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IPhone 5 first impressions: It lives up to the hype [Video]

September 22, 2012|By Salvador Rodriguez

The iPhone 5 has arrived, and once again, Apple has delivered another well-designed smartphone.

After one day of using the black-and-slate 16 GB AT&T model I got Friday, I'm very impressed with the phone, but that's not to say there aren't issues.

As far as its body goes, the new slimmed-down and lighter iPhone 5 looks slick. It is noticeably lighter than its predecessors, and it is indeed much thinner.

Its new 4-inch screen has made the phone a bit longer. This always sparks a debate about whether it's also more narrow, but that's not the case. Apple kept the same width, and that's a big reason the iPhone 5 still fits comfortably in your hand.

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My one nit to pick with the phone's body is the location of the headphone jack. It's now located near the redesigned microphone and speaker grills, but it's on the bottom of the phone. At least for me, that's created situations in which I have to turn the phone upside down for the sake of my headphones, which can be annoying.

As for the software, the addition of a sixth row of apps on the iPhone 5 is very helpful. I've now got all 80 of my apps on just two pages, and I haven't even filled either page up.

As expected, the phone now runs super-fast, and the high-speed LTE connection is a joy ride after five versions of iPhones with less-than-4G connectivity.

Maps' new turn-by-turn voice directions are also very useful, but the lack of a Google map is annoying. For example, at one point the app was unable to find a restaurant I was looking for, and it wasn't until I just scanned the map myself that I found where it was. So the maps app is great for car navigation, but in almost every other way, it's a step back.

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Also, some apps have yet to update to support the new screen size. This forces the iPhone 5 to show the apps in the middle of its screen, framed by two black bars, above and below the app.

Two other things that stand out on the new device are its new connector and its front camera.

The front camera has been vastly improved, so you may start using it for taking pictures and not just video calls.

The new Lightning connector is also impressive. It's sad that it renders all your previous dock accessories nearly useless, but it's very small and compact. I was expecting this connector to be about half the size of the previous 30-pin, but it's actually about a fourth the size.

That's all for now, but we'll get more in-depth with this phone soon. 

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