So the iPhone 5 has finally landed in our shores. Smart Communications launched the handset last night and Globe Telecom, which also carries the iPhone 5, launched the handset in a separate event. The iPhone 5 has been available in the US and other countries for weeks and the Philippines is one of the last countries to get the wildly popular phone.
I had the chance to hold the iPhone 5 weeks ago when a friend who bought a unit in Hong Kong showed off his white iPhone 5. When I held the iPhone 5, my immediate reaction was that it’s too light for a phone. The iPhone 4 and 4S are quite heavy compared to other phones since it featured glass materials. I did not have time to really check out the iPhone 5 at the time so I reserved my “impressions” post until I’m really able to spend time with the phone.
At the Smart launch, I was finally able to play with the iPhone 5. The black variant was the one on display and between the two available colors, I find the black version more attractive. Again, holding the phone will give you the impression that it is too light, like you’re holding a toy phone instead of an actual phone. The good thing about a light iPhone is that it’s not a burden to carry it around in your pocket. The bad thing is, the light materials mean the iPhone 5 may easily dent and scratch when dropped. The back of the iPhone 5 has an anodized aluminium finish and from the looks of it, it really is prone to scratches and scuffs. A good iPhone 5 case should easily solve the problem.
In terms of overall design, the iPhone 5 has gotten more attractive than the iPhone 4 and 4S. It now looks more polished and it actually feels great in the hand. Once you get used to the weight of the phone, you’ll find it quite nice to hold. It’s also too thin, which makes it doubly attractive compared to previous iPhones. The larger 4-inch screen looks taller and the bad news is, it’s quite hard to operate using one hand. I found myself adjusting my grip when reaching for the home button.
The operating system is iOS 6, which is in most respect, still the same iOS we’ve seen from previous iPhones. There are improvements and added features but in terms of look and feel, it’s essentially the same. If you like the look of previous versions of the iOS, you’ll be happy to know that nothing much has changed in terms of the UI. If you’re tired of the iOS, though, you’ll find it quite frustrating how Apple has never changed the look of iOS. Then again, if you fall under the second type, you probably own an Android phone and has no plans of getting the iPhone 5.
Speed is where the iPhone 5 gets a lot of improvement. The iOS on the iPhon4 5 is noticeably faster, and apps loads as fast as you want them to load. The overall experience is smooth. The internet speed has also improved a lot. The iPhone 4S only used 3G but the iPhone 5 now connects via HSPA+. With Smart’s network, I found internet speed to be fast. As the camera, I did not have the chance to test it well since I was in a rather poorly lighted environment.
As far as first impressions go, the iPhone 5 is quite impressive. It is better than previous iPhones in many respects but what I find appealing with the iPhone 5 is the bigger screen, the thinner profile, and the faster internet.
This is just an impressions post and I will try to do a full review when I get the chance.