iPhone 5: One Week with Apple’s New iPhone

After enduring a nightmarish pre-order experience thanks to AT&T, I finally received my new iPhone 5 last week which I promptly used to replace my aging iPhone 3GS. And after spending a week with Apple’s new iPhone, I wanted to share my thoughts about the phone that I am now using as my daily driver.

To start, the iPhone 5 blows my iPhone 3GS out of the water. I’m not even sure I needed to say that because of how obvious of a statement that is, but hey, why not. As I’ve said before, the difference is night and day.

Read: From iPhone 3GS to iPhone 5: Five Things I Love About the New iPhone.

I also finally feel like I made the right choice when I decided to wait for a year off-contract with AT&T instead of buying the iPhone 4S or Samsung Galaxy S III to replace my iPhone 3GS.

So after spending a full week with my new, current-generation iPhone, I wanted to share my thoughts about Apple’s new iPhone. Here are my observations.

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Thus far, I’m impressed with the iPhone 5.

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My Favorite Feature

The iPhone 5 comes loaded with plenty of amazing features. A fantastic camera, an A6 processor that zips, a 4-inch display with Retina quality and 16:9 aspect ratio, an HD front-facing camera, and more. However, none of those are what have stood out as a favorite feature.

Connectivity is my favorite iPhone 5 feature and it’s not even close. Having 4G LTE speeds that are comparable to Wi-Fi just about everywhere I go is fantastic. They’re so good, that they almost feel new. Of course, I’ve been using 4G LTE phones since March of 2011 but never on a phone that’s my daily driver.

I should point out that 4G LTE is my favorite feature on my Samsung Galaxy Nexus as well.

However, my AT&T iPhone 5 doesn’t stop there. In addition, I’m able to pull down HSPA+ 4G data speeds when I can’t get a 4G LTE signal. HSPA+ is worse than 4G LTE but much faster than regular 3G.

Having 4G LTE and HSPA+ compatibility, the latter of which doesn’t come with with the Sprint or Verizon versions, essentially means that I’ll never have to deal with 3G data speeds again.

That’s unbeatable for someone like me who is constantly riding BART watching sports clips.

Good Luck, 16GB iPhone 5 Owners

I’ll admit it. I made a huge mistake buying the 16GB iPhone 3GS and an even bigger mistake when I bought the 16GB new iPad. This time around though I came to my senses. I had to delete too many files, spend too much time worrying about space to fail with the iPhone 5.

From the start, I had debated whether I needed 32GB or 64GB of space on my iPhone 5. At the end, 64GB just seemed like overkill so I opted for the 32GB model. And? So far, so good. I have plenty of space and thus far, I’ve filled up about 20GB of the available space.

20GB in a week of using the phone.

I’m so, so, so glad that I did not buy the 16GB model and I wish those of you who did luck. Unless you’re an absolute minimalist, you’re likely going to find yourself deleting videos or apps at some point.

What Issues?

The internet has been up in arms about two iPhone 5 issues in particular. One, scratches to the back of the anodized aluminum on the black iPhone 5 which I have and two, the fact that the iPhone 5 is too lightweight.

First of all, I can’t even believe that people are making the weight of the phone out to be an issue. What would you rather have? A brick? I am a clumsy person, I have huge hands. I haven’t once felt like I was going to toss the phone across the room because of its weight. Get over it.

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I haven’t scratched my iPhone 5. Yet.

And two, the scratches. I don’t doubt that it will likely happen but I have already put my iPhone 5 through some abuse, again I’m clumsy, and the back has come out unscathed.

I even have put it in my jeans and comes out completely fine. For me, neither of these are issues.

Well There Is One…

The headphone jack’s new positioning. It’s going to take some getting used to. At this point, I dislike the new positioning on the bottom of the phone though I may come around as time goes on.

Built to Last

One of the things I hated about the Samsung Galaxy Nexus was its design. The plastic just felt cheap. The iPhone 5? I can’t say enough about the design of this phone.

While it’s lightweight, it feels durable. I have no doubt that this phone is going to last the full two years of my new contract with AT&T, something that I just couldn’t say about the plastic Galaxy Nexus.

Battery Life

A delight. That’s all I can say about the battery life found on the iPhone 5. It handles 4G LTE extremely well and I’ve been able to consistently get around a half day out of the phone when doing my normal routine which consists of checking email, browsing the web, sending messages to friends, and playing the occasional game.

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The iPhone 5′s battery life is impressive.

While battery life of others will differ, after all it’s all about how you use the phone, there is no denying that Apple packed impressive battery life into this thing.

Overall

I feel like at this point, the only thing that I dislike about my purchase of a 32GB iPhone 5 on AT&T is the fact that Verizon’s version is unlocked which means I could use it on AT&T or T-Mobile. Other than that, this is the phone that I waited a year for.

4G LTE does not disappoint, the 4-inch screen isn’t too big or too small, the design is fantastic, the camera is probably the best camera I’ve ever encountered on a smartphone and personally, I am really enjoying iOS 6 despite all of the complaints about Apple’s Maps.

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Let’s just say that I don’t regret ditching the iPhone 3GS.

I expect this to be my smartphone for the next two years but with a Nexus announcement likely coming later this year, I can’t be certain.

How are you liking your iPhone 5?

  

Comments

  1. bob says

    I love my iphone 5! ios6 can be dull at times, yet the phones makes up by it’s apps and media (spotify!)

  2. Lloyd Briggs (@chutface) says

    Unfortunately my experience has been horrible with the iPhone5 on Sprint’s network. .01mbps up and down is not 3G imo. Take a peek at the Sprint iPhone5 forums to really get a good look at how widespread this problem is.

    • Aaron G says

      Very unfortunate for you, but it’s been known that Sprint’s normal non-LTE (they only have a few LTE and I havent seen any reviews of those) 3G network is slow. Unlimited? Who cares when it so slow you can barely use it. Sorry man :(

  3. J Kovalainen says

    hahhah. you call that 4G =D that’s more like 3G networks everywhere else than USA. 3G network speeds are from 0.5 – 15 Mbit/s. 4G speeds are from 20-100 Mbit/s.

  4. THEtejada says

    I’m new to the iPhone but not new to Apple products. I got the black 64 GB iPhone 5. My main concern was storage room as I plan to take a lot of pictures and videos. So far this is my only gripe with the iPhone5… wish Apple would allow for external memory cards.

    I like how light and durable it feels. This phone doesn’t feel cheap at all. The iOS is very familiar and that’s another feature that I like. Even though this is my first iPhone I instantly knew what to do with it because of my previous purchase of Apple products which include an iPod Touch, iPad and Mac Mini.

    The screen is absolutely beautiful to look at. No lag whatsoever when perusing through the Applications. Internet speed is good but not great and that’s because I’m on the Sprint Network. In my area I’ve only been able to get 3G which is not a big deal for me being that this is my first 4G LTE phone so not having experience 4G LTE… I guess I don’t know what I’m missing (yet). Once Sprint implements 4G in my area I should be able to use this phone to its full capacity. Plus having unlimited data on Sprint is a good thing.

    Apple Maps is working just fine in my area… One feature that helped me finalize my decision to buy an iPhone 5 was voice turn navigation. In the past the lack of this feature would hold me back. I understand Google Maps is far superior but I’m sure in time Apple Maps will get better.

    Overall I’m pretty happy with this phone. It’s durable enough where I think I’ll be able to hold on to this phone for the next 2 years at least. Previously I was having a hard time finding a phone that would last me more then 10 months.

  5. doc says

    I’ve been slowly coming over to the Apple side. Got an Air last year. Bought a new iPad earlier this year. My new iPhone5 came Wednesday to replace my EVO 4G. So far I’m liking it being the same UI as the iPad. Siri is probably the feature I’m playing around with the most.

    Since I don’t live in a 4G all I can get is 3G. And it is way slower than my EVO. The speed is the most notable downside when I’m away from home/WiFi. I think Indy is on the list for Sprint LTE sometime in 2020 :(

  6. Hazel says

    There was an article earlier talking about how you can unlock the iPhone 5 on AT&T’s network by having it reset through iTunes… Check it out!

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