Another year, and another iPhone. 2012 brings the iPhone 5, with new and improved long lines at Apple stores and lots of hype. But this is actually a very solid upgrade from Apple: the iPhone 5 has a 4" Retina display and true 4G LTE. While the 3.5" display on prior iPhones was starting to seem downright old fashioned in terms of screen real estate, the 4", 1136 x 640 display feels like they're room to spread out and read web pages without chronic zooming. Trust me, you'll notice the difference. And at 326ppi and 500 nits of brightness plus high contrast, it's one of the best displays on the smartphone market.
If you're upgrading from an iPhone 3GS or iPhone 4 with the slower flavor of 3G, HSPA+ and 4G LTE will make you feel like you're on a rocking fast WiFi network. Our AT&T iPhone 5 units are averaging 24Mbps down and 21Mpbs up according to the Speedtest.net app. Nice! That's on LTE of course, but you should see noticeably faster speeds compared to older iPhone models with 7.2Mbps HSDPA.
Build quality as always is the best, and the phone is miraculously no wider than the iPhone 4S, and just a little bit taller. It is thinner and 20% lighter than the iPhone 4S (the iPhone 5 weighs 3.95 ounces). The phone is available in white with an aluminum back or black with a slate back (very dark gray coated aluminum). Both are good looking, with the white model carrying on the spirit of the iPhone 4 line while the black model has blacked out Darth Vader sides.
Call quality? Very good for our AT&T iPhone 5 units. Reception: good. Data speeds: excellent (we are in a good LTE coverage area).
Above: The HTC One X, iPhone 5 and Samsung Galaxy S III.
Here's our iPhone 5 video review. Our full written review will follow in the coming days.