First iPhone 5 reviews

Those major media outlets, technology sites, and journalists who had early review units of the iPhone 5 have now posted their reviews. Here are the links and a snippet of their takes.

Jim Dalrymple of The Loop says Apple has another winner on their hands:

I can’t think of any good reason why anyone wouldn’t upgrade or purchase the iPhone 5.

M.G. Siegler of TechCrunch says Apple has chiseled the smartphone to near perfection:

I’ve had the opportunity to play around with the latest iPhone for the past several days. I won’t beat around the bush: it’s fantastic.

John Gruber of Daring Fireball says the iPhone 5 is really nice:

The question everyone who hasn’t yet pre-ordered wants answered: Should you upgrade? My answer is simple. If you can afford it, yes.There’s a reason why, just as with all five of its predecessors, it just says “iPhone” on the back. The iPhone 5 is all new technically, but it’s the exact same thing as an idea. Apple is simply improving upon that idea year after year in infinitely finer detail, like a fractal. It’s nice.

Tim Stevens of Engadget says the iPhone 5 is the device people were asking for:

Still, the iPhone 5 absolutely shines. Pick your benchmark and you'll find Apple's thin new weapon sitting at or near the top. Will it convince you to give up your Android or Windows Phone ways and join the iOS side? Maybe, maybe not. Will it wow you? Hold it in your hand -- you might be surprised. For the iOS faithful this is a no-brainer upgrade. This is without a doubt the best iPhone yet. This is a hallmark of design. This is the one you've been waiting for.

Vincent Nguyen of SlashGear says it's love at first swipe.

Right now, the iPhone 5 has the best balance of everyday usability and performance, without the distraction of functionality that is clever but unintuitive. It’s an area in which Apple excels, and it’s the reason the iPhone 5 is one of the best smartphones on the market today.

Walt Mossberg of the Wall Street Journal says Apple has taken an already great product and made it better, overall.

The world’s most popular smartphone becomes significantly faster, thinner and lighter this week, while gaining a larger, 4-inch screen—all without giving up battery life, comfort in the hand and high-quality construction.

David Pogue of The New York Times says it's not a compelling update for existing iPhone 4S users...

But if you’ve had the discipline to sit out a couple of iPhone generations — wow, are you in for a treat.

Ed Baig of USAToday says the iPhone 5 is in front of the smartphone pack:

People have always had lofty expectations for the iPhone 5, especially as the competition stiffens. In delivering a fast, attractive, LTE-capable and larger-screen handset, Apple has met those expectations with a gem.

Scott Stein at CNET says the iPhone 5 is an excellent, well conceived phone.

The iPhone 5 completely rebuilds the iPhone on a framework of new features and design, addressing its major previous shortcomings. It's absolutely the best iPhone to date, and it easily secures its place in the top tier of the smartphone universe.

Stuart Miles of Pocket-Lint says the iPhone 5 is the must-have phone of the year:

The iPhone 5 is a phone that makes you feel safe. A phone that you know exactly how to use as soon as you take it out of the box and that is perfect for a huge number of people.

Peter Nowak of the CBC says the iPhone 5 isn't innovative but is a smart package:

The iPhone 5 may not be terribly innovative, but it does deliver that package better than any previous Apple product, and better than just about any other smartphone.

Luke Peters at T3 says the iPhone 5 isn't as compelling given the alternatives.

Given that iPhone 4S users can upgrade to iOS 6 and do just about everything the iPhone 5 can do, and that Android users can get similarly impressive handsets for less dosh, we reckon the smart money won’t all be going on a new iPhone this year, even if the mass market can’t get enough of it. It’s good, very good. But it’s no longer the best around.

Shane Richmond of The Telegraph says the iPhone 5 is a marvelous piece of design:

The iPhone 5 is a great smartphone made even better. It's fast, lightweight and backed by the largest application store for any device. It's also probably the most beautiful smartphone anyone has ever made

Patrick Gross of TechRadar says the iPhone 5 is the most important launch since the original iPhone:

But, in truth, Apple will be well aware that it doesn't need to reinvent the wheel to succeed and, in this case, it has yet again provided a fine phone that will keep it battling at the top of the charts for another year.

Mark Prigg of The Daily Mail says the iPhone 5 is simply the best smartphone ever made:

The level of care and engineering that has gone into the handset is unprecedented, and while iPhone owners are no doubt already reaching for their wallets, for anyone who was on the fence, Apple most definitely has the upper hand in the smartphone wars.

So there you have them! Go forth and read whichever interest you, then hurry back and give us your early assessment -- your review of the reviews.

Rene Ritchie

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.